A leading vets in Yorkshire is urging owners to be aware of the symptoms of diabetes in pets and how they can help manage the lifelong condition.
Diabetes is estimated to affect one in 300 dogs and one in 200 cats and occurs when a pet is unable to produce enough insulin, or their body does not respond to insulin properly.
This means their bodies can’t regulate the sugar levels in their blood, which can lead to serious side effects including cataracts, an enlarged liver, urinary tract infections, seizures and kidney failure.
Signs which owners should look out for in their pets include them drinking more often, passing urine more frequently or in larger amounts, weight loss, being hungry, sleeping more or being less active.
Ben Lord, lead vet at Calder’s Dewsbury animal hospital, said: “Unfortunately, diabetes in our pets cannot be cured, but it can be effectively treated with careful management to give your pet a much better quality of life.
“A treatment plan, tailored by your vet to address your pet’s specific condition, can include a balanced diet, regular exercise and insulin injections.
“If you are concerned about diabetes and your pet, then we urge you to book an appointment with your vet.
“If your pet does have diabetes, the best plan to help manage it can be drawn up.”
Keeping pets healthy is vital in managing diabetes, in particular ensuring they don’t become overweight. Advice includes walking dogs daily, varying their walking routes to keep exercise
interesting, combining games with walks and trying to avoid feeding them table scraps, which can unbalance their diets.
For cats, playtime is the best form of exercise, so they should be kept active with scratching posts, small toys and things to play bat with.
Fresh, clean water should be provided for cats and dogs at all times.
For more information on Calder Vets, which has 13 branches across south and west Yorkshire, visit www.caldervets.co.uk.