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The challenges clients face with a pet diagnosed with diabetes

Atlantic City

Jessica Pritchard, VMD, MS, DACVIM (SAIM), shares her opinion on the biggest challenge of pet diabetes and how Type 2 diabetes can be prevented

In honor of National Pet Diabetes Awareness Month, Jessica Pritchard, VMD, MS, DACVIM (SAIM), clinical assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, interviewed with dvm360 to discuss the lifestyle changes and challenges that come with a pet diagnosed with diabetes and how clients need to navigate this change. She also shares her advice for how Type 2 diabetes in cats can be prevented with better exercise and diet.

The following is a partial transcript of the video.

Jessica Pritchard, VMD, MS, DACVIM (SAIM): I think one of the biggest challenges has to be the caregiver burden and owner's experience. So having a pet with diabetes is a huge commitment, both in terms of medical care, and in lifestyle changes. If they were the type of owner that just dumped the food and the bowl in the morning—and no judgment there, I'm not owner too—and then went about their day, now they have to be sure that pet eats, and they have to give their insulin and we're expecting them to watch these clinical signs and contact us regularly with updates, so we can make adjustments. And it's a huge change in lifestyle too. Whereas before, you could set the automatic feeder and go away for the weekend and your cats would be fine.

In cats definitely trying to avoid obesity. And I know that's exceptionally hard. Not many people exercise their cats regularly. But, paying close attention to the diet, that they're eating, how much they're eating, and what their body condition is like, and getting ahead of that.

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