Ask Seth: Dog Diabetes

My 6 year old male puggle was diagnosed with diabetes about 5 months ago. His numbers are still really irregular. I was wondering should he not be regulated by now? Also now he started panting all the time & developed some brown patches on his skin in the back. Would like to know if you know anything about this? Thank you, Marta

Canine diabetes is a difficult condition to treat.   Here are some ideas to getting him better regulated.   Firstly, it is very important that he get a balanced, diabetic specific diet, regularly, and not treats or snacks.   When snacks and treats are given, they cause a spike in the glucose levels that cannot be overcome with just 2x a day injections.   If the diet remains the exact same, then his need for insulin should remain consistent for longer periods of time.  I would speak with your vet about your concerns with the lack of control you are at after 5 months.   Ask about other options, such as other types of insulin and combinations of short and long acting insulin.  Secondly, I recommend daily exercise for your puggle.   This will help keep the weight down which usually in the long run require less insulin to treat, since obesity reduces insulin's ability to counter the blood glucose.  You dog should not be fed one big meal, but should be fed 2-3 smaller meals in a regimented fashion along with the dose of insulin.   Your veterinarian can advise you on how they prefer to dose the insulin: either while eating or 10 minutes after (veterinarian's call).  It is very important to continue to follow up with your vet’s prescribed care since both low and high sugar levels can be very severe. Hopefully these ideas will help you get your puggle better regulated.

Do you have any experience with diabetes in dogs? Share tips with us in the comment section!

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