November is pet diabetes month. Pet diabetes is more common than you might think. Anywhere between 1 in 100 and 1 in 500 dogs suffer from diabetes. Cocker spaniels, terriers, golden retrievers, and certain other breeds are more likely to develop canine diabetes.
Diabetes is just as common in cats as it is in dogs. Feline diabetes is most often found in older cats and male cats who have been neutered.
Pet diabetes is almost exactly the same as human diabetes. Diabetes mellitus occurs when your pet’s body has a shortage of insulin or is unable to properly use the insulin it is making. Without insulin your pet may become malnourished and fatigued because insulin is needed to absorb glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar that has been broken down from carbohydrates that your pet consumes.
In the past, a diagnosis of diabetes would significantly shorten your pet’s life. Fortunately, with consistent treatment, your cat or dog can now live a lifespan comparable to pets without diabetes.
You should consult your vet if your pet displays any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination