Pets Like Me: J.J.

Shortly after J.J. and I met at the arboretum, we became fast friends, and even though we walked the same path and sniffed the same pawpaw plants, we explored different places and marked different spots—the way friends do.

In His Words:
I was drinking a lot of water and urinating frequently. So my mom took me to my veterinarian. A urinalysis and blood work revealed what she already suspected: I have diabetes.

Davi: How do you manage your diabetes?
J.J.: I get insulin shots twice a day, every 12 hours. It’s important that I get these shots after I eat breakfast and dinner, so Mom or Dad gives me my shot while I’m eating. I love food so much, most of the time I’m too distracted to even notice the prick of the needle!

Do you have any dietary restrictions?
I eat special food now, but it’s just as delicious as my old food. I still get doggie snacks, but my parents are super-careful about what I eat. No people food. Period. Disappointing, but I want to stay healthy, so I deal with it.

Any exercise restrictions?
Nope! I still go for walks and play at the dog park with friends. Mom and Dad just keep an extra-close eye on me to make sure I’m feeling good. They monitor my habits and, if anything looks off, they call the doctor right away.

How do you monitor your blood sugar?
I go to the vet regularly so they can do a test called a glucose curve. Weird, right? Basically, I just hang out at the vet all day and have my blood sugar checked every so often. They do this to make sure I’m getting the right amount of insulin. Soon my parents will learn how to check my blood sugar at home in case of emergency.

Does diabetes affect your daily activities?
I actually have a lot more energy now that I’m getting regular insulin. I’m able to walk like a boss without losing steam, but it’s a lifestyle change. Luckily, I have loving parents who’ve adjusted their schedules to manage my diabetes. It feels good to be top priority!

National Pet Diabetes Month 
Did you know one out of every 300 pets is diagnosed with diabetes? November is designated National Pet Diabetes Month as a way to raise awareness, promote early detection and help pet owners recognize the symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats early. If you didn’t know your dog or cat could develop diabetes, you’re not alone. Many owners don’t realize diabetes can affect pets; you may have questions when you find your pet has the condition.

While there’s no cure for diabetes, proper care can help your pet live a happy, healthy, active life. The more you know about diabetes, the better you’ll be able to manage your pet’s health.

Diabetes isn’t a death sentence, but if it’s not treated properly, it can be. Diabetic dogs can live normal lives, like J.J.—but they depend on their owners to manage their ongoing care.

Davi the dachshund doesn’t have diabetes, but he’s so sweet, he might make you diabetic. (OK, not really.)