Senior Dog Month: What's so great about Cleo?
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Her Diabetes Diagnosis | November is Pet Diabetes Month

Cleo 4.5.09 006
One year ago we discovered that our dog was diabetic. It was a huge surprise to us. She ate well, we avoided processed people food, she wasn't fat and she got regular exercise. Our early warning sign was her sudden increase in water consumption. 

When she kept up the excessive water drinking so that we were taking her out to pee every few hours, we knew something was wrong. My elderly father had developed diabetes a few years ago, and his sudden increase in thirst had been a big sign to all of us to push him to get tested. The signs of diabetes are similar for pets and people.

Do you know the signs of diabetes in pets? Be sure and contact your veterinarian right away if your dog shows any of these signs:

Drinks more water than usual

Urinates more frequently or needs to go outside more often

Always acts hungry but does not gain weight or maintains weight

Is lethargic or sleeps more

Has cloudy eyes. Cataracts are very common in dogs who have diabetes.

We were fortunate with Cleo that her excessive water drinking stood out. It was only after she was tested and it was positive she had elevated sugars, that I thought back to the previous few weeks and I noticed these other symptoms had been present. One thing to note, some dogs glucose level will increase at the vet due to stress. We took a clean pee sample that morning at home before heading to the vet.

Today, a year later, we give Cleo insulin injections twice a day. She handles them like a champ. We have modified the amount of insulin a few times over the past year, but only after consulting with her vet. Her vision had already been in decline, but now cataracts have developed. We work to keep her weight in check. We watch her diet. As a big dog in her golden years, she already naps a little more. Now we have to make sure she goes for walks even if she wants to nap.

The important thing is to be aware of your companion buddy. You watch them when out on a walk so they don't eat something from the ground, so pay attention to how much water they are drinking. Keep an eye on their weight. 

To learn more, talk with your own vet and check out these resources:

AAHA Healthy Pet

Pets WebMD

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