Can My Pet Get Type 2 Diabetes?
Yes. Pets can develop Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is often called juvenile onset diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes, and happens when the animal does not produce enough insulin. With Type 1 diabetes, the animal will require a regular insulin injection. Type 1 diabetes is usually the result of genetics or poor pancreas function. Type 2 diabetes, also called adult onset or non-insulin dependent, is far more common than type 1 diabetes. In Type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin as well as having an insulin deficiency, and is usually caused by poor diet and exercise habits.
Can My Pet Live With Type 2 Diabetes?
Your pet will be able to manage just fine with some help from you. While you may not need to perform daily insulin injections on your pet, you will need to closely monitor your pet. Your pet may need supplemental insulin or periodic injections to keep it healthy. So long as you keep the diabetes under control, there is no reason to expect serious or long term health problems. However, the key to living with diabetes is regular maintenance of the disease; managing the disease is the only way to prevent further health complications. Your vet will recommend a lifestyle changes such as a special diet, monitoring food intake for weight control, and possibly medication.
Signs of Diabetes
You may not know right away if your pet has diabetes. You might notice them acting different, seeming worn out or drinking and eating more, but still losing weight. These are all signs of diabetes, and also common warning signs of an illness in your pet. Because your pet cannot tell you specifically what is wrong, you need to pay attention them and be on the lookout for odd or abnormal behavior. Common signs of diabetes include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss or gain
- Decreased mobility
- Depression or anxiety
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Complications of Diabetes
Diabetes can have long term health complications. However, vets cannot stress enough that the easiest way to treat these health complications is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Be aware of your pets behavior, and be sure to call your vet with any concerns. Nerve damage from diabetes may cause muscle deterioration and weakness, so if you notice your pet is unable to run, jump or play as they used to, call the vet. Another common sign of diabetes is cataracts, which appear as cloudy areas in the eye. This can cause blindness if not treated properly. Other complications of diabetes include kidney and liver disease, gingivitis, gastrointestinal problems, and urinary tract infections. With appropriate care and management, you can expect your diabetic pet will live a full, happy life.
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