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Our pets are so much like us that they even come down with many of the same health problems seen in humans -- including, unfortunately, diabetes. Diabetes in cats and dogs is distressingly common, and it's a condition that seriously erodes your pet's quality of life. Fortunately, pet diabetes can also be treated successfully. Our Baltimore veterinary clinic, Fullerton Animal Hospital, can help your diabetic pet thrive in spite of his illness.
Diabetes is the state that occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or respond to insulin efficiently enough, to control its blood sugar levels. High blood sugar causes numerous problems, from nerve and blood vessel damage to constant hunger or thirst to weight loss, vision loss, and eventual organ failure. The two principal types of diabetes are type 1, which becomes evident early in life, and type 2, which develops during or after middle age. Most diabetes in dogs and cats is of the type 2 variety.
While diabetes can be an inherited trait, the principal cause of type 2 diabetes in cats and dogs is obesity. Today's pets often eat too much or too often for their activity level, size, age and breed -- and those meals may include high levels of carbohydrates. As the body packs on the pounds, the overwhelmed digestive system cannot keep up with runaway blood sugar. This problem has taken on epidemic proportions in the animal community.
The best way to keep diabetes from damaging your beloved pet is to keep up his annual wellness exams. (Senior pets, which have a higher diabetes risk, should be getting two such exams per year.) Our internal/external evaluations and blood/urine testing methods can detect diabetes in its early stages before significant harm has been done. Any veterinarian on our team can determine the exact cause of diabetes -- which may be an underlying medical disorder, such as pancreatic failure, instead of obesity. We can then make some immediate recommendations for getting the problem under control.
Your pet may benefit from:
You can protect your pet from the ravages of diabetes, but the first step is detecting the disease and understanding your pet's risk for it. Call Fullerton Animal Hospital today at (410) 665-6996 to schedule a pet wellness exam!