Managing Diabetes with Veterinary Telehealth

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The prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus in dogs and cats is exponentially rising. In 2016, the prevalence of diabetes in dogs increased by 80% and 18% in cats over a 10 year span! While this is sad news for our furry companions, it means veterinarians will be diagnosing and treating more diabetic pets. This disease not only involves frequent rechecks, heavy client dialogue, and lifestyle change, but the condition is usually around for the life of the pet. Integrating telehealth into diabetes management can help manage this chronic condition and lead to a more successful outcome. Allowing pet parents better access and a virtual option will build a stronger veterinary-client relationship, more frequent monitoring of the pet, and will monetize communication.

 

Use Anipanion’s real-time video and asynchronous chat features to discuss various diabetic related topics with your pet parents:

 

Insulin Handling and Administration

  • Insulin is a fragile medication that requires special handling and storage. Although this is discussed in hospital with pet parents, they seem to forget everything when they arrive home.
  • Provide your clients with a real-time session to review insulin handling, storage, and administration. This will give them more confidence when treating their diabetic pet.

Symptom Monitoring and Client Questions

Monitoring diabetic symptoms is a crucial part of disease management

  • Is the patient exhibiting
      • Increased water drinking
      • Increased urination
      • Weight loss
      • Increased appetite
      • Lethargy
      • Any ocular changes
      • Any changes to urination habits
      • Hematuria
      • Skin issues
  • Walking clients through a symptoms checklist routinely will teach pet parents what they should be looking for in their diabetic pets to alert them that there may be a problem.
  • More frequent monitoring of patient symptoms will lead to a better medical outcome.
  • Use this time to answer any client questions. There are always plenty of them to answer.

At home glucose curves

  • It’s no secret that most pets experience some level of stress when they come into the vet’s office – elevated blood pressure, heart rates, cortisol levels, and occasionally aggressive behaviors.
  • Allowing patients to be at home for glucose curves will allow for more accurate results and a happier pet.
  • Glucose curves can be obtained utilizing oral mucosa or ears and a glucometer if the patient is amenable and the pet parent can commit to the process.
  • Freestyle libre or Dexcom devices are a great alternative freeing the pet of multiple pokes, saving the pet parent’s time, and getting serial glucose readings over days to weeks.
  • Pet parents can send these results to you through Anipanion for interpretation and guidance on insulin dosing.

Labwork Discussion

  • Routine CBCs, chemistry panels, and urinalysis are the norm for our diabetic cats and dogs.
  • Using Anipanion to relay results instead of the phone will provide your clients with a more personalized, efficient, monetized form of communication.
  • Discuss when labs are needed next.

Diet and Weight Management

  • Proper nutrition and body condition are vital to the health of diabetic patients.
  • Discuss diet types, caloric needs, and feeding regimens.
  • Create a weight loss plan if needed.
  • Have routine weigh-ins at home if possible to make sure the patient’s weight is appropriate.

Schedule in Hospital Services

  • Use your Anipanion sessions with your clients to forecast the treatment plan.
  • Alert your pet parent to when labwork is due, glucose curves are needed, and when exams and rechecks are required.
  • Forward book these appointments with your clients during Anipanion sessions.

 

Diabetic patients always need veterinary care. Utilizing telehealth in their disease management adds an additional layer of service and client personalization while monetizing your discussions and providing better patient care. Give your pet parents a virtual option and your patient’s a better medical outcome with Anipanion’s telehealth platform.

 

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