The Family Pet, With Diabetes


I recently had a random thought about an old family pet.

We had a dog named Shasta who had canine diabetes. All of the care and attention she needed parallels mine today. I remember my dad giving her insulin shots and even rare instances when she would seizure. A sudden sense of urgency would fill the room and a brown sugar snack would soon rush her way.

It becomes much more complicated treating a family pet who has diabetes. If only Shasta could have signaled when she needed some sugar. I imagine she would scratch at the chip cabinet when in need of a snack. A supply of dog bone shaped glucose tabs would have been perfect! But with such a full, round belly on her, she surely would have taken advantage of her new power of communication! Snacks all day would have been heaven for that old girl.

Shasta was not alone in her canine needs. Other animals need to receive insulin, much the same way Shasta did. Watch Cookie the dog take her insulin shot like a champ through this YouTube clip.  

I had not made the connection of Shasta’s circumstances to my own situation, until now. Diabetes was right in front of me while growing up and I barely even noticed. I presume this is how it works in the human to human world also. Even with the booming rate of diabetes diagnoses we are seeing, if it doesn’t touch your life directly, it is easy to glance over.

Back to the animals…

Cookie and Shasta don’t monopolize the diabetes care seen in pets. Other family pets need treatment in the same way. I ran across this YouTube clip also. One cat owner shares his routine for testing his cat’s blood sugar. He even keeps a kitty log book. Recording blood sugar levels and time of day. All noted to discuss with the veterinarian team, later on. What compassion this owner has for the health of feline Buddy, his family friend.


Subsequently, check out Dave and Smokey’s duo-diabetes tale at Kerri’s new feature: Six Until Me’s “Your Story”.

I have a lot of respect for care-givers. Whether professional or familial… it shows a magnitude of compassion to look after the health and safety of others… others with or without opposable thumbs even!



  1. Thanks for posting these – especially the cat’s BG test. I always wondered how people manage with pets, and I’m pleased to see that particular guy has it sorted. What a lovely cat!

    I’ve heard too many stories about people who give up on pets with diabetes. I can’t understand it! A pet is family to me, and I wouldn’t let anyone in the family go untreated. Especially not something like diabetes… what a horrible way to die. It’s good to see how easy it can be, though I’m pretty sure that a lot of cats & dogs aren’t so easy to treat!!

  2. Just a word of caution. You should really not have to work to express the drop of blood or else you may be measuring the glucose in the “interstitial fluid” (the fluid between the cells) rather than the blood glucose. The blood should present itself freely rather than requiring squishing and manipulation of the tissues. This guys good I probably would have ended up with my own blood…

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