Why Is It So Difficult To Manage Diabetes In Pets ?
Diabetes is different from many other chronic diseases because of the central role that you, as a pet owner, have to play in the success of the treatment: to take good care of your diabetic pet, you will have to display qualities of commitment and organization.
Commitment: you will inject the insulin yourself to your pet once or twice a day. Your vet will also ask you to watch and record daily your pet symptoms and the quantity of food it has actually eaten. In addition, you may also have to perform at home a blood exam every one to two months. It consists of taking blood at regular intervals and measuring blood glucose with a glucometer. Pet’s weight should remain within acceptable limits, and a proper diet will be prescribed by your vet.
Organization: performing all these tasks will require you set up a precise plan. Insulin should be injected and meals given at very precise times in the day: as insulin compensates for the sugar ingested from the meals, you will have to coordinate feeding and insulin injections. This is crucial for maximizing the treatment efficacy and for avoiding severe hypoglycemic episodes. Your vet will also ask you to record carefully, the information you have gathered: daily symptoms and actual feeding, blood glucose curve data, weight evolution…
The 5 Diabetes Symptoms That May Alert You
Noting your pet’s symptoms is needed for two reasons. First of all, symptoms hint your pet may have diabetes, and will bring you to visit your vet. Secondly, once the disease has been well identified and confirmed, they will be used for assessing the effectiveness of the treatment and the evolution of the disease. You will watch:
– Unexplained weight loss
– Increased thirst (polydipsia) and increased urination (polyuria)
– Increased hunger, especially after meal (polyphagia)
– Fatigue or lethargy
– Poor coat condition
Read more about diabetes symptoms in dogs
Read more about diabetes symptoms in cats
Diabetes Pet Manager iPhone App
Helps You Get Organized
- Reminds of injection and feeding times
– Programs the blood sampling times on the “Blood Glucose Curve” day
– Records and draws graphs for the blood glucose curve, real food intake, and weight evolution
– Gathers the information and send it to your vet whenever you want
The Other Diseases
You Should Be Aware Of
It is possible to distinguish three categories of diseases co-existing with diabetes:
– The diseases that can cause diabetes: around 30% of canine diabetes originates from chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, a gland that produces not only enzymes for helping food digestion, but also hormones such as insulin and glucagon which are involved in blood glucose regulation. The main symptoms of pancreatitis are diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.
– The diseases that are caused by untreated diabetes: that is to say diabetes complications. Ketoacidosis is potentially deadly: cells use fat instead of glucose for their energy source. It results in an increase of blood ketones that cause vomiting, fatigue, rapid breathing. Eye damages are common in pet with diabetes: cataract, glaucoma or uveitis. If untreated, your pet will also be more susceptible to infections.
– The diseases that are more frequent in diabetic pets (comorbidities). Although their relationships with diabetes are not fully elucidated, they occur more often in diabetic animals than in the general pet population. Your vet will need to keep a close watch on your pet in regards to these pathologies. They are Cushing’s disease, hyperthyroidism (mainly in cats), hypothyroidism (mainly in dogs), renal disease…