Humans aren't the only creatures that can be affected by diabetes. Our pets can also experience the uncomfortable symptoms of this condition. Here, our Citrus Heights internal medicine vets share some of the signs that can help you recognize diabetes in your pet and how it can be managed.
Diabetes in Pets & How It Affects Them
Diabetes mellitus is a condition that cats can develop when blood sugar, or glucose, cannot be effectively utilized and regulated by the body.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas and controls the flow of glucose to the body's cells in order to provide energy. If your pet's insulin levels are too low, glucose is unable to reach the cells as it should. When this happens, the pet's body begins breaking down fat and protein cells to use for energy, while the unused glucose gradually builds up in the bloodstream of your pet.
Type I and Type II Diabetes in Pets
- Type I (Insulin-Dependent) - Type I Diabetes is less common out of the two types. This type occurs when the pet's body is unable to produce or release enough insulin into the body.
- Type II (Non-Insulin Dependent) - Type II Diabetes is most common in older, obese pets. A pet with Type II diabetes produces enough insulin, but the tissues or organs do not respond appropriately to insulin and have become insulin-resistant.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats
A diabetic cat’s body breaks down protein and fat instead of using glucose, which means that even cats with a healthy or ravenous appetite, will often lose weight.
The symptoms that are most commonly seen by our internal medicine vets in Citrus Heights are:
- Increased Thirst
- Increased Urination
- Increased Appetite
- Lethargy / Weakness
- Diarrhea or Vomiting
- Walking Flat on Hind Legs
- Unhealthy Coat / Skin
Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs
If your dog is showing any of the symptoms listed below, you should schedule a visit to see your veterinary internist in Citrus Heights as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of diabetes, leading to routine veterinary internal medicine, can help to manage the symptoms of this condition.
The symptoms of diabetes in dogs include:
- Frequent Urination
- Excessive Thirst
- Excessive Appetite
- Unexplained Weight loss
- Visual Impairment / Blindness
- Lack of Energy
- Joint Stiffness / Weakness
- Dull Coat
- Diarrhea or Vomiting
Diabetes in pets that is left untreated can lead to a variety of debilitating, expensive, and potentially fatal conditions. If your pet is showing symptoms of diabetes it is important to seek veterinary care. While there is unfortunately no cure for Type I or Type II diabetes in pets, the accompanying symptoms can be managed using veterinary internal medicine.
Managing Diabetes in Family Pets
If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes your internal medicine vet will prescribe medications and ongoing treatments that will allow you to manage your pet's condition. Ongoing treatment for diabetes in pets using veterinary internal medicine in Citrus Heights typically involves:
- Daily insulin shots
- Regular daily exercise to help avoid spikes or sudden drops in glucose levels
- A special, internal medicine vet-recommended diet
- Close monitoring of your dog for changes in symptoms and overall health
- Regular veterinary internal medicine examinations
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.