Sarah the Pet Sitter is proud to serve pets that have special health concerns. One such health concern is diabetes. Sarah the Pet Sitter has several pet clients that have diabetes, and the SPS team is trained and experienced in providing daily medical care like insulin injections. Read on to learn more about diabetes, related risk factors, and potential early symptoms.
Diabetes can affect both cats and dogs, but is often caused by different circumstances for each pet. In the case of dogs, Type 1 diabetes is most common. This type of diabetes results from a genetic predisposition causing the pancreas to produce insufficient levels of insulin. An acute case of pancreatitis can also cause diabetes because of the damage done to a dog’s pancreas. Animals with Type 1 diabetes are dependent on regular insulin injections to supplement their natural production.
Alternatively, cats most commonly contract Type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes can sometimes be treated with dietary changes without requiring insulin injections. Unfortunately, because cats are not always as demonstrative as dogs, they frequently aren’t diagnosed until their diabetes has progressed to Type 1. All SPS team members are red cross certified in pet first aid, and receive supplemental hands-on training in administering injections to pets.
While the exact cause of diabetes isn’t always clear, there are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of a pet becoming diabetic. Age, gender, and obesity are the three most common. Older female dogs and cats are more likely to become diabetic, but any pet runs a substantial risk of developing diabetes when the pet becomes obese.
In addition to risking diabetes, obese pets are at an increased risk of developing liver and joint problems. That is why SPS always recommends that owners remain vigilant of the diet and exercise of their pet. Whether lessening overall food intake, feeding in smaller separated meals, or ensuring that pets get more activity than just cuddling, it’s important to remember that caring for an animal can sometimes mean a little tough love.
In addition to keeping your pet at a healthy weight, there are several early symptoms that can potentially indicate the onset of diabetes. This list is not exhaustive, nor is it absolute. Some of the behaviors on this list can be caused by a number of things, but are a good reminder that vigilance can help us look after pets that can’t talk to us. The most common signs of the onset of diabetes can include:
- Increase in appetite
- Excessive thirst/Increase in water consumption
- Weight loss
- Increased urination
- Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath