November has been designated Pet Diabetes Month to bring awareness to diabetes in our four-legged friends. Estimates vary, but it is believed that 2 percent and about 1 in every 160 dogs develops diabetes. Many owners are not aware that their dogs or cats can develop the disease or even what the symptoms of diabetes are among pets.
Diabetes has no cure, but can be managed successfully so that your cat or dog can live a full and happy life.
There are several clinical signs that may suggest that your pet is affected. These may include excessive water consumption, frequent urination, veracious appetite but does not gain weight, lethargy, cloudy eyes, or a dry, dull, or thinning hair coat.
When you bring your pet to the veterinarian, they will ask you about any signs or symptoms that you have noticed, how long they have been occurring, and which medications or supplements that your pet is taking. The veterinarian will also check your pet’s general health, determining if there are any infections or other conditions present.
Your veterinarian will check for glucose and ketones in the urine of your pet along with testing the glucose and fructosamine levels in your pet’s blood. Based on the tests, your veterinarian will then be able to set up a treatment protocol that may include insulin injections , diet change and regular exercise.
It is important that your pet’s needs be addressed, because diabetes can lead to kidney problems, nerve problems, and possibly eye problems. Up to 80 percent of the dogs who have diabetes can develop cataracts.
Diabetes is not just a human disease: your four-legged companions can develop the disease as well. With November being Pet Diabetes Month, it is a good time to learn about diabetes, be aware of the clinical signs, and make an appointment as soon as possible with your veterinarian if you observe any indications of the disease.