Nov 08 2018

Pet Diabetes

image for Pet Diabetes

November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month. In pets, just as in humans, diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin, stops producing it, or doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin is needed to convert sugars (specifically glucose) in the bloodstream into energy in the body’s cells. With diabetes, the cells do not have enough energy to function properly. The body then begins to breakdown body tissues which are converted to sugar by the liver.

Diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including liver disease, kidney disease, seizures, cataracts/blindness, increased risk of infections, and even death if the condition is not treated.

Though diabetes affects less than 1% of dogs and cats, it’s important to be aware of the risks and signs.

Risk factors include age (older dogs and cats are more susceptible), obesity, inactivity, and genetics. Certain breeds of dogs are at a higher risk for developing diabetes, including the Australian Terrier, Bichon Frisé, Cairn Terrier, Fox Terrier, Keeshond, and Miniature and Standard Poodles. Unspayed female dogs and neutered male cats are also at a greater risk for developing diabetes.

Signs that your pet may have diabetes include:

  • excessive thirst and drinking
  • excessive urination or accidents in the house
  • weight loss despite an increased appetite
  • lethargy (less active)
  • poor skin condition
  • thin, dry, dull coat

Fortunately, the treatment and management of diabetes can be accomplished through a partnership with your veterinarian. 

As with people, diabetes is often controlled with insulin injections, typically given twice a day.  Many pet owners are anxious about giving injections, either for fear of hurting their pet or feeling unable to do it. In fact, it’s easier than you think, and most cats and dogs tolerate the injections quite well. Your veterinary health care team will show you how to give injections to your pet.

Diet and feeding times are important in the management of diabetes. Your veterinarian will recommend a diet that is best your pet. It is important to feed your pet at the same time each day and keep meal sizes the same. Your pet should be fed the amount of food required for his ideal body weight. 

Taking your pet for regular veterinary checkups is an important part of diabetes management. Your veterinarian will recommend visits at regular intervals to monitor your pet’s condition.

A diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming, but the sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated. If you notice any signs associated with diabetes, discuss them with your veterinarian.

LifeLearn News

Note: This article, written by LifeLearn Animal Health (LifeLearn Inc.) is licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of Lifelearn. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by a veterinarian.

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That makes 12 years in a row you've voted us "Best of Suffolk/Franklin/Isle of Wight"! Thank you for all your votes - we appreciate every single one of them. We will work hard to earn your vote again next year

Companion Therapy Laser

Harbour Veterinary Office is very concerned about pain management in pets. Because of this concern we have added the latest technology for the treatment of joint and soft tissue pain, the Companion Therapy Laser. This Laser introduces heat and light to the deepest tissues, which then reduces pain and swelling. This encourages the animal's own healing processes. The Laser is used routinely following every surgery, as well as for countless other applications. Virtually any painful condition can be made less painful with this therapy. Treatments last only minutes per site and require no anesthesia. Your pet will be very comfortable as this laser produces only slight warmth in the inflamed tissue. Laser Therapy for chronic conditions -ie.. arthritis - usually require 6 treatments to get your pet to a much more tolerable state. Booster treatments are then required every 4 to 12 weeks to maintain the reduced pain. If your pet is currently on a medication to reduce swelling and/or pain, this treatment may reduce or eliminate the need for oral medications. Please ask for more information from anyone on our staff, or go to the The Companion Therapy Laser website, in the Links section of our website.

Location Hours
Monday8:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday8:00am – 7:00pm
Wednesday8:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday8:00am – 7:00pm
Friday8:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday8:00am – 12:00pm

Emergency Process
For after-hours emergency information, please call 935-9111 this is the number for the emergency clinic in Northern Suffolk called The Cove. Or please call 366 - 9000. This is the number for the emergency clinic located adjacent to Greenbrier Mall.