January 10, 2018

AAHA Releases Updated Diabetes Management Guidelines

The American Animal Hospital Association has released its 2018 Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.
By Amanda Carrozza
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has released an updated version of its Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. The 21-page document provides important revisions and additions to the 2010 guidelines. The new guidelines provide background information on diabetes plus details on diagnostics, treatment (including insulin types), and monitoring.

AAHA placed particular emphasis in the new guidelines on empowering veterinary technicians to be a primary source of education and support for owners of diabetic pets. “Anything AAHA can do to help motivated, empowered technicians educate and support clients will be an asset to everyone managing diabetic pets,” said AAHA CEO Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (Emeritus).

Amy Holford, VMD, DACVIM, who serves as co-chair on the Diabetes Management Guidelines Task Force, agrees. “Diabetes management is nowhere near as successful without our technician’s input and help,” she said. “Our jobs are so much easier when our technicians feel empowered and can dramatically help us with our patient management and client care.”

The updated guidelines include:
  • Quick-reference algorithms on responding to hypoglycemia as well as diabetes monitoring and troubleshooting.
  • New information on commercially available insulin formulations and recommendations for their use.
  • Recommendations for home monitoring of diabetes.
  • Information on non-insulin therapeutic agents and treatment modalities.
  • The implications of identifying patients at risk for developing diabetes and how to monitor and treat them.
In addition to the guidelines, AAHA encourages veterinary staff to educate clients on diabetes care and management through tools available on its new online resource center. The website includes articles, videos, and handouts covering a variety of diabetes-related topics, including how to administer insulin, how to collect urine, and smart phone apps that can be used to track a diabetic pet’s response to treatment.

A complete PDF version of the guidelines guidelines is available here. AAHA stresses that the guidelines should be treated as such and are not intended to establish a standard of care or dictate protocol. The group also notes that additional research is needed to document some of the included recommendations.

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