Editor’s Note: This article is dedicated to Rusty the cockapoo, and to all the other beloved pets who lost the battle with diabetes. You are missed.

Just as humans can develop diabetes if they do not take adequate care of themselves, dogs can also develop and suffer from diabetes. Additional care is needed for a dog with diabetes since it can become a life-threatening condition. Every pet owner should be aware of this dangerous illness and its symptoms.

The three different types of diabetes which cockapoos may acquire are insipidus, diabetes mellitus, and gestational diabetes. Diabetes results when the endocrine glands do not function correctly, and so is referred to as an endocrine disease. Diabetes in your dog may develop if he is not cared for properly, especially if he does not have a healthy diet.

Diabetes insipidus can result when a dog lacks the hormone vasopressin. This hormone assists in regulating glucose and salts in the blood, as well as the regulation of water within the body.

Diabetes mellitus results from a deficiency in the hormone insulin. In this case, your dog will be unable to metabolize sugar properly. Diabetes mellitus is more common than insipidus, and is also more dangerous. However, your dogs condition may be treated successfully, enabling him to have a full and happy life.

Diabetes mellitus can be categorized into two further groups; Type I and Type II. The control and treatment of diabetes in dogs is similar to the treatment of diabetes in humans.

More often than not Type I diabetes develops in young dogs, during their early years. For this reason it may also be called juvenile dog diabetes. On the other hand, Type II diabetes is usually suffered by adult and older dogs. These dogs will likely be dependent upon insulin.

Gestational diabetes is specific to female dogs during pregnancy. The symptoms are identical to diabetes mellitus, and the treatment is similar as well.

Obesity in dogs is one of the reasons for susceptibility to diabetes; in particular this is the case with female dogs. Further, the larger the breed of dog, the more prone to diabetes it will be. Diabetes results when the pancreas is no longer able to secrete the correct amount of insulin in response to the consumption of food, and sugar in the blood cannot be processed correctly.

All breeds an be affected by this disease, especially as they age. Poodles are in the high-risk group for dog diabetes. Cockapoos are more resistant because of the hybrid breeding, but are by no means immune.

As with humans, dogs may inherit a tendency towards diabetes. In addition, diabetes is considered to be an autoimmune disease, potentially leading to further health issues. If diagnosed early, treatment and potential reversal of diabetes is more likely. A blood sugar test is taken in order to ascertain whether or not your dog has diabetes. This test may be conducted by a veterinarian, so it is recommended that an appointment be made sooner rather than later. Once the condition is diagnosed and treatment prescribed, it is important that your dog is monitored regularly to see how he responds to the treatment, and ensuring that the disease does not worsen.

Symptoms of Dog Diabetes

Our cockapoos are among our best friends, but they have a weakness: they can’t speak our language. If they could, they would tell us what’s wrong, where it hurts and how they are feeling. Instead, it is our responsibility to make sure that they are healthy, and to monitor them for symptoms.

It is possible to reverse the effects of dog diabetes, but in order to do so, the disease must be diagnosed early, and treatment commenced as soon as possible. Dog diabetes is a condition which dog owners should be aware of, as the symptoms will have a serious effect upon their dog, possibly even resulting in his premature death.

There are a few key symptoms to watch out for: 

Excessive Drinking

If your dog seems to be constantly thirsty, and drinks a great deal of water, it is possible that he may be suffering from diabetes. Part of the problem with diabetes is that the body cannot process sugars in the blood after eating. Again, consult with your vet, who may be able to provide you with advice or medication in order to treat the condition.

Excessive Urination

Closely linked with an over consumption of water, is the need your dog will have to urinate more frequently. If you recognize this symptom in your dog, seek your vets advice, bringing your concerns to his attention.

Lethargy or Laziness

Whilst not unique to diabetes, lethargy is one of the symptoms which your dog may display. It is important that you know your dog and recognize his condition. It is possible that your dog is normally somewhat lazy. But if you find him to become unusually lazy, then he might be suffering from a medical condition, which may be diabetes. Consult with your vet as soon as possible, in order to have his condition diagnosed.

Mysterious Weight Gain or Loss

For a combination of reasons, your dog may gain or lose weight as a result of diabetes. If he is suffering with lethargy, he will likely exercise less and less. If he continues to eat as much as previously, then he will experience weight gain. If your dog does have diabetes, he is unable to process the sugars in his blood from his food, and so his metabolism does not work effectively. Significant weight gain or weight loss in your dog should be a cause for concern in itself, whether or not that weight is connected with the condition diabetes.

It is also possible that your dog will display no symptoms of diabetes at all. As may be the case with humans, the onset of diabetes may occur over a period of time, with only gradual effects upon the bodys functions, which are not immediately noticeable. In the interests of maintaining your dogs health, you should take him to a vet for regular check-ups.

Since diabetes is a potentially fatal disease, it should be taken seriously. Once diagnosed, the condition may be managed and treated, so that your dog can go on to lead a full and happy life.

The most effective action you can take is to be observant of your dog, so that early diagnosis of any condition can be reached. Be concerned about your dogs condition, and investigate further any unusual behavior. For example, if your dog is off his food, or is generally unhappy, he may be suffering from something, which you or your vet may well be able to relieve.

Managing Diabetes

As with the health of your dog in general, diet is a vital factor. Some foods will assist in managing your dogs condition, and others will likely have an adverse effect. Depending on the severity of your dogs diabetes, it may be recommended that you prepare specialist food for your dog, rather than relying solely on regular dog food, which you may have fed him for some time. Your vet will be able to advise you on this point, as you take your dog to the vet on a regular basis.

In advanced cases of diabetes, your dog may require treatment by medication. Insulin injections are available for dogs with diabetes, and these will enable him to have a full and satisfying life, despite living with a serious condition. Once again, seek the assistance and guidance of your vet so that you are comfortable giving your dog insulin injections on a regular basis.

Diabetes may also contribute to your dog developing other conditions such as heart problems and circulatory complications. Ongoing care and attention is important for your dog to enjoy a happy and healthy life.

Preventing Diabetes

Don’t panic. There are some preventative measures you can use to help your cockapoo steer clear of diabetes. Feed your pet a healthy diet of dry kibble, low in sugar, corn, and other poor quality ingredients. Avoid feeding table scraps or too many treats. Make sure to walk him or her daily, exercise is important, as obesity can be a factor in the development of the disease. Lastly, always make sure to monitor your furry pal for symptoms, and speak with your vet whenever you notice abnormal behaviors or signs.