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Diabetes and Your Pet

It’s Pet Diabetes Awareness Month and IdealPetX wants to raise awareness of the issue and provide helpful information on how pet parents can help their four-legged pal live a healthy, happy life.

It’s been estimated that 1 in 500 dogs and cats have diabetes.This means that their body’s are not processing food properly. Normally, carbohydrates (starches) are converted into sugars, including glucose. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the blood and provides the body cells with energy.Glucose can only enter most cells if the hormone insulin is present. Insulin is produced by specific cells in the pancreas, a special gland situated near the intestines.

Diabetes mellitus or “sugar diabetes” is caused by insufficient insulin production by the pancreas or failure of the body cells to respond to insulin. This results in cells that cannot absorb enough glucose or blood glucose concentrations are too high.

In dogs, diabetes most typically occurs in middle aged to older dogs.Feline diabetes has been diagnosed in cats of all ages, sexes and breeds - but mostly in in older cats and neutered male cats.

And while there is no breed predisposition amongst cats, many dog breeds appear to have an increased risk of developing diabetes including:

  • Keeshond
  • Poodles
  • Samoyed
  • Dachshund
  • Alaskan malamute
  • Miniature schnauzer
  • Chow chow
  • Beagle
  • Doberman
  • Labrador retriever
  • Hungarian puli
  • Golden retriever
  • Miniature pinscher
  • Old English sheepdog
  • Springer spaniel
  • Schipperke
  • Finnish spitz
  • West Highland white terrier
  • Cairn terrier

Signs or symptoms of both feline and canine diabetes

  • Urinating too much
  • Drinking too much
  • Urinating in the house or in places other than designated areas
  • Increased appetite but losing weight
  • Lethargy and poor coat condition

.If your pet is exhibiting these signs, it’s time to see your vet. The only sure way to determine diabetes is to have your vet take urine and blood samples. They will also check your pet’s general health status in order to rule out the presence of other diseases and/or infections.

Although diabetes is your pet can’t be cured, it can be managed with insulin therapy (which may require multiple shots per day), a suitable diet prescribed by your vet and a healthy, active  lifestyle. Some cats may even experience a remission period. Regardless, proper care and management can help restore your pet’s quality of life.

IdealPetX can help with your dog and cat care needs in a variety of areas to help ensure your pet gets the care and love it deserves.

IdealPetX Staff
IdealPetX Staff