Diabetes is a condition where the body cells cannot utilize glucose, thereby resulting in high glucose levels in the blood. It is caused due to either reduced secretion of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that helps in the utilization of glucose, or due to an inability of the insulin to bring about its action. High blood sugar levels can lead to multiple complications, and can even result in coma.
Unfortunately, our pets at home are susceptible to this disease; cats and dogs are known to suffer from diabetes. The reason for developing diabetes in animals is likely to be similar to that in humans. The animals either do not produce enough insulin, or the body cannot utilize the insulin to reduce blood glucose levels. Some of the excess glucose is excreted in the urine. The remaining glucose raises blood sugar levels and results in complications.
Symptoms of diabetes in cats and dogs are increased urination and excessive thirst as noticed by the animal drinking lots of water. The pet may also be excessively hungry, but show weight loss despite eating more food.
Diabetes in pets is treated with insulin. The animals have to be injected once or twice a day and their diet should be carefully planned to avoid foods with high sugar levels. Unlike in humans, oral medications are not used to treat pet diabetes.
Untreated diabetes can affect nearly all organs and can result in complications like cataract, and even coma if the glucose levels rise too high. It is important to identify the condition in these animals and treat them as quickly as possible to ensure a long and comfortable life.