New Diabetes Guidelines for Dogs and Cats from AAHA


Diabetes is on the rise in pets, both dogs and cats. So, it’s more of a concern than ever before. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has newly released, 2018 AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.

Dr. Heather Loenser of the AAHA talks here on my national Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show about diabetes in dogs and cats.

Certainly overweight cats and diabetes are related

In cats, because there’s a link between obesity and diabetes, the rate of diabetes is very much on the rise. After all, over half of all indoor cats are overweight or obese. Often (because cats unfortunately don’t go to the veterinarian for check ups) by the time diabetes is discovered, there’s damage that occurs.  And some of the signs, like drinking more water or weight loss may go unnoticed. Or cat caretakers may even think, “Good, Fluffy is drinking – that’s good.” Indeed drinking is good, but an increase in thirst may be a sign of diabetes (or other illnesses).  Also, because of increased water intake, some diabetic cats have accidents outside the litter box. But people mistakingly may assume this is merely a behavior problem.

Dogs have a different type of diabetes. They just don’t make insulin anymore – and we don’t typically know why. Genetics plays a role (not weight in this type of diabetes).

Doberman’s are among a long list of breeds with a genetic susceptibility to diabetes

The most common form of the disease in dogs is Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing or secreting adequate levels of insulin.

Type II diabetes is found in cats and is a lack of normal response to insulin.

In both cases, pet caretakers need to offer insulin to the pets.

In some cats, with a change of diet (low carb and high protein moist), weight loss and change to metabolism (exercise, at least to some extent), these cats may go into remission and no longer require insulin as long as they remain active (as much as cats can be) and most important weight is kept in-check. 

We have two insulins specifically FDA approved for pets, says Loenser.  One is approved for dogs and cats, and the other approved for cats. And we know about how these insulins can help pets.

Here is the user friendly not so technical version of the 2018 AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.