How I love a fresh start! We all have goals for ourselves, but somehow we tend to dedicate ourselves to reaching them for at least the first few weeks of January. Whether it is exercising more, losing five pounds, writing the great American novel or simply taking time for ourselves, we all feel guilty for not achieving “something”.
Since it is that time of year, let me offer a few suggestions that will take little time yet may improve your quality of life. Yes, I’m talking about simple little things you can do to improve your diabetic pet’s quality of life, which will in turn improve your own quality of life. As I say in my home, “if kitty ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Consistency can really help your diabetic pet’s quality of life. Consistency of schedule means fewer high glucose levels if no insulin doses are missed. Measuring and giving a consistent amount of food at each meal will result in predictable glucose curves. Taking the dog food bowl and scooping a random amount of dog food just doesn’t cut it. We run glucose curves to evaluate the effect of insulin. If you change the amount of food given each day, the blood glucose numbers will likely also change each day.
Being an observant pet owner is very simple. Just pay attention. We at ADW developed a pet log book with handy tips and areas to chart glucose readings. It also has an area to chart your pet’s weight. Weighing your pet on a regular basis can clue you into potential issues. If your pet is losing weight without decreased food intake or increased exercise, it may be time to run that next glucose curve! Paying attention to your diabetic pet’s level of thirst and volume or frequency of urination is another cue to prompt a curve.
Finally, I urge you to be organized. Run your pet’s glucose curves on the schedule your vet gives you. Remember to keep your log book near your diabetes supplies. Keep your supplies together so you know when you are running low. Order your next supply of new insulin, syringes and test strips when you are nearing the end, NOT after you used the last bit. Or, sign up for our Diabetic Coverage auto-ship program if you know when you typically run low on supplies. Don’t wait until you are out. A few days off insulin will result in increased urination, excessive thirst and potential illness.
I’m excited for 2014! We appreciate that you read our newsletters and choose us for your diabetic supplies. Have a wonderful new year! As always, readers are welcome to email me stories and questions at Joi.SuttonDVM@adwdiabetes.com
NOTE: Consult your veterinarian first to make sure my recommendations fit your pets special health needs.