Is paw good for diabetics

Diabetes in dogs and cats

As of: May 29, 2020 2:55 p.m.

Not only people get diabetes: dogs and cats also suffer from it. According to the Federal Association for Animal Health, around 30,000 dogs and 20,000 cats are affected in Germany. The metabolic disorder can also occur in other pets, but the number of cases there is significantly lower.

Symptoms of diabetes in pets

Animals suffering from diabetes develop great thirst and cravings.

You don't have to be a specialist to spot the signs of a metabolic disorder. Attentive pet owners can already recognize the symptoms by looking at the food bowl. Typical alarm signals: The pets develop great thirst and food cravings. At the same time, you will noticeably lose weight. In addition, their urge to urinate increases. Cause: The increased blood sugar in the urine removes water from the body. The animals try to compensate for this loss by drinking. Changes in coat, hair loss and clouded eye lenses can also be consequences of diabetes.

When it comes to cats, vet Fabian von Manteuffel also pays attention to their gait. "If you have diabetes, your gait becomes clumsier. Instead of just putting your toes on, you put your whole foot on and bend something in the back."

Sick animals must be given special food

If owners observe these symptoms, they should take their animal to the doctor. With a blood and urine test, he reliably determines whether the blood sugar level is actually increased. If this is the case, you have to switch to special diabetic food. As with people with this disease, discipline when eating is very important for animals: only eat meals at fixed times and absolutely avoid treats in between.

Dogs usually have no problem with solid meals. Cats are more likely to have trouble. They are used to eating all day. Strong nerves are sometimes required from the owners.

Animals also get insulin

After cats and dogs have eaten, they must be given insulin. The owners can usually administer the preparation to the animals themselves after a short briefing. The hormone is injected under the skin, usually on one side of the body. The pets react differently to this new habit. Some animals don't even wake up from it, others don't like it at all. Patience and loving care will help you make the change.

The insulin is in ampoules. These should be stored in the refrigerator and carefully rolled back and forth before use. Vigorous shaking is by no means recommended, as this would break down the insulin molecules and lose their effectiveness. The veterinarian determines the level of hormone administration. It depends on the severity of the fall and the size and weight of the animal.

Adjust to permanent additional costs

Diabetes food is more expensive than ordinary food. Then there are the costs for the hormone preparation. 10 milliliters of insulin cost around 100 euros. The four-legged friends need two injections a day. In addition, more frequent doctor visits must be taken into account in the initial phase. Especially at the beginning it is necessary to regularly check medically how successful the therapy is. Longer trips or excursions should be postponed during this phase.

If the blood sugar level is well controlled, owners can use a test strip to check the urine for sugar themselves. Alternatively, small test devices for domestic use can also be used. Similar to humans, a small drop of blood is drawn and the blood sugar level is determined.

Immediate help with hypoglycaemia

Pets can also get hypoglycaemia. Just like in humans, "hypoglycemia" manifests itself in weakness, swaying and trembling. It can even lead to unconsciousness. Glucose helps as an emergency measure. The drops should be placed under the animal's tongue or, if it can no longer swallow, massaged into the gums.

If the insulin syringe is forgotten, the owner should contact the veterinarian immediately. The injection can be made up for, but the dosage may have to be halved. If the animal vomits after eating, the owners should wait an hour. Then they can offer the animal again food and then inject the insulin.

Preventing Diabetes in Pets

Veterinarians recommend different strategies for prevention in dogs and cats. In dogs, it is mainly females that are affected. Since the sex hormones have a negative influence on insulin, castration should be considered.

In cats, it is more likely to affect the overweight male specimens. A healthy weight in the animals is the best prophylaxis.

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