A recent study by Banfield Pet Hospital shows a large increase in diabetes in pets and Trupanion pet insurance provides supportive evidence after a review of recent claims.
(PRWeb.com) May 16, 2011 — A recent study of 2.1 million dogs and 450,000 cats by Banfield Pet Hospital, titled “State of Pet Health 2011 Report”, showed a 32% increase in diabetes in dogs and a 16% increase of the disease in cats. Trupanion, the nation’s fastest-growing pet insurance provider, saw a whopping 106% increase in diabetes claims from 2009 to 2010, supporting the study’s findings. 120 claims have already been filed with Trupanion in 2011.
Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is an endocrine condition in which the pet’s blood sugar is abnormally high. Diabetes can be one of two types. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is a chronic disease where the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to help control blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is adult-onset diabetes and is non-insulin dependent. Dogs are more prone to Type 1 while cats are more prone to Type 2.
Breeds prone to diabetes include but are not limited to the American Eskimo, Australian Terrier, Dachshund, Flat-Coated Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Saint Bernard, Samoyed, and Silky Terrier in dogs and the Burmese in cats. However, any breed, purebred or mixed, is susceptible.
This disease can be quite debilitating, causing cataracts, blindness and neuropathy. Neuropathy weakens the pet and can severely impact the pet’s mobility, causing them to walk on the hocks of their back legs or wrists of their front legs (often called a plantigrade stance). They will also often lie down more frequently, and will not be able to jump up and down like normal – potentially leading to injuries as they try. Because of this, it is imperative to treat the pet at the first signs of the disease.
Diabetes is a chronic disease, requiring lifelong treatment and monitoring. Treatment for diabetes often requires blood work and long-term medication and can cost over $10,000 over the life of the pet. If not treated, the pet could experience organ failure, urinary tract infections, hormone disturbances, and weight loss. Trupanion covers diabetes treatment as long as the pet had full policy coverage before the first signs or symptoms of the condition were noted.
Diabetes is often the result of obesity. Banfield’s study ranked obesity in the top five diagnoses in 2010 for young adult, mature adult and geriatric dogs, and was in the top three diagnoses for cats in the same age ranges. Pet obesity is preventable and curable if the following advice is followed:
- Feed pets a healthy diet without excessive treats
- Give pets an appropriate amount of exercise (different breeds have different exercise requirements)
- Have pets weighed periodically
- Visit a veterinarian regularly (veterinarians can properly monitor and evaluate a pet’s weight based on the specific characteristics of the breed)
Armed with this knowledge, pet owners can work to prevent diabetes in their own pets, and strengthen their already strong bond. To read more about Banfield’s study, visit dvm360.com.