Although Diabetes is present year-round, November has been named "Pet Diabetes Month
" in an effort to spread awareness about this condition that is often manageable when caught early.
Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as "sugar diabetes," affects cats and dogs. Those who are overweight or obese are more at risk. Diabetes results when the body either does not produce enough insulin or when the insulin being produced is ineffective. Insulin is responsible for regulating how the body uses sugars, specifically glucose. Over time, if insulin is not being produced properly, many health problems, including life-threatening ones, can result.
For pet owners, it is important to be aware of some of the signs of diabetes in cats and dogs. These signs can include excessive thirst, increased urination, a bigger appetite and weight loss. Unfortunately, these signs are common among other health issues as well, so lab work to determine the level of sugar in the blood and the urine is often recommended.
Once a diagnosis of diabetes has been reached, treatment can begin. Insulin is often used to help treat diabetes. Owners should also evaluate the pet’s diet and should continue to monitor their pet’s blood sugar levels with assistance from a veterinarian.
If you have any questions about losing weight or treating diabetes, or anything else related to your pet’s health, please consult your veterinarian. He or she is the best resource for your pet’s health.