Vail Valley Veterinarian talks about Diabetes in Pets

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Vail Valley Veterinarian talks about Diabetes in Pets

~~November is known in the veterinary field as the “National Diabetes Awareness month” for pets. As an emergency on call veterinarian in the Vail Valley, we see a lot of pets come in after hours with complaints of “sudden weight loss” and “depression” with many owners not realizing this could be a condition we can easily diagnose during a routine visit.
There are Ten common signs of Diabetes in pets.
They are:
1. Sudden Weight Loss
Was your cat or dog very overweight and suddenly the weight has seemingly “fallen off?” With diabetes, the metabolism to keep up with the sudden inability to store sugar causes a rapid increase in metabolic rate, thus causing your pet to become thin.
Keeping track of your pet’s weight often will help you more closely monitor weight loss.
Weight loss can occur with many other diseases as well, so be sure to have your veterinarian run a blood chemistry and urinealysis to focus on the condition most likely causing the weight loss.

2. Increased Thirst      
Is your pet hovering over the water bowl? Do you notice you have to fill the water more frequently? These signs are not classic for just diabetes but are a very good indicator that your pet does potentially have the disease and again, a blood chemistry and urinealyis should be performed as soon as possible.

3. Increased Hunger
If your pet is suddenly starving for more food, this is an indicator of an increase in metabolism associated with diabetes. Monitor daily how much your pet eats, and if you notice sudden ravenous appetite, it’s time to call your veterinarian .

4. Increase in Urination
Because Diabetic pets commonly drink more water, you will see a much higher increase in the urine output. Many pets also develop urinary tract infections associated with the diabetes and will continually be urinating frequently and without control.

5. Obesity
Overweight pets are far more prone to diabetes due to the increased need for insulin.

6. Cloudy eyes
Diabetic pets can develop dangerous cataracts which can lead to blindness. Sudden “grey eyes” or “cloudy “ eyes can be an indicator of diabetes and a reason for immediate concern for your pet’s health.

7. Thin/Dull hair coat
Any time you notice your pet’s hair coat is dull, flaky, falling out, or matted, there is reason for health concerns causing this.
Because diabetics quickly dehydrate, a dry, flaky, dull coat can be common.

8. Weakness or Fatigue
Diabetes overtime leads to muscle “wasting”, and generalized weakness. Cats especially can develop a “diabetic “ neuropathy where the back legs appear weak, wobbly and collapse. Again, muscle weakness can be a sign of many medical conditions, but it is a sign to surely monitor in your aging, overweight pets.
9. Depression
Diabetic pets can develop major lethargy and depression in response to the breakdown of fats and proteins in the liver due to the lack of insulin.  A condition called “ketoacidosis” can develop from this in the unregulated diabetics and lead to death.
10.  Vomiting
Anytime a pet is vomiting, it is a sign of concern. Untreated/unregulated diabetics will often vomit due to the “ketoacidosis” as mentioned above. Though this is not the first sign of diabetes, it certainly should spark concern in pet owner’s to have their pet seen so that any underlying medical condition causing it can be diagnosed.

We look forward to seeing you!