Pet Diabetes Month: Is my dog or cat at risk of diabetes

#SP While diabetes has been diagnosed in dogs and cats of all ages, genders and breeds, certain pets are at greater risk of the disease.

Risk factors in dogs include:

  • Age: middle-aged to older dogs are more affected
  • Neutering status: un-spayed females are at higher risk
  • Obesity: overweight pets are at higher risk
  • Breed: the following breeds have a higher risk of developing diabetes
    • Cocker Spaniels
    • Dachshunds
    • Dobermann Pinschers
    • German Shepherds
    • Golden Retrievers
    • Labrador Retrievers
    • Pomeranians
    • Terriers
    • Toy Poodles

Risk factors in cats include:

  • Age: older cats are more susceptible
  • Neutering status: neutured males are at higher risk
  • Other disorders or diseases, which can cause insulin reduction or resistance such as chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones)
  • Obesity: overweight pets are at higher risk
  • Physical inactivity

How can I tell if my pet has diabetes?

Some common signs of diabetes in dogs and cats include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination—your pet produces more urine per day and may have “accidents” in the house (dogs) or outside the litterbox (cats)
  • Excessive hunger while losing weight
  • Lethargy (less active/sleeps more)
  • Cloudy eyes (dogs)
  • Doesn’t groom (cats)
  • Thinning, dry and dull hair

If your pet is showing any of these signs, talk to your vet about getting your pet screened for diabetes. With proper management and monitoring, a dog or cat with diabetes can lead a healthy, happy and active life.

For more on Pet Diabetes Month, see here.

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