Diabetes in Cats and Dogs
Diabetes is a disease process that often goes missed in our senior pets until they are very sick. Diabetes is a disease that is caused when the pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin, which is required for the body to efficiently use sugars, fats, and proteins. The body needs insulin to appropriately use the sugar, fat, and protein from the diet. Without insulin the sugars can build up in the blood and spill into the urine. This is when we see symptoms of pets urinating in large amounts frequently and drinking larger then normal quantities of water. It can also cause increased appetite due to the brain being sugar deprived. Diabetes usually occurs when cats and dogs are in middle age to senior years and is usually categorized as uncomplicated diabetes, pets with more complicated cases and symptoms such as vomiting, lack of energy, and a depressed mood, often are in ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is often treat-ed by hospitalizing the patient and giving them IV fluids as well as getting them regulated on insulin. The disease is regulated by giving insulin injections and checking their glucose levels regularly.
Diagnosing and preventing diabetes can be done often in a short visit to the veterinary clinic. It is recommended for middle aged pets to get annual blood work and for senior pets bi-annual blood work and exams. There are glucose levels that can be checked as well as a urinalysis which will indicate if there is an issue with your cat or dog’s glucose level. Diabetes can be prevented by keeping your pet at a healthy weight. This month we are offering free glucose testing for patients who are current on their yearly or for seniors bi-annual exam. Give us a call and we can get your pet scheduled to get their free glucose check!