A TULLIBODY family's pet is helping to raise awareness of a health condition that can occur in animals.

Pepper, a 10-year-old Yorkie, was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in January and has been undergoing regular treatment at Inglis Vets in Alloa.

However, she has sadly gone blind to due diabetic cataracts which is a common problem in diabetic pets.

Owners Elaine and Andy Truesdale, who are both diabetic with Elaine needing regular injections, were alerted by some changes in her behaviour.

Elaine said: "We first noticed something was wrong when Pepper started drinking a lot more water and was always sleeping.

"When Pepper was younger she used to whine at me as a warning I was about to have a hypo and was very intuitive towards my illness.

"As she’s gotten older and has started battling with her own diabetes, she no longer does this.

"Thankfully Pepper’s now doing great, and even though she’s lost her sight, she’s adjusting well and still has such a loving personality."

Inglis, based on Clackmannan Road, is urging people to look out for signs their pet may be diabetic.

The practice wants to educate owners on animal diabetes and the dangers if the condition goes unnoticed or untreated.

Vet Laura Cowan said: "Poor Pepper was doing really well with her initial treatment, sadly however, her diabetes became unstable and she wasn’t responding well to the insulin.

"Scanning Pepper with our ultrasound machine showed she was suffering with pyometra – a condition of the uterus which can be life threatening.

"Following a hysterectomy, Pepper has been responding well to her insulin again and doing well."

She said it's really important to be aware of the signs that your pet may be diabetic.

She added: "Common symptoms include increased thirst, urination and often weight loss.

"If left untreated, diabetes can cause a number of health issues in dogs, which is why pet owners should always consult a vet if they have any worries.

"Although the condition requires regular treatment, it is manageable and, like Pepper, many diabetic pets will live an active and happy life."