5 Reasons to Test Your Dog for Diabetes
Dogs are more than just companions – they’re members of the family that provide you loyalty, love, and a reason to get up in the morning (to feed, brush, and play with them, of course!). As a pet owner, you have the weighty responsibility of doing everything in your power to keep man’s best friend happy and healthy.
This means feeding them the best food, choosing non-toxic pet shampoo, grooming regularly, and spending plenty of time walking them, playing with them, and delivering the love and attention they deserve. You also have to make regular trips to the vet for examination, testing, vaccinations, and other needed care.
Not every owner will automatically think to ask for diabetes tests, and they don’t tend to be part of the regular regimen. After all, veterinarians understand that pet ownership can be costly and they don’t want to saddle you with unnecessary expense. However, at some point you might want to have your dog tested for diabetes. Here are just a few good reasons to move forward with testing.
You’ve Noticed Signs and Symptoms
Diabetes mellitus is a serious disease that can have severe consequences (infections, coma, and even death). In the meantime, it will simply impair your pooch’s ability to function normally. Diabetes can affect dogs of all ages, but it is more frequently associated with older dogs, especially those that are overweight.
As your dog ages, you need to be aware of the symptoms of canine diabetes so you can watch for warning signs. These could include excessive drinking and urination (including accidents in the house), frequent UTIs, increased appetite, muscle loss and/or weakness, poor coat condition, cataracts, and possibly nerve issues. All of these symptoms are troubling on their own and should prompt a visit to the vet, but if you see multiple symptoms forming, it’s imperative that you seek diagnosis.
You Don’t Want Your Dog to Suffer
Diabetes impacts your dog’s life in a number of ways. It can make your pet feel hungry, thirsty, and lethargic, just for starters, but it could also lead to secondary complications, including increased chance of infections and other ailments. Diabetes is often a precursor for cataracts, which lead to blindness. With proper treatment, the symptoms of diabetes can be well-managed for years, ensuring that your beloved pal doesn’t have to suffer unduly.
You’ll Save Money
Diabetes is manageable, but it can be costly and time consuming. You’ll have to switch to a prescription diet and deliver insulin treatments twice a day. The frequency of vet visits for monitoring and testing will increase, and eventually you may have to consider cataract surgery to keep your dog from going blind. Testing for diabetes could mean catching early warning signs in order to prevent the onset of the disease, saving you money and heartache in the process.
You’ll Protect Your Home
One of the most common signs of diabetes is increased thirst and urination, along with UTIs. Because of this, many dogs suffering from diabetes will start to have accidents in the house. It’s not their fault, but you’ll still be stuck with a lot more cleaning and an odor that’s hard to get rid of.
You Won’t Have to Worry
It’s easy to stress about every little hiccup or ear scratch when you’re a responsible pet owner concerned about the health and happiness of your dog. With regular testing, however, you can put your mind at ease. Even if you discover that your furry friend has diabetes, early detection means you have the opportunity to begin treatment and delay or avoid the most serious symptoms.
In the best-case scenario, you might just be able to spot early warning signs and take steps (diet change, weight loss, etc.) that help to prevent diabetes altogether. This means you’ll have plenty of time with your beloved pet, and your pooch will enjoy health and happiness in your care.
We know your dog is a cherished member of your family, so our entire team shares a commitment to provide the best, most compassionate veterinary care for your dog. We offer a variety of dog services to in the Pflugerville/Austin-Round Rock, TX area including vaccines, dental care, weight management, senior care, and more. Call (512) 251-BARK today to learn more!