Did you know that diabetes isn’t just a threat to humans? Thousands of pet are diagnosed every year. November is Diabetes Pet Awareness month so read on to find out about your pet’s risk factors and what to do!
Diabetes Risk Factors
Weight is likely the largest factor for both pets and humans. An overweight pet is far more likely to develop diabetes as they age than a fit pet is. A great incentive to measure your pets daily food and limit treats. Animals that eat a high carbohydrate diet are also at greater risk. Did you know that dogs don’t actually need carbohydrates? Yet most pet foods are primarily composed of corn or wheat. When buying pet food choose the option with the highest protein & fat content, and lowest carb content.
Two other genetic risk factors show that female dogs and male cats both have higher rates of diabetes than their opposites.
Symptoms of diabetes in pets
- Vomiting and Dehydration
- Excessive drinking & urination
- Loss of Appetite
Pretty generic symptoms that are applicable to lots of different issues. If these are combined with any of the risk factors we already listed, be sure to ask your vet.
Living with a diabetic pet
Unfortunately once diabetes has been diagnosed, daily insulin injections become part of the routine. Your vet should be able to direct you on how to give the daily shot and store the insulin. It may be necessary for you to track your pet’s glucose levels throughout the day to help better understand when they rise and fall so you can adjust their insulin dosage accordingly. Sometimes you only need to do so until you’ve established a routine, while some pets may always need this service. Dietary changes will need to be made too. Since each animal is different your vet will need to direct you on these. Frequently you will need to feed your pet more often, but in smaller quantities.
Be sure to share your pets specialty needs with your pet nanny, pet sitter, or any other person who may care for them in your absence.
Struggling? See if you can find a diabetic pet support group nearby or online to help support you and your pet!