Pet diabetes is manageable
Most pet owners have a lot of questions for their vet and vet technician when their dog or cat is diagnosed with diabetes. Initial appointments are necessary to complete the needed tests, establish a customized treatment plan, and for a pet owner to get trained on what needs to be done at home to care for a diabetic pet.
Below is a list of questions to ask and topics to discuss with your veterinarian when your pet is diagnosed with diabetes.
To design the best diabetes management plan for your pet, it is important to let your veterinarian know if you:
- Travel for business
- Leave your pet alone for extended periods of time
- Have an unusual schedule
- Have an exercise or activity schedule for your pet that varies significantly from day to day
- Have multiple pets at home
- Have other special needs or circumstances
This will allow your veterinarian to customize your pet's diabetes treatment plan to fit your schedule.
- Does my pet need insulin injections? If so, what kind of insulin?
- How many times a day do I need to administer insulin?
- What should I know about insulin?
- What if I miss an injection?
- What type of syringe should I use?
- What are acceptable locations on the pet for injections?
DIABETES COMPLICATIONS AND EMERGENCIES
- What complications should I be aware of?
- What constitutes a diabetic emergency?
- What is hypoglycemia, and what should I do if I suspect my pet is hypoglycemic?
- What is diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA?
- When do I call your office vs. emergency clinic?
- Do I need to adjust my pet’s diet?
- What should I know/change about treats for my pet?
- What do I do if my pet does not eat or vomits?
- What do I do if I my pet eats extra food by mistake?
- Should I adjust my pet’s exercise/activity level?
- How often do you want to see my pet for check-ups?
- Who at the clinic can teach me how to administer insulin and take a blood glucose sample from my pet?
TOPICS TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR VET DURING DIABETIC
- Communicate to your vet if you have any changes in your life or schedule. The changes may include, but are not limited to, new job and work hours, new travel schedule, moving, new baby or kids at the house, new exercise routine for your pet, new activity with your pet, etc.
- How frequently does my pet require diabetic check-ups?
- What tests do diabetic dogs/cats get at regular check-ups?
- What information should I keep track of regarding my pet’s diabetes?
- How frequently should my diabetic pet have dental and other maintenance procedures?
- What other preventive care procedures does my diabetic pet need?
Diabetes management is a long-term commitment. As your pet ages and other changes occur in your and your pet’s lives, your pet’s diabetes can also change. Three keys to successful long-term diabetes management are commitment, compliance, and consistency. With these, and proper management, your diabetic pet can live an active life.
Remember, once your pet’s diabetes is controlled, you still need to continue
following your veterinarian’s treatment plan and keep your follow-up appointments. If you don’t, diabetes complications could occur.Click here to learn about diabetes complications. Watch this video to see a pet owner sharing a testimonial about her pet getting diagnosed with diabetes, having diabetes complications, and getting its diabetes controlled.