How do dogs get diabetes?

Kim OrrKim Orr Posts: 49Member
Maybe this is a silly question, but i wanted to know how dogs get diabetes. My dog doesn't have it but is it something I should be worried about? Are certain dogs more prone to it? Are there preventative measures I can take?

Best Answers

  • Richard AtchesonRichard Atcheson Northern USAPosts: 3,570Member
    Accepted Answer
    I think much the same as people, too much and the wrong foods. Genetics plays a part too. Feed your dog a standard dog food and not too much of it and very little else. Your dog definitely should be narrower at the waist than the hips and chest. You should be able to easily feel the ribs, but not see them. Each dog is different. Standard recommendations are a good place to start, but each dog must have its food and exercise adjusted to its individual needs. Here is a link to a good illustrated guide, Your dog may still get diabetes, but that will greatly reduce the chances.
  • Evelyn CummingsEvelyn Cummings Posts: 11,879Member
    Accepted Answer
    The same way people get it. Like people, there can be diabetes from a congenetal condition present from birth, OR there can be type 2 diabetes where the pancreas suffers injury, usually due to acute pancreatitis, resulting from too much fat and/or sugar in their diet. The pancreas becomes inflammed and actually starts digesting itself, resulting in the death of the insulin producting cells. Like people, the later type is much more common in dogs, particularly dogs fed people food with too much fat and too much sugar. Sadly, many of the more popular Brand Name dog foods contain added sugar to increase their taste appeal, especially grocery store brands. Like people, most dogs respond well to insulin, in fact, human insulin is commonly used. Preventative measures would be to watch your dog's diet! Keep their weight within normal limits and do not feed lots of high fat, high sugar foods. Provide them with plenty of exercise as well.
  • Amy OsborneAmy Osborne EdmontonPosts: 1,907Member
    Accepted Answer
    Any low-quality dog foods that contain sugar or are grain-heavy. Dogs do not have the natural ability to handle massive quantities of carbohydrates very well, and most low-quality dog foods are FULL of them. Some are between 50%-75% carbohydrates! This can definitely be a cause for diabetes in dogs AND cats. I agree genetics can play a part, but this is best prevented by keeping the dog at a healthy weight and feeding a high-quality, meaty kibble or a raw diet.
  • Jordan SpivaJordan Spiva Los AngelesPosts: 1,367Member
    Accepted Answer
    High Carbohydrate dog foods. I look for dog foods with as little carb as possible. I'm currently using EVO with 12% carbs. lol compare that to stuff like Science diet with up to 60% carbohydrates. My friend has a 7 year old diabetic chihuaua. He used to eat Purina dog chow. He is now on Orijen senior and rarely requires insulin so food makes a dramatic difference.
  • Michelle BradleyMichelle Bradley CaliforniaPosts: 3,684Member
    Accepted Answer
    Everyone has given good answers. I'd just add that diabetes can be caused by medication, as well. Specifically, meds like Potassium Bromide can have the side effect of causing a very inflamed pancreas and this can cause permanent or temporary diabetes. There are some other meds that can do this, but PB is often given to dogs for seizures and the side effects are generally reported by vets as milder than phenobarbital, but when this happens, it's quick, sometimes symptomless until it's too late. It's often fatal. So, if your guy every goes on any kind of meds, be sure to ask the vet what side effects there are and make sure you get blood work done every six months to make sure the meds are going through his system ok. This really applies to ALL meds for any kind of side effect.
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