Is my pet at risk?
Diabetes is most common in older pets. Pets diagnosed are usually between 6-10 years old. Some breeds such as beagles, dachshunds, poodles, pugs or female cats can be at a higher risk. Educating yourself and early detection and treatment of diabetes for your pet will help ensure a long and happy life together!
What is diabetes mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus occurs when the body cannot regulate glucose levels (blood sugar) normally due to inadequate insulin production levels. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy and is mainly controlled by insulin. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas.
Common symptoms to watch for:
- Increased thirst and urination
- Weight loss
Diagnosing and treating diabetes.
A physical exam by your veterinarian followed by diagnostic testing such as bloodwork and urinalysis are required to diagnose diabetes mellitus. Once a confirmed diagnosis has been made, your medical team can create a treatment plan to help you manage the disease.
The most commonly prescribed medication is insulin replacement therapy, which will need to be given via injection. Your veterinary team will teach you how to properly administer the treatments. Routing veterinary exams and diagnostic monitoring are necessary to insure insulin levels remain within appropriate ranges. Typically, high fiber diets and exercise are recommended for dogs and high protein with low carb diets and daily exercise are recommended for cats.
Tips and Possible Prevention
- Keep your pet active
- Twice yearly veterinary exams with diagnostic testing
- Spay female pets
- Maintain a healthy weight for your pet through proper diet and exercise
Prevention may not always possible, but the great news is with consistent and proper treatment diabetic pets can live a long and healthy life.