Diabetes mellitus is caused by the pancreas’s inadequate production of insulin. This causes the cells to be unable to absorb glucose. The glucose levels rise in the blood stream and will eventually spill over into the urine, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels and glucosuria.
Early symptoms of diabetes include increased appetite, increased thirst, and weight loss. More severe symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, cataracts, and coma.
Most diabetic dogs will need to be treated with a combination of insulin and dietary changes. The dose of insulin needed depends on the dog’s body’s reaction to it. Dogs are started on an insulin regimen for about a week. They will then need to come back into the vet clinic to have a glucose curve run to watch the body’s reaction to the insulin. The dose will then be adjusted based on this reaction. The dog will have to make regular visits to the vet clinic in order to monitor the blood glucose levels. In addition, most dogs will need to be placed on a high fiber/high carbohydrate diet.