Many people don’t know that diabetes can affect animals and they are shocked when their pet is diagnosed with diabetes. Luckily diabetes can be managed in pets but there are a few things you will have to do to maintain your pet’s health. Dogs can live a normal lifespan with diabetes but they need supportive care, here are a few steps you can take to support your diabetic dog:
1. Try to find a veterinarian who is specialized in working with diabetic dogs. While there is no cure for diabetes, proper care and management can allow your dog to live a long and happy life.
2. Learn how to administer insulin injections to your dog. Oral diabetes medication isn’t very successful in dogs and your diabetic dog will need insulin shots. Fortunately the process is easy and once your veterinarian has determined the correct dosage of insulin your dog needs, learning how to administer the shot is easy and relatively painless for your dog. Insulin shots are given in the scruff of the animal’s neck and the needle is thin and painless.
3. You will have to learn how to collect a urine sample from your dog on a regular basis to test for glucose levels in order to monitor your dog’s glucose levels. This can be easily done using a pie pan to collect urine and then using a glucose strip to measure the amount of glucose present in the urine. Frequent monitoring is necessary in case you have to readjust insulin doses.
4. Feeding your dog an appropriate diet is crucial in managing canine diabetes and a high fiber diet is the most beneficial in this case. Treats should be minimized or ruled out and anything that can negatively affect your dog should be eliminated from your dog’s diet. Diabetic dogs learn to find food easily so care should be taken not to leave food lying around or within access of your pet.
5. You should walk your dog on a daily basis. Exercise is very beneficial for diabetics, both canine and human!
6. Talk with your vet to see if there are any vitamin and mineral supplementation your dog may benefit from.
7. Monitor your dog’s water intake and behavior. If your dog’s urination increases or he seems particularly thirsty you should report this to your vet immediately. Your vet may decide to administer a blood and urine test to monitor any changes in blood sugar levels and adjust medication accordingly.
8. As diabetic dogs are prone to fainting when blood sugar levels decrease suddenly, always keep some corn syrup or honey close at hand. If your dog faints or goes into shock, place a few drops of corn syrup or honey on the dog’s gum and tongue to revive him and take him to the vet immediately.