Understanding Feline Diabetes

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Diabetes has risen sharply in our feline friends over the past decade or so – attributed to more cats being overweight. It can be a very serious and sometimes life-threatening disease. But, if caught and treated early, remission is possible. Though, your cat can become insulin-dependent for the rest of their life should diagnosis and treatment be delayed.
So what is feline diabetes? The most simple way to describe diabetes is with two words – Sugar and Insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which helps a cat’s body regulate the flow of glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into the cells. Cells use glucose to run cellular functions and provide energy to your cat’s entire body. If the insulin supply is low, cells won’t function well.
And, without insulin the cat’s body instead breaks down more fat and protein to supply energy, meaning the excess glucose stays in their bloodstream. Cats with diabetes therefore tend to eat more without gaining weight.
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Activ4Vets, sister company to Activ4Pets, LLC Launches Veterinarian Relief Staffing Service and Platform to Assist Vet Practices and Veterinarians Expand their Business and Provide Better Care

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New Relief staffing service offers traditional and virtual veterinary staffing services to maximize clinic time, service, and revenue.
LOS ANGELES, CA. March 1, 2017 – Activ4Vets, providers of veterinary relief staffing services, introduces three comprehensive solutions for veterinary staffing and consultation needs; Traditional Relief Vet Staffing, Online Relief Vet Solutions and Peer-to-Peer Specialty Consults. With the number of pet owners growing yearly, and pet parents becoming increasingly engaged with their pet’s ongoing health and wellbeing, veterinary advice and support services are in high demand both offline and online. Activ4Vets traditional vet relief staffing and virtual online services provide innovative solutions that allow veterinarians to get the staffing support they need to reach more clients, offer more flexible times, and increase the services they offer.
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Activ4Pets Mobile Health App Partners with Shelters to Save and Improve Lives of Pets

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Favorite pet health tool offers reduced cost services to adopters to help them engage and manage the health of their new pet
LOS ANGELES, CA. February 22, 2017Activ4Pets, providers of online and mobile platforms that give pet parents easy access to their pet’s health information along with web-based veterinary consultations, today announced its new shelter partnership program to provide their platform to pet adopters and shelters across the nation. Shelters that partner with Activ4Pets can offer the service to adopters at a dramatically reduced rate, cutting down on paperwork and paving the way for new pet parents to engage with and easily manage the health of their new pets.
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Telemedicine at Work – A Veterinarian's Perspective

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Have you ever needed to be in two places at once? Like at work and the veterinarian’s office? What if I told you that it’s actually possible to do both…
Pets are our beloved family members and we want the absolute best for them. Maybe they have an immediate health issue – like a limp or loss of appetite – one you might not necessarily class as an emergency. While you want to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, it might not always be practical to visit the vet right away.
Of course, most pet parents realize a visit to an emergency veterinary clinic can be costly. And an appointment takes time out of your already hectic day; what with work, kids and any number of additional responsibilities. It can be extremely frustrating having to wait several days until your schedule opens up enough to travel to the vets – especially when all you need is some professional advice and peace of mind! Wouldn’t it just be easier to pick up the phone (or equivalent) and call the vet for these kinds of issues? Well, it has been possible for many years now to speak to a human healthcare specialist (physician, nurse, psychologist, etc) via webcam, obtain the advice you need and continue with your day. Effectively allowing you to be in two places at once – without the travel and waiting times!
It’s called Telemedicine or Telehealth and the same technology is being adopted in the veterinary industry to meet the needs of modern pet owners. Veterinary telemedicine is opening virtual doors before, during and after normal clinic hours to accommodate pet parents whose needs might not warrant an emergency, but getting that reassurance could very well make their day!

How Does it Work?

Surprisingly, there are many routine pet health issues which can be discussed within a Telemedicine environment, instead of visiting in person. By doing a virtual visit you can quickly ascertain whether or not the health issue is an emergency – just to be on the safe side. As an experienced veterinarian, I can tell you many clients bring in cases which they believe to be emergencies – but simply aren’t. Allow me to elaborate.
Let’s say you wake up one morning and your older Labrador is circling to the left and has a strange eye rotation (nystagmus). While this is an alarming sight, it might not necessarily be an emergency.
So what are your options? Take an hour or two off work to rush over to the emergency veterinarians? Do nothing and hope for the best? By using Telemedicine, you could simply request a virtual consultation and speak directly to a seasoned, professional veterinarian with two-way audio and video. The doctor could observe the behavior and the nystagmus, ask questions and provide their recommendation – and you wouldn’t have a traumatic drive to endure!
In the case above, I would explain the likelihood of Canine Geriatric Vestibular Syndrome (very common among older dogs) and make further recommendations depending on what I observed during the consult.

Telemedicine in the the Workplace

Activ4Pets recently launched a benefit system that provides these e-Consultations and more to companies with pet-owning employees. Basically, it gives staff the option to consult with a licensed vet from home or the office, instead of taking time off work. While it does help to improve office productivity, the system also allows each member to take full control of their pet’s health.
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You’d also get a full online veterinary history (vaccinations, allergies, medications, medical documents and more for up to four pets) which you can access on your mobile phone or computer. If you ever did need to schedule an e-Consult, the added bonus is that the interaction would be completely secure (military-level encryption) and the veterinarian would have full access to your pet’s complete medical history to make more informed decisions.
Also included is one second medical opinion (for serious or chronic health conditions) as well as unlimited access to our vet chat service.
Conditions from the following list can be addressed via virtual consultation: pet parasites (worms, ticks, fleas, lice, insect bites), orthopedic issues (limping, stiffness, pain), ear problems , eye problems, weight loss, inappetence, motion sickness, coughing and many more.
If you think your employer might be interested in adopting Activ4Pets as a benefit, we can be reached by email contact@activ4pets.com or by phone on 855-738-3282 (toll free). We also have individual memberships available via our sign up page.


Meet the Author

Clayton-Jones-DVM

Dr. Clayton Jones

Dr. Jones has 25 years of veterinary medical experience as a staff veterinarian and medical director of his own practice. As well as being the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Activ4Pets, Dr. Jones is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Society and President of the US-Cuba Veterinary Cooperation Society.

Talking Pet Obesity with Dr. Clayton Jones

Is your dog or cat a little on the chunky side? Just kidding! Even though I’m a licensed veterinarian, I must admit my Labrador Retriever, Bridger, was once very overweight. I mean huge. Obese. And yes indeed, chunky!
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It was not his fault at all, although he does love to eat. He would pounce on the food bowl and be done in a jiffy. But who was it that overfed him? Me, of course! Pet owners really enjoy watching their furry family members eat ravenously. But what about their health? Obesity is a major health problem for pets (as well as their owners)! According to research by Animal Friends Pet Insurance, cases of arthritis in cats and dogs are up 312% since 2012. And they are predicted to rise even further by the end of 2016. Based on analysis of 20,000 pet health records, the study found obesity is the leading cause of the dramatic increase, as a consequence of overfeeding.
Pets are massively overfed due to many reasons. First, pet food manufacturers encourage overfeeding. Pet food is advertised as scrumptious – as something to make even human mouths water – with flavors like roast chicken and vegetables, bacon, or even steak.
Second, pet owners want their pets to be “Happy”. Taking a look at the problem psychologically, it’s hard to gauge how much our pets enjoy their lives sometimes. And food seems to make them very happy. They’ll even beg or indeed purr for it. So overfeeding them becomes a way to provide instant and ongoing satisfaction.
We wouldn’t want our pets going unhappy now would we? But this is serious! True quality of life for pets hinges on good health, which in itself relies on a normal weight. The old saying goes like this: “the less you weigh the longer you will live,” and this applies to pets too. And that’s not all. Pet obesity causes a number of problematic health conditions.

Arthritis

Arthritis is directly related to your pet’s weight. The more pressure on their legs, the worse the degenerative changes in the joints. And, as pets age, joints become inflamed and any extra weight will only increase the inflammation. Lean and mean is the best look.

Liver Disease

The risk of liver disease increases with obesity. Fat is stored in the liver, so excessive fat can lead to a large decrease in liver function. The liver is vital to the body’s health. Hepatic Lipidosis can be a real threat for overweight pets.

Diabetes

Diabetes is common in dogs and especially cats! Diabetic pets do not make enough insulin or have insulin resistance. Obesity can be thought of as excessive body tissue which, in turn, demands more insulin production. However, the pancreas may not be able to mass produce enough insulin or be overworked, leading to a complete insulin shutdown.
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What to do if your Pet is Overweight?

So how much should your dog or cat be eating? If they appear to be overweight, the simple answer is less.
A healthy diet and weight control are essential to overall pet health. First off you need to be sure of the type of food you’re giving your pet. There are many brands you should be wary of because they contain a huge amount of fat and fillers. Labels can be confusing too. Be sure to talk to your veterinary specialist to discuss options and ask questions. They will also give you the normal weight range for the specific breed and size of your pet. For many of my clients, I provide a daily food plan and a cup to measure the amount. It can be very hard to stick to and weight loss takes a long while. But be patient. Make sure they get plenty of exercise and be sparing with the treats! You’ll be pleased to hear Bridger is now back to his optimal weight (thankfully)!
Diet and low-calorie pet food is also available. Again, be wary. Some diet pet food is not really suitable for dieting at all. Do your homework. A quick Google search will provide reviews of other pet owners’ experiences with the same brands. Again, if in doubt, talk to your veterinarian.

How can Activ4Pets Help?

The Activ4Pets app and online platform enable you to measure and track your pet’s weight on a regular basis, which makes hitting those weight-loss goals even easier. It’s one of the many features of our Health Measure Tracker. You can even graph the values out to easily identify problematic periods.
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And, if your pet is experiencing health complications because they are overweight, Activ4Pets keeps all your veterinary records available at the touch of a button, should you ever need them in a hurry.
Need to ask your veterinarian questions, but struggling to find the time to visit in person? Activ4Pets also provides virtual visits to talk to your vet via webcam. If your veterinarian participates, you can book an e-Consultation around your schedule and ask all the diet-related questions you can think of. It’s food for thought, at the very least.


Meet the Author

Clayton-Jones-DVM

Dr. Clayton Jones

Dr. Jones has 25 years of veterinary medical experience as a staff veterinarian and medical director of his own practice. As well as being the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Activ4Pets, Dr. Jones is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Society and President of the US-Cuba Veterinary Cooperation Society.