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The Highcroft Blog

Diabetes in overweight pets

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Like in humans, diabetes is a growing concern for pets due to rising obesity rates.

Diabetes is caused by the pancreas not being able to produce enough insulin, or that the insulin produced is not being used correctly. Insulin allows glucose in the blood to enter cells, helping the body to function properly. Without this, it can be life threatening.

Signs of diabetes

If your pet is showing any of the below signs, they could be at risk of having diabetes.

  • Increased thirst or excessive drinking
  • Increased urination or “accidents” in the house
  • Change in appetite
  • Weight loss, despite increased hunger
  • Thin or dull hair
  • Lethargy or weakness

Diet and weight loss to manage diabetes in pets

Whilst the most common treatment of diabetes is using insulin, diet and weight is an important part of managing or preventing diabetes.

A diet of high protein and low carbohydrate diet is suitable. High fibre may also help with weight loss (if required). It can be possible to stay on their regular diet, but a specific diet may be prescribed if diagnosed with diabetes. All treats and tit-bits should be stopped due to high levels of carbohydrate.

Obesity control is the biggest factor in diabetic patients (particularly in cats) as obesity interferes with the way insulin works. Weight loss in obese pets will significantly improve the control of blood glucose levels. It has even been known in some cats to reverse diabetes completely!

Diabetes and weight loss clinics

We host regular free nurse clinics at many of our surgeries to help with the management of certain conditions and general health advice.

Speak to a member of our team to book in for a free appointment to discuss your pet’s diabetes or to help your pet lose weight.


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