As a nation we tend to overindulge during the holidays. We let slide our health practices, even if we are usually quite dedicated to a good diet and high level of fitness. We are often surrounded by holiday goodies. I have a sign hanging in my vet clinic asking clients to not bring in goodies over the holidays, no matter how much they like us. To get a chuckle out of them, I sign it as ‘The Grinch’ even though I’m serious. And if you are traveling to see family for the holidays, it is even harder to exercise and eat well when in airports or on long drives and staying at hotels. So then we get on the bandwagon of heath come the new year!
For many years I wrote a long list of things I would do to better myself in the coming year. I was ridiculous. Then I went through a phase when I skipped ‘New Years’ resolutions altogether. Recently I’ve tried to pick just one. I found if I made too long of a list I’d just feel guilty if I failed at them. Nobody is perfect after all. The last two years I’ve had the same resolution: Avoid sugar. Mostly I do pretty well. I choose this resolution because my father had diabetes and passed away due to the complications of diabetes. And now my mom has Alzheimer’s, which is very much a nutritional disease, decades in the making. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a zealot or anything. Nonetheless, I adhere to some simple practices. I try to eat bread or pasta no more than once a week. I rarely eat sweets other than fruit. And I try my best to eat food in its natural form which means I eat lots of veggies. Avoiding processed food and sugar will again be my resolution for myself this new year. Now that I’m on the other side of fifty, I’m sincerely trying to avoid the downfalls that plagued my parents. You say, Joi, three years in a row? I say, practice makes perfect!
We all have a bad habit we’d like to kick. Maybe you smoke. Maybe you can’t resist fancy purses even if they are beyond your budget. Maybe you watch too much television. Whatever “bad habit” that you can honestly admit, even if just to yourself, should go. Don’t pick so many that they get lost two weeks into January. Be selective. Be honest. And stick to it. You will feel a sense of pride when you dedicate yourself to a life without this habit.
Now how do we translate this for our pets? Most of you who read this newsletter have a diabetic pet. You run the gamut from extremely conscientious who would never dream of giving an insulin shot without knowing the blood glucose right then to lackadaisical where maybe you check a curve once a year. Regardless of which best describes you or if you are somewhere in between these extremes, you probably have a downfall. Maybe you give your diabetic pet snacks from your plate in between your pet’s meals. Maybe you lack consistency in your routine and sometimes miss your pet’s insulin doses due to your schedule. Maybe you know you should take your pet in for a dental cleaning, but fear the bills that might come with that. Maybe you don’t take your dog for regular exercise. Only you know your patterns.
Years ago while in vet school I heard a funny line by a psychologist brought in to lower vet students’ stress level. We were told that high functioning people often felt like they needed to be perfect at everything and how that can stress them out. The speaker then proceeded to tell us, “Don’t should on yourself.”
So, as we leave the holidays laden with gluttony, let’s be selective in our resolutions. Pick one thing. Don’t should on yourself. Make a change for you that matters and that you can keep. And maybe make a change for your pet’s diabetes care if needed as well.
Have a question or comment? Then post below! I always enjoy hearing from my readers!
NOTE: Consult your veterinarian first to make sure my recommendations fit your pets special health needs.
Always glad to get your latest thoughts!
Rosie is 10 years old and very frisky. She had been vomiting every few days-not always hairballs. I brush her pretty regularly. Rosie eats only a Purina wet food for diabetics. With trial and error Rosie’s Vet and I settled on giving her an inch or so of Vaseline from the tube mixed into her wet food every other day- rather than the sweet hairball remedies. She takes daily 1/4 tab of 10mg anti-acid crunched into her wet food and a non flavored, non-solidifying 1/2 teaspoon of Metamucil. She has vomited a bit only once in the past month-yippee!
Rosie is losing a top canine tooth. It’s naturally descending out of her mouth and is a bit loose. She has had happening this for several months. It doesn’t seem to be bothering her at all. She eats well, plays some and so long as she can sit on my lap or on my head or shoulder when we sleep, she is a happy girl.
She’s having her 6 month checkup next week. The vet will look also at her tooth. Rosie eats round the clock. About 2 cans a day. She’s a perfect weight. I give her Lantus twice daily. I am very wary about anesthesia – many years ago my cat died under anesthesia. I can’t bare to tell the story even now. In order to give her an anesthesia she’ll have to fast from midnight till the morning. She will be howling for food, which I will not be able to bare. I can sleep in a friends apt. but I’ve never left her anole overbite and this Combe of no food and no me gets me anxious for her emotional well being.
Does this tooth need to be extracted? Can they do it with a local injection?
Hi, June! I suppose there is a slim chance it could be removed without anesthesia since you say it is already loose, but it is unlikely. She probably needs her other teeth cleaned as she is a senior kitty. When I anesthetize a diabetic I am sure to have that pet as the first pet on the procedures list. I check the blood glucose before surgery, usually during the procedure and immediately after the procedure. And of course I do all the other “type A” things I do when I anesthetize a pet. We “type A” personalities can be quite annoying in everyday life, but when it comes to anesthetizing your pet you want someone who is type A. Be sure to chat with your vet about your anxieties. He or she can show you their anesthetic monitors and and discuss the anesthesia protocol. Make sure your vet is planning on taking dental X-rays. And it goes without saying to have an IV catheter in place. Aging, discuss your concerns with your veterinarian. It
The tooth wiggles, it may indeed hurt! Happy new year, Joi