Treating Canine Diabetes

A blood test that measures your dog’s blood glucose level is the most common method of diagnosing diabetes.

Once your dog is diagnosed, his/her veterinarian will give you a diabetes management plan for your dog which will help you manage his/her condition.

Your vet will advise you on what insulin dose to give your dog,how often you need to inject your dog with insulin and the correct diet and exercise plan for your pet.

After treatment starts, your dog will need to be routinely tested to see how well the treatment is working.

The dog is given a HbA1C blood test which gives an indication of the average blood glucose level for the past three months.It is very important that the dog is given a HbA1C blood test every three months.

Pets with type 1 diabetes are given insulin injections and may need changes in diet, and may need to lose weight. Pets with type 2 diabetes do not need insulin because they can usually be controlled with diet, weight loss, and oral medication (Glipizide).

PetTest Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit

Blood glucose monitoring will  be an important aspect of treatment. This involves lightly pricking your dog’s skin on one of the paws and alternate paws everyday, gathering a drop of blood onto a test strip and running it through a blood glucose meter. Most treatment plans involve two insulin shots daily.

Which Types of Insulin Do Pets Use?

Ultimately your pet’s veterinarian will recommend the best types of insulin your pet will need. Below is a list of the more common types of insulin pets use that are diagnosed with diabetes:

1.Regular crystalline insulin, which has a rapid onset and short duration of action, perhaps only a few hours.

2.Intermediate-acting insulin, such as NPH (Isophane), which has an intermediate duration of about 12 hours (Vetsulin Insulin) (ProZinc can last up to 24 hours)

3.Lente insulin, which has an intermediate duration of 12 hours, but lasts as long as 24 hours in some pets.

4.Ultralente insulin, which is long-acting, usually as long as 24 hours, but it may be only as long as 12 hours in some pets.

Pets use insulin made from  a combination of beef and pork.

Insulin is injected with special syringes that are calibrated in units. The syringes have tiny needles because they are intended to deliver insulin below the skin.

Why Is Insulin Injected?

Insulin is a protein that is destroyed by stomach acid when it is swallowed. Instead, insulin is injected under the skin and is picked up by the blood and circulated throughout the body.

Are Options Other than Insulin Available for Dogs with Diabetes?

Unfortunately, other options for treating diabetes in dogs have proven to be less than successful. At one time, there was hope that the oral hyperglycemic agents that act to lower blood glucose when given by mouth would be useful in treating diabetic dogs.

Reasons Why Insulin Is the Best Treatment for Diabetic Dogs

The primary reason that insulin is the best treatment for canine diabetes is the fact that dogs with diabetes almost always suffer from insulin-dependent diabetes. This means that the cells in the pancreas that normally secrete insulin are no longer functional and the pancreas can no longer secrete insulin in quantities sufficient to regulate your diabetic dog’s blood glucose levels.

 It is extremely important to pay attention to your pet’s diet, supplements, exercise, and weight control.

At the moment I am reading an excellent autobiography called Becoming The Supervet listening to the animals by Noel Fitzpatrick which highlights the importance of animals in our society!

Noel tells his journey from a bullied farm boy from Ballyfin, Laois, to national treasure, who puts prosthetic limbs on bunny rabbits, grows new feet on dogs from bone taken from their tails, and pioneers 3D hip and shoulder replacements for our furry domestic friends. He is, quite simply, bionic: Visionary, restless, ultra-focused, ultra-driven.

Companionship, pleasure, service, conservation, and stabilization of the economy are but a few of the contributions animals make that help our society function. Throughout our history, animals have been used to till the soil, aid in transportation, and build structures.

At Noels surgery, there are no cages, just glass walls; the animals he treats do not have ‘owners’, but ‘family’. He hugs everyone, humans and animals alike, and speaks openly of the devastation of not being able to save an animal!

He tells us how prosthetic limbs for animals are ten years more advanced than for humans; he says that animals have been used to advance human medicine without ever benefitting from it, and wants to change this!


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