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Is Your Dog or Cat at Risk for Diabetes?

Take the quiz and find out, then follow up with your vet for any next steps.

How common is feline diabetes and how do you spot symptoms?

Although diabetes is diagnosed in all ages, genders and breeds of cats and dogs, certain pets are at greater risk.

In cats, the risk can increase with:

  • Obesity
  • Age (older cats are more susceptible)
  • Neutered males
  • Certain breeds
  • Other insulin-resistant disorders or diseases, such as chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones)
  • Physical inactivity
  • Indoor lifestyle

Take the quiz for risk assessment

Diabetes can cause visible changes to your cat’s behaviour. It is important that your cat is thoroughly examined by a vet at least once a year, and for cats at a higher risk, more frequent visits are advised.

Knowing the signs of diabetes is the first step in protecting your cat's health. Below are some examples to keep an eye on. You can also watch a video here.

Or Download Pet diabetes risk checker

If any of these signs apply to your pet, take your cat to your vet for a check-up.


Keeping Britain's Pets Healthy cat dog diabetes information

Excessive thirst

You may notice your cat drinking more or from more varied water sources than usual.

Excessive urination

Your pet may produce more urine per day or have “accidents” outside the litterbox. This can result in a heavier litter tray or one that needs more frequent emptying.

Thinning, dry and dull fur

You may see a change in your cat’s coat, either fur falling out more regularly or the coat becoming very dry. Your cat may also stop grooming and pay little to no attention to his or her coat.

Excessive hunger while losing weight

Your cat may be very hungry and may beg for food more than usual. However, despite this, he is likely to be losing weight despite regular meals.

Lethargy (less active/sleeps more)

A lot of cats are pretty inactive for much of the day but if yours is less active or energetic than usual it may be a sign of diabetes.


Is diabetes in my cat the same as diabetes in people?

Diabetes in cats does resemble diabetes in humans. In fact, your vet will be using medication, equipment, and monitoring systems that are designed specifically for diabetic pets.

Can diabetes lead to other health problems?

Yes. Cats with diabetes can develop other health problems.
Weakness of the hind legs is a common complication for cats. Persistently high blood glucose levels may also damage nerves, causing weakness and muscle wasting. Controlling high blood glucose levels can lead to healthier outcomes for your cat. This is why early diagnosis of diabetes is important.

Will diabetes affect my cat’s life expectancy?

With proper treatment and care, a cat with diabetes should have the same life expectancy as a cat without diabetes of the same age. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment helps pets with diabetes maintain a good quality of life


How will my vet test my cat for diabetes?

If your cat shows signs of diabetes, your vet will ask about them, and check your cat's general health to rule out the possibility of other conditions or infections.

The first tests your vet will perform is to measure your cat’s blood glucose concentration via a blood test and they will also check your cat's urine for the presence of glucose and ketones. The diagnosis only becomes definite when glucose is persistently found both in the urine and at a high level in the blood.

Watch the video Sugar and Spike visiting the vet.

Learn more about diagnosis of cat diabetes,

http://www.caninsulin.co.uk/cat/diabetes-detect-diagnose.aspx

 


Frequently Asked Questions

You’re not the only person with questions, read some of our FAQs here.

http://www.caninsulin.co.uk/cats/diabetes-faq.aspx

How do I take care of my cat with diabetes?

Find out more about managing your cat’s diabetes here.

http://www.caninsulin.co.uk/cats/diabetes-managing.aspx

Is Your Dog or Cat at Risk for Diabetes?

Take the quiz and find out, then follow up with your vet for any next steps.

How common is canine diabetes and how do you spot symptoms?

While diabetes has been diagnosed in dogs and cats of all ages, genders, and breeds, certain pets are at greater risk for the disease.

 

Risk factors in dogs

  • Age (middle-aged to older dogs are more affected)
  • Unspayed females
  • Obesity
  • Breed – these breeds have a higher risk for developing diabetes
    • Cocker Spaniels
    • Dachshunds
    • Doberman Pinschers
    • German Shepherds
    • Golden Retrievers
    • Labrador Retrievers
    • Pomeranians
    • Terriers
    • Toy Poodles
    • Miniature Schnauzers
    • Samoyeds and Keeshonds

 

Take the quiz for risk assessment

No one knows your dog better than you do. Diabetes can cause visible changes in your dog's behaviour and health. It is important that your dog is thoroughly examined by a vet at least once a year. For dogs at risk, more frequent visits may be advised.

Knowing the signs of diabetes is the first step in protecting your dog's health. Below are some examples to keep an eye on. You can also watch a video here.

 

Or Download Pet diabetes risk checker

If any of these signs apply to your pet, take your dog to your vet for a check-up.


Keeping Britain's Pets Healthy cat dog diabetes information

Excessive thirst

Your dog may start to drink more or from more varied water sources than usual.

Excessive urination

Your dog may produce more urine per day or have “accidents” in the house.

Thinning, dry and dull fur 

You may see a change in your dog’s coat, either fur falling out more regularly or the coat becoming very dry. Your dog may also stop grooming and pay little to no attention to their coat.

Excessive hunger while losing weight

Your dog may seem like it hasn’t eaten and begs for food. You dog has a good appetite but keeps losing weight, depsite regular meals.

Cloudy eyes

Your dog’s eyes may look different to normal and appear cloudy. Get your vet to check whether this is due to cataracts.

Lethargy (less active/sleeps more)

Your dog is usually very active and energetic, but now he or she like to sleep more and be less willing to exercise. 

Is diabetes in my dog the same as diabetes in people?

Diabetes in dogs does resemble diabetes in humans. In fact, your vet will be using medication, equipment, and monitoring systems that are designed specifically for diabetic pets.


Can diabetes lead to other health problems?

Yes. Dogs with diabetes can develop other health problems.

A common complication of diabetes is cataract formation. Persistently high blood glucose levels can make the lens of the eye opaque, causing blindness. In addition, dogs with diabetes have a general increased susceptibility to infections, most commonly of the urinary tract1.

Controlling high blood sugar levels may lead to a healthier life for your dog. That is why an early diagnosis of diabetes is important.

Will diabetes affect my dog’s life expectancy?

With proper treatment and care, a dog with diabetes should have the same life expectancy as a dog without diabetes of the same age. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment helps pets with diabetes maintain a good quality of life.


How will my vet test my dog for diabetes?

If your dog shows signs of diabetes, your vet will ask about them, and check your dog’s general health to rule out the possibility of other conditions or infections. Your vet will first test your dog for the presence of glucose and ketones in the urine. If indicated, the next step is to measure your dog’s blood glucose concentration. The diagnosis only becomes definite when glucose is found both in the urine and at a high level in the blood.

Watch the video Sugar and Spike visiting the vet.

Ask your vet to learn more about pet diabetes, and how dogs can lead a happy, normal life with proper management. You can also find out more about managing diabetes here.

http://www.caninsulin.co.uk/dogs/diabetes-detect-diagnose.aspx


Frequently Asked Questions

 You’re not the only person with questions, read some of our FAQs here

http://www.caninsulin.co.uk/dogs/diabetes-faq.aspx

How do I take care of my dog with diabetes?

Find out more about managing your dog’s diabetes here.

http://www.caninsulin.co.uk/dogs/diabetes-managing.aspx


References 

     1. Forrester SD, Troy GC, Dalton MN, Huffman JW, Holtzman G. Retrospective Evaluation of Urinary Tract Infections in 42 Dogs with Hyperadrenocorticism or Diabetes Mellitus or Both. J Vet Intern Med, 1999; 13:556-560