Managing your canine's health care can be especially complicated if he or she has diabetes. If your dog has recently been diagnosed, there are some specific areas of concern that you want to address with your vet as soon as possible.
Cataracts are a common symptom of diabetes in both dogs and humans. They can cloud your dog's vision and eventually even lead to total blindness if they're allowed to progress. There are currently two basic procedures that can be used to treat cataracts: extracapsular extraction and phacoemulsification. Extracapsular extraction is used with very dense cataracts that have been allowed to progress for a while. Phacoemulsification can be used when the cataracts are less mature and has a better than 90% success rate.
2.) Dental Issues
Diabetic dogs are particularly susceptible to infections, and problems with your dog's teeth or gums can easily lead to a system-wide condition that's hard to get back under control. Around 80% of dogs show signs of oral disease by age 3, which means that your dog is at risk even if you don't see obvious problems. Preventative treatment is the best way to avoid a problem, so ask your vet to schedule an oral exam right away. In addition, your dog is going to require daily tooth brushing—if you aren't familiar with the process, ask your vet to walk you through it the first time. Daily brushing will also help you spot any troublesome mouth ulcers or signs of inflammation, like bleeding gums, before they get serious.
One of the hardest adjustments that you may have to make for your diabetic dog surrounds his or her diet. Some experts recommend against any sort of kibble for diabetic dogs and suggest that the best diet is about 50%-60% raw or cooked meat products. Grains and rice are also to be avoided—instead, supplement your dog's meat with raw bones and greens.
Exercise is also important for any diabetic dog. Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin absorption, which could ultimately reduce your dog's need for insulin. At the same time, however, it's important not to over-exercise your dog, which could lead to spells of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You also have to make sure that diabetic dogs get extra water during exercise because they can dehydrate more quickly than dogs without diabetes. Talk to your vet about what level of exercise is appropriate for your dog, given his or her previous level of activity. If your dog has been mostly inactive, you'll need to start slowly so you don't endanger his or her health.
When you consult with your vet over your dog's condition for the first time, consider using this list as a guide and check out http://www.kenmorevet.com to help you address your concerns and develop a plan of action.