An Easy Guide to Complete Diabetic Pet Management
Keeping pets may be an easy decision for you out of your love for animals, but managing them is something that later makes you wish at times, that you had never made that. Obviously this is not the case with everyone! But to some, it really gets that tough.
When you talk about pets which are diabetic, it doesn’t get tougher than that. However, if you could learn from the start to the end of keeping a pet, especially diabetic ones, it would get easy for you to keep and manage them.
That is what the intention is behind this blog. Let us give you a complete diabetic pet management guide, so that you would never regret you decision to opt for keeping a pet.
Some General Factors to Be Considered:
Cost of treatment:
A diabetic pet asks for quite a few things on the part of the owner. One of them is an extensive expense, as the cost of regular sugar test equipment, syringes, insulin and medical check-ups may go very high, as it is a commitment of the whole life span of the pet. Because the glucose level in the blood has to be monitored and kept in control all the time, that’s the maximum what can be done with a diabetic patient as the disease does not go away permanently.
The time your pet needs:
The next thing you have to commit to your pet is your time with full attention. It can be very difficult to manage every day, but is very important for both the owner and the pet. The poor pet needs a lot of care in terms of exercise, sugar tests and many other health related tasks which are performed every day.
The diet your pet needs:
Diet is probably the most demanding part of diabetic pet management Diabetic pets are very sensitive to what they eat and when they eat. Glucose level in the blood keeps changing all the time, and to keep that in control, a disciplined diet is crucial. The trickiest part of administering diet is its consistency with nutrients and ingredients. Varying food will make it difficult to control glucose level in the blood. Diabetic pets are suggested to be given food 2 to 3 times a day before being injected insulin. Sometimes a pet is given insulin and then the animal refuses to eat, such a situation can lead to hypoglycemia. Dogs are prescribed to take more fiber in their diet, while cats need a diet rich in proteins to retaliate against diabetes.
Things Which Should Be Handled with Importance
Being Careful with syringes, insulin and other stuff:
It is paramount to make sure that the diabetic animals are not only getting the treatment, but the processes they are going through are being executed at the recommended level of care and safety. For example, even selecting a syringe to inject insulin to your pet is not that simple. It is recommended to use the U-100 syringe with U-40 insulin. People may not pay attention to that, and use any syringe with any dose of insulin. This is a bad practice and can also be dangerous.
How to administer insulin:
Insulin must be stored in a place cool and dark. You can keep insulin in a refrigerator. The insulin crystals might get scattered in the container, so it is advised to swirl it a little before dosing it to your pet. Never shake it even a little too hard or the delicate crystals will be destroyed.
Don’t overdose your pet with insulin, it may lead to hyperglycemia, coma or seizures. The dose and timings of insulin injections, and of course its procedure should be confirmed by a veterinarian first. Any immediate or abnormal condition after giving insulin should immediately be assisted by a veterinarian.
Another factor that you should be extra careful about is, changing the dose of insulin. Never decide it yourself to increase or decrease the dose of insulin. There may be varying reasons behind the readings you take at home for your pet. And the rate of change is also something that your veterinarian can decide.
Today, technology has made it easy to monitor diabetes at home even. The easy to use blood glucose testing devices come in various prices with different features making it easy to practice effective monitoring. These devices let you keep track of glucose levels in the blood and keep your pet away from any sudden situation. But what should still not be underestimated is, visiting your veterinarian time to time. Interpreting test results to find out what is working on the pet is very challenging. Your veterinarian will infer through the test results, diet plan, routine, attitude and a number of other factors to suggest the best possible health solution for your pet.
Possible Health Troubles
It sounds good that we have technology and veterinarians to guide us through diabetic pet management. But the problem is, it still does not rule out many worth troubling health complications. Diabetic pets suffer serious health problems like slow would healing, they may have cataracts, especially dogs, issues with their nervous system, more bacterial infections, pancreatitis etc. Diabetes is extremely difficult to be controlled during pregnancy in pets.
Lifespan of a diabetic pet
Pets with diabetes can have as long a lifespan as the non-diabetic ones with proper care and treatment. Animals have good survival rate against diabetes, subject to how they are managed. Though, cats and dogs suffer a number of health problems in diabetes, they are more likely to die of kidney problems.
Some Common Queries about Diabetes in Pets
There are many commonly noticed questions that people ask about diabetes. Let’s answer a few over here to help you out if you also have one:
Can the diabetes be completely eradicated?
Though we have detailed studies about it and medically endorsed diet plans and treatment procedures too, it is still not evident if the disease can be completely cured. However, if the diabetes, or the abnormalities in the glucose level are because of another condition like pancreatitis or any other, it can go away. What has to be ensured is, the primary condition upon which the diabetes is standing has been resolved.
What should be the frequency of check-ups for diabetic pets?
It depends upon the stage of the disease your pet is at. However, it is recommended to get your diabetic dog checked-up every 15th day. Make sure you have a well-organized record of your pet’s glucose test results. It would help your veterinarian a lot with the treatment.
Home cooked food is better or readymade?
Meeting the dietary requirements at home is almost impossible. You cannot determine proteins, fiber or carbohydrates in the food and can also not control that too. Therefore, market food is better to make sure that the dog is eating the required amount of calories and getting nutrients which are good for them.
Using a glucometer made for humans?
That’s highly not recommended. The composition of blood is different for humans and animals and thus it may be misleading. Using a feline blood glucose meter for cats and a canine for dogs is fundamental.
What are the red flags for you to take notice of?
While letting you know of essential pet management parameters, it is also very much important to indicate some eye-raising symptoms that you must know and visit a veterinarian immediately.
Don’t take it easy if your dog shows lethargy and is reluctant to make even little movement.
Recurring urinary tract infections indicate that the diabetes is getting serious.
Excessive thirst also shows the seriousness of diabetes.
Quick weight loss is another troubling factor.
Quick dehydration should be taken seriously.
A cat’s changed gait should get you concerned.
It’s not fine if the cat makes lesser activity or movement.
A cat’s excessive vomiting is an alarming indication of diabetes.
Changed appetite is also a serious indication of the disease.
Diabetic pets need to be monitored closely and their test records have to be maintained on daily basis. Therefore what pet owners must learn is how to use glucose testing devices. You cannot go to your veterinarian to test your pet for glucose level in their blood every day, neither can you skip it at all.
Another procedure which is carried out daily is giving your pet the injections of insulin. Insulin injections are a little tricky as compared to others. You can ask your veterinarian to train you a little on this and you will be ready to go then. But undoubtedly, diabetic pets do not only need financial and medical attention, they need you to be with them personally and carry out their tens of daily tasks like these.
Getting things planned and disciplined cuts the effort in half. That’s what this pet management guide is aimed at. Practice the things with an intent and affection towards your pet, the things will surely get smooth and easy, and will definitely work out for your pet as well.
My name is Alice Jacob and I am a professional writer who has been working with clients from diverse backgrounds ranging from individuals to corporates for their writing needs. I love to write about pets especially in the domain of their medical issues like diabetes, Diabetic pet management leukemia, leptospirosis etc. Writing gives me immense satisfaction as a job, hence I put my full heart in every piece of writing I make.