How is Diabetes Treated in Cats and Dogs?

Your Guide to Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs and Cats 

Like many health problems, diabetes mellitus doesn’t just affect humans. Dogs and cats get diabetes too. This can be a serious problem if untreated. With the proper diet, medication, and exercise, your pet can still thrive, though. Asbury Park, NJ City By The Sea Veterinary Hospital offers our patients’ pets diabetes mellitus treatments. Learn more about managing your dog or cat’s diabetes mellitus

What Is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus is a disorder that affects the pancreas’s ability to produce insulin. Your pet’s body needs insulin to convert glucose into a usable energy source. When a pet is diabetic, its body does not produce enough insulin, and blood glucose accumulates to potentially dangerous levels. This can result in various adverse health effects.

Clinical Signs of Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs and Cats

Diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats will cause similar warning signs. While the diabetes mellitus symptoms can vary, some of the most common indicators of a pet with diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Reduced physical activity

How Is Diabetes Mellitus Diagnosed in Pets?

Noticing the above warning signs is the first step in diagnosing diabetes in cats or dogs. Once we see these symptoms, testing your pet’s blood and urine can give a conclusive diagnosis. While it is normal for any animal to have glucose in the blood, pets with diabetes will show higher than typical glucose levels in their blood. On top of that, only pets with diabetes mellitus will have glucose in their urine. The kidneys will not expel glucose into the urine when glucose is within the expected range. However, when the glucose levels become higher than they should be, the kidneys will start excreting glucose into the dog or cat’s urine. That means glucose in your pet’s urine is a sure sign of diabetes mellitus.

How Is Diabetes Treated in Cats and Dogs?

Diabetes mellitus in cats and dogs can be treated with insulin similarly to the way it is treated in humans. Pets may receive human insulin, veterinary insulin, or a combination of the two. Like with humans, a complete treatment plan involves dietary control, regular insulin injections, and constant monitoring of your pet’s blood sugar. There are two types of diabetes that cats and dogs can get, and they require different treatments. Type 1 diabetes is more common in pets than type 2. Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, relies more heavily on insulin injections than type 2.

Controlling Diabetes in Dogs 

On top of administering insulin to your dog according to your veterinarian’s instructions, it is crucial to control their diet and exercise. Glycemic control relies on a consistent routine for meals, snacks, and physical activities. Many veterinarians may recommend high-fiber diets or protein-rich diets. Regular exercise also helps slow the progression of diabetes in some pets.

Controlling Diabetes in Cats

If properly controlled, you may be able to put your cat’s diabetes in remission. Cats can see a return to normal blood glucose concentrations when they are on a low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet. Combining this type of diet with long-acting insulin can often achieve remission. In more prolonged cases of diabetes, cats need more careful dietary management. It is also less important to coordinate insulin injections with meals in the case of cats than it is with diabetic dogs.

Monitoring Your Pet’s Diabetes Mellitus at Home

At home, you should monitor your pet for signs of diabetes. Even after diagnosis, you should keep an eye on the symptoms of diabetes so you can notice if they are getting better or worse. Measure and monitor your pet’s consumption of food and water. They should not make more than six trips to their water bowl each day if their blood glucose is properly regulated. Additionally, weigh your pet monthly to ensure they are not losing weight. If necessary, you can also get at-home blood glucose strips for your pet which allow you to test the levels of glucose in their urine.

Schedule an Appointment with City By The Sea Veterinary Hospital!

Diabetes in dogs and cats requires early intervention and careful monitoring. However, when you work with a veterinarian at City By The Sea Veterinary Hospital, you can develop a diabetes mellitus treatment routine that gives your pet a long and active life. Schedule your pet’s diabetes mellitus treatment appointment now.