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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Does your Pet have Diabetes

More than likely you have heard and / or know individuals with diabetes. I must say that me, my husband and my son are all diabetics. Diabetes is a condition where the body can not use glucose as normal individuals do. The body cells normally use glucose for energy. Insulin , a hormone made in pancreas that helps control glucose levels in the blood.

During digestion food will pass through the intestines absorbing nutrients including sugar. Sugars are transported into the cells of the intestine where they are converted into simple sugars glucose. For those that do not have enough insulin or are unable to use insulin glucose will build up in the blood.  This is called hyperglycemia. When the blood glucose reaches a certain level the glucose overflows into the unie and pulls water out as well. Diabetic pets will drink more water and urinate more frequently

Dogs and cats may develop diabetes at any age. Most diabetic cats are older than 6 years of age and dogs between 4 to 14 with female dogs developing diabetics twice as often. Risk factors for our pets to development of diabetes include

  • obesity
  • age
  • overactivity in the thyroid gland (may also develop pancreatitis, heart disease, kidney disease, urinary and skin infections.) 
  • long term use of medications containing corticosteroids

Ear;u signs of diabetes in our pets is important to notice early. If any signs are noticed your vet should be notified and your pet examined. Early diagnosis makes longer life and better outcome. Watch for these signs:

  • excessive water drinking 
  • increased urination
  • weight loss
  • decreased appetite
  • dogs cloudy eyes
  • cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
  • chronic or recurring infections including skin and urinary

After vet offers diagnosis your vet may run additional blood tests to rule out other medical conditions seen in older pets. The vet will prescribe insulin for your pet. Your vet or vet tech should teach you how to give insulin injections. The pet will most likely be placed on a diet. Continuous exams , blood and urine tests and monitoring pets weight, appetite, drinking and urination. 

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