Showing posts with label Diabetes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diabetes. Show all posts

Sunday, September 18, 2016

CANINE DIABETES; is Your Dog at Risk?

The classic early warning signs of diabetes were all present when I brought my canine companion of twelve years into the Veterinarian's clinic. Muffy was lethargic, unsteady on her feet, drinking large amounts of water, and experiencing incontinence for the first time in her life. I knew something was seriously wrong.

Army Sgt. William A. Peyton, Jr. a JDOG dog ha...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After blood work and a physical examination, the veterinarian said that Muffy had developed type-two canine diabetes. After a brief discussion, we decided to try and regulate her blood sugar level with diet modification and insulin twice daily. 

At first, it was rough going. Weekly checkups revealed Muffy's sugar levels continued to bounce from one extreme to the other. Determined not give up, I monitored her urine samples at home for sugar content and adjusted insulin injections as necessary. Gradually, we began to see improvement.

After just a few months Muffy was once again her frisky self. You would never know by watching her race about that she had a serious health problem. A special diet, proper amounts of insulin and regular exercise have worked together with Muffy's routine veterinary care to turn the tide. As a result, I can look forward to many more happy years with my little dog.

Wyoming veterinarian Mary Flitner, who recently moved her practice to New Mexico, received her D.V.M. degree at Colorado State University and an award for excellence in large animal surgery in 1997. Flitner states that diabetes in dogs and cats is more common than most people realize. According to Flitner, a pet's chance of developing diabetes will increase with age. 

"This is especially true in overweight, less active dogs."

Besides weight and age, diet is another significant factor. Dogs given table scraps without discrimination are particularly at risk. The importance of diet cannot be over emphasized, warns Flitner. 

"A high fiber diet, low in fat and sugar, is vital. And an annual checkup by a qualified professional is also an important part of proper pet care, as early detection of health complications increase successful management of the problem and helps prolong the quality of life for that pet." 

Flitner notes many pet owners mistakenly feel caring for a diabetic pet would be too difficult for them, an assumption that complicates the decision making process at a critical time. 

"A diagnosis of diabetes in a family pet is hard enough to handle without misconceptions compounding the problem," said Flitner thoughtfully.


For instance, a pet owner might opt to euthanize a pet diagnosed with diabetes because they feel incapable of managing the problem. However, with proper instruction and guidance, that same pet owner could gain the confidence necessary to properly follow the care plan developed by the veterinarian, and enjoy many more quality years together with their pet. 

"People need to know by regulating their pet's diabetes, that pet can still live to their full potential," said Flitner, acknowledging most care givers consider their pet an important part the family and struggle to make right health care decisions for them. 

Flitner notes grocery store quality pet foods are not good choices for diabetic pets because of added fillers and sugars used to improve the taste. 

"Some grocery store brands of cat food actually have trace elements of antifreeze in them, because cats are attracted to it. These type foods often have a high content of sodium, which is also unhealthy for the pet.

"A healthy well-balanced diet is important for any pet, but especially for those diagnosed with diabetes." 

Early warning signs that might indicate diabetes in your pet include: an unusually high consumption of water, increase in appetite, incontinence, lethargy, extreme changes in eyes (i.e. cataracts), lack of coordination, and vomiting. Care givers who note such changes in their dog should promptly call a qualified professional, because examination by a veterinarian is important and necessary for proper diagnosis. 

Flitner also acknowledges the temptation to remove the water bowl from the pet's reach if incontinence is a problem. 

"But, this is not the correct thing to do," instructs Flitner. 

In the case of diabetic canines, drinking large amounts of water is the dog's attempt to flush glucose out of the kidneys which has spilled over from the blood. If the glucose doesn't get flushed out, serious damage to the kidneys and other organs can develop. 

The best preventative measures against serious health problems in the family pet remain simple and practical: regular veterinary check ups, and a healthy diet. Exercise is also very important. Among other benefits, exercise helps increase the body's effective use of insulin. 

For more canine health information, information on a special dog food formulated specifically for diabetic dogs, or other dog products, visit the Savvy Dog Lover web site .

© Lori S. Anton
Savvy Pet Editor



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

DIABETES: Could it be Affecting your Cat?

Three-legged, orange tabby cat -- Truman.
Three-legged, orange tabby cat -- Truman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cats and humans may not look much alike, but remember, both are mammals. Therefore, there are a number of diseases, disorders, and other medical conditions found in humans that are also found in cats. One such disease is diabetes. If you believe that your cat may have diabetes, it is important to talk to your cat's vet as soon as possible so that your cat can get the right medical treatment needed.

There are two types of diabetes in cats, just like in humans. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the insufficient production of insulin in the cat's body. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is when a cat develops intolerance for handling the insulin. In both cases, diabetes can develop in cats of any age, but it is more common for cats that are old, male, or obese. There is what is known as secondary diabetes as well, in which a drug or disease causes diabetes, sometimes forever and sometimes for a certain period of time.

When caring for your cat, there are symptoms you can see that point to your cat having diabetes. These symptoms include excess thirst, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, loss of weight, breathing abnormalities, and unhealthy skin and coat. Your vet can then test your cat's blood sugar levels and urine sugar levels. Both tests are needed, as temporary blood sugar levels may be high in cats that are stressed or nervous.

If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, lifestyle changes are necessary to make sure that your cat's health is restored as much as possible. Diet is very important. Remember, your cat should only get enough food during a meal as is necessary. Cats typically need food the size of one large mouse to be content-more will cause weight problems. Not only is the amount of food important, but you should also be concerned with your cat's types of foods. Your vet can recommend specific cat food brands that are high in fiber and protein in order to control the diabetes.

Insulin, oral mediations, and supplements may also be necessary. Again, your vet can tell you what is needed, as well as show you how to administer treatment to your cat daily. It is important for you to monitor your cat's health to make sure that the diabetes is in control and that he or she is staying happy, healthy, and comfortable. Diabetes is not the end of the world, in either humans or cats.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

FELINE DIABETES Is Not A Cat And Mouse Game!

Your pet is caught in a serious type of disease!

And do not be under the impression that this disease is the 'privilege' of human beings alone!

This mean cat is me
This mean cat is me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feline Diabetes is one of the most common feline endocrine diseases. Its direct link is to the high carbohydrate diet of dry food. Many canned foods contain too many carbohydrates, which your cat may eat with great speed and gusto; but your poor choices, will definitely damage the health of your pet. Cats by nature are obligate carnivores and their system, as created by the nature is not suitable for a carbohydrate diet. Just don't put anything and everything before your cat. Understand its requirements, from its biological point of view. Feline Diabetes is not a cat and mouse game.

Cats and insulin shots...sounds odd? But, it's true.

If the diabetic condition in your cat is a longstanding one, then insulin shots are necessary. Once you start giving it the low carbohydrate diet, and once the cats recoup their original health, no further insulin shots are required.

“Feeding a diabetic cat with a high-carbohydrate diet is analogous to pouring gasoline on a fire and wondering why you can't put it out.”

There are two types of diabetes - Type I and Type II. Type II is the more common, both in humans and in cats. But the cat has a unique metabolism.


Cats are obligate carnivores and are adapted to consume a diet that is high in protein, moderate in fat, and include a very small amount of carbohydrates (roughly 3 to 5%). Since nature designed them thus, cats do not have many of the important enzymes that are necessary to process these types of foods.

So, it is not sufficient that you love your cat. You have to understand the cat and its food habits! The food you give to your cat can put it in its grave!