Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

Just like us, diabetes is a disease that affects our furry companions, and more cases are diagnosed every year. We cannot cure diabetes, but with the proper care and treatments, it can be managed, and those affected can live long happy lives.

Diabetes Mellitus (DM)

In simple terms, this disease is a deficiency of the hormone insulin in the body. Insulin’s main job is to tell the body to use the glucose (the sugar we get when we digest what we eat) as energy. Deficiency can happen because the body isn’t producing enough insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) or because the body isn’t responding to the insulin that is being produced appropriately (Type 2 Diabetes). It results in the body thinking it is starving, and the body starts to break down its energy stores (fat and muscle), causing many problems to occur.

The Main Signs of DM

  • Excessive Eating
  • Urinating more frequently than normal
  • Drinking more water than usual / always thirsty
  • Weight Loss

Diagnosing and Treating

A pet showing the above signs should be seen by a veterinarian — blood work and urine testing are required to confirm diabetes. Because diabetes can affect different parts of the body, these tests will also look for any other problems/damage to the body that will need to be addressed. With a diet change and insulin therapy, most pets diagnosed can be treated and will live long comfortable lives.

If your pet is showing any of the above signs, or you suspect your pet has a problem, call us to book an appointment!

Written by: Elgin Animal Hospital