Pet parents never want to imagine their fur babies having medical issues. The sad reality is, your pets’ bodies may experience some changes over time, and as they get older
Diabetes in pets has become increasingly common in today’s society. Any pet parent can agree that the news that your dog or cat may have diabetes can be a real shocker.
If your pet develops diabetes, it isn’t a death sentence. Unlike some deadly diseases, diabetes is fairly manageable with the proper knowledge. However, as the saying goes: “Prevention is better than cure.”
We will outline everything you need to know about diabetes in pets so you can help protect your Aurora and Newmarket pets.
What is Diabetes in Pets?
Diabetes (also known as Diabetes mellitus) is a disease that affects the way your dogs’ body uses blood sugar (or glucose). Insulin is secreted from the pancreas to control the amount of sugar in cells. The sugar can be later stored away, or used for energy. If your pet’s body doesn’t make enough insulin, or can’t properly use the insulin that is produced, that can cause spikes in blood sugar which can then lead to other issues.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of diabetes in cats and dogs are fairly similar. If you notice any of the following in your pet, it may be time for a trip to the veterinarian. Early detection is key when it comes to treating diabetes. The earlier they can be diagnosed, the higher the chances of them living a long happy life.
- Decreased appetite: You know how much, and how often your dog eats. If you notice they are skipping meals, this is always a cause for concern.
- Increased appetite: Yes, this is possible if your dog or cat is going through the beginning stages of diabetes. The reason for an increased appetite is due to the fact that their cells are not getting enough glucose (or sugar) so as a result, your dog is more hungry
- Weight loss: Despite eating their normal food portions, weight loss is still possible. With diabetes, nutrients are not being stored or used efficiently within your pets’ bodies.
- Reoccurring infections: If you notice your pet is contracting infections in their skin or urinary infections, this can be a sign that diabetes is the culprit.
- Increased thirst and urination are usually one of the first signs
Other more serious signs of diabetes also include vomiting, loss of energy and a depressed attitude.
Treatment For Diabetes in Pets
Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes. If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, the treatment will last for the rest of their lives.
This condition can be managed in several ways that do not have to disrupt your pet’s normal lifestyle. Proper vet-approved diets can help manage the health of your diabetic pet. It is recommended that your canines’ diet consists of high fibre. For cats, a diet with high protein and low carbohydrates is recommended.
Exercise for your diabetic pets is key to maintaining their overall health. For your dogs, daily walks and playtime are probably already part of their normal routine. Always double-check with your vet to ensure that the amount of exercise they get is appropriate for their age, weight and severity of their condition.
It can be more challenging to get proper exercise for your cat, so speak to your vet about coming up with a plan to get your kitty more active during the day.
Daily insulin injections will likely become a part of your dogs’ health regimen. Insulin injections are less likely for cats however, we do have quite a few clients with cats that require insulin injections every 12 hours.
You Can Help Prevent Diabetes In Pets
There are measures you can take to help prevent your beloved pets from developing diabetes mellitus. Proper food intake is absolutely paramount to prevent your pet from developing diabetes. A healthy balanced diet is the first step to keeping your pet in good health.
Ensuring your pet gets enough exercise is also very important. If your pet becomes overweight, they can be more prone to diabetes. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight will help prevent other weight-related diseases as well.
Taking your pet to their veterinarian for regular check-ups is paramount in making sure your dog remains in good health. Your vet will do a regular exam, and take look for any abnormalities. If your vet notices anything unusual, they can run some tests and help determine if there is something more going on with your pet.
Unspayed female dogs are at higher risk for canine diabetes. Have your dog spayed in order to reduce their chances of developing this illness.
Dog Breeds Prone to Diabetes
While it is possible for many dog breeds to develop canine diabetes, there are others that are just naturally more prone to developing diabetes themselves. This list of breeds is not to scare you! It is simply meant to make you aware of the fact that it won’t hurt to give these breeds a little extra vitamins and minerals in their diet to continue to maintain their healthy lifestyle.
- Cocker Spaniels.
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Toy Poodles
This is just to name a few. You can find more detailed information here.
Diabetes in pets is usually a highly preventable disease. We want to encourage you to take the proper steps to ensure your pets are healthy. This will not only prevent their chances of developing diabetes but also will curtail many other health issues.
Having a pet with diabetes that requires insulin can really tie you down. Our team is all trained in providing insulin shots and we are happy to help if you need us.
If you need assistance with your pets’ general care and wellness York Professional Pet Sitting is here for you! You can trust us to care for your fur babies inside and out. Let us know how we can assist you and your beloved pets by contacting us today.
Please see below for an informative video on administering injections to your diabetic pet.
Morag is the owner and founder of York Regions most trusted premier in-home pet care and dog walking companies. In 2000 she saw a need for an alternative to kennels, catteries for family pets in the area and has always believed that pets are much happier and less stressed staying in their own familiar environment. Morag and her team are all certified in Pet 1st Aid and CPR, she also offers continuous training to her team members through online and hands on pet care and pet behaviour and care courses. Morag has earned her certificate in Professional Pet Sitting, Professional Dog Walking and Canine Attendant training. She has lived in the Newmarket/Aurora area since 1991 is a wife, a mother of 2 adult children and a grandmother of 2 delightful little balls of energy. She has also been owned by fish, birds, mice, rats, cats, dogs, gerbils and guinea pigs and is an advocate for all living creatures. In her spare time she likes to be involved in her community and events travelling, reading and cooking.