Complications of diabetes mellitus in canine and feline patients

Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrinopathy diagnosed in small animal patients, and once stable can be managed and well controlled in the home environment. Complications can occur, however, when unexpected factors arise which can cause destabilisation of the patient. This article will provide a brief review of diabetes mellitus in canine and feline patients before describing some of the common complications that may be observed including hypoglycaemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, urinary tract infection, diabetic neuropathy and cataracts. The aim is to ensure the veterinary nurse has a good understanding of these complications, for them to be aware of the clinical symptoms that may be displayed, and for them to appreciate the different treatment options available allowing them to be efficient advocates for their patients should the need arise.

Table 1. Common clinical symptoms of hypoglycaemia
Table 1. Common clinical symptoms of hypoglycaemia

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