6 Signs That Your Dog May be Dying from Diabetes

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It’s important for owners to recognize the symptoms that their dog might display in the final stages of diabetes, as these might give some clues as to when their dog might need euthanizing.

The final stage in which dog diabetes is no longer adequately controlled is referred to as diabetic keto-acidosis. Essentially an inability to utilize glucose results in the body using fats for energy instead.

This results in a change of the pH of the blood towards more acidic levels resulting in a very unwell dog.

Signs That May Indicate Your Dog is Dying from Diabetes

  • Vomiting – a change in blood pH upsets the metabolic balance within your dog’s body. This results in feelings of nausea and vomiting. If your dog is vomiting multiple times a day then it may indicate the diabetes has progress to an advanced stage.
  • Weakness/lethargy – an inability to use glucose for energy will result in a very weak and lethargic dog. If they get tired very easily and barely have the energy to move from their bed then they are likely suffering from late stage diabetes.
  • Excessive urination – high levels of un-utilised glucose in the blood will result in glucose in the urine, this in turn draws more water into the urine meaning that your diabetic dog will need to urinate more often. The glucose also presents an energy source for bacteria in the urine, resulting in urinary tract infections, bladder irritation and the sensation to urinate more frequently. This is very uncomfortable for your dog and frequent urination will get in the way of them wanting to rest.
  • Excessive thirst – increased urination results in an accelerated loss of fluid from your dog’s body, they therefore drink more to compensate for this. Always feeling thirsty is not nice for a late stage diabetic dog.
  • Weight loss – The inability to utilise glucose leads to the body using it’s reserves of fat and even muscle for fuel. This leads to weight loss and muscle wastage, resulting in weakness.
  • Neurological symptoms and seizures – in extreme cases, a lack of glucose to fuel the cells of your dog’s body resulting in twitching, shaking, tremors and even seizures. This is a clear indication that diabetes has become uncontrolled and these symptoms will be very distressing for your dog.

No one wants to see their beloved companion displaying the symptoms above; it’s heart-breaking for owners and extremely distressing for your dog. At the first sign of any of the above signs take your dog to see your local vet, they may still be able to help.

However, if your dog’s diabetes is uncontrollable and their symptoms are getting worse, then it may be time to have your diabetic dog euthanized.

Learn More About Dog Diabetes:

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  • Dr Alex Crow, Veterinary Surgeon

    Alex Crow, VetMed MRCVS, is an RCVS accredited Veterinary surgeon with special interests in neurology and soft tissue surgery. Dr Crow is currently practicing at Buttercross Veterinary Center in England. He earned his degree in veterinary medicine in 2019 from the Royal Veterinary College (one of the top 3 vet schools in the world) and has more than three years of experience practicing as a small animal veterinarian (dogs and cats).

Disclaimer: This website's content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian for healthcare decisions. Read More.

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