Did you know that November is Pet Diabetes Month?
Just like humans, pets can be affected by diabetes as well. As the number of overweight and obese pets increase, so does the incidence of diabetes.
Diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin, stops producing it, or doesn’t use insulin properly.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas and is responsible for giving the cells of the body the energy they need to function, by allowing glucose (sugar) in the blood to enter the cells. Insulin is what helps keep the blood sugar from getting too high or too low.
In a diabetic pet, the cells don’t have enough sugar to function properly, so the body begins to break down tissues which are then converted to sugar. This causes the pet’s blood sugar to increase. With prolonged high blood sugar, organ damage and even death occurs if the pet is not adequately treated.
It is important to be aware of the risks for diabetes and know the common signs.
Common signs of diabetes:
Dogs are usually diagnosed with Type I diabetes, meaning there is a deficiency in the way the pancreas produces insulin. Cats are usually diagnosed with Type II diabetes that results from a decreased sensitivity to insulin. Which is why, with proper care, it may be possible to reduce or eliminate insulin treatment in a cat.
While there is no cure for diabetes, it is easily diagnosed and your Veterinarian can create a treatment plan for your pet, and it can be successfully managed.
Daily insulin injections
Regular Veterinary checkups
Once a pet’s diabetes is properly managed, the prognosis is good. However, if left undiagnosed or without proper treatment, diabetes can cause other, more serious health problems, including, cataracts, blindness, urinary tract infections, enlarged liver, seizures and ketoacidosis (a life-threatening complication of untreated diabetes)
Be aware of the signs of diabetes, as the sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner it can be managed.
With effective treatment and monitoring, a pet with diabetes should have the same life expectancy as a pet without diabetes of the same age. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment helps pets with diabetes maintain a good quality of life.
Only a licensed Veterinarian can officially confirm a diagnosis of diabetes in your pet. If you suspect your pet may have diabetes, please contact your Veterinarian as soon as possible.
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