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Diabetes in Animals

22 November 2011
Diabetes in Animals

November is Pet Diabetes Month, the campaign aimed at tackling the potentially fatal disease diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats.

This year, pet owners are being asked to join the campaign by taking part in the nation's first online screening programme for pet diabetes. This will give owners the chance to assess their pets' risk for this life-threatening disease. Last year, a small, selective survey run via vet practices resulted in 28 per cent of animals taking part being suspected of having diabetes (ref1).

By logging onto www.petdiabetesmonth.co.uk during November, you can not only help your pet by taking part in the screening, but also give yourself the chance to win £250 in pet vouchers just by completing the assessment.

Pet Diabetes Month focuses on educating pet owners on the signs of diabetes to look out for and the benefits of screening older and at-risk pets. If detected early, the disease can be treated giving dogs and cats the chance of a long and healthy life.

Classic signs to watch out for are; increased drinking and urination, lethargy, and weight loss despite increased appetite.

Owners with pets assessed to be at higher risk after completing the screening survey will be advised to have their pet tested for diabetes at their veterinary practice.

For more information on the campaign, please see www.petdiabetesmonth.co.uk

Survey conducted by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health October 2010

About feline diabetes
A study by The Royal Dick Vet School, Edinburgh, has highlighted risk factors for diabetes in cats as;

  • Burmese cats
  • Overweight cats
  • Inactive cats
  • Neutered male cats
  • History of steroid use
  • Inactivity

In the study, Diabetes Mellitus was evaluated in a large insured population and was found to be one in 230 cats. In this insured cat population, Burmese cats were 3.7 times more likely to develop DM than non-pedigree cats.

Division of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh Hospital for Small Animals, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK