Dog Diabetes: What it is and How Acupuncture Can Help
Did you know it is possible for dogs to contract diabetes? Diabetes is not uncommon in dogs, and it is always a potential risk if your pet is overweight. It’s important to understand what causes this condition and how to recognize it in your pet, but it is equally crucial to know how to help treat and manage it as well.
In the article below, you’ll find out more information about what dog diabetes is and what it looks like in pets, as well as how acupuncture and other treatment methods can help your pet.
What is Dog Diabetes, and What Causes it?
Diabetes in dogs is the same disease as diabetes in humans. It happens when a dog’s body cannot make enough insulin, either because it makes too little or doesn’t make any at all.
Dogs usually contract diabetes because they are overweight. Dogs who are not exercised regularly or are fed an unhealthy diet containing too much sugar are at a higher risk of diabetes than other dogs. However, diabetes can also be genetic in dogs, just like it can be in humans, and may sometimes be present from birth. Older age can also be a contributing factor in some dogs.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs
The most common symptoms of diabetes in dogs are excessive thirst and excessive urination. When the body cannot product enough insulin, it causes the dog to feel extremely thirsty all the time. This thirst then leads to the need to urinate more often, and the cycle continues.
Dogs who are diabetic may also have a decreased appetite and may lose weight quickly with no other explanation. They may also become very lethargic, tired, or weak, and they may be less likely to want to play than they used to be. They may be prone to urinary tract infections, and some dogs with more advanced stages of undiagnosed diabetes may start to lose their vision.
Another common and somewhat strange symptom of diabetes in dogs is breath that is sickeningly sweet to smell. The breath may have a strong sweet odor that indicates the dog’s liver and kidneys are not functioning in the right way because of the disease.
Most Common Treatments for Dogs with Diabetes
There is no cure for diabetes in dogs, just as there is no cure for diabetes in humans. However, with the right plan of action, you can help your dog manage this condition.
Dogs with diabetes will likely need to be given insulin shots. These may occur every few days, or they may happen multiple times a day, depending on the severity of the dog’s condition. It will also be important for you to keep track of your dog’s symptoms, preferably in a symptom journal, so you can check in with the veterinarian frequently about your pet’s condition.
Your dog will probably also need to go on a special diet to help manage his health.
How Acupuncture Can Help a Dog with Diabetes
It’s important to keep in mind that acupuncture is not a cure for diabetes, and that your dog will need to undergo other types of management, including insulin injections, to maintain his health with this disease. With that said, however, acupuncture may be able to help alleviate some of the symptoms dogs experience when they are diabetic.
One of the most common benefits of acupuncture for dogs is a decrease of nausea and increased appetite following treatments. If your dog is dealing with a loss of appetite due to his diabetes, going for acupuncture treatments may make it easier for him to eat a healthy amount of food and keep his weight at a good balance, too.
Additionally, acupuncture has been known to help dogs who are urinating and drinking too much to regulate both activities. Although this benefit is less likely than appetite assistance, it is still a potential outcome if you take your diabetic dog for acupuncture treatments.
Talk to your vet or to a canine acupuncturist if you believe your dog may be able to benefit from this type of treatment for his diabetes.
There is a lot to keep in mind if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes. A diabetic dog can still live a long, happy, full life if you are able to help treat and manage his condition, but it will take some effort on your part to make this happen.
By working with a trusted vet and team of treatment providers, and by considering both medicine and traditional treatment methods alike, you can give your dog the best possible chance at living a long life despite his diagnosis of diabetes.
Want to learn more about choosing acupuncture as a treatment plan for your pet? Listen to this Tails from the City podcast with Dr. Brian Bourquin and Dr. Mike McGuill!