Could your pet be hiding signs of diabetes?
Find out during NATIONAL DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH
Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in peopole, and its also common in pets, especially cats. But signs of diabetes can be subtle. Also, cats have evolved an exceptional ability to hide signs of illness - a survival instinct that has helped them thrive, but may make it difficult for you to recognize your cat is sick until the disease has reached an advanced stage.
Anywhere between 1 in 100 to 1 in 500 cats develops diabetes,1 and according to experts, those numbers are expected to increase. Diabetes has been diagnosed in cats of all ages, both sexes (intact and neutered), and all breeds. It more frequently affects older cats, especially neutered males.
Experts believe feline diabetes results from several different factors. Key risk factors for diabetes in cats include:
- Genetic tendencies (predisposition)
- Other insulin-resistant disorders or conditions, such as chronic pancreatitis
- Physical inactivity
- Indoor lifestyle
If you feel your cat is at risk for developing diabetes, consider having your pet tested once a year during a regular examination.
Canine diabetes is quite common—anywhere between 1 in 100 to 1 in 500 dogs develops diabetes,1 and those numbers are expected to increase.Any dog could develop diabetes, but certain breeds are more likely to develop the condition. These breeds appear to be at greater risk for developing canine diabetes:
- Cocker Spaniels
- Doberman Pinschers
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Toy Poodles
Diabetes typically occurs when dogs are between 4 to 14 years old. Unspayed (intact) female dogs are twice as likely as male dogs to suffer from diabetes
The good news about diabetes is there are signs you can learn to recognize, if you know what to look for.
Take your pet to the veterinarian if you see any of these signs:
- Increased thirst and drinking more water than ususal.
- Urinating more than usual. If you use clumping litter, you may notice more clumps or larger clumps than you normally see in the litter box.
- Increased apptetit and eating more food than usual.
- Weight loss, even with increased food intake.
- Weakness in the back legs. You may notice your cat's stance is different.
Help - and hope - for pets with Diabetes
Finding out your pet has diabetes may seem overwheling, but you're not alone. To help you learn to manage the special care your pet will need your veterinarian may:
- Prescribe an insulin
- Show you how to inject insulin
- Recommend exercise or a special food
- Help you plan a home care routine
- Schedule regular checkups for your pet
With the right care, a diabetic pet can live a long and happy life!
Find out if your pet is at risk for diabetes by taking this quiz: http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/survey-page.asp