According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, diabetes is most common in older pets but still occurs in younger and pregnant animals. Much like when the disease is found in people, early detection makes it more manageable. Learn the warning signs and how to care for your pet suffering from diabetes.

A common form of the disease found in dogs is deemed Type I. It is typically caused when the pancreas is unable to produce efficient levels of insulin. Pups who suffer from this disorder will require special therapy treatments to survive. Cats will more commonly experience Type II, which is the lack of normal response to insulin.

Diabetic pets can live long and healthy lives with proper treatment. However, if left untreated, there may be life-threatening consequences.

Symptoms

It is sometimes easy to notice the symptoms and bring it to the attention of your veterinarian. Here are a few things to look for if you see your pet isn't acting like themselves, per the AVMA.

• Excessive water drinking and increased urination.
• Decreased appetite and cloudy eyes.
• Chronic or recurring infections such as skin and urinary issues.

Risk factors

While our beloved pets can be affected by diabetes at any age, the AVMA reports dogs are usually diagnosed around the age of seven, whereas diabetic cats are usually older than six.

It is also reported female dogs are at double the risk of male dogs, and certain canine breeds are predisposed to the condition. A study performed by the National Institutes of Health revealed pugs, toy poodles, miniature schnauzers and miniature poodles are at a high risk of developing diabetes.

Medical treatments

Once it is discovered that your pet is diabetic, your vet will discuss their treatment plan.

Typically, a dog or cat will need lifelong insulin injections, frequent examinations and blood and urine tests. A veterinarian will show you how to give the insulin shot. Be honest with your vet if you don't feel the condition is getting better as dosages may require an adjustment.

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