Diabetes mellitus is a serious medical condition that affects our pets much like humans. It occurs when the body is unable to produce or properly utilize insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. This results in high blood sugar levels, which can cause a wide range of health problems.
Diabetes in pets can occur at any age, but it is more common in older pets. Dogs are usually diagnosed between 7-10 years of age, and cats most frequently develop diabetes after the age of six. Obesity, especially in cats, is a leading risk factor in the development of diabetes.
The symptoms of diabetes in pets can be subtle at first, but they tend to become more severe as the disease progresses. Some of the most common symptoms of diabetes in pets include increased thirst and urination, weight loss, lethargy, and decreased appetite. Pets with diabetes may also experience vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to pancreatitis, cataracts, skin infections, heart disease, and urinary tract infections.
If you suspect your pet has diabetes, bringing them to the clinic for a proper diagnosis is essential. One of our veterinarians will perform a physical exam and may recommend blood tests to check your pet’s blood sugar levels. In some cases, they may also recommend a urine test to check for the presence of glucose.
While there is no cure for diabetes in pets, it can be managed with proper treatment. The most common form of treatment for diabetes in pets is insulin therapy. This involves administering insulin injections to your pet regularly to help regulate their blood sugar levels. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine your pet’s proper dosage and schedule.
In addition to insulin therapy, there are other steps that you can take to help manage your pet’s diabetes. For example, it is essential to maintain a consistent feeding schedule and to feed your pet a balanced, low-carbohydrate diet. Regular exercise can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and promote overall health.
Diabetes is a serious medical condition affecting pets of all ages and breeds. While it cannot be cured, it can be managed with proper treatment and care. If you suspect your pet may have diabetes, bringing them to Family Pet Health for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan is essential. With the right care, your pet with diabetes can live a long and happy life.