1 out of every 100 dogs that reaches the age of 12 will develop diabetes. In cats it’s estimated that 1 in 250 cats will develop diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an illness caused when the body cannot use sugar normally (sugar diabetes). This is the more common type called diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus (water diabetes) is less common with a completely different cause and different treatment. Since most pets that have diabetes mellitus, we will further discuss this type.
Key facts about diabetes in dogs and cats
- Diabetes in pets may cause death if left untreated.
- Diet is a significant factor in causing and in treating diabetes.
- How insulin is given affects how quickly and how long it works.
- Some pets need insulin for a period, then recover and no longer need it.
How common is it?
Overweight pets have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
In dogs, diabetes mellitus is common in middle-aged to older animals, especially in females. Certain breeds of dogs also experience above-average rates of diabetes like miniature poodles, dachshunds, Australian terriers, Beagles, Samoyeds, and Burmese. In cats, male cats are more likely to develop diabetes.
If it’s seen in younger animals, it can be a sign that your cat or dog is genetically predisposed to diabetes—this can mean that related animals may also be predisposed.
Signs of diabetes in pets
The earlier it is diagnosed, the better chance your pet may have for a longer and healthier life. Here are some signs to watch out for:
- Excessive water drinking and increased urination
- Weight loss, even though there may be an increased appetite
- Decreased appetite
- Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
- Chronic or recurring infections (including skin infections and urinary infections)
Treatment for diabetes?
- Insulin Injections
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced by certain cells in the pancreas that keeps your pet’s glucose concentration at a normal level while delivering glucose (energy) to the body’s cells.
Because diabetes is caused by a lack or shortage of insulin, your pet may need management with insulin.
Diabetes can usually be controlled by simply learning to give your pet daily insulin injections to control blood glucose level. Your veterinarian will help you find your pet’s correct dose. This process may take a few weeks, but the end result is very manageable. Once you have the correct insulin dose, it is extremely important that you administer your pet’s therapy at approximately the same time every day.
In general, diabetes cannot be cured. However, the good news is that with proper monitoring, treatment, and diet and exercise, diabetic pets can lead a happy, healthy life.
If you are interested in preserving your pet’s genetics, please contact ViaGen Pets at 1-888-876-6104 or at www.ViaGenPets.com for more information about Genetic Preservation.