Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine condition that occurs not only in humans, but in our pets as well. This condition causes high blood sugar levels in the body because there is an insulin producing deficiency. Insulin is needed to break down sugar in the body and with insufficient or no insulin being produced, it can cause many problems. Symptoms of untreated diabetes include organ failure, weight loss, urinary tract infections, and hormone imbalances.
Similar to diabetes in humans, cats and dogs with diabetes can have type I or type II. Type I, often referred to as juvenile diabetes in which the pancreas beta cells are unable to produce any insulin. Since insulin is required to help control blood sugar levels, Type I diabetes requires insulin shots several times per day to keep sugar levels balanced. Type II diabetes is adult onset, non-insulin dependent, and is more common in cats than dogs. With both types of diabetes, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise to relieve symptoms.
Diagnosis usually involves a medical history evaluation, physical exam, blood glucose test, blood count, and a urine analysis.If pancreatitis is suspected, an abdominal xray may need to be taken as well. Dog breeds that are mostly prone to Type I diabetes are the American Eskimo, Australian Terrier, Dachshund, Saint Bernard, Samoyed, and Silky Terrier.
To learn more about diabetes in pets, check out our Pet Health Concerns Guide. By enrolling your pet with Trupanion, your cat or dog’s policy will include coverage for diagnostic tests, medications, surgeries, hereditary and congenital disorders, as long as treatment for a certain condition is required after enrolling and is not pre-existing.
Has your pet ever experienced any problems with diabetes? If so, we would love to hear from you and any comments, advice, experiences, of thoughts on this condition.