November is National Pet Diabetes Month. Are your pets at risk? The likelihood of your cat or dog developing diabetes is anywhere between 1 in 100 and 1 in 500 and experts say those numbers are increasing. Diabetes mellitus, the clinical name for “sugar diabetes,” is a disease that affects glucose in your pet’s blood and is caused by a shortage of insulin or when the body can’t process insulin properly. Diabetes in dogs is usually type 1 while diabetes in cats is usually type 2 but can progress to type 1.
The food that your pet eats is broken down into small components that the body can use. One of the components, carbohydrates, is converted into sugar or glucose. If there is too little insulin or the insulin cannot be processed correctly, then the glucose is not able to enter the cells and provide energy. Because the cells cannot absorb glucose, a diabetic pet may always want to eat but still look malnourished.
If your pet exhibits the following symptoms, he or she may have diabetes:
-Excessive drinking or urination,
-increased appetite (early stages) or loss of appetite (late stages),
-lethargy or weakness, and
-vomiting or other intestinal problems.
If your pet has these symptoms then let us or your veterinarian know so we can get started on creating a plan for your and your pet. Although diabetes is not curable, it can be managed with daily insulin injections and changes in diet (and exercise for dogs). Oral medications have shown to be not particularly helpful. Successful management of your pet’s diabetes means that he or she can live a happy and healthy life. Making sure that your pet is eating a proper diet, gets regular exercise, and maintains a healthy weight can be a big help in preventing diabetes.
For more information about pet diabetes, visit http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com
Signs of pet dental disease or pain are:
- Bad breath
- Redness or bleeding along the gum line
- Drooling, which may be tinged with blood
- Difficulty chewing
- Pawing at the mouth
- Loose or missing teeth
- Facial swelling, especially under the eyes
- Nasal discharge
What causes pet periodontal disease? Pet periodontal disease starts when bacteria form plaque on the teeth. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with plaque to form tartar, a hard substance that adheres to the teeth. The bacteria work their way under the gums and cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. These bacteria can then travel in the bloodstream to infect the heart, kidneys and liver.
Pet dental disease is diagnosed by examining the teeth and supporting structures while the pet is under anesthesia. Some dental disease can be reversed such as gingivitis through dental cleaning and polishing. Loss of tooth attachment, or bone loss cannot.
Dental radiographs are crucial for a thorough assessment of oral health. Dental radiographs show the parts of the teeth “below the gumline,” which is where most dental disease is found. The roots and the bone surrounding the roots are able to be seen and assessed. In order to have dental radiographs performed, a pet must be anesthetized and a digital sensor is placed in the mouth and the xray machine is placed close to the patient’s face in order to get the radiographic image. Here is an example of what a normal dental radiograph looks like.
All too often, teeth seem fine on the surface but the surrounding bone or root of the teeth could still have serious problems which need to be addressed. Possible problems include tooth root abscesses, root fractures, weakened or loss of jawbone, dissolving roots and cancer. On the flipside, teeth can look very diseased on the surface with heavy tartar and staining but the roots and surrounding bone are healthy. Once a veterinarian has looked at all the teeth in the patient and on the radiographs, only then can they decide which teeth need to be removed or even which teeth do not need to be removed.
Here are some pictures that show problems that could not be seen without radiographs:
Loss of bone around tooth
Tooth root abscess
This tooth is only supposed to have 2 roots, the one in the middle is an anomaly and knowing it is there would help with extraction if the tooth ever needed to be removed.
In addition to finding problems with teeth, veterinarians are able to remove teeth faster and safer when they know what the problem actually is which means less time for your pet to be under anesthesia and less pain afterward surgery. AHDC is now able to provide your pet with dental radiographs. We recommended for all pets, even ones with no obvious problems above the gumline.
Bad things come in small packages
The deer tick (Ixodes scapularis
), often referred to as the black-legged tick, is small and unassuming. But don’t be fooled by appearances—this tick can transmit Lyme disease
, two very serious and often-diagnosed diseases. These are also zoonotic diseases, which means they can infect people as well as pets.
The deer tick is commonly found in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic and upper midwestern regions of the United States.
Virbac has expanded its voluntary recall of Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables following its initial recall notice in April 2013.
Virbac directs consumers who have questions about the recall to contact Virbac Technical Services at 1-800-338-3659, ext. 3052.
According to PetMD, additional specific lots of the heartworm preventive are being recalled because they might not fully protect dogs in the upper third of each weight range.
PetMD cited a letter distributed by Virbac saying that 14 lots of Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables were below Ivermectin potency levels prior to their expiration. Another 17 lots are being recalled out of caution even though they remain within specification.
Please help us share this information.
To read more of the details, go to: http://www.aahanet.org/blog/NewStat/post/2013/08/22/925558/Virbac-issues-expanded-recall-for-Iverhart-Plus-Flavored-Chewables.aspx
Diabetes is an endocrine (glandular) disorder in which animals either do not produce insulin or are unable to respond to its effects. As a result, there is too much sugar in the bloodstream, which can damage the kidneys, eyes, skin, and cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Diabetes is one of the most common endocrine disorders in cats and dogs. Although it is treatable, diabetes is a major health concern that ultimately decreases the lifespan of affected animals.
The lifespan of overweight dogs is about 15% shorter than leaner dogs, and overweight dogs suffer from a variety of disorders and chronic health problems, such as osteoarthritis.
Check List for Diabetes Prevention
Diabetes is a sneaky disease. The signs develop slowly and can easily be missed if one were not actively looking for them. This Diabetes Awareness Month (November), owners are encouraged to consider the following tips to help prevent diabetes, rather than trying to treat the condition once it develops.
- Consider the breed before you adopt.
- Be familiar with a healthy body weight and strive to maintain that weight throughout your pet’s life.
- Discuss diet options with your veterinarian to ensure optimal nutrition and facilitate weight loss.
- Have your pet examined by a veterinarian annually, even if it appears healthy.
- Critically assess your pet frequently: What and how much is it eating, drinking, defecating and urinating? How is its activity level? Has its behavior or the appearance of its coat changed recently? If yes, be sure to consult your veterinarian.
For additional information on the causes, signs and the most up-to-date guidelines on the prevention and treatment of diabetes in dogs and cats, please contact us at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County 717.652.1270