Diabetes in Pets

Did you know that pets can become diabetic?  This blog discusses what pet diabetes is and its causes, signs and Symptoms, preventative measures, and resources for pet with the illness. What is Pet Diabetes and What are the Causes? Pet diabetes is very similar to human diabetes.  Insulin, made by the pancreas, allows your pet’s digestive system to absorb the glucose your pet gets from food; glucose is used for energy.  Pets with diabetes are not able to produce enough insulin to absorb the glucose in their bloodstream.  When this happens the glucose builds up in your pet’s bloodstream making them sick. The above information comes from MSD Animal Health http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/PDF/PM09_0114B.pdf Type 1 diabetes often is the result of genetics and generally develops early in a pet’s life.  Pets are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.  This is the adult onset for of the disease and may be prevented. Causes According to the ASPCA there is some uncertainty regarding the causes of pet diabetes.  But the ASPCA cites the following factors that increase the likelihood of your pet developing the disease:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Genetics
  • Obesity due to poor diet (high sugar/carb/grain diet depending on species) and a lack of exercise
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas

For more about Pet Diabetes from the ASPCA https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/diabetes Signs and Symptoms PetMD (http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/general-health/top-ten-signs-your-pet-has-diabetes) cites the following symptoms in both cats and dogs:

  • Increase in thirst
  • Increase in urination
  • Increase appetite
  • Sudden weight loss and signs of malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Weakness of Fatigue
  • Thinning or dull fur
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

You may notice these symptoms over a relatively long period of time.  If you notice any combination of these symptoms in your dog or cat contact your vet. You may also want to check out this article from WebMD http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/diabetes-dogs-symptoms-treatments-dietary-management Prevention There is no 100% guarantee that you can prevent your pet from developing either Type1 or Type 2 diabetes.  However, the following tips can help you greatly reduce your pet’s risk of developing diabetes:

  • Exercise
  • Appropriate diet – your pet’s diet should be specific to his/her species and needs
  • Do not overfeed your pet
  • Stay away from human food
  • Healthy weight
  • Regular vet visits

The above information comes from the ASPCA https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/diabetes Note: This blog is a compilation of careful, well-sourced, internet-based research.  All information comes from reputable resources that include veterinary doctors.  Should you have any questions, want to make changes to your pet’s lifestyle, or be under the impression your pet has Type 1 or 2 diabetes consult your veterinarian. Resources Education – this site hosts a great deal of information about pet diabetes including nutrition and diet information http://www.petdiabetes.com/ FAQs and Tips – this website includes FAQs about both feline and canine diabetes and tips for insulin injection http://www.cat-dog-diabetes.com/ Checklist for vet visit – this checklist has questions you can ask your vet about your pet’s care http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/PDF/PM11_0066.pdf Info – this link includes a brochure with information about pet diabetes and a checklist for pet sitters if you ever have to leave your pet in someone else’s care http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/links.asp Connect with Us Connect with us on FB at https://www.facebook.com/DoonGo.  Does your pet have diabetes?  Please share your tips or any online sources you know about for caring for diabetic pets.

Pet First Aid

***If you ever need to perform first aid measures on your pet you must ALWAYS seek veterinary attention afterward.***

Why is this Important?

It’s Pet First Aid Month!  Do you have a pet first aid kit?  As much as we think of our pets as furry, four-legged humans they require different care and attention. This blog will give you information on what you need to make your own pet first aid kit for home and for travel so you can always be prepared when the worst happens.  You will also learn how to handle your injured pet before you leave for the vet/clinic.

If you’re wondering about something that wasn’t covered check out the Pet Health section of our links page: http://www.doo-n-go.com/links/

First Aid Supplies

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) the following items belong in your Pet First Aid kit:

  • Phone numbers – for your vet, your closest 24 hour emergency animal hospital, and Animal Poison Control
  • Medical History – a list of your pet’s medications, vaccinations, allergies, and any other special instructions
  • Gauze
  • Non-stick bandages, towels, or strips of clean cloth
  • Tape for bandages – do not use human medical tape, you’ll have to get some specifically for pets
  • Milk of Magnesia and/or activated charcoal and/or 3% hydrogen peroxide – never use either of these without instructions from your vet or poison control
  • Digital rectal thermometer
  • Eye dropper and a large, needle-less syringe
  • Muzzle, rope, soft cloth, small towel – never use a muzzle when your pet is vomiting
  • Leash
  • Stretcher – to be used if you must transport your pet and your pet is not able to walk
  • Vaseline or KY Jelly
  • Tweezers
  • Nail Clippers
  • Styptic Powder
  • Hemostats
  • Blankets

For more information check out https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/Supplies-Checklist.aspx

How to Handle your Injured Pet

If your pet is injured you must approach with care.  Here is the advice from the AVMA:

  • Never assume an injured pet will not bite or scratch you – an injured pet is in all likelihood scared and in pain
  • Do not hug an injured pet and be sure to keep you face away from its mouth
  • Try to examine your pet, stop immediately if your pet becomes agitated
  • Call your vet or the emergency clinic before you move your pet so they can be ready for you when you arrive
  • It may be necessary to muzzle your pet if it’s biting you – never use a muzzle if you pet is vomiting
  • If possible try to splint or bandage your injured pet before you leave for the vet/clinic
  • While transporting your pet keep it confined to reduce the risk of injury – pet carriers, a box or container, something that can act as a stretcher, a blanket – anything that will prevent them from moving around while ensuring they have enough air

To read more about handling your injured pet check: https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/Handling-an-Injured-Pet.aspx

First Aid when Travelling with your Pet

  • Prepare a travel sized first aid kit that includes the products listed above.  You may also want to include an anti-diarrhea medication – ask your vet for one that’s safe for animals
  • Ensure you have the appropriate phone numbers – your vet, animal poison control, a vet and 24 hour emergency clinic in the area you’re travelling to
  • Ensure you pet is wearing an ID tag with your name, address, and phone number, ensure there is a travel ID tag with your name and the address and phone number of the place you’re staying

For more information about travelling with your pet check out: https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/First-Aid-When-Traveling.aspx

If you’re looking for more information check out any of the links posted throughout the blog.  You may also be interested in this link as well: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=SRC&S=1&SourceID=20

Did we miss anything?  Do you have tips, tricks, or questions about pet first aid?  Let us know on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DoonGo

Health Tips for our Best Friends

Our pets are a part of our family.  A responsible pet owner is responsible for getting a pet the care he/she needs.  But they can’t tell you when something is wrong.  When it comes to pet health “success loves preparation” – staying on top of your pet’s health is the best way to make sure they live a long and healthy life.  With that in mind here are some tips to keep your pet healthy:

  1. Keep your pet hydrated, especially when it’s hot outside
  2. Grooming is important.  A clean pet is a happy and healthy pet.  Groomed fur cuts down on hairballs which can cause intestinal blockages.  Routinely check your pet’s eyes and ears to catch infections early.  Nailing trimming prevents nails from growing into your pet’s paw pads.  If this happens it can be painful and can lead to infection.  Dental hygiene in pets is very important.  If you can’t afford to have a groomer brush your pet’s teeth regularly there are plenty of websites that give step-by-step instructions for brushing your pet’s teeth, check out http://www.medi-vet.com/caninedental.aspx.
  3. Flea control – controlling fleas can prevent all sorts of health problems such as skin infections and parasites like tapeworms.  There are many options to consider for flea control.
  4. Regular check-ups – just like people pets need to visit their vet regularly.  Vet check-ups make sure pets have had all their vaccines and increase chances of catching health issues before they become a problem.
  5. Weight management – make sure your pet is on a food that fits his/her age.  Avoid feeding your pet table scraps and people food.  Also, exercise is an important part of keeping your pet healthy.  For a list of different exercises for you and your pet check out http://www.hillspet.com/weight-management/pet-exercise.html
  6. Joints and aging – as your pet ages he/she may begin having problems moving around from joint pain.  Proper weight management, exercise, and diet throughout your pet’s life are the best ways to prevent and manage joint pain.  If your pet has joint pain you can talk to your vet about supplements that prevent inflammation.  You can also make a heating bag for your pet out of plain rice and a sock the heat helps control the inflammation.

Here are some helpful websites on the subject of pet health:





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