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-   -   My sweet boy has passed... Jan 30, 2018 (http://k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7524)

dontknowwhattodo 01-23-2018 09:48 AM

My sweet boy has passed... Jan 30, 2018
 
Hi,
I'm new to these forums. A couple weeks ago, my dog had trouble getting up and his hinder legs were very weak. I took him to vet and they ran blood tests. They said that he has diabetes as well as hypothyroidism.

He's only 7 years old. Anyways. He gave me thyroid pills and insulin injections. I started him on those and the first few days went relatively ok. Now my dog absolutely refuses to eat anything. I gave him 4 different types of canned food, 2 different types of dry food, chicken breast, canned fish, cheese, peanut butter, all the stuff he used to LOVE until this week. He won't eat any of them. He will sniff them for half a second, and turn his head away in disgust.

It's been 2 days and I can't even give him insulin if he's not eating. Also, I'm on the younger side myself too and I have a terrible phobia of needles, injections, drawing blood, most medical procedures that involve cutting or piercing through the skin and this whole thing has been extremely difficult for me. My hands literally shake when I'm getting ready to give him insulin and I can't sleep at night thinking about it. There is NO way I could draw blood from him in order to monitor his glucose because I'd faint as soon as I saw his blood.

I honestly don't know what to do and I honestly think I don't have the capability to take care of a diabetic dog, especially when he refuses to eat and I have no idea what's going on. The vet said "even if he skips a meal, you can still give him half dose of insulin" but what happens when he skips like 6 meals?

Also he's a very large dog at nearly 100 pounds and since his hinder legs are weak due to diabetes, I can't just take him to vet all the time. He has great difficulty even standing up and even greater difficulty getting in my car. If he was a small breed, I could just grab him and carry him to the vet every time something goes wrong.

He's too young to be put down due to my incompetency either. I wish there was a shelter where I could put him, pay for all his medical and food expenses and they watch and monitor him. If there was such place, I'd donate money to them every month for the rest of my life. I definitely don't want to put him down and I don't know what I'm going to do. I feel like he's going to suffer until he passes because of me.

k9diabetes 01-23-2018 11:20 AM

Re: I feel like giving up
 
He should have insulin even though he's not eating - likely high blood sugar is what's affecting his appetite. And a dog who is regulated can have 1/4 to 1/3 of the regular dose of insulin even if they eat nothing at all.

So yes, please do give him at least 1/4 of the recommended dose.

How many units are you supposed to give him?

Does your dog have ketoacidosis?

That's a life threatening side effect of very high blood sugar. And if he does, he must have insulin treatment along with fluids and possibly electrolytes immediately.

I had a terrible phobia of needles too when I first wound up with a diabetic pet, my cat. I almost passed out at the thought of giving her an injection. But I was all she had in the world so I knew I had to do it.

I practiced with an orange to get used to handling the syringe and then I just forced myself to do it - their having fur makes it easier visually!

Know what? She didn't even notice!! It was so not a big deal to her!

You can do this. And it's your dog's only way to survive. If it turns out you just absolutely cannot do it (I think you can), then I would find him a home where he can be taken care of.

But first things first. Get some insulin into him even if you have to take him to the vet to get the injections for a day or two.

And don't accept No Food, No Insulin from the vet. If that's what they say, they don't know enough about caring for a diabetic dog.

Please check with the vet about the presence of ketoacidosis and pancreatitis as those things plus just high blood sugar will create problems with their appetite.

Natalie

dontknowwhattodo 01-23-2018 12:22 PM

Re: I feel like giving up
 
Thank you, I'll do that. I am getting used to the part where I'm giving injections but I don't think I can do the part where I have to draw blood from him and monitor his glucose levels. Can I use urine testing instead? We have an appointment with the vet on Friday but if his non-eating persists, I will have to take him sooner.

He drinks a lot of water, so I was thinking maybe I can try to give him liquid foods such as coconut milk or chicken broth. He might be more inclined to take them. He is not throwing up or anything, so once he eats, he is able to keep it in but the problem is to actually get him to eat in the first place.

His current dose is 22 units because he's a giant dog and his sugar level was around 600 last week. I'll try to give him 6 units and see if that helps him in the short term.

k9diabetes 01-23-2018 12:47 PM

Re: I feel like giving up
 
I think getting blood is much easier than the injection. Take a look, if you haven't already, at www.k9diabetes.com/bgtestvideos.html. There are numerous videos there of people collecting a sample of blood with their dogs.

Given you dog's size, he may have elbow calluses, which are a great place for testing - though you usually can't use a clicker and must lance by hand because the skin is thick.

The lip is a great place for using a clicker so you don't have to do the actual poking with a lance. We tested our dog there every day for four years! And there are few nerve endings in the area to test - inside upper lip about mid-area, so it doesn't hurt them. Take a look at Chris' video to see how easy it can be.

I admit this video was taken after we had tested Chris for years so it absolutely was more challenging at first. He was fidgety and I was clumsy and I thought for a while I would never get if figured out. Didn't help that I was using a meter that required a pretty large drop of blood.

Also, I had Chris lying on his tummy for the video because that made it easier to see on the video but I usually had him lie on his side so I could flip his lip back and have a more or less horizontal surface.

Natalie

k9diabetes 01-23-2018 12:54 PM

Re: I feel like giving up
 
I am thrilled to learn that you're already adjusting to the injections! Congrats! Seriously, I was a major phobe and still am with myself and needles. I quit a microbiology major in college when I realized how often I'd have to stick sharp things in animals...

That tells me you will do fine! You're up to the challenges. Believe it or not, this does get so much easier. After a while, it's just part of your day, like taking a shower or brushing your teeth, and not an event at all.

Natalie

k9diabetes 01-23-2018 12:55 PM

Re: I feel like giving up
 
Mistyped the link the first time, but I have corrected it now.

And there is a lot of general information at the main website in addition to the home testing videos: www.k9diabetes.com

Natalie

Raysaint 01-23-2018 02:05 PM

Re: I feel like giving up
 
Take a deep breath, and realize diabetes is very manageable. Once you master injecting and testing blood sugar at home (please buy a meter), then it's the same thing every day. Over the next while you'll make changes to dose and food, etc until he's regulated.

Many people have the initial fear of needles or whatever, but then they realize life depends on it, and you find the strength and calm to do it.

Please insist the vet do the test for pancreatitis and ketones. Both are dangerous and affect appetite.

You'll have to learn about carbohydrates and what foods have them and how much. Chicken broth has no carbs so it can't offset/balance insulin. Coconut milk probably has a carb content, but check for added sugar.
Diet is usually low fat, moderate protein and carbs, and good fiber.
Remember, carbs and insulin are on either side of the equation. Once you find a suitable food he'll eat, then you dose to the point where blood sugar gets regulated.

It takes time, so don't rush. Little changes week after week.

Judi 01-23-2018 06:09 PM

Re: I feel like giving up
 
my husband is terrified of needles, blood, puke, etc.

he was able to give the shots. he never tested for blood sugar. Most people on this forum do but a lot of people in the rest of the world with dogs who semi regulate pretty easily don't. It's a nice tool to have but not a requirement.

Like Natalie said, it does become a routine.

Being home every 12 hours is the hardest part. You need to teach some friends and family how to do this.

This forum was my support group. Too many people in my real world thought I was nuts so people on here talked me through things and pretty much saved my dog's life.

My husband and I had small goals: keep Jenny happy and try not to kill her.

We did it for 3 1/2 years. She died of old age not really her cushings or her diabetes. she was 14 and a half

If you want to, you can do this. This group of people is the most non-judgemental on the internet. All because of Natalie and the kind knowledgeable people who volunteer their time and energy and experience.

If it absolutely gets to be too much reach out to some rescue groups.

And please keep us posted and post pictures!

Someone on another message board I used to frequent had a personal motto "You can do hard things" She was right. you can.

Judi

Reddogg 01-23-2018 06:25 PM

Re: I feel like giving up
 
I,m so sorry to hear about Your Pup as Natalie said the calluses on the front leg elbows are a wonderful place to stick the lancet and get a drop of blood
My Pup is on the larger side and I use a 25 gauge lancet as she has thick skin
You would think they feel the prick but I just rub Her leg around the callus and she sticks her leg out and isn't bothered a bit by it . It's a good Idea to get the dog laying down in a comfy position and make sure YOU have enough light to see the droplet starting it doesn't take but a very small amount to get a good reading I am still struggling to get my Girl regulated after 6 months so You can imagine I stick her an average of 5 times a day and it's become 2nd nature for her and myself
As Raysaint said take a breath Trust me I took his advice 6 months ago and it works . I was plenty freaked out at first but now I'm on a mission to get my Pup back to normal living
These Folks here are awesome in helping get You on the right path stick with it an it becomes rewarding for the Pup first off and for Yourself for toughing thru it
Good luck to the Two of Ya
Dogg

dontknowwhattodo 01-23-2018 07:57 PM

Re: I feel like giving up
 
Thank you everybody for your insights and support!

It's been 48 hours since he last ate anything. He won't even look at food. I offered him so many different things (wet, dry, home cooked...etc) and he refused every single one of them. I'm taking him to vet tomorrow and they will run some tests on him. Last week when they diagnosed him with diabetes I asked them to run the full panel of blood tests and I believe they already checked for pancreatitis and ketones. Unless those things developed between last week and now, he shouldn't have either.

I still feel uncomfortable about running blood tests myself but I might just be able to hire a vet technician to come once a day and check his blood if it comes down to that. Luckily I work from home most of the time so I'm able to attend to most of his needs and I can easily take him to vet whenever. Tomorrow we'll find out if the insulin I've been giving him has been working and what to do about it. I just hope I can find a way to increase his appetite REAL soon. The only thing he takes is water. I couldn't even get him to drink milk just to get some calories into him.


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