The Not-So-Sweet Details of Diabetes in Pets

Diabetes in pets is a serious pet health condition, especially for senior pets

November is National Diabetes Month. While this was originally intended to raise awareness of the disease among people, veterinarians and animal lovers are also turning their attention to the seriousness of diabetes in pets. Studies show that 1 in 300 dogs and 1 in 230 cats in the U.S. are diagnosed with diabetes – and those numbers are rising steadily.

National Pet Diabetes Month now occurs alongside the human version in an effort to help pet owners everywhere understand more about the disease and how to prevent it in pets.

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Outward Hound: Tips for Hiking With Your Dog  

Hiking with your dog is a great way to get in some pet exercise and to spend time with pets.If your idea of a good time is packing up the car and hitting the trails, then weekend hikes in the summer are a must. The only thing that could add to this perfection is bringing your best four-legged friend along for the adventure.

Hiking with your dog is a great option for exercise and bonding, but there are some precautions to keep in mind. Let the loving team at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital share some important safety tips for hiking with your dog.

Get Geared Up!

Are you and your dog a new hiking duo? No problem. There are some basics to invest in before heading out. We suggest the following gear for safety and comfort: Continue…

Pet Weight Loss: Battling the Bulge

When it comes to your pet’s weight, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that obesity increases your pet’s odds of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, and a variety of other health conditions that can severely impact quality of life.

The good news is that pet owners have more options than ever to help pets maintain a healthy weight and potentially add years to their lives.

Is My Pet Overweight?

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 58% of cats and 54% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. Many pet owners are so used to the sight of chubby pets that it can be hard to determine whether or not pet weight loss should be a priority.

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Sugar free gum is toxic to dogs and cats!

 

Xylitol, A Sugar Substitute

    Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol commonly used as a sugar substitute in chewing gum, candies, nicotine gums, toothpastes, and baked goods. It is also available in a granulated form at grocery stores   as a sweetener.

    Why is xylitol (artificial sweetener) so dangerous for dogs and cats? Ingestion of xylitol causes low blood sugar by affecting insulin release throughout the body. Low blood sugars can be seen 10-15 minutes after eating.  The low blood sugar can be compounded further into liver damage if higher levels are ingested. The liver is the main organ of metabolism.

   Sugar – Free chewing gum is the most common cause in the dog—- (commonly ingested from “purse digging”)

   If xylitol ingestion occurs or think it may have occurred then consult your veterinarian immediately.

Sugar free gum is toxic to dogs and cats!

 

Xylitol, A Sugar Substitute

    Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol commonly used as a sugar substitute in chewing gum, candies, nicotine gums, toothpastes, and baked goods. It is also available in a granulated form at grocery stores   as a sweetener.

    Why is xylitol (artificial sweetener) so dangerous for dogs and cats? Ingestion of xylitol causes low blood sugar by affecting insulin release throughout the body. Low blood sugars can be seen 10-15 minutes after eating.  The low blood sugar can be compounded further into liver damage if higher levels are ingested. The liver is the main organ of metabolism.

   Sugar – Free chewing gum is the most common cause in the dog—- (commonly ingested from “purse digging”)

   If xylitol ingestion occurs or think it may have occurred then consult your veterinarian immediately.

Fat Cat, Skinny Cat: When to worry about your pets weight loss

Is your cat too heavy or too skinny?

Either extreme can be a health concern.  Being overweight can lead to health problems and being underweight can be a result of a health problem. 

Fat Cat: Does Your Pet Need A Diet?

Intentional weight loss that is part of a planned weight reduction program for an overweight pet is not a reason for concern. As long as your cat is losing at a rate that has been established by your veterinarian as acceptable. Usually a loss of no more than one percent of body weight per week is perfectly fine. For example, at this rate of weight loss, a 15-pound cat would lose up to a third of a pound every two weeks.

However, since every cat is an individual with his or her own medical needs, it is important to establish your cat’s safe rate of weight loss with your veterinarian.  

Skinny Cat: How Much Weight Loss is Too Much?

With a large number of household cats sporting a few additional pounds and the resulting national push to get pets to a healthy weight, it may be hard to see weight loss as anything but a good thing. In a cat however, there are times when weight loss is a cause for concern.  This is because weight loss can be one of the first signs of serious illness.

Common causes of unexplained weight loss in a cat include conditions such as diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism. Diabetic and hyperthyroid cats will most times have weight loss with an increase in appetite. Other signs include an increase in thirst and urination.

Other causes of unexplained weight loss can include kidney disease, heart disease, some forms of cancer and certain infectious diseases. Appetite can be variable in these cases ranging from normal to increased or decreased. Some will have changes in thirst and urination, changes in behavior or changes in appearance as well.  

Because every cat will have a unique presentation for illness, it is important to have him or her examined by your veterinarian, particularly in cases of unexplained weight loss. Early diagnosis and treatment of disease is often the key in providing a long and happy life for your feline friend.

Weight loss is a concern whether your pet is overweight or losing weight too quickly.  The best way to determine whether your pet is losing weight in a healthy manner is to have your pet monitored by your veterinarian.

 

 

 

Pets and Weight Loss

Happy New Year!

We all make resolutions for the New Year.  So let us involve our pets in those resolutions.  A whopping 52% of dogs and 58% of cats are overweight or obese!  Being overweight contributes to a bunch of health problems, including diabetes, arthritis, kidney problems, and thyroid problems.  Fat cells are active and have been linked to a process that actually causes inflammation and disease. 

There are 2 big things you can do to help your pet achieve an ideal weight.  One is exercise, so walk your dog every day. The other is diet, take a measuring cup and see how much you feed your pet and then decrease the amount by 25% (and do not cheat by giving more treats!). If your pet is still hungry, you can give them green beans or carrots as treats.   Once you do this monitor the progress by weighing your pet monthly.  If you are not sure about the status of your pet’s weight, please call us so we can help you in the weight loss process.  Your pet’s health and longevity depends on it!!

Can dogs eat nuts?

I have been asked if nuts are bad for dogs.  So here is some information regarding nuts and peanut butter for dogs.

 The only toxic nuts that have been reported are macadamias. Other nuts are high in fat and can cause problems (GI upset, pancreatitis) due to the fat. Other toxic issues associated with nuts include tremors or seizure like activity from moldy nuts (especially moldy walnuts laying in the yard). Peanuts are legumes, not nuts; the primary concern for peanuts is the fact that they can be susceptible to contamination by molds that produce aflatoxin, which dogs are especially sensitive to and can cause neurologic issues.  Unless your pet has intestinal problems, we recommend peanut butter as a great method to help get pills into dogs.  It is also used commonly in treats- especially homemade treats.

Dr. Jeremy Wentz,VMD

 

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