Humans and animals alike can acquire diabetes. However, humans can be treated more easily than pets, because they are willing to change their lifestyles and are usually compliant with treatment. It is much more difficult to treat dogs with diabetes, in part because of the difficulties in monitoring the illness.
With modern technology that has been employed for treating human diabetes, could there be advances in treating canine diabetes as well? How can you, as a pet owner, help your vet in maintaining your pet’s health?
The First Step is Lifestyle and Diet Change
Diabetes can usually be managed with changes in diet, and daily injections of insulin. A low-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet is commonly used to help regulate blood sugar. Your vet can help guide you regarding the most appropriate diet for your dog. Regular exercise can also help your dog maintain a healthy weight and helps to control blood sugar levels.
Monitoring Glucose at Home
Daily injections of insulin are required to regulate most dogs with diabetes. Your vet will establish the proper insulin dose for your dog. Once the proper dose has been established by your vet, animal guardians can use home test kits to monitor their dog’s diabetes. Studies have shown that more reliable results are achieved when blood glucose levels are monitored at home. When you take blood glucose readings at home, you will avoid readings that are artificially raised simply by the stress of taking your dog to the vet. The iPet Glucose Monitoring Kit is one designed and calibrated specifically for use on dogs and cats.
Giving Insulin Shots
Your vet will be able to demonstrate how to properly administer insulin injections to your dog, which should be given on a strict schedule. Remember that insulin needles are very thin which reduces discomfort to your dog. Although many pet owners are anxious at first, most people are able to quickly master this task.
There are different types of insulin, namely short-acting, medium-range and long-range. The classification is based on how long it lasts and the frequency that it should be given. Short-acting insulin, though may last for only 4 hours, is the most potent of the three.
Diabetic dogs should be regularly evaluated by a vet as other health problems may interfere with insulin regulation. With proper management, your diabetic dog can still live a full life!