Case Study

The Diabetic Remission Clinic (DRC) at the Royal Veterinary College is a dedicated clinic for small animal patients, based at the College’s Queen Mother Hospital for Animals.

The DRC conducts clinical trials into the optimum treatment for pet diabetes, whilst helping individual pets achieve the best possible treatment result. These trials therefore not only help individual pets and their owners, but also contribute to the wider veterinary understanding on the best methods of achieving excellent diabetic control, and even remission (‘cure’), in cats and dogs.

RVC trial

A recent trial examined factors associated with diabetic remission (being able to stop insulin treatment) in diabetic cats. One of the animals to benefit from the trial was a cat called Maddy. She is one cat of several cats who have successfully stopped insulin therapy under the care of the DRC.

Maddy was diagnosed with diabetes two months before being seen at the clinic, but she had made a poor response to insulin treatment and had already been tested for the disease acromegaly, which can also cause diabetes in cats. As part of the DRC’s trial, Maddy had access to a longer-acting insulin type before it was commercially available in the UK. Also, with the help of the DRC's staff, Maddy's owners learnt how to test her blood glucose at home, which allowed her diabetes to be better regulated and helped to monitor her for dangerous hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar) episodes.

Within two months of treatment through the trial, Maddy was able to stop her daily insulin injections and enter prolonged diabetic remission. Commenting on the success of the trial, Maddy’s owner Jane Sweeney said: "I'm very grateful to the Diabetic Remission Clinic Team at the Royal Veterinary College. Maddy has made an amazing transformation and is like a kitten again. We have a very, very happy cat, thanks to the care and dedication of the team."

Pioneering Pet Diabetes App from the RVC

The RVC team has created a revolutionary and free Pet Diabetes App, which brings veterinary diabetes management into the 21st century and aids research into the condition. The innovation was supported by the Rumba Foundation, which assists projects benefiting companion animal health.

The App is designed to ensure that pets with diabetes enjoy a good quality of life. It allows owners to help control their pet’s diabetes by recording factors that are important indicators of success or failure in diabetes treatment and control.

Information gathered by the App enables the patient’s veterinarian to fine-tune its diabetes management, thus reducing complications associated with low and high blood glucose.

A Diabetes Log feature allows owners to record, and easily share with their vet, parameters and clinical signs that are essential to monitor for diabetes management. These include weight, appetite, thirst and urination changes, as well as urine and blood sugar values where applicable.

The App also features a medication reminder function, a reminder to change insulin injection sites, a scientifically validated tool which calculates and monitors quality of life, a scientifically validated tool to score the pet’s clinical signs (the Diabetic Clinical Score), and a tool to calculate the number of calories and amount of food each pet needs. The App also has space for owners to save useful information, such as contact details for their veterinary practice, and questions they would like to ask their vet.

The App is available for download onto smartphones and tablets, from Android ( and iPhone App stores (

More information on the activities of the clinic, current research, and independent evidence-based information on diabetes can be found on the clinic’s Facebook page.

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