November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month
Would you know if your pet was diabetic, or how it’s treated? Did you know that obese pets are more prone to developing diabetes just like overweight humans? It’s estimated that 1 in 500 dogs and 1 in 250 cats will become diabetic.
What are the symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats?
Common diabetes symptoms include excess thirst, excessive urination, and weight loss despite a very strong appetite. Other symptoms include thin, dull hair coat, vomiting, cloudy eyes (cataract formation), and weakness in rear legs (diabetic neuropathy).
Any breeds more prone to diabetes?
Schnauzers, Poodles, Dachshunds, Beagles, Miniature pinschers and Samoyeds are just a few breeds with high incidence of diabetes.
How are pets treated for diabetes?
Dogs are similar to Type I Diabetic people, are insulin-dependent, and must be treated with insulin injections twice a day.
Cats are usually Type II Diabetics, a.k.a. non-insulin dependent, and may be treated with various methods. Insulin injections are preferred for best control, but prescription diets and sugar lowering medication can also be used.
Can my pet be cured of diabetes?
Unfortunately dogs cannot be cured of diabetes. Some cats can achieve remission of diabetes if well-controlled for a period of many months.
Early diagnosis is important for effective treatment and to avoid the life threatening state, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which occurs when blood sugar levels become dangerously high.
For more information on diabetes in dogs and cats visit http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/
Ask Dr. Debbie
Q: My yellow Lab Milo is acting like his tail is paralyzed and won’t wag it at all. My husband took him on a hunting trip with friends and their retriever dogs. Nobody noted any injuries, but could another dog cause this by biting or pulling on his tail?
A: Unless a known injury between dogs occurred, it is more likely Milo has a condition called “Limber Tail”. This condition is commonly identified in Labrador Retrievers and Pointers, but also in Beagles, Golden Retrievers, and Coonhounds. The condition is also known as “Cold Tail” and “Swimmer’s Tail”.
Limber tail typically occurs after a strenuous swimming and retrieving workout, or may occur in cold weather. Affected dogs have a limp tail that sags or that may be held out horizontally a few inches from the tail base, then droop downwards. The tail may be painful when touched.
Treatment for Limber Tail includes rest and anti-inflammatory pain medications and dogs recover within a few days to weeks. My own Labrador experienced a bout of Limber Tail after a lake vacation trip in which he frolicked with lots of swimming and retrieving games. Afterwards it took him a bit of time to lay low and rest up, but he was 100% afterwards and back to his full tail-wag capacity.
We will be closed on Thursday, November 27th for the Thanksgiving holiday. The hospital is open regular hours on Wednesday and Friday from 7am to 7 pm. Enjoy a super holiday!