Hello dedicated readers! Fall has arrived, and with it, kitty sweaters, crunchy leave to chase, and more time to relax. November is Diabetes Awareness Month and it’s important to me that you know the signs of this disease so you can get your fur baby screened and treated if necessary. If your kitty or pup has any of the following:
- increased thirst,
- increased urination,
- increased hunger while losing weight,
- decreased activity (less active/sleeps more),
- cloudy eyes (dogs),
- doesn’t grooms (cats), or
- thinning, dry, or dull hair,
you should talk with your veterinarian about getting your pet screened for diabetes. With proper management and monitoring, a dog or cat with diabetes can lead a healthy, happy, and active life (usa.petdiabetesmonth.com). Diabetes screening at Tri-County Small Animal Hospital (which I let my humans operate) involves a general health exam, sampling your pet’s urine for the presence for glucose or ketones, and testing your pet’s blood to determine blood glucose levels. Diabetes is diagnosed when persistently high glucose levels are found in both the blood and urine. Treatment typically involves daily insulin injections and some manageable lifestyle changes.
Pet diabetes can lead to other health problems, such as formation of cataracts (dogs) and weakness of the hind legs due to nerve damage (cats), both resulting from persistently high blood glucose levels. Controlling high blood glucose levels can lead to healthier outcomes, so it’s important to get an early diagnosis.
On another note, did you know that diabetes service dogs can alert a human with diabetes when a hypoglycemic episode begins? They are trained to recognize the changes in their human’s blood chemistry and alert them. Dogs may be smelly, but they can be amazingly helpful, too.
I’ll be posting more information throughout the month about diabetes on our Facebook page, so stay tuned.
Hearts and licks, Bella the (beautiful, vivacious, fluffy, and sassy) Cat