Your happy, wet-nosed Labrador Retriever, Bella, has always been a healthy girl ever since the day you brought her home. Since the warmer months of Summer, you have noticed that she has been drinking more and urinating more. Maybe the warmer temperatures outside have Bella more active, or hot, so that she is drinking more water, but what about the fact that she has been urinating more? A lot more? With signs of drinking more water and urinating more frequently, it is possible that Bella may have diabetes. What exactly is diabetes?
When you hear the word “diabetes”, what comes to mind? Does your mind create images of glucose testings and insulin injections? Diabetes can be pretty scary, and if left untreated-it can have a very critical effect on your pet’s health.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that results when the body has too much sugar present in the bloodstream. Your pet’s cells in the body need glucose, or sugar, in order to utilize it as energy. If the cells are not able to absorb the glucose- they cannot use the energy; therefore, the sugar is then trapped outside the cells and roaming around freely in the bloodstream. In order to help the cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, an important organ- the pancreas, helps by secreting a hormone called insulin; it’s function is to help cells absorb glucose (sugar) so that energy can be used. The cells in our pets’ bodies cannot absorb glucose without the help from insulin. Insulin acts as a key to unlock the cells so that they can absorb glucose in the bloodstream and use it as energy.
There are two types of diabetes- Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
In Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin at all.
In Type 2 Diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin, but it does not produce enough insulin.
*Generally, if diagnosed with Diabetes, most pets will have Type 2 Diabetes
Signs of diabetes:
Drinking more water
Urinating more often
Less active and sleeping more
Testing for Diabetes
South Town Animal Hospital recommends annual examinations and blood work to screen for any health problems. Having your pet examined yearly by a veterinarian can help prevent or catch diseases in their early stages so that medical treatment can be provided at it’s soonest. For pets that are experiencing symptoms of diabetes, we recommend that you have your pet examined by the veterinarian. Further diagnostics may be performed if your pet has been experiencing any signs of diabetes.