Glucose gone wild

By Connie Orcutt • Published: December 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

As many as 1 to 5 percent of dogs or cats have diabetes, and the numbers are rising in pets as in people. So what is diabetes and what should you look for in your animal buddy?

The body converts carbohydrates into glucose, which enters the blood. Normally, insulin pulls glucose into cells to provide fuel. But if the body can’t make or respond to insulin, glucose builds up in the blood and cells starve for energy.

Diabetes causes many problems, including hind leg weakness in cats, cataracts in dogs, and an increased risk of infections and life-threatening conditions if blood glucose levels rise dramatically.

Suggestive signs include an increased appetite along with weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, lethargy and a dull hair coat.

Your veterinarian can diagnose diabetes and get your pet on proper treatment.