How to Detect Diabetes in Pets?


Like humans, pets like cats and dogs can also develop diabetes. Pets with diabetes need proper treatment as it is a life-threatening disease. If you have pet you should be aware about the symptoms and treatment of diabetes.

Diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in pets is based on:

The clinical signs and symptoms
Detection of persistently high level of glucose in the blood stream
Presence of glucose in the urine.
Signs and symptoms

The common signs of diabetes in pets include:

Increased frequency of urination
Increased thirst
Weight loss
Change in appetite—increased (polyphagia) or decreased appetite (anorexia)
Vomiting
Decreased activity, lethargy, weakness,
Changed behavior
The signs and symptoms depend on severity & length of time your pet has been a diabetic.

Blood sugar levels

The normal blood glucose level in pets is about 80-120 mg/dl (4.4-6.6 mmol/L). After a meal it may rise to 250-300 mg/dl (13.6-16.5 mmol/L).

But in diabetes blood glucose levels can rise above 400 mg/dl (usually remains in the range of 400-600 mg/dl). In some diabetic pets the glucose level can reach as high as 800 mg/dl.

The blood tests that can be used to monitor your dog’s blood sugar levels include;

Blood glucose levels
Fructosamine test
Blood glucose levels: This test is done most commonly to detect and monitor diabetic pets. The test is usually done at least 6 hours after eating. Your veterinary doctor can guide you regarding the test.

Fructosamine test: This test determines the average of the blood glucose levels over a period of last two weeks. This test may be preferred in some pets —as it is less altered by stress, changes in diet and exercise and can be performed at any time of the day.

Glucose in urine: If the blood glucose level exceeds the normal range —then glucose is filtered out of the blood stream by the kidneys. If glucose is present in urine then it means that your pets has excessive amounts of glucose in the blood.

Your diabetic pet should be monitored regularly for changes in blood sugar levels. Diabetes can be controlled well in pets with treatment. A well-treated diabetic pet can live for many years.

Dr Poonam Sachdeva, our in-house medical expert talks about the why what and how in diabetes.

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