My Pet Was Diagnosed With Diabetes: Now What?
Finding out your pet has diabetes can be quite a shock. At first you might be wondering how long your pet may live or if you need to euthanize it. Some of you may own an older pet and think it would be better if you had it put to sleep. The truth is, it depends on the health of your animal. It is important for you to know that diabetes is treatable and your pet can still live a healthy, happy, normal life.
Getting through it
Taking care of a diabetic pet takes a strong commitment from you and the vet. You have to maintain a high level of care daily. From this point on you will have to maintain your pet's diet, make sure it gets plenty of exercise, and medication, if needed. It is important for you to know that every pet reacts differently to medications. It will take time in the beginning for your vet to find the exact dosage of medicine your pet needs. Learning about your pet's disease is something you can do to help yourself and your pet. There is a lot of information out there on the different kinds of diabetes and treatment options. Don't be intimidated. Feel comfortable to ask your vet any questions you may have.
Day to Day
Diet is very important to a pet that has been diagnosed with diabetes. They need to be fed regularly and at the same time every day. It is important to develop a routine for your pet. They will be traumatized by this experience too. Outdoor pets will have to remain indoors from this point on. You may be giving them shots once or twice daily depending on what your vet says. This process may take some getting used to. Your vet will help in making the injection easier for both you and your pet.
The most common complication in diabetic pets is hypoglycemic shock. This is a result of giving your pet too much insulin, and is a life-threatening emergency. Take your pet right to the vet as soon as this occurs. On your way, try giving your pet pancake syrup. It will help to stabilize your pet's blood sugar levels. Urinary tract infections are also common. The high levels of sugar in the urine allow bacteria to grow, so keep a look out for blood in the urine. As soon as you see it make sure you take your pet right to the vet. They will need antibiotics.
This is caused by receiving to much insulin. Too much insulin will trigger your pet's body to produce glucose (sugar). The result of this will send the blood sugar levels dangerously low. Some symptoms of hypoglycemic shock include:
- Complete disinterest in food
- Problems with vision
Try not to panic if you think your pet it going into shock. Apply some syrup or honey around the gums and take to the vet immediately for treatment.
Photo Credit: Skibstad