Ongoing research into canine and feline diabetes can provide answers to this common pet malady.

Diabetes is a common disease in dogs and cats, and one that demands constant management. Pet owners must vigilantly take care of their diabetic companions to ensure the best possible quality of life. A lot of research is currently being done on diabetes in animals, with the aim of understanding the disease better and making it less challenging to manage. Let’s have a look at some of this noteworthy research. 

Diabetes research in dogs

  • Preclinical testing of an artificial pancreas has shown promising results for coping with canine diabetes. Consisting of a glucose sensor and insulin pump, the artificial pancreas has software that can be used to calculate the amount of insulin required by the animal. Research is ongoing, and improvements are being made to the hardware and software.
  • Novel genome sequencing technologies have the potential to expose new diabetes genes in veterinary species. Recent research by the Canine Diabetes Genetic Partnership has identified novel and potentially functional genetic variants that have a connection with canine diabetes risk. Some of these variants are found in genes associated with exocrine pancreatic function. 
  • Specific stem cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), can now be isolated from canine blood samples and used to cure diabetes. This has breakthrough significance because these iPSCs can potentially be programmed by introducing specific sets of genes into them. 

Diabetes research in cats

  • In an attempt to better understand and manage diabetes, researchers have discovered important information about Nesfatin-1 levels in diabetic cats. Nesfatin-1 is a protein of interest in both humans and animals. Elevated Nesfatin-1 levels are linked with insulin resistance in diabetic and obese people. Research has also revealed that Nesfatin-1 levels are decreased in cats receiving diabetes treatment. 
  • A University of Pennsylvania gene therapy program has produced a protein that can be used in place of insulin in diabetic cats. The usual requirement for diabetes management in cats is two insulin injections per day. However, with the novel protein SB-009, only one injection per day will suffice.
  • A new research direction in feline diabetes management focuses on using dietary change to cause disease remission. The research involves using different combinations of low carbohydrate diets in diabetic cats, and the results have been promising. 

Tools from PetTest

While this rigorous research aims to make the life of diabetic dogs and cats better, tools that are helpful for diabetes management are already available. PetTest is a subsidiary of Pharma Supply Inc, which has been offering pet-based diabetes products since 2015.

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