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How Do You Take Care Of A Dog With Diabetes?

You Just Learned Your Pet Has Diabetes

You Just Learned Your Pet Has Diabetes

The first day Commitment, patience & education Expenses Your emotions People think you're crazy Your social life The bottom line I wrote this essay to help people whose pet has recently (or not so recently) been diagnosed with diabetes. Many of the things discussed below will probably go through your thoughts. Hopefully this will help you understand your new situation and you won't feel so overwhelmed. The First Day The initial shock and fear you feel when the vet tells you that your pet has diabetes can be overwhelming. Diabetes is a treatable condition and your pet can live a normal, happy, healthy life. Diabetes is not a death sentence for your pet. A question that is often asked is “My pet is older, should I put him to sleep”. This is a very complicated issue and depends on the overall health of your pet. Age alone should not be the deciding factor in determining whether to treat your diabetic pet or whether to euthanize it. Many older pets have been diagnosed with diabetes and with commitment and loving care, they have lived many more years. Our cat was diagnosed at age 14, and after almost three years with diabetes he is very healthy and happy. There are diabetic cats and dogs that are quite elderly (18 years old or more) and are in very good health. You may want to read some of the Quality of Life stories that are on this site. Commitment, Patience and Education Caring for a diabetic pet takes a very strong commitment from both the owner / caregiver and the vet. You must provide a very high level of care for your pet on a daily basis. Gone are the days of putting out food and water, giving a quick pat on the head, and hurrying out the door. Every day you will have to give your pet medication, feed a proper diet, and watch his behavior. But don’t get the imp Continue reading >>

Living With Diabetic Dogs

Living With Diabetic Dogs

Your beloved dog has been diagnosed with diabetes. Now what? Pet parents just faced with the diagnosis may be unaware of the dos and don'ts on how to properly care for a diabetic dog. Here are some important tips to get you on your way. If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps. Will your dog’s quality of life be diminished? And what about your own quality of life -- will your days be overtaken by the constant agony of tending to your pup’s diet and symptoms? Learn what to expect if your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, and how you can help manage this disease and live with your diabetic dog. Diabetes is managed and controlled through adjustments to your dog’s diet and feeding schedule along with insulin shots. Once it’s clear how much (and what) your dog should be eating, as well as how much insulin they require, the day-to-day routine is fairly doable. It is, however, a regimented routine that you need to keep up with. Your dog should be fed at the same time daily and have their insulin shot administered at that time. Although the scheduling may be tough to establish, the actual steps you’ll need to take each day are not very demanding. In the days right after receiving the diabetes diagnosis, it can be difficult to figure out exactly how much insulin your pet needs. While your dog’s weight can be one factor in determining the dosage, it’s not the only factor; you’ll need to know how your particular dog absorbs the insulin. With the help of your vet, and intensive monitoring of your dog’s glucose levels, you’ll be able to establish the correct dose of insulin for your dog’s diabetes. If your female dog hasn’t been spayed, she will need to be after being diagnosed with diabete Continue reading >>

How To Care For A Diabetic Dog

How To Care For A Diabetic Dog

Expert Reviewed Humans are not the only mammal that can get diabetes. Dogs can develop diabetes, especially later in life. If your dog has diabetes, there are many ways you can care for your dog. Make sure to medicate your dog with insulin correctly. Make changes to your dog's lifestyle to promote its health. Deal with the complications of a diabetic dog. You will have to be extra careful about managing things like vacations. 1 Make a plan for your dog's health with your vet. Diabetes requires swift treatment, but the treatment plan depends on your dog's current health. Insulin is usually required, and the vet will determine the amount. You also may have to make certain lifestyle changes. A long talk with a veterinarian is the first step [1] A simple test can diagnose diabetes in your dog. Your vet can also do blood tests to see how diabetes is affecting your dog's body. The sooner you begin treatment, the better. Your dog's health will suffer as long as diabetes goes untreated. Make sure to ask your vet any questions you have. Treating diabetes can be tricky, so you want to leave the office with a clear treatment plan in mind. If the vet has any pamphlets you can take home, take them with you. 2 Draw insulin correctly. You will have to give your dog insulin injections regularly. Make sure you know how to draw insulin safely. You will need a syringe to do so. Prior to injecting your dog, carefully draw out the correct amount of insulin.[2] First, remove the cap from the needle. Then, you will pull back the plunger of the needle until you reach the appropriate dose. Stick the needle in the spongy top of the bottle of insulin. Push down on the plunger, pushing air into the bottle. This will create a vacuum that allows you to more easily draw insulin from the bottle. Pull Continue reading >>

Caring For A Dog With Diabetes

Caring For A Dog With Diabetes

I adopted my first dog, a scruffy 10-pound terrier mix named Frankie, when I was an adult and fairly clueless about all things canine. I wasn’t really prepared to care for the cute but alien creature that had entered my home, and I definitely wasn’t anticipating that, a few years down the road, I would be meeting the needs of a dog with diabetes. By then, however, I was completely besotted with him. I’d liked dogs – or at least the idea of them – since I was a kid, but had never had much interaction with them. I grew up in a small Brooklyn apartment with a mother who feared all creatures great and small. None of my childhood friends had dogs either. Our urban Flatbush neighborhood was a far cry from Lassie country. It wasn’t until I moved from New York and settled into a house with a large yard in Tucson that I gave in to my vague hankerings for canine companionship- not to mention to the nudgings of a dog rescuer friend, who emailed me a picture of a cute, disheveled pup who had been found wandering in the streets. The local humane society estimated he was about five years old. He had the sweetest, furry face, large intelligent eyes. I fell harder for him than I’d ever done for a guy on a dating site. I would like to report that Frankie and I bonded immediately when my rescuer friend left him with me, that as soon as his trusting little face looked into mine, I knew I’d made the right decision. I would like to, but that would be a lie. Frankie’s little face wasn’t trusting; it was terrified. Pride and obstinacy have their rewards. Slowly, slowly, I won him over. He began shadowing me around the house, snuggling up against my armpit when we went to sleep at night. I eventually learned his little quirks. He wasn’t interested in playing ball or in mo Continue reading >>

How Do I Care For My Diabetic Dog?

How Do I Care For My Diabetic Dog?

Question: How do I care for my diabetic dog? Answer: Finding out that your dog has Diabetes can be quite a shock. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for your Diabetic dog. Diabetes Mellitus is an endocrine disease that occurs when the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin and the body cannot regulate or process glucose properly. Unregulated Diabetes Mellitus causes increased thirst and urination and can lead to cataract formation. In some cases, a serious condition called Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) can occur. Once your dog has been diagnosed with Diabetes, it is essential that you follow your veterinarian’s recommendations to avoid complications. Well-managed Diabetics can still live long, healthy lives. Here’s how: Insulin Therapy Insulin is the cornerstone of Diabetes Mellitus treatment. Injections are generally given one to two times daily under the skin. Many dog owners cannot fathom giving a dog a shot, but it is easier than it seems. Injections are given under the loose skin between your dog’s shoulder blades. The needle is incredibly small – your dog will hardly feel it. Also, the amount injected is usually quite small, so it will be over before you know it. Before beginning insulin therapy, you will typically have the chance to sit down with a veterinary technician for an insulin demonstration. He or she will show you how you should store and handle the insulin, how to draw up the insulin in the syringe, and then how to inject it properly. Take this time to ask as many questions as possible. Be sure you are absolutely comfortable with the process before you try it at home. Note: Never adjust your dog’s insulin dose or schedule unless it is recommended by your veterinarian. Blood Glucose Curves One of the best ways fo Continue reading >>

3 Things Your Vet Might Not Tell You About Treating Your Diabetic Dog

3 Things Your Vet Might Not Tell You About Treating Your Diabetic Dog

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, diabetes affects approximately one in every 500 dogs. Chuck, my senior Pug mix, was diagnosed with the disease shortly after I adopted him. He was 10 years old and severely overweight when he came from the shelter. Although I did get his weight down by 25 percent thanks to a lot of walks, all that extra heft undoubtedly contributed to the onset of his disease. (Please don’t let your dogs get fat, it’s so dangerous to their health!) When your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, there is a ton of information to learn. Yet, there are quite a few things you may just take at face value without even thinking to question. Trust me, don’t do that. Always be inquisitive. Here is what I learned by managing Chuck’s diabetes. 1. There are different types of insulin When Chuck got his first insulin prescription, it was for Humulin N. I went to Costco and paid $130 for a bottle that would last a month. Over the next few days, I did some research and discovered Chuck could be moved to Novolin N (a different type of insulin). This is an equally expensive drug, but I finally found it for $24.88 at my local Walmart. Never underestimate the value of shopping around. Pharmacies frequently have contracts with certain drug companies that affect which drugs they sell and how much they cost. When your dog is diagnosed, invest the time into exploring your medication options. When asked, Chuck’s vet didn’t even know there were two insulins (she just jotted down the one she knew about), and it took some independent research on my part to determine Chuck could be safely moved from one to the other (not all animals can or should, so be careful and only do it with medical supervision). 2. You can do blood glucose curves at home When t Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect dogs and cats and other animals (including apes, pigs, and horses) as well as humans. Although diabetes can’t be cured, it can be managed very successfully. Diabetes mellitus, or “sugar diabetes,” is the type of diabetes seen most often in dogs. It is a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to how the body converts food to energy. To understand what diabetes is, it helps to understand some of this process. The conversion of food nutrients into energy to power the body’s cells involves an ongoing interplay of two things: • Glucose: essential fuel for the body’s cells. When food is digested, the body breaks down some of the nutrients into glucose, a type of sugar that is a vital source of energy for certain body cells and organs. The glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the blood, which then transports the glucose throughout the body. • Insulin: in charge of fuel delivery. Meanwhile, an important organ next to the stomach called the pancreas releases the hormone insulin into the body. Insulin acts as a “gatekeeper” that tells cells to grab glucose and other nutrients out of the bloodstream and use them as fuel. What is diabetes? With diabetes, the glucose-insulin connection isn’t working as it should. Diabetes occurs in dogs in two forms: • Insulin-deficiency diabetes—This is when the dog’s body isn’t producing enough insulin. This happens when the pancreas is damaged or otherwise not functioning properly. Dogs with this type of diabetes need daily shots to replace the missing insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs. • Insulin-resistance diabetes—This is when the pancreas is producing some insulin, but the dog’s body isn’t utilizing the insulin as it should. The ce Continue reading >>

Managing Diabetes

Managing Diabetes

Your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, so now it’s time to learn how to care for your diabetic pet. The goal in managing diabetes is to keep glucose concentrations regulated, avoiding spikes and drops, and to reduce or eliminate the signs of diabetes, such as excessive thirst and urination. Although diabetes can’t be cured, the condition can be successfully managed with daily insulin injections and changes in diet and lifestyle. And successful diabetes management means your dog can lead a happy, healthy, active life. Pets whose diabetes is under control have normal thirst and urination, normal appetite, stable weight, normal activity levels, and are less likely to develop long-term complications of diabetes. Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs: How To Care For A Diabetic Dog

Diabetes In Dogs: How To Care For A Diabetic Dog

Believe it or not, the recent surge in the occurrence of diabetes isn’t limited to humans –diabetes is also being found in dogs in rapidly growing numbers. In fact, researchers now estimate that one in 160 dogs in America will develop the disease. While that might not seem like an alarming figure, keep in mind that this rate has more than tripled since 1970. While there is no cure for diabetes in dogs, there has been great progress in treatment options in recent years, and dogs with diabetes are now living longer, healthier lives. But it is treated differently than in humans, and requires careful blood sugar monitoring and daily insulin injections. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect dogs and cats and other animals (including apes, pigs, and horses) as well as humans. In dogs, diabetes is a complex disease caused by either a lack of insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. Diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be managed very successfully. To fully understand what diabetes is, it helps to understand some of this process. The conversion of food nutrients into energy to power the body’s cells involves an ongoing relationship between glucose and insulin. When food is digested, the body breaks down some of the nutrients (mainly carbohydrates) into glucose, a type of sugar that is an essential source of energy for certain cells and organs in the body. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the blood, which then transports it throughout the body. While this is happening, an important organ next to the stomach called the pancreas releases the hormone insulin into the body. Insulin acts as the body’s “gatekeeper” that tells cells to grab glucose and other nutrients out of the bloodstream and use them as fuel. Think of glucose a Continue reading >>

How To Care For A Dog With Diabetes

How To Care For A Dog With Diabetes

How To Care For A Dog With Diabetes Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. After a dog eats, his digestive system breaks food into various components, including glucose-which is carried into his cells by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. When a dog does not produce insulin or cannot utilize it normally, his blood sugar levels elevate. The result is hyperglycemia, which, if left untreated, can cause many complicated health problems for a dog. It is important to understand, however, that diabetes is considered a manageable disorder-and many diabetic dogs can lead happy, healthy lives. Why Dogs Get Diabetes Type 1 diabetes, the form of the disease that strikes the young, is actually quite rare in companion animals when they reach middle-age or senior years. Your dog is much more likely to develop Type II (adult-onset) diabetes around middle age or in his senior years, as a result of a lifestyle that has led to decreased production of insulin or the inability of his body to use it efficiently. Obesity is far and away the biggest reason pets become diabetic. You can help your dog stay trim by feeding him a portion controlled, moisture rich species-appropriate diet consisting primarily of a variety of unadulterated protein sources, healthy fats, veggies and fruit in moderation, and specific nutritional supplements as necessary. Your pet has no biological requirement for grains or most other carbs. Carbs, which can be as much as 80 percent the ingredient content of processed pet food, turn into sugar in your pet’s body. Excess sugar in dogs leads to diabetes. Another lifestyle-related reason pets develop diabetes, one that often goes hand-in-hand with poor nutrition, is lack of phy Continue reading >>

Preventing And Treating Canine Diabetes

Preventing And Treating Canine Diabetes

The growing diabetes epidemic is not limited to people—diabetes mellitus is increasing among dogs as well. Researchers estimate that one in 200 dogs will develop the disease. Fortunately, treatment has made huge strides in recent years, and as a result, dogs with diabetes are living longer, healthier lives. The mechanism of diabetes is relatively simple to describe. Just as cars use gas for fuel, body cells run on a sugar called glucose. The body obtains glucose by breaking down carbohydrates in the diet. Cells then extract glucose from the blood with the help of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas in specialized cells called beta cells. (The pancreas, an organ situated behind the stomach, produces several hormones.) In diabetes mellitus, cells don’t take in enough glucose, which then builds up in the blood. As a result, cells starve and organs bathed in sugary blood are damaged. Diabetes is not curable, but it is treatable; a dog with diabetes may live many happy years after diagnosis. Kinds of Diabetes Humans are subject to essentially three kinds of diabetes. By far the most common is Type 2, followed by Type 1 and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has typically been a disease of middle and old age (though it is being seen increasingly in young people), and has two causes: The beta cells don’t make enough insulin, or muscle cells resist insulin’s help and don’t take in enough glucose (or both). As a result, blood glucose levels climb. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells, cutting off insulin production; the reason for this attack is thought to be a combination of genetic predisposition plus exposure to a trigger (research into possible triggers is ongoing). Glucose then stays in the blood and, aga Continue reading >>

8 Expert Tips On How To Care For A Diabetic Dog

8 Expert Tips On How To Care For A Diabetic Dog

Last week I shared some great resources with helpful information on super foods for dogs. Feeding your dog top quality nutrition is the best way to enhance her overall health and well-being, but sometimes your pet is diagnosed with a disease, like diabetes, that will effect her health negatively and there is nothing you can do to change it. Caring for a dog with diabetes won’t be easy – but it will be worth it! The initial fear and shock that you will feel if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes will be overwhelming. Your vet will give you a lot of information, and much like diabetes in humans, if not treated properly canine diabetes can lead to much more serious health problems. Try to remember that diabetes is a treatable condition and your dog will still be able to live a normal, healthy and happy life as long as you know how to take care of her. Listen to your veterinarian, do your own research and speak with a specialist if you can. All these resources will help you to understand the disease and what your new role will be as a caregiver for a dog with diabetes. There are a lot of great online resources with advice from other pet parents struggling with the same issue as well. 8 Expert Tips on How to Care for A Diabetic Dog The first step in caring for a diabetic dog is understanding the disease that she has. Canine diabetes is also known as diabetes mellitus. If you’re doing your own research you may find more reliable sources of information if you search for the scientific name. Similar to human diabetes, it occurs when your pet’s pancreas does not produce enough insulin. 1. College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State Most commonly, diabetes is an adult onset disease, but it is occasionally diagnosed in younger dogs as well. According to the College Continue reading >>

Managing Diabetes In Dogs

Managing Diabetes In Dogs

Dogs can have diabetes just like humans - both Type 1 and Type 2. Diabetic dogs are increasingly common, but the disease is entirely manageable unless left untreated. MY DOG HAS DIABETES: OVERVIEW 1. If your dog shows symptoms of diabetes (described below), seek veterinary care at once. 2. Work with your vet to determine the right type of insulin and the right dose for your individual dog. 3. Take your dog for frequent veterinary checkups. 4. Learn how to give insulin injections and reward your dog for accepting them. 5. Consistently feed your diabetic dog the same type of food at the same time of day. 6. Report any unusual symptoms or reactions to your vet. For years public health officials have reported a diabetes epidemic among America’s children and adults. At the same time, the rate of canine diabetes in America has more than tripled since 1970, so that today it affects about 1 in every 160 dogs. But while many human cases are caused and can be treated by diet, for dogs, diabetes is a lifelong condition that requires careful blood sugar monitoring and daily insulin injections. The medical term for the illness is diabetes mellitus (mellitus is a Latin term that means “honey sweet,” reflecting the elevated sugar levels the condition produces in urine and blood). Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin to metabolize food for energy, or when the body’s cells fail to utilize insulin properly. The pancreas’s inability to produce insulin is known in humans as type 1 (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent) diabetes. This is analogous to the type that affects virtually all dogs. Dogs can also develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Type 2 (formerly adult onset) diabetes, which is the result of insulin resistance often l Continue reading >>

Does It Upset You To See A Person With No Visible Disabilities Take A Service Dog Into A Store Or Other Public Building?

Does It Upset You To See A Person With No Visible Disabilities Take A Service Dog Into A Store Or Other Public Building?

No. I don't care. Maybe they have an “invisible disability,” like epilepsy or PTSD. Or maybe they're not disabled at all. This is how I spent my summer. (Sorry for the blurry pic, it's hard to take photos when a puppy wants to chew your phone.) My boss volunteers for an organization that breeds and trains service dogs. The dog she is training had puppies this summer. Anakin and Ace, the two handsome boys here, are the last remaining puppies. Soon they, like the others, will go home with their raisers -the people who will train them, attend special service dog classes with them, and take them everywhere -grocery stores, shopping centers, restaurants. After a year and a half to two years, they will go to “boot camp.” Their particular strengths will be assessed, and they'll be matched up with a person who needs a service dog with those strengths. The person and dog will be trained together, then presto! They graduate, and Anakin, Ace, and their littermates will be real service dogs. But it's going to take a lot of work by people WITHOUT disabilities to get them there. Anakin, for one, is mostly interested in napping at this point. You never know why someone has a service dog. Ask yourself: Do they have diabetes, PTSD, epilepsy, some other disability I can't see? Are they someone who has no disability training a service dog for someone who does? And the most important question of all… Is it really any of my business? Continue reading >>

How Can We Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Without Taking Medicines And Insulin?

How Can We Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Without Taking Medicines And Insulin?

The good news is that type 2 diabetes is a highly preventable disease. Well-conducted scientific studies (Diabetes Prevention Program, Da Qing study) have shown that lifestyle modification leading to weight loss can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes, by up to 58%. And if you’re already living with diabetes, don’t fret! Let me share with you my 3 simple secrets to a good healthy life, that doesn’t involve medications or insulin. This is what i’ve distilled from my years of clinical experience dealing with patients with diabetes. If you do this, you’ll significantly reduce your risk of nasty complications. Actually, it isn’t really a secret because all of you know this already ;) Eating right Moving More Monitoring Regularly Eating Right There is no special diet for diabetes! You can still enjoy all of the food you like…BUT (with a big but). Everyone with diabetes is different. Do a blood sugar check before eating and 2 hours after your meals. Over time, you’ll learn which foods work well for you and which ones are more challenging. And you’ll be able to make the right changes that work for you. Moving More Increasing your exercise levels means that you are using your muscles more often and in doing so your sensitivity to insulin will increase. This will make it easier for your body to use insulin and to remove excess glucose from your bloodstream. You will see this reflected in lower blood glucose levels after physical activity. And when I say exercise, I don’t mean you need to do the kind of exercise that makes you pant like a dog - even simple things like brisk walking for 20 - 30 minutes on alternate days, or taking the stairs instead of the lift, help. If you don’t believe me - try it yourself. Find one good day - test your b Continue reading >>

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