Now I know our pets don’t generally consume the amount of sugar that we can on a daily basis, but diabetes is just as prevalent in them. Many people are unaware that dogs and cats can have diabetes and are shocked when we tell them that their pet is diabetic. There are 2 types of diabetes in dogs and cats: diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus (very rare). Diabetes insipidus affects their kidneys and diabetes mellitus affects their blood sugar. We are going to focus on diabetes mellitus for the rest of this blog as it is much more common. While genetics plays a role in whether or not a pet will have diabetes, their diet and their weight have a large impact on them developing this disorder. An overweight or obese pet is at a much higher risk for developing diabetes than an average weight pet. Just as with humans, diabetes can make your pet very sick.
Signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats:
- Drinking a lot of water
- Urinating frequently and large amounts
- Decreased appetite or anorexia
- Weight loss
- Poor hair coat
Diabetes is a lifelong disease that requires frequent monitoring and daily treatment. It is also a disease that in some cases can be avoided by feeding your pet correctly and exercising them regularly. If you feel your pet has diabetes or is at an increased risk, talk to your veterinarian about treatment and management options.