Diabetes mellitus, also known as sugar diabetes, affects all breeds of dogs. However, the most commonly affected breeds are Golden Retrievers, Miniature Schnauzers, and Poodles. Obesity is a predisposing factor that contributes to the development of diabetes.
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 proper dose of insulin depends on how the dog’s body reacts 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 and high carbohydrate diet.