Diabetes in animals is a serious condition

1 Nov 2016 | Special offers, Pet Advice

Managing diabetes in dogs and cats - November is Diabetes month
Managing diabetes in dogs and cats - November is Diabetes month

Diabetes in animals is a serious condition. Early diagnosis is important and we’re offering free diabetes screening for dogs and cats during November – Diabetes Month.  Diabetes is an endocrine (hormone related) disease whereby affected animals are unable to control their blood sugar (glucose) levels which become abnormally high. Blood sugar is controlled by a hormone called insulin. Diabetic animals may not have enough insulin or the insulin they have isn’t as effective (the body becomes resistant to it).

At risk animals are often middle aged or older and can be overweight. Typically animals will show signs of drinking more, urinating more, weight change and lethargy, although these signs can be very subtle and not all signs may be seen.

Diagnosis involves detecting glucose in the urine and high levels of glucose in the blood. Treatment often involves twice daily insulin injections. Going on from this, typically glucose curves need to be run to determine the correct dosage of insulin for each patient. Early diagnosis and good control of diabetes can reduce the chance of much more serious complications which otherwise may well arise.

Don’t miss our November Diabetes Clinic Offer
During November we are offering a FREE screening test to check for diabetes in our patients. The test will be a basic dipstick test which will check for glucose in the urine.  We are inviting people to come in for a free Nurse Diabetes Clinic. In this 10 minute appointment the nurse will take some information about the animal in relation to diabetes – fill in a questionnaire on eating/drinking etc, and will also weigh your pet. They will run through the test and how to get a good urine sample.

The tests will then be carried out at home by owners and results passed to the practice for diagnosis. Alternatively a urine sample can be submitted to the practice and we will run the test here (see details below for tips on successful urine sampling).

When the results come back we’ll call to inform the owner and in those cases where the results suggest diabetes we can discuss where we go from there. This would most likely be recommending a veterinary consultation to perform a clinical examination of the animal with blood tests to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes. This consultation or any ongoing tests recommended would need to be funded by the client.

This screening test is available to all dogs and cats. They do not need to have clinical signs but we would strongly recommend this screening test to patients who do show clinical signs of diabetes for example drinking or urinating more than usual or unusual weight changes.

This free clinic and test is offered throughout November – Diabetes Month. Clients should call the hospital for further details or to arrange their free nurse consultation and to collect the test strip and additional information.

NOTE: How to get a good urine sample

  • Choose a clean/washed and dried out container- preferably one which has not previously contained food
  • first urination in the morning is ideal
  • submit the urine sample as soon as possible – the fresher the better
  • store in the fridge if cannot be brought in straight away – but get a new sample if it has been kept for longer than 8 hours.

Please don’t ignore the signs – it’s much better to rule diabetes out than potentially wait for the disease to progress.