In animals, diabetes is most commonly encountered in dogs and cats. Middle-ages animals are most commonly affected. Also, female dogs are twice as likely to be affected as males, while male cats are more prone to developing this condition that female cats. In both species, all breeds may be affected, but some small dog breeds are particularly likely to develop diabetes, such as Miniature Poodles.
Regarding the causes of diabetes in animals, pets with this condition may not be able to produce enough insulin, or possibly their bodies do not allow them to use insulin properly. This is just like in humans. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, and allows glucose in the blood to enter cells, allowing the body to function properly. Just like people, pets can suffer from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The symptoms of diabetes in pets may relate to fluid loss and polyuria, but the course may also be insidous. Diabetes symptoms and the complications of this condition are also similar to humans. Here are some common symptoms that can indicate that your pet is diabetic:
- weight loss, often despite an increased appetite;
- excessive thirst and urination
- breakdown of body fat and development of ketacidosis;
- lower appetite;
- pungent breath with a chemical smell;
- complications associated with diabetes.
Remember that your pet may be in the throes of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, which can occur in animals due to insulin overdose. The symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
Diagnosis and Treatment
The first thing pet owners need to remember is that diabetic animals are more prone to infections. The long-term complications recognized in humans are much rarer in animals, though. However, it is important to diagnose this condition in time, so that the pet can receive the right treatment. The principles of treatment – weight loss, oral antidiabetics, subcutaneous insulin – and management of emergencies – such as ketoacidosis – are similar to those in humans.
Diagnosing diabetes in pets can be done easily. All you need to do is purchase a box of Keto Diastix and follow the instructions to test the level of glucose and ketones in your pet’s blood.