Problems Associated with Canine Diabetes

Canine diabetes can be successfully managed with insulin therapy, prescription diet, exercise, daily blood sugar monitoring, and consistent vet advice. To give your dog the proper care learn to recognize the most common problems associated with canine diabetes.  

3 most common Problems Associated with Canine Diabetes

  • Diabetes ocular disease
  • Diabetes ketoacidosis
  • Diabetes-related UTIs

Let’s discuss each of these dog diabetes complications briefly.

Diabetes Ocular Disease

Diabetes eye disease is caused by increased blood glucose levels in the lens supporting the eyeball and the eye capsule.

A dog suffering from Diabetes Ocular Disease.

With time, the glucose is converted to sorbitol, which creates the needed conditions for water to enter the lens and alter the lens structure. This change often causes swelling and the rapture of the eye lens and cataracts.

These eye conditions can cause abrupt or gradual irreversible blindness in your diabetic dog. According to Eye Specialists for Animals, diabetes-induced cataracts are among the leading causes of blindness in dogs. 

What’s more, most diabetic dogs will develop cataracts within 5 to 6 months from the time they are diagnosed with diabetes. Keeping your dog’s blood sugar under control can help delay the onset of diabetes-related cataracts and blindness. 

Diabetes Ketoacidosis

Diabetes Ketoacidosis is a medical situation that occurs in diabetic dogs when they experience insulin deficiency. 

A diabetic dog lying on the floor

Insulin deficiency causes hypoglycemia due to the body’s inability to use the glucose in the body properly and the resulting unbalanced blood sugar levels. Your dog’s body then produces ketone to process stored body fat into energy. 

If the blood sugar levels are not restored promptly, high ketone levels cause an acid imbalance in the body. The high levels of acid in the body (acidosis) can lead to abnormal muscle and heart function and be life-threatening if left unattended.

The high sugar level in the urine supports urinary tract infections in diabetic dogs by providing the conditions for bacteria growth. 

A dog urinating on a tree
Image by pudding_flash

In addition, diabetic dogs have diluted urine with less concentrated urine chemicals. Dilute diabetic dog urine creates the right conditions for bacteria to flourish since the dilute urine chemicals cannot kill the bacteria.

The large amount of urine produced by a diabetic dog due to consistent water intake can also lead to a distended bladder. An enlarged bladder creates room for bacteria to stay longer in the urine.

Have a vet check your diabetic dog regularly for UTIs so they can be treated accordingly.

FAQs on Problems Associated with Canine Diabetes 

Owners of dogs with diabetes often ask these questions about dog diabetes complications.

If your diabetic dog is having problems with eye infections or poor eyesight, you will notice some of these dog diabetes eye symptoms

  • Constantly blinking.
  • Watery eyes.
  • A clumsy walk.
  • Dog keeps bumping into walls or furniture.
  • Cloudy cornea.
  • A pupil that does not respond to light.
  • Different pupil sizes in each eye.
  • Redness of eye blood vessels.
  • Bulging or swollen eyes.
  • Reduced activity and increased sleep.

Depending on the severity and how long your diabetic dog has had a UTI, you will notice some of the following diabetic dog UTI symptoms:

  • Bloody or cloudy urine.
  • Dog needs to go out for toilet breaks more frequently.
  • Painful urination that causes your dog to whimper.
  • Increased accidents in the house.
  • Licking of the area around the urinary opening.
  • Fever

Some dogs with UTIs may not show any symptoms, which is why regular vet visits are crucial.

Final Thoughts

It is possible to prevent the problems associated with canine diabetes by regularly monitoring your dog’s blood sugar levels. This way you ensure they are always as close as possible to the normal levels.

That means feeding your dog right and regularly administering insulin shots at the right time. You should also ensure your dog exercises daily, and follow the vet’s advice on care and treatment.