Thank you for visiting Thomas Labs
Understanding Diabetes in Pets

Understanding Diabetes in Pets

It’s estimated that 1 in 300 dogs will develop diabetes during their lifetime, and 1 in 230 cats will develop diabetes. And the problem only seems to be getting worse.

According to the 2016 State of Pet Health report, canine diabetes has increased 79.7% since 2006, while feline diabetes has increased 18.1% over the same time frame.

November is National Pet Diabetes Month. We understand that diabetes in pets can be overwhelming, but proper monitoring and management of diabetes can help your pet live a long, happy life!

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, occurs when the body can’t produce or utilize insulin properly. Insulin has the important role of transporting glucose from the bloodstream to the cells, which turns it into energy to fuel the body.

Glucose is a type of sugar, and it’s the main source of energy for cells in the body. When the body doesn’t produce or utilize insulin normally, glucose starts accumulating in the blood. Because glucose can’t reach the cells, there isn’t enough energy for the cells or tissues.

Understanding Type I and Type II Diabetes

Diabetes is often classified as either Type I or Type II, especially in humans. Type I occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, and Type II occurs when the body doesn’t utilize insulin properly.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, diabetes in pets is sometimes classified as Type I or II, but the difference between the types is less clear in pets.

Risk Factors for Diabetes

There are a few risk factors that make some pets more susceptible to developing diabetes than others.

  • Obesity
  • Certain breeds - Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, and Dachshunds as well as Burmese, Maine Coon, and Siamese cats
  • Genetics
  • Age - Older dogs and cats are at a higher risk of developing diabetes
  • The long-term use of medications that contain corticosteroids
  • Other diseases - Cushing’s disease and pancreatitis

Signs of Diabetes in Pets

Some of the different signs of diabetes in pets include:

  • Increased urination
  • Excessive water drinking
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss, sometimes with increased hunger
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Recurring infections, such as urinary and skin infections

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, it’s important to contact your vet. Diagnosing diabetes early gives your pet a better chance of living a long, happy life.

Treating Diabetes in Pets

Unfortunately, diabetes can’t be cured. Diabetes in dogs and cats is treated by managing your pet’s diet and monitoring your pet’s appetite, weight, drinking, and urination. It also commonly involves daily insulin injections, regular exercise, blood and urine tests, and regular exams.

If left untreated, diabetes in pets can lead to a variety of other health issues. Early detection and proper management are key for your pet’s overall health and happiness!

Sign up to receive deals and information