Pet Diabetes: Early Detection & Successful Management Have Positive Effects

A gray-striped cat with golden eyes lays on a colorful bedspread, looking wary.

All animals are unique in the ways they behave, but there are generally tell-tale signs that something’s amiss. Sure, domestic and wild animals alike may try to hide symptoms of illness or injury, but there’s no mistaking excessive thirst and increased urination in our four-legged friends. With undiagnosed pet diabetes, pets may beg for food and continue to lose weight. Early detection is the key to successful long-term management, and marks the beginning of a chapter in the lives of both pets and their owners.

Risk Factors

Pet diabetes can develop at a higher rate in overweight or obese pets. Higher risk pets may include senior pets, those with Cushing’s disease, hyperthyroidism, or chronic pancreatitis, pets on steroids, and pregnant females. Older female dogs are more likely to be diagnosed than older male dogs; senior male cats are considered higher risk than aging female cats.

That being said, pet diabetes can occur in any pet regardless of age or lifestyle. Genetics may also play a part.

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A Growing Concern: Pet Obesity

Slipping your sweet pet a morsel of whatever you’re eating or offering a liberal amount from their treat jar is a daily occurrence for many of us. After all, nothing makes our furry friends happier than food, right? But when your pet gets too much of a good thing, the pounds can creep on, and this affects their health. If you can prevent pet obesity and keep them at an ideal weight, they have a better chance at a longer and healthier life.

Pet obesity is quickly becoming a major problem for our nation’s dogs and cats – studies show that over 50% of pets in the US are either overweight or obese. What’s more, as many as 95% of pet owners with overweight pets perceive their pet as falling within a healthy weight range. This disconnect is concerning and shows the veterinary community that we need to do a better job in educating pet owners about identifying and preventing pet obesity.

Fortunately pet obesity is recognizable and preventable, and we may even be able to reverse the condition. To that end, Advantage Veterinary Center gives you our best tips on pet obesity and nutrition.

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