Vet Communication

Your Vet is There to Help

Most pet owners have a lot of questions when their dog or cat is diagnosed with diabetes. With all diabetic animals, an initial appointment is necessary to complete appropriate tests, establish a treatment plan and learn how to care for your diabetic pet.

Here are some things to consider when discussing diabetes with your veterinarian.

Diabetes Management

To design the best diabetes management plan for your pet, it is important to let your veterinarian know if you:

  • Travel frequently
  • Leave your pet alone for extended periods of time
  • Have an unusual or unpredictable schedule
  • Have an exercise or activity schedule for your pet that varies significantly from day to day
  • Have multiple pets at home
  • Have other special needs or circumstances


  • Does my pet need insulin injections? If so, what kind of insulin?
  • How many times a day do I need to administer insulin?
  • What should I know about insulin?
  • What if I miss an injection?
  • What type of syringe should I use?
  • What are acceptable locations on the pet for injections?

Diet and Exercise:

  • Do I need to adjust my pet’s diet?
  • What should I know or change about my pet’s treats?
  • What do I do if my pet does not eat or vomits?
  • What do I do if I my pet eats extra food by mistake?
  • Should I adjust my pet’s exercise and activity level?

Diabetes Complications and Emergencies:

  • What complications should I be aware of?
  • What constitutes a diabetic emergency?
  • What is hypoglycemia and what should I do if I suspect my pet is hypoglycemic?
  • What is diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA?
  • When do I call your office vs. an emergency clinic?


  • How often do you want to see my pet for check-ups?
  • Who at the clinic can teach me how to administer insulin and take a blood glucose sample from my pet?

Topics to Discuss with Your Vet During Diabetic Follow-Up Appointments:

  • Any changes in your life or schedule, such as a new job or work hours, new travel schedule, moving, new baby or kids at the house, new exercise routine for your pet, new activity with your pet, etc.
  • How frequently does my pet require diabetic check-ups?
  • What tests do diabetic pets get at regular check-ups?
  • What information should I keep track of regarding my pet’s diabetes?
  • How frequently should my diabetic pet have dental and other maintenance procedures?
  • What other preventive care procedures does my diabetic pet need?

Diabetes management is a long-term commitment. As your pet ages and other changes occur in your lives, your pet’s diabetes can also change. Communicate with your vet. He or she will answer your questions and can suggest adjustments to your management practices so that living with diabetes can be manageable for both you and your pet.