Posted : 9/15/2008 2:30:37 AM
I have been treating a 13 y/o diabetic Husky for 2 years now. Here is what I have found out after lots of research and education.
1) Insulin - not every dog is the same, but the "Vetsulin" (porcine insulin zinc suspension) type insulin is made from pigs. This type of insulin closely resembles the natural insulin in a dogs body. Other insulin (Humilin etc) that are made for humans will work too, but aren't as close to the natural insulin of a dog. If you haven't tried "Vetsulin" and are having difficulty regulating your dogs glucose levels, ask your vet to try the Vetsulin.
2) There are "diabetic" dog foods out there. Science diet w/d and Purina Canine DCO. I have been doing extensive research on these foods lately and I am looking for an alternative. I have been feeding Science Diet w/d because that's what my vet recommended. Being uneducated in canine nutrition, I took the vets word as to what was best for my dog.
What I found is that these "perscription" diets are not all they are cracked up to be. The recommended diet for a diabetic dog is a high protein, high fiber, low fat, low carb food. I thought Science Diet was very good, but educating yourself on foods, diets and the disease will help you make your own decision. Always talk to your vet when thinking of changing anything with your diabetic pet.
I no longer will feed my pet Science Diet w/d. It has low protein, low fat, high fiber & high carbs. The only thing it has going for it is the high fiber content. All the experts will say home cooked food is the best for your pet. I know this is not an option for everyone.
So what I have found are a few "alternative" foods which I will be discussing with my vet and come up with a nutrition plan.
Prescription Science Diet w/d: 15% protein, 6% fat, 20% fiber & 46-51% carbs! It is loaded with fillers & grains. The first ingredient is corn, not beef or chicken.
Science Diet Light adult: 20% protein, 6% fat, 18.5% fiber, 43-47% carbs. What's the difference from the "prescription" diet? Less food in the bag and a higher cost.
Wellness Core reduced fat formula: 100% grain free food. 33 % protein, 9% fat, 8.5% fiber & claim "35% less carbs than traditional reduced fat diets"
Eagle Pack Holistic Select Senior Care: 26% protein, 10% fat, 3.5% fiber, carbs unknown
The reason I selected Wellness Core & Eagle Pack Holistic are from the research I have read, it has shown that senior dogs need more protein & fat than recently thought. Protein % around the mid 20's & a fat content of around 10% is ideal. High fiber is good for overall health at any age & lower carbs should always be a priority at any age.
The extremely low fat in the science diet has helped my dog lose weight, but her skin & coat have become dry & flaky. I have read that a fat content around the 10% area will help her skin & coat return to normal while still having a reduced fat food.
I am no expert. I am not claiming to know what I am talking about. I am just letting you know what I have experienced, have been told and what I have found out through research on my own. ALWAYS check with your vet first.