November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month. Just as diabetes affects 30 million Americans, diabetes is also affecting our pets in increasing numbers. Obesity is a contributing factor. Over 50% of our pets are overweight, which increases their risk of developing diabetes.
WHAT PETS ARE AT RISK?
- Diabetes in cats and dogs can occur at any age. However, diabetic dogs are usually 4-14 years old and are diagnosed at 7-10 years of age. Diabetes occurs in female pups twice as often as male dogs.
- Most diabetic cats are older than 6 years of age.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF DIABETES?
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased appetite
- Weight loss and lethargy
- Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
- Chronic or recurring infections (including skin infections and urinary infections)
TESTING AND TREATMENT
Your vet will use blood and urine tests to diagnose diabetes. Treatment can include a consistent feeding schedule, insulin injections, glucose monitoring, and weight loss.
- Keep your pet at an ideal weight
- Control food intake
- Annual vet exam