Though canine diabetes often has an adverse effect on diabetic dogs life expectancy, proper management can allow the dog to lead a full life. Some resources say that senior dogs that are diagnosed with diabetes often decline in health and may not live more than three years after diagnosis. The age of the dogs, the owners’ commitment to managing canine diabetes daily, and the overall health of the dogs affect the diabetic dogs life expectancy.
To help extend the life expectancy of diabetic dogs, the canine diabetes must be managed daily. This means that the owner has to check the dog’s blood sugar and inject insulin as prescribed by the veterinarian.
The veterinarian will instruct the dog owner in how and when to check blood sugar levels and how much insulin to give. Maintaining a supply of insulin and the proper storage of the insulin are also important.
Insulin injections and checking blood sugar levels are not the only facets of treating canine diabetes. Diet and exercise play critical roles in keeping a diabetic dog healthy. Food and how much the dog exercises can either make diabetes more difficult to control or be used to help maintain the dog’s health.
Poor quality food or food that is not suitable for diabetic dogs can cause unhealthy blood glucose levels. The veterinarian may recommend a dog food that is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates to help prevent high blood sugar levels.
If the dog is eating too much or eating food that is high in fat, the dog may gain weight. Not getting enough exercise also can cause weight gain. If the dog gains weight, the diabetes may be more difficult to manage effectively.
Possible canine diabetes complications that can lower the diabetic dog’s life expectancy or decrease their quality of life include blindness or cataracts, hypoglycemia or an overdose of insulin, obesity, and susceptibility to infections.
Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur in dogs and lead to seizures, coma, and death. Ketoacidosis develops when the blood sugar level is extremely high. Signs of ketoacidosis include unusual breath odor resembling nail polish remover, vomiting, and weakness. If a diabetic dog displays these symptoms, the veterinarian should be contacted immediately.
The dog owner should consult the veterinarian about warning signs of diabetic emergencies like ketoacidosis and when to contact the veterinarian. With careful monitoring and treatment of the diabetes and appropriate veterinary care, the owners of diabetic dogs can feel confident that that they are doing all that they can to help the dog live as long as possible.
As with healthy dogs, there is no way to predict diabetic dogs life expectancy with any certainty. All the owners can do is to help guard the dog’s quality of life with diet, exercise, and diabetes management.