Diabetes mellitus leads to elevation of blood glucose, or blood "sugar" which is too high. A hormone called insulin regulates blood sugar. Like people, if your pet's body does not produce enough insulin, he or she may develop diabetes. This is a common illness in dogs and cats, as well as people.
Although there is no known cause, overweight pets run a greater risk to become a diabetic, just like people do. A good and sensible diet is important, especially in older pets.
Some signs of diabetes may include heavier water consumption with more frequent urination. Weight loss can signify diabetes. Although certainly other illnesses could cause these symptoms, diabetes should always be considered as a possible cause.
Diabetes affects mostly middle-aged to older pets. It is most commonly found in overweight females, and certain dog breeds are more likely to have diabetes. Cats develop diabetes more often than dogs, and male cats are twice as likely to have diabetes than female cats.
Your veterinarian should be consulted about how to treat diabetic pets. Insulin injections are typically required to stablize blood sugar, although some cats can be stabilized with a proper diet and oral medications. Once your pet has been tested and found positive, treatment begins. Frequent trips to the vet will be necessary to monitor your pet's progress, and it may take some time to regulate your pet's insulin requirements.
Be sure to feed your pet as your veterinarian recommends. Exercise your pet often - the more exercise your pet gets, the less insulin his body requires. Give your pet his medication at the same time each day, and do not give him the medication if he is not eating.
Your diabetic cat or dog can live a happy life for many years with proper treatment and care.