Dog owner

Chow Hounds Book CoverAs with humans, dogs and cats can develop diabetes—a condition in which the body’s blood glucose levels are not properly regulated.

Here’s the basic biology: The pancreas secretes insulin, which helps regulate blood-sugar levels. When there’s a surplus or shortage of insulin, variations in glucose levels can lead to a host of damaging conditions.

Ask your veterinarian to run a blood workup if your dog or cat exhibits any of the following signs:

  1. Increased panting
  2. Increased water consumption
  3. Increased urination
  4. Lethargy and/or disinterest in normal activities
  5. Weight loss, even though food consumption has remained the same
  6. Dehydration
  7. Reduced interest in food
  8. Clouding of the lens of the eye

Mild cases of diabetes in pets can be treated with simple dietary changes. In more severe cases, insulin injections, IV fluids and hospitalization may be warranted.

For Your Organic Bookshelf: Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter—A Vet’s Plan to Save Their Lives