Managing your Diabetic Pet

Nancy O. For Muffins Halo

AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator

The first thing that you need to do is take a deep breath and know that you are not alone! Tens of thousands of us have gone before you and are here to help you.  I can’t imagine having this diagnosis during a pandemic when you can’t even go into the exam room with your pup, let alone be shown how to do injections properly!  For those of you that have received this news in these trying times, I am so sorry.

Let me start off by saying that this is NOT a death sentence! Your pup can live a long, happy life even though he/she is diabetic.  The second thing that I will share with you is that you did NOT cause this disease in your pup.  If we knew exactly what causes diabetes in dogs, the disease would be on the decline instead of on the rise.  We do know that it’s not your fault, so stop beating yourself up and learn all that you can to manage this disease.  It is manageable.  

I recommend that you join a group and get yourself some support.  I am an Administrator on the largest Canine Diabetes Facebook page with over 18,000 members and growing at the rate of about 100 new members a week!  The name of this group is Canine Diabetes Support and Information and you can find it here.

Unless you have lived with a diabetic dog, there is no way to know all of the nuances of the disease let alone all of the tips and tricks that will save you time, money and your peace of mind.  The most important thing to remember is that you can do this, you are not hurting your pup, you are saving his/her life one day at a time.  

If you are not keeping a journal, start NOW!  Go and get yourself a notebook so that you can be diligent with tracking your progress.  This is a “must do” to manage this disease properly.  Please don’t rely on your memory to do this.  It is important that you have a record of what works and what doesn’t and that you are tracking several things on a daily basis.  It may seem like “just one more thing to do”, but trust me, you’ll be glad that you spent that extra 5 minutes a day to journal.  

Next, if you don’t have a blood glucose meter, you are going to want to get one.  You can get a free meter and just pay the shipping cost here and use the code:  PETTESTCARES at checkout.  Once you join the support group mentioned above, we will teach you how to use the meter and how to interpret your results.  You don’t want to blindly inject insulin without knowing that it’s safe to do so.  How do you know for sure?  You test, then feed, then inject.  Repeat after me, Test, Feed, Inject.  We will cover other nuances in following posts, but we are starting here with the basics.  

While you are shopping on the PetTest site, you’ll want to pick up a few other items.  Namely some extra strips for your new meter.  They are running a special right now of buy three 35 count vials and get 2 vials for free.  Use code:  LUCKYDAY at checkout for 30% off.  You will also need some ketone strips especially when newly diagnosed and BG (Blood Glucose) is running high.  These are very easy to use and can save your dog’s life.  Next, put some SOS in your cart, you may never have to use it, but if the situation presents itself, you’ll be so glad that you have it!

So, let’s review….  Your dog is diabetic, this is manageable, YOU did NOT cause this, you need to join a support group (see link above), get a notebook so you can journal, make your first order of supplies using the codes above at checkout.  Do these few things and you are on your way to successfully treating this disease.  Remember to breathe!  You’ve got this!!