Animal Hospital News

Diabetes in Dogs and Cats- a Real Threat!

posted by Dr. Deb on February 20th, 2014 in Cats, Dogs

If your pet is overweight, he has a significantly increased risk of Diabetes.

Overweight, middle-aged orange male tabby cats have a 30% increased risk of developing diabetes than any other cat!

Signs to watch for:

  •    Increased water drinking
  •    Water- seeking behavior: drinking out of showers/sinks/ tubs/ glasses around the house (more than they used to…)
  •    Increased urination:  asking to go outside more often/ in the night; accidents in the house; litterbox is wetter (more than 2-4 urinations in a day is a red flag)
  •    Increased/ “ravenous” appetite
  •    Decreased appetite/ vomiting/ lethargy
  •   Sudden development of Cataracts and blindness in dogs

A simple blood test can answer the question.  Blood glucose testing is an easy test that can check evidence of high blood sugar at the moment.  If the blood glucose test is elevated, a Fructosamine test is usually done to assess whether a pet’s blood glucose has been consistently elevated over the last 3 weeks.

Diabetes is managed with diet (usually a prescription low carb, high protein diet– caution in older pets with underlying kidney disease…) and insulin.

** ! Treating pets with insulin is different from treating humans-– please don’t try this at home!  Your veterinarian is an expert at the nuances of how animals (and cats are much different from dogs!) respond to the the different types of insulin available.

** ! Human blood glucose monitors are often INaccurate in testing animal blood.  Before using a human glucometer, have it compared with an animal calibrated glucometer! (Even on animal glucometers, there are different codes entered for different species because they all read a little differently).  (Honest!  Independent studies have been done!  This is not just a gimmick to get people to buy more expensive animal glucometers!)

** ! Different types of insulin work better in different species.  Some insulins are off and on the market, making it difficult to maintain consistency in treatment.  Your veterinarian has the most current information and will help you make the best choice for your pet.

Untreated, Diabetes saps the life out of a pet, reducing quality of life.  Years of happy life are sacrificed.  Treated, pets can now live full, happy , long lives!  Newer diets and insulins make it easier and more rewarding than ever to keep a pet’s diabetes well managed!

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