According to the AVMA, diabetes affects one in every 200 cats, and one in every 400-500 dogs. While there are serious symptoms and consequences to this disease, proper diabetes management can keep our diabetic pets in good health.
Diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, is a condition that occurs when the body can not use glucose (a type of sugar) normally. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. The levels of glucose in the blood are primarily controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is made by the pancreas. In diabetics there is not enough glucose transported into the body’s cells. As a result, there is not enough energy for the cells to function normally, and, the tissues become starved for energy.
Diabetes in dogs and cats can occur at any age. However, diabetic dogs are usually 4 – 14 years of age and most are diagnosed at roughly 7 – 10 years of age. Most diabetic cats are older than 6 years of age. Diabetes occurs in female dogs twice as often as male dogs, and more often in neutered male cats than in females. Obesity is a significant risk factor for development of diabetes.