November is National Pet Diabetes Month

This is Kashmir, she is our clinic kitty and she actually does have diabetes so she is a perfect little example and role model for this. So diabetes, I wanted to talk about how it's diagnosed, some of the clinical signs you can watch for with your own pet, and of course if you have any questions or concerns about whether your pet may or may not have diabetes, the first step is to chat with your veterinarian about that.

What to watch for

So some of the things to watch for, typically, both dogs and cats will lose weight in the face of a good appetite. When they do not have insulin to kind of unlock the cells to allow the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to be utilized, they lose weight. They sometimes will have some vomiting or some GI upset to go along with it. But one of the biggest things that you will probably notice is an increased thirst and urination, whether that be accidents in the house or just a much more full litter box if you've got a cat. Look for changes in urination.

How is it diagnosed?

The way we diagnose it is really just with simple blood work. They will have a high blood glucose concentration. Now, some animals with a little bit of stress in the clinic will have a high blood glucose concentration. Also, there is another test called fructosamine that we'll utilize frequently, and that tells us more about longterm glycemic control, so chronic diabetes. Fructosamine will be elevated where it just a single visit from the vet's office that will not elevate a fructosamine. It's pretty simple to diagnose.

How is diabetes treated

There are multiple types of insulin and diets to be considered, but it is definitely a manageable disease. If you have any concerns or questions, please chat with your veterinarian about diabetes.