Managing Diabetes in Your Pet
Diabetes mellitus is an ever-growing problem with our companion animals. In cats, diabetes is more common in middle-age to older-age and in overweight cats, usually caused by feeding dry food high in carbohydrates. In dogs, diabetes is common in middle-age to older animals, especially in females and genetically predisposed breeds such as Poodles, Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Dobermans, Shepherds, Labs and Golden Retrievers.
The following are symptoms of diabetes in pets:
- Frequent urination and urinary tract infections
- Excessive drinking
- Always hungry
- Weight loss
- Eyes appear cloudy
- Dull and dry coat
- Kidney failure
- Peripheral neuropathy (in cats)
Veterinarians use urine and blood samples to determine the glucose content in both and diagnose if your pet has diabetes. Once diagnosed, your pet may be placed on insulin to help manage the disease.
Diabetes is tied to obesity caused by improper diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. Dogs and cats should be fed a species appropriate diet consisting of high protein and low carbohydrates. Your dog or cat will need regular aerobic exercise to maintain a healthy weight and keep in shape. Also, avoid repetitive yearly vaccinations against diseases which cause an over-stimulation of your pet’s immune system. Vaccinations attack the pancreas which can develop into diabetes. Find an Integrative or Holistic Veterinarian who runs titers to measure an animal’s antibody response from previous vaccinations. Titers can show if an additional vaccination is necessary and help avoid over-vaccination. Fortunately, we do have natural herbal formulations and supplements available which include devil’s club, gymnema, blueberry, astragalus, fenugreek, bitter melon, turmeric, goat’s rue, dandelion and Oregon grape which can help support the control of blood sugar in your pets.
With following the proper therapy, changing your pet’s food to a species appropriate diet, and encouraging your pet to get plenty of exercise, you can help your pet live a happy and normal life.
For more information, visit the Natural Pet Specialty Shop at 398 N. Harbor City Blvd., Melbourne, call 321-259-3005 or visit NaturalPetSpecialtyShop.com. (Located just south of Del’s Freez, corner of Laurie St. and US1.)