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When you're caring for a diabetic pet, it is crucial that you know how to prevent and handle diabetic emergencies. But what do you do when your pet's diabetes is not well controlled? Fortunately, there are some simple strategies you can use to help get things back on track. Establishing a consistent daily routine is a key to successfully managing your pet's diabetes. Feeding the same healthful diet at the same time each day, coordinated with insulin injections that are usually given twice daily, helps keep your pet's blood sugar under control. Routine exercise and regular monitoring are also essential.
It can be frustrating, though, for owners who establish these appropriate routines to have pets whose diabetes seems to be poorly controlled. Signs of poorly controlled diabetes include:
Diabetic dogs and cats may have additional medical issues that can lead to poorly controlled diabetes, and there are other dietary and insulin factors that can also be problematic.
Review the following checklists with your veterinarian to ensure you are doing everything possible with your pet’s diet and insulin to achieve good control.
Ensure that your pet is being fed an appropriate diet. In general, a canned high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet is recommended for the best blood sugar control in cats. Diabetic dogs can be managed on a wide variety of food types, but your vet may have a specific suggestion for your dog.
Feed the same type and amount of pet food at the same time every day. If your pet is given treats, discuss what kind and how many are appropriate for your pet's insulin schedule. Keep any treats consistent from day to day.
Discuss all foods your pet is receiving. Other sources of food (e.g., human food, prey, etc.) or treats or meals given in the middle of the day or between insulin injections can cause large blood sugar fluctuations, leading to poor control.
There are many important things you can take into account to make sure your pet’s insulin is working as well as possible. It can seem daunting at first, but getting in the habit of handling insulin properly can help make your pet’s diabetes management go smoothly. Here are some tips that can help.
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