Like Pet Like Owner

August 29, 2011

Medicine Cases, Medicine Cases

I had a very interesting question during one of my saturday consults.

A client asked me if I often come across pets getting diagnosed with a disease that their owners incidentally have.

I was baffled with the question because it does happen a lot but I can’t prove it to be an expected outcome. We also notice that many pets and their owners have similar personality traits. Check out my husband and his cat when they both happened to get groomed at the same time.

wally and lewi our cat after his clip

Only last week I diagnosed Rosie a beautiful australian silky terrier with diabetes and her owner happened to also be a diabetic. I must admit it does happen often enough and so you must always take extra care when breaking the news to a client. I have had a run of diabetics lately and so though I would take the opportunity to discuss diabetes in pets.

Just like in people, obesity is a highly predisposing factor to diabetes.

You really don’t want your pet looking like this rhino? I mean his excuse for being huge is that he is big-boned structurally.

rhino sunbaking at zoo

If your pet is overweight and suddenly starts to fade away in spite of demanding more food, that should set off some serious alarm bells. However, the more common sign that pet owners seem to pick up on are excessive drinking and urination patterns. Another very sudden change that your pet may develop secondary diabetes is cataracts.

You will notice they suddently develop a very white and cloudy appearance to their eyes.

Can you appreciate the cloudiness of the cataracts which are more obvious in the kelpie’s left eye?

can you notice that one cataract appears white (maturer) than the other

It is so important to get your pet examined and tested for suspect diabetes before it’s too late. I have often been called out afterhours to treat a crashing diabetic that hadn’t been diagnosed or treated. It is very challenging to stabilise them at that stage and we often struggle to save these poor animals. I am also finding that I am diagnosing younger animals with diabetes which is secondary to obesity.

I implore you not to fall into the trap of overfeeding your pet as it leads to so many health issues ranging from diabetes to arthritis to heart disease.

Your pets are counting on you to look after them. Try to lead a healthy lifestyle as it will make it easier for you to apply that to your pets. I must confess that my hectic lifestyle sometimes pushes me to attack some junk food. I must admit that I never pass that on to my furry babies as I owe to them to keep them healthy. My devotion to keep my pets health has motivated me to stay healthy and fit to keep up with my pets.

I will discuss the diagnosis of diabetes in dogs and cats in my future articles. I will include treatment and management of diabetes and how it differs in cats and dogs. Stay tuned..

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About Rayya

Hi I am Dr. Rayya. I created this site to take you on a journey of my life as a vet! I hope to inspire you, teach you, learn from you. Most importantly help pet owners and animals around the world by sharing pictures, videos and posts from my everyday experiences.

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28 Comments on “Like Pet Like Owner”

  1. Donkey Whisperer Farm Says:

    Loved this one you made me laugh.
    Thank you!


  2. Jodi Stone Says:

    I’ve noticed some pets that LOOK like their owners! LOL

    You bring up a good point, that is why Sampson and Delilah went raw. Do you have the raw diet in Australia?


    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Hey jodi…I guess owners pick pets that resemble them because they love them like their practice only sells raw food..we don’t have any dry food…so big supporters of the raw diet!


  3. Jo @ Rainbow of Crazy Says:

    One of my boyfriend’s cats had diabetes and it was a very tough thing to treat. He has since passed on, but there are still a handful of other cats to keep an eye on and this information will be very helpful, thank you.


  4. misswhiplash Says:

    First of all I love your cat, he is beautiful. Husband is dishy too!
    If pets are like their owners that explains why we have a houseful of scatty dogs. Even my donkeys are going that way to. I did not realise that I had so much influence… Wow! Power at last


  5. Rosie Scribblah Says:

    My cat Fred and I both had salmonella poisoning. Our vet diagnosed it before the doctor! We think it was from yoghurt which both of us enjoyed, but my husb and our other cat didn’t like.


  6. Cowboy Says:

    Hey Doc –

    I agree, I do think many pets seem to have their owners characteristics but I’m kind of thinking that might be a learned trait of the animal – or who knows, maybe it’s a learned trait of the owner 🙂

    I have always been interested in Zoonotic diseases and I suspect there may be more of these than we really know about and just haven’t linked the 2 together yet.


    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      I suspect a person would be attracted to a pet that resembles them and that sets off the learnt behaviours… I totally agree about zoonoses, its a very important and interesting domain that needs to be explored even further because pets join us indoors and on our beds…:-)


  7. barb19 Says:

    My friend’s poodle was diagnosed as diabetic, but much too late to help him; she lost him two weeks later as he wasn’t responding to treatment.
    He had put on a lot of weight, was always hungry and was drinking more than usual, but she didn’t have him checked out early enough. A lesson for us all.
    Thanks Rayya for the advice.


  8. 2browndawgs Says:

    I seem to hear about more and more diabetic animals (especially cats). Is being over weight the only cause? Are there other causes?


  9. noha malaeb Says:

    i like : “like pet like-owner”


  10. nicole Says:

    i LOVE this article. i’m so happy to have found a credible, smart, and friendly blog site by a lovely veterinarian! clearly, i am obsessive compulsive about ensuring my dog’s good health; and i will be your religious reader, hoping to learn a few things about this wonderful species that we call dog. 🙂 as you probably observed in gwendolyn’s “panties” photograph, her hind legs are quite muscular! in fact, several people have commented, “she’s all chest! does she bench press?!” i keep her fit by walking at least five miles daily, swimming throughout the week, and doing other fun activities (such as shopping at victoria’s secret, haha!). i hope that she never develops diabetes, but i will stay on top of it, notifying my vet if anything suspicious creeps up. thank you for being fabulous and for caring about the wonderful animals. ~


    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Dear Nicole…I just feel so inspired and happy to have enthusiastic and dedicated pet owners subsribe to my blog. Gwendolyn is very lucky to have you and seems to be living a very prosperous and captivating life style-from swimming to lots of excercise and ofcourse let us not forget victoria’s secret..hehehe..she looks very fit, keep up the great work…


  11. elizadolly Says:

    Haha I totally believe animals share the illnesses of their owners. I blogged about how sometimes I think I gave my dog an eating disorder.

    😦 I hope he eats more soon! Any tips?


    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      Hey Eliza…I totally understand your major concerns with harry…an underlying anxiety disorde may well be related to his eating habbits…however you must rule out all possible medical causes first from making sure he is regularly wormed, a balanced diet…dogs with inflammatory bowel disease often have tummy upsets…I recommend you monitor hatry’s weight very closely and get him worked up further at your local vet…you can also get him a D.A.P. (Dog appeasing pheromone) collar or spray to help reduce his anxiety…hope this information helps…p.s. Harry picked up on your vibe when you caught him burying his food and was reacting to that rather than feeling guilty for being caught 😉


  12. Dianda Says:

    Haha! This made me laugh! 🙂

    But you’re right. I remember the dog from my parents had allergies to food. So did my mother… 😉


    • Rayya The Vet Says:

      I have met so many pets that share their owners ailments…I now almost expect it and ask clients openly about it…I guess it can help clients feel more confident in understanding and treating their pet’s ailments..


  13. Bites Of Sweet And Spice Says:

    Hi Rayya! Love your blog! It’s surely very helpful to pet owners. 🙂


  14. char Says:

    This was very interesting. My dog is loves to be active and walk or run all the time…even though she has squarish hip joints. My vet told me to keep her active or she’ll never get up again if I let her be too lazy.


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