Diabetes in Pets

Did you know that pets can become diabetic?  This blog discusses what pet diabetes is and its causes, signs and Symptoms, preventative measures, and resources for pet with the illness. What is Pet Diabetes and What are the Causes? Pet diabetes is very similar to human diabetes.  Insulin, made by the pancreas, allows your pet’s digestive system to absorb the glucose your pet gets from food; glucose is used for energy.  Pets with diabetes are not able to produce enough insulin to absorb the glucose in their bloodstream.  When this happens the glucose builds up in your pet’s bloodstream making them sick. The above information comes from MSD Animal Health http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/PDF/PM09_0114B.pdf Type 1 diabetes often is the result of genetics and generally develops early in a pet’s life.  Pets are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.  This is the adult onset for of the disease and may be prevented. Causes According to the ASPCA there is some uncertainty regarding the causes of pet diabetes.  But the ASPCA cites the following factors that increase the likelihood of your pet developing the disease:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Genetics
  • Obesity due to poor diet (high sugar/carb/grain diet depending on species) and a lack of exercise
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas

For more about Pet Diabetes from the ASPCA https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/diabetes Signs and Symptoms PetMD (http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/general-health/top-ten-signs-your-pet-has-diabetes) cites the following symptoms in both cats and dogs:

  • Increase in thirst
  • Increase in urination
  • Increase appetite
  • Sudden weight loss and signs of malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Weakness of Fatigue
  • Thinning or dull fur
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

You may notice these symptoms over a relatively long period of time.  If you notice any combination of these symptoms in your dog or cat contact your vet. You may also want to check out this article from WebMD http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/diabetes-dogs-symptoms-treatments-dietary-management Prevention There is no 100% guarantee that you can prevent your pet from developing either Type1 or Type 2 diabetes.  However, the following tips can help you greatly reduce your pet’s risk of developing diabetes:

  • Exercise
  • Appropriate diet – your pet’s diet should be specific to his/her species and needs
  • Do not overfeed your pet
  • Stay away from human food
  • Healthy weight
  • Regular vet visits

The above information comes from the ASPCA https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/diabetes Note: This blog is a compilation of careful, well-sourced, internet-based research.  All information comes from reputable resources that include veterinary doctors.  Should you have any questions, want to make changes to your pet’s lifestyle, or be under the impression your pet has Type 1 or 2 diabetes consult your veterinarian. Resources Education – this site hosts a great deal of information about pet diabetes including nutrition and diet information http://www.petdiabetes.com/ FAQs and Tips – this website includes FAQs about both feline and canine diabetes and tips for insulin injection http://www.cat-dog-diabetes.com/ Checklist for vet visit – this checklist has questions you can ask your vet about your pet’s care http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/PDF/PM11_0066.pdf Info – this link includes a brochure with information about pet diabetes and a checklist for pet sitters if you ever have to leave your pet in someone else’s care http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/links.asp Connect with Us Connect with us on FB at https://www.facebook.com/DoonGo.  Does your pet have diabetes?  Please share your tips or any online sources you know about for caring for diabetic pets.

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