Animals, just like human, also can suffer from diabetes. In this post we’ll talk about diabetes in animals, how to identify it and treat it.
Diabetes in animals, as in humans, is caused by a metabolic disorder. This results in a total or partial absence of insulin, the hormone that synthesizes glucose. Since this is one of the main ways we get energy from food, it is an indispensable function. Now let’s take a look at how this affects pets, such as dogs and cats.
Man’s best friends, as we know dogs, can suffer from diabetes regardless of breed, sex or age, but it’s true that it tends to be frequent at 8 years of age and in females. As for the breed, the poodle and the schnauzer are the breeds most predisposed to suffer from this disease. There are other factors to take into account, such as obesity, pancreatitis and some drugs can cause it, such as corticoids.
But how do you know if your dog has diabetes? The combination of these next symptoms could indicate that your dog suffers from diabetes: eating more and drinking more water, along with increased urine production and weight loss. If these go unnoticed, it is possible that the animal has other complications, such as cataracts or urinary tract infection.
But don’t worry, there is treatment, just as with humans. Dogs with diabetes have to be treated with insulin for the rest of their lives and thanks to this, a diabetic dog can live as long as a healthy one. The dose of insulin will depend on the weight and needs of each dog, and this will be determined by the vet. It is also necessary to take care of the diet, so that it’s the same every day and at the same time; and of course, take them outdoors for exercise, as this helps to avoid hyperglycemia.
In the case of cats, the symptoms and treatment are very similar. The risk factors for a cat to suffer from diabetes are the following: inactivity, obesity, advanced age, genetic factors, infections and treatments with corticosteroids or progestogens. It has also been found that in the Burmese cat the frequency of diabetes is higher than that of the Common European cat.The treatment for a diabetic cat is insulin, a low carbohydrate diet and exercise as mentioned above.
However, unlike dogs, cats with diabetes can achieve remission of the disease, in other words, a permanent or temporary recovery, which usually manifests itself in the need to gradually reduce the dose of insulin to eventually do without it altogether. This may occur in the first three months of treatment or with appropriate treatment. In any case, the animal will have to continue with a healthy diet and exercise so that the disease doesn’t return.