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Old 07-10-2017, 06:05 PM
MaggieLemons MaggieLemons is offline
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Default New to this and really struggling.

Hi All,

Our 9 year old Turkish shepherd mix, Maggie, was diagnosed with diabetes after being admitted for DKA two weeks ago. We have been trying to get her on track, but this rollercoaster is killing me. Prior to her diagnosis, she was already on a flovent inhaler and hycodan for COPD, Proin for incontinence believed to be caused by reaction to steroid inhaler, and cosequin for arthritis. Now, she has insulin for diabetes and metronidazole for diarrhea. Since the day we brought her home from her DKA crisis, she has been panting excessively and hiding every night. Nothing helps, and it is terrifying me. She has always been a picky eater and nothing is working to get her to eat twice a day so that we can give her insulin (recently increased from 15 units to 19 units following a curve that ranged from low to mid 400s). Like I said, she is a picky eater, so we know ALL of the tricks. I just called her specialist and we are taking her in tomorrow. I'm not even sure what for. If she doesn't eat, she can't be regulated. If she can't be regulated, my baby dies. They're going to tell me that tomorrow and I'm going to be in the same harrowing spot.

This diagnosis was a huge shock to my husband and me. We just lost our 19 year old cat in Aug 2016, and then our 3 year old cat in April of this year. Chloe was our 3 year old, and we endured a two and a half year battle to save her life. Following a random case of hepatic lipidosis, she needed a PEG tube, we tube fed her back to health... then she never healed from the tube removal procedure... she had five total surgeries before we discovered she had an incurable and infectious skin disease. In April, we had to let Chloe go. She wasn't reaponding to any treatments. I say all of this about her to lead my current emotional state: I have fought the chronic illness fight before, and I lost. Every night that Maggie doesn't eat, every morning when I wake up to try to coax her to eat, when she keeps me awake panting and the vet tells me "it will get better," when Maggie snarls at me for giving her an injection, when she hides from me... all I can think about is how hard I fought for Chloe and that I lost her any way. I am furious that God or the Gods or whoever makes the calls keeps taking my babies. If one more person tells me that "God chose me for this battle for a reason," I am going to scream. No one around me understands what it's like to get three hours of sleep a night, spend 90% of my time before work fighting with my girl to eat, go to work, and then come home do do it all over again. Everyone is tired of hearing about my chronically ill pets. I am tired, too. I am exhausted.

How do you guys do this? I get it - food, insulin, exercise, vet visits... but emotionally, how do I handle this? I am trying so hard to keep it together for her, but I question whether I'm putting her through hell and discomfort for my sake or for hers.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:35 AM
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Raysaint Raysaint is offline
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Default Re: New to this and really struggling.

Being that it's early in the diabetes diagnosis, a lot of things are going to go on because the initial stage is always the worst; everything is out of whack. With methodical regulation, patience and attention, they usually start to work towards stability.
I'm 5 months in with my dog and I struggle many mornings to get him to eat. I have to adjust/guess at his morning dose and it makes stabilizing him more difficult and frustrates the heck out of me. But he deserves my care and attention, and I'd miss him dearly.
It will get better I believe, and you will sleep better. When he's feeling better, you'll know why you did it all.
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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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Old 07-11-2017, 06:08 AM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: New to this and really struggling.

hi and welcome

well if you already starting out with a picky eater you probably will never get consistent feeding with 2 meals exactly the same . the good thing you dont have to . my jesse only gets one meal a day and a small milk bone snack for her morning routine and receives a dose of insulin . of course its a reduced amount from her evening full meal and larger dose of insulin

the key here is you will have to test blood sugar at home because you will not be able to spend that kind of time at the vet figuring what the separate doses are if you wanted to give different size meals according to appetite

as long as your consistent with what you do its most likely doable with a bit more work on your part which you are already in that mode from working with you pets on other medical issues

diabetes is actually quite minor to the things you described and most find a way to manage the disease for there dogs unique situation
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Jesse-26 lbs - 14 years old - 9 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 6 and 8 units of NPH insulin depending on her fasting number
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:11 PM
Jinxie Jinxie is offline
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Default Re: New to this and really struggling.

For what it is worth, when my dog was first diagnosed and we started treatment, she was in the dumps for a few days. I wondered what the point was. She was lying around all the time, wasn't reacting to anything around her. Think her appetite was affected too. Not sure what the cause was, but it did pass.

And yes, if they are not eating it introduces a new layer of complication to this whole thing. It can get exhausting, and other people may wonder why you put in so much effort. Your world basically revolves around their need for timely insulin and food. I'd rush out the door in the morning after getting her routine over with, then rush out the door at work because I had to get home in time to keep her on insulin schedule. I guess I just got into the routine and didn't think much of it after a while. Luckily she was pretty reliable as an eater until her last couple months and some other ailments caught up to her and affected her appetite.

Last edited by Jinxie; 07-14-2017 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:56 AM
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Daisydog10 Daisydog10 is offline
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Default Re: New to this and really struggling.

Quote:
How do you guys do this? I get it - food, insulin, exercise, vet visits... but emotionally, how do I handle this?
Echoing the others, the onset of this disease is frustrating and can be very exhausting, especially when your pup has other medical issues complicating the diabetes.

This new diagnosis can be mind boggling at first. I didn't sleep for fear she would tank on her dose. I was frustrated and couldn't understand why this disease works so differently in dogs than humans and was scared she would die if I didn't do it right.

I had to take a deep deep breath and take it very slowly when it finally dawned on me that this was not going to be an overnight fix.

We're only 6 months into this and I've given fur shots, she's eaten lizards, worms and Fruity Pebbles that were not on her carefully prepared diet. Her numbers have been as low as 60 and as high as 700, she's had UTI's and has been on several different antibiotics. I've had to change her food around several times and add/delete different things. Had to change brands of insulin, she lost weight and gained weight, threw up, panted and drank more water than a roofer in Arizona. But right now she's looking at me with a frisbee in her mouth.

Even through your frustration, you know Maggie better than anyone and your still fighting for her. That says a lot.
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Daisy 10 y/o 20lb Mini Schnauzer - 105g chicken breast, 45g chana dal, 55g green beans all chopped in a food processor, 20g Hills Perfect Weight, 1 tbs pumpkin, 5.5 units Novolin N q12h.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:14 AM
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Lee04 Lee04 is offline
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Default Re: New to this and really struggling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisydog10 View Post
Echoing the others, the onset of this disease is frustrating and can be very exhausting, especially when your pup has other medical issues complicating the diabetes.

This new diagnosis can be mind boggling at first. I didn't sleep for fear she would tank on her dose. I was frustrated and couldn't understand why this disease works so differently in dogs than humans and was scared she would die if I didn't do it right.

I had to take a deep deep breath and take it very slowly when it finally dawned on me that this was not going to be an overnight fix.

We're only 6 months into this and I've given fur shots, she's eaten lizards, worms and Fruity Pebbles that were not on her carefully prepared diet. Her numbers have been as low as 60 and as high as 700, she's had UTI's and has been on several different antibiotics. I've had to change her food around several times and add/delete different things. Had to change brands of insulin, she lost weight and gained weight, threw up, panted and drank more water than a roofer in Arizona. But right now she's looking at me with a frisbee in her mouth.

Even through your frustration, you know Maggie better than anyone and your still fighting for her. That says a lot.
This pretty much sums up the challenges and the WHY...the frisbee in her mouth. Love that!
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Dasani, Miniature Schnauzer 13 yrs old - Diagnosed Diabetic 3/21/15 - 22 pounds - 9 units Vetsulin 2X a day - Feed a mix of W/D and Solid Gold Wee Bit. Fish oil pearl supplement twice a day to help with high triglycerides.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:00 AM
MaggieLemons MaggieLemons is offline
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Default Re: New to this and really struggling.

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your kind words. It's comforting to know we're not totally alone in this. Daisydog10, your comment about your pup looking at you with a frisbee, despite all of her extremes, hit me right smack in the heart. For the past few weeks, Maggie has been alternating between hiding in our bathroom and splashing around in her paddling pool without a care in the world. I think that's what is most frustrating about her diabetes. I don't know what's going on inside of her body, so I have to rely on faith in the food-insulin routine and watching her mood. She's always been a very moody, finicky, and independent dog, so trying to analyze and regulate her is like trying to nail jello to a tree.

After two days of little to no insulin because of her anorexia, her vet prescribed her mirtazipine (not sure if I spelled that correctly). Since starting it, life for both of us has been wonderful. She eats when I put food down, I give her a full dose of insulin (19 units), and she seems to feel great. Has anyone had to resort to appetite stimulants for their pups? Has anyone kept this up long-term?

I have a few questions for the seasoned sugardog moms and dads out there -
1. Do you (if so, how) regulate exercise (walks, play with siblings, playing outside, etc.)?
2. Do you ever give treats or rawhides?
3. How long did it take for your dogs' water intake/urination to return to 'normal' after starting insulin treatments?
4. Does anyone have any non-chicken (Maggie has a chicken allergy) treat recipes for diabetic dogs?
5. If you have a picky eater, do you allow them to eat a portion of their food prior to insulin and then graze the rest in the next few hours?

Again, thank you guys for your responses. You really talked me off of a ledge. This forum is a godsend.

Warm regards,
Jackie
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:21 PM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: New to this and really struggling.

life with a diabetic dog can still be as before the diagnosis but there are limitations and challenges to the new routine and life style

exercise can drop blood sugar and it can be dramatic my jesse could chew on a bone and drop her sugar by a 100 points by just doing that during active insulin . they do need exercise and play but it may need to be more tightly controlled depending on the dog. if testing blood sugar you can determine when insulin is least active and exercise at that time. you may still need a treat or liquid sugar to give a sugar boost before or maybe during

you may not want to be to far from home at least at the beginning on a walk if you do run into a problem but you should carry some liquid sugar with you and a carby snack at all times .

as time goes on and you understand the disease better for your individual dog you can branch out a bit .

i would stay away from kennels if say you go on a vacation look for alternatives to that and its best to get a sitter of some sort or friends and family to watch

i have no experience with appetite stimulants but getting a routine that is repeatable everyday is helpful . dogs sometimes remember an episode of pain and discomfort even though it is long gone and that includes pain from digestion including food from and illness of sorts . so it's very possible your dog could equate pain to food and maybe the stimulant may help to break that cycle
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Jesse-26 lbs - 14 years old - 9 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 6 and 8 units of NPH insulin depending on her fasting number
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:23 PM
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Riliey and Mo Riliey and Mo is offline
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Default Re: New to this and really struggling.

answer
2. yes I gave frozen green beans cut up. they don't raise blood sugar.
3. water intake and peeing reduced almost right away on the first couple of shots.
4. baked liver or baked sweet potato
5. eat the recommended amount of food according to weight on manufacturers feed guide. a food they eat in one setting. inject right after food alternating the injection site.

jello to a tree sooooo funny
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:58 PM
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Daisydog10 Daisydog10 is offline
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Default Re: New to this and really struggling.

1. Do you (if so, how) regulate exercise (walks, play with siblings, playing outside, etc.)?
Daisy plays outside with the grandkids once in a while but we go for about a mile walk every evening. We're in Florida so if it's too hot, we cut it short. We play frisbee and she chases the neighbors dogs up and down the fence several times daily and hunts lizards and squirrels.

2. Do you ever give treats or rawhides?
No rawhides, my vet told me they were full of fat and weren't good for her. Daisy gets a deer antler to chew on. I don't give her any treats unless her sugar is low

3. How long did it take for your dogs' water intake/urination to return to 'normal' after starting insulin treatments?
One day

4. Does anyone have any non-chicken (Maggie has a chicken allergy) treat recipes for diabetic dogs?
If her sugar is low, I'll give her baby carrots or green beans.

5. If you have a picky eater, do you allow them to eat a portion of their food prior to insulin and then graze the rest in the next few hours?
Daisy inhales her food, so I can't answer that one.

Quote:
i would stay away from kennels if say you go on a vacation look for alternatives to that and its best to get a sitter of some sort or friends and family to watch
I so agree with that, unless you have a kennel that you can really really trust. We've had the H3N2 canine influenza down here and vets are cautioning against putting dogs in kennels and going to dog parks.

Quote:
you may not want to be to far from home at least at the beginning on a walk if you do run into a problem but you should carry some liquid sugar with you and a carby snack at all times .
Yes, saved our butts a couple times. I have Karo syrup in little bottles in my purse, in my bedroom, in the kitchen.....lol.
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Daisy 10 y/o 20lb Mini Schnauzer - 105g chicken breast, 45g chana dal, 55g green beans all chopped in a food processor, 20g Hills Perfect Weight, 1 tbs pumpkin, 5.5 units Novolin N q12h.
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