The Treatment of Diabetes in Cats and Dogs

Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to control its own bloodsugar levels. Humans aren't the only ones that can suffer from diabetes... animals can, too. Today, we'll talk about the treatment of diabetes in cats and dogs.
The Treatment of Diabetes in Cats and Dogs
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Diabetes in cats and dogs can develop asymptomatically, silently affecting the animal’s body. Today, we’ll summarize the main aspects of the prevention and treatment of this chronic illness in pets.

Diabetes in cats and dogs: What is it and how does it develop?

In humans, as well as pets, Diabetes Mellitus can appear in two different ways. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body is altogether unable to produce insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by a metabolic disorder that leads to the inadequate use of the insulin the body produces. Or, alternatively, it can involve a deficit in its production.

The body loses control

In these cases, t he body becomes unable to control its own blood sugar levels. As a result, an enormous amount of glucose ceases to produce energy and becomes “stuck”.

When all of the glucose fails to reach the bloodstream, animals enter a “state of starvation”. When this happens, they tend to consume a lot of food and gain weight rapidly. It seems like they’re infinitely hungry when, in reality, it’s a symptom of the disease.

Diabetes: risk factors

Type 1 diabetes is related, in almost 100% of cases, to genetic inheritance. However, type 2 diabetes in cats and dogs is highly linked to the following risk factors:

Diabetes in dogs: prevention and treatment

Most dogs that suffer from diabetes develop type 1. These animals require daily injections for the rest of their lives, as a treatment for their chronic illness.

Dog breeds that have a greater genetic tendency towards diabetes are:

A dog with diabetes.

Some dogs may develop type 2 diabetes given an accumulation of the risk factors mentioned above.

In these cases, prevention is the key to preserving a dog’s health and well-being. Simple habits, such as offering a balanced diet and regular exercise, are an effective way to combat diabetes.

Treatment is very similar to that of type 1 diabetes and consists of the application of insulinBut positive changes in an animal’s routine can lead to a decrease in dosage. And, of course, these changes also improve an animal’s quality of life and increase its longevity.

Diabetes in cats: prevention is the key

In the case of felines, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed more often. Generally, these animals develop this metabolic disorder as a result of bad habits they acquire at home.

Many cats that live in apartments suffer from a major reduction in daily activity. A lack of exercise makes them more vulnerable to risk factors like obesity and sedentarism. As a consequence, they may develop diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as behavior disorders and depression.

A cat with diabetes.

Domestic cats tend to experience a radical change in their eating habits. In nature, they would hunt in order to obtain their own food and their diets would consist of meat proteins. But, in captivity, cats tend to eat dry food that contains a high percentage of carbohydrates. These molecules transform into sugar in the body, which favors an elevation in blood glucose levels.

Therefore, it’s crucial to talk about prevention when it comes to diabetes in domestic cats. It’s best to offer cats a diet that’s rich in proteins and encourages an active lifestyle. Toys and playtime with owners are excellent ways to motivate your feline friend.

The treatment of diabetes in cats

Treatment of diabetes in cats is similar to that of diabetes in dogs. It consists of the administration of insulin injections, but cats have a much greater advantage in comparison to dogs.

Small changes in your cat’s diet and lifestyle can reverse its metabolic situation. In many cases, the injections can be suspended and the animal may recover its quality of life.

Diabetes in cats and dogs is easy to prevent by including healthy habits in their routine. It’s worth reaffirming the importance of keeping preventative medicine in mind as well as taking your pet for regular veterinary check-ups.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.