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Ask the Vet About Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

Diabetes
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Diabetes in Dogs and Cats
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 87
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Showing 1 - 15 of 87
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Date: Aug 14, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Food for a diabetic cat

Question:My cat was recently prescribed by his vet Royal Canin Glycobalance dry cat food. For diabetes obviously. Its so expensive!! Is there another dry food that works just as good that is more affordable? This bag only comes in a 4.5 lb weight and the lowest price is online for 20 bucks!! He's fed according to his weight and one bag only lasts two and half weeks!! Who can afford this stuff? I cant!! PLEASE HELP!!

Answer:The prescription diets are expensive, but they usually allow you to either stop giving insulin or not have to start it in the first place and they regulate, especially cats, so well that they rarely have diabetic crises and have to be hospitalized, so they save money in the long run. You can compare it to Purina's DM because it works well too to see if it's any cheaper but they will probably be about the same.

Date: Aug 11, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Water Consumption

Question:My cat has been recently diagnosed with diabetes. How much water is normal for a cat to drink in a 24 hour time period? My cat drinks 8 oz. Also, how much urine output is normal? My cat is urinating ALOT!

Answer:How much water an individual cat drinks in one day is very variable - it depends on many things like if they eat wet vs dry food, how much exercise they get, etc. I tell my clients that you shouldn't notice your cat drinking much water at all and they shouldn't increase from what they have always been drinking for no good reason - when you do, and they have increased urine output, it is time to run some blood work. If your cat is still noticeably drinking more water and urinating more, you probably don't have his/her blood sugar regulated very well yet, so work with your veterinarian through diet and/or insulin to get her regulated.

Date: Aug 9, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Diabetic Cat food

Question:My cat has been diagnosed with diabetes recently. Dr. is trying to see if Royal Canin Glycobalance dry food will turn things around for him so he wont need insulin. Its only been a week he's been on it but his symptoms are still there, is it too soon to see a difference in him? Vet wants him on it for THREE weeks then a urine test to see where he is. If he's not in a good place then is it worth trying a DIFFERENT type of food for diabetes? I really don't want to start down the path of insulin.

Answer:Yes, one week is too early to have responded to the food. Don't be scared of insulin - it is a LOT easier to give than most people think. I think ~90% of people get freaked out when they realize they may have to give insulin to their cat but ~99% of people figure out it is really a lot easier than you think once you start giving it.

Date: Aug 8, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: insulin shot

Question:i have to either give my dog his shot about 2 and a half hrs. early or later than usual time one nite next week. would it be better to just skip his shot that p.m. & get back on schedule the next a.m. or give it to him earlier or later. He is taking 2 units twice a day.

Answer:I wouldn't skip it. Giving it earlier or later kind of depends on if he runs kind of high or low so call your veterinarian and see what his blood sugar usually runs and what they recommend.

Date: Aug 7, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Purina DM

Question:Is Purina DM a prescription only food?

Answer:Yes it is. It works so well on cats, I can wean the vast majority off of insulin if they will eat it, which most will.

Date: Aug 7, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Food for Diabetic Cat

Question:My cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes but Dr wants to try food change first. You don't carry it but I see you carry a different brand geared towards diabetes. Is it just as good?

Answer:The prescription foods are best. I have had the most success with Purina's DM formula.

Date: Aug 5, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Sores on dogs foot

Question:What is the best treatment for a sore on a 13 year old, blind, diabetic Chihuahua's foot (top of the foot, not the pad)

Answer:Hmmm, it depends on what caused it : allergies, lick granuloma, ulcer secondary to diabetes, etc. All of these are treated entirely different - primarily trying to get a handle on the underlying cause. If the sore is thickened much at all, you will more than likely need oral antibiotics because anything topical may not penetrate well enough, especially because s/he is diabetic. I am hesitant to recommend anything topical (like Betagen) because most that will work will have a topical steroid in them which isn't the greatest for a diabetic dog unless they are well controlled. I would schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get it checked out.

Date: Jul 29, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Liberty's care

Question:Not a question, but Liberty is a Schnauzer of a dozen years, who has myriad problems--Diabetes, is blind, Cushing's Disease, inflamatory bowel disease, and currently has a serious bladder infection! She is treated by the two BEST vets in the world: Dr. Kimberly Bercovitz and Dr. Liberty Rasor, her namesake! Four and a half years ago Dr. Kim gave her 6 mo. to a year maximum! She is our miracle!!

Answer:So happy to hear that she is doing well! Thanks for the note!

Date: Jul 29, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: healthy treats

Question:What is a healthy treat for my diabetic dog? When should I give it to her. She gets her insulin at 7:30am and 7:30pm. I was hoping for some kind of chew stick.

Answer:Dr. Dym (I think, it wasn't me) wrote a good article about feeding your diabetic dog - there is a section about treats in it. Here is the link to copy and paste into your address bar: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/diets-diabetic-pets-11.htm

Date: Jul 17, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Prescription food

Question:My cat is on Hills M D., and insulin. Is Purina M D. better? Would he still need insulin when on this food?

Answer:I have had the most success with my feline diabetic patients on Purina's DM (stands for Diabetic Management) - I can wean the majority off of their insulin. BUT, it came out before M/D and I have had such good success with it, I don't use M/D much at all so it may work as well for certain cats.

Date: Jul 15, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Forgot a shot

Question:I forgot to give my dog his shot of insulin what should I do?

Answer:HI Samantha. I dont think missing a dose of insulin will be that harmful to your animal. It is only when people accidentally give too much insulin at a dose that we run into problems. When your pet is due for next insulin injection, simply proceed with the dose of insulin you normally give and which your vet prescribed.

Date: Jul 10, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Diabetes and Vision

Question:Since my Chihuahua was diagnosed with diabetes and put on insulin her eyesight has gotten so bad that she has started running into walls. She seems to only see shadows. Is this something that is reversible?

Answer:Hi Christine. Cataracts of the lenses of the eyes if fairly common in diabetic dogs, especially those who are not well regulated. A thorough vet exam and evaluation for cataracts of lenses should be made, as well as overall eye exam to make sure no retinal lesions, etc as diabetic dogs are prone to retinal and visual problems of eyes. I would prefer a veterinary eye specialist to assess your dog for these issues. You should be working with your local vet on getting insulin regulated so that hopefully there will be no further progression of vision issues and/or cataracts

Date: Jun 27, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Health

Question:I was told my dog is diabetic because her blood sugar is pretty high, at times over 400. My vet said I would need to put her on insulin. My question is once my dog is on insulin, will I ever be able to take her off insulin after diet and exercise or will she be on it for the rest of her life? Also, if while on insulin, if I'm an hour late feeding her and giving insulin on some day due to work, how dangerous is that?

Answer:All dogs are different. Most dogs do end up staying on insulin but not all. Being one hour late is usually not a big worry at all.

Date: Jun 27, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Does my dog have diabetes

Question:I was told my dog may be diabetic. She has blood sugar of 425 on the reading, but she is on amoxicillin and metronidazole due to some bleeding recently which has now been treated and stopped. While overnight at the vet her blood sugar was in the 150-350 range. Dr said there were no ketones in urine, but between blood sugar and drinking a lot of water (which she has always done), they believe I need to put her on insulin. I'll do anything I can for my pets, but worry about insulin since it's just me taking care of her. Are there alternatives or other reasons for sugar to be so high? Could the medication cause it? She is a 7 year lab/shepherd mix female.

Answer:She is more than likely diabetic with a blood sugar of 425. Metronidazole and Amoxicillin do not elevate blood sugar. Insulin probably will be the best thing for her right now until you get her blood sugar under control. Get her on one of the prescription diets for diabetic dogs - those will help as well.

Date: Jun 8, 2017
Category: Diabetes
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Food

Question:What is a good food for my diabetic and non- diabetic dog that tastes good ?

Answer:There are, thankfully, many good diet out there right now including: Purina DM and Hill's prescription diets like W/D, for diabetic dogs.


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