Like humans, our pets can develop diabetes, a condition where the body cannot use sugar in the form of glucose. Many pets remain in the shelters because they have diabetes, and some owners may even surrender their pets after they develop this condition. However, pet diabetes can be managed and may be easier to deal with than you realize. Do not let diabetes prevent you from adopting or enjoying a long life with your pet.
While diabetes in pets is not super common. Pets that are obese, inactive, or aged are at higher risk as are males who have been neutered. Your pet's breed and genetics can also play a role. Signs that your pet might have diabetes include excessive drinking or peeing, weight loss even when they eat a lot, dull fur, and lethargy. In cats, lack of grooming is a sign while dogs may develop cloudy eyes. Your vet can perform blood tests to diagnose the condition.
What Happens When Your Pet Has Diabetes?
When your pet has diabetes, it's unable to produce or use insulin correctly, which makes it difficult to convert the food your pet eats to the energy it needs. Extra sugar from the food remains in your pet's bloodstream, and this can cause issues such as lethargy, among other concerns. Because there is no cure to diabetes, it's important to follow a veterinarian-recommended treatment plan.
Pets with diabetes often need insulin injections daily. However, this is not as difficult as it sounds because animals often go along with it easier than you would think. You can work with your vet to develop a routine that works for both you and your pet.
You must monitor your pet's glucose levels and food intake to keep glucose at healthy levels. A diet high in protein but low in carbohydrates, which convert to sugar, is often recommended for pets with diabetes. This prevents sugar from building up in your pet's blood. For this reason, free feeding is not the best idea for pets with diabetes because it's so crucial that your pet does not ingest carbs than is healthy for their weight. Scheduled feeding helps prevent overeating and is useful if you have multiple pets in your home.
Of course, regular vet checkups help monitor your pet's health and condition. When diabetes is under control, your pet can experience a typical and healthy life. In fact, some pets are able to reduce their need for insulin with proper feeding and care. However, a pet with diabetes is not for everyone, and improper care can lead to other conditions.
Get Help with Pet Diabetes
Call Katy Area Veterinary Medical Group to make an appointment if you suspect your pet has diabetes. You can call our office at 281-398-1551!