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Old 04-25-2019, 06:29 PM
Beau1 Beau1 is offline
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Default Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

Our chihuahua mix, Laika, was diagnosed with diabetes during a vet visit today. The vet prescribed the 12.5 oz. can of Hill's Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Vegetables and Chicken. This particular canned food is very expensive. I read diabetic dogs don't need to be on any special diet - or they can be fed certain human foods. Also, I believe there are less expensive diabetic dog foods.

I read it's better to give diabetic dogs canned food instead of dry food - is that true?

When we got home after the vet visit, Laika seemed very hungry. Typically, we gave her a little human food throughout the day, along with her generic dry dog food for small dogs. She only ate a little this morning, and was out for a while today for the vet visit. Maybe she was pretty stressed, too. The vet seemed to say that she should now eat only twice a day, spaced 12 hours apart. It seems 2 meals spaced 12 hours apart seems too long - especially for a dog accustomed to getting small amounts of food throughout the day. The Hills canned diabetic food she was prescribed seems very thin, not dense - and the vet said to give her half a can in the morning, and half a can at night, 12 hours later. It seems like she would be hungry on so little food a day.

I've read that diabetic dogs can be given insulin shots as little as 7.5 hours apart - is that true?

They said to give her an insulin shot 30 minutes after each feeding - but some sources say to give them WITH a meal. Can diabetic dogs have 3 meals a day so they won't have to wait so long between meals? Do they need an insulin shot after each meal, if they eat 3 meals a day?

The vet and vet techs said a lot - this is a pretty complicated condition for dogs. It was hard to catch everything they said. They also didn't seem to be too happy with my questions, or the questions of the family members I went in with. It was a fairly painful visit.

The vet said Laika needed to come in the next week and most likely stay the whole day at the clinic so they could take blood draws throughout the day - at least, I think that's what they said. Is this necessary? I haven't read about this anywhere else. We've already made an appointment for her for a week later to stay at the vet's the whole day. That sounds like it would be thousands of dollars. Today's visit was over $500.

It sounds very expensive caring for a diabetic dog, with any prescription food, special diet, insulin, shots, glucose/urine monitoring, vet visits, etc. Of course, we want the best possible care for our dog, and for her to enjoy a long, happy life.

Also, is it okay to give her treats throughout the day? The vet said to avoid giving her bread and rice, but said it was okay to give her vegetables and plain meats without a lot of oil or salt. What else can she be given as treats?

Sorry about all these questions. I don't think the vet, vet techs, and other employees there were working towards our best interests - so I feel the need to ask more questions in this forum. They seemed to be suspicious and contemptuous towards us, though we're extremely polite, kind, educated, good people who love and care for our dog very much.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:41 PM
Riliey and Mo Riliey and Mo is offline
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Default Re: Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

Vet suggested food for my dog but i went to my local pet food store to get advice. I fed a low fat quality dog food switching from dry and wet overtime
Its recommended to feed according to the dog food guide for the dog food
manufacturer
Also its recommended to feed and give insulin twice a day every 12 hours
The best thing you can do on your journey is to take control of your dogs diabetes by home testing his blood sugar
I purchased a dog glucose meter, syringes, test strips
We can help you get started
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Riliey . aka Ralphy, Alice, Big Boy
20 lb male 17 yrs. black cockapoo, dx Apr 2012 . 5 1\2 yrs diabetic. 2002 to 2017
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:30 PM
Beau1 Beau1 is offline
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Default Re: Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riliey and Mo View Post
Vet suggested food for my dog but i went to my local pet food store to get advice. I fed a low fat quality dog food switching from dry and wet overtime
Its recommended to feed according to the dog food guide for the dog food
manufacturer
Also its recommended to feed and give insulin twice a day every 12 hours
The best thing you can do on your journey is to take control of your dogs diabetes by home testing his blood sugar
I purchased a dog glucose meter, syringes, test strips
We can help you get started
Thank you for your reply. We purchased the insulin and syringes at the vets office - they were included in the cost breakdown list for the visit. They probably cost much more than elsewhere.

Can anyone respond to the other parts/questions in my post? Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:51 AM
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jesse girl jesse girl is online now
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Default Re: Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

Hi and welcome the information on the site can answer most of your questions . Its a bit of a learning curve but very doable . The big comment here on the forum every dog is unique . What may work for one may not for another

In my jesses case the vet we had did not seem to understand the disease with jesse and i dont think its the fault of the vet but her case was a bit challenging and they could not put the time into figuring it out so i did .

I made a point to become an expert on her individual diabetes and managing it . I had no understanding of medical issues but I learned and now I only trust me with her diabetes and managing it . I made mistakes starting out with a raw meat diet and diabetics need more balance in there diet to have adequate blood sugar

there are some complications from the disease in dogs which is cataracts and pancreatitis . the ladder is the dangerous one and you want to stay away from high fat foods which is believed is a cause

Mo gives sound advice about testing sugar at home There are pet meters but i have only used human meters for jesse . Your vet may not be happy with that but that is your business . The vet sounds pretty standard with the treatment and it does work for many so you can see how it goes . On diet dogs have been regulated on just about all types but what type will work for you dog only trying testing sugar and seeing if it works

My jesse has one meal a day and 3 shots of NPH insulin . so there are many ways to make it work but you have to be discipline at least in the beginning to get your dog regulated same food time shots and even exercise . Once you accomplish regulation than you maybe able to ease up on somethings and not be so rigid with the routine but it all comes down to testing sugar at home and first getting regulated and usually the best way to start is the 12/12 program
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Jesse-26 lbs - 15 years old - 9.5 years diabetic - one meal a day homemade and a vitabone snack - 3 shots of Novolin a day sometimes Novolog or r as a correction to higher sugar but that is rare. total insulin for a 24 hour period is between 8 and 10 units of NPH insulin depending on her fasting number
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:51 AM
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Raysaint Raysaint is offline
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Default Re: Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

There are links in the main forum to start a basic understanding and education.

While it sounds very complicated, diabetes comes down to feeding the right food, and that doesn't have to be a special brand or type. The right dose of insulin, usually just after meals, and that is usually 12 hours apart. And it doesn't have to be the vet's insulin. Many dogs use NPH as the standard insulin.

Home testing is imperative in my opinion. Regardless of what your vet says. It's the only way to monitor blood sugar levels as you work your way towards regulation. Sugar can change a lot during this time and be erratic.
And home testing let's you do sugar curves at home, that's checking sugar levels a few times during a 12 hour period. The main thing you're looking for in a curve is what the lowest sugar level is (nadir). That tells you if you can increase the dose again. Increase the dose, maybe a half unit, wait a week, then curve again, but you should also spot check around the nadir time.

The general food consensus is low fat with moderate protein and carbs.

The biggest thing to know is that getting to regulation takes time, so patience is a must. Don't expect good things to happen quickly, and that's OK.
Diabetes is very manageable, but keep your regimen methodical and consistent.
__________________
Riley, 8 yr. old maltipoo, 25 lbs., diagnosed Feb 2017, taking thyroid meds, had pancreatitis and DKA mid March, eating Wellness Senior formula can food. NPH dosage now at 9.0 units Humulin N. Adding either pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, yams, or green beans to his food. Also omega-3 oil.
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:38 PM
Beau1 Beau1 is offline
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Default Re: Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

Hi all,

Thanks for the responses so far.

Unfortunately, Laika has gotten even worse this morning - she was extremely lethargic, not moving, just lying/sleeping, looked very low energy, and definitely not like her usual self. She didn't even greet any of us like she always does. She keeps having her tail down, when typically, she has her tail curled on her back (she might be part pug). She's even worse off today than yesterday. I wonder if her two shots of insulin from last night and this morning (1 unit each) had anything to do with her lethargy and total lack of energy?

However, later this morning, she was up and about as we started eating, and she was hungry and begging for food - so she doesn't seem as sick or overly lethargic anymore.

After the vet visit yesterday, I gave her bits of food because she seemed very hungry. Then we followed the vet's orders exactly in giving her food and insulin - at 6pm yesterday, we gave her her usual dry dog food mixed with the Hills Prescription Diet w/d canned food she was prescribed. Then 30 minutes after she ate, we gave her her first insulin shot, 1 unit - the Vetsulin brand. Then the next morning, 12 hours later, at 6 am, we gave her the same kibble/Rx food mixture again, and administered another insulin shot 30 minutes after she ate. Has anyone had problems with the Vetsulin brand of insulin? I know it costs less than the brand the vet's office initially had on the list of procedures/items we were presented- so is Vetsulin worse than the other brand of insulin? Just wondering, again, if the insulin or brand had anything to her being much more lethargic and weaker than she's ever been before.

We called the vet this morning - she's out of the office until next week - and she said Laika should be taken to an emergency 24 hour pet hospital so she could stay overnight. From the lab/blood work done yesterday, the vet said her white blood count was problematic, and she had a urinary tract infection - in addition to the diabetes. The vet said Laika might be given an intravenous antibiotic at the emergency hospital.

I know most you are not medical professionals, but dog owners often have deep knowledge of their dog's difficulties, illnesses, etc. Is the overnight visit recommended by our vet necessary? What else can you say about all the other things I mentioned in this post and my original post?


Thanks!

Last edited by Beau1; 04-29-2019 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:41 PM
Riliey and Mo Riliey and Mo is offline
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Default Re: Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

Both food and insulin amounts go by the weight of your dog.

.2 x the lb. Weight of your dog is recommended to start with
And
Food amount is according to beaus dog food feed guide

How much does he weight??
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Riliey . aka Ralphy, Alice, Big Boy
20 lb male 17 yrs. black cockapoo, dx Apr 2012 . 5 1\2 yrs diabetic. 2002 to 2017
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:42 PM
Riliey and Mo Riliey and Mo is offline
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Default Re: Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

Sorry Laika is your dog
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Riliey . aka Ralphy, Alice, Big Boy
20 lb male 17 yrs. black cockapoo, dx Apr 2012 . 5 1\2 yrs diabetic. 2002 to 2017
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:53 PM
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MikeMurphy MikeMurphy is offline
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Default Re: Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

Hi and welcome to the forum to you and Laika.

Like others have said, it looks like your vet is doing all the right things. Did the vet give her anything for the UTI? Itís very important to clear up any infections. Otherwise, the insulin is not going to work properly.

What is Laikaís weight? A conservative unit starting dose of Vetsulin would be her weight in lbs multiplied by .20. If she weighs 10 pounds, the staring dose would be 2 units of Vetsulin every 12 hours.

The standard protocol that vets should follow to get your dog regulated is:

1. Let her body adjust to the insulin dose for 5 to 7 days.
2. Perform a 12 hour blood glucose curve, testing her BG starting before her AM meal and insulin and then every 2 hours, up to and including her PM meal.
3. Analyze the curve, increasing insulin in .5 unit increments.
4. Keep repeating steps 1 thru 3 until her 12 hour curve BG readings are in the 150 to 300 range. Some of us shoot for 100 - 250 for most of the day.

Most of us here home test. This is the single, most important thing you can do in managing her diabetes. It can save a ton of money and more importantly, keep your dogís life safe by knowing how she reacts to all kinds of situations, like exercise, treats, food, and stress.

The main k9diabetes web site has some important info that can get you started... http://www.k9diabetes.com/
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Lily is a 62 lb English Setter, born 07-27-2007.
Diabetes: Aug 2013 - Hypothyroidism: Dec 2013 - Cataract Surgery: Feb 2014
Insulin: Novolin R/N mix - Meter: ReliOn Prime
Nulo Adult Trim Cod & Lentils, Pumpkin, FortiFlora, Dasuquin, Thyroxine
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:20 AM
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Raysaint Raysaint is offline
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Default Re: Diagnosed today - lots of confusion and questionable veterinary visit/info

Lethargy is common when blood sugar is high. Still not sure why the vet said to give insulin 30 minutes after meals. Sugar usually starts to rise soon after eating, so you need to get the insulin working at the same time.
Some people wait 5 minutes, just to make sure the dog doesnít vomit.

Vetsulin is a common insulin, as is NPH. Some people switch from one to the other if sugars donít seem to progress better over time.

The uti needs to be addressed. Not sure if the intravenous antibiotic is better or quicker than a couple weeks of pills.
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Riley, 8 yr. old maltipoo, 25 lbs., diagnosed Feb 2017, taking thyroid meds, had pancreatitis and DKA mid March, eating Wellness Senior formula can food. NPH dosage now at 9.0 units Humulin N. Adding either pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, yams, or green beans to his food. Also omega-3 oil.
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