How Long Can a Dog Live With Untreated Diabetes?

With proper treatment, most dogs with diabetes can live a relatively normal lifestyle. Insulin therapy should be applied on an ongoing basis while table scraps, sugary treats, and excessive exercise should be avoided.

Frequent veterinary visits are key for early identification of complications related to diabetes, including glucose curve measurements over multiple hours.

High Blood Sugar

Untreated high blood sugar levels are life-threatening. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter cells to provide energy, so instead it enters the bloodstream where it causes fat breakdown for energy production; this then releases fatty acids into the system that lead to swelling abdomens and thirst associated with diabetes.

Your veterinarian will determine the right type and dose of insulin injections to give to your dog, usually via injection. He or she will also teach you to monitor blood and urine samples for signs of high sugar such as excessive urination or dehydration; possibly suggesting weight-loss diets to manage condition effectively and limit complications; scheduling regular visits will allow your vet to keep an eye on changes to health status as they occur.

Some dogs are predisposed to developing diabetes than others. Common triggers include middle-aged or older dogs, being overweight, having a family history of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), and Cushing’s syndrome (an overproduction of cortisol which hinders insulin production).

Even though diabetes cannot be avoided entirely, you can take steps to ensure that your dog remains healthy after being diagnosed. Regular administration of medication, feeding routine, and ensuring an environment which is calm and stress-free all contribute to maintaining stable glucose levels in your dog. An annual vet check-up ensures any necessary treatments can be given sooner – increasing his or her quality of life and lifespan. If any unusual behavior, water intake, or appetite changes arise it’s vital that they visit a vet immediately for examination and advice.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin helps cells absorb glucose for energy use. Without functioning insulin, glucose remains in the bloodstream and leads to elevated sugar levels; without access to sufficient energy from fat stores or metabolism alone, fat stores begin breaking down to gain energy, creating ketones bodies which acidify blood and ultimately can cause multi-organ failure.

Insulin resistance occurs in dogs whose bodies produce some insulin but not enough to properly manage blood sugar levels. The condition often leads to obesity or is hereditary in certain breeds. Chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) may also result in long-term damage that inhibits production of insulin.

Treatment for dogs living with diabetes mellitus requires lifelong commitment from owners. They will need to adhere to a special diet and receive regular insulin injections, in addition to maintaining a healthy weight through regular physical exercise – this is essential in order to prevent sudden spikes and drops in glucose levels that could become life threatening.

As part of their care plan, it is also advisable for owners of diabetic dogs to regularly consult with a veterinarian to ensure their condition is being managed successfully. Blood sugar needs to be carefully managed while long-term complications like cataracts or urinary tract infections require ongoing check-ups with an exam at regular intervals.

As with any disease, early diagnosis is key for successful treatment and to give your pet the greatest chance at living a full and happy life. Speak to your vet about any risk factors for diabetes mellitus such as age, sex and weight; they can offer advice on ways to lower these factors so as to increase chances of quality living with diabetes mellitus.

Kidney Failure

Dogs with chronic kidney disease may live a full and happy life if their symptoms are addressed early and aggressively. Kidney failure may result from either ingestion of harmful substances (typically antifreeze or toxic pesticides) or hereditary conditions that cause gradual degeneration over time; unfortunately this form of kidney failure cannot usually be prevented; however regular wellness examinations twice annually can increase diagnosis and treatment chances.

As soon as a dog suffers from kidney failure, excess sugar cannot enter their cells for fuel – leaving muscle cells and organs starving for oxygen-rich fuel sources like protein. To make up the difference in energy shortage, their body begins breaking down proteins such as proteins and fats from its own stores to supply what was lost, leading to muscle mass reduction and general weakness as a result of kidney failure.

Diabetic dogs with advanced kidney disease may also experience fluid imbalances, blood pressure changes, and electrolyte imbalances. At this stage, diet modifications and medication are often advised in order to slow the progression of disease and extend quality-of-life and survival time.

Your veterinarian may also suggest subcutaneous fluid therapy, which involves injecting small amounts of liquid under the skin between shoulder blades. They’ll show you how to administer this treatment at home. Subcutaneous therapy is particularly helpful for dogs suffering from kidney disease as it maintains adequate hydration levels and can prevent edema.

Dogs with diabetes should consume a high-protein, low-fat diet and remain at a healthy weight to reduce stress on the kidneys. Be sure to provide ample water, as your pet will drink lots of fluids during this period and must be reminded to go pee. Also remove any toxic materials like antifreeze or pesticides from their environment in order to ensure a better experience for both themselves and other household members.


As soon as a pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to move sugar from its bloodstream into cells of the body, excess sugar builds up in its place and causes health complications such as cataracts that cloud eye lenses and can even lead to blindness.

Diabetes increases the risk of cataracts due to how it impacts eye blood vessels. High levels of glucose in the blood can damage eye vessels, causing inflammation and swelling which in turn results in blurry vision as well as macular edema (a buildup of fluid). Diabetes also raises cataract risks by altering glucose metabolism within the eye; high glucose levels cause enzymes to convert glucose into sorbitol which in turn swells lens tissues preventing vision from functioning optimally and impairing vision.

Cataracts are more prevalent among diabetics than in people without diabetes; up to 75 percent develop cataracts that threaten their sight if left untreated. Diabetics most frequently develop posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSC), which appear as grainy or white spots on the most posterior layers of an eye’s crystalline lens.

As well as eating special diets and engaging in regular physical activity, dogs with diabetes must use syringes or insulin pens to inject insulin under the skin. Insulin acts like a hormone by transporting sugar from bloodstream into cells to use as energy – without enough or inability to use what was already produced, sugar will accumulate in bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar.


An absence of insulin prevents glucose from being absorbed by cells, leaving energy-hungry cells starving of energy sources like sugar. When that occurs, the body begins breaking down fats for energy production instead – creating ketones as a toxic byproduct – leading to diabetic ketoacidosis, an acute and potentially life-threatening condition.

Once diabetes has been identified, your veterinarian will prescribe insulin injections daily via subcutaneous injection under the skin (typically abdominal). They’ll show you how easy and well tolerated they are! In addition to insulin treatments, all-day glucose curves will also be performed to monitor and adjust levels as necessary. A high fiber diet may also be recommended to slow down absorption of sugars into the body while keeping weight down is also advised as obesity increases resistance to insulin treatment.

Overall, dogs living with diabetes can manage it as long as the disease is managed. This requires regular visits to their veterinarian, monitoring of blood and urine samples and following a strict diet; however many pets that succumb untreated eventually succumb within months after diagnosis.

If your dog appears to have diabetes or you need guidance in caring for him with this disease, speak to a vet online right now and get expert advice instantly from a vet online. Speak with them any time of day or night, day or night, to start living longer and happier lives for both of your companions. With Petcube free registration is just an instantaneous chat window away allowing instant connection with qualified veterinarians!

Lisa Thompson

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