To manage your dog’s diabetes, you need to be careful and consistent with his care. Here are a few important tips to help keep you on course.
1. Keep a record. If more than one person in the household gives insulin injections, keep a log or mark it on the calendar after giving each insulin dose. This avoids avoid under- or over-dosing mishaps.
2. Quench his thirst. Make sure your diabetic pet always has access to plenty of fresh water. Diabetic dogs can be very thirsty, especially if they are not well-regulated. Inadequate amounts of water can lead to dehydration and potentially serious problems that could require hospitalization. Encourage drinking by keeping bowls of fresh water in various rooms and outdoors.
3. Know who to call. Keep handy the telephone numbers of your veterinarian and emergency animal hospital in case you need assistance.
4. Carry supplies. Take a small packet of syrup or honey with you when you go anywhere with your dog, in case he suddenly becomes hypoglycemic. Keep a supply of glucose at home, too.
5. Travel smart. If you plan to travel without your dog, either board him with your veterinarian or find a pet sitter or boarding kennel that can provide the necessary care and can recognize any sign of a problem.
6. Visit the vet. If your diabetic dog was well-regulated and suddenly stops responding well to insulin, have your veterinarian check for a silent urinary tract infection. These are very common in diabetic dogs and can throw off a pet’s blood sugar regulation.
7. Stay connected. Join an e-mail list or a Yahoo! Group for information, support, and encouragement.
Marcia King is a DOG FANCY contributing editor.