I often hear that people aren’t told that it’s important to adhere to a strict 12 hour schedule now that their pup is Diabetic. I was one of those people that were told by the vet that diagnosed my Max that I could feed him whatever and whenever I wanted and just inject him after he ate. Well, at least he got the last part right (inject after his meal). The rest didn’t make sense to me, being that insulin is prescribed twice a day that would make it a 12 hour medication right? So, I asked the question, “Shouldn’t it be given twice a day, 12 hours apart?” Let’s just say that this vet didn’t like to be questioned… at ALL!
Let’s start with that fact, that insulin is a 12 hour medication. It stands to reason that you would give it every 12 hours. Since you need to feed before you inject, that means that you need to feed and inject every 12 hours. Are you with me so far? There will always be that situation where you won’t be home at exactly the 12 hour mark, so you have one hour of wiggle room on either side of that 12 hour mark. That means that there must be at least 11 hours between injections. I’ll say that again because it’s important, there MUST be at least 11 hours in between injections. There can be up to 13 hours between injections if you aren’t home in time for the 12 hours.
Obviously, 12 hours is best, but some days stuff happens. Now if you miss the 13 hours, you can feed and inject after that time-frame, but you must alter your next injection so that there is at least 11 hours before your next injection. Let’s say for example that you are on a 7am and 7pm schedule. The morning meal and injection go as planned. You’re at work and an end of day meeting runs long and then you get stuck in traffic, now its 8:30 pm before you get home. You will feed and inject at 8:30 because your pup needs to eat and get his/her insulin. The next morning, you must make sure that there is at least 11 hours between injections so you will not feed and inject until 7:30 or 8:00am. You will be back on track at 7pm that evening.
Given that you have the one hour “wiggle room” on either side of the 12 hour mark, you will be back on track fairly quickly. Ideally, we stay with the 12 hours, but sometimes, life just gets in the way. We keep the injections at least 11 hours apart so that we don’t have insulin overlap. We don’t want our insulin doses to overlap each other. We want to be sure that the last dose is about done or completely done before we inject again. You’ve worked really hard to make progress with this disease and don’t want to mess with that!
So, in short, if you have a situation where you are a bit off schedule, don’t panic or freak out, just alter accordingly to get back on track. In most cases, it doesn’t take more than a day or two to get back to your regular schedule.
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