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Diabetes and Senior Pets—Identification and Care

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Although diabetes can occur in any pet, young or old, it is most common in older pets. The team at Total Veterinary Care® encourages you to seek our advice on early detection. And if your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, we can help you monitor and manage it in order to help your furry friend live a healthy, happy life.

What is Diabetes?
When a pet has diabetes, its body cannot properly process a sugar called glucose. This results in the body’s cells and tissues being starved of energy. When glucose levels are out of balance, the water in the body is also out of balance. That’s why diabetic pets might drink a lot more water than normal and urinate a lot more.

Diabetes Onset
Although diabetes can occur at any age, it commonly occurs between four and 14 years for dogs, and over age six for diabetic cats. Certain breeds of dogs are more likely to get diabetes.  These include Toy Poodles, Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers. Female dogs are twice as likely to get diabetes. Additional risk factors include obesity, certain other diseases, and some medications.

What to Watch For
According to the AVMA, “noticing early signs of diabetes is the most important step in taking care of your pet.” In addition to regular check-ups, you should bring your pet to your veterinarian if you see any of the following signs:

  • Excessive water drinking and increased urination
  • Weight loss, even though there may be an increased appetite
  • Decreased appetite
  • Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
  • Chronic or recurring infections (including skin infections and urinary infections)

Your veterinarian will confirm a diagnosis through urine and blood tests.

Treatment and Care for Diabetic Pets
Treatment for diabetes is unique to each pet.  At Total Veterinary Care®, our team will work with you to care for your pet through medications, specialized dietary recommendations, and fitness suggestions. We encourage all pet parents to schedule biannual Preventive Care Examinations to help keep your pet healthy and detect problems as early as possible. Our Total Care Wellness Plans® can help you budget for special costs associated with senior care.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your pet’s health care.

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Allison

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