Among the many diseases that we humans share with our pets one of the most common is diabetes mellitus, or just diabetes. Sadly, as with people, diabetes is in the rise in our pets too.
As you probably know, diabetes is a disorder in the way the body uses food for energy due to a lack of insulin, which is a hormone that helps your body break down glucose found in food. If your pet lacks enough insulin, produced by the pancreas, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream and that results in diabetes.
What are the risk factors for diabetes in pets?
Just as some humans are more prone to diabetes, so are some pets. But you can manage some of the risk factors, like obesity, for your pet. Other risk factors are simply genetic.
Risk factors for canine diabetes:
- Age – Older dogs are more likely to have canine diabetes
- Breed type – Some breeds are prone to the disease including: cocker spaniels, dachshunds, poodles, dobermann pinschers, schnauzers, golden retrievers, and terriers.
Risk factors for feline diabetes:
- Age – Older cats are more likely to have feline diabetes
- Other health conditions including hyperthyriodism and chronic pancreatitis
How do I know if my pet has diabetes?
Since your dog or cat can’t tell you how he or she is feeling and blood tests aren’t part of a pet owner’s normal routine, watch for these common symptoms of diabetes:
- Extreme thirst
- Increased urination
- Change in appetite
- Lack of energy or lethargy
- Thinning or dull fur
If your pet exhibits some or all of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian right away to get an exam for your dog or cat evaluated. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical in avoiding complications related to diabetes.
If my pet has diabetes, are there treatments that help?
The good news is that with the right treatment and care, many diabetic dogs and cats enjoy long lives and good quality of life too. If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan that may include:
- Dietary changes to manage weight and energy needs
- Daily insulin injections to manage insulin levels
- Regular exercise
At VetRxDirect we stock a full range of medications and products for diabetic cats and dogs and we’re happy to work closely with you and your veterinarian to help you manage your pet’s disease.
Does your dog or cat have diabetes? Is there a particular medicine or product that worked well for your diabetic pet? Please share your experience with us – we value your input.
In good health,