Did you know that pets are commonly diagnosed with Diabetes and Thyroid problems, just like humans? Yes, dogs and cats can have Diabetes, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, and other endocrine problems. This month, we are screening for Diabetes by performing FREE BLOOD GLUCOSE tests with each exam! March is National Diabetes Awareness Month for pets, so here is some information.
WHAT IS DIABETES? Well, Diabetes is a high blood glucose level due to lack of production (or effect) of insulin by the pancreas. SIGNS OF DIABETES in dogs and cats can include: increased water consumption or thirst, increased amount or frequency of urination, and weight loss or weight gain for no apparent reason. Another finding common in diabetic pets is a urinary tract infection. This is due to the fact that excessive glucose (sugar) is excreted in the urine which makes a great environment in which to grow bacteria. You may notice that your pet’s urine is “sticky” if they have an accident in the house. DIAGNOSIS is through a blood test to check blood glucose (sugar) levels as well as a urinalysis to detect excess glucose in the urine. TREATMENT involves a special low carb/high fiber diet and insulin injections. Occasionally cats can be “cured” of Diabetes with just a change in diet. Dogs, however, are not as lucky and will usually require daily insulin injections. It is very important to MONITOR your diabetic pet’s blood sugar levels during treatment and frequently throughout their lives. A Glucose Curve, or series of blood glucose tests run in a 12 or 24 hours period, is used to determine the best level of insulin for your pet and to monitor their response to insulin as time progresses. A Fructosamine level is another way to monitor the stability of your pet’s blood sugar level over time.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog or cat, please book an appointment for a thorough examination and appropriate blood testing!
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy