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Pet Education

Pet Diabetes

Learn more about pet diabetes below.

Pet Diabetes

Diabetes And Your Pet

There is a lot to learn about your diabetic pet. It can be confusing and scary at first, but most pets and their owners do very well. About 1 in every 500 pets becomes a diabetic.

Diabetes is caused by the pancreas not being able to produce insulin. Insulin regulates the level of sugar in the body. Without adequate amounts of insulin, the amount of sugar goes up and becomes toxic.

Your veterinarian will show you how to administer the insulin through subcutaneous injection, and regular glucose level checks will help them determine the proper units to dispense. ​

Make sure to refrigerate insulin at all times. When getting ready to use the insulin, shake the insulin in your hand to mix and warm it up.

  • Before administering insulin, make sure your dog has eaten a proper meal.
    • If your pet does not eat, do not give the injection and contact your veterinarian.
    • If your pet eats, you give the injection and the pet vomits. Make sure to give Karo Syrup orally.

Your pet’s blood sugar level will be at its lowest point six to eight hours after administering the insulin. This is the correct time to check a blood glucose level.

If your dog starts acting lethargic or uncoordinated, rub Karo syrup on the gums and get to your veterinarian immediately.

  • Karo syrup can be found at any grocery store.

Feeding your dog the same food type and quantity every meal is paramount to regulating your pet’s blood/glucose level. Occasionally your veterinarian will have a hard time regulating your pet’s blood/glucose level. In this instance, it may be necessary to change your pet’s diet. Please alert your veterinarian to any changes in the diet that might be relevant to regulating the blood/glucose level.

It’s not unusual for a dog’s insulin needs to change over time. When this happens, you will notice signs similar to what you saw before your dog was diagnosed with diabetes, such as increased thirst or urination or weight loss. Again, please let us know if you notice any changes – we are here to help.

An increase in drinking can also indicate an increase in the sugar and the blood/glucose level should be checked. This is not usually an emergency appointment but should be checked within 24-48 hours of the first signs of increased drinking.

Diabetic cataracts may be avoided with very well-regulated blood glucose and diet management. However, most pets will go blind due to diabetic cataracts within one to two years of diagnosis. Pets with reduced vision do very well as long as they are in familiar environments.

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