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(207) 846-6515 H

(207) 846-6515

Pet Diabetes

Pet Diabetes: What You Need to Know

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 information from our yarmouth veterinarian

What is Pet Diabetes?

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:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • More frequent urination
  • Urinary infections
  • Becoming less active

If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment for an examination with your veterinarian.  

Which Pets are at Risk?

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:

  • Siamese cats
  • Burmese cats
  • Schnauzers
  • Poodles
  • Terriers
  • Dachshunds
  • German shepherds
  • Golden retrievers

Managing Pet Diabetes

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 for Diabetes

Diet is an important factor in controlling pet diabetes. Here are some tips for feeding your diabetic pet:

  1. Make sure clean water is always available for your pet.
  2. Overweight pets should be put on a diet that helps them lose weight gradually. Avoid giving your pet high-calorie treats and human foods.
  3. When choosing a nutrition plan, it's best to take a pet's age into consideration. Kittens and puppies have different nutritional needs than senior dogs and cats. 
  4. Your veterinarian can recommend a prescription diet if necessary. Dogs need foods high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, while cats need high-quality protein. 

 Meet With Our Local Veterinarian to Treat Pet Diabetes

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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