Diabetes in Pets - The Trupanion Blog
Underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company

Diabetes in Pets

Just like humans, pets can get diabetes, and unfortunately, it is gradually becoming more common. There are two types of diabetes. Diabetes insipidus is a rare condition that prevents the body from conserving water, and diabetes milletus is the body’s malfunction of sugar processing. This article will focus on diabetes milletus.

What is it?
Diabetes mellitus is defined by the pancreas’ inability to produce enough insulin. Insulin is needed for the body to efficiently process sugars, fats, and proteins.

Who gets it?
This condition typically occurs in middle-aged to older dogs and cats, but it can also occur in younger pets (which is usually genetic). Overweight animals and those with pancreas issues are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Pets taking cortisone-type drugs may also be at a higher risk. Interestingly, it occurs more commonly in female dogs and male cats.

What are the symptoms?
Without proper insulin levels, the brain becomes deprived of sugar and the animal is constantly hungry. You may notice weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, and eating more than usual. Dogs may also develop cataracts.

How is it treated?
In severe cases, the pet may need intravenous fluids and rapid acting insulin. The long-term goal is to regulate the body’s insulin and treatment includes insulin injections once or twice a day. Oral medications may work for some cats. Untreated pets may develop infections in the bladder, kidneys, or skin. If completely left untreated, the condition can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and death, but with treatment pets can live just as long as similar non-diabetic pets.

How much does it cost?
Monthly cost varies on your particular situation (if you do at-home testing vs. at the vet, whether you feed your pet a special diet, the cost of the medicine in your area, etc.) but it seems to range from about $40 to $200 per month. (Here are a few examples)

And lastly, yes, Trupanion pet insurance does cover the costs of diagnostic testing, treatments, and medications for diabetes. Once your per-incident deductible is met (if you have one) then we cover 90% of the costs for the rest of your pet’s life.

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