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Diabetes; Ten Basic Facts

Diabetes in our pets can be a frightening prospect. Many owners will fret about how the lifestyle of there pet and very often themselves will change. Here are my top ten points owners should be aware of in order to manage the disease successfully at home.

  1. Insulin should ALWAYS be kept refrigerated and should be mixed using a gentle rolling motion prior to injecting (never shake).
  2. Clip the hair of your pet where you plan to inject their insulin. This makes it a lot easier to ensure the needle has penetrated the skin correctly.
  3. Regular blood glucose curves are essential, especially during early diagnosis, to regulate the correct dose of insulin is being administered.
  4. Blood glucose curves don’t have to be done at your vets. Monitors can be cheaply bought or sometimes rented from your vet to perform curves or spot checks at home. This can provide more accurate results, especially if your pet gets stressed easily at the vets.
  5. Diet is key!! High good quality protein and low carb diets are recommended with meals being fed in conjunction with insulin injections.
  6. Exercise is important too. Diabetes is more frequently seen in overweight and obese animals, gentle exercise every day will help to improve the management of diabetes as well as overall health.
  7. If your pet looses appetite or has vomiting and/or diarrhoea seek veterinary advice immediately prior to giving any insulin. Be aware of the symptoms of hypo and hyperglycaemia.
  8. If a pet has more than one carer it is important that you communicate clearly who is giving injections that day, keep a schedule and a diary for your pet with a tick box system.
  9. Keep your check up appointments with your vet or diabetic nurse!
  10. Make sure visitors are aware of your pets condition as its important that those extra treats they may be used to getting are stopped.

Anne-Marie Clark has been a registered Veterinary nurse for over 12 years. Aside from managing day to day pet ailments she has a broad knowledge of emergency and critical care. Anne-Marie also as a special interest in the nursing care of endocrine and neurological disease.

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