Friday, November 14, 2014

World Diabetes Day: November 14 2014

Today, November 14th, is World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes mellitus world and is held on November 14 of each year (1). It was introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to the alarming rise of human diabetes around the world.

World Diabetes Day is a campaign that features a new theme chosen by the International Diabetes Federation each year to address issues facing the global diabetes community. This year's campaign theme is "Healthy Living and Diabetes"(1).

While the campaigns last the whole year, the day itself marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922 (2). You can also find out more about Frederick Banting in Wouter de Herder's review Heroes in Endocrinology: Nobel Prizes (3).

Charles H. Best and Frederick G. Banting (on right) with one of the diabetic dogs used in their studies of insulin

In the past few years, diabetes rates among our pets in the U.S. have increased roughly 33% among dogs and 16% among the nation's cat population, per a national analysis of pet health (4). This emphasizes the importance of this disorder in our cats and dogs as well as human patients with diabetes. To successfully manage diabetes in animals, one must understand the disease and monitor and provide daily treatments to the cat or dog with diabetes. Treatment involves a combination of weight loss (if obese), diet, and insulin injections generally twice daily.

  1. World Diabetes Day – Official website.
  2. Frederick Grant Banting (1891-1941), codiscoverer of insulin. Journal of the American Medical Association 1966;198:660-661. 
  3. de Herder WW. Heroes in endocrinology: Nobel Prizes. Endocr Connect. 2014;3:R94-R104. doi: 10.1530/EC-14-0070. 
  4. Washburn L. Human health risks on the rise in animals. The Record. April 20, 2011. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dr. Peterson Presented with Outstanding Speaker of the Year Award

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Dr. Peterson was awarded the Outstanding Speaker of the Year Award on Saturday, October 11 at the New York State Veterinary Conference Celebration Dinner. 

The award was presented to him by the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Peterson celebrates by dancing with Jennifer Mauer of the NY State VMS. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

On Wednesday, October 8, 2014, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) will conduct its Eighth Annual Pet Obesity Awareness Day survey in an effort to more accurately determine the exact number of pets in the United States that are overweight or obese. Pet owners and veterinarians are encouraged to participate in the study.

Please visit the APOP website to learn more, as well as to participate in this important study.

Association for Pet Obesity Prevention website.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Your Thyroid: What You Need to Know

I came across this information sheet about "Your Thyroid," which came from the Hormone Health Network.  Although very simplistic, this still makes it clear that the thyroid gland and it's thyroid hormone secretion is very important for overall body function.  It also helps clarify the regulatory feedback system between the pituitary gland (secreting TSH) and the thyroid gland (secreting T4 and T3).  

For more information and fact sheets about specific thyroid diseases, click here. To learn more about other endocrine glands and their diseases, visit the Hormone Health Network website at

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dr. Peterson Interviewed in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Peterson was interviewed for the September issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

The interview provides some interesting insights into Dr. Peterson's career, his own cats, and his aspirations and goals as he continues his research.

Click here to download and read the full interview.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dr. Peterson Interviewed for Dog Fancy Article About Insulin Pen for Dogs

Dr. Peterson was interviewed for the September 2014 issue of Dog Fancy (pictured above). Merck Animal Health has just received approval from the FDA to sell their VetPen product, the first insulin injection pen available for diabetic dogs and cats, and Dr. Peterson weighed in on the benefits of such an easy-to-use device.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Celebrate the Seventh Annual World Thyroid Day

It's not just cats and dogs that develop thyroid disease. Approximately 750 million people worldwide are affected by thyroid disorders, and the Seventh Annual World Thyroid Day, being held this weekend, has 5 major goals, say the organizations who support it. These include the American Thyroid Association (ATA), the European Thyroid Association, the Asia Oceania Thyroid Association, and the Latin American Thyroid Society.

The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body's metabolism and influence every cell, tissue, and organ in the body, they point out. Hypothyroidism is characterized by symptoms of fatigue, depression, and forgetfulness, while hyperthyroidism is associated with irritability, nervousness, and muscle weakness.

The aims of World Thyroid Day are the following:
  • Increase awareness of thyroid health. 
  • Promote understanding of advances made in treating thyroid diseases. 
  • Emphasize the prevalence of thyroid diseases. 
  • Focus on the urgent need for education and prevention programs.
  • Expand awareness of new treatment modalities.
The thyroid gland, butterfly-shaped and located in the middle of the lower neck, produces hormones that influence every cell, tissue and organ in the body. The thyroid hormones regulate the body's metabolism—the rate at which the body produces energy from nutrients and oxygen—and affects critical body functions, such as energy level and heart rate.

The thyroid also plays a critical role during pregnancy, the thyroid societies explain. Consequently, the ATA recommends that pregnant women at high risk for thyroid disease should have their thyroid function tested early in their pregnancy. Another important issue is thyroid cancer, which is rapidly increasing, according to the ATA, which says there were 44,670 new cases of thyroid cancer recorded in 2010 in the United States.

But when thyroid cancer is identified and treated early, "the majority of patients can be completely cured," the American Thyroid Association stresses. The organization also notes that it is important to distinguish thyroid cancer from benign thyroid nodules, which are common in the population.

Patient education on human thyroid conditions can be found on the ATA website at