Di­a­betes in dogs and cats

Talk of the Town - - Neighbourly Notes / Diarise This -

DI­A­BETES mel­li­tus oc­curs when the pan­creas does not pro­duce enough in­sulin or when the cells do not re­spond to in­sulin.

In­sulin is re­quired for the body to ef­fi­ciently use sug­ars, fats and pro­teins.

Di­a­betes most com­monly oc­curs in mid­dle-aged to older dogs and cats, but oc­ca­sion­ally oc­curs in young an­i­mals.

When di­a­betes oc­curs in young an­i­mals, it is of­ten genetic and may oc­cur in re­lated an­i­mals.

Di­a­betes mel­li­tus oc­curs more com­monly in fe­male dogs and in male cats.

Cer­tain con­di­tions pre­dis­pose a dog or cat to de­vel­op­ing di­a­betes, such as an­i­mals which are over­weight or have in­flam­ma­tion of the pan­creas.

Some drugs can also in­ter­fere with in­sulin, lead­ing to di­a­betes, such as cor­ti­sone-type drugs and hor­mones used for heat con­trol.

These are com­monly used drugs but only a small per­cent­age of an­i­mals re­ceiv­ing these drugs de­velop di­a­betes af­ter longterm use.

The body needs in­sulin to use sugar, fat and protein from the diet for en­ergy.

With­out in­sulin, sugar ac­cu­mu­lates in the blood and spills into the urine.

Sugar in the urine causes the pet to pass large amounts of urine and to drink lots of water.

Lev­els of sugar in the brain con­trols ap­petite. With­out in­sulin, the brain be­comes sugar-de­prived and the an­i­mal is con­stantly hun­gry, yet they may lose weight due to im­proper use of nu­tri­ents from the diet.

Un­treated di­a­betic pets are more likely to de­velop in­fec­tions and com­monly get blad­der, kid­ney, or skin in­fec­tions.

Di­a­betic dogs, and rarely cats, can de­velop cataracts in the eyes too.

Fat also ac­cu­mu­lates in the liver of an­i­mals with di­a­betes.

Less com­mon signs of di­a­betes are weak­ness or ab­nor­mal gait due to nerve or mus­cle dam­age.

The di­ag­no­sis of di­a­betes is made by find­ing a large in­crease in blood sugar and a large amount of sugar in the urine.

Con­sult your vet­eri­nar­ian if you sus­pect your pet is di­a­betic.

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