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-   -   Natalie's Chris (http://k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6)

k9diabetes 03-10-2008 09:46 PM

Natalie's Chris
 
As I write this, Chris is approaching his 14th birthday and has been diabetic for more than four years. He has many health problems - truly, it's a miracle that he's still with us. An expensive medical miracle! His diabetes is not one of those problems. Even though Chris was difficult to regulate at first, we found a regimen that works for him and his diabetes management has been on cruise control for a couple of years.

Chris uses an unusual insulin. He did not respond well to the lente insulin that was tried first (Humulin L, a human insulin that is no longer available; Vetsulin/Caninsulin is a lente insulin also). He responded very well to NPH insulin but was allergic to it. So he wound up on Regular, which is human insulin with nothing added. That makes it a faster acting insulin. It lasts about six hours and he gets four meals and injections a day, six hours apart.

To learn more about Chris' road to regulation, please see his case study.


http://www.randomfierce.com/images/chrisicon.jpg


We were fortunate that I have a flexible schedule, which makes Chris' every-six-hours routine possible. It has allowed us to give Chris fairly tight regulation of his diabetes. If we couldn't manage this schedule, as many people can't, we probably would have had to let his blood sugar run higher.

We aim to keep Chris' blood sugar in the 100s. Not that we always succeed. Especially these days as his age and many other medications sometimes make that challenging. But he spends most of his time with blood sugar in the 100s.

This tight regulation is made possible by home blood glucose testing. We use primarily a OneTouch Ultra that has been compared many many times with lab values and is a pretty consistent 30 points lower than the actual blood glucose value.

We test on the inside of Chris' upper lip. He's great about this - doesn't mind it at all even though, because of his schedule, we must test fairly often.

I check his blood sugar before three of his four meals a day and base his insulin dose on his blood sugar. Since there's nothing added to his insulin to slow down its absorption, he uses a very small dose more frequently.

Usually about 7 units per injection. He has needed as much as 10 units and as little as 5 units at various time, depending on his health, his diet, and his other medications.

Because his veterinarians did not understand the problems Chris was having with Humulin L, his diabetes was very poorly controlled for about a year. He started to have problems in March 2004, when his pancreas' ability to produce insulin finally gave out completely, and by July 2004 he was blind from diabetes-induced cataracts. This is the primary side effect that Chris has had to endure from his diabetes. He adjusted well to blindness and we opted not to have cataract surgery done because of his many other health problems.

Chris never let his blindness slow him down. Point him in a direction and off he goes. He figures we will watch out for obstacles. He continued to comb riverbanks and even swim on a long lead after losing his sight.

Chris never does anything the way a dog is supposed to so his road to regulation of diabetes was a bumpy one, just like his start in life. He came from a county pound as a puppy with fleas, ticks, worms, and kennel cough. After those started to clear up, we learned about his congenital heart defect (patent ductus arteriosis or PDA). At six months, he was too tired to walk to the end of the block because the heart defect was robbing him of oxygen. At about 8 months, the PDA was surgically repaired and Chris turned into a happy energetic puppy who was thrilled to suddenly feel so good. There was some damage to his heart from his months with the defect - his stamina and tolerance of hot temperatures were low. But he never let that slow him down and his only other periodic problem was allergies that made him itchy.

It was treatment for the allergies with Temaril-P, a combination of anti-histamine and steroid, that led to his diabetes diagnosis. The day of his diagnosis, his blood sugar was 478 mg/dL, quite a bit higher than the normal 80-120.

Chris is an old dog these days but is happy and well regulated and has survived his many health problems - he has severe heart problems, some arthritis, and chronic lung inflammation - no doubt in part because we have regulated his diabetes as tightly as possible. It was a challenge to get there but definitely worth it!

k9diabetes 03-17-2008 12:57 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
  • Name - Chris
  • Age - will be 14 at the end of March 2008
  • Breed - not certain, most likely Australian shepherd/terrier mix, DNA test pending may give us some answers
  • Weight -62-65 pounds
  • Date diagnosed with diabetes - September 2003
  • Type of insulin and how often given - Regular four times a day every six hours
  • Diet - Canidae canned chicken, lamb, and fish mixed with an equal portion of ground chicken or beef, 1 small milkbone after injection
  • Method of monitoring - regular home blood glucose testing, usually at least 3 times per day
  • Other medical issues - many... Heart: dilated cardiomyopathy, mitral valve disease, atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contractions. Chronic lung disease (noninfectious inflammation). Also arthritis, blindness caused by diabetes induced cataracts, and some allergies.
_____________

August 2008

Chris' story ended at 2:30pm Friday August 1, 2008.

He lived with diabetes for just a month short of five of his almost 14 and a half years and was blind for the last four years.

If all he ever had to deal with was diabetes, he would still be here. His blood sugar was well controlled right up to his last day. What he couldn't overcome was a severely damaged heart and then cancer.

Never ever let anyone tell you that a diabetic dog cannot live a long healthy happy life. Diabetes, even as difficult as Chris' was to manage at first, was a challenge, yes, but not an insurmountable one even with all of Chris' quirks.

Mike Vee 07-04-2008 09:02 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Chris reminds me very much of a dog I had as a boy.
I could look into his soul by looking him in the eyes.
He sure looks like a happy guy!
Mikey

k9diabetes 07-04-2008 09:37 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Well, several hundred dollars later, two DNA tests could not figure out what breeds Chris contains!! :eek:

Apparently, he's such a mixed up mix that there are no identifiable patterns for any of the 130 some breeds tested for.

I always knew that boy was an alien!

Natalie

k9diabetes 08-07-2010 03:54 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Just a note to say how much we miss you guy... you are always in my thoughts.

Natalie

Patty 08-10-2010 01:34 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Awe, Natalie...thinking of you on the anniversary of Chris' passing.

Patty

Patty 07-31-2011 10:10 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Another year has passed and I know Chris will always hold a special part of your heart, Natalie.

http://www.randomfierce.com/canines/chrisgazeweb.jpg

Just wanted to say we are thinking of you and especially offering thanks for all that you and Chris have taught us.

Patty

bgdavis 08-01-2011 05:33 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Remembering Chris. He had such an expressive face.

Bonnie and Angel Criss

Abby's Mom 08-01-2011 06:57 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Patty (Post 52214)

Just wanted to say we are thinking of you and especially offering thanks for all that you and Chris have taught us.

Patty


I second that... thanks so much for what you and Chris have done for everyone else who are on this forum. I personally do not know where I would be today, if not for you and the others.

He will be forever in your heart, and will NEVER be forgotten.

Judi 08-01-2011 07:56 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
wanted to add my thanks to everything you and Chris have taught us. He was a doll. xoxo Judi

jesse girl 08-01-2011 08:05 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
chris has helped so many other dogs with diabetes and jesse is one of them without him telling you in subtle ways on how to help others with this site is just amazing his legacy will last a very long time

k9diabetes 08-01-2011 01:50 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
I can't believe it's been three years. Sometimes it feels like yesterday he was here and sometimes it seems like he's been gone forever...

We miss you so much Chris and were honored to be part of your life.

http://www.randomfierce.com/canines/muddychrisweb.jpg

Even when, as a young dog, you dug a mudbath in the backyard and then couldn't understand why you couldn't come in! LOL - would hate to have Chris thought of as entirely dignified!

Natalie

Patty 08-01-2011 02:53 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
LOL, looks like he had a little 'fun' that day Natalie. ;):D

Patty 07-30-2012 06:22 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
From Chewy's thread today:
Quote:

Originally Posted by k9diabetes (Post 82331)
We had two weeks between our diabetic dog's cancer diagnosis and his abrupt decline due to bleeding from the cancer. We were just talking about him last night - reducing my husband and I to tears in the middle of IHOP and he's been gone four years.

For some reason Chris' date of Aug 1st stays with me Natalie and I think of you each year. Hugs to both of you.

Patty

pomermi 07-30-2012 07:44 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Thank you so much for using Chris's memory as a way to help others like him. I have no doubt he was a wonderful baby.

bgdavis 08-02-2012 05:39 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Natalie,

I meant to write yesterday on the anniversary of Chirs' crossing to the Bridge, but was ill myself and wasn't near a computer.

I will always remember your boy. He was such an inspiration to all of us and you took such wonderful care of him.

I hope he is chasing furry things and eating 'hammies' by the dozen.

Bonnie and Angel Criss Ann

k9diabetes 08-04-2013 01:31 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Just passed the fifth year without our Christopher. We still miss you and think about you every day.

Chris, your neighbor buddy Herry passed away a few months ago and we sent her mom and dad a card with a picture of your nose and paws on it and let them know we would miss her as well.

Natalie

momofdecker 08-04-2013 02:07 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Love the mud bath picture. The timing is ironic as Kinser is standing outside barking to come into the house. He's not allowed in at the moment because on our hike he decided to go swamp swimming just as we neared the end. Will be hosing him down shortly :)

Thank you for sharing Chris with all of us and for creating this site. His memory lives on every day! Though I never knew him in this life, the help he has passed along is something I'll always be thankful for.

Judi 08-04-2013 02:09 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Chris (and you) left a lifetime legacy. But I know you'd rather have him. hugs, Judi

bgdavis 08-04-2013 02:11 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Natalie,

I will always have a place in my heart for your Chris. Seems like it was only yesterday that he left us. Five years is a long time, but goes past so quickly.

Hugs,
Bonnie and Angel Criss Ann

jesse girl 08-04-2013 02:32 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
it was chrisis story that got me to think outside the box for jesse

which i believe is why she is still here today

many thanks to you and chris

his legacy will probably outlive us all

Abby's Mom 08-05-2013 06:47 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Natalie,

Thinking of you, the feeling of loss never goes away. Through you, Chris has helped so many. A beautiful way to keep his memory.

Barb

k9diabetes 08-16-2013 09:02 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Thanks for your notes all. It is unnerving that so much time can have passed already.

I was just talking about him this morning to someone who really wants a large, active breed of dog but who is never home.

I was telling him how Chris seemed like the last dog who would be hopelessly depressed being left with a pet sitter while we went on a two-week vacation. But there he was so sad and pathetic when we got back (he was young then, two or three years old) that it took him most of a week to recover! We promised him that day that we would never leave him behind again and we never did.

That and the story of Jack's back and reactive issues, which severely limit how much we can travel, were meant to hopefully convey the reality that adopting a dog or even buying one is a lot like having kids... you have all kinds of expectations about what they will be like and what you will be able to do together. We thought Jack would be able to go on long hikes and travel around the country... But even if you select very carefully, you don't know what exactly you will get and you need to be able to love that dog and meet his or her needs regardless.

Natalie

Patty 08-22-2013 06:31 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Natalie, I know it must still seem like yesterday and I can't imagine 5 years passing without Ali but dogs just simply don't live long enough IMO! Thinking of you.

Quote:

But even if you select very carefully, you don't know what exactly you will get and you need to be able to love that dog and meet his or her needs regardless.
This is a large part of why I haven't jumped into getting another dog yet. I know the demands on my life right now and time is limited. Though I miss the companionship very much.

k9diabetes 08-01-2014 01:46 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Six years ago today Christopher... we miss you every day and talk about you all the time. Such a sweet and tolerant dog.

Natalie

jesse girl 08-01-2014 01:53 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
me and jesse were not on the forum at the time Chris was present but i read his thread from top to bottom and did take some of that knowledge which was incorporated into jesses routine (a peace of the puzzle ) so i feel a part of chris lives in jesse and we will be forever grateful to you and chris

Judi 08-01-2014 02:43 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Chris has saved so many lives. But I know you'd rather have him. hugs

Charlie's mom 08-01-2014 06:26 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Natalie thank you to you and Chris for helping us all help/save our dogs

momofdecker 08-01-2014 08:03 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
I would love to have known Chris. Read his story several times early on in our journey and have watched a video of him navigating around blind many times.

I have no doubt you advocating for something more than sub-standard regulation gave Chris many more years with you. Many more memories to hold on to. He was a lucky pup with an amazing owner.

His story continues on here every single day as he helps so many other owners and their dogs navigate through their own journeys.

Patty 08-01-2014 08:24 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Thinking of you and Jeff Natalie. Chris was one in a million!

I saw this today and loved it. No two paw prints alike either...

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.n...24830656_n.jpg

jebsmom 08-02-2014 04:39 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
What a wonderful life you gave Chris and he gave you. And you continue to help so many dogs and people in his honor. I will forever be grateful to you.
Glennys

Abby's Mom 08-03-2014 12:08 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Thinking of you Natalie. Your legacy for Chris has helped so many... thankful for all that you do and Chris will never be forgotten.

Barb

bgdavis 08-04-2014 05:18 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Remembering Chris and how you were able to meet his every need. It's amazing how time marches onward.

Miss you Chris and stories of you and 'hammies'. Say 'Hi' to my Crissy Ann too!

Hugs,
Bonnie and Angel Criss

k9diabetes 08-01-2015 02:21 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Wishing Mr. Christopher a lovely cool roll in the grass and a hammie with bacon. Miss you big guy... saw a dog today who reminded me of you.

Natalie

Abby's Mom 08-04-2015 12:19 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Thinking of you Natalie - 7 years. Where does the time go... but they never stray to far from the mind, and never the heart.

Barb

k9diabetes 08-02-2016 12:31 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Another year gone by... seems impossible that this forum could be eight years old and Chris gone eight years now.

We still talk about him all the time, if only to contrast Chris' tolerance of anything and everything in the world with Jack's somewhat less tolerant personality...

And Jack has now been to see Chris' wonderful cardiologist... bittersweet on multiple levels.

Since I've been volunteering at the shelter, we often talk about how lucky Chris was to make it out of a shelter given his severe congenital heart defect. My husband says that when he and his daughter went to look for a dog to adopt, the shelter worker tried to steer them in another direction but they had already seen Chris and wanted to meet him. He doesn't know if Chris was officially up for adoption or if they stumbled into the wrong area... Chris needed surgery a few months after he was adopted to survive. I hope the shelter would have performed it.

Fortunately, for Chris and for us, they met Chris, named him after the shelter worker who introduced them, and brought him home. And then gave him the lifesaving surgery he needed.

It would have been an incredible waste of a wonderful dog if he had not made it out of the shelter and we loved every minute we had with him.

Natalie

jesse girl 08-02-2016 05:51 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
its funny to look back and see how everything unfolded that brought chris into the family

it was probably more of a gift for you guys even with all the other challenges but i am sure chris was extremely happy to find and go home with a caring family

bgdavis 08-04-2016 06:30 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
I will always remember Chris and hold his memory in my heart. He's right there with my Criss and Dinks.

Hugs to you Nat.

Bonnie and Angel Criss Ann

k9diabetes 08-04-2016 10:09 PM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Same with me for Crissy....

bgdavis 08-15-2017 06:00 AM

Re: Natalie's Chris
 
Nat,

So sorry I let the anniversary of Chris's passing to slip by me. I will always remember your kindness and help and Chris's love of "sammies".


Bonnie and Angel Criss Ann


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