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November is National Pet Diabetes month! I am fortunate that I don’t have diabetes and knock on wood neither does Kuroi, the cat, as I don’t think he could handle daily insulin injections! Basically diabetes is when the pancreas isn’t making insulin (which regulates the blood sugar) this is Type 1 and what most dogs get. Type 2 is what cats usually get, it is when the body isn’t responding to the insulin that the pancreas is making. As a result the blood sugar is high or hyperglycemic (that’s the fancy word I hear people say.)

Common signs of diabetes (in both cats and dogs) is excessive thirst and therefore urinating a lot. It can also cause weight loss, because the glucose (energy source) isn’t being used properly by the body, the body thinks it’s starving and starts using the fat and protein sources. Cataracts is also a common side effect seen usually in dogs. This is when the lens in the eye gets cloudy, basically from excess sugar. The kidneys can’t filtrate the excess glucose (sugar) so it enters the urinary tract, and boy do bacteria LOVE sugar! So that can cause urinary tract infections!

I think prevention is always the best, unfortunately there may be no exact way of preventing it. Studies have shown that diet may play a factor. Obesity is a HUGE risk factor (pun intended), in both cats and dogs. While diabetes is complex, it can be controlled in dogs and a lot of times cats can be put into remission!

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