Pet Diabetes FAQ's
Your answers to the more frequently asked questions about diabetes.
Did I Cause My Pet's Diabetes?
There is no certain answer for this question. Some pets are born diabetic, just as humans are. However, pet obesity is on the rise, and obese pets can readily develop diabetes. In fact, the best way to prevent pet diabetes is to keep your pets weight under control.
What's The Difference between Type I and Type II Diabetes?
Type I diabetes is where the body produces no insulin, and usually requires daily insulin injections. Type II is where the body can't make enough or can't properly use insulin.
What Is The Life Span Of My Diabetic Pet?
Unfortunately there is no way to accurately answer this question. It was only very recently that pets began to receive treatment for diabetes; in the past they were simply put to sleep. However, it is thought that a pet treated appropriately and monitored well for their diabetes should live a full, normal lifespan.
Will My Pet's Diabetes Go Away?
Some cats have a condition called transient diabetes where the pet occasionally doesn't need insulin. Sometimes the insulin levels can be affected by other problems. The cat may or may not need insulin in the future.
How Is Pet Diabetes Diagnosed?
Your vet will diagnose the symptoms of diabetes and check sugar levels in the blood and urine.
What Are Symptoms Of Diabetes?
Symptoms of pet diabetes are similar to human diabetes. Frequent urination, thirst and appetite are common symptoms, as are weight loss and bad breath. You may notice your pet eats more, but seems to be losing weight.
How Do I Manage My Pets Diabetes?
You will need to make sure your pet eats a healthy and balanced diet, and gets regular exercise. Especially for obese pets, regular exercise and a well monitored diet are essential. A veterinarian can teach you how to monitor your pet's blood glucose levels, and you may need to administer daily shots of insulin.
What Are Possible Complications Of Pet Diabetes?
Hypoglycemia can occur due to low blood sugar; symptoms can include wobbliness, seizure, weakness or coma. If you think your pet is hypoglycemic, rub some Karo syrup onto its gums. If it can, have it eat some food mixed with Karo syrup, which will bring sugar levels up. Other complications include cataracts and blindness in dogs, hind end weakness in cats and nerve damage. Diabetes doesn't mean the end of your pet. With proper and attentive management of their condition, you can expect your diabetic pet to live a long and happy life. Remember, preventing obesity is the easiest way to prevent pet diabetes.
Photo Credit: Chris Erwin