Can A Puppy Have Diabetes

Can A Puppy Have Diabetes?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

The majority of dogs diagnosed with diabetes are between 4 and 14 years old, with a diagnosis occurring around 7 to 10 years after diagnosis. Generally, however, it occurs in the middle or later ages. In part, this is due to obesity, which is a risk factor. The metabolism of dogs slows down as they age, as well as their energy levels.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can A Puppy Have Diabetes?“.

We tend to think that diabetes affects only humans when we think of it.

Can A Puppy Have Diabetes

However one out of 300 dogs is thought to have diabetes.

The number could actually be higher since experts believe it to be an underdiagnosed condition.

In diabetes the body is unable to produce insulin resulting in dangerously high blood sugar levels.

Symptoms include excessive weight loss and increased thirst though there can be many symptoms. 

Although there is no cure for this disease dogs can still live long and happy lives with good treatment a well-maintained diet and exercise.

Its important to know the symptoms of the disease so that we can spot the signs.

What is diabetes in dogs?

Diabetes is an incurable disease caused by the body not producing enough insulin or stopping its production.

Glucose (or sugar) is absorbed into the bloodstream by insulin. After breaking down glucose it is transported around the body to be used for energy and cellular production. 

Low insulin levels cause a dog to have trouble controlling sugar levels in their blood.

A lack of insulin prevents the sugar from being broken down into energy leaving the body with excess sugar. 

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) can lead to many complications including an enlarged liver excessive thirst or appetite obesity and depression. 

Dogs can live with hyperglycemia but they are at risk of developing life-threatening conditions if they become infected.

Is there an average age that which dogs develop diabetes?

The majority of dogs diagnosed with diabetes are between 4 and 14 years old with a diagnosis occurring around 7 to 10 years after diagnosis.

Generally however it occurs in the middle or later ages.

In part this is due to obesity which is a risk factor.

The metabolism of dogs slows down as they age as well as their energy levels.

The older they get the less boisterous and playful they are.

Additionally they are less likely to run long distances.

As dogs age they are also more likely to develop diseases and infections such as heart disease or urinary tract infections which can either cause diabetes or affect their response to treatment.

How common is it for puppies to have diabetes?

A very rare occurrence. It is important to note however that dogs can develop diabetes at any age. 

Fortunately if your dog develops diabetes early he or she may be able to keep it at bay.

With regular insulin injections blood glucose levels can be regulated leaving patients less prone to hyperglycemia.

Remission and recovery are even possible in some puppies.

The blood sugar levels of puppies still fluctuate despite the scarcity of definitive diagnoses. After eating a particular meal they may be high or low depending on how long it has been since they ate.

Dogs with diabetes are believed to be underdiagnosed so its crucial to get any change in your dogs behavior checked by a veterinarian.

What are the main symptoms of diabetes?

Having no insulin means that sugar can not be broken down and distributed throughout the body. Consequently sugar cannot be transported to the liver or the rest of the body. Therefore the dog does not get enough calories and is forced to use its fat reserves to survive.

Infections that recur frequently – high blood sugar levels leave the body vulnerable to infection. A dogs immune system is weakened by glucose and bacteria are easier to grow as a result.

Dogs with excess sugar in their bodies become thirsty because they are excreting it through their urine. It then takes water along with it and the body has to compensate for the sudden excessive loss of water. 

If you see your dog moving slowly or sleeping more than usual this could also indicate low blood sugar levels.

It could also be a sign if your furry friends breath no longer tastes like ‘pup’ but instead has a pleasant fruity tang. Ketoacidosis can result from this quickly and it is fatal.

If you do not eat enough or exercise enough you can suffer from hypoglycemia – a critically low blood sugar level. As a result the dog may become wobbly vacant extremely hungry or even collapse. As a first step rub something sweet on your dogs gums (honey or jam for example) and contact an emergency veterinarian.

You should also carry a sachet of something sugary with you whenever you go out with your dog.

Are the symptoms in puppies any different?

Puppies have the same symptoms as adults. Yet the typical symptoms are more likely to be overlooked. 

Due to the fact that puppies grow so quickly having an excessive appetite is normal. It is perfectly natural for puppies to drink more water as they are far more active. After a puppy has been spayed or neutered frequent urination is a common side effect. 

During heat or pregnancy female puppies can also develop insulin resistance.

To be safe its advisable to get your puppy tested several times if he or she displays any symptoms.

Can puppies be born with diabetes?

Puppies cannot be born with diabetes as there is no evidence to support this. There are dogs that are genetically predisposed to developing diabetes while others are entirely dependent on factors such as diet or lack of exercise. 

There are numerous causes of diabetes in dogs and it is not just one disease. 

You should consider changing your dogs diet to a high-fiber diet along with plenty of exercises if you think they are at risk of diabetes. Providing your dog with enough quality proteins and complex carbohydrates also helps.

Today there are so many healthier food choices for dogs than ever before. Organic and high-protein dog food can also be found as well as plant-based dog food.

Why do puppies develop diabetes?

Depending on the breed of the dog diabetes may be pre-determined. However the most common cause of diabetes is diet and exercise. 

Diabetes is primarily caused by obesity. Simply put if your dog consumes more calories than they burn they are more likely to develop diabetes. 

Diabetes is also a result of an imbalanced diet. Tidbits from humans are a leading cause of this. Sugar-containing treats and high-glycemic foods such as white rice or bread cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket. These foods raise blood sugar more quickly than other foods which can be dangerous for dogs if eaten regularly.

By feeding your dog a healthy balanced diet that is high in fiber and protein you can ensure that they are at low risk for diabetes. You should also keep your pooch active by taking them on many long walks and runs.

How can puppy diabetes be treated?

Typically after a diagnosis your dog will be prescribed insulin shots to ensure their blood sugar levels remain consistent. It is up to your veterinarian to decide what type of insulin and how much to administer.

The majority of dogs will receive injections twice a day usually about 12 hours apart and always after a meal. If you want to test your dogs blood glucose levels at home you can use a tiny pinprick to take a swab of blood.

Your dogs insulin levels need to be regulated as a spike could lead to a multitude of long-term and potentially life-threatening conditions.

You will also need to control your pets weight so that their diabetes can be controlled much more easily. 

When it comes to keeping diabetes under control its best to follow a consistent eating and exercise routine. If your blood sugar levels change you’ll be able to tell about it sooner. 

If possible stick to pre-portioned cans of specialist dog food so that calories fats and fiber levels can be easily monitored. Of course you should avoid giving your dog leftovers from the dinner table.

Are certain breeds of dogs more likely to get diabetes?

In fact certain breeds of dogs are predisposed to developing diabetes. Dogs of the following breeds are more likely to develop the disease:

  • Dachshunds
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Pomeranians
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Toy Poodles
  • Terriers
  • German Shepherd Dogs

As well as obesity and age there are other risk factors. Diabetes occurs twice as often in female dogs as in male dogs – especially in those who have been spayed.

It is also possible for pregnant dogs to develop diabetes. Gestational diabetes is what this is called. Blood sugar levels may rise significantly during pregnancy although this is rare and seems to disappear once the dog gives birth.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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