A disease characterized by a decreased tolerance to carbohydrates (sugars), due to deficiency of insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by special cells in the pancreas, which is responsible for the proper metabolism of all body tissues. Without proper insulin levels, serious changes occur within the body that leads to coma and death. It is a common problem in both cats and dogs.
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive hunger
Although the exact cause of Diabetes Mellitus is not known, several factors are known to be involved including genetics, diet, obesity, age, and complications from injury and illness.
Despite extensive research (especially in the field of human medicine), there is no known cure. Therefore, once it has been diagnosed, all medical attempts are to control the disease. This involves daily administration of insulin for the remainder of the pet’s life. The oral form of insulin is not effective in animals. Once properly regulated, the majority of diabetic pets can maintain normal lives. Home care involves daily administration of insulin and feeding a well-regulated high quality diet. A high-protein, low-carbohydrate commercial food (preferably canned food) should be fed at a constant time and quantity level. The amount of food ingested will affect the amount of insulin required.
During the first few weeks of treatment, several consultations and tests are necessary to properly regulate the patient to insulin therapy. Changes in insulin dosage, frequency of injection, diet, or exercise may be required