November is Pet Diabetes Month

 Humans aren’t the only ones who deal with diabetes – our furry companions can also be hit hard by the disease.

To help fight back, November is recognized as Pet Diabetes Month, which provides an increased emphasis on the illness.

Diabetes is a relatively common disease in dogs and cats (1 in 400 cats will develop the illness) and is caused when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, which helps metabolize sugar, according to WebMD.

Insulin deficiencies can cause high blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high sugar content in urine as well as frequent urination. This can lead to the animal becoming dehydrated. The animal also will have an increased appetite and will drink a lot of water while still becoming malnourished as the body cannot absorb the sugar to convert it to energy, according to WebMD.

More severe symptoms include lethargy, lack of appetite, cataracts (typically only in dogs), neurological issues and coma, if not treated.

Treatment typically involves proper management of the animal’s diet in addition to insulin injections.

Obese animals are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which typically develops slowly. In obese animals, increased fat content makes it more difficult for the body to properly utilize insulin, according to the National Institutes of Health.

More than 50 percent of dogs and cats in the U.S. (roughly 93 million animals) are either overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

In addition to diabetes, obese pets also are at increased risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease.

To learn more about diabetes in dogs, click here.

To learn more about diabetes in cats, click here.

For information on Neogen’s insulin syringes (Neogen items 9101 and 9102), click here.

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