Know the facts, reduce the risk
Spotting the signs of diabetes in your pets is crucial as just like us, our pets can suffer from the complex disease, but it isn’t always easily identifiable. During Diabetes Week, we wanted to raise awareness and share some advice about how you can help your pet by understanding what diabetes is, the causes and how to recognise the symptoms.
Diabetes is a complex disease with a range of signs that you can look out for. Diabetes occurs when our pet is unable to produce enough insulin or their body doesn’t react to insulin effectively.
A lack of or reduced response to insulin means your pet won’t be able to regulate the sugar levels in their blood, leading to some severe side effects.
Spotting the signs
Diabetes can be managed to give your pet a much better quality of life. Below are some of the signs you might want to look out for in your pet – to help you know when to consult the vet.
- Drinking more often
- Passing urine more frequently or in larger amounts
- Increase or loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Sleeping more or being less active
- Urinary tract infection.
Can diabetes be treated?
Diabetes cannot be cured but it can be effectively treated with careful management, following the advice of your vet. Any treatment plan will be tailored to address your pet’s specific condition.
Treatment can include:
- A balanced diet
- Regular exercise
- Insulin injections (you will be guided on how to administer these by your vet).
Keeping your pet healthy is vital in managing diabetes, in particular ensuring they don’t become overweight. Advice for avoiding this includes walking dogs daily, varying their walking routes to keep exercise interesting, combining games with walks and trying to avoid feeding them table scraps, which can unbalance their diets. If you are currently self-isolating or unable to leave the house, click here for some tips on how to exercise your pet during lockdown.
For cats, playtime is the best form of exercise, so they should be kept active with scratching posts and small toys.
If you are concerned about your pet and would like some further advice about diabetes, please contact your local branch.