Diabetes in dogs and cats
By Dr. Lecavalier, DVM
Just like humans, cats and dogs can suffer from diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is known as the insulin-dependent form, the one which most commonly affects dogs whereas type 2 diabetes is not dependent on insulin. This is the form which most commonly affects cats, particularly those who are older, suffer from obesity as well as a lack of physical activity. The lack of insulin in the body affects the way the system metabolises sugars, resulting in a hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar level) and a glycosuria (elevated sugar level in the urine). The most commonly seen symptoms of diabetes include increased drinking and urination as well as an insatiable appetite.
Treatment of diabetes consists of giving insulin injections which allow blood sugar levels to return to normal, thus causing a resolution of clinical signs, an improved quality of life and avoiding complications such as chronic infections. Weight loss is essential in obese cats as well as treating concurrent diseases in order to have better overall control. It is also imperative to follow up with your veterinarian regularly to make sure the diabetes is well controlled and to prevent potential fatal complications.
For any other advice or questions, talk it over with your veterinarian!
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