World Diabetes Day

November 14th is World Diabetes Day and while this was originally designed to increase awareness of the disease in humans, the cases of diabetes in dogs also is on the increase.

As in humans, there are a variety of reasons as to why a dog will develop diabetes. Some dogs may be more genetically prone to developing the condition. Being overweight will increase the risk of a dog developing diabetes. Dogs are more likely to deveop diabetes in their senior years. Female dogs and neutered dogs may also be more at risk as their metabolism drops significantly after neutering.

Symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Weight loss (most commonly over the back), despite an overweight body condition
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased “whiteness” of the lens of the eye due to cataracts
  • Blindness
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Poor skin condition (like excessive dandruff or an oily hair coat)

Certain breeds more predisposed to diabetes include the Samoyed, Cairn Terrier and Schnauzer.

A quick way to check if your dog is over weight is to run your fingertips lightly along their sides. You should just be able to feel their ribs with light pressure. If you can’t feel them, your dog is likely overweight. If the ribs are too pronounced then your dog may be underweight.

For more information on how to care for your diabetic pet or if you suspect your pet may be diabetic, consult with your Veterinarian as soon as possible.