This month is dedicated to National Pet Diabetes Prevention month. Diabetes is a very serious condition that sadly affects millions of household cats and dogs. Therefore, it is in their best interest for pet owners to learn to recognize the signs of diabetes, as well as its causes and treatments.
Generally speaking, diabetes is a health condition in which the body lacks insulin. Often this occurs as a result of the pancreas not being able to produce enough insulin for the body; or if the pet's body is resistant to insulin.
Dogs and cats can develop both Type I and Type II diabetes - the same as in humans. However, dogs are more prone to developing Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, in which their body does not produce any insulin at all. In contrast, cats are more likely to develop Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus.
Similar to Type II diabetes found in humans, this disease occurs because the body is not producing enough insulin or is not able to properly use the insulin that is being created by the body.
Causes of Diabetes in Pets
The two main causes of diabetes are obesity and a general lack of exercise. This holds true for both humans and pets. It is therefore vitally important that as pet caregivers, we make sure to feed our pets' healthy meals that are created with the pet's individual size, weight, age and their amount of daily exercise, in mind.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Pets
During the initial stages of Diabetes, pets may show little to no symptoms at all. Therefore it is highly recommended that you take your cat or dog in to see your veterinarian for a complete checkup every year. The earlier diabetes is detected, the better the odds are of successfully treating it.
However, the most common symptoms of diabetes in pets are:
*Urinary tract infections
*Sudden change in weight
*Change in appetite
*Lack of coat luster
Medical Treatment of Diabetes in Pets
The primary means of controlling diabetes in cats and dogs is through controlling their blood glucose levels. These levels should be checked on a regular basis as well by your veterinarian.
Your pet may be prescribed daily insulin injections to be administered by you. Your veterinarian will show you how to restrain your pet, as well as how to effectively administer the injection.
Some cats may be prescribed an oral hypoglycemic medication to stimulate the pancreas's production of insulin release or to reduce the production of glucose; although they are only effective in 25%-30% of all cases.
Since most dogs have Type I Diabetes, oral hypoglycemic drugs are not as effective.
Natural Treatments for Diabetes in Pets
One of the first things that you can do to help your diabetic pet at home is to switch their food to one that is either recommended by your veterinarian or to one that you cook yourself. Make sure that your cat or dog is receiving the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are necessary for them to live a long and happy life, even with diabetes.
Another option is give your pet a daily dose of Mellit for Cats or Dogs, which is a natural treatment for diabetes in pets.
Formulated with a variety of herbs, Mellit is proven to help prevent and control diabetes in cats and dogs by improving insulin bio-availability, aiding in blood circulation and balancing blood glucose levels.
Mellit can be used alone or as a part of a traditional medical treatment devised with the help of your veterinarian. Either way, Mellit is safe for long term use and contains no harsh chemicals.
Preventing Diabetes in Pets
Diabetes prevention is relatively simple: make sure that your pet gets adequate exercise and playtime, whilst feeding them a low calorie diet.
Photo Credit: Vieux Bandit