A report in the Veterinary Practice News focused on Diabetes in dogs and cats ( Dec 2010).
Probably this is an under reported disease. Among Pets Best’s insurance company reported .4% in dogs and 2.2% in cats. A 2006 study by Deborah Greco showed that a high protein diet helped twice as many cats stop taking insulin as a high carb diet.
There are great ways to monitor blood glucose in dogs and cats now.
While we do not have numbers, holistically treated dogs and cats are much less likely to develop diabetes.
A diabetic cat gets a better life: Many years ago, while working at Dr. Tiekert’s office (he is the wonderful founder of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (www.AHVMA.com) a twelve year old cat came for an appointment because the owner was having trouble regulating the insulin. He was on huge levels of insulin and having low sugar attacks frequently. I changed his insulin and started homeopathic treatment. She bought a very new device that kept canned food fresh and opened with a timer so the cat could eat frequent small meals. Within a few months, the insulin was decreased to a mere few drops in the syringe and the hypoglycemic attacks occurred much less frequently, usually when there was a lot of stress. She stopped feeding dry food, started on raw meat diet or canned and the cat became much healthier. 3 years later she followed me to my next clinic because there was a swelling on the side of the face. The cat was now 15 and we did not want to pull the tooth (conventional treatment). I used remedies for a month and finally the swelling resolved. Since then the hypoglycemic episodes stopped though he still needed the drop of insulin daily. A few months later she was transferred to New Zealand, so he went into a new home with several cats and dogs. Still, he only had one hypoglycemic attack (after getting a flea dip) and he lived to 22.
Treatments for diabetes
Prevention is the best treatment. The earlier you can begin to help your animals’ health improve, the less likely they are to get diabetes. The more species appropriate food they eat, the better health. See Barf foods icon. Cats should NEVER eat dry food – period. There are other snack foods. Pay attention to the early warning signs of illness (easiest is to keep a journal). By trying different approaches until there are no subtle signs of ill health, you will have a 99% chance of preventing diabetes.
Homeopathy and good Chinese medicine have excellent chances to permanently cure, or at least help the quality of life of any animal with diabetes. It is a serious enough disease that I do recommend working with an integrative veterinarian rather than merely trying the great supplements now available.