Over the past six years I have learned so much about canine diabetes but there was a starting point where I knew nothing about diabetes management. There were questions I had, and guess what? Most of them are frequently asked by new members in our Facebook group the Diabetic Dog Owners.
Today I am going to go over FAQ (frequently asked questions) so grab a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage and let’s get to it!
I LEFT MY INSULIN OUT!
We get busy, we multi-task or we are distracted which means that sometimes we forget to put our insulin away. If temperatures are not too high your insulin should be fine!
- Vetsulin / Caninsulin – per manufacturer insert this insulin should be refrigerated but we have been told by Merck Animal Health that as long as the temperature does not reach over 77° F (25° C) insulin should be fine.
- Humulin N – manufacturer insert states that opened insulin is fine if temperature does not exceed 86° F (30° C).
- Novolin N – per manufacturer insert opened Novolin N is fine at temperatures below 77° F (25° C).
- Levemir – manufacturer insert states that opened insulin is fine if temperature does not exceed 86° F (30° C).
P.S. – if you happen to put your insulin in the freezer, it cannot be used.
I FORGOT TO GIVE INSULIN!
If it has been under an hour since you were supposed to give insulin, you may go ahead and give the full dose, if BG is over 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L). If it has been over one hour since you were supposed to give insulin, you should skip the dose. Push water and you can feed one hour early to give insulin early.
Pro tip: Set a timer for injection time or hold the filled syringe until you give insulin.
I WON’T BE HOME FOR INSULIN!
We have one hour to work with so food and insulin can be given within 11 – 13 hours. Extenuating circumstances where we pass the 13-hour mark happen, and when this is the case we can go ahead and feed and give insulin and push back the next feeding/insulin time. To get back on schedule you can adjust feeding time by 30 minutes to one hour until you are back to your normal 12/12 schedule.
Don’t beat yourself up, take a deep breath, these things happen!
I GAVE MY DOG A FURSHOT!
We give insulin and we see it either squirt out of the other side of the tent, feel moisture after injecting or we smell the insulin. Insulin has a very distinct smell; it smells like concentrated band aids. If you give your dog a fur shot DO NOT REINJECT! You do not know how much your dog got and a temporary high is better than hypoglycemia. Encourage water consumption, if exercise drops blood glucose levels take your pup for a walk.
P.S – Don’t beat yourself up if this happens…we all do it for one reason or another. I did it two mornings in a row and felt bad but Lucy was fine!
I DOUBLE DOSED MY DOG WITH INSULIN!
This happens occasionally, especially when there are multiple caregivers in the home. If your dog receives a double dose of insulin, please feed another meal right away. You should also call your vet or the ER vet to let them know what is going on. If you test blood glucose levels at home test BG and make sure you have your hypoglycemia kit on hand. If you do not test blood glucose levels, your dog should be monitored at the vet’s or at the ER.
Pro tip: Leave two empty syringes out the night before for the next day’s insulin. This way caregivers know whether insulin has been given. A white board or journal works well to keep notes as well.
(Click on pic above to take you to Glucose SOS Energy Boost for Pets)
I hope this blog helps, be sure to come back next week for FAQ: Part 2!
Until next week, stay cool and caffeinated!
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please start a conversation below.
If you are looking for a Facebook community to join for support, I have proudly been an admin in Diabetic Dog Owners for four and a half years. You can also join Canine Diabetes Support and Information on Facebook as well.
For a printable version of this blog click here.