November is Pet Diabetes Month!

Crosspoint Veterinary Hospital, Covington, Louisiana
November 2018

Furrst things furrst, what is pet diabetes?

Pets with diabetes cannot produce or utilize insulin properly, preventing the conversion of food to energy. Without the conversion to energy, the extra sugar left in the blood leads to lethargy and other health problems. Diabetes cannot be cured, but with proper treatments and monitoring your pet can live a long, happy life!

Diabetes is a condition that affects the concentration of glucose, or sugar, in your dog/cat’s blood. Diabetes occurs when your dog/cat’s body makes too little insulin, stops producing it completely, or doesn’t utilize insulin properly.

When your dog/cat eats, carbohydrates are converted into several types of simple sugars, including glucose. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the blood, where it travels to cells throughout the body. Inside cells, insulin helps turn glucose into fuel. If there’s too little insulin available, glucose can’t enter cells and can build up to a high concentration in the bloodstream. As a result, a dog/cat with diabetes may want to eat constantly, but will appear malnourished because its cells can’t absorb glucose.

Secondly, is diabetes the same for my dog/cat as it is for people?

Diabetes in dog/cats does resemble diabetes in humans. In fact, your veterinarian will be using medication, equipment, and monitoring systems for your pet that are similar to those used for people with diabetes.

  • • Daily insulin injections are usually required to restore your pet’s insulin level and control blood glucose levels. Many dog/cat owners are anxious about giving their pet injections at first, but it can be simpler than you think. With help from your veterinarian, you can quickly learn how to handle the dosing routine with little stress for you or your dog/cat.
  • • Diet also plays a vital role in helping to keep your dog/cat’s diabetes regulated. Your veterinarian can recommend a diet that is best for the needs of your pet. A high-quality, consistent source of protein is an essential part of any diabetic diet. High-protein, low-carbohydrate foods are currently recommended for diabetic dog/cats because they provide the extra energy dogs/cats need to get through their active days, without the extra carbs that can turn into excess sugar. It is important to feed your pet based on its ideal body weight. Consistent timing and size of meals is also very important.
  • • Regular veterinary checkups are necessary for monitoring potential changes in your pet’s condition. Careful monitoring helps to successfully manage this disease over time.

Some common signs of diabetes in cats includes:

  • • Excessive thirst
  • • Excessive urination—your pet produces more urine per day or has “accidents” outside the litterbox
  • • Excessive hunger while losing weight
  • • Lethargy (less active/sleeps more)
  • • Doesn’t groom, unkempt hair coat
  • • Thinning, dry and dull fur

Some common signs of diabetes in dogs includes:

  • • Excessive thirst
  • • Excessive urination—your pet produces more urine per day or has “accidents” outside the litterbox
  • • Excessive hunger while losing weight
  • • Lethargy (less active/sleeps more)
  • • Cloudy eyes
  • • Thinning, dry, and dull hair

Managing your dog/cat’s diabetes will require some effort, but the rewards are well worth it. When your dog/cat’s diabetes is under control he can have normal thirst, appetite, urination, and activity levels. Their weight is generally stable and they are less likely to develop complications. With proper care, it is also possible to reduce or eliminate insulin treatment in a dog/cat!

Remember to take advantage of our wellness blood screens at CPVH for early detection of diseases such as diabetes in your pet!

Call us today to schedule your pet’s appointment!

Contact Us

Phone: (985) 888-1566
Fax: 985-888-1568
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Our Hours

Monday 7:30am-6:00pm
Tuesday 7:30am-6:00pm
Wednesday 7:30am-6:00pm
Thursday 7:30am-6:00pm
Friday 7:30am-6:00pm
Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm
Sunday Closed

For After-Hour Emergencies

561 U.S. Hwy 190
Mandeville, LA 70471
Phone: 985-626-4862