Symptoms and Treatment
Many pet owners are surprised to learn that diabetes occurs in both dogs and cats, and has been increasing over time. What's more, the one thing veterinarians often see is the pattern of illness differs in each animal, and so the dietary advice and a course of treatment is not the same for each.
If you believe your pet may have diabetes, it's best to seek veterinary care that will get you an answer. At Sutton Road Animal Hospital— serving Streamwood, Illinois and surrounding areas — our veterinarians and staff will provide a diagnosis of the health problem itself, as well as advice on the recommended diet and exercise your pet needs to live a happy and healthy life.
What is Pet Diabetes?
To put it simply, diabetes occurs when the body fails to use glucose (blood sugar) normally, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. When a pet is diagnosed, it means a couple of things: first, there is not enough glucose transported into the body’s cells. Then, as a result, there is not enough energy for the body's cells to function normally.
In the above scenario, tissues in the body become starved for energy and begin to break down both fat and muscle tissue. The sequence of events ends with the liver converting fat and muscle tissue to sugar, resulting in weight loss often seen in diabetic animals.
What Are Some Other Warning Signs of Diabetes in Pets?
While weight loss is one of the early signs of diabetes, the AVMA says there are others that would indicate your pet should be seen by a veterinarian. They include:
- Age (dogs are usually 4-14 years of age and most diagnosed at roughly 7-10 years old; most diabetic cats are older than 6)
- Increased appetite early on and Decreased appetite as the disease progresses
- Drinking more than normal
- Increased urination
- Eyes that are 'cloudy' in appearance
- Recurring infections (such as urinary tract infections)
What is the Treatment for Pet Diabetes?
In 2018, The American Animal Hospital Association released updated AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. In both animals, the mainstay treatment for diabetes is insulin, along with dietary modifications.
In felines, fairly quick remission is considered a reasonable goal. In fact, predictors of diabetic remission include achieving excellent glycemic control within six months, along with the use of intensive home monitoring, use of insulin, and a low-carbohydrate diet.
In dogs, treatment always requires insulin therapy and steps to address other issues like obesity. Dietary therapy is commonly needed, along with other medications.
If you have questions or concerns about pet diabetes, call Sutton Road Animal Hospital today at 847-742-8298 or visit us in Streamwood at 10 Southwicke Drive.