More Than 2,000 Veterinarians from Around the World Gather to Learn the Latest in Diagnosis and Treatment at NAVC’s Virtual Diabetes Summit March 16, 2021


Note: This article contains information that is considered out of date.


Diabetes is rising faster in pets than in humans, with more than half a million cats and dogs diagnosed with diabetes each year. Learning important clinical signs of diabetes and how to design a treatment plan that’s best for each cat or dog will be the focus of a virtual global summit hosted by the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) March 16. More than 2,000 veterinarians from around the world are planning to attend the virtual event where they can take what they learn back to their clinics and put into practice to enhance and prolong the lives of cats and dogs everywhere.

Cynthia Ward, VMD, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM), internist, reproductive endocrinology specialist, and Professor Emerita at the University of Georgia will present a comprehensive look into diabetes in dogs and cats including diagnosis, patient considerations when designing a treatment plan and monitoring techniques. Boehringer Ingelheim is sponsoring the NAVC Virtual Diabetes Summit, which is free for all veterinary professionals who wish to attend.

“Throughout my career, I have studied diabetes. I am so excited to share my learnings and experiences with thousands of veterinarians so they are better equipped and more knowledgeable on how to diagnose and treat this disease,” said Dr. Ward. “Diabetes can be managed through a careful routine of diet, exercise and insulin injections. Treatment can be challenging since each animal’s response varies so we will look at many different ways to develop individualized treatment plans.”

Dr. Dana Varble, NAVC Chief Veterinary Officer, will host the summit and offers the following information for pet parents and veterinarians to recognize the most common signs of diabetes and treatment options.

Signs to look for:
● Increased appetite
● Weight loss
● Excessive thirst and increased water drinking
● Urinates frequently or begins having accidents in the house
● Cloudy eyes (dogs only)
● Decreased energy or fatigue
● Decreased appetite
● Increased or recurring infections

Management and Treatment:
● With obesity being a leading cause of feline diabetes, regular exercise, dietary changes and feeding routines are essential to maintaining weight
● Regular glucose monitoring
● Frequent visits to your veterinarian to assess your pet’s condition and recommend treatment modifications
● Explore new innovations in diabetes management and monitoring allowing veterinarians and pet owners to work together as a team
● Minimize instances of stressful situations
● Be aware of and treat other diseases and infections your pet may have

“Diabetes in animals is very similar to the disease we see in humans, and just like with people, your pet’s diabetes is also manageable. With time, proper care and dedication to a daily routine, your pet can live a quality, happy life,” said Dr. Varble. “Left untreated, the effects of diabetes are life-threatening, which is why it is so important for pet parents to identify potential symptoms early and contact their veterinarian with any concerns regarding their animal’s health.”

The NAVC Virtual Diabetes Summit is part of the NAVC’s new, interactive year-round virtual learning events including summits, seminars and a live webinar series.

Participating veterinarians will earn three hours of continuing education.