November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Posted by Michelle for PetTest, AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator on Nov 8th 2023

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month in the USA and Canada, and November 14 th is World Diabetes Day. I never thought I would learn so much about canine diabetes and certainly did not imagine where I would be today when I started this journey with Lucy in August 2015. Since her diagnosis I became administrator in our Facebook group Diabetic Dog Owners, have co-created the Diabetic Dog Owners University (DDO-U) with Alicia Belcher, I’ve taken multiple nutrition courses and have been writing blogs for PetTest for three years.

Lucy was a very special dog and I made it my goal after diagnosis for her to live her best life and I am happy to say that she lived a healthy and normal life until she was just shy of 16 years old. Regular blood glucose monitoring, testing urine for ketones, low-fat and low carb diet, and check-ups with her vet all attributed to her being healthy and living so long.

I wanted to share what I learned with others so that we could change the median lifespan of two years and I also felt it was important for fellow caregivers to not feel so alone when dealing with canine diabetes. Many of us never had to give an injection and the thought that we could lose our dog is extremely stressful. There is also a lot to learn and it’s hard to find accurate information that is simple to understand. Both the Facebook group and the DDO-U have made it easier to understand canine diabetes and what needs to be done to successfully manage the disease. PetTest has also sponsored the DDO-U so that it remains free to anyone that joins, this would not be possible without their sponsorship!

When I was approached to write blogs for PetTest I gladly accepted. This was another outlet to help educate and support people with diabetic dogs and I have learned so much more due to the content of these blogs, from functions of the pancreas to hypothyroidism in dogs to the benefits of probiotics…there has been a lot to write about and there is a lot more to write in the future!

In 2021 I wrote two of my favorite blogs: The History of Diabetes and The Discovery of Insulin. It was very interesting to learn that an Egyptian physician wrote about “a mysterious illness that caused excessive urination and emaciation.” He also noted that ants were attracted to the urine of people with this disease. This was written in 1552 BC! And it wasn’t until 1921 that insulin was successfully isolated and then finally, in 1922 insulin was purified and injected into a 14-year-old young man. Leonard Thompson lived until he was 27 years old, something that was impossible before the discovery of insulin.

Since 1921 we have come a long way in diabetes management. Testing blood glucose levels at home was not possible until 1980. Insulin was made from porcine or bovine pancreas until the first recombinant DNA insulin was approved in 1982. Human diabetics now have insulin pumps, diabetic dogs and cats are using continuous glucose monitoring systems and there are current trials in stem cell therapy on humans. In the latest study of six human type 1 diabetics, three people have been able to reduce insulin needs and three no longer require insulin therapy. Immunosuppressant medication is necessary to prevent stem cell rejection so there is a long way to go but science is on the right track.

I have learned so much these past eight years and have gained so much because of Lucy having diabetes. What I thought was a death sentence early on after diagnosis turned into a wonderful journey: Lucy and I became inseparable, all our dogs are healthier because of her diabetes, I have found lifelong friends, we have a fabulous online course that is free thanks to PetTest and I continue to support and educate people so that can pass down what I have learned.

Remember that diabetes is not a death sentence at all, knowledge is power and education is the key to successfully managing canine diabetes. Let everyone know this month that you have a diabetic pet…we need to spread awareness that our dogs and cats get diabetes too!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please start a conversation below.

For a printable version of this blog click here.

Until next week stay comfy, don’t stress and you got this!

Michelle Miller-Matlock

AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator

Founder/Administrator of DDO: Diabetic Dog Owners University

Administrator of Diabetic Dog Owners on Facebook

Want to learn all you can in a simple and easy to follow format? Please join DDO-U: Diabetic Dog Owners University , graciously sponsored by PetTest.

Be sure to join the PetTest family on Facebook and Instagram. PetTest has fun, interactive posts AND they have fabulous giveaways every week!

Do you need a blood glucose meter kit for your diabetes arsenal? Click here to purchase one if you live in the USA. Click here to purchase a meter kit if you live in Canada.

PetTest USA link:

Link to PetTest Canada:

If you live in Australia, Wantsa Medical offers PetTest products.

UK residents can purchase PetTest Supplies from Home Health UK.

New Zealand now has PetTest products through VetPost.

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