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Episode 41: Diabetes in Animals

May 26, 2020

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Today we’re covering diabetes in animals: what it looks like, how it’s different from diabetes in humans, and things you should know about caring for an animal with diabetes. We got input for this episode from a friend of mine with a T1D American Eskimo Dog, and you can see her picture down below!

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Diabetes can affect dogs, cats, apes, pigs, and horses, as well as some other animals, but for this episode we talked mostly about it in dogs and cats, since those are the most common household pets. Diabetes in animals shares a lot of similarites with diabetes in humans, but they're NOT the same.

Bella, my friend's American Eskimo Dog

Sometimes, the only diabetes someone knows is diabetes in animals. Why do some pets get type 1? What does it look like? How do you take care of a T1D pet?

Pet-specific insulin, branded "Vetsulin"

Sometimes, the only diabetes someone knows is diabetes in animals. Why do some pets get type 1? What does it look like? How do you take care of a T1D pet?

Pet syringes from Amazon

Anti-cataract drops for diabetic dogs

Wins & Fails

Jessie's Win: While her blood sugars have been all over the place over the last week, she's counting it as a win that she's keeping a level head through it all.

Colleen's Fail: We had to cancel Panther Camp, our annual summer camp for type 1 diabetics, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can listen here for more information about diabetes camps, and here for our take on how COVID-19 is affecting our lives.

Hack of the Week

Choose different milk substances for coffee. Milk has a lot of sugar in it, at 13 carbs a cup. Insteada of milk, Jessie has started using a low carb lactose free creamer from Trader Joe's. Colleen's creamer of choice is plain heavy whipping cream.

Sometimes, the only diabetes someone knows is diabetes in animals. Why do some pets get type 1? What does it look like? How do you take care of a T1D pet?

Diabetes Spotlight

The spotlight this week is on the Freestyle Libre sensor, which can be used on cats and dogs! It’s so far the only CGM that vets have used, and somewhat unfortunately, Abbot, the company that makes the Freestyle Libre, does not provide support for veterinary use. That means it’s not officially approved for animals, and they don’t answer questions about use with animals on their support line. They also won’t replace sensors if they prematurely detach—which is a likely problem for animals. 

Question for You!

Have you ever encountered diabetes in animals? Do you own a pet with diabetes? How have you handled that? We'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

Links & Resources

Credits

Our music is by Joseph McDade. Check out his website here! Our audio wizard is my husband Tim. He runs his own food blog called Split Appetites.

Related Posts

Episode 48: How to Find a Good Endocrinologist

Episode 47: Diabetes Alert Dogs

Episode 46: Diabetes Interrupting Life, with Stacy Juba

Inspired Forward


Mindset & accountability life coach, writer, podcaster, and full-time analyst in the power industry. I'm passionate about showing people that how we think determines our realities.

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