What You Need to Know About Pet Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus is a condition that develops when the insulin produced by the body isn’t enough to regulate blood sugar levels. About 10% of all dogs that reach 12 years of age will develop diabetes. It occurs less commonly in cats but is just as serious when it does. Certain breeds are more susceptible to the diabetes than others, including Siamese cats, Toy Poodles, Terriers, Cocker Spaniels Dachshunds, Doberman Pinchers, German Shepherds, Labrador and Golden Retrievers.
DKA can put pets at risk quickly and seriously
Without prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, long-standing diabetes mellitus can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (abbreviated to DKA). This occurs when there is no insulin to help the body use glucose for energy. Glucose builds up in the blood, and the body turns to fat for energy. Signs of DKA include vomiting, lethargy, and dehydration. Call us immediately if you notice any of these symptoms – 773-249-7191, because failure to get immediate treatment for DKA can lead to your pet’s death. Other complications of long-term diabetes include cataracts, pancreatitis and recurrent infections.
Signs of Diabetes Mellitus in Pets
The above signs certainly suggest diabetes, but they are also seen in other diseases. To confirm the diagnosis, your Woodlawn veterinarian will take blood and urine samples from your pet and determine the glucose content or “sugar” in both. We also check general health status (to rule out the presence of other diseases or infections). This is very important, as infections, some diseases, and other medications can make the management of diabetes more difficult. These are included with every wellness exam at Woodlawn Animal Hospital.
The diagnosis only becomes definite when glucose is found both in the urine and at a high level in the blood. It’s for this reason that your pets need to be examined thoroughly by an experienced veterinarian.
My Pet Has Diabetes. Now What?
With help from your veterinarian, you can manage diabetes successfully. Some pets may be managed into remission. If medication is indicated, you’ll receive instruction on how to give daily insulin injections to control blood glucose level. If your pet has additional health issues, common when diabetes is present, your veterinarian will suggest the appropriate management.
The Faster Diabetes Is Controlled, the Better the Chances of Remission
Diet is a critical factor in getting diabetes under control. High protein – low carbohydrate diet therapy can provide effective glycemic control. Your Woodlawn veterinarian will make diet recommendations in consideration of your budget. Although most over-the-counter canned foods are low in carbohydrate content, information must be obtained from the manufacturer to ensure the nutrient composition goals are being met. Most over-the-counter dry foods are high in carbohydrate content, therefore a complete diet regimen tailored for your pet and recommended by the doctor will be the key to success in managing your pet effectively.
- Be vigilant about regularly scheduled wellness exams and vaccinations where diagnosis of health issues can be made early. Stick to your recommended intervals and schedule them in advance.
- Avoid fatty-processed store-bought treats and substitute with healthier treats. We’ll share lots of creative ideas at your appointment.
- Take advantage of WAH’S promotion for Diabetes Mellitus Screening for this month only. Click Here.