If Your Pet Has Diabetes, You May Be At Higher Risk For The Condition

Dogs bring us joy, comfort, and companionship. But according to a just-released study, dogs who have diabetes may also bring their owners a greater chance of developing the condition themselves.

Published in the journal BMJ, the study followed 208,980 dog owners and 123,566 cat owners in Sweden for an average of six years. Researchers also examined pet insurance data in the country and medical records from the Swedish National Patient Register.

After adjusting for socioeconomic factors and other variables, the researchers concluded that:

  • Dog owners who have a pet with diabetes were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than owners of a dog without diabetes.
  • Pet-owner pairs in which only the pet had diabetes were more often female and more likely to have dogs that belonged to breeds with a high risk for the disease — for example, Border collies, Samoyeds, and toy poodles.
  • Compared with dog owners without Type 2 diabetes, owners with the disease were older, more often men, and less likely to have a university degree.
  • The dog owners’ personal and socioeconomic circumstances could not help explain the shared diabetes risk of the owner-dog pairs; underlying mechanisms might include shared diabetogenic health behaviors and environmental exposures.
  • No shared risk of diabetes was found between cat owners and their pets.

While the study did not make any conclusions about the exact reasons for the link between dogs and owners with diabetes, the lead author of the study said that shared lifestyle factors between dog and owner might account for the association. 

Like humans with the condition, dogs who develop diabetes often need to receive insulin and their owners must monitor their blood sugar levels. The good news is that owners can now check their dog’s glucose levels using specialized veterinary continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices, just as their owners with diabetes can use CGM devices to keep track of their own levels.

CGM is a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes stay in control of their condition and their lives without the need for inconvenient and burdensome finger-pricking multiple times a day.

Whether you are a dog lover or not, ask your doctor about CGM and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.

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*Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings when you suspect readings may be in accurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose.

Reference 1: Data on file. Abbott Diabetes Care. 2, FreeStyle Libre 14 day User’s Manual

Indications and Important Safety Information

FreeStyle Libre and FreeStyle Libre 14 day Flash Glucose Monitoring systems are continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices indicated for replacing blood glucose testing and detecting trends and tracking patterns aiding in the detection of episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, facilitating both acute and long-term therapy adjustments in persons (age 18 and older) with diabetes. The systems are intended for single patient use and require a prescription.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Remove the sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment.

WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS: Do not ignore symptoms that may be due to low or high blood glucose, hypoglycemic unawareness, or dehydration. Check sensor glucose readings with a blood glucose meter when Check Blood Glucose symbol appears, when symptoms do not match system readings, or when readings are suspected to be inaccurate. The system does not have alarms unless the sensor is scanned, and the system contains small parts that may be dangerous if swallowed. The system is not approved for pregnant women, persons on dialysis, or critically-ill population. Sensor placement is not approved for sites other than the back of the arm and standard precautions for transmission of blood borne pathogens should be taken. The built-in blood glucose meter is not for use on dehydrated, hypotensive, in shock, hyperglycemic-hyperosmolar state, with or without ketosis, neonates, critically-ill patients, or for diagnosis or screening of diabetes. When using FreeStyle LibreLink app, access to a blood glucose monitoring system is required as the app does not provide one. Review all product information before use or contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-8658) or visit www.freestylelibre.us for detailed indications for use and safety information.html. . FreeStyle, Libre, and related brand marks are trademarks of Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. in various jurisdictions. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2018 Abbott. ADC-09691 vLO 10/18