5 Things You Need to Know About Diabetes & Pets

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

Diabetes is a commonly discussed disease among humans, but what about with pets? With diabetes diagnoses on the rise among pets, make sure you are in the know in order to help keep your pets happy and healthy.

1. What Is It? Diabetes Mellitus is an endocrine disorder that is caused by either a lack of insulin or the body’s inability to respond properly to insulin. Simply put, diabetes keeps the body from properly converting food into “fuel”. Of course, the disease is much more complicated than that and can take on various types and impact various organs.

2. Know The Risks There are a number of factors that can put your pet at a higher risk. While pets can be diagnosed at any age, most pets are diagnosed between 5-14 years old. Un-spayed female dogs are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Some breeds are even predisposed to developing diabetes, and the long term use of some medications may put your pet at higher risk. Obesity is a significant risk for developing diabetes. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s specific risk factors.

3. Know The Symptoms An early diagnosis of diabetes is key to developing an effective management plan. Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you notice that your pet has increased thirst, increased urination, increased hunger, sudden weight loss, weakness or fatigue, cloudy eyes, thinning hair, vomiting, or depression.

4. How to Prevent It Unfortunately, with some dogs it is unpreventable, but there are some things that can help with the severity and management of the disease. Be sure to feed your pet a high quality food and ensure they are getting adequate exercise. Talk to your vet to make sure you are not overfeeding your pet and be careful with treats and people food.

5. How to Treat Your veterinarian will help develop a treatment plan that will likely include giving your pet a daily insulin injection and ensuring your pet’s diet, exercise, and stress levels remain as consistent as possible. Treating diabetes in pets does require commitment, but most pets go on to live long, happy lives.

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