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Canine Diabetes Symptoms and Diagnosis

Canine Diabetes Symptoms and Diagnosis

If you notice any of the following symptoms visit the veterinarian immediately because this could be the onset of Diabetes:

– Polyuria (PU) – frequent and more productive urination
– Polydipsia (PD) – increased water intake
– Polyphagia – excessive appetite
– Weight loss
– Lethargy
– Sugar in the urine

If the disease remains undiagnosed, the dog will lose weight as his body breaks down fats and proteins to get needed energy. Continued failure to seek treatment brings lethargy, loss of appetite, depression, and vomiting. Affected dogs may have decreased resistance to bacterial and fungal infections and may develop liver and bladder problems and cataracts. If left untreated, Diabetes Mellitus leads to muscle wasting, depression, vomiting, kidney failure and death. Some dogs develop ocular cataracts quite rapidly and this is another sign that may lead to getting the animal in for an examination by the veterinarian.

Diagnosis depends on the veterinarian’s evaluation of early symptoms, a physical examination, and lab tests to ascertain the amount of glucose in the blood and urine. Ketones, organic compounds produced by the liver as a result of insulin insufficiency, may also be found in blood or urine. Excessive ketone production leads to ketoacidosis, a serious, life-threatening condition. Ketoacidosis can occur if IDDM is not treated or if the treatment is inadequate.

A single test for hyperglycemia (excess blood glucose levels) may not be sufficient, especially if the levels are only slightly elevated, so veterinarians may want to run more than one.


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