Anyone who likes Labrador retrievers would adore Greta. True to her breed, she’s playful, curious, and eager to please. She has a big heart full of love and an appreciation for simple pleasures, showing the same enthusiasm for snuggles as she does for walks.
The only thing that would hurt Greta’s chances of being adopted would be the fact that she’s diabetic. Dogs and cats with special needs are often overlooked at shelters, due to the time, money, and resources needed to care for them.
Greta will need insulin injections twice a day, within one hour of eating to help combat her blood sugar rise. Any prospective owners must watch a veterinarian demonstrate how to store, handle, and inject the insulin into the loose skin between Greta’s shoulder blades. Though owners may balk at the idea, the procedure is relatively painless, and Greta is very cooperative.
Dogs with diabetes should eat dry food, as soft food can cause glucose to build up in the body. A veterinarian will recommend or even prescribe a certain type of dog food with high-quality protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Treats and table scraps are out of the question.
A regular feeding schedule should be followed to keep Greta from gaining weight, and to make sure she’s never injected with insulin on an empty stomach, as that can make her sick. She will also need regular and consistent exercise to keep her from developing complications from diabetes.
Owners of diabetic dogs should monitor their weight and keep an eye out for excessive hunger, thirst, or urination, as these can be signs of complications. If a dog is injected with too much insulin, they need immediate veterinary care. Symptoms of excessive insulin include lethargy, unsteadiness, dizziness, falling, and seizures.
A diabetic dog will need a blood glucose curve done a couple times a year. The veterinarian will draw blood every two hours over a 12- to 24-hour time period. Once glucose levels are measured and charted, the vet will decide whether to adjust the insulin dose.
For more information on caring for a pet with diabetes, head to Pets.WebMD.com.
For more information on Greta and another adoptable dogs, call Homeward Animal Shelter at 701-239-0077.
– Särah Nour