November is National Pet Diabetes Month

November is  National Pet Diabetes Month. A lot of people aren’t even aware that their pet can develop diabetes. Like diabetes in humans, there is no cure, but you can treat it. It is important to know that this disease is much more manageable with an early diagnosis.

Here are a few signs of diabetes to watch out for:

  1. Increased thirst
  2. Increased urination
  3. Increased hunger
  4. Obesity (a common risk factor for developing diabetes)
  5. Weight loss
  6. Weakness
  7. Thin or dull hair coat
  8. Cloudy eyes (Cataracts)
  9. Depression
  10. Vomiting

So if your pet has some of these signs what should you do?

Set up an appointment for your pet to see one of our doctors.  They will perform a physical exam, check blood work and run a urinalysis.

What if they have Diabetes?

Treatment is based on how severe the symptoms and lab work results are and if your pet has any other health concerns. Each pet will need a treatment plan tailored to their own individual needs.

Here are the basics:

*After being diagnosed, a veterinarian will prescribe insulin injections for your dog or cat. This is usually given twice daily. Your veterinarian will show you how to do this so that you can be comfortable giving the insulin at home.   While this might seem scary to someone who’s never done it before, it’s really easy. Insulin syringes are very tiny and the injection takes only seconds. (Watch the videos below to see how we give a cat and a dog injections with insulin syringes.)

*A diet change is needed most of the time as well. There are prescription foods available at your veterinarian that can really help your pet get back on track.

*Regular glucose checks are a critical part of monitoring and treating any diabetic patient. The majority of clients choose to drop their pet off at the veterinarian to spend the day and have the blood glucose curve checked there. Occasionally an owner will be able to get a monitor and check their pets curve at home.

It might be a scary thing to find out your pet has diabetes but it is a manageable disease and many diabetic pets live happy, healthy lives.

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