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Diabetic pets can live normal, healthy lives with proper at-home management and routine veterinary care. With the introduction of newer insulin types, home urine and blood testing, and appropriate foods, treating diabetes at home is easier than ever for pet owners. While it might seem daunting at first, with proper support, you can do this!
Your veterinarian will guide you toward the best diet for your diabetic pet. Typically, higher-fiber foods with complex carbohydrates are recommended for diabetic dogs. Diabetic cats are best managed with high-protein, low-carbohydrate foods and may even achieve diabetic remission with these foods.
Once a healthy diet is established, blood sugar will be easiest to control if the same type and amount of food is given at the same time every day. If treats are given, select low-carbohydrate treats and give according to your veterinarian’s recommendation. Midday treats should usually be avoided.
The most effective way to gain control of your pet’s diabetes is to administer twice-daily insulin injections. These injections provide the insulin that your pet is producing too little of or that your pet cannot use effectively. There are many types of insulin available, and your vet will tailor insulin therapy specifically to your pet’s needs.
Learning to administer insulin injections can seem daunting at first, but your veterinarian will demonstrate proper technique, allowing you to gain confidence quickly. These related videos may be helpful:
The amount of insulin administered to your pet is based on the amount of sugar in the blood at the time of injection. Administering too much insulin can cause potentially life-threatening hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Administering too little insulin will result in hyperglycemia or high blood sugar.
The best way to avoid hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia is to ensure proper insulin dosing and administration and to maintain your pet’s blood sugar within an acceptable range by proper at-home monitoring.
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