Diabetes Dogs & Health

A few weeks ago Paco, CBO of Life’s Pure Balance, was diagnosed with diabetes. He had been sick for nearly 2 weeks, drinking volumes of water, not eating and not moving around like he would normally do. I speculated what was wrong, talked to friends, held him a lot and worried. After all he is my child (and boss) now that my kids are out on their own.

Finally, I gave in and took him to the vet. I do what most people do about their own health … avoid going to the Dr. because of the cost!

He underwent a broad screening of blood and urine tests designed to highlight what might be wrong. The good news … his health issue was clear  .. his blood sucrose level was at 746 when it should be around 100 to 200 … not good at all!

This is what we now know … diabetes strikes 1 in 500 dogs. (similiar to people?) The condition is treatable, and need not shorten the animal’s life span or interfere with quality of life. If left untreated, the condition can lead to cataracts, increasing weakness in the legs (neuropathy), malnutrition, dehydration, and death. Diabetes mainly affects middle-aged and older dogs, but there are also juvenile cases. The typical canine diabetes patient is middle-aged, female, and overweight at diagnosis.

The number of dogs diagnosed with diabetes has increased three-fold in thirty years. Looking back on survival rates from almost the same time period, only 50% survived the first 60 days after diagnosis and went on to be successfully treated at home. Currently, diabetic dogs receiving treatment have the same expected lifespan as non-diabetic dogs of the same age and gender.

For Paco this most likely started when he was injured in a “close call” car accident. After the accident he spent a year under the care of an animal chiropractor who helped to correct his injuries. In the process he gained weight. Sound familiar ?

I often talk about our “human” bodies being a finely tuned machine and that our pets are guardians of our health. The point being our health is dictated by the little things that we so often ignore … in Paco’s case it caught up with him. Now he is taking insulin, he has lost weight and is capable of being more active. He is back on the road to good health … and the best part of this all … his smile has returned.