Know the facts, reduce the risk

Did you know that, just like us, our pets can develop diabetes? The early symptoms of diabetes can be difficult to spot but there are a few signs to look out for. As we enter Diabetes Week, we’d like to raise awareness about what causes diabetes, the early signs to look out for and the treatment options available.

The facts

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that regulates the body’s glucose (sugar) levels. Animals need insulin to move glucose from the bloodstream into cells. Once inside the cells, glucose converts to energy which the body uses to function normally. Your pet might become diabetic if their pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or their body can’t use the insulin produced.

Spotting the signs

Here are some of the early signs of diabetes to look out for. There are other conditions that could cause these signs too so it’s always important to speak to your vet if you’re worried about your pet’s health. The symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Drinking more often
  • Passing urine more frequently or in larger amounts
  • Increase or loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Sleeping more or being less active
  • A urinary tract infection.

Can diabetes be treated?

There isn’t a cure for diabetes but there are treatments available to manage it very effectively.  Each animal needs a unique treatment plan and your vet will work closely with you to stabilise your pet’s diabetes.

Treatment can include:

  • A balanced, high fibre diet
  • A regular feeding and exercise routine
  • Insulin injections (our veterinary team will teach you how to give these).

Keeping your pet at a healthy bodyweight is an important way to help manage diabetes. Avoid feeding table scraps and make regular exercise a part of their daily routine. Vary walking routes to keep exercise interesting and play fun games at home. Cats can be encouraged to exercise with scratching posts or mats, toys and interactive feeding games.

If you’re currently self-isolating or unable to leave the house, click here for some tips on how to exercise your pet during lockdown.

If you’re concerned about your pet and would like some further advice about diabetes, please contact us.

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