BloomingPaws Vet Clinic has experience in treating beloved pets and we’d like to share some facts on the health and care of pets with diabetes from our team of veterinarians.
When a dog or cat has diabetes, their pancreas is not producing insulin or their body is unable to use insulin, which is the hormone that drives glucose into the cells. As a result, our pets get sick because too much glucose circulates in the blood and not enough glucose is in the cells where it is needed for energy.
Common signs that are seen with early diabetes are:
- Increase drinking
- Increase urination
- Increase eating
- Weight loss
There are many possible causes for diabetes such as:
- Previous illnesses
- Immune system dysfunction
There are differences between our dogs and cats with diabetes. Dogs, unfortunately, are almost always insulin dependent. This means that they must be given insulin injections once to twice a day, along with feeding a high fiber diet for the rest of their lives. Cats may initially require insulin, but with proper diet some are able to discontinue the insulin injections.
Diabetes can be a frustrating and expensive disease to treat both for owners and veterinarians. It can take weeks to months to regulate diabetes. Any underlying infections (such as dental disease or urinary tract infections) can make regulating diabetes difficult. There is regular monitoring, which includes blood-work and urinalysis needed every 12 weeks after the initial diagnosis and until glucose levels become normal. If your pet is experiencing any symptoms such as lethargy, excessive thirst, and frequent urination, contact your veterinarian right away to have an exam and lab work performed.