Pet Diabetes: Do You Know What to Look For?
November is National Diabetes Month, an awareness holiday that we’ve graciously extended to our pals (hey, it’s what we do.) As a pet parent, it’s important to know the dish on diabetes – primarily its prevention, symptoms, and maintenance – to better help you recognize and correct a potentially deadly issue.
Diabetes is when your pal’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to process their body’s sugars properly. Just like in humans, pets can have Type I or Type II diabetes; Type I they’re born with (and is typically pretty rare), Type II is much more common and is usually developed during mid- to late-life as a result of being overweight. We repeat: being overweight is the no. 1 cause of diabetes in pets. The good news is – having an overweight pet is totally preventable. But if you’re worried your pet may be waddling the line, it’s important to know the signs of pet diabetes:
- Excessive thirst and urination (Hint: this is usually the most obvious and telling sign)
- Weight loss, usually over the back, despite having an overweight body.
- Weakness and/or lethargy
- Increased whiteness or cloudiness in the eyes
- Increased appetite
- Poor skin
If your pal is noticeably exhibiting any of these behaviors, it may be time to talk with your vet. And don’t forget to stay positive! Diabetes isn’t a death sentence – it’s absolutely manageable with daily glucose monitoring and insulin shots, just like in humans. Of course, the best thing you can do is make sure they never acquire diabetes in the first place by feeding them a quality diet rich in protein and devoid of excess grains and carbs, as those turn into unnecessary sugars when digested. Don’t forget that regular exercise plays a paramount role in their overall health, but it really boils down to what goes in their bellies. If you have any questions about pet diabetes, talk with your veterinarian about ways to treat or prevent it that are tailored specifically to your pal.
Does your pal live with diabetes? Tell us more about their journey on our Facebook page.