Diabetes In Dogs: A Serious Disease That Is Completely Manageable

Diabetes in dogs is a serious endocrine disease that causes too much glucose in the blood. The most common type of diabetes in dogs is acquired, insulin-dependent Type II diabetes mellitus, also known as IDDM. This type of diabetes is similar to adult-onset diabetes in humans. The other kind of diabetes in dogs is diabetes insipidus.

The earlier diabetes in dogs is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment.

Diabetes insipidus is caused by a lack of vasopressin, the antidiuretic hormone that controls water resorption by the kidneys. In dogs, the more common diabetes mellitus is a deficiency of insulin, the hormone that plays a critical role in sugar metabolism. The highest occurrences are in obese canines between 5 and 7 years, and female dogs are more susceptible. Spaying eliminates the interaction of the female hormones with blood sugar levels, and thus helps stabilize insulin levels. Untreated diabetes in dogs can lead to urinary tract infections and cataracts. A simple blood test will indicate if glucose counts look suspicious. A full physical exam should be done annually on your dog, even if it seems perfectly healthy.

The symptoms of diabetes in dogs usually include:

– Drinking excessive amounts of water;
– Frequent urination (may start to urinate in the house);
– Weight gain (or weight loss in some cases);
– Increased lethargy during the day.

Don’t panic if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes is a manageable disease in dogs. It takes more work to care for diabetic dogs, but our pets are family members. The least we can do in return is provide proper health care, especially if they suffer canine diabetes. Responsible guardians try to provide an enjoyable life for their pets, with less pain.

The goal after a canine diabetes diagnosis is to get glucose levels down to a normal (or only slightly elevated) level by following some simple steps. Diabetes in dogs means someone must administer insulin injections that are easy to do and will quickly become routine. You must monitor how your dog responds to the injected insulin dosage by testing the urine with test strips. The test strip will tell you how much sugar is present in the dog’s system, and you may have to adjust the dosage of insulin based on the results.

Your veterinarian will instruct you on how to use the test kits, results to look for, when to administer higher or lower dosages, and the proper way to administer the treatment. Stick to the time schedule your veterinarian provides, and keep a record of the test strips results, amount of insulin given, and your dog’s eating behaviors and attitude. This will help you understand the dog’s condition, and assist your veterinarian if other problems arise.

Commercial dog food companies have helped create this epidemic of diabetes in dogs.

Their processed food contains a high concentration of sugar to make it more palatable. The benefit to the companies is increased sales because dog owners see their beloved canines “wolf” down the food like it’s the best they’ve ever eaten, so the owners keep buying it.

Be strict about what you feed your dog.

Emphasize foods high in fiber and protein, and restrict fats and carbohydrates. Feed your dog at the same times every day. What they eat and when they eat it affect the sugar/insulin levels.

One-third of the total daily amount of food should be given half hour prior to the injection. The remaining amount of food should be given 8-10 hours later. If you give your dog snacks before bedtime, reduce the dinner amount by the snack amount. Exercise will affect the sugar levels in the dog’s blood stream. You don’t want that level “up” one day and “down” the next. The “up and down” isn’t good for the dog. Set up an exercise program and stick to it. If your dog is overweight, put it on a diet to lose weight slowly.
As in humans, blood sugar levels will fluctuate.

It is crucial to take your pet periodically to the veterinarian for a whole day (8-hour period at least) to monitor blood sugar levels throughout the day. This helps ensure your diabetes treatments are working properly. Family members age teen and up should know how to give the insulin in case of a dog health emergency. Post instructions by the phone, the fridge (where the insulin is kept), the bed, and where the dog hangs out a lot, of how to give the injection to your pet just in case. Make a diabetes “Dog Health Cheat Sheet” for potential problems; include the veterinarian’s emergency number and basic actions to take in each scenario:

Too much insulin is accidentally injected.

The needle breaks off while in the dog.

There’s a seizure (not common, but can happen occasionally).

Cool Pet Bed Technology

What you do not know about dog cooling products puts your pet at risk for heat difficulties and discomfort. Pet products manufacturing and modern thermoregulating technology have joined to make available dog cooling jackets and cooling pet beds to aid in your dog’s safety and comfort. Dog cooling beds, jackets and other products represent technological advances in protection against heat exhaustion and heat stroke in dogs.

Your dog has a fur coat. Summer days can be annoyingly uncomfortable for your canine, but thermoregulating technology in a cooling pet bed surface can have far reaching benefits to the health and well being of your canine.

When dogs look for a cool surface area to lie on to cool their bodies they will usually find a spot on the tile, stone, or wood floor, surfaces that are hard on the canine’s bones and joints. However, those surfaces quickly trap heat and warm up, the refreshment is short-lived and the pressure on the bones and joints has a cumulative damaging effect.

A cooling pet bed is a solution. Canines only perspire around their paws, not enough to cool the body down. They rid themselves of excess heat by panting. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body; as it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. This is an efficient way to control body heat, but severely limited in areas of high humidity or in close quarters.

 Cooling pet bed technology is perfect for regulating dog discomfort from heat.

Brachiocephalic (pug-nosed) dogs are more prone to heat discomfort and heat stroke because their nasal passages are smaller, making it more difficult to circulate sufficient air for cooling. Overweight dogs are also more susceptible to heat stroke because extra layers of fat act as insulation, trapping heat in their bodies, restricting breathing.

Age is a factor in a dog’s tendency to overheat and suffer heat stroke. Puppies may not have fully developed temperature regulating systems, and older dogs’ organ systems may not function at peak levels. All reasons to take advantage of the wonderful cooling pet bed technology.

Some dogs thrive around water and often make good companions on boats. However, a boat for a dog can become sweltering. To a dog or pet, boat surfaces, such as fiberglass, can get extremely hot in the sun. Dogs absorb heat through the pads on their feet so be sure to protect them. Heat stroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion are real dangers for dogs on boats, especially for overweight animals.

 Providing a shaded area on the boat for the dog is a safe and responsible thing to do, and if you provide your boating pal with acooling pet bed it can make a world of difference to its comfort and safety.

The advanced cooling pet bed does not work on electricity or batteries. The thermoregulating cooling pet bed creates a dry, room temperature cooling effect by passively removing heat from the dog’s body, which escapes into the surrounding air without electrical or mechanical devices.

The cooling pet bed utilizes a combination of specialized foam, fluid and a shapeable outer membrane to create a unique and superior molding effect that conforms to pressure points. The Canine Cooler® pet bed contains a unique filling that becomes gel-like when activated with water. It is paw-puncture proof, easy to clean. Fleas hate the cool surface but dogs love it!

Place the cooling pet bed on a solid cool surface out of direct sunlight, preferably in one of your dog’s favorite spots. Your pal will probably discover the cool dog bed on its own when it feels hot, and will keep coming back to experience the same refreshment.

The canine cooling pet bed offers unparalleled body support because of the advanced fluid-based design, providing comfort for dogs with hip and joint ailments as well as skin problems from allergies to hot spots. The cooling pet bed is desirable for treatment and comfort of Cushing’s disease — symptoms of panting and restlessness are alleviated by the cooling effects. Similarly, it helps reduce the panting, pacing and restlessness typical of canine autoimmune hemolytic anemia. The cooling capability of the pet bed is therapeutic for post-surgery recovery, dysplasia, post-chemotherapy and other health conditions in which a soft, cooling effect is needed.

For the senior dog, this bed is very low profile, but incredibly supportive; easy for the animal to get on and off. The Canine Cooler® pet cooling bed is ongoing health therapy for the animal and is the most comfortable and innovative bed that you can give your dog especially during the summer season. This cooling pet bed is a powerful tool against the dangers of heat stroke.  It carries the best warranty and it’s made in America!

Canine Digestion Problems

Canine digestion problems are one health problem your dog does not have to suffer from. The common consequences of canine digestion problems are vomit and diarrhea. Periodic canine digestion problems can evolve into a chronic problem.

Severe or frequent vomiting and diarrhea that persist more than 1-2 days may leave a dog dehydrated and malnourished. If your canine experiences digestive problems, it’s important to call your veterinarian and discuss the situation. A fecal sample may be requested. If your dog has watery diarrhea with no blood or mucus, does not strain when defecating, and eliminates on a normal schedule, its small intestine is probably inflamed.

Feces should be checked routinely for parasites, and restrict your dog’s contact with other pets’ feces.

Prevent your dog from scavenging garbage cans or compost piles. Keep toxic substances, including antifreeze, drugs, and cleaning materials, out of your dog’s reach.

Food allergies, infection (bacterial or viral), inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, foreign bodies, metabolic diseases, organ failure of the kidney and liver, and pancreatic disease can all cause canine digestive problems.

Canine digestion problems can result from severe stomach irritation or spasms and cause vomiting. The solution to canine digestion problems are greatly within your control. Make your dog’s diet a number one priority and you will avoid canine digestion difficulties and the related problems.

To keep your dog’s gastrointestinal system functioning properly, a healthy, well-balanced diet is the key to avoiding canine digestion problems.

Canine digestion problems can result from sudden changes in diet or overeating. The aim is to avoid digestion problems, which will lead either to constipation, or to the rushing of food through the system too quickly, resulting in minimal nutrient and water absorption and a large volume of loose defecation.

The dog’s jaws are incapable of moving sideways, and instead are hinged. This allows them to open widely and ingest large chunks of meat.  Dogs can consume a large quantity of food at one time, and rest between meals. In the wild, this is known as “gorging”. This is beneficial in hunting big game. Canines, like carnivores, can consume large meals after a hunt, and then leisurely wait until the next meal opportunity arises.

Diet quality can be measured by the ease of digestion for your dog. Large, odorous stool is a reliable indicator that something is not right in the canine’s digestive tract, and what the dog is eating is the likely problem. Large amounts of vegetation, grains and fiber are difficult for canines to digest. Dogs have short and simple digestive tracts, and are not capable of fermenting and absorbing these foods like an herbivore would. High-grain, high-fiber diets in canine digestion will result in much larger stool volume.

The canine’s digestive system is a function of the mouth, stomach, small and large intestines, aided by the liver and pancreas. Functioning smoothly, the typical meal takes seven to ten hours to pass through the digestive system.

Canine digestion begins in the mouth and that is where canine digestive problems can begin. Saliva lubricates the food and passes it down the esophagus. The dog’s teeth are sharp, jagged, blade-in-shape molars designed for gripping, tearing and shredding, and specifically suited for the dog’s digestive capabilities. The canine’s short digestive tract easily digests animal flesh and fat.

Food spends a much longer time in the canine stomach, which produces a higher amount of hydrochloric acid, and aids in the breakdown of animal proteins, bones and fat. Chyme, also known as chymus, is the fluid that passes easily into the small intestine, where the pancreas and liver provide additional digestive enzymes. These enzymes continue protein digestion and also provide carbohydrate and fat digestion: carbohydrates to simple sugars, fats to fatty acids, and proteins to amino acids. Nutrients are absorbed from the small intestine into the bloodstream.

Probiotics can benefit the dog’s digestion, aid in absorption of nutrients, antioxidants and iron, and help with food intolerance. All mammals require these beneficial microorganisms and biologically produce substances to create a hospitable environment for them to take up residency, for necessary health and proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.

By the time food reaches the large intestine, most of the nutrients have been absorbed. It is here that water and electrolytes are assimilated and a bacterium breaks down the undigested fiber. The wastes are then excreted.

In addition to protein and fat, dogs require some carbohydrates in their diet. But, it is a delicate balance — too much protein and the result is disease, too little and the results are similar. The diet can go a long way in preventing canine digestion problems and many related problems caused by what the canine is digesting.