Associated Veterinary Specialists - Advanced Veterinary Care - St. Louis, MO
Specialized St. Louis Veterinary Services AVS Veterinary News

Care of Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs and Cats

Pets with diabetes are often referred to an internal medicine specialist for care. Associated Veterinary Specialists employs Dr. Wayne R. Hause, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Dr. Christine G. Cocayne, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, as well as Dr. Kimberly A. Loyd who is a resident in internal medicine who care for these patients.

Regulation of diabetes in animals is often challenging. Pets often have underlying health problems that require the expertise of a veterinary specialist. Many pets are simply challenging to regulate. Veterinary internists specialize in this area of veterinary medicine.

Associated Veterinary Specialists employs a team approach to these cases. An internist and a veterinary technician will work together to manage the diabetes for each individual patient. After the initial workup and treatment plan, AVS will most commonly recommend that the pet's blood sugar be monitored with a glucometer manufactured by Abbott Laboratories (www.alphatrakmeter.com). This device is called AlphaTRAK 2 and it is a veterinary specific device calibrated for use in dogs and cats. The calibration is even different for each species. Human glucometers are often not accurate for use in animals and therefore their usage is discouraged. Adjustments in the insulin dosage can be made over the telephone or via email as needed. The internists at AVS feel that admitting veterinary patients to the hospital for glucose monitoring is not as accurate as at home monitoring. This should only be done for patients for whom the client cannot monitor the blood sugar at home.

To see a video of how to take a blood sugar, click here.

Diabetic dogs and cats can often live a long healthy life when close attention is paid to their problems and the owners work with the veterinary internists and animal health technicians of AVS. These pets are seen as outpatients 3 or 4 times a year to make sure their individual needs are met and their problems are detected early.

In Missouri, most diabetic products can be obtained without a prescription and it behooves the pet owner to shop around for the best prices on these products. When at AVS for an appointment, make sure you inquire about where to obtain these materials.