November is Pet Diabetes Awareness month. Wait-what? Pets can get diabetes? Diabetes can occur in both dogs and cats, older, younger and pregnant pets. The disease is more manageable if it is detected early and managed with the help of your veterinarian. The good news is that with proper monitoring, treatment, diet and exercise, diabetic pets can lead long and happy lives!
Signs to keep an eye on:
Sudden weight loss
If your pet is showing any of the previous symptoms, take him or her to your veterinarian immediately for a physical exam and blood work. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your veterinarian will prescribe an initial dose and type of insulin for your pet. Insulin cannot be given orally – it must be given by injection under the skin. Your veterinarian or veterinary technician will teach you how to give the insulin injections, which involve a very small needle and are generally very well tolerated by the pet. Successful treatment of diabetes requires regular examinations, blood and urine tests, and monitoring your pet’s weight, appetite, drinking and urination.
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body cannot use glucose (a type of sugar) normally. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. The levels of glucose in the blood are primarily controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is made by the pancreas. Dogs and cats with diabetes usually require lifelong treatment with special diets, a good fitness regimen and, particularly in dogs, daily insulin injections. The key to managing diabetic pets is to keep your pet’s blood sugar near normal levels and avoid too-high or too-low levels that can be life-threatening. Patience and communication with your vet is important as you and your pet adjust to the new diet and medications.
While there is no cure for pet diabetes, there are ways to successfully manage the disease. Diabetic dogs and cats can live long and healthy lives with proper management and veterinary care. If you have any questions on diabetes, please don’t hesitate to call us!
Starting today, 11/5 is National Animal Shelter Appreciation week! Shelters are over flowing with pets that need homes and these pets range from pure breeds, mixes, puppies, adults, seniors, disabled, all sorts of colors, sizes and the list goes on. One great reason for adopting a pet instead of buying one is that, typically, pets for adoption from shelters and rescue groups are already spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Those services can cost hundreds of dollars, and when you adopt a pet, you not only save a life but you save a lot on your wallet as well.
Many times you are able to read on their chart as to why they were left at the shelter. Some pet owners who can no longer care for their beloved pet write out instructions for people to read. You will see many pets are potty trained and know their commands. Many dogs and cats get along with other dogs, cats and children, however, always be safe and cautious when introducing your new adoption pet to your other pets in the household. Meet and greet at the shelter may be different once you all get home.
The most common reasons pets end up homeless are:
People losing a home or job
Unplanned litters due to pets not being spayed or neutered
People feeling they no longer have enough time or desire to properly care for a pet
Sadly because of these reasons, right now there are hundreds of great pets at shelters and with rescue groups waiting for someone to choose them. Pets bring joy to millions of people every day. If you don’t have time to visit your shelter and have things to donate, please stop by PAH and we will be happy to take the donated items for you! Pacific Animal Hospital is proud to give a free health exam to those families that adopted a pet from our local shelters, within 20 days. We applaud those who work, volunteer and donate to your local shelters. You are so appreciated!
Whether you head to a local shelter or search online for a group that rescues dogs of your favorite breed, the right pet is out there for you. After all, the best kind of pet is one that is adopted!