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Diabetes is a growing health concern for humans and our animal companions. Research estimates that one in 308 dogs and one in 230 cats will have the disease at some point in their lifetime.
If your cat or dog is diagnosed with diabetes, you probably have a lot of questions. Here at Yarmouth Veterinary Center, we can help with the unique challenges of caring for a pet with diabetes. Here's what you need to know.
Pet diabetes is related to the production of insulin--a hormone that regulates the glucose, or sugar, in your pet's blood. Animals who have diabetes have a high level of blood glucose. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment for an examination with your veterinarian.
You may think of diabetes as a condition that mainly affects elderly pets. While it's true that older pets are more likely to get the disease, pets of any age can be affected. Dogs most commonly get diabetes between ages 6 and 9, while cats over age 7 are most likely to become diabetic. Pets who are overweight are at a greater risk. Female dogs and male cats are also more likely to contract diabetes. Certain breeds of cats and dogs are at a higher risk, including:
Unfortunately, there isn't a cure for pet diabetes. However, there are several ways to manage your pet's condition. Your veterinarian will create a unique treatment plan for your pet, which may include regular insulin injections and changes to your pet's diet.
Diet is an important factor in controlling pet diabetes. Here are some tips for feeding your diabetic pet:
If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, don't worry. Yarmouth Veterinary Center is here to help you care for your pet. If you have any questions about pet diabetes, or if you'd like to make an appointment, call us at (207)846-6515.
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