As a veterinarian, my job is to help pets live healthy, comfortable and happy lives. I thought I might toss out a few simple, yet sometimes forgotten, New Year’s resolutions that can improve your diabetic pet’s life. Tack these babies onto your own resolutions list. Here We Go!!
Maintain consistency in schedule as best you can. Yes, I harp about this one frequently – with good reason! It is easier to maintain good blood glucose regulation if you feed equal portions twice daily (with each insulin injection). And, glucose regulation is better when we give our diabetic pets their insulin 12 hours apart. There will always be an occasional obstacle to your schedule – say you get stuck late in a meeting or miss the bus. Nonetheless, do your best. Have a back-up plan if you are going to be hours late, such as a neighbor or relative who can run over and give the insulin and food, instead of having to wait until the next dose is due.
Keep With the Food Your Vet Chose
Keep with the food you and your veterinarian chose. Many diabetic pets are on a particular pet food that is designed for their specific needs. For cats, we nearly always choose canned food only, as it is lower in carbohydrates than dry food. Even then, we strive for the lowest carbohydrate canned food. Diabetic doggies usually receive high fiber, low fat dog food. Oftentimes these are prescription pet foods. When we run low on pet food, we can sometimes forget to get to the vet clinic in time and may be forced to feed a different food until the next day. I own a veterinary clinic and even I have forgotten to bring home my pets’ food. We are human. Nonetheless, vets usually tailor your diabetic pet’s food based on your pet’s particular health issues. Changing around the food fed can affect your pet’s glucose control.
Run Those Glucose Curves!
How else will you know if your pet is truly regulated unless you run occasional glucose curves. Yes, you may view it as a pain in the you-know-what, due to checking your pet’s blood glucose every 2 hours from one injection until another, or hourly if it is less than 150 mg/dl. Nonetheless, if you are honest with yourself, there is likely a day now and then that you are home all day. Even if you need to go run an errand you will likely be back before the next glucose check. Glucose curves tell us how long the insulin lasts in your pet and if we could – or should – alter the insulin dose. We run curves every few months – even on pets who we think are well regulated. We run glucose curves about a week after changing an insulin dose.
Appreciate Your Pet Every Day
There’s a reason why you go through the hassle and expense of treating your sweetie’s diabetes. Like me, I know many of you see your pets as family. When I head off to work, even if I’m in a hurry, I find each of my pets and say goodbye. After all, when I come home they are waiting for me inside the front door as if to say, “Welcome home! We’ve missed you! How was your day?”
Above all else, I hope to remind you to cherish your furry babies every day.
Happy New Year from all of us at ADW Diabetes!
Have a question or comment? Post below or email me at [email protected]. I always enjoy hearing from my readers!
NOTE: Consult your veterinarian first to make sure my recommendations fit your pets special health needs.