November is National Pet Diabetes Month.
Originally intended to raise awareness among humans, diabetes month has extended to pets. We feel it’s important to share what we know about pet diabetes, primarily prevention, symptoms, and treatments.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to process sugars properly.
Just like us, pets can have Type I or Type II diabetes. Type I they’re born with and is considered relatively rare. Type II is more common, typically developed during mid- to late-life from being overweight. Please let that sink in: being overweight is the no. 1 cause of pet diabetes. The good news is – an overweight pet is perfectly preventable.
First, let’s talk about the main symptoms of pet diabetes:
- Excessive thirst and urination (Hint: This is a telltale sign, do not ignore)
- Weight loss, usually over the back, despite body being overweight.
- Increased appetite
- Poor skin
- Increased whiteness or cloudiness in the eyes
- Weakness and/or lethargy
If you notice your pet exhibiting any of these signs seemingly out of nowhere, it’s time to talk with your vet.
Diabetes can be a big lifestyle change for you and your pet (think: daily glucose monitoring and insulin shots.) The best thing you can do is make sure they never get diabetes in the first place. Feed them a diet high in protein without excess fat, which turns into unnecessary sugar. Exercise plays a major role in overall health, but what truly matters most is what goes in their bellies. If you have any questions about your pet’s health or blood sugar, talk with your veterinarian about ways to treat or prevent that are specific to your pet.
If you have a diabetic pet and can offer any tips or tricks to share with our Facebook community, please do!