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Study: Diabetes rates are rising in pets

right food for your pet

About one in three Iowans is obese and it’s no coincidence more of our pets are also getting hefty.

A new report says the number of dogs with diabetes has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

Veterinarian Doctor Courtney Campbell says with pets, just like with people, there are two primary keys to avoid the ailment.

“One of the principles of managing diabetes is good food and good exercise,” Doctor Campbell says. “As long as we’re not overfeeding our pets and we’re making sure they’re well exercised and keeping them slim and trim, we can definitely lower the risk factors for seeing this increased incidence of diabetes diagnosis.”

He says there are a few important symptoms of diabetes in our pets for which owners should be watchful.

“Is your pet drinking more water than usual? I’m talking about how you can’t even keep the water bowl full,” Campbell says. “He’s just constantly drinking and drinking and sometimes drinking out of odd places, like the toilet bowl or even a glass of water that you’re holding, or something like that.”

Other symptoms include frequent urination as well as a huge appetite but no weight gain. If you notice these symptoms, make an appointment with your veterinarian. If your pet is found to be diabetic, it may require regular treatment.

“Insulin by far is the most common mainstay of therapy, but diet and exercise can go a long way,” Courtney says. “In dogs, we can actually see a decrease in the amount of insulin they need if we get them slim and trim, lose some weight and have a good diet and exercise.”

Some cats that lose weight and become healthier may go into diabetic remission, where no insulin is needed at all. In the past ten years, diabetes diagnosis in dogs is up 80% and 20% in cats.

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