National Diabetes Month

  • By Pets in Need
  • 14 Nov, 2017

What is Diabetes?

First, let’s learn a bit of information about pet diabetes. Just like in humans, there are 2 types or diabetes in pets, which veterinarians typically refer to as insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent. One is caused when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, which is a hormone created by the pancreas that allows glucose (or sugars) to move from the blood stream into cells to create energy. With non-insulin dependent diabetes, the body is making enough insulin, but it can’t utilize the insulin efficiently. This can be caused by high body fat content, chronic cortisone administration, and/or certain hormones such as progesterone (produced during a pet’s heat period).

Signs & Symptoms

The signs and noticeable symptoms of diabetes are very similar in both cats and dogs. They include:

Increased thirst:  A pet that has suddenly become excessively thirsty may be exhibiting early signs of diabetes. This can be especially hard to detect if you have multiple pets, but if you feel like you’re filling the water bowl more often than usual, take care to keep an extra eye on the drinking habits of your pets.

Increased urination:  A pet with diabetes will have a sudden increase in the volume and frequency of urination. Cats may begin urinating in large amounts outside of the litter pan and dogs may experience a loss of previous house training because they simply cannot hold it. This can also be a hard one to spot if you have multiple animals or a fenced in back-yard that allows your dogs to go outside without supervision, but if you’re noticing increased urgency, a fuller than usual litter pan, or other symptoms of diabetes, take extra care to monitor your pet’s urination habits.

Increased appetite with weight loss:  Increased appetite in the face of weight loss is also a diabetes warning sign. If your pet is losing weight but their appetite has noticeably increased, they may be showing signs of diabetes.

Cloudy eyes:  Perhaps the most noticeable symptom of diabetes for pet owners is cataracts (or cloudy eyes). This symptom is one that can present itself during varying stages of the disease, depending on the individual pet. If you notice a change in your pet’s eyes, it’s always safe to check-in with your vet.

Other symptoms and consequences of the disease that may not be noticeable to pet owners include: vascular diseases that restrict blood flow to various parts of the body, kidney failure, muscular weakness, and diseases of the nerves that cause an uncomfortable tingling or numb sensation in extremities.

Diagnosis & Management

Diagnosing diabetes is a fairly straightforward process for veterinarians. They will simply run some blood tests to check sugar levels and likely take a urine sample to look for glucose in the urine. To manage your pet’s diabetes, you and your vet will work out a treatment plan to help get your pet back on track. Often this will require blood work and insulin injections to stabilize your pet’s blood sugar levels.

Diagnosing diabetes is a fairly straightforward process for veterinarians. They will simply run some blood tests to check sugar levels and likely take a urine sample to look for glucose in the urine. To manage your pet’s diabetes, you and your vet will work out a treatment plan to help get your pet back on track. Often this will require blood work and insulin injections to stabilize your pet’s blood sugar levels.

Can Diabetes be Prevented?

Although some breeds of pets can have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, you can decrease your pet’s chances by helping them maintain a healthy weight and regular physical activity. Pet obesity can cause diabetes because it affects the body’s ability to utilize insulin, so a healthy diet that encourages a healthy body weight is important. Exercise is another great way to help your pet fight off diabetes because it not only helps control their weight, but it also effects how insulin is used in the body.

About Pets In Need:

Pets In Need, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, is committed to helping pets stay healthy and together with the people who love them. Pets In Need provides low-cost veterinary care and food for pets from homes in which income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. The clinic is the only resource of its kind in Greater Cincinnati and currently serves cats and dogs from hundreds of low-income households. To learn more about Pets In Need and the services it provides, please visit  http://pincincinnati.org

Cincinnati Dog Knowledge Center

By Pets in Need 11 Dec, 2017

Outdoor Animals:

Many people believe certain dog breed, such as huskies and malamutes, are capable of living outside all of the time because of their thick coats. However, no dog breed should be consistently left unprotected outside. According to the City of Cincinnati, when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a pet owner should not leave their dog outside for longer than sixty minutes without adequate shelter. For outside dogs, owners should provide a warm, dry, draft free shelter with fresh, unfrozen water. Heated water bowls are a great option to ensure consistent access to unfrozen water. Owners should also feed their outdoor dogs more during the winter because their bodies use more energy trying to keep warm. In 2016, the City of Cincinnati passed an ordinance with further restrictions and shelter guidelines for dog tethering and weather conditions, which can be found by  clicking here

A common winter hazard that vets encounter consistently with cats is engine belt injuries. Cats will climb into cars to keep warm, and without knowing they’re there, people will start their cars and harm the cats. Before starting your car in the winter, it’s advised to give the car hood a few raps to make sure there are no cats cozied up inside.

By Pets in Need 27 Nov, 2017

Pets start an estimated 1,000 fires per year. While this isn’t a huge number, it’s easily preventable. Pet owners should identify the risks in their home and make sure they’re contained from pets. Risks to consider include, open flames such as candles, space heaters, stovetops, fireplaces, and frayed wires chewed by puppies.

Even if all fire hazards are contained from pets, there’s still always a chance of a house fire. According to the   National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) , there’s a home fire reported every 86 seconds in the United States. So while the hope is that you and your pets never have to face a fire, it’s important to have a plan.

In case of a fire, pet owners should hang window clings that let firefighters know there’s a pet in the home. The   ASPCA offers a free Pet Fire Safety Pack   that includes a window decal. When leaving home, pet owners should know where their pets are and keep them close to exits if possible. Pet owners should also consider investing in monitored smoke detectors that alert homeowners of a fire when they’re not home and automatically dispatch firefighters.

By Pets in Need 14 Nov, 2017
First, let’s learn a bit of information about pet diabetes. Just like in humans, there are 2 types or diabetes in pets, which veterinarians typically refer to as insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent. One is caused when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, which is a hormone created by the pancreas that allows glucose (or sugars) to move from the blood stream into cells to create energy. With non-insulin dependent diabetes, the body is making enough insulin, but it can’t utilize the insulin efficiently. This can be caused by high body fat content, chronic cortisone administration, and/or certain hormones such as progesterone (produced during a pet’s heat period).
By Pets in Need 30 Oct, 2017

Getting your dog microchipped is an easy and relatively inexpensive procedure that drastically increases the odds that your pet will find its way home if it’s ever lost. A microchip is a tiny chip that’s about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique identification number. It’s injected into a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades on their back. When scanned with an electric scanner, the chip will show the unique identification number and manufacturer of the microchip. This unique identification number will be linked to the pet owner’s contact information in the microchip manufacturer’s database.

If a stranger ever finds your dog, a shelter or veterinarian can scan your pet for a microchip. Once they have the identification number and manufacturer from the chip reading, they will call the manufacturer in search of the pet owner’s contact information.  Therefore, if a dog owner moves or changes their contact information, it’s extremely important for them to update the contact information associated with their pet’s microchip identification number.

By Pets in Need 16 Oct, 2017
Heartworm is a serious, potentially fatal disease for our pets. Prevention is easy, but treatment can be costly and difficult depending on the stage of the disease. Pets In Need veterinarian and board member, Dr. Jack Walkenhorst discusses the importance of heartworm prevention.
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