Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Merck Animal Health launches awareness campaign to support Pet Diabetes Month

Via PR Newswire - Merck Animal Health has launched a global awareness campaign to support Pet Diabetes Month this November.

The "A Healthy Pet = A Happy Family" campaign highlights that just like humans, dogs and cats can also suffer from diabetes – a relevant message as November is also American Diabetes Month.

The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the signs of the condition among pet owners, in an effort to encourage them to visit their veterinarians to have their pets screened and treated.

"Pet owners should be aware of the possible warning signs of pet diabetes and see their veterinarians for a definitive diagnosis," said Madeleine Stahl, DVM. "Considering the fact that pet diabetes can be effectively managed, lack of owner awareness may be the biggest risk factor associated with this condition."sy

Lethargy, excessive thirst and frequent urination are some of the most common signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats. Pets may also exhibit increased hunger while losing weight, cloudy eyes (due to cataracts) in dogs and weakness of the back legs in cats.

Risk factors that may contribute to the development of diabetes mellitus include age (middle-aged to older dogs and cats are more susceptible), genetics, breed and obesity. 

Merck Animal Health has created three videos as part of "A Healthy Pet = A Happy Family" to help pet owners learn more about the condition and its signs. Those videos can be found at along with a variety of pet owner educational materials.

It is important for pet owners to recognize the signs of the condition as the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats ranges from at least one in 100 to one in 500. The number of dogs diagnosed with the condition has tripled during the past 30 years.

Today, dogs receiving the proper treatment have the same expected lifespan as a non-diabetic dog of the same age and sex. With consistent treatment and proper diet, a diabetic cat can also live a happy, healthy life.

If a dog or cat displays signs or is at risk, pet owners should talk to their veterinarians, as getting the condition under control early is paramount to survival. Lack of diagnosis and treatment can lead to severe and life-threatening health issues.

Pets are members of the family, and when their diabetes is well-regulated, diabetic pets can live happy, healthy lives with the families who love them.

Merck Animal Health is committed to the highest standards in research and development and continuing to work toward better solutions and treatment options. For more information about pet diabetes, please visit .