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Beware, your pet could have diabetes too, says Pune doctors

According to veterinary doctors, a high-calorie diet coupled with a lack of exercise can lead to obesity in animals, increasing the risk of getting diabetes.

pune Updated: Nov 13, 2017 15:34 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Pet,Diabetes
Considering this emerging trend in pet animals, city-based non-profit organisation, United World Against Diabetes, which works towards promoting diabetes care and prevention, had undertaken a research study on 'Diabetes in Pet Animals' since 2013, when the first few cases emerged.  (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Indians are genetically predisposed to diabetes and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that there are more than 10 crore diabetics in India. The disease, which is fairly common among humans, is now being diagnosed in pet animals from the city as well.

Considering this emerging trend in pet animals, city-based non-profit organisation, United World Against Diabetes, which works towards promoting diabetes care and prevention, had undertaken a research study on 'Diabetes in Pet Animals' since 2013, when the first few cases emerged.

Your pet could also have diabetes
Diabetes in dogs and cats is a manageable condition, but requires extensive care from both a veterinarian and the pet owner. If it goes untreated, animals can develop various health problems and possibly coma and even death.
Signs of diabetes in pets
Excessive water intake and increased urination
Weight loss (even when the animal is on a proper diet).
Decreased appetite
Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
Chronic or recurring infections (including skin infections and urinary infections)
Common secondary health problems that could follow diabetes
Cataracts, especially in dogs and cats
Hind leg weakness due to low blood potassium (hypokalemia)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Lower urinary tract infection
8 deadly foods for pets
1 Dough 2 Grapes 3 Alcohol 4 Cocoa 5 Coffee 6 Gum 7 Avocado 8 Macadamia
Ways to prevent or reduce the risk of diabetes
DOGS A high-fiber diet Good fitness regimen
CATS A high-protein, low carbohydrate diet Daily exercisen

Dr Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, who is conducting the study, said, "United World Against Diabetes has been conducting a research study on diabetes in pet animals like dogs and cats since September 2013 and our study till now has revealed that diabetes ismore common in older pets. But it can also occur in younger or pregnant pets."

Speaking about the findings of their research, Upadhyay said, "Diabetes in dogs and cats can occur at any age. However, diabetic dogs are usually between 4-14 years of age and are mostlydiagnosed at approximately 7-10 years of age. Most diabetic cats are older than six years of age. Also, diabetes occurs in femaledogs twice as often as male dogs. Certain breeds of dogs are also predisposed to diabetes."

He added that obesity was a significant risk factor for the development of diabetes.

"Dogs and cats with diabetes usually require lifelong treatment with special diets and a good fitness regimen. Particularly in dogs, daily insulin injections are required. The key to managing diabetic pets is to keep the pet’s blood sugar nearthe normal level and avoid it from fluctuating to extremely high or extremely low levels, which are life-threatening. Also, a treatment that works for one petmight not work for another pet. Patience is also important as you and your pet will have to adjust to the new diet andmedications," said Upadhyay.

When contacted, veterinary doctor Amod Kale said, "It is true that pet animals are being diagnosed with diabetes in recent years. The main reason for this is a high-calorie diet coupled with a lack of exercise, which often makes them obese. This, in turn, results in diabetes in pet animals."Kale added that the he first encountered a case of a diabetic pet six years ago and since then, the numbers have been increasing.

Joyee, the pet dog of Pune resident Avinash Gohad, was diagnosed with diabetes one and a half years ago. Today, Joyee is eight-years-old. Speaking about the symptoms, Gohad said,“Joyee initially had difficulty walking. Also, his water intake had increased considerably. We then consulted our veterinary doctorand got to know that Joyee had diabetes. After undergoing proper medical treatment, he is doing fine now.”

First Published: Nov 13, 2017 15:27 IST