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Pet Diabetes Month

Posted 11.01.14 by Kim Swift

We all love food.

Our pets love food, and we love our pets, so we all give in to those sweet, puppy dog eyes and sneak a treat, maybe even a little people food.

Although a little indulgence here and there may seem like no big deal, obesity is the number one disease in our furry friends, and obesity is growing at an alarming rate. November is Pet Diabetes Month, and recognizing a growing problem amongst our dog and cat populations may help decrease the incidence of diabetes.

pet food and diabetes

 

Most animals that become diabetic are middle to old age, but additional risk factors include obesity, genetics and breed. Any breed can get diabetes, but Miniature Schnauzers, Poodles, Dachshunds, Siamese cats, and orange cats are at a higher risk for developing diabetes. Common signs of diabetes include drinking more water, urinating more frequently, increased hunger, and lethargy. Diabetes is diagnosed by performing blood and urine testing, particularly by checking the glucose (sugar) level of the blood.

Once your pet has been diagnosed with diabetes, daily insulin injections are needed, just like in treatment of human diabetes. It is important to keep them on a high protein, low carbohydrate and low fat diet. One of the toughest restrictions of managing a diabetic animal is that they should no longer receive treats. Giving treats throughout the day makes sugar regulation very difficult.

pet diabetes controlDiabetes predisposes animals to developing other health problems, such as pancreatitis, urinary tract infections, and skin infections. Another long-term complication in dogs is the development of cataracts, which if go untreated can result in glaucoma and loss of vision. In cats, we can see problems with nerves preventing them from using their legs normally. In addition to being detrimental to your pet’s health, diabetes can also be expensive! Diabetes is a lifelong problem and requires regular veterinary visits, repeated testing, prescription diets, and insulin.

The best way to prevent your pet from developing diabetes is to keep them from getting overweight, limiting fatty treats, and keeping them active. If you have any questions, would like to discuss a weight loss plan for your pet, or are concerned that your pet may be diabetic, please call your veterinarian!

 

 

This post was written by Dr. Apryl Barton. Dr. Barton attended Veterinary School at Ohio State University and works at our Poplar@Massey location!

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