Caring for your diabetic pets
No cure, but can be successfully managed
National Diabetes month is observed each November and includes World Diabetes Day on November 14.
This month is a time for communities across the country and world to shine a light on diabetes and increase awareness of the disease.
Our family pets can also be commonly affected with diabetes, with it being reported that between one in 100 to one in 500 dogs and cats are affected and some experts believe it is on the rise. Diabetes in pets and people are very similar and veterinarians use very similar medication, equipment and monitoring systems to those used in diabetic people.
Odie Mattock, pictured with his owner Dallas, was diagnosed with diabetes in July this year and has been receiving treatment from Matamata Veterinary Services.
Although Odie has developed issues with his sign ( which can occur in diabetes patients) he is still full of life. With ongoing monitoring of his glucose levels Odie has a positive outlook.
Diabetes mellitus (the medical name for diabetes) is a disease caused by lack of insulin.
When your pet eats, the food is broken down into very small components by the digestive system, glucose being one of these components.
Insulin is required for the cells to absorb glucose.
Healthy pets produce insulin easily but pets with diabetes don’t.
This means that the glucose builds up in the bloodstream which is damaging to your pet’s health.
Warning signs to be aware of that could mean your pet has diabetes include: Excessive thirst, excessive urination, excessive hunger whilst losing weight, being less active and sleeping more, thin dry dull hair and grooming themselves less.
Older, overweight and inactive pets are more at risk of developing diabetes.
In extreme circumstances your pet can get very sick, become very weak and stop eating altogether.
Your veterinarian will need to examine your pet and take some urine and blood samples to diagnose diabetes.
In dogs there is no cure for diabetes but it can be very successfully managed with the help of your veterinarian. In cats regression of the disease can occur with medication and management.
With effective treatment and monitoring, a diabetic dog or cat should have the same life expectancy as a non-diabetic dog or cat.
Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment help diabetic pets maintain a good quality of life.
If you have any concerns that your pet may be showing any of these signs please don’t hesitate to contact Matamata Veterinary Services to book an appointment with one of the veterinarians.
Animals affected: Odie Mattock, pictured here with owner Dallas, was diagnosed with Acute Onset Diabetes with severe life-threatening complications. After a period of intensive care at Matamata Veterinary Services he has been stabilised and has a good quality of life again.