Diabetes is a difficult condition to live with, and t not only affects humans but many dogs and cats. Unfortunately, it often goes undiagnosed in pets, leaving pets suffering.
If you are a pet owner, you should pay close attention to the health of your furry friend so that you will notice when she shows signs of discomfort.
If you suspect that he or she may have diabetes, you should seek treatment as soon as possible to help improve the quality of life. Here are some of the signs that your pet may be exhibiting because of diabetes.
Excessive Water Consumption and Urination
If you notice that your dog and cat are drinking more water than they normally do, it could be an early symptom of diabetes. It is usually accompanied by an increase in urination as well. This is because diabetic animals’ kidneys can’t keep up with the excess sugar in their blood, and it will be excreted through the urine.
If your cat or dog is diabetic, it may exhibit signs of excess hunger. Dogs often act hungry even when they are not, but if your dog is eating more food than he/she normally does and is maintaining or losing weight, this may be a sign of diabetes.
Rapid Weight Loss
Even if your pet is eating more, she may begin to lose weight rapidly. This is because diabetes either prevents the production of insulin in the pancreas (type1), or produces a decreased sensitivity to insulin by the cells in the body (type2). Insulin is the hormone responsible for getting the fuel (sugar) into cells so that they can do the body’s work. If sugars cannot get into the cells, they act as if there is not enough sugar in the blood and send signals to break down fat to produce more sugar (metabolic malnutrition)
Lethargy or Fatigue
A diabetic animal will often be more tired than usual and show an unwillingness to participate in some of its regular activities. Diabetes can cause weakness in certain muscles in an animal, and since they may suffer from metabolic malnutrition, they will spend more time sleeping and less time being active.
Unusually sweet-smelling breath is another sign that your animal might be diabetic. Because your animal will be burning fat instead of sugar, their body will begin to produce ketones, specifically acetone, which can cause sweet, fruity breath.
Diabetes can lead to cataracts which will cause your pet’s eyes to take on a cloudy appearance. These can lead to blindness if they aren’t treated, so make sure to check your pet’s eyes regularly.
Thinning Hair or Skin Infections
This will happen mostly along the back but can take place anywhere on your pet’s body. Thinning fur can be indicative of several different illnesses, but it is very common among diabetic animals, since, as previously noted, they are malnourished.
Because an imbalance of ketones can produce neurological effects, pets may suffer from depression if they are diabetic. If your dog or cat is lethargic and unresponsive to your communication or shows a lack of desire to participate in anything, he may have depression set on by diabetes.
The flow of abnormal waste products from metabolic malnutrition damages kidneys and builds up in the blood causing a condition called uremia. “Uremic poisoning” can lead to vomiting, especially if your pet is in the later stages of diabetes. While this is more likely to happen in older animals, it is important to speak with your Dr. Freiman or Dr. Rothstein whenever your pet is vomiting.