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Diabetes in Dogs

How Dog Diabetes Can Affect Your Dog


Did you know that diabetes in dogs is becoming increasingly more common in our household pets? The latest research shows that 1 in every 100 dogs gets diagnosed with diabetes. Therefore it is only reasonable that you understand what causes this disease and take preventative measures to protect your dog's health.

How Do Dogs Get Diabetes?

In some cases, specific dog breeds are genetically prone to developing diabetes. Such dog breeds include the Golden Retriever, Miniature Schnauzer, and the Standard Poodle. These breeds may develop diabetes at a young age simply as a result of the type of dog they are. Fortunately, Australian Shepherds as a breed are not prone to diabetes. However, that is not to say that it could not become a more serious problem for Aussies in the future.

It is theorized that diabetes in dogs is the result of another disease in the animal which destroys the cells of the pancreas, thus branching off to diabetes. However, for most dogs, diabetes is caused by too many carbohydrates in the diet mixed with an inactive lifestyle, which of course leads to obesity, and ultimately - diabetes.

Carbohydrates and Dog Diabetes

Just like what happens when humans consume too many carbohydrates, a dog's blood sugar level will rise tremendously after eating a meal that is high in carbs. It happens extremely quickly as well. As a response to this, the body then uses insulin as a way to push the blood sugar back into the cells. Each of these cells have insulin receptors which open and close like a doorway in order to regulate the flow of blood sugar.

Through years and years of high carbohydrate eating, these "doorways" begin to break and eventually shut down. Your dog's body then produces more insulin resulting in sporadic cycles of insulin resistance. Eventually the body will no longer be able to create the insulin needed to push back the blood sugar into the cells. The final result of this action is diabetes in dogs.

Other Reasons for Diabetes in Dogs

Dogs that are overweight and older in age can also get diabetes from a very unique way. In many cases, these dogs came down with diabetes after they were given corticosteroid medication.

Whether it was by injection or tablet, the corticosteroids given to overweight pets seem to have caused the disease to set in. Researchers claim that these dogs were already genetically susceptible to diabetes and that the medication was just the trigger it needed. The good news for these types of dog diabetes cases is that with proper diet and medication, the disease may go into remission and the dog may be able to have his insulin discontinued indefinitely.

3 Ways To Prevent Diabetes in Dogs

There are essentially three ways that you can help prevent diabetes in dogs. This disease is one that you want your dog to avoid so that he lives as long and healthy as possible. And although it's rare, there are many dogs whose diabetes go into remission just by having their diet, supplementation, and exercise all in good order.

1. Lower the carbohydrates. Most dog foods sold in pet stores contain ingredients that are as high as 98% carbohydrates. By reducing the amount of carbs in your dog's daily meals, this moderate carbohydrate level can go a long way towards preventing diabetes in dogs.

Diet is especially important for dogs that are genetically at risk for diabetes. It is critical that you study up on your dog breed and make sure that he is getting the right nutrients so that the gene which can store diabetes will not be triggered off. Although Australian Shepherds are not particularly at risk it is important to be aware of, especially for Aussie owners who may also own dogs of other breeds.

For example, Golden Retrievers are among the most popular pets that dog owners have in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these retrievers get diabetes because their owners did not do enough research for their breed type in order to get their diet correct from puppyhood.

2. Seek out the nearest holistic veterinarian in your area. Ask the vet about natural supplementation for the immune system. Many dog owners miss this very important diabetes prevention step. Supplementing with organic products such as antioxidants and herbs for the immune system can make a huge impact on preventing diabetes, especially for the dog breed types which are genetically at risk for dog diabetes.

Along the same lines as natural prevention, it is important to avoid your dog from being over-vaccinated. This can cause toxins to build up in their system which can trigger diabetes in dogs.

Flea medications and tick insecticides can also trigger diabetes from the toxic state produced in the body. By keeping your dog clean of these chemicals and toxins you are helping his immune system stay healthy. (Also be aware that many of those medications contain Ivermectin. Australian Shepherds are very sensitive to Ivermectin and it can be very dangerous for Aussies.)

3. Exercise! It is sad to see so many dogs out there who develop diabetes that should never have in the first place had they been active and not become overweight. This of course is the direct responsibility of you, the dog owner. If your dog is inactive and gains weight, he can develop diabetes even if he is not a breed that is genetically at risk. Australian Shepherds need exercise even more than most breeds.

It doesn't take much to help keep your dog diabetes free. 20 minutes of brisk walking two to three times per day is all your dog needs for optimum health and to keep him in good shape. If you can go jogging with your dog then that is even better. Having your dog swim is also a great option for exercise.

Although diabetes in dogs is a real concern if you are aware of the problem and take steps to do what you can to prevent it you will give your Aussie the best chance to live life without the serious health consequences of diabetes in dogs.

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