Diabetes Mellitus can affect both dogs and cats. At any one at Vetcare we are treating between 40 and 50 pets with diabetes. The good news is that it is easy to diagnose, easy to treat and with good monitoring all diabetic pets can go on to lead a very normal quality of life.
It is caused by a failure of the pancreas to make insulin which it turn prevents cells from taking up glucose for fuel. Without treatment this will eventually be life threatening so early diagnosis is essential.
Symptoms include excessive thirst and urination, incontinence in the house, increased hunger, weight loss, lethargy and a thinning, dry coat.
If your cat or dog suffers from any of these symptoms then you should come and see us. We may do a quick blood test to check the glucose levels and ask for a urine sample to check for glucose there too (diabetic pets leak glucose into their urine). We will probably do a complete blood profile to check for other conditions that can cause increased thirst (like kidney disease for example) and sometimes need to do tests to make sure the diabetes isn’t complicated by other conditions like Cushing’s disease.
Treatment is easy – usually twice daily insulin is given. Then with appropriate diet modification and treatment monitoring your pet can lead a normal life. Our Nurses run a Free Diabetic Club where ongoing care and monitoring is given and from time to time you will see the Veterinary Surgeon. We encourage home monitoring of glucose levels and most pets (and owners) tolerate the treatment required really well.
If you have any questions about Diabetes please contact us.