Applying the dextrose gel will prevent deterioration, and by the time you have the vet clinic on the telephone your pet will often be coming out of the episode! Timely intervention matters: only after you have applied the gel should you telephone us for advice!
Diabetes stabilisation commences with a conservative dose of insulin (often administered twice daily) and the pet being sent home on a consistent and regular management regime of exercise, insulin and diet. The aim of the stabilisation phase of diabetic control revolves around titrating the insulin dose to the pet’s needs. This stabilisation phase may take up to several months depending on the individual
We use a combination of weight change (or lack of change!), thirst, appetite, demeanour, and blood tests to assist in stabilisation. Serum fructosamine is an excellent tool to use: it gives us a guide to the average glucose levels over the preceding 14 days: exceptionally useful!
At each stabilisation clinic we will assess whether there have been any changes in the animal’s water intake, food consumption, urination, general demeanour as well as if they have seen any vomiting, diarrhoea or neurological signs. In depth questioning regarding diabetes management e.g. diet, exercise, insulin storage, injection of insulin etc. is also important. We will examine and weigh your pet at each visit and you are encouraged to discuss any concerns you might have. Your pet may require hospitalisation for a blood glucose curve and/or other blood/urine samples.
Based on clinical signs, history, examination and further diagnostic tests, the dose of insulin may be adjusted in consultation with the veterinary surgeon.
The main aim of the maintenance phase of diabetes management is to achieve a good quality of life for the pet though continued effective diabetic management. Of course you should seek advice if something of concern arises between clinic appointments.
During this period, changes in water intake, appetite, urination, or the pet’s weight or demeanour can all indicate that control may be compromised. During the nurse clinic you will be asked a series of questions vital to ensuring that such clues are not missed.
The importance of diet, exercise consistency and routine cannot be overstated: if you are having problems with any aspect of this please do discuss with the vet nurse. We will usually perform a physical examination including body weight, and often collect a blood sample for serum fructosamine assessment if appropriate. In addition, on occasion, serial blood glucose measurements can help to establish the timing and peak effect of administered insulin where appropriate.
Some clients find using a Vetpen much easier than a standard syringe.
- simplifies insulin administration and improves dosing accuracy
- sleek pen design is user-friendly and less intimidating
- improves initial acceptance and ongoing compliance
- helps to make pet owner instruction easier
- ideal for administration on-the-go
Ask for advice if you would like to try a Vetpen
We need to accept that cataracts will likely form in most dogs (not cats!) with diabetes. Most will eventually lose their sight: this is not a failure in control, merely a fact of life. Many will adapt to their new situation, but it remains a significant adverse quality of life factor for most. We are very excited now to have the expertise of our eye specialist, Isabel, who can restore sight by removing the opaque lens and often replacing with a shiny new crystal-clear artificial one. Very rewarding work! Check out her advice: cataract-surgery