Lately I was absorbed by my dog´s disease that I am ashamed to admit I thought only of him and how alone we were. I am also embarrassed to admit that at some point I forgot there are others that go through the same or worst, for that I am sorry. It wasn’t until a schnauzer lover contacted me with one of the most beautiful emails. She wasn’t telling me to stop myself and listen to the others, instead she wrote of her dog. One I have the pleasure to fall in love with. His name is Bruce. The email was bittersweet, because not only did it made me feel love for Bruce, but she also explained his condition. Bruce is undergoing a treatment for diabetes.
Sometimes we forget our furry friends also get sick. They are so good and pure that in our innocent minds no harm can come to something that beautiful. Sadly we don’t live in that world. They get cancer, thyroids problems, allergies, stomach problems, diabetes, among others. In a past post I wrote about a silent threat, well now I must shine light on this disease that few consider. I am not going to give the whole medical explanation and bore everyone, instead I will write it as simple as it gets.
According to WebMD Pets, Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. In other words, if your dog eats something in theory the food will break into various components, one of them being glucose. The glucose is carried into his cells by insulin. If the dog can´t produce enough insulin then he/she will have high blood sugar levels. If left untreated it can cause complications, but diabetes is considered manageable and dogs can live happily. As in humans, dogs have two types of diabetes. Most get type one which is the lack of insulin production.
If your furry friend is experiencing any of the following carry him and run to the veterinarian.
- Change in appetite
- Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
- Weight loss
- Increased urination
- Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
- Urinary tract infections
- Cataract formation, blindness
- Chronic skin infections
There is no known cause for this disorder, but there are many factors that contribute to it. It is prone to be on females. If your dog suffers from obesity the chances increases, genetics also play a role. There had been some talks about the food the dogs receive. It is known that food can affect humans, so in theory it will make sense if it also affects the animals. There was a scandal caused by a food brand that supposedly was causing problems to dogs and some were resulting in death. If the statement is true or just rumors it is unknown, but I will largely recommend to double check what is in your dog’s food. There are some that feed them what the owner is eating and I had the honor to meet someone who did this. His dog lasted for about 17 years. I am not saying you should start giving him the same food you eat, but just to double check what your friend is eating.
Other question that may pop in the mind is if there are breed that are more prone to having diabetes. The bad news is yes and even sadder, the miniature schnauzer is among the list.
The treatment can vary in each dog. Some may accept one easily and others may find it difficult. Your veterinarian will have to figure out which one is the best for your dog and in some cases it can be possible to continue the treatment at home. Ask your veterinarian about the options. Remember your dog loves you and will need your support going through all this. Perhaps it will be exhausting physical and emotional, but your dog is worth it.
This post started with the story of a woman and her best friend. They are experiencing this disease first hand. Her story is too beautiful to just be a few words in a column, so the next one will be all about her dog, not only because how amazing I found her story, but also because I feel after reading this it will help to know a case of diabetes and how they are fighting. Remember it is manageable and if treated your dog will be happy, so don’t worry and just love your baby as much as they love you.