Did you know that 1 in every 200 cats may be affected by diabetes mellitus (DM)?
Did you know that 1 in 10 dogs is affected by kidney disease in their life time?
November is National Diabetes Month, and while this month was originally designed to increase awareness of this common endocrine disease in humans, we need to be aware of the growing prevalence of DM in dogs and cats also. Untreated, diabetes mellitus can be fatal in dogs and cats.
In veterinary medicine, there are two types of diabetes mellitus: Type I DM and Type II DM.
Type I DM is when the body doesn’t make enough insulin (which is a hormone that is normally produced from the pancreas), and requires life-long insulin therapy (delivered via a syringe twice a day). This is most commonly seen in dogs – in other words, once a dog becomes a diabetic, he or she is diabetic for life.
Type II DM is when the body has some insulin being produced from the pancreas, but it is an inadequate amount or something is interfering with its ability to be used by the body. This is most commonly seen in cats and can be transient. In other words, if your cat has recently been diagnosed with Type II DM, he or she may only need insulin injections (via a syringe twice a day) for a few to several months, not necessarily for life.
Clinical signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Inappropriate urination
- Weight loss (most commonly over the back), despite an overweight body condition
- Increased hunger
- Increased “whiteness” of the lens of the eye due to cataracts
- Poor skin condition (like excessive dandruff or an oily hair coat)
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If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
Article is courtesy of Pet Health Network