All you need to know about your pet’s diabetes
Like humans, pets can also suffer from diabetes. Managing their condition correctly can help improve their quality of life.
What are the risks?
Diabetes is often diagnosed in overweight cats and dogs; male cats and obese female dogs are at particularly high risk. Some dog breeds, like pugs and toy poodles, are predisposed to the condition.
Consider your pet’s diet – too many carbohydrates are the most likely contributors to weight gain and increased incidence of diabetes.
Older pets are also at higher risk, particularly neutered male felines with a history of pancreatic disease, hormonal imbalance and the use of certain medications. Cortisone-type drugs, like Glucocorticoids, are associated with a high incidence of diabetes. If you have any concerns, it’s best to consult your vet.
Symptoms to look out for are increased thirst, a sudden increase in appetite – but simultaneous weight loss – frequent urination and fatigue. Also look out for a complete loss of appetite and vomiting.
Know the types
There are three different types:
Type 1 – an absolute insulin deficiency (this is the most severe as the treatment is daily insulin injections)
Type 2 – a condition where cells are unresponsive to insulin produced
Type 3 – the disease occurring as a secondary condition and the least common
My pet has diabetes – now what?
There are different ways to treat diabetic pets, depending on the severity of the condition. Some can be easily monitored and do well on a regulated diet and oral medications. On the other hand, some pets will require regular insulin injections. Some small dog breeds, for instance, will need multiple doses of insulin per day. All treatments should be advised by your vet, with guidance on taking proper care of your pet when you’re at home.
Learning how to monitor your pet’s blood levels is one of the most important factors in managing the disease. Regular tests by your vet are recommended as a simple way to keep track of your fur kid’s sugar levels.
Try to incorporate scheduled feeding times and stick to the schedule to avoid dips and spikes. Your vet will advise you of specific dietary needs and how to adjust feeding plans. With dogs, your vet is also likely to recommend an exercise plan, in conjunction with treatment.
Approach the treatment plan with caution – administering treatment incorrectly or errors in diet can result in Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms include shivering, disorientation, weakness and disinterest in food. Consult your vet immediately if you’re concerned.