Diabetes is an all too common condition that affects more than 30 million people. The term refers to a category of disease conditions that affect the way the patient’s body handles sugar in the blood. But humans are not the only ones who are susceptible to this disease. When pet diabetes strikes, it often comes as a surprise. Many people believe they are giving their pets a healthy diet, only to learn their favorite pet food is not as healthy as they thought.
The Symptoms of Pet Diabetes
Unfortunately, our pets cannot tell us about the symptoms of diabetes. Here are a number of signs that you can observe:
- Increased thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Frequent urination
- Unexpected weight loss
- The presence of ketones in the urine
- Sore that are slow to heal
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infection of sores and orifices
What is Pet Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus occurs when the body loses its ability to process glucose. Glucose is an important source of energy for all of the cells of the body, especially the brain. In humans, type 1 diabetes is triggered when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is when the body does not use insulin properly.
Different types of animals are vulnerable to diabetes at specific age ranges. Dogs, for example, are most vulnerable to the disease between the ages of 4 and 14. Cats are most susceptible once they are 6 years old and older. Female dogs are more than twice as susceptible to diabetes as male dogs.
In addition to age, the most important risk factor of pet diabetes is obesity. Just like in humans, the best way to avoid this condition is to eat a healthy diet with a minimum of refined sugars and to get plenty of physical exercise.
How to Care for Diabetic Pets
Diabetic animals usually require special care for the duration of their lives. The most common way we address a diabetic pet is by catering to their special dietary needs and helping the animal to engage in regular exercise.
High or low blood sugar can be deadly for a diabetic pet, just as it can be for a diabetic human. That’s why awareness is so important.
If your pet has developed diabetes, it is very important to work closely with your veterinarian to treat the condition and promote the wellbeing of the animal.
Call Hickory Grove Animal Hospital Today!
This time of year, when food is on all of our minds, we take the time to foster awareness of the problem of pet diabetes.
To learn more, get in touch with Hickory Grove Animal Hospital in Charlotte, NC.