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Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

Diabetes in Dogs and Cats
Herbal treatments to prevent treat and control diabetes and support proper pancreatic function in cats and dogs.

Herbal nutrition to help address symptoms of diabetes and to help supoprt proper pancreatic function in cats and dogs.

The metabolic system is complex, involving organs such as the thyroid, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Some signs indicative of metabolic stress may include changes in insulin levels, immune system challenges, excess weight or fatty deposits.

The liver is a complex organ that interacts with most organs in the body, including the intestinal tract, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and autonomic nervous system. Nutritional support for the liver must address these interactions must support liver metabolism, the pancreas and pancreatic function, hepatic circulation, bile production and flow, and hepatic immune function.

Diabetes is a pancreatic deficiency related to the pancreatic hormone called insulin. Diabetes occurs when your pet’s is not longer able to produce sufficient insulin or when the animal body can no longer utilize insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas charged with breaking down glucose and sugar in the blood, necessary for proper cell function. When insulin levels are low or not used correctly, the cells in your pet’s body are deprived of vital nutrients and begin to change and cell death can follow if diabetes is left untreated.

Diabetes most commonly occurs in middle age to older dogs and cats, but occasionally occurs in young animals. When diabetes occurs in young animals, it is often genetic. Diabetes mellitus occurs more commonly in female dogs and in male cats.

The pancreas carries out both exocrine and endocrine functions. Exocrine function secretes acid-neutralizing bicarbonate and other digestive enzymes, essential for healthy cells. Endocrine function supplies hormones that circulate throughout the body and help control metabolism, both which are vital to healthy pancreatic function.

Without treatment, diabetes causes other serious health concerns such as blindness, muscle weakness, malnutrition, ketoacidosis, dehydration, and even coma and death. Diabetes is becoming increasingly more prevalent in dogs and cats impacting approximately 1 in 400 dogs and cats. Recent studies have confirmed that the disease is becoming more common in cats than dogs.

The symptoms of diabetes often present gradually, mimic many other disease and conditions and may go unnoticed.  

Symptoms to watch out for in your pet include:

Excessive thirst

Increased water consumption

Increased urination

Sudden weight loss

Sudden weight gain

Marked increase in appetite

Marked decrease in appetite

Weakness of the rear legs

General lethargy

Poor skin and coat condition

Vomiting

Dehydration

Increased susceptibility to bacterial infection

Blindness

Liver disease

Kidney failure

The exact causes of diabetes are not clearly understood, but appear to be related to genetic factors, diet, obesity, age, as well as Illnesses such as pancreatitis or auto immune-related failures and diseases. Diabetes can be fatal if left untreated. Herbal supplements can help to limit the disease progression and if detected early, may help to reverse the symptoms and may lead to full remission.

Helpful dietary suggestions:

A strict, healthy and holistic diet is essential to supporting your pet’s diabetes regimen. Dietary supplements can remarkably improve the extent that diabetes presents in your pet.  Typically, a low-carbohydrate diet is recommended for cats, which will help to reduce the amount of insulin your pet will need and help to keep blood-sugar levels stable.

The diet most often recommended for diabetic dogs is a low-fat and high fiber with a moderate amount of carbohydrates. Fats and proteins are more desirable because they are metabolized into blood-sugar at a slower rate than carbohydrates, reducing the sugar highs often experienced after meal times.

Your diabetic pet should eat at the same time each day at least twice a day, or smaller amounts at multiple intervals. Many pets have timed feedings according to their insulin shots so ask your veterinarian to advise what feeding schedule will be most appropriate.

Female diabetic pets should be spayed as soon as possible to avoid any complications of the insulin reacting with the female hormones secreted by the ovaries.

Take your diabetic pet for regular check-ups and monitor their blood-sugar closely as changes in the condition may occur and treatment may need to be altered.

Exercise is important for your diabetic pet, but make sure it is constant and regular. High activity will affect your pet’s insulin levels and over-doing it can lead to a sudden drop in blood-sugar levels so this should be avoided. Remember that if your pet is on insulin, the amount of insulin needed will change according to activity levels so consistency is the key word here.

Herbal Remedies:

Herbal remedies are used successfully in both prevention and management of diabetes by supporting pancreatic health and digestive function, to maintain blood sugar levels and normal insulin levels, to maintain eye health, to prevent nerve and tissue damage often associated with the disease, to boost immunity and to help limit disease recurrence or progression.

I’m Allergic to Needles – (learn more) is used for proper pancreatic support, health and function, charged with producing proper insulin levels, for all types of diabetes I and II, to reduce glucose levels in blood and for insulin resistance, to improve the glycemic index in pets with diabetes, to regulate metabolic stress, and maintain proper liver metabolism, circulation, bile production and flow, for hepatic immune function, useful in regulating excess weight and fatty deposits.

DIA-BEAT-IT! (learn more) is used holistically for its critical nutrient content, including inulin, oligofructanes (FOS), vitamins including B complex, trace minerals, digestive enzymes & proteins to promote pancreatic health; to help produce adequate insulin & to improve insulin utilization; to support normal blood sugar levels; to help combat Diabetes I & Diabetes II; to reduce glucose levels in the blood; to improve the glycemic index and to reduce insulin resistance; for hypoglycemia; to support normal blood sugar levels; to promote cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis & atherosclerosis related to insulin resistance & to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by improving calcium absorption. 

Baby Love Bits  (learn more) helps to build, promote and support muscle, joint, bone, cartilage and tendon health, mobility and flexibility; as a powerhouse Probiotic Vitamin B complex; helps prevent against flea and tick infestations; supports the Central Nervous System; stimulates immunity and healthy metabolism; aids digestion and promotes whole body microbial balance; improves liver function and liver health; purifies whole bodily systems; keeps the skin, hair, eyes and mouth healthy; for dental disease, gout, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD); for infectious diarrhea, including rotavirus diarrhea, for nervousness and fatigue.

I AM A ROCK STAR - (learn more) supports adrenal gland health and response to stress and metabolic demand, supports glandular ability to rebuild and regenerate, promotes hormonal balance, regulates stress on liver, kidney and digestive functions by reducing thirst and excessive elimination, promotes cognitive function and memory performance, balances blood sugar levels, for natural energy in young and geriatric pets, increases muscle use, ability and stamina, provides anti-inflammatory and immune support, helps maintain healthy adrenal, central nervous, digestive, immune and reproductive systems.

Conventional Treatments:

If you suspect that your pet has diabetes, please consult your vet for a thorough examination. Your veterinarian will perform blood tests and urine analysis to determine if diabetes can be diagnosed, what type of diabetes is presenting as well as rule out any other conditions. Early detection can prevent permanent nerve damage and neuropathy, increasing the chances of remission in cats and dogs.

Typically, synthetic medications are prescribed, including oral medications and insulin injections.

Oral MedicationWhile synthetic, pharmaceutical oral medications are often effective in human use, they tend to be far less effective in pets. Drugs such as Glipizide stimulate pancreatic function to produce more insulin. This type of treatment has shown some success in cats, however, studies reveal that these types of medications can cause further pancreatic and liver damage.  

Insulin Injections: Insulin injections are the most common form of treatment for diabetes in dogs and cats. The method and dosage will be dependent on the severity of your pet’s condition.

Herbs can be used in conjunction with synthetic medications, to support proper pancreatic, digestive and immune function and to reduce neuropathy, however, may also potentiate synthetic drugs.

 

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