Heidi is now in the autumn of her years and her owner noticed a few months ago that she was having ‘wee’ accidents in the house overnight. Having always been a very clean lady, this was very unusual and her owner realised that she was also drinking a lot more than normal.
Heidi was taken to her vet, who after getting a sample and doing a blood test, was suspicious that Heidi had developed Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) After being seen by our own vet Mike, the diagnosis was confirmed with a further simple blood test.
Diabetes mellitus is quite a common disease, seen more commonly in older cats or dogs of any breed although small breed dogs are over represented. Just as in people, obesity is a significant risk factor. It is caused by a lack of insulin production (sometime secondary to another disease) and causes your pet to want to pee more and subsequently drink more to compensate. Often it causes changes in appetite and will result in weight loss. If left untreated it can lead to ketoacidosis which is a life-threatening form of the disease and is both very difficult and expensive to treat. However, increased drinking and peeing can also be a sign of a number of other diseases more common in our older pets so always get you pet checked by the vet if you are worried they are drinking or urinating more than normal.
The main treatment for Diabetes is to give twice daily insulin injections. Heidi’s owner was worried that he might not be able to do this easily but with the new Vetpen and some practice, he became quite adept at giving Heidi her injections. Four weeks on and although Heidi’s blood glucose levels have not fully stabilised, she is drinking much less and has not had any overnight accidents for a short while. Heidi has still some way to go and will need to have injections for the rest of her life, but due to the dedication and care shown by her owner, she is on the way to recovery. Unfortunately, Diabetes can be very expensive to diagnose and treat, especially as lifelong treatment is required. This is why we recommend that you insure your pet against illness but also make sure you have life cover insurance, as some insurance policies will only insure your pet for the first 12 months from when symptoms start.