Free worldwide shipping for orders over $50
 
Brands
Info
 

Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

You may have family or friends that have been affected by diabetes, but many pet owners can be confused when their beloved dog or cat is diagnosed with the disease. Although it is not curable, diabetes can be well-managed with the correct medication, diet, and healthy lifestyle. Read our guide to diabetes in pets to know what to expect in terms of symptoms, treatment, and related conditions.

What is diabetes?

As diabetes is such a common condition among humans, you will be familiar with it, but it can be helpful to know exactly how the disease works. Diabetes mellitus, which is the most common form of diabetes in dogs and cats, is a metabolic condition that affects the way the body converts food into energy.

In a healthy body, food passing through the digestive system is converted into glucose, which is the main source of energy for cells. The glucose is then transported around the body by insulin, which is created naturally in the pancreas. In a pet with diabetes, there is either not enough insulin being produced or the body does not react to it correctly. As a result, two things happen: the glucose cannot be transported and accumulates to dangerous levels in the blood, and the cells themselves do not receive the energy they need.

Risks factors for diabetes

There are a number of reasons why your dog or cat may be more at risk of developing diabetes, including age, lifestyle and genetic factors.

Diabetes can occur at any age but is more usually found in pets of middle age or older, from about 5 years of age. Obese pets are also much more at risk of the disease, as fat cells can affect the way the body responds to insulin, even if it is being properly produced. Other health conditions such as pancreatitis, Cushing’s disease or some autoimmune conditions may also trigger the onset of diabetes.

While diabetes can in fact affect any breed or mixed breed, some dogs are more at risk of diabetes than others. This includes Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Toy Poodles, Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Beagles, Doberman Pinschers, and German Shepherds. In cats, Siamese breeds are shown to have a higher risk of the disease.

Diabetes symptoms

Frequent urination – this is one of the most noticeable signs of diabetes in both dogs and cats. As the glucose levels in the blood increases, the body attempts to flush it out by increased urination.

Excessive thirst – as the need to urinate increases, your pet will also need to drink more to combat dehydration. If they empty their water bowl you may find your pet drinking from other places such as the toilet bowl.

Excessive hunger– if the glucose is no longer reaching the cells in the body, your brain will mistake this as a lack of energy coming in, and send signals to your pet that they are hungry.

Unexplained weight loss– due to the lack of insulin in the body, your pet will fail to correctly convert the nutrients in their food and may lose weight even if eating more.

Lethargy – as energy is failing to reach the cells in the body, pets will become less active and may spend more time sleeping.

Infections– recurring or persistent infections, particularly of the skin or urinary tract.

Dull coat (cats)– lethargic cats or unwell cats are less likely to groom themselves properly, resulting in a dull or dry coat.

Cloudy eyes (dogs)– changes to the lenses of the eyes are a symptom of untreated diabetes, which can eventually lead to cataracts.

Diagnosis

Although many of the above symptoms are suggestive of diabetes, particularly if they occur in conjunction, your pet will still need to be seen by a vet to confirm the diagnosis. Fortunately, compared to some other conditions, testing for the presence of diabetes is a very straightforward process.

Your veterinarian will take into account your pet’s medical history, any recent symptoms, and their current health conditions. If they suspect diabetes has developed, the vet will run blood and urine tests to check for elevated levels of glucose. It may also be necessary to run tests to rule out other diseases or conditions that may be causing the symptoms.

If diabetes is confirmed, your vet may wish to check for any damage to the organs that may have been caused by the disease or examine your pet for signs of complications.

Treatment for diabetes

Medication – once your vet has confirmed the diagnosis of diabetes, they will prescribe insulin for your pet. This replaces the natural insulin which the body is no longer producing or responding to, and will help to keep the glucose levels in the blood at a healthy and stable level. This insulin will need to be administered daily on an ongoing basis.

Diet– managing your pet’s diet is a key part of managing their disease. A healthy diet will provide all the nutrients they need, but without causing sudden spikes or crashes in blood sugar levels. Correct feeding will also keep your pet’s weight at a healthy level.

Exercise – a moderate and consistent exercise regime can be used to control your pet’s weight, and may also reduce the amount of insulin required.

Long-term care

Although diabetes is not generally curable, it can be well managed with the right care. (Some cats may go into remission following treatment). On a day-to-day level, this means ensuring that blood sugar levels are stable and do not become too high or too low, as both of these are problematic.

Your vet will instruct you on how to correctly administer insulin, which will be given as an injection 1-2 times per day (cats and small dogs generally need 2 injections per day). Although some owners may find giving injections daunting at first, it will quickly become part of your regular care routine. Insulin will need to be timed around your pet’s meals, which should be given at the same time each day.

Initially, your pet will need frequent checkups to ensure that the insulin dosage prescribed is correct. Over time you will need to regularly have your dog or cat’s blood sugar and general health checked out, particularly if there have been any changes to their weight, diet or exercise regime.

Managing your pet’s diabetes is not just important for their general health and wellbeing, but will also help to avoid other conditions related to the disease.

Diabetes-related conditions

Low blood sugar–although high blood sugar is one of the symptoms of diabetes, low blood sugar levels can occur after treatment with insulin is started.

Ketoacidosis– when the cells are starved of glucose for an ongoing period, the body begins to break down fat and muscle to use as energy. This is a dangerous condition that will become a medical emergency if left untreated.

Cataracts (dogs) – additional glucose in the blood can cause water to enter the lens of the eye causing swelling and cloudiness, which eventually leads to blindness.

Pancreatitis (cats)– inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis, can be both a cause of and a side effect of diabetes.

Peripheral neuropathy (cats)– this a degenerative condition of the nerves that causes loss of coordination and weakness of the back legs.

Organ damage– long term elevated levels of glucose in the blood can cause damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes or nerves.


Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

There are no products to display

What we’ve been talking about!

See all

Five diseases that are totally preventable in dogs

by dong on 26 Jul 2021
We never want to see our pets suffer, and fortunately some canine illnesses are easily preventable. Here are a few avoidable doggy diseases.   Five diseases that are totally preventable in dogs   In the wild, animals improve their chances of survival by not showing signs of weakness, but at home, this can lead our pets to suffer from undetected disease. Fortunately, some of the deadliest diseases dogs can catch are easily preventable. Here is a list of a few problems you can prevent from affecting your pet:   Parvo: Also known as Canine Parovirus, parvo can cause severe diarrhea and weight loss, vomiting, and lethargy. Symptoms can be so severe that they lead to septic shock. This virus is fatal in around 50 percent of dogs, but it can be prevented by giving puppies a vaccine. Most dogs contract parvo through contact with an infected dog, making parvo much more common in shelters and breeding facilities.   Heartworm Disease: This deadly disease is caused when a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito, but is entirely preventable with heartworm medication. Mosquitos can be found even in dry climates, so it is a good idea to give your dog preventative heartworm treatment year-round, even if you live in a low-risk area. The treatment for heartworm is costly and painful for your pet, but preventatives are available in convenient chewable, topical and injectable forms.   Lyme Disease: This tick-borne illness is caused by bacteria transmitted by deer ticks, which live in tall grass and woods. Ticks must be attached to dogs for at least 18 hours to transmit the disease, so preventative treatments can curb most cases of Lyme disease. Protect your pet with topical treatments; chewable tablets; or medicated collars that repel ticks. You can also try to keep your dog away from tick-prone areas and check him for ticks after he has been outdoors. If not treated, Lyme disease can lead to stiffness, loss of appetite, and even kidney disease and failure. Treatment requires antibiotics and symptoms do not always disappear completely.   Kennel Cough: Dogs who share a space with other canines are at risk for contracting kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease spreads both through the air and by contact. Puppies are especially susceptible to the disease, but it can be prevented with a vaccine. Though kennel cough isn’t fatal, dogs experience symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy in addition to sneezing and a runny nose.   Renal Failure: Also known as kidney disease, renal failure typically develops slowly over a dog’s lifetime. Though old-age kidney failure cannot be prevented, there is one cause is avoidable in pets: dental disease. By keeping Fido’s teeth clean from bacteria, you help stop it from entering his bloodstream, where it can damage his organs, including the kidneys. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly—at least once per week— and use dental chews to help remove plaque and keep Fido’s chompers clean. You should also have your vet clean and examine your pet’s teeth during his annual exam to ensure your dog’s mouth stays healthy.

Why does my cat smell bad?

by dong on 16 Jul 2021
Cats are known to groom obsessively, but sometimes even felines start to smell. Here’s how to determine when an odor is a sign of a problem.   Why does my cat smell bad? Cats are famous for being fastidious groomers, so it can come as a surprise when your pet starts to stink. Although some odors are easy to fix, others can indicate a serious health problem. To determine the cause behind your Kitty’s bad smell, start by identifying the location of the odor. The best way to get to the bottom of why your cat stinks is to determine the source of the odor. Start by identifying whether the smell is coming from his face, rear, a particular part of his coat, or all over. Once you’ve narrowed down the site of Kitty’s offensive smell, you can begin diagnosing the problem. If his mouth stinks, for example, your cat may be experiencing dental disease. This is the most common cause of bad breath in cats and is due to buildup of bacteria in his mouth. Left untreated, plaque and tartar can cause gum disease and painful tooth infections, so if your pet is experiencing persistent stinky breath, take him to the veterinarian for an oral exam. Other mouth-related odors can result from ulcers or wounds. Again, these can be painful for your pet, so take him to the vet to diagnose and treat the problem, as most cats will not let their owners have a look inside their mouths. Other sources of bad smells around your cat’s face include his ears, which are subject to infections caused by yeast, bacteria or mites. If you notice an offensive odor coming from your pet’s ears or he is scratching at them and shaking his head, this can be a sign of an ear infection. Look inside his ears for debris, and take him to the vet as soon as possible to determine whether he is suffering from a painful ear infection and to treat the problem. Cats can also experience stinky coats. If he appears dirty, a bath may be the only treatment needed, but if your pet appears relatively clean, he could be suffering from a skin condition. Skin infections are caused by bacterial or fungal overgrowth and can lead to a bad smell across a cat’s entire body. Other symptoms include a thinning coat; inflamed or red skin; or a greasy or smelly coating on his fur. If, however, your pet’s skin stinks only in a certain spot, it is likely due to an infected wound. Cats’ thick coats can easily hide cuts and scrapes, which can ooze a smelly discharge when they become infected. Run your fingers through your pet’s fur to help find a wound and take your cat to the vet immediately if you do find one. The base of cats’ tails is an unsurprising source of stinky smells, but some can require veterinary care. Though gas is nothing to worry about, persistently, overly smelly flatulence can be a symptom of a gastrointestinal problem. Likewise, if your pet experiences diarrhea or constipation for more than two days, he needs immediate veterinary care. Finally, some cats stink due to inflamed, infected or impacted anal glands. If your cat is “scooting” across the floor or grooming the base of his tale excessively, take him to the vet to diagnose and treat the problem.  

Five reasons your dog smells bad & how to help

by dong on 05 Jul 2021
Dogs are famous for rolling in rotten things, but sometimes bad odor is a sign of a serious health problem that requires veterinary care.    Five reasons your dog smells bad & how to help Dogs are famous for their bad breath and “Frito feet,” but sometimes Fido seriously stinks. Foul odors can be a symptom of a serious health problem, so it is important to investigate what is causing them. Here are a few reasons your companion may smell bad and how you can address each of them: 1. Stinky skin: Brushing your dog can help remove dead skin, dirt and other malodorous matter from his coat. Do this regularly and be sure to keep your pet’s bedding clean, too, to help eliminate bad odors coming from his skin. If you are grooming and bathing your pet regularly and his coat still stinks, however, he may by experiencing seasonal or food allergies that can cause inflammation of the skin. Poor diet can cause smelly skin, so be sure you are feeding your pet high-quality food.   2.  Bad breath: Unpleasant breath is typically caused by accumulation of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. While regular tooth brushing can help eliminate dog breath caused by tartar build-up, sometimes your companion experiences a more serious dental infection that requires veterinary care, such as pulling an infected tooth. In less common cases, bad breath can also be a symptom of infection of your pet’s kidney, liver or other organs. If Fido’s breath is seriously stinky and persists, take him to the vet to diagnose the problem.   3. Bad Gas: Occasional gas is normal for dogs, but excessive flatulence can be a sign something is wrong. Your dog may simply need a different diet, or he may be experiencing a more serious health problem such as inflammatory bowel disease. Whatever the cause, your veterinarian can help identify the underlying reason for your companion’s exceptionally bad gas.   4. Ear infections: Bacteria and yeast thrive in the wrinkles of skin around dogs’ ears, which can lead to a bad odor. Clean your companion’s ears regularly to help prevented infections, especially if he is a floppy eared breed. If your pet already has a serious infection in his ears, take him to the veterinarian to treat the problem.   5. Anal sacs: Smelly secretions from Fido’s rear end are one of the most common causes behind bad odor. All dogs have scent glands on their posteriors, which they use for marking. When these anal sacs become impacted, it does not just create a seriously bad smell, but can be painful for your pet. If your dog is emitting an exceptionally bad odor or is scooting across the floor, it is time to visit your veterinarian to determine if this is due to impacted anal glands and enlist his help to alleviate the problem.   Though dogs sometimes smell from rolling around in something rotten, some odors are the symptom of a serious health problem. By understanding what bad smells coming from his ears, mouth or other body part can indicate, you can catch health problems early and address them with your veterinarian.  
Sign up to our newsletter to know more about our specials!
 
Marketing by