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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

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Did you know that dogs and cats can develop diabetes? Diabetes in our pets is very similar to diabetes in people. We have a number of patients here at Palmerstown Veterinary Hospital that have been diagnosed with diabetes and live healthy, happy lives.

What is diabetes?

The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach). When food is digested and enters your pet’s bloodstream, insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into cells, where it’s broken down to produce energy. However, if your pet has diabetes, their body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly.

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Some common signs of diabetes are:

  1. Increased thirst
  2. Increased urination
  3. Increased hunger while losing weight
  4. Lower activity
  5. Cloudy eyes
  6. Cats not grooming themselves
  7. Thinning, dry or dull hair

When a pet owner visits us with concerns about any of these signs, our vet will perform a full health check and address any questions an owner may have. A urine sample will be tested, which can tell us if there is glucose present. A blood test may also be carried out to determine the level of glucose present in the blood.

What happens if my pet is diagnosed with diabetes?

Although there is no cure for diabetes, dogs and cats can be managed successfully, with the help of our veterinary care.

  • Daily insulin injections will be required and although owners may be anxious about this, it is easier than you think. Our vet will give you a demonstration and help you to be comfortable with injecting your pet.
  • Diet plays an important part in regulating your pet’s diabetes.
  • Exercise can also help dogs with diabetes however; it needs to be regulated as activity can affect blood glucose.
  • Frequent veterinary check ups are also needed in order to detect any changes in your pet’s condition.

With proper management and monitoring, a dog or cat with diabetes can lead a healthy, happy and active life.

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For more information, or to make an appointment for your pet, call us at Palmerstown Veterinary Hospital on 01 6237044

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