Diabetes Symptoms, Risk, and Treatments in Canines and Felines

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Diabetes Symptoms, Risk, and Treatments in Canines and Felines

Diabetes Mellitus or “sugar diabetes” is when the body can no longer produce insulin or use insulin properly. Humans are not the only ones who can develop this disease. It is said that 1 in 300 dogs will develop diabetes in their lifetime, and 1 in 230 cats are affected by diabetes. While in cats it has become the most common diesease to develop.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) occurs when the body is no longer able to create any insulin. Type 2 (Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) occurs when the body can not respond normally to the amount of insulin being made.  

Diabetes causes high blood levels of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream which can cause different organs to experience damage or failure. Some of the main organs that can suffer damage are the eyes, liver, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, or nerves. So it’s important to treat diabetes as your veterinarian recommends.

Listed below are a few symptoms, causes, and treatments for canines and felines with diabetes. If your pet has diabetes don’t be scared. Unfortunately, diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed with help from your Veterinarian. A diabetic pet tends to have a long lifespan with these treatments and management tips.

Diabetes in Dogs

Type 1 diabetes is the most common in dogs. Unspayed females and middle-aged to senior dogs are the most common dogs that can develop this disease. Dogs with type 1 diabetes often need shots to replace the insulin that is not being produced.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

  • Increased Urination
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Weight Loss
  • Increased Appetite: The body isn’t getting the right amount of glucose so dogs seem to be hungrier
  • Depressed attitude
  • Vomiting

Risk

  • Overweight/Obesity: The top risk for developing diabetes. This is a risk because it increases insulin resistance.
  • Sex: Females dogs that are unspayed are twice more likely to get diabetes than male dogs
  • Age: Occurs in middle-aged seniors
  • Chronic or repeated pancreatitis
  • Cushing’s Disease: The body overproduces steroids which can cause diabetes
  • Genetics: Different dog breeds are more prone to getting diabetes
  • Steroid Medications: When used for a long time they can cause diabetes

Treatment

  • Injections: Daily injection shots of insulin under the skin
  • Diet: A specific type of food may be recommended by your Veterinarian
  • Exercise: To help avoid sudden spikes or drops in glucose levels

Managing a Dog’s Diabetes

  • Go over a health plan with a Veterinarian for your dog.
  • A home glucose testing kit is easier than going to the vet when your cat needs its blood sugar levels tested.
  • Have regularly scheduled checkups with your vet.
  • Freestyle Libre: this is a small sensor on your dog’s skin that tested blood levels without taking blood.
  • Exercise: It’s important that a diabetic dog has an exercise routine that is consistent
  • Managing weight loss or weight gain
  • Keep logs of insulin intake, food, water, and observations. This is important as if anything changes or seems like a warning it will be noticeable through the notes.

Other Resources:

  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/diabetes-in-dogs/
  • https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/diabetes-pets
  • https://vetsource.com/news/pet-diabetes-facts/
  • http://petdiabetes.com/

Diabetes in Cats

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is very uncommon for felines to get while Type 2 is the most common. Type 2 diabetes is when cat cells resist the insulin being produced.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats

  • Increased Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Increased Urination

Risk

  • Overweight/obesity: The most prone to developing this disease
  • Male cats
  • Neutered
  • Over seven years of age
  • Taking different medications
  • Chronic or repeated pancreatitis
  • Cushing’s disease: The body overproduces steroids which can cause diabetes

Treatment

  • Daily insulin injections
  • Diet: Certain food may be prescribed by a Veterinarian

Managing a Cat’s Diabetes

  • A home glucose testing kit is easier than going to the vet when your cat needs its blood sugar levels tested.
  • Have regularly scheduled checkups with your vet.
  • Keep logs of insulin intake, food, water, and observations. This is important as if anything changes or seems like a warning it will be noticeable through the notes.

Other Resources:

  • https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/feline-diabetes-symptoms-treatments-prevention-diet
  • https://catfriendly.com/feline-diseases/diabetes/
  • https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/healthcare/cat-diabetes
  • https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feline-diabetes
  • http://petdiabetes.com/