Pet Diabetes: Signs and Treatments
Humans aren't the only ones who have diabetes. Cats and dogs are just as vulnerable to the disease as we are. As with humans, diabetes mellitus is manageable and even treatable in pets. However, an animal with diabetes will need professional care from a veterinarian. Read below to learn more about pet diabetes and how veterinary care by All Creatures Hospital.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a blood disorder where the blood sugar is elevated over a prolonged period of time. For cats and dogs, diabetes will develop when not enough body insulin is being produced. Inadequate insulin can result in other health complications such as blood vessel damage, cardiovascular disease, stroke, artery disease, and damage to the nerves. Living with diabetes can significantly lower a pet's quality of life and even lead to premature death, especially if left untreated.
Diabetes is much more common among older animals, especially females. Some dog breeds are more genetically predisposed than others; Terriers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labradors are all known to have higher rates of the disease than normal. The same is true for certain cat breeds, with Siamese cats being more at risk of developing diabetes.
Signs of Pet Diabetes
Diabetes is somewhat more difficult to detect in pets because of the lack of communication. However, there are still some diabetic signs that pet owners can look out for in pets. Those signs include the following:
- Excessive thirst or dehydration
- More frequent urinations
- Weakness and lethargy
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unhealthy coat
- Excessive sleepiness and lethargy
How to Care for Diabetic Pets
While diabetes cannot yet be cured, pet owners can still help manage the health problems that come with this disease. All Creatures Hospital doctors will help manage those complications with the right medications and lifestyle recommendations. A medication like Vetsulin may be what is needed to control your pet's blood glucose levels.
It's also important to visit the veterinarian when your pet is experiencing any health complications associated with diabetes. Be sure to get your pet treated for diabetes –related conditions such as cataracts, ketoacidosis, pancreatitis, neuropathy, infection, or low blood pressure. The right veterinary professional should be able to treat any of these conditions in your pet.
Finding a Del Mar Veterinarian
All Creatures Hospital is a full-service veterinary center located in Del Mar, California. Our doctors are capable of treating a wide array of pet illnesses, including diabetes-related conditions. We can also provide pet owners with the means to raise a happy and healthy animal. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.