Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels in Dogs

Diabetes mellitus is a relatively common disease in dogs.  Determining the correct dose of insulin, monitoring a dog’s response to therapy, and adjusting that dose accordingly can be a difficult and time-consuming endeavor.  Recently, a team of researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria, showed that a commercially available glucose monitoring system that is used in human diabetic patients can also be used in dogs.

The biggest benefit of this system is that a dog can undergo monitoring in their home environment where its appetite, stress levels, and exercise routines can remain unchanged.  All three of these factors can influence diabetic regulation.  The study, which was published in Veterinary Record, showed that even dogs that were believed to be well-regulated were not being treated optimally.

Using the GlucoDay continuous glucose level monitoring system may eventually prove to be a big step forward in the treatment of diabetic dogs. In the meantime, using a hand held glucose monitor for dogs and cats is still the best way to check a diabetic pet’s blood sugar levels at home.

Feline and Canine Diabetes on the Rise

Giving insulin shots to your pet twice daily may seem like a lot of work, but a recent report reveals that more pet owners than ever are being faced with taking care of a diabetic cat or dog.

According to data revealed in Banfield Pet Hospital’s 2011 “State of Pet Health” report, diabetes diagnoses are rising at an even faster rate for pets than they are for people.  Nationally, diabetes rates have risen by 16 percent among cats and nearly 30 percent among dogs in the past four years. By comparison, the rate of diagnoses for people has increased 10 percent over the same time span.

This spike in canine and feline diabetes is undoubtedly linked to the rise in obesity among pets. For this reason, the best thing we can do to prevent our furry companions from becoming another statistic is to keep them at a healthy weight. Plenty of exercise and healthy eating habits will decrease your pet’s likelihood of acquiring diabetes and other serious conditions.

Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, increased urination and weight loss despite having a healthy appetite.  As with any medical issue, it’s best to contact your pet’s veterinarian with any questions or concerns.