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.
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.
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?
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..