Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that affects over 350 million people. Since diabetics need to ensure that their blood sugar level is always under control, they are forced to adapt lifelong management techniques to keep complications at bay. If left untreated, diabetes can be a precursor to other serious health issues like heart diseases, eye problems, kidney disorders, etc.
But it is not only humans, pets too are no stranger to this illness. “There is a strong possibility that cats, dogs and other pets can be affected by diabetes. Unlike humans, it might be relatively difficult to manage the disease in pets by keeping their blood sugar levels under control,” says Rosie Paul, founder and chief operating officer, WoofWoofNow.
Here are seven signs that would help pet owners recognise their pet’s diabetes.
1. Frequent urination
This condition is known as polyuria and occurs due to the problems in renal function. This is one of the primary symptoms of diabetes in pets. This can be monitored by observing their behaviour, especially at night. If the pet urinates more than once during the night, it is time to do a check for diabetes.
2. Excessive thirst
If your pet is drinking excess water, then it is advisable to run a diagnosis. There is a possibility that pets need extra water during specific seasons and after certain activities. However, polydipsia would mean excessive consumption compared to the normal levels — a sign which should not be missed.
3. Loss of appetite / excessive hunger
Diabetes affects the standard functioning of the body as the food is not properly converted into energy. This means that there would be changes in your pet’s appetite. This, however, might differ due to various factors. Some animals suffer from appetite loss and do not consume even the basic levels, while some pets may feel extremely hungry and demand excess food.
Is your pet suffering from lethargy and refusing to go out for a walk? Is he/she disinterested in playing with their favourite toy? Then it is time to consult a veterinarian. Diabetes can lead to pets feeling lethargic and drained of energy.
Vomiting is a sign of sickness in pets. But if your pet vomits continually, it could be a symptom of diabetes.
Like humans, pets can feel weakness in their muscles and joints. Owners can recognise the same when their pet struggle to do simple tasks. Pets could also lose their muscles and weight if they have diabetes.
7. Eye problems
Diabetes affects the nervous system of the pets, causing eye damage. Their vision could become blurry, and they would have difficulty in seeing things even close to them. It is prudent to have a yearly eye check-up to be on the safer side.
“All diseases in humans and animals can be treated effectively if caught early. The issues become complicated at a later stage, making it highly challenging to manage. Diabetes does not cause death in general. However, it can lead to other health concerns that are quite dangerous. Diabetes management could be complicated for pets, as they require regular insulin injections in addition to dietary restrictions. The owners must have a thorough understanding of the various pet conditions to aid them to seek timely help. Some symptoms are similar to humans, and it is difficult to avoid it. Consult with your veterinarian or an expert to know more about the subject,” adds Paul.
*Disclaimer: Similar symptoms as mentioned above can be for other reasons as well, it’s best to consult a veterinarian all times etc.*