My Dog Has Diabetes. What Next?: PDSA Petwise Pet Health Hub

My Dog Has Diabetes. What Next?: PDSA Petwise Pet Health Hub


(upbeat music) – Hello, I’m Fran, a vet at
PDSA, and this is Jester. If your dog has been
diagnosed with diabetes, I expect you’re feeling
a bit worried about them. You might also be feeling a little anxious that there’s a lot to learn and consider. This video will help you
understand what diabetes is and what you need to know
if you have a diabetic dog. We will be covering what
diabetes actually is, why it causes problems, why your dog might have
developed diabetes, how it’s treated, how often they need to visit the vet. We will talk about the practicalities of caring for a diabetic dog, the life expectancy of a diabetic dog, and the complications
diabetic dogs might encounter. (upbeat music) Diabetes means your dog can’t control their blood sugar levels. Their sugar levels get very
high which makes them poorly. Normally once a dog has eaten their food, the sugar from that food
enters their blood stream. These sugars aren’t much use
floating around in the blood, so insulin is produced to
move them into the cells. For example, their muscle
cells and brain cells. Sugar feeds cells and gives them energy. Once a dog with diabetes has eaten, sugar enters the bloodstream as normal, but it then stays in the
blood because diabetic dogs can’t produce the insulin
to move it into their cells. This means diabetic dogs aren’t able to give cells around the body
the energy that they need. (upbeat music) Untreated diabetes causes cells all around the body to starve. This causes serious
illness and can be fatal. In the short term, diabetes causes thirst and hunger. This can progress to
dehydration, collapse, and can even cause a diabetic
coma which could be fatal. In the long term, if diabetes
isn’t well-controlled, it will start to affect
the heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels. The good news is with careful
treatment and monitoring, diabetic dogs can often
live a normal, happy life, just with a slightly stricter routine. (upbeat music) You might be wondering why
your dog has got diabetes and whether it’s anything
that you’ve done wrong. The short answer is usually no. Unfortunately, some dogs
just develop diabetes, and it’s not very often that
we can pin a cause to it. However, there are a few
factors that increase the chances of a dog developing diabetes. Obese dogs, female dogs, dogs
that haven’t been neutered, and dogs over five years
old are slightly more likely to develop the condition. Dogs that have had a
condition called pancreatitis in the past are also
more prone to diabetes. (upbeat music) Diabetes can’t be cured, and diabetic dogs need treatment
for the rest of their life. Treating a diabetic dog
is a big commitment, but fortunately, if their
condition is well managed, most dogs with diabetes
will live just as long as they would without it. Treatment for diabetes
involves three main things: insulin injections, a strict diet, and strict exercise control. The insulin injections, food, and exercise all need to be at the same time each day, usually twice daily. Keeping things consistent
is vital to make sure that we get the best control possible. For a more detailed explanation
on how to treat diabetes, take a look at our video,
Treating Your Diabetic Dog. This video contains details
on insulin injections, feeding, and exercise. It also tells you how to spot
if your dog’s blood sugar has dropped too low. (upbeat music) Initially, your dog will
need regular vet checks. Your vet will see your
dog as often as necessary and until you’re happy to
manage their diabetes at home. They will then need regular
veterinary monitoring for the rest of their life. Checkups are likely to be every few months once their diabetes is well-controlled and you’re confident
giving insulin injections. (upbeat music) This is a question I get
asked from time to time, and the answer is unfortunately, you can’t control diabetes
in dogs without medication. Left untreated, diabetes will
most likely cause your pet to fall into a diabetic
coma, which can be fatal. (upbeat music) There’s no getting around the fact that having a diabetic dog
can be a big commitment. Your dog will need a strict
routine, regular vet visits, lifelong medication, and
some major lifestyle changes. The good news is, if you can manage looking
after your diabetic dog, they often live a normal, happy life. If you’re worried about the practicalities of looking after them, don’t panic. You’re not alone. Your vet practice will
give you plenty of support. For some owners, the commitment
of owning a diabetic dog isn’t practical or affordable. It’s really important to speak to your vet openly and honestly about
your finances, lifestyle, and how you feel you’ll be able to cope. Your vet will then be able to discuss all the options for you and your dog. (upbeat music) Fortunately, most dogs with
well-controlled diabetes enjoy normal life span. This does however rely on them
being kept at healthy weight and managed carefully with medication and a strict lifestyle. (upbeat music) Complications that even dogs
with well-managed diabetes tend to encounter
include urine infections, skin infections, and
cataracts in the eyes. Cataracts can develop very quickly, and it doesn’t necessarily
mean that their blood sugars are poorly-controlled. For this reason, it’s important
to have your dog’s urine and eyes checked regularly by your vet. In summary, you may be feeling overwhelmed by your pet’s diabetes diagnosis. This is perfectly normal. Always speak to your vet and vet nurse openly and honestly about your concerns. Diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be managed very well by strict lifestyle and medication. Owning a diabetic dog is a big commitment, but it’s very possible for them to enjoy a long, happy life if their
diabetes is well-controlled. (upbeat music)

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