Warning Signs of Diabetes in Pets
Just like their human companions, pets such as dogs and cats can also develop diabetes. Because a dog or a cat cannot talk to explain how it is feeling, it is up to the resident people to be able to spot the warning signs of this serious disease. Becoming familiar with the signs of diabetes in pets could help reduce the pet’s risk of problems such as mobility issues, blindness and even death.
Increased Thirst and Urination
Some of the earliest signs of diabetes in pets that owners may notice are increased thirst and more frequent urination. For dogs, this may lead to increased demands to be let out or accidents within the house. Dogs and cats may lead their owners to the water bowls frequently for refilling. For cats, increased urinary frequency may lead to improper elimination or the need to change the cat litter more often. The increased thirst is due to the high concentration of sugar in the blood and the increased urination is in response to the high fluid levels that the pet’s body must eliminate.
Increased Appetite Accompanied by Weight Loss
When a dog or cat acts as if it is starving, this is a warning sign of diabetes. The pet’s bowl may empty more frequently or the pet may beg for people food. Despite the increased intake of food, the pet may maintain or even lose weight. Gradual weight loss may not be noticed until the pet is taken to the vet for a checkup. Sudden weight loss is also a possibility due to diabetes, as the disease causes the pet’s metabolism to increase, sometimes by a significant amount.
Pets with diabetes may be less active, act lethargic and want to sleep more. Dogs may exhibit less activity and may not want to go for walks as frequently. Cats may lose muscle in their hind legs and may be less able to leap and jump.
Diabetes may cause pets to experience coat problems. Their fur may become dull and they may lose hair, resulting in overall thinness or even bald spots. Hair loss due to diabetes in pets is most common along the pet’s back and top of the head and is not a result of over-grooming.
Eye and Vision Changes
Pets with advanced diabetes may develop cataracts and narrowing of the optic nerve. Cataracts will result in a cloudy appearance of the eyes. Over time, narrowing of the optic nerve or enlargement of the cataracts can lead to blindness. Pets losing their vision may bump into things and have problems navigating around stairs, furniture and other obstacles.
Ketoacidosis, which is a buildup of the breakdown of proteins and fats, can lead to mood changes in pets. The pet may experience depression and not be interested in its usual favorite activities. The pet may avoid contact and become aggressive if someone tries to pet it.
Diabetes is a condition that pet owners can manage with the use of insulin and vet syringes such as u-40 insulin syringes. The u-40 insulin syringes make it easy for owners to deliver the right dose of insulin to maintain the pet’s health. Vet syringes are affordable and can be purchased in bulk for even greater savings.
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