The long-term complications of diabetes in dogs are a result of prolonged high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
Due to their shorter life span, diabetic dogs will develop fewer long-term complications than human diabetics. Maintaining control of blood sugar levels will help minimize the long-term complications of diabetes.
This is the most common complication of diabetes in dogs.
A cataract is when the lens of the eye becomes opaque, leading to blindness in the affected eye or eyes. Cataracts in dogs with diabetes are seen far more often than in cats with diabetes.
Diabetic cataracts is caused when high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) cause changes in the lens of the eye. Water diffuses into the lens causing swelling and disruption of the lens structure. This results in the opacity that is seen.
To treat diabetic cataracts, the lens of the eye can be removed surgically to restore vision. Control of high blood glucose levels should help prevent or delay the onset of diabetic cataracts.
This is why it is important to continue to monitor your diabetic dog's blood sugar levels - even after months or years of treatment - and consult your vet if there are sudden changes or if anything unusual happens.
When your dog with diabetes has been stabilized on insulin treatment, it is usually able to lead a happy, healthy life. The life expectancy of your diabetic dog stabilized on insulin is similar to that of other healthy pets of the same breed. Good communication between you and your vet, and a consistent treatment regimen, will help keep your pet healthy. Allowing you to enjoy life together for many years.