In order for a dog to be diagnosed with diabetes, Hiers said blood work and an urinalysis must be run. She said diabetes can not be diagnosed until there is findings of glucose shed in the urine. She said if diabetes is confirmed then an i.v. with liquids is set up in the dog and and he/she has to return the next day for a glucose curve-the dog is given insulin in the morning and checked every three hours throughout the day to check its glucose levels to see how much insulin the dog will require regularly. The dog is then required to come back in two weeks for another check, she said.
Once being diagnosed with diabetes, the dog will be placed on a special diet to help control its glucose levels. Hiers said this diet usually consists of a reduced calorie, high fiber and low carbohydrate formula. It may also be a prescription diet. "Sometimes diet alone can control it (blood sugar), but insulin also," Hiers said.
The insulin is injected within the skin of the dog in a muscular area. Warner said she likes to alternate where she injects Lulu because the spots can get sore if used over and over again. She said she gathers the "meat" on the neck or her back side and injects. She said she also rubs the injected area for 10 or 20 seconds after injecting. This helps the insulin delivery and also eases pain.