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Diabetes and Regulation in General The big picture of managing and regulating a dog's diabetes

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Old 04-25-2011, 11:09 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
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Default Re: Hattie's diagnosis

I haven't had a chance to read through today's discussion in detail but have a couple of thoughts after a brief skimming of it.

First, this might sound crazy to you right now but I've seen a lot of people who would fall down to the ground in thanks if their dogs' blood sugar ever consistently fell into the mid-200s. Harry's mom, Yunhee, is one who didn't see numbers that good for months because Harry has a lot of other health issues that have made him very difficult to regulate.

And Harry's vets are really great - he has a regular GP vet and an internal medicine specialist - but neither one of them was the one who understood the interplay of food and insulin well enough to formulate a plan that worked for Harry. A holistic practitioner who understood how adjusting diet and the timing of insulin and exercise was the one who figured out a plan that significantly improved Harry's blood sugar through some simple diet changes and timing changes.

Dogs don't have to have perfect blood sugar to live long healthy happy lives. I've seen a lot of dogs who never got blood sugar lower than the 200s and they did absolutely great.

Is it worth trying to get the blood sugar lower? Yes. Absolutely.

But if it never gets any better, it won't be the end of the world - or your dog's life or happiness.

And it definitely is not a reason to panic and rush to change the dose.

It is much much better to take the time to sort out what's going on with Hattie all day instead of at just one point in the day.

I know that might be hard to feel comfortable with....

For a little more perspective, it took my dog more than a year to regulate properly! He had some problems with the way he used insulin and his blood sugar went from 100 up to 450 and back down to 100 again in 12 hours.

If I had checked his blood sugar at the midpoint of that rise and fall, I would have gotten a level in the 200s. I would not have known that it was going to drop another 100 points in the next few hours. And if I had given him significantly more insulin without knowing that, he would have gone hypoglycemic in a hurry.

You can read more about Chris' blood sugar, the sharp drops and rises in his curves, and his road to regulation in his case study:

Once we found what worked for Chris, he went on to have really great blood sugar and he lived to be 14.5 years old, a serious senior for a dog his size (62 pounds).

Diabetes didn't kill him and the truth is that diabetes almost never kills a dog. The only time I have seen diabetes kill a dog was from overdoses of insulin. Our dog died of cancer and suffered from severe heart disease for years, heart disease that preceded his diabetes diagnosis. Diabetes, even as difficult as his was to control, was literally the least of his problems.

So Hattie will be fine. She will be fine even if you don't raise her insulin at all for a few days. There is time, plenty of time, to take a methodical approach to her insulin dose.

I understand the panicky feeling... truly I do. I will try to remember to share my diabetes panic story with you! But Hattie is okay and there's really no need to panic. The worst decisions are made in panic - that's how you wind up giving too much insulin and getting started on a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows.

The best thing you can do for Hattie right now is set aside your fears and work the problem, learn to read Hattie's "book" with curves of her blood sugar.


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