November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes mellitus is just as dangerous for pets as it is for people. In fact, it’s estimated that one out of every 100 dogs over the age of 12 develops it. With kitties, the estimates vary from one in 50 to one in 500. That may not sound like a lot, but it actually represents millions of pets. A local Coral Springs, FL vet discusses this dangerous disease in this article.
Diabetes mellitus is related to the way the body processes sugars. The body converts carbohydrates to sugars, which then fuel the body’s cells. However, the body can’t process sugar properly without insulin. This means that the sugar builds in the bloodstream while the body’s cells run on empty. Of course, that’s the nutshell version: ask your vet for more information.
Fluffy and Fido can develop diabetes at any point of their lives. However, it’s fairly rare in kittens and puppies. Most diabetic dogs are aged four or older, while diabetic kitties are typically over the age of six. With dogs, diabetes is more common in females, and is more prevalent in certain breeds. Some of the pooches that seem to be predisposed include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Terriers, Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, Toy Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and German Shepherds. Having other medical conditions may increase your pet’s risk. These include heart problems, kidney disease, UTIs, and skin problems.
There are a few signs to watch for. Frequent urination is one. Dogs may go in the house, while cats may leave a mess outside the litterbox. An increase in thirst and water consumption is another red flag. Some pets get very hungry, and are always begging for food. Other warning signs include a dull coat, lethargy/sleeping more than usual, and, in dogs, cloudy eyes. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these in your pet.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage your furry pal’s diabetes. You may need to learn to give Fido or Fluffy daily insulin injections. This may sound a bit overwhelming, but once you’ve gotten used to it, it will only take seconds a day. Just be sure to give your pet their medicine at the same time every day.
Do you know or suspect that your four-legged friend has diabetes? Contact us, your local Coral Springs, FL animal clinic, today!