When you talk about diabetes it is different in dog than in cats. Dr. Lucas Kandefer says it is a little easier to understand our cats than our dogs in that cats are much more like people when they are older. He says we are talking about type 2 diabetes. That tends to be a type of diabetes that is associated with family history of having diabetes, your weight, your food, all those things play a part with cats developing diabetes. He says a heavy cat is a red flag for a veterinarian. This cat is at risk for diabetes and other medical conditions. Diabetes is really easy to manage if you manage their weight. He says when they see cats gaining weight from year after year, they talk to the owners very carefully to make sure they understand we are on the risk of seeing problems.
Dogs are much more common in the type of diabetes they get. He says they are actually very similar to juvenile or type 1 diabetes. Dr. Kandefer says basically the two difference is, when a dog gets diabetes, they are diabetic for life. There is no way to manage it outside of insulin With our cats, insulin is very important to help regulate their form of diabetes but with diet, with the right weight loss and with the right insulin control their cells can actually start to produce insulin again and they can go into remission. With the help of your veterinarian you can manage your cat’s diabetes to where in the future they don’t need insulin.
Dr. Kanderfer says when you talk about both conditions, both your cats and dogs, in order to manage diabetes you will need to use insulin and at the moment a lot of the time it is using human insulin so that can be a real struggle with regards to finding affordable insulin for your pets. He says your veterinarian does always try to help find a way to make sure you can do whatever makes it easiest for your pet and for you. Shots are very scary for a lot of people when you talk about giving your pets shots. Most of time, Dr. Kandefer says, the injections for our cats and dogs, the needles are so small it is very easy to give those injections and a lot of times they don’t know it. Dr. Kandefer says the good news is that checking their sugar is not as important at home. He says sometimes they do have owners check their blood sugar at home; that could be more daunting and nerve-racking, trying to get a blood sample from your pet but they have the same exercise and the same food mostly day after day so they don’t always need to adjust their insulin like people do every day. He says they can actually say on average you should need this much, and they can regulate that and find a good level that works for your pets. Dr. Kandefer says hopefully your pet will never have to deal with diabetes but if they do, the good news is that it is a manageable condition and your veterinarian and their staff will work very hard to make sure you are comfortable if you need to manage your pets with that condition.