Living (and Thriving) with Diabetes Mellitus

enrichment blog 4

Have you noticed Miss Fluffy spending a lot of time at the water bowl lately? She seems like she might be a little thinner too… could that just be age? When we as veterinarians hear things like this, our “Spidey-Senses” perk up and our minds start running through the possibilities. One such possibility for a senior dog or cat is diabetes mellitus, often just referred to as “diabetes”.

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas (located in your abdomen near the stomach) is no longer able to meet the needs of the body to control blood sugar. When you eat a meal, the carbohydrates from the food get converted into glucose (blood sugar) which needs to be processed or stored. Without insulin, this blood sugar has nowhere to go, and its accumulation will have a number of detrimental effects on the body. Affected individuals typically have a dramatic increase in thirst, urinations, and appetite, and will often lose weight (in an unhealthy way) and have a dull, oily coat. If undetected long enough, patients can become quite sick with vomiting, dehydration, or worse.

In order to diagnose diabetes mellitus, we perform a blood and urine profile. This allows us to confirm the diagnosis, as well as ruling out conditions with similar symptoms such as urinary infections and hyperthyroidism, and to determine the extent of disease. Once diagnosed, we will discuss a treatment plan that will work the best for your family.

A good diet is a very important part of therapy, as diabetic patients cannot handle large amounts of carbs.   Some lucky patients (usually cats who are at a mild stage of diabetes) can be controlled entirely through proper nutrition. Most of our diabetic dogs and cats however will require insulin injections in order to manage their blood sugar. Administering insulin injections seems like a daunting task at first, but I’ve talked with numerous clients who tell me that after the 2nd or 3rd injection, it is almost as routine as brushing your teeth. The needles used are actually much smaller than the tiny ones we use to give vaccines to puppies or kittens, and they rarely seem to mind!

If you’re concerned that one of your pets may be diabetic, we would be happy to help. Just give our office a call, and we’ll answer any questions or concerns you might have and ensure we keep Miss Fluffy healthy and happy for years to come!


Jeremy Blankenship, DVM

Stow Kent Animal Hospital

Ouch! My Aching Knee – Canine Cruciate Ligament Disease

It’s a beautiful sunny day, a great day to play.   The grass is green, the sky is blue, and I can feel the breeze flowing through my hair. It’s a great day to be a dog.

While chasing my favorite tennis ball, I take a sharp turn and feel a “pop”. A jolt of pain courses through my body as I hit the ground. I try to stand, but I’m in so much pain that I can barely place my foot on the ground.

Doc checks me out, takes an x-ray and says that I have torn my cranial cruciate ligament (similar to the ACL in people).

Continue reading

Paw-ty Animals- Small Animal Enrichment

                Kong enrichment blog

Many of our small animal patients spend a lot of their time in cages or hutches inside or outside. These pets need boredom busters too. There are many things that you can do to help enrich their lives. Many of these ideas can come from recycled materials while others can be purchased at your local pet store! It is also important to get your small animal/pocket pet out daily for grooming, attention and exercise. Many can benefit from play time outside as well. One can purchase small animal play pens so that your small animal can enjoy the grass and catch some rays on a sunny day.  They also make small harnesses that can be fitted on a rabbit, ferret or cavy so that they can be supervised outside. We advise that pets are always supervised while outside and never left unattended. Just like other animals it is best if you rotate your pet’s toys frequently so that they have the excitement of playing with new things. Small animals who are not active also suffer from obesity just like their dog and cat counterparts. Some animals that experience boredom can also have behavior problems and can become destructive to themselves and their environment. Enrichment can appeal to any of the senses. Continue reading

Mickey’s Chemo Experience

cancer stinks

Hi there,

It’s Mickey Albers-Brooks. I wanted to share with everyone a very special day. It’s my chemotherapy anniversary! I know that doesn’t sound like something to be happy about, but I really didn’t realize I had cancer until Mommy let it slip last week when she was opening my new bottle of Chorambucil. Since then Harry and William have had a lot of questions for me about cancer and chemotherapy so I thought I would share my experiences with everyone. Continue reading

Animals Get Breast Cancer Too

Pets Get Breast Cancer Too 2012

Pets Get Breast Cancer Too 2012

October is breast cancer awareness month in humans! Did you know that dogs that were spayed after their first heat cycle have rates of breast cancer similar to human women? Every year I find several malignant and benign breast tumors in animals during annual physical exams, vaccination appointments and even this year during an appointment for a scratched eye! Continue reading

Feline Urinary Blockage

Chevy for blocked cat post stow kent animal hospital

Annie here and I would like to tell you about my brother who had a recent stay at Stow Kent Animal Hospital. My mom was concerned because he had a couple small accidents around the litter box; he was squatting to urinate and only a small dribble would come out. He wasn’t as outgoing/friendly as he typically is and he had a decreased appetite. My mom noticed these signs right away and called our vet Dr. Jacobson. Continue reading