As with people, the incidence of diabetes in dogs and cats is increasing. Veterinarians admit diabetes is under-reported and could affect as many as one in 50 of our pets.
The reasons for this increase, and even epidemic, of diabetes are the same as in humans:
- Lack of exercise
- Pets are living longer
- Genetics – certain species are more prone than others
“We have increasing obesity in dogs and cats, just like in humans. It’s no mystery how that occurs: overfeeding and lack of exercise,” said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, veterinarian and chief medical officer for the Banfield Pet Hospitals.
The symptoms of diabetes can develop very gradually and include the following:
- Increased urination and increased thirst. These two signs are hallmarks of a diabetic condition, so you’ll want to watch closely for them, especially as your pet ages.
- Increased appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Lack of energy and increased need for sleep.
- Vision problems.
- Weakness in rear limbs (cats only).
- Urinary tract infections.
- Kidney failure.
To keep your pet healthy be sure to keep them at a healthy weight and make sure they get plenty of exercise.
-- Dawn Swidorski, Public Outreach Director, Defeat Diabetes Foundation