Like their owners, diabetes in dogs and cats is increasing in alarming numbers. Although the official cause of this disease is unknown, there are many known contributing factors, including genetics, obesity, and chronic pancreatitis. Also like humans, dogs and cats can develop both Type 1 (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) and Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) diabetes.
Left untreated or neglected, pet diabetes and its complications can shorten pets’ lives and severely erode their quality of life. The good news is that Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in Holmdel, NJ can develop a treatment plan for pets diagnosed with diabetes and work with owners in a process of early intervention to take positive steps towards avoiding a diabetes diagnosis.
What Types of Dogs Are at Risk for Diabetes?
Canine diabetes is a common condition that affects both male and female dogs. However, female dogs that aren’t spayed are twice as likely to develop diabetes as males. In terms of age, the most likely age of onset is between 4 and 14 years. Diabetes can strike any breed, but the following breeds are at greater risk for developing the disease during their lifetime:
- Cocker spaniels
- Doberman pinschers
- German shepherds
- Golden retrievers
- Labrador retrievers
- Toy poodles
What Types of Cats Are at Risk for Diabetes?
There are no specific breed risks for diabetes in cats, but advanced age and obesity are the most common causative factors. Contrary to canine diabetes, with feline diabetes, the males are more likely to develop the disease than females.
What Are the Symptoms of Pet Diabetes?
The symptoms of diabetes in dogs are similar to those in cats and include
- Increased thirst with accompanying increased water consumption
- Increased urination
- Ravenous appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
How Is Pet Diabetes Diagnosed and Treated?
At Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in Holmdel, NJ, we use laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes, and treatment is dependent upon the severity of the disease. Once diagnosed, the most important component of treatment is consistent compliance with prescribed medications, recommended feeding, and providing a stable, stress-free lifestyle.
Insulin administration, when needed for treatment, can be a scary prospect for owners, but it doesn’t have to be. Our medical staff will train and support you in learning the proper technique for glucose monitoring and administering insulin. Our goal is to work with you until your confidence allows you to take charge.
There will be times over the course of the disease when medications need to be adjusted and changes to diet may be warranted, but don’t worry; that’s common! While treatment varies from pet to pet, a successful outcome is possible with early diagnosis and treatment. There’s no cure for diabetes, but with control and appropriate monitoring and care, you can have many healthy years with your pet.
Is My Pet Diabetic?
November is National Pet Diabetes Month, so our mission is to bring awareness to this disease and encourage pet owners to have their pets tested. If you suspect that your pet is diabetic, schedule a laboratory test at Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in Holmdel, NJ today by calling (732) 671-3110. While initially a daunting diagnosis, diabetes is a treatable, manageable disease when you and our veterinarians work together.