Animals with Diabetes

diabetic petsIt is a known fact that many people have diabetes, but there are also a myriad of animals that have diabetes also. Diabetes seems to span the spectrum of acute forms of the disease in animals, as it does in humans. Dogs who are diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes generally are diagnosed at an early age in their life as this is caused by a lack of insulin production in the pancreas, while cats seem to produce insulin but their bodies’ do not respond properly to it. Diabetes is more common in dogs than cats among animals. Diabetes symptoms exhibit themselves in other animals as they do in humans – being very subtle and vary from animal to animal. There is no definitive symptom that lets a pet owner known that their animal (specifically a dog or cat) has diabetes.

One of the more common signs that a dog or cat has diabetes is when they begin to lose weight at an alarming weight because their body is using body fat instead of the glucose in the blood as energy. If the diabetes goes untreated by a veterinarian, this can lead to neurological issues in the animal. Since owning a pet is a responsibility, it is recommended by veterinarians that animals get routine checkups to ensure their bodies are functioning at full capacities and no diseases are developing.

The drugs that are recommended for treating diabetes in animals range depending on the extent of the disease in the animal. Insulin treatments are often a first course of action in controlling the disease. The insulin that animals receive is made from many different species. Some veterinarians also suggest altering or changing your animal’s diet.

Despite the fact that symptoms of diabetes are subtle, there are some signs to watch for in your animal. If you own a cat, watch for increased thirst, frequent urinary, lethargy and poor body condition. These same signs can be present in dogs with sudden blindness also being a sign in them. Dog breeds that are more prone to exhibiting diabetes (both type 1 and type 2)  are the Australian terrier, Bichon frise, Keeshond, Fox terrier, Poodles, Schnauzer and Samoyed.

Examinations are done in a veterinary clinic to determine the underlying cause of the signs that your animal may be exhibiting. In the examination, the veterinarian will often rule out other diseases that can often mimic the symptoms of diabetes such as hypoglycemia and glucosuria. The veterinarian will often run blood tests to rule out other non-glucose related disease as well.

Caring for animals with diabetes needs to be handled with tenacity as it is usually a lifelong treatment that incorporates a quality fitness program, special diets and if you own a dog, daily insulin injections. Many times the veterinarian will initially prescribe an initial dose of insulin for your animal to see how their body responds to it and the gradually increase the dosage. With pets, insulin cannot be given orally, it must be given under their skin and most animals generally respond well to being given insulin.


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