Diabetes: The Devastating But Preventable Disease That Threatens Your Pet
As of this writing, I haven’t yet seen a copy of The Diabetes Report, but from what I gather from the linked article and others I’ve read, it approaches the subject from the viewpoint of managing the disease, not preventing it. And yet, the report makes the following points: Diabetes is tied to obesity. Did the authors point out that obesity in dogs and cats is clearly preventable? Diabetes is more common in older animals. Does the report then make the point that since diabetes occurs primarily in older animals -- but isn’t a disease of aging -- it is therefore a disease brought on by lifestyle obstacles? Pet owners can prevent unhealthy lifestyles for their pets. According to vetlearn.com, The Diabetes Report references a study done in 2006, which showed that “… insulin was stopped in twice as many cats that were on a high protein-low carb diet than cats on a high fiber-low carb diet." Common sense seems to dictate, if a high-protein, low-carb diet can eliminate the need for insulin in cats with diabetes, it seems logical the same diet might prevent kitties -- and their canine counterparts -- from developing the disease in the first place. I suspect one of the reasons more cats than dogs get diabetes is because so many cats eat kibble-only diets. Not only do kitties require very few carbs and fiber, which most kibbles (dry food) are loaded with, but more cats are fed dry food because if their owners need to be away from home, they can stay alone for a few days with a litter box, water, and a supply of dry food that won’t spoil at room temperature. In many ways, kitties are lower maintenance than dogs, so people who are gone from home frequently are more likely to have cats as pets and feed them a diet that is convenient. Add to that the finicky appetite of Continue reading >>
Diabetic Care Of Dogs
Diabetes is caused by deficiency of insulin, which is an important hormone made by beta cells in the pancreas. The signs of diabetes in dogs are typically weight loss despite a good appetite, and excessive thirst and urination. How is diabetes treated in dogs? Treatment of diabetes in dogs usually requires daily administration of insulin injections and appropriate nutrition, and must be specifically tailored for each individual. The goal is to control the signs of diabetes (weight loss despite a good appetite; excessive thirst and urination) and to avoid low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) due to insulin over-dose. The best outcome tends to be achieved when the owner of the diabetic pet and their veterinarian work together as a team. What is diabetic remission? Diabetic remission is a period of time when a diabetic animal does not require insulin injections to control the signs of diabetes. What commitment is required at home when treating a diabetic dog? Insulin injections are typically administered by the owner to a diabetic pet every 12 hours. It is very important that injections are given at the exact time that they are due. If it is ever not possible to give an insulin injection on time, then it is better to miss that particular injection than to give it at another time. Appropriate nutritional strategies can complement insulin therapy in diabetic dogs and so it is often beneficial to make changes to the diet or feeding regimen. Information collected at home about a diabetic dog’s progress helps to monitor the success of treatment and can provide clues about the risk of hypoglycaemia. The most useful information comes from routine recording of general demeanour, daily water intake, changes in body weight, and the presence or absence of glucose in the urine. Collectin Continue reading >>
Diabetes In Dogs
Diabetes mellitus is a disease resulting from the body’s inability to produce or use insulin. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas in response to protein digestion. Normally, proteins are converted to glucose which is then carried into the cells by insulin. When insulin is not produced or cannot be used, cells lose their main energy source and unused glucose builds up in the bloodstream (hyperglycemia). Untreated diabetes can lead to organ failure, blindness, coma and death. Diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin. Insulin is required for the body to efficiently use sugars, fats and proteins. There are two types of diabetes, with the most common striking 1 of every 500 dogs. Veterinarians commonly diagnosis canine diabetes in patients that are middle-aged, female, and overweight. The following symptoms are strong indicators that a pet may have diabetes: Increased appetite Weight loss (with increased appetite) Excessive thirst Excessive urination Bladder or kidney infection Signs of advanced diabetes include: Blindness Anorexia Lethargy Vomiting Cataracts Seizures Collapse Types Diabetes mellitus is grouped into two types based on disease pathology: Type I - The more severe of the two forms. The body is unable to produce insulin. Treatment is with daily injections of insulin. 99% of diabetes in dogs is Type I. Type II - In this form, the body produces insulin, however the cells are unable to use the insulin. Type II can be treated with oral medications. Only 1% of dogs have Type II diabetes. Approximately one in 500 dogs will develop diabetes. The exact cause is unknown, but certain dogs are at increased risk for developing diabetes: Obese dogs Female dogs (twice as likely to develop diabetes) Older dogs (7-9 years) Autoimmune Continue reading >>
Pet Expenses: How Much Does It Cost To Bring Up Fluffy?
Having a pet can be a wonderful experience. But pets come with expenses. Before you adopt a furry family member, make sure you know what to expect. Furry kids are less expensive than human kids but they can still cost a small fortune. Once you adopt a pet, their care is your responsibility so it’s a good idea to know what some of the expenses might be and to set money aside for them. Until he passed away in June, I had a kitty friend named Shadow. I got him as a tiny kitten while I was in college and we were together nearly half my life. He was a great cat and I love him but because he developed diabetes late in life, he cost me thousands of dollars. I would gladly spend every penny on him again but if I’m honest, it was one of the reasons I don’t think I’ll ever have a pet again. I would love it if every one of you would give an animal a good home. They bring so much love and pleasure into your life and you do the same for them. But because I know you all to be wonderful people, I know that if something went wrong with your friend, you would spend your last penny if it would help them. So if you would rather not be in that situation, please think twice about adopting. When I found out Shadow was diabetic, the vet asked if I wanted to give him up. I was appalled at the heartlessness of the question but I understand now that lots of people do give up their pet when they develop an illness. Especially a chronic one like diabetes that required twice daily insulin injections at precisely timed intervals. Even if your pet remains healthy all through their life, there are still costs. We’ll break down what they are so you can make an informed decision. Adoption Costs Please go the adoption route. There are so many animals that need a home. Even if you have your hear Continue reading >>
Pet Insurance Companies Call It A Pre-existing Condition. I Call It Diabetes.
Pet Assure is a low-cost pet insurance alternative that covers every medical service - even pre-existing conditions! Learn why more than 100,000 pet households have chosen Pet Assure. Canine Diabetes Diabetes is a pancreatic disorder. There are two types: Type 1 diabetes: the body does not produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes:(more common) the body is unable to use the insulin correctly Your dog needs insulin in order to absorb glucose and convert it into energy. Untreated, your dog's health will gradually decline and end in an early death. CAUSES: Diabetes is common in dogs that have the following combined factors: Overweight Female Unspayed 6 to 9 years in age SIGNS: Initial signs include: Increased thirst and urination Vomiting and dehydration Increased appetite with weight loss Hind-limb weakness: walking with hocks touching the ground (nervous system damage) Lethargy Difficulty breathing Cataracts Advanced signs for untreated diabetes include: Enlarged liver Susceptibility to infection Neurological problems DIAGNOSIS: To diagnose your dog with diabetes, your veterinarian will review medical history and signs. The veterinarian will also perform blood and urine tests to check glucose levels. TREATMENT: Most veterinarians will agree that diabetes is not curable, but can be controlled by: Change in diet: High in protein and low in carbohydrates: controls blood sugar and promotes weight loss in obese dogs. Obese dogs have a hard time processing insulin, making their diabetes more difficult to control Spread calorie intake out over a few meals rather than all at once Insulin injections: Insulin is used to keep the dog's blood glucose levels under control. You will be able to learn to give injections, as the insulin needles are tiny. Giving an injection is usually easie Continue reading >>
Pet Inflation: How Owning A Cat Or A Dog Will Cost You £17k Over Its Life
‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.’ A popular phrase etched into our vocabulary from a 1970s charity campaign to make people aware that they shouldn't impulse buy a puppy without thinking about the long-term impact. And one of those long-term impacts is the financial implications having a pet, especially a cat or a dog, entails – they do not come cheap. The average lifetime cost of owning a dog today stands at around £16,900 and for a cat £17,200, according to research by Sainsbury’s pet insurance. And it's set to get even more expensive. The average annual cost of owning a dog is currently £1,183. However, pet inflation will bump this up over its lifetime. When you take into account inflation and rising costs, if you bought a new puppy today, Sainsbury’s estimate the annual cost could easily rise by about 20 per cent to £1,418 during its life expectancy, which is on average 13 years. This would take the cost of owning a dog to nearly £18,500 in its lifetime. This research also doesn't take into account how much the dog cost to buy to start with - some would-be dog owners in the UK can expect to pay £700 or more for a pedigree pup who will often enjoy the best of everything, even when times are hard. The average annual cost of owning a cat is slightly lower at £1,028, but this could increase to annual cost of £1,270 in 15 years’ time – the average life expectancy of a pet cat in the UK. This equates to an increase of 23.5 per cent in the annual cost of owning a cat and means a feline friend would set you back over £19,000 in its lifetime. Where does the money go? Sainsbury’s research found that food accounts for around 33.7 per cent of the average spend on a pet dog and 41 per cent for a pet cat. Vet fees account for 15 per cent for a d Continue reading >>
How Much Does Cataract Surgery Cost For Dogs?
Eye specialists typically do this complicated surgery. I would try getting an estimate from a vet teaching hospital to see if their cost is lower. They may be able to have a resident do the surgery... 1 Person found this answer helpful The only treatment for cataract is surgery. Your dog should be able to adopt to impaired vision. It should not affect his quality of life. 2 People found this answer helpful It is impossible to answer this question as fees vary from hospital to hospital. I would suggest calling several local hospitals and asking for an estimate for the cost of the surgery. As this should usually be done by a specialist the cost is quite high. Anywhere between 2000$-3500$ per ear.Make sure the surgery is indeed necessary before going through with it, as sometimes long... I am afraid it is impossible to answer this - it depends on the nature of the injury and any other complicating factors, the extent of the surgery and aftercare required, your location and the level... 1 Person found this answer helpful Dog cataracts are very much like people cataracts in that the actual lens of the eye goes through derangement (changes) that cause it to no longer be functional for the dogs vision. The way topical... 4 People found this answer helpful It depends on what area you live in and what type of surgery you're talking about (there are a few different procedures that can be done for a dislocated hip), but in my area, normal cost for that... 4 People found this answer helpful It depends, prices can vary from one vet to another. I wiuld recommend seeing one that has got lots of experience with Bulldogs and high standards of care. MollI had cataract surgery and back surgery recently. Been home about 3 wks. She started panting recently. Would like to know why? Panting i Continue reading >>
You Were Just Told Your Pet Has Diabetes.
The initial shock and fear you feel when the vet tells you that your pet has diabetes can be overwhelming. Yet diabetes is a treatable condition and your pet can live a normal, happy, healthy life. Diabetes is not a death sentence for your pet! You can manage this condition, maintaining your own sanity and budget. You are likely wondering, "How long will my pet live?" Every pet is different, but very often your pet can live a normal life span. If you own an older cat, no doubt you've wondered if it's "better" to put it to sleep. This is a very complicated issue and depends on the overall health of your pet. But 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 have lived many more years. Our cat was diagnosed at age 14, and for years was still very healthy and dominating the household. We've heard of many diabetic cats that are quite elderly (18 years old or more) who are in very good health. You Can Get Through This. Caring for a diabetic pet, just like a non-diabetic pet, does involve commitment from both the caregiver and the vet. You must provide a consistent 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. Don't get the impression that you are now a prisoner....you aren't, but you will have to pay much closer attention to your pet's needs and behavior, and you will have to make arrangements for someone to care for your pet if you leave for an extended period of time. Your hard work and commitment will be reflect Continue reading >>
How Much Is Cataract Surgery For Dogs?
Cataracts are opaqueness of the eye's lens. They're caused by debris within the eye and prevent the retina and optic nerve from receiving light. A cataract can be small, causing minor vision problems, or can cover the entire lens, causing total blindness. The average cost of cataract surgery for dogs is between $1500 and $3000 per eye, which covers the cost of the surgery itself plus anesthesia, hospitalization and recovery. Most dog cataracts are inherited, but they can also be caused by diabetes, poor nutrition, physical trauma and infection. Cataracts often develop quickly and can strike at any age. Untreated cataracts can deform or detach the lens, block eye drainage and lead to glaucoma. The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgical replacement of the lens, or cataract surgery. During this procedure, the dog's defective lens is removed and an artificial lens is placed in the eye, restoring the dog's vision. A small incision is made in the capsular bag of the eyeball and a probe is inserted to ultrasonically emulsify the lens, allowing it to be removed. The new intraocular artificial lens is placed and the incision is closed. Risks of surgery include anesthesia reaction, infection, damage to the structures surrounding the lens and blindness. However, surgery is effective and uncomplicated in 95 percent of patients and is considered safe enough that it is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Surgery performed under high magnification and the steady hand of a board-certified veterinary ocular surgeon elicits the best results. Most dogs will have improved vision immediately after a successful procedure, though their sight may be blurry for a week or more following surgery. Treated dogs typically have near-normal, though farsighted, vision. Cataract surger Continue reading >>
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  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. 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 >>
Diabetes Costs Are High For Young People
April 28, 2011 -- Young people who have diabetes face much higher medical bills than children and teenagers who do not have the disease, and much of the extra tab is due to prescription drugs and outpatient care, the CDC says. A new CDC study says the annual medical expense for young people with diabetes totals about $9,061, vs. $1,468 for teens and kids without the disease. The young people with the highest medical costs in the study were treated with insulin, which is typically used by patients with type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, and sometimes used in type 2 diabetes, which more commonly develops after childhood. Patients with type 1 diabetes can’t make insulin and thus must receive insulin treatment. Some patients with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin to control their blood glucose levels and also are treated with insulin. In the study, children and teens age 19 or younger who received insulin treatment had average annual medical costs of $9,333. Those who did not receive insulin but did take oral medications to control blood glucose spent on average $5,683. The study investigated medical costs for children and teenagers 19 or younger who were covered by employer-sponsored health insurance plans in 2007. Estimates were based on claims data on nearly 50,000 young people, including 8,226 with diabetes. “Young people with diabetes face medical costs that are six times higher than their peers without diabetes,” the CDC’s Ann Albright, PhD, RD, says in a news release. Albright is director of the CDC’s division of diabetes translation. “Most youth with diabetes need insulin to survive, and the medical costs for young people on insulin were almost 65% higher than those who did not require insulin to treat their diabetes.” Most p Continue reading >>
Paying For Pet Emergencies: The Importance Of A Financial Plan For Your Dog
There’s no question you are a responsible pet owner. You’ve taken all the steps to create a safe environment and are vigilant about keeping your pet healthy. However, no matter how much you prepare, there is always the possibility that your pet will develop an unexpected illness or become accidentally injured, prompting an unplanned trip to the vet. And it’s important to have a financial plan in place if this happens. Many pet owners still don’t understand how expensive it can be to treat an unexpected illness or injury. Here are some actual pet emergencies and the costs associated with treatment: Cat bite abscess (cat): $1,250 Hit-by-car (dog): $5,600 Urethral obstruction (cat): $2,700 Toxin ingestion (ate mushrooms, dog): $6,500 Heatstroke (dog): $4,200 Gastrointestinal foreign body surgery (ate a diaper, dog): $3,275 Vomiting and diarrhea (pancreatitis, dog): $3,000 Diabetic Ketoacidosis (cat): $4,600 Back surgery for ruptured disc (dog): $5,600 These are just a few examples of actual emergency costs, and though many emergencies have a lower price tag, plenty have a higher one, as well. It’s important to consider how you would handle such situations before they happen to one of your pets – doing so will not only allow you to be more emotionally prepared, but better financially prepared as well. What's the risk of not planning? Sadly, lack of financial planning inevitably leaves pet owners with the heart-wrenching decision to elect less-than-ideal care or even euthanasia – even when the condition is completely fixable. Or, the pet owner may take on credit card or loan debt that they have no real means of paying off, plunging them into financial ruin. The fact is, good veterinary medical care isn't cheap, and this is even truer when that care is needed on Continue reading >>
How To Save On Dog Insulin
Has your dog been newly diagnosed with diabetes and you're wondering how you are going to be able to afford a daily medication like insulin? Learn some ways you can save money on your dog's insulin and still have enough to buy them that new squeaky toy. Taking care of a diabetic dog can be a costly endeavor. Insulin -- the hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood -- is the most important part of your dog’s treatment, and it can also be the most expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Here we’ll share some tips for saving money on your dog’s insulin. Typical Insulin Costs for Dogs Insulin can cost anywhere from $30-$150. The price will vary depending on if you buy from your veterinarian, online, or with a pharmacy benefits plan. It will also depend on if you choose a brand name or generic drug. Buying at the Vet vs. Online Purchasing insulin from your veterinarian may seem like the most convenient option, but it is usually not the most cost-effective. This is because the majority of veterinarians and clinics markup their medications -- anywhere from 100% to 160% over wholesale prices. Most vets also charge a $5 to $15 dispensing fee.* Online retailers can keep prices low by buying in bulk and cutting out administrative costs. If you do order insulin online, it will require special overnight shipping, which can sometimes translate into high shipping costs. Insulin must be kept cold, so it requires special packaging and must arrive to its destination quickly. Despite this, buying online will probably still cost less than buying from your vet. Buying Brand Name vs. Generic If you are wondering what the difference is between brand name and generic drugs, the answer is: not much. Generic drugs have the same active ingredients and medicinal effects as their bra Continue reading >>
Testing For Canine Diabetes
Introduction Canine diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder of the endocrine system that occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce an adequate supply of insulin, or alternatively when a dog’s cells are unable to take up the insulin that is produced. If your dog is showing clinical signs that are suggestive of diabetes mellitus, your veterinarian will run a series of tests to confirm the diagnosis. Several other diseases can cause the same or similar symptoms as canine diabetes mellitus, so several tests are usually necessary to rule out other conditions and to confirm a definitive diagnosis of diabetes. Testing for Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination to assess your dog’s general health. She probably will ask you about any changes in your dog’s behavior and body, such as increased or decreased urination, thirst or appetite, weight loss or lethargy, among other possible signs. Some tests are fairly standard in the assessment of diabetes. A urine sample will be collected and tested for the presence of glucose or bacteria in the urine. A bladder or urinary tract infection can mimic the clinical signs of diabetes, but also commonly accompanies the disease. Blood samples will be analyzed for a number of things, especially for the levels of blood glucose, cholesterol and liver enzymes. Your dog likely will need to fast for 12-24 hours before this particular blood test, to ensure accurate results. A single blood test may not be sufficient for a definitive diagnosis, so additional tests may be necessary. Some other things your veterinarian may recommend include abdominal ultrasound and assessment of serum thyroid hormone concentration, serum pancreatic enzyme levels, blood progersterone concentration in intact female Continue reading >>
How Much Do You Spend On Your Pet? $3500 For A Diabetic Cat And Other Expenses
When I spotted the headlines saying that cost of raising an infant to the age of 18 has now topped $245,000, I heaved a sigh of relief that this is one financial challenge that I, at least, won’t have to confront. Much as I enjoy spending time with my niece and nephews and my friends’ children, I don’t have any of my own. And the cats that I do share my home with aren’t nearly as expensive to maintain as children. They don’t require school supplies or iPhones, fees for after-school activities or haircuts. I suppose I try could dressing them (but really, why?), cat-sitting on my trips is considerably cheaper than babysitting fees and even premium cat food is a relative bargain. Then an influx of kittens forced me to ponder, once more, the challenge that hanging onto a pet presents for too many Americans living paycheck to paycheck. It all happened one Friday evening as I was sitting on my porch, working on my laptop. Before I knew it, the children in the house next door were bringing me kittens – lots of kittens – to hold onto while they went to capture the next member of one or more litters who had been foraging, with increasing desperation, in the neighborhood backyards for days. Before I knew it, there were five terrified kittens in my two cat carrying cases, and five devastated kids, whose parents had said a firm “no” to the idea of adopting one of them. Clearly, the kittens were spending the night in my bathroom. A dozen cans of cat food and nearly as many frantic phone calls later, the strategy was clear: their destination was the local animal shelter. Taking financial responsibility for three adult cats – only one willingly adopted, one of whom had been thrust upon me by the owners of a Brooklyn deli, one of whom had simply shown up in my home Continue reading >>