November is Diabetes awareness month, so we’d like to highlight the seriousness of this disease, make you aware of signs and symptoms and the various treatments to help manage.
Firstly – what is diabetes? It’s a disease where the body is unable to regulate blood sugar because of a deficiency in insulin. Type 1 diabetes is where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and type 2 is where the cells in the body become resistant to insulin and can’t use it the same way that normal cells can. Generally speaking, diabetes is more common middle to old-age dogs than cats, and more often in females. Common breeds affected are miniature poodles and schnauzers. However, although diabetes is less common in cats, it is seen more in middle to old-aged males than females, and the Burmese cats are more affected.
Signs and symptoms:
The typical signs of diabetes in pets can include:
- Increased thirst
- More frequent urination
- Change in appetite
- Weight loss
If you see any of these symptoms, it is best to make an appointment to see one of our vets so they can properly examine. A couple of these symptoms could also be the result of another illness.
If your pet has been diagnosed with diabetes, this disease is not always curable and will need to be managed for the rest of their life. There are several treatment options depending on what type of diabetes they have. Treatment for both dogs and cats requires twice daily injections of insulin for the rest of your pet’s life. It seems daunting at first, yet we learn how to do it quickly. You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually is!
Diabetics pets (just like diabetic people), also need to adhere to a strict routine of regular exercise and diet. Hill’s Prescription Diet have specialised foods to help manage blood glucose, and the ideal diet should be high in fibre and low in fat and sugar.
Click here for a detailed explanation on Diabetes, and remember if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of Diabetes in your pets, then don’t hesitate to make an appointment to see your vet. Your pet still has the potential to lead a healthy and happy life, with consistent routine and management.