November Declared Pet Diabetes Month
Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013 – 6:45am
Diabetes in a hot topic in both human and animal medicine these days. This is a common disease in our dogs and cats, just like it is in people. The early signs can be subtle, so knowing what to look for is important, as early detection can improve the response to treatment significantly. To help raise awareness, November has been declared National Pet Diabetes Month.
Diabetes mellitus, the medical term for “sugar diabetes,” is a disease that affects the level of glucose, or sugar, in your pet’s blood. Diabetes results from a shortage of insulin or when the body has trouble properly using the insulin it has made. Approximately one in 580 dogs and one in 200 cats develop diabetes according to Holly Brianceau, DVM, technical services specialist with Intervet, Inc. Any dog can develop diabetes but it frequently affects middle- aged to older dogs, especially unsprayed females. In felines, it frequently affects, older cats, especially neutered males. There are significant distinctions to be made between diabetic dogs and cats. In dogs, it is typical to develop Type I diabetes, which results from a deficiency in insulin production from the pancreas. Diabetes in cats is usually Type II, which results from decreased sensitivity to insulin.
Client education on diabetes is very important, specifically detection. Owners must be relied on to notice the four early signs, which are as follows:
Polydipsia- Increased thirst
Polyuria- Increased urination
Polyphagia – Increased appetite
During your pet’s annual wellness checkup, your veterinarian will ask about changes in urination and thirst in an effort to detect diabetes at the early stages. Additional information on diabetes can be found on www.petdiabetesmonth.com..
Although there is no cure for diabetes, your pet can lead a long, healthy and active life with proper management. This includes insulin therapy, proper diet, and exercise. If caught early in cats there may be a chance for remission of the disease.
For more information please visit www.penbayvets.com. Our website includes a searchable database of veterinary-approved pet health articles.