World Diabetes Day Promotes Awareness of Disease

Keeping cats and dogs fit may help ward off condition, experts say.

Posted Nov. 13, 2008, 3 a.m. EST

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World Diabetes Day kicks off on Nov. 14th in an effort to inform owners how to prevent and recognize the disease
World Diabetes Day is intended to draw attention to the disease, which affects one out of every 400 cats and dogs.
Those balls, Frisbees, toys and play strings that pets like to chase after might be helpful in warding off diabetes. To raise awareness about the disease – which affects approximately one out of every 400 cats and dogs – World Diabetes Day on Friday, Nov. 14, aims to inform pet owners about the warning signs and treatments.

The campaign brings diabetes to light as a serious condition that afflicts not only adults and children but pets as well. Designated as an official United Nations World Health Day, it draws attention to the growing prevalence of diabetes.

No one is certain why diabetes in pets is on the rise, though obesity is the top consideration, according to WebVet.com, an online resource for pet owners.

In cats and dogs, the disease tends to affect those who are middle-aged; however, it can begin in any life stage, according to WebVet. In dogs, it is more common in females and in certain breeds, such as the Keeshond, Puli, Miniature Pinscher and Cairn Terrier.

Male and female cats of all breeds can be affected and seem to be equally at risk. As with humans, the most common factor driving diabetes in pets is weight, with approximately 25 percent of cats and dogs classified as clinically obese.

Early detection and treatment is key. Common signs and symptoms for pet owners to watch for include:

  • Excessive consumption of water.
  • Urinating more than usual. With cats, they might urinate out of the box and with dogs, they might break house-training.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Dramatic weight loss.
  • Poorly healing wounds.

Once a pet is diagnosed with diabetes, treatment includes:

  • Diet, exercise and weight loss for extremely mild cases, though insulin injections are needed in most cases to keep blood glucose levels in the normal range.
  • A fixed, balanced diet, divided equally into morning and evening portions.
  • Removing snacks and table food from your pet’s diet as they interfere with the proper regulation of glucose levels.
  • Consistent exercise for your pet.
  • Checking your pet’s urine glucose on a daily basis.
  • Regular visits to the veterinarian for blood glucose tests.

 

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Reader Comments

Evelyn    Beamsville, ON

11/14/2008 8:55:54 AM

Great info.

Laurie    Erie, MS

11/13/2008 8:08:03 PM

My friend had a cat that she used to have to give an insulin shot every day too.

bk    n haven, CT

11/13/2008 8:05:54 PM

thanks good info

Sue    Springfield, IL

11/13/2008 7:16:24 PM

Thanks for all the information!

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