Diabetes in Pets

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Diabetes mellitus strikes 1 in 400 cats and a similar number of dogs. That number appears to be growing in cats, recently as high as 1 in 50 by some estimates. Causes are still being studied. Symptoms in dogs and cats are similar to those in humans, weight loss, excess urination and drinking. Generally, most diabetic dogs are type-1, most cats are type-2, but all need insulin and diet changes to begin with. Diabetes is definitely treatable, and need not shorten the animal's life span or life quality.

In cats, prompt, effective treatment includes Hometesting blood glucose levels, low-carb diet, and long-lasting insulin. These three together can lead to remission, in which the cat, on a controlled diet, no longer needs injected insulin.

In dogs, prompt, effective treatment includes Hometesting blood glucose levels, a specific diet which varies from dog to dog, and a well-suited dog insulin such as Vetsulin or a pork-based Lente or an NPH insulin. Some dogs do better with a high-fiber, high-protein diet. Other vets recommend a healthy diet with limited carbohydrate treats and a bolus insulin for mealtimes.

Caring for a diabetic cat or dog requires a commitment to be at home twice a day to give insulin shots. It does not require constant intervention by a vet, or long hospital stays, except when there are complications. Monthly diabetic expenses are on the order of $50-100[1], not the much higher prices many vets may quote.

To learn more, choose a category that interests you from the list below and begin exploring. If you're just looking around, try the Main_Page links, or a random page. If you're new to Pet Diabetes, you may wish to start with the Introduction.

There are plenty of pointers throughout this wiki to supporting web_resources. One excellent overview on cats is Dr. Rand's new summary[2].

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Further Reading[]