Treats for Dogs with Special Needs - If she has a health issue such as arthritis, cancer or diabetes, you need to watch what she eats.
As your veterinarian will explain, it’s important to always give your dog insulin at the same time every day and feed him regular meals in conjunction with his medication. This allows increased nutrients in the blood to coincide with peak insulin levels, and will lessen the chance that his sugar levels will swing either too high or too low. You can work with your vet to create a feeding schedule around your pet’s medication time. It is also important to avoid feeding your diabetic dog that are high in glucose. Regular blood glucose checks are a critical part of monitoring and treating any diabetic patient, and your veterinarian will help you set up a schedule for checking your dog’s blood sugar.
Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) may coincide with diabetes. In the study mentioned above, 9 percent of diabetic canines were hypothyroid. While the glucose intolerance caused by hypothyroidism could lead to the development of diabetes, it’s unlikely to be a major factor because the two don’t often occur together (Update: see for a case study of a dog who stopped needing insulin after his hypothyroidism was treated). However, thyroid hormone deficiency can result in insulin resistance, complicating glycemic control. Thyroid hormone replacement should be instituted gradually in dogs with diabetes since their insulin requirements will decrease and, without dosage adjustments, severe hypoglycemia may occur (see ).
Canine diabetes is either a deficiency or insensitivity to insulin
Insulin controls blood sugar or glucose needed for fuel or energy
The growing diabetes epidemic is not limited to people—diabetes mellitus is increasing among dogs as well. Researchers estimate that one in 200 dogs will develop the disease. Fortunately, treatment has made huge strides in recent years, and as a result, dogs with diabetes are living longer, healthier lives. In IDD, a dog loses beta cells and no longer makes enough insulin to keep glucose levels under control. Causes include genetic defects, inflammation of the pancreas and immune attack (as in human Type 1 diabetes). In IRD, something prevents the dog’s insulin from functioning properly. That “something” may be “diestrus,” pregnancy, an endocrine disease, or treatment with steroids or progesterone-like hormones. Diestrus, the most common cause of IRD, is the approximately two months of high levels of progesterone (a female hormone) between periods of estrus (heat). Hormonally, diestrus resembles pregnancy, making this form of IRD similar to human gestational diabetes.Even though our name implies that we only supply treats for diabetic dogs, we are far more than that these days. We have now expanded our specialty treats for dogs suffering with CRF, kidney and liver disease. These diseases are unique in the way that everything they eat, can affect different parts of their bodies and in many different ways.Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common hormonal diseases affecting dogs. Most affected dogs have Type 1 diabetes, meaning that their condition is not caused by a poor diet or being overweight, but usually by an abnormal autoimmune response that destroys the pancreatic cells responsible for manufacturing insulin. Close communication between veterinarian and owner is essential to designing a protocol that is convenient enough to be followed day in and day out while still meeting the dog’s medical needs. Never alter your dog’s regimen without first talking to your vet. Dogs with Type 1 diabetes should eat foods that are relatively high in fiber and low in simple sugars. This reduces the chances that their blood sugar levels will swing wildly up and down throughout the day. Prescription dog foods that meet these criteria are manufactured under strictly controlled conditions so that one bag is essentially identical to the next. This helps maintain the consistency that is so important for diabetes management. If a dog refuses to eat one of the available prescription foods, over-the-counter diets can also be considered. High quality foods that are designed for weight loss are a good option since they tend to be higher in fiber and lower in simple sugars than other options. Keep in mind that, when necessary, almost any high quality dog food can be matched with an appropriate insulin dose to manage a dog’s diabetes. A diagnosis of diabetes is not a death sentence for dogs. With appropriate treatment, many canine diabetics enjoy a good quality of life and normal life expectancy. Dr. Jennifer Coates Image: / via