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Diabetes Danger – know the warning signs

18 May 2017

Most of us are aware of the growing diabetes epidemic in the human population. But did you know that our pets are also increasingly likely to fall victim to this devastating disease?

A recent study showed that the incidence of diabetes in cats had risen by a staggering 1,161% since 2011. In dogs the increase was 850%*.

Obesity is a major trigger for the disease, and here at Pets Corner we’re dedicated to sourcing the best and most nutritious ingredients to help keep your pets at optimum health and weight. Regular exercise and access to outdoor space are also vital.

But what are the warning signs of diabetes in dogs and cats? Just as in humans, they include:

• Increased thirst
• Excessive urination
• Weight loss, despite eating more
• Pungent breath with a chemical smell
• Urinary tract infections (cats and dogs)
• Sudden cataract development (in dogs only)

If left untreated, diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications such as hypoglycaemia, when the blood sugar is too low. An animal suffering from hypoglycaemia will seem lethargic, and tiredness can progress to seizures and unconsciousness.

Will Bisset, an expert nutritionist at Pets Corner, explains:

“Diabetes is caused when an animal is unable to produce enough insulin, or its body is not able to use insulin properly. One of the common triggers is obesity and poor nutrition.

“Over-indulging pets with treats, snacks and large meal portions may seem like a kindness, but in fact you could be storing up problems for your pet, not to mention hefty vet bills for you as the owner.”

To guard against obesity, Will recommends a balanced diet and plenty of exercise. It’s important to choose pet food with good quality ingredients to ensure nutrition and digestibility.

“Many foods claim to have ‘no added preservatives’,” he said. “But this can’t always be guaranteed as preservatives can already be present in meat sourced from suppliers.”

At Pets Corner we are proud to stock a wide range of genuine preservative-free food ranges, from manufacturers including MORE, Greenacres, Symply, Canagan and McAdams.

Human food – sharing isn’t caring

Feeding pets high-calorie human food can be hard to resist – especially when a furry friend gazes at you with longing eyes – but try to avoid giving in to temptation.

Our staff are all trained to help you come up with a sensible eating plan for your pet, including a huge range of healthy treats. If in doubt, pop into your local store for a chat with one of our friendly experts.

And if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, including diabetes, speak to your vet for advice.

*Study carried out by Animal Friends, May 2016