Description: Diabetes mellitus - An endocrine condition in which the animal has high blood sugar. This is caused by either a deficiency to produce insulin or because the body's cells do not properly utilize insulin.
Diabetes can be one of two types, just as in humans. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is a chronic disease where the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to help control blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes requires insulin shots and careful monitoring of blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is adult-onset diabetes and is non-insulin dependent.
Diagnosis: Most animals are diagnosed with Type 1. Diagnosis is conducted with a medical history check, physical exam, blood count, blood glucose test, and urine analysis. Sometimes an abdominal xray may be needed if pancreatitis is suspected.
Treatment: Treatment includes one or two insulin injections per day. If not treated, organ failure, urinary tract infections, hormone disturbances, and weight loss. Exercise is also beneficial for animals with diabetes.