FCVC covers World Diabetes Day with Pets Awareness in November during National Diabetes Month. Just like people, our animals can also suffer from diabetes. One of the keys to controlling this disease is proper diet, which deters obesity. We bring you this information on the risk of cats and dogs to become diabetic from our friends at the ALVMA and PetDiabetesMonth.
World Diabetes Day Pets & You Together
Diabetes is an inability of the animal’s body to detect and regulate the uptake of glucose into the body. This is normally due to either an inability of the pancreas to produce insulin at all (Type 1) or the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin (Type 2).
This video is a good way to learn about feline and canine diabetes:
Diabetic Symptoms in Pets
Symptoms in pets include: excessive eating, excessive drinking, excessive urination, weight loss, persistent urinary tract infections and, possibly, cataracts.
Although numbers are hard to pinpoint, it is believed that the prevalence in our pets range from 1 in 100 to 1 in 1000. In one study, rates increased from 0.2% to 0.6% of pets in just 30 years.
Obesity is a BIG Factor
Experts worry that as our pets’ obesity epidemic continues, prevalence will rise as well. World Diabetes Day pets awareness is geared to draw pet parents attention to this dilemma.
Almost all dogs develop Type 1 diabetes. We don’t understand the exact reason why, but dogs that are obese or on corticosteroids for extended periods of time are predisposed to the disease.
Cats, on the other hand, are almost always Type 2 diabetics. This is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes. Like dogs, chubby cats and cats taking steroids routinely can develop a resistance to insulin. Additionally, chronic inflammation in the cat can create amyloid deposits that destroy normal pancreatic tissue.
Diabetes is Controllable
Diabetic dogs will almost always need to be on insulin for the remainder of their lives. Some cats can have their disease controlled and even reversed by good glucose control and proper diet.
Diabetic pets are managed with injectable insulin, a good consistent diet, proper exercise and weight loss.
There is a Pet Diabetes Tracker App that helps pet parents better track and manage the disease in dogs and cats. Manage everything — from food and water consumption to blood glucose curves. You can also create reminders and alerts so you are always prepared!
Take the Pet Diabetes Risk Quiz – Take the quiz and find out, then follow up with your vet for any next steps.
During the World Diabetes Day Pets awareness campaign, it should be noted that diabetes is not and should not be a death sentence for your pet. With proper training and consistent attention, you can help your pet live a long and wonderful life.
FCVC knows that it can take extra time to care for a diabetic pet. We know your pet is worth it and you can do it. If you need help figuring out how to care for your diabetic pet, let us work with you. Give us a call at 970-587-5140.