Diabetes in pets is on the rise, some call it an epidemic. According to the Banfield State of Pet Health 2011 Report, since 2006 there's been a 32 percent increase in canine diabetes, and a 16 percent rise in diabetes in cats. "Likely those numbers are indeed higher, particularly in cats," says Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, chief medical officer at Banfield. "That because so many times pets with diabetes show no symptoms, or only very subtle symptoms, or owners don't know what to look for."
In an effort to educate pet owners - November is Pet Diabetes month.
This website, from Merk Animal Health offers:
- A pet diabetes check-list, common signs of diabetes in pets.
- A handout, "Could Your Dog or Cat Be Living With Diabetes" It includes a description of what diabetes mellitus is, and steps pet owners can take.
- A fun test to help diabetic pets, and to test your knowledge.
For those interested, a great resource is the Canine and Feline Diabetes site.
Included here are:
- FAQ's on Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs
- FAQ's on Diabetes Mellitus in Cats
- Remission and Management of Diabetes in Cats
- Insulin Injection Tips for Diabetic Pets
There are all kinds of numbers out there on pet obesity. According to one source, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 54 percent of America's pets are overweight or obese. According to the Banfield Sate of Pet Health 2012 Report, the prevalence of excess body weight has increased by 37 percent in dogs and a whopping 90 percent in cats since 2007. All of this is important because being overweight or obese is the greatest contributing factor to diabetes in pets.
If your pet is diagnosed, there's good news - in cats, with management (including weight loss, diet changes, increased exercise and good luck) many cats go into remission, and insulin might no longer be required. In cats and dogs, diabetes isn't a good thing - but it's also not a death sentence.