Diabetes affects pets as well as humans and up to one in 200 mature dogs may have the disease. The incidence in cats is thought to be of the same order, although more difficult to gauge due to the free range feline lifestyle.
Common signs include excessive thirst, increased urination, increased appetite and weight loss.
What is diabetes mellitus?
This a disease which prevents your pet from turning sugar in its diet into energy. This is due to a lack of the hormone insulin which controls the blood glucose levels. In a diabetic animal, the blood glucose level is too high, and the as a result is excreted in its urine.
This disease cannot be cured but can be effectively controlled by daily injections of insulin. The injections are well tolerated by most pets and owners quickly become confident with the technique. With appropriate therapy and some straight forward adjustments to the diet, diabetic patients can lead normal, active happy lives.
Take it to the vet
If your pet develops signs of excessive thirst, increased urination, increased appetite and weight loss you should arrange for your pet to be examined by a veterinary surgeon as soon as possible. While it may have diabetes it could also have other conditions that that the vet will need to rule out.