Diabetes affects pets, just like people. November is Pet Diabetes Month. This entire month is geared towards spreading awareness, but keeping your precious pet healthy all-year-long matters. Today, we’re going to go over the signs and symptoms of diabetes in pets. We’ll also discuss diagnosis, treatment, and how to take care of a pet with diabetes.
When you notice the signs early, it makes a significant difference in preserving your pet’s life. If you notice any of these symptoms, one of our veterinarians should examine your pet:
- Excessive Water Drinking & Urination
- Weight Loss (even when your pet seems to have an increase in appetite)
- Lack of Appetite
- Hazy Eyes
- Chronic Infections (e.g., skin and urinary tract infections)
You can suspect that your pet has diabetes based on the signs and symptoms mentioned. However, a veterinarian needs to confirm the diagnosis by finding consistent hyperglycemia (high levels of sugar or glucose in the blood) and glucosuria (glucose in the urine). Typically, the diagnosis of diabetes is clear. However, a veterinarian may need to run other tests to rule out any other potential causes for abnormalities in initial lab findings.
If your pet does indeed have diabetes, a veterinarian will prescribe insulin specifically for your pet. Unlike many medications, insulin cannot be administered orally. It has to be injected underneath the skin. If you’re worried about this process, we understand. A veterinarian or veterinary technician will teach you how to give insulin injections. The needle is tiny, and most pets generally take well to the injections. Just like with people, pets need their glucose levels monitored. A veterinarian will adjust your pet’s regimen based on your pet’s glucose levels. A healthy diet is an impactful part of keeping your pet’s health where it should be. In a nutshell, successful diabetes treatment includes:
- Regular Examinations
- Blood/Urine Tests
- Controlling Your Pet’s Weight
- Monitoring Your Pet For Any Changes Especially Their Drinking/Urinating Habits
Taking Care of a Diabetic Pet
When a pet has diabetes, you have a lifelong commitment to ensuring they are eating right, exercising, and getting their necessary insulin doses. The key to successful diabetes treatment is keeping glucose levels under control. High and low glucose levels can be life-threatening. For dogs, high-fiber food is excellent. For cats, meals with high-protein and low carbohydrates are ideal. Also, ensure that you maintain the proper insulin and feeding schedule that we recommend. Most importantly, keep a positive mindset. Our team of veterinary professionals will be there to guide you through the process every step of the way!
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!