What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder within the body, meaning it causes an interference with how the body converts food to energy. Specifically, diabetes is the result of the body not being able to use glucose to control the sugar level in the blood. There are two types of diabetes: insulin-deficient and insulin-resistant. Insulin-deficient diabetes results when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that triggers cells to utilize glucose within the blood as fuel. Insulin-resistant diabetes occurs when the cells aren’t responding to the insulin’s “message” to use the glucose. In both of these cases, there is an excess of sugar in the blood that can lead to kidney and heart damage.
If your dog is experiencing increased thirst, rapid weight loss, frequent urination, increased appetite, or tiredness, he/she may have diabetes. Set up an appointment and our veterinarians can check for diabetes by testing for excess glucose through a blood test.
How to prevent it
Although there is no known cause for the deficient-type diabetes, routine insulin injections is a way to treat it. Two factors that increase risk of resistance-type diabetes include obesity and poor nutrition. This type is harder to treat however, you can prevent it with exercise and a proper diet, one that is low in fats and sugars.