November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month

November 4th, 2013

November is Pet Diabetes Month. Hopefully this post can answer your questions about Diabetes and help to make you more aware of the disease and whether or not it could be something to be concerned about for your pet.

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What is Diabetes Mellitus? Diabetes Mellitus is an endocrinopathies that deals with the pancreas and insulin production. In dogs, the disease is similar to Type 1 diabetes in human, requiring lifelong treatment. Cats with diabetes, however, resembles that of Type 2 diabetes in humans where beta-cell function of the pancreas can be improved. What are the Symptoms of Diabetes? Clinical signs of diabetes include excessive urinating and or drinking, often times in undesirable places, and a ravenous appetite. Once the diabetes is under control, most owners observe these activities going back to normal. Animals that are more at risk for diabetes are those that are overweight.

Dog and ready to jump on some meat

How is Diabetes Diagnosed? Diabetes can be easily diagnosed by checking the blood glucose level of a pet. If the blood glucose level falls out of the normal range on the higher end, the pet is hyperglycemic and probably diabetic. Hyperglycemic means there is a high level of sugar in the bloodstream, whereas, hypoglycemic means there is a low level of sugar in the bloodstream. Both conditions can be very dangerous if left untreated. How is Diabetes Treated? Diabetes in pets is treated like diabetes in humans, insulin injections. Your veterinarian will want to do several blood glucose checks in order to make sure the dosage is appropriate for your pet. This may include your pet staying in the hospital one day to do a glucose curve where the blood glucose level is checked every couple hours to see how it changes throughout the day. Another important aspect of treating diabetes is with diet and exercise. Often times, cats are put onto high protein diets to minimize the amount of carbohydrates they consume. For diabetic dogs, diets higher in fiber and lower in fat are recommended. Maintaining and ideal body weight for both dogs and cats is important for all pets, with or without diabetes, but is very important in the treatment of diabetes in order to have a better indicator of control when monitoring the patient. Can Diabetes be Cured? Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes, yet. However, some cats do go into remission once treatment and diet are controlled. If you think your pet may be at risk for diabetes or is possibly showing symptoms for the disease, contact us today to come and discuss your concerns with your veterinarian to investigate your concerns.

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