The goal of diabetes treatment is to control the amount of glucose in the blood to reduce symptoms and help minimize or prevent complications. You and your veterinarian will work together to build a diabetes treatment plan that suits the needs of you and your pet, which may include several or all of these treatment protocols.

Blood glucose monitoring

Monitoring your diabetic pet’s blood glucose provides your veterinarian with data he or she needs to better manage your pet’s diabetes treatment plan. Typically, your veterinarian will have you take several readings over a specified time frame. These readings are used to make a blood glucose curve, which gives a more complete picture of glucose levels and insulin activity over time.

At-home testing reduces the stress on your pet which can come with clinic visits and helps to minimize or avoid emergency room expenses and long-term diabetes complications.

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Insulin injections

Your veterinarian may prescribe insulin dosing, in which you administer insulin to your pet according to a specified dose and schedule. Your veterinarian will provide you with the specific insulin product, syringe type, and dose instructions.

If you must administer insulin, remember to keep track of the time and amount of insulin given and never adjust insulin doses unless instructed by the veterinarian.

Diet

Diets that eliminate or reduce sugar surges are usually preferred. Your veterinarian will prescribe a precise diet that is right for your pet. Feed as directed and keep track of the time and amount of food and water consumed.

Exercise

Consistency in your pet’s daily exercise schedule is very important for diabetes management. If activity level varies day to day, the amount of insulin your pet needs may vary. Be sure to check your pet’s weight weekly.

With consistent management, diabetes should have minimal impact on you and your pet’s daily routines, and can often be managed by friends, family, or kennel staff if you’re away from your pet.

In cats, tight blood glucose control in the early stages of diabetes may also improve the chances of diabetic remission – the pet’s return to a non-diabetic state[1].

Richard E. Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), DECVIM‑CA

Richard E. Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), DECVIM‑CA

Dr. Goldstein graduated from the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in 1993 and completed a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis. He was a faculty member at Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine from 2001-2011, then joined the Animal Medical Center as Chief Medical Officer.

He is currently the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of Medical Affairs, Zoetis Petcare. His clinical and research interests are the infectious renal and genetic diseases of dogs and cats. He has published over 70 peer reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and is the recipient of the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award.

  1. Gottlieb S and Rand JS. Remission in cats including predictors and risk factors. Vet Clin Small Anim 2013;43:245-249.

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