November is National Diabetes Month, and while this month was originally designed to increase awareness of this common endocrine disease in humans, but we need to be aware of the growing prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) in dogs and cats also. Untreated, diabetes mellitus can be fatal.
Did you know that 1 in every 200 cats may be affected by DM? We at T&T have looked after a few pets that are diabetics including Cats and Dogs.
Clinical signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Inappropriate urination
- Weight loss (most commonly over the back), despite an overweight body condition
- Increased hunger
- Increased “whiteness” of the lens of the eye due to cataracts
- Poor skin condition (like excessive dandruff or an oily hair coat)
Certain breeds are more predisposed to DM.
In cats, breeds such as Siamese are over-represented.In cats, males are over-represented and typically seen in older pets ages 8-13 years in cats.
In dogs, breeds such as the Samoyed, Keeshond, miniature pinscher, Cairn terrier, Schnauzer, Australian terrier, dachshund, poodle, Beagle, and Bichon Frise are over-presented. In dogs, the female sex seems to be more likely to develop DM, with the disease being seen twice as frequently in female than in male dogs. DM is typically from 7-9 years of age in dogs, While juvenile (young) diabetes mellitus can also occur, this is less common.
For more information on how to care for your diabetic pet or if you suspect your pet may be diabetic, consult with your Veterinarian as soon as possible.
Have you ever had a Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic pet? How did you alter their lifestyle to ensure they were healthy and had the best chance for a great quality of life?