CHICAGO (CBS) – On the health watch: Diabetes. It is a growing problem in our country, and you may be surprised to know your pet can suffer from diabetes – just like you.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez has more on the growing incidence of diabetes in pets.

First a kiss, then a tiny pin prick in the ear – a pet owner uses a meter specially calibrated for pets to test blood glucose levels.

Chelsea the cat was diagnosed with diabetes.

Cat owner, Eric Ravenstein was surprised to find out his cat, Chelsea, has diabetes.

“We were a little shocked as well, and were a little scared because we did not know what it entailed,” he said.

Dr. Ruth MacPete said Chelsea is one of a growing number of cats and dogs with diabetes.

Why the increase? Just like with humans, genetics, age and weight all play a role.

“We are seeing much more obesity, not just with people, but with pets and with the rise in obesity were seeing an increase in diabetes,” said Veterinarian, Dr. Ruth MacPete.

Left untreated, it can be dangerous.

“It can lead to nerve damage, kidney disease and also death,” Dr. MacPete said.

What are the signs?
-increased thirst
-increased urination including accidents in the house
-increase in appetite even as they lose weight

Dr. MacPete said the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat. Your veterinarian will give you instructions about giving insulin at home.

“Diabetes is a manageable condition in dogs and cats just like it is in people,” Dr. MacPete said. “Pets can live a long happy healthy life. Chelsea is an example of that.”

Diet is also very important – keeping your pet trim and healthy. You will want to talk to your vet about that and all aspects of dealing with diabetes.