November is the start of a wonderful holiday season, and marks a time of giving thanks and sharing the blessings we have with our loved ones of both the human and pet variety. But there’s something else about November that’s important: it’s also National Diabetes Month. Diabetes is a serious topic for people, but less well known are its potentially dire implications for pets. Diabetes mellitus, or DM for short, can be found in animals, too. So ask your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ for expert information about this disease. Here are some things you should know.
DM is tied to insulin
Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine disease that affects pets in two forms: Type I DM and Type II DM. Type I occurs when a pet’s body isn’t creating enough insulin, a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. This type is most frequently found in dogs, and once a dog has it, he or she will have it for life. Type II is usually noted in cats, and occurs because the body is producing insulin, but for some reason this insulin is not being utilized correctly by the body. If your cat is diagnosed with Type II DM, take heart: it’s quite possible that your kitty will only need insulin injections for a limited amount of time.
There are obvious signs of DM
There are some obvious behaviors in pets that can indicate DM. If your pet is exhibiting any of the following, be sure to take them to an experienced veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ right away:
- Excessive or inappropriate urination
- Excessive thirst
- Lethargy or weakness
- Increased hunger
- Poor skin conditions (such as oily coat or dandruff)
- Cataracts (detected by the increased amount of whiteness of the lens)
Some pets are more at risk
Certain types of dogs and cats tend to develop DM more easily than others. Among cats, Siamese should be especially monitored. Among dogs, breeds that are particularly at risk include the miniature pinscher, Cairn terrier, schnauzer, bichon frise, beagle, poodle, dachshund, Australian terrier, keeshond and Samoyed. It is also worth noting that female dogs tend to develop DM more than males, and male cats tend to develop DM more than females.
Older pets are also more likely to have diabetes: in dogs, around the age of seven to nine years old, and in cats, between eight and 13 years old. It is possible for younger pets to have diabetes—known as juvenile diabetes mellitus—but it is rather uncommon.
If your pet starts to drink or eat a lot more than usual, seem uninterested in their usual activities, has trouble keeping their energy up or starts to get itchy, oily skin, it might be time to get them to your trusted veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ for a checkup. It’s always better to be prepared and catch a diagnosis early. Get in touch with Newkirk Family Veterinarians today to schedule an appointment.