Q: Pebbles, my 9-year-old terrier, was recognized with diabetes a number of months in the past. I give her insulin injections and monitor her diabetes with urine check strips. Is there a greater option to decide how properly her diabetes is being managed?
A: Diabetes mellitus arises most frequently in middle-aged canines, often round 7 to 9 years of age. Three-fourths of diabetic canines are feminine.
Scientific indicators embrace elevated consuming and urination, elevated urge for food with decreased weight and lethargy. Some diabetic canines additionally develop cataracts and urinary tract infections.
Whereas people can expertise completely different sorts of diabetes, canines nearly all the time have insulin-dependent diabetes, just like Sort 1 diabetes in people. In each varieties, the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin because it ought to.
Insulin has many roles, certainly one of which is to maneuver blood sugar, or glucose, into the cells of the physique, the place it produces vitality the tissues and organs require to perform usually.
When insulin cannot drive glucose into the cells, the glucose ranges within the blood enhance and glucose is excreted within the urine.
For quite a few causes, nevertheless, urine testing doesn’t present a legitimate illustration of diabetic management. So, you should check the glucose in Pebbles’ blood or tissues.
There are a number of methods to do that. The most typical methodology is to check a drop of her blood at residence utilizing a pet glucose meter, such because the AlphaTrak or VetMate. These meters are extra correct in pets than human glucose meters can be.
It could appear difficult, however my purchasers simply be taught the approach and are happy they’ll verify their pets’ blood sugars on a routine foundation and every time they’re involved the pet does not appear fairly proper.
Or, your veterinarian can verify Pebbles’ blood glucose ranges on the animal hospital periodically all through the day.
An excellent simpler methodology is to watch Pebbles’ glucose ranges in her tissues with a sensor known as the FreeStyle Libre that’s hooked up to her pores and skin. The sensor, which is changed each two weeks, studies glucose ranges wirelessly to a scanner or your smartphone.
Lastly, testing fructosamine or hemoglobin A1c ranges within the blood displays common blood glucose over time. Nevertheless, these exams cannot determine the glucose highs and lows, so they do not change extra frequent blood glucose measurements.
No matter the way you monitor Pebbles’ blood sugar, you may additionally have to pay shut consideration to her scientific indicators to make certain her diabetes is properly managed.
Q: We put contemporary water out for our cats every day, however they like to drink from the bathroom. Why?
A: I am shuddering as I image any cat consuming from the bathroom. Please preserve your bathroom lid down to forestall this dangerous habits.
Consuming bathroom water can poison your cats in the event you use cleaners, scents or different chemical substances in your bathroom. It can also unfold disease-causing micro organism, viruses and parasites from you to your cats, even after you flush.
Cats are drawn to bogs as a result of the porcelain retains the water cool, and frequent flushing freshens the water. Equally, within the wild, cats are drawn to drink from a stream’s cool, flowing water, which is probably going more healthy than stagnant pond water.
You may present cool, contemporary, well-aerated water by putting a number of porcelain or ceramic water bowls all through your own home. Cats do not like their whiskers to the touch the aspect, so make sure the bowls are huge. Sometimes drop a couple of ice cubes into them.
Scrub them every day with cleaning soap, as a result of merely rinsing and refilling them does not truly clear them.
Think about a pet fountain. My cats love theirs, as a result of the water bubbles up and flows like a waterfall right into a pool. The porcelain fountain has two filters, but it surely nonetheless must be scrubbed weekly.
Considered one of my cats jumps onto the lavatory counter to drink from the sink every time I am there. For prime-tech kitties, take into account a touch- or motion-activated rest room faucet. To maintain meals preparation areas sanitary, do not let your cats soar onto kitchen counters to drink from the kitchen sink.
Lee Pickett, VMD, practices companion animal medication in North Carolina. Contact her at