We’re excited and honoured to feature South Africa’s second largest independent animal welfare organisation on PetlifeSA for one year, starting July 2019.
The Management and Prevention of Diabetes in Dogs
While diabetes in dogs may not be curable, it can be managed quite successfully.
Managing Diabetes in Dogs
Here is an overview of how to manage and treat diabetes in dogs:
- Daily insulin shots given by owners at home to replace insulin
- Regular, moderate exercise that suits the affected dog’s needs
- New diet: Typically a low-fat diet high in proteins, fibre and complex carbohydrates
- Test and adjust medication/treatment: finding the correct dosage may take some time
- Monitor affected dogs at home with a daily glucose-monitoring system
- Ongoing management of diet, exercise and medication
- Going for regular veterinary check-ups
- Stay positive
Preventing Diabetes in Dogs
As a dog owner, you can prevent or reduce your dog’s risk of developing diabetes by:
- Controlling Your Dog’s Weight
Obesity contributes to insulin resistance and can increase a dog’s chances of developing pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), a disease that leads to diabetes.
- Spaying Your Dog
Unspayed females are twice as likely to develop diabetes as male dogs. Spaying also helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer (the latter of which is fatal in about 50% of dogs).
- Taking Your Dog for Routine Check-ups and in Between Visits When Necessary
Dogs can’t tell you when they feel unwell or show you exactly where it hurts. That’s why subtle physical and behavioural changes should never be ignored. So, apart from routine check-ups (typically once a year), have your dog checked out even if you’re just mildly concerned about something.
- Providing Proper Nutrition
It’s no secret that quality dog food makes a huge difference, but the problem is usually the price tag attached to it. Discuss your options with your veterinarian. Perhaps you can combine a more affordable brand with vet-approved snacks and treats, including fruits and vegetables.