No kevum, no kokis for your pet on Avurudu

Diabetes is not confined to humans alone, so take care of your pets this Avurudu season – By Malaka Rodrigo
Like humans, dogs can get diabetes too. Many dogs develop an appetite for sweets, pleading a piece from their owner as they consume something sweet. So the Avurudu festive season is a period when they can develop diabetes or exacerbate it if the disease already exists warn veterinary surgeons.
Larger breeds of dogs are more susceptible to dog diabetes than smaller ones, say vets. Like humans, obese dogs, especially female dogs, have a higher risk o f developing diabetes.

“Dogs with diabetes need utmost care and support because it is a life-threatening disease. Diabetes can also lead to cataracts, making the dog blind, so it should be taken seriously,” says Dr. Jagath Jayasekara, a veterinary surgeon attached to the Zoological Gardens.

The problem aggravates especially because the dogs cannot communicate their sugary problem. This makes early diagnosis very crucial and dog owners should be vigilant and watch for signs that their dogs might be developing the disease. This Avurudu season could be a good time to pay attention to the behaviour of your dog – especially dogs that develop an appetite for sweets.

The symptoms of dog diabetes are very similar to the humans, says Dr. Jayasekara. The dogs would show signs of a great thirst. Diabetes also brings on frequent or excessive urination. Puppies often urinate in different places, even in the house but as they get older they learn to control this habit. However diabetes can lead to sudden house ‘accidents’. Your dog’s appetite also might change when it develops diabetes. They can develop a bigger appetite in the early stages of the disease and a loss of appetite later. There could also be sudden weight loss which warns you that the dog could be a diabetic patient.

‘Cloudy eyes’ too is another warning sign. If diabetes is left untreated, the ultimate result could be blindness due to the developing cataract in their eyes. Unfortunately most owners detect the situation only when the dog shows signs of blindness. So vets advise a regular checkup for the dogs that are more prone to diabetes.

The management of dog diabetes starts with a proper diet. There are fibre rich foods that your dog should eat in order to help this condition. On the other hand, there are certain foods that can possibly make your dog’s diabetes become worse. Sweets and bread are not good for them. When your dog is suffering from diabetes, regular visits to the vet are essential. You may also be required to start using prepared meals instead of giving your dog its regular food.

Certain medications may be required for dogs suffering from the worst cases of this disease. Insulin injections are very important because they can extend the life of your pet and allow it to live normally despite having diabetes.

So if you have a doubt that your dog too could be a diabetic patient, this Avurudu season could be the best for a checkup. Most importantly, diabetes or not, don’t be inclined to pass on those Avurudu sweetmeats to your pet.

Published on SundayTimes on 08.04.2012

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