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Does your pet have diabetes?

It is estimated that one in 200 cats and one in 500 dogs have Type I or Type II diabetes. But, similar to human diabetes, pet diabetes is manageable. With a few daily adjustments and proper management, a diabetic dog or cat can lead an active life.


Insulin Dependent Diabetes Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes
Most common in dogs Most common in cats
Occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin Occurs when the body cells fail to respond to insulin (i.e., insulin resistance)

Let's learn about the basics of diabetes and how glucose and insulin work. This will help you understand your pet's diabetes.


Glucose & Why It's Important

Every time your dog or cat eats, food is broken down into nutrients that are absorbed by the body. Glucose, or blood sugar, is one of these essential nutrients that provides muscle and fat cells with the energy needed to function properly.


Insulin & What It Does

As glucose enters the blood stream, the pancreas is triggered to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that enables cells to absorb glucose. In a healthy pet, insulin attaches itself to receptors on the cell and acts as a key to allow the glucose to enter the cell and be used for energy.


Type I & Type II Diabetes

Diabetes occurs when insulin and glucose do not function properly to allow the cells to absorb enough glucose for energy. Since the glucose is not being utilized properly by the cells for energy, the glucose builds up in the blood stream. To see how glucose and insulin work, watch this short video

Type I: Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

Type I diabetes is most common in dogs. Insulin-dependent diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Essentially, the body is not producing enough insulin to act as the key to allow glucose to enter the cell to be used for energy. Glucose builds in the blood stream since it cannot enter the cell. Once a pet is diagnosed with Type I diabetes, it will likely need insulin injections since the body cannot produce enough insulin on its own.

Type II: Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

This type of diabetes is most common in cats. Non-insulin dependent diabetes occurs when the body produces enough insulin, but the cells do not properly respond to insulin. Type II diabetes is often referred to as insulin resistance. A pet with Type II diabetes often requires insulin injections. Weight management also plays a very important role in managing Type II diabetes.