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Diabetes in pets and companion animals

What is pet diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a common condition that affects the concentration of glucose, or sugar, in your pet’s blood. Diabetes occurs when your pet’s body makes too little insulin, stops producing it completely, or doesn’t utilise insulin properly which prevents the conversion of food to energy.

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.


What happens without insulin?

Without the conversion to energy, extra sugar left in the blood leads to your pet urinating more frequently and consequently drinking excessively as a result. They can also become lethargic, lose weight and have other health problems.

As a result, a pet with diabetes may want to eat constantly, but will appear malnourished because its body cells can’t absorb glucose.

 

How can pet diabetes be cured?

Diabetes cannot be cured, although a proportion of cats may go into remission (where insulin may not be needed). With proper treatment and monitoring your pet can live a long, happy life.

 

How common is pet diabetes?

Diabetes is an increasing problem in pets as it is in humans with genetic, diet and lifestyle all playing a part. It is estimated that around 1 in 300 dogs and 1 in 200 cats are affected in the UK 1,2

 

 

  1. Mattin M, et al. (2014). An epidemiological study of diabetes mellitus in dogs attending first opinion practice in the uk. Vet. Record 174: 349
  2. O’neill, d.g. et al. (2016). Epidemiology of diabetes mellitus among 193,435 cats attending primary-care veterinary practices in england. J vet intern med;30, p 964–972


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