Your pets are like family members, and you want them to be healthy. But what if your dog or cat is living with diabetes, and you don’t know it?
“Often, pet owners are not aware that dogs and cats can have diabetes,” says Hedi Goerg, a veterinarian and a director, Merck Animal Health. “If untreated, diabetes can lead to a number of serious health issues for your pet.”
Diabetes affects anywhere between 1 in 1001 to 1 in 5002 dogs and cats. The number of dogs diagnosed with the condition has tripled during the past 30 years3. Risk factors that may contribute to the development of diabetes include age (middle-aged to older dogs and cats are more susceptible), genetics, breed and obesity.
Signs of diabetes in dogs and cats could include:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger while losing weight
What Pet Owners Can Do
There is no cure for diabetes, but there are things pet owners can do to keep animals healthy:
- Help your dog or cat maintain a healthy lifestyle. Proper diet and exercise play a key role in your pet’s health.
- Visit your veterinarian, and talk about your pet’s health. Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes can prevent or delay health complications.
“This is a disease that is escalating around the world. But with the right care, your diabetic dog or cat can have the same life expectancy as a pet without diabetes.”
1 Nelson RW. Canine diabetes mellitus. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldman EC, eds. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2010: 1782-1796.
2 Reusch C. Feline diabetes mellitus. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldman EC, eds. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2010: 1796-1816.
3 Fleeman LM, Rand JS. Beyond insulin therapy: Achieving optimal control in diabetic dogs. Waltham FOCUS 2005;15:12-19.
Take a Quiz, Download Resources
Visit www.petdiabetesmonth.com to learn more about pet diabetes, take a quiz about your pet’s risk, watch videos, download helpful brochures, and learn more about what you can do to help your pet stay healthy.