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AAHA releases guidelines for managing pet diabetes

The first update in eight years emphasizes how veterinary technicians can help with diabetes management.

AAHA releases guidelines for managing pet diabetes
The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats is rising. Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health Report found 23.6 canine cases per 10,000 in 2015 and 67.6 feline cases per 10,000.

Veterinary technicians can play a key role in educating pet owners about feline and canine diabetes, according to the American Animal Hospital Association’s newly updated Diabetes Management Guidelines.

The 21-page document, available at http://bit.ly/2AL1XXl, includes the latest information about diabetes mellitus and offers new online tools and educational resources for pet owners and veterinary teams.

Veterinary technicians wield significant influence on matters involving pet diabetes, said Renee Rucinsky, DVM, DABVP, co-chairwoman of the Diabetes Management Guidelines Task Force.

“Veterinary nurses are an integral part of diabetes management and are often the most frequent communicators with the owners of diabetic pets,” Dr. Rucinsky said. “The guidelines are a fantastic resource for them to help patients, owners and doctors with all aspects of diabetic treatment.”

Added co-chairwoman Amy Holford, VMD, DACVIM: “Diabetes management is nowhere near as successful without our technicians’ input and help. Our jobs are so much easier when our technicians feel empowered and can dramatically help us with our patient management and client care.”

The guidelines, last updated in 2010, conclude that management of diabetes mellitus “requires the commitment and coordinated efforts of the veterinary health care team and the pet owner client.”

“For this reason,” the guidelines state, “proactive client education is an essential component of a DM treatment plan. Client education includes instruction on insulin administration, signs of favorable clinical response or lack thereof, measuring BG levels, and the importance of non-insulin therapies, including dietary management.”

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and Merck Animal Health provided educational grants in support of the new guidelines.

More information about the report is available at http://bit.ly/2CXxGL2.