Animated Duo, Sugar & Spike Educate Pet Owners on Diabetes Recognition, Diagnosis and Management.
Madison, NJ, November 6, 2017 – November is Pet Diabetes Month, and to raise awareness of diabetes in pets, Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada) has launched Care & Control of Pet Diabetes Featuring Sugar & Spike, a global educational program to provide pet owners with the tools they need to help manage their pets’ diabetes. The initiative features an animated cat and dog duo, Sugar and Spike, who share information about the clinical signs of pet diabetes and how to work with a veterinarian to develop a treatment plan. “Recognizing the clinical signs of diabetes is the first step to successfully managing your pet’s condition,” said Mario Cabrera, Executive Director, US Marketing Companion Animal & Equine, Merck Animal Health. “If you notice excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss despite good appetite, speak with your veterinarian, who can test your pet for diabetes and, if diagnosed, provide you with an individualized plan to care for your pet. Depending on your pet’s needs, this may include a prescribed diet, exercise, blood sugar monitoring and an insulin injection routine.i”
The Sugar and Spike website (www.SugarandSpike.com) features a short quiz to educate pet owners about the signs of diabetes, as well as a downloadable checklist to bring to veterinarian appointments.
Diabetes is one of the most common endocrine conditions found in dogs and cats, and the prevalence is rising.i,ii,iv Since 2006, the number of cats and dogs diagnosed with diabetes in the United States has grown by an average of 49 percent.iv If left untreated, pet diabetes can result in serious complications, including hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, diabetic ketoacidosis, cataracts (dogs) and nerve damage in the hind legs (cats). In addition to recognizing signs of diabetes and managing high blood sugar, it is important to avoid low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. Common causes of low blood sugar in diabetics include giving too much insulin and missing or delaying meals.
“As pet owners ourselves, we at Merck Animal Health understand that dogs and cats are an important part of our families. Their health and welfare is our top priority, and we are committed to providing pet owners with resources to properly care for their four-legged family members, especially those living with chronic health conditions like diabetes,” said Madeleine Stahl, DVM, Associate Director, Scientific Marketing Affairs, Merck Animal Health. “With the right veterinary care and a diabetes management plan that fits their needs, pets with diabetes can live happy, healthy lives.”
For more information on pet diabetes and tips to help you manage your pet’s disease, visit the initiative’s new website, www.SugarandSpike.com. If you suspect that your pet may have diabetes, speak with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
About Merck Animal Health
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.
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iAVMA. (2016). Diabetes in Pets. American Veterinary Medical Association. https://avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Diabetes-in-Pets.aspx iiFleeman, LM, Rand, JS. Beyond insulin therapy: Achieving optimal control in diabetic dogs. Waltham FOCUS 2005; 15:12-19. iiiData on file at MSD Animal Health. (2013). Survey conducted in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and U.S. ivBanfield Pet Hospital. (2016). State of Pet Health® 2016 Report. Portland, OR. http://www.banfield.com/Banfield/media/PDF/Downloads/soph/Banfield-State-of-Pet-Health-Report-2016.pdf.