Pet Diabetes Month November
Pet diabetes month has been created to raise awareness nationwide about diabetes in cats and dogs.
Diabetes is becoming increasingly common in both cats and dogs especially over the age of 6 years old. Overweight pets and certain breeds are more at risk than others of this disease.
Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs and Cats
Pet diabetes is a condition where the concentration of sugar within your dog’s or cat’s blood is too high.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas in response to several things but mainly elevated blood glucose concentrations. It is responsible for the uptake of glucose by many body cells, which in turn lowers the blood concentration. Glucagon hormone, also produced by the pancreas, has the opposite effect of insulin.
Diabetes typically occurs when the body makes too little insulin or it does not respond to insulin properly because of antagonistic factors. Obesity is a frequent antagonistic factor, as are the hormones cortisol and progesterone, which tend to promote the increase of blood glucose concentration. Consequently, diabetes is more common in unneutered bitches and dogs with adrenal gland disease. It is more common in middle-aged to older animals, typically over 6 years old. Certain breeds appear to be predisposed to diabetes.
Types of breed which diabetes is more likely to affect
- Alaskan malamute
- Miniature schnauzer
- Chow chow
- Doberman pinscher
- Labrador retriever
- Old English Sheepdog
- Golden retriever
- Miniature pinscher
- English Springer spaniel
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Finnish Spitz
- West Highland white terrier
- Cairn terrier
We have listed breeds for which there is a general consensus among those investigating in this field and among veterinary practitioners, that the condition is significant. Pedigree analysis has, however, apparently identified a genetic predisposition in Keeshonds and Samoyeds.
Early diagnosis is vital
Just like all illnesses, the sooner the issue is diagnosed and treated the more chance of success. With diabetes there are some tell-tale signs which you can look out for these are:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss despite constant hunger
If your pet is either one of the above breeds, overweight and over six years of age they may be at a larger risk than average of diabetes. The more categories your pet falls into the higher the risk. In this case, we would certainly recommend you have your pet checked for diabetes at our veterinary centre.
In the circumstances of your pet not falling into any of the above categories, although the chance of diabetes may be lower, you may want them to have them tested for your peace of mind. Even young healthy pets can sometimes develop the disease. Early diagnosis is key, this can be treated and your pet can go on to live a full and healthy life. A urine test is a very good initial screening test for diabetes. So collecting a sample before attending the practice is very useful.
Book an appointment to have your cat or dog tested
If you have any concerns regarding your cat or dog and diabetes, please make an appointment to get them checked. Early diagnosis is important to treat your pet and for them to go on and live a healthy life. You will find all our details on our Contact Us Page.
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