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Jennifer Hamlin
The Veterinary Nurse, Vol. 1, Iss. 3, 20 Dec 2010, pp 156 - 161

Diabetes is a disease that presents in many different forms, but diabetes mellitus
is the most common form seen in dogs and cats. Insulin dependent diabetes
mellitus is more common in dogs than cats and non-insulin dependent diabetes
mellitus is more common in cats than dogs. The incidence of diabetes varies depending
on the species, age, physical attributes, genetic make up and gender of
the animal. Clinical signs almost always include polyuria and polydipsia, but can
also include polyphagia, weakness, weight loss, unkempt haircoat and changes in
behaviour, among others. There are a number of successful treatment strategies
that can enable the diabetic dog or cat to lead a long fulfilling life. Many of these
treatment plans require careful monitoring of blood glucose, daily insulin injections
and modifications in diet and lifestyle habits. A veterinary nurse who has a
good foundation on diabetes disease pathophysiology, treatments and management
strategies is not only essential in caring for hospitalized diabetic patients,
but is also critical for helping to alleviate pressure on clients who must bear the
responsibility of managing their diabetic pet at home.

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