This November we are urging pet owners to join us in recognizing Pet Diabetes Month by educating themselves about this serious condition.
Signs of the disease can be difficult to spot, and can even be mistaken as symptoms of other conditions, such as hypothyroidism or kidney disease. But as long as pet owners are educated and vigilant, early diagnosis is possible
Dogs and cats with diabetes usually sleep more, and are more lethargic during the day. Dogs with diabetes can have cloudy
eyes, while cats may have thinning hair and weak hind legs. Pets with canine or feline diabetes also exhibit three additional symptoms — polydipsia, or increased water intake; polyuria, or increased urination; and polyphagia, or increased appetite. Sudden weight loss can sometimes be a good indicator that a dog or cat may have diabetes. Animals exhibiting these signs should see a veterinarian immediately; failure to treat diabetes in pets can lead to some devastating and life-threatening health issues.
While there is no cure for pet diabetes, there are ways to successfully manage the disease. Cats diagnosed with feline diabetes typically have a normal life expectancy — as long as their owners help them maintain a proper diet, a healthy lifestyle, and check their blood glucose levels as directed by their veterinarian, cats with diabetes usually live just as long as cats without.
And while diabetic dogs once faced a much shorter life expectancy than their healthy counterparts, living on average only 2 to 5 years after their diabetes diagnosis, things are turning around for canines living with this disease. As long as the dog’s blood glucose concentration is closely managed by a responsible owner, and as long as that diabetic dog does not develop any other health complications, dogs with canine diabetes can often expect to live just as long as dogs without the condition.