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Old 03-19-2011, 11:06 PM
somhelga somhelga is offline
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Default Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

Thanks for adding me. My 7 year old Labrador just got diagnosed, diabetic, very scary.

We having trouble right now to get her stable. She is on 20 units Caninsulin.

Does it make a difference what you feed?

Also do you know anywhere in Australia where I can get her Insulin cheaper then $ 50 a bottle?

She lost a lot of weight and is at the moment still ok for her size but blood sugar is still high.

She was used to 3 small meals through the day and finds it hard to adjust to just 2 meals. She is just so hungry all time. I think she could eat me as well

Her drinking has gone back to normal. She seems a lot happier and can go for walks again. I take her morning and night for 10 to 15 min walks.

She seems to sometimes to breathe very heavy through the day. Why??? Does that mean soemthing is wrong?

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Old 03-20-2011, 05:46 AM
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pat3332 pat3332 is offline
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Default Re: Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

Hi Somhelga,

I wish I could be more help, but I'm not as familiar with the caninsulin as others are here. I mainly wanted to say hi and welcome you. Week ends can be a little slow, but someone will be chiming in before long. I will make some comments and ask some questions though.

I think the two most important things you need to try to do is be consistent in everything you do and do the glucose testing at home.

In everything you do, from the amount you feed, when you feed, when you inject the caninsulin, (before or after feeding and how long before or after), when you walk, (before or after feeding and how much before or after), and how long you walk among many other things need to be consistent.

1. What are you feeding? Normally the food you are currently using may be fine if your dog is use to it and is eating it well, but it's good to know what you're using.

2. How much are you feeding at each meal and how are you measuring it? Even a small amount of food, more or less can affect the glucose levels. Many of us weigh the portions on a kitchen scale to keep the amounts as consistent as possible. I have a 95 pound Rottweiler and 10 to 12 pieces of kibble, more or less can affect his glucose levels through a 12 hour period.

3. Are you doing glucose testing at home, urine testing, or just when you go to the vet? If you can do the blood glucose testing at home, it's a huge help. For one thing it is much less expensive in the long run than having the vet do it. Going to the vet can stress your dog and affect the readings which may be different at home where he's comfortable and relaxed. It can tell you if he is high, or getting low and hypoglycemic. Some dogs are good about being able to tell what there levels are doing by how they are acting, but others, like mine, act the same whether high or low, so if I didn't test, I'd never know. If you test at home, you can tell immediately how any changes you made are affecting his levels. There are many other reasons to test, but it is very important.

4. The walks and any other exercise can affect the glucose levels a lot. That's why it's important to be consistent and test. If his glucose levels are starting out in a normal to low range, too much exercise, even walking can drop his levels to dangerous levels. The muscles use glucose, and depending on how high, or low the glucose levels are before exercising, the glucose levels may go up or down, so monitoring the activity levels of your dog is important.

5. Do you have any glucose readings that you have done or from the vet's office that you can post for us to look at. The folks here need as much information as you can give. Don't worry about long posts, the more information the better.

6. I don't know if you have Wal-Mart's in Australia or not, but most of us in the US use the Humulin N human insulin and we get the Wal-Mart Relion which is the same, they just have a contract with Lilly to sell it under their brand name. At Wal-Mart it is $25.00 and all of the Wal-Mart Relion insulin supplies are much less expensive. I don't know if there is a less expensive outlet for the caninsulin.

7. How does your dog do with his injections? Does he accept them OK, or is it a problem?

8. Where are you injecting? Are you using the same site each time, or rotating to different sites.

9. These are just a few questions to help us get started. There will be more as more people start posting. I know this is scary and all of the information you are going to be getting can be overwhelming, but just keep asking questions and try to relax as much as possible. We have all been where you are and have gone through it and soon what seems scary and overwhelming right now will become routine.

10. Almost forgot, there are others who feed 3-4 times a day, but starting out at 2 meals 12 hours apart with the injection at each meal helps with being consistent, especially starting out. Hopefully some of those who feed more than twice a day will have some input.

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Old 03-20-2011, 05:57 AM
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Patty Patty is offline
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Default Re: Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

Hi and welcome Somhelga!

Pat's already asked some great questions. I just wanted to add how much does your dog weigh?

We have members here from Australia who can hopefully chime in on a cheaper place for you to get Caninsulin.

Glad to have you here
Patty and Ali 13.5yrs 47lbs diagnosed May '08 Ali earned her wings October 27, 2012, 4 months after diagnosis of a meningioma ~ Time is precious ~
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:02 AM
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jesse girl jesse girl is online now
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Default Re: Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

hi and welcome I just want to add one thing to the wonderful information received is to carry some form of liquid sugar ( honey syrup and others ) with you at all times if your dog does show the classic symptoms of going to low this will get him out of trouble rub on lips and give a spoonful for good measure and a starchy snack

as pat said home testing is important for my jesse there was not a choice her numbers were to erratic (big drops and big rises) she would probably not survive without monitoring her blood sugar at home the site has allot of information on how to do . humane meters work fine and you dont need to get the most expensive and there are many recourses on where to get strips for the meter at a price that would fit your budget. and the savings on vet bill makes it worth it also you may have a friend or family member that may have one jesse used a friends meter for the first time and he helped which made it easier and felt more comfortable with some one who already has done it

you can ask your vet but many do frown about it for some reason . educate yourself so you can ask your vet the wright questions and test there knowledge on the disease and how they will approach it with your dog.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:02 PM
somhelga somhelga is offline
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Default Re: Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

Thanks for he welcome and i will write a bit later about here feeding and so on .
But i so happy to say today for the first time she was down to 11.2 on her gluco level , I do use a human one my grilfriend is a diabetic and gave me her old one and strips . But i was so Happy about her result last few days she was over 22 in morning before food and hardly went down . We also walked for the first time our normal distance in the Morning . know all I need is cheaper Insulin then what she needs know, be about 4 bottles a months and I do not have 200 a months for this Insulin I on a pension

But I finerly feel I see a light on the end of a dark tunnel
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:48 PM
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CraigM CraigM is offline
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Default Re: Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

You've probably read here that many dogs in the States are using NPH insulin. Vetsulin, which Caninsulin was called in the States, has not been available for purchase (except for a few special cases) for over a year. Most of us who switched from Vetsulin / Caninsulin to NPH are happy with the switch.

One of the advantages of NPH over Caninsulin would likely be the price. NPH is a more concentrated liquid and can be considered 2½ times "stronger". Caninsulin is a U-40 insulin, while NPH is a U-100 insulin. Here in the States, our Vetsulin and the NPH insulins are/were about the same price for the 10ml bottle; but the NPH goes about 2½ times longer. The other money saver is with the syringes. You are (?) using U-40 syringes now with your Caninsulin, which are not a common syringe - so costs $$. If you switch to NPH (U-100) insulin, you would also switch to the very common U-100 syringe which probably would cost much less.

Of course, I'm not familar with your laws, or if your Vets would consider changing to NPH. It might be worth while asking.

If you do decide to try a NPH insulin, PLEASE be very sure you have the proper U-100 syringes and mention it here on the forum so we all can be sure you have the right stuff!

Bt-the-way, I'm not sure if what we call NPH is also called by the same name in Australia. Maybe Natalie, or someone else, can comment.
Annie was an 18 pound Lhasa Apso that crossed the rainbow bridge on 10-5-17. She was nearly 17 years old and diabetic for 9½ years.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:33 PM
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CarolW CarolW is offline
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Talking Re: Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

Hi Somhelga and your dog! - just adding my Big Fat Welcome to those you've already received. I'll be watching for your report on your dog's weight, and any other information you have to offer.

Cheering you on!

Sun, 20 Mar 2011 18:33:09 (PDT)
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:48 PM
somhelga somhelga is offline
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Default Re: Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

OK I try to tell as much as I can about our start up .
About 3 ½ weeks ago know after here night walk she was bit funny and in morning I noticed that her right eye was not opening all the way and here breaky she was drooling on her ride side her lip was hanging lower then it used to .
My first thought she had a stroke from that time on , she was ok on her morning walks but at night 2 days later she wobbled on way home and my son carried here part way home.
From that on she was able to walk less and less until at last she only walked 3 houses and on way home she had to rest every few steps .
It looked like here right leg was stiffening up and we thought that is the reason , since she does have a bit Arthritis on here legs. I also noticed that she looked heaps slimmer
When it didn’t get better I took her to a vet close to us not to the one I normally go but had no car
By time I left I was fuming , know I have nothing against big people but she never listened to me , all she said that the dog is to fat by that time she already had gone from 45 kg to 40 kg in 5 weeks . we been trying to make her loose weight for ever and all she ever done is put on .
She was so heavy that lady she hardly could get down to dog for examining her , she checked leg and said ye sit sore and she had fewer so gave her some painkillers and said if not better we do test
I asked about blood test , so she was trying to do one poor Serena she could get proper down to dog so she tried to get needle in vine and after 3 try’s I stopped here and tolled her to forget it grrrrrrrrrrr
I was so fuming know the real signs she ignored then in here eyes dog was fat

A few days later Serena had n abscess develop on her sore leg , I treated it but didn’t get better so new she needed antibiotic . I took here to the vet I normally go and that young vet checked her out and I tolled her about the problems she had and weight loss and she asked about drinking . I did notice she drank lost but has been very hot here and she always drank heaps . She said straight away that it usually it diabetes when they loose weights o fast
Blood test confirmed it , she wanted her in for a few days to get her started on Insulin .
I asked her to give me time to think I new I could not afford a few thousand for staying at vet .
When I rang my girlfriend up a Diabetic , I was crying my heart out I new that my only option maybe be to but her down .
She rang Vet and have to say they been going out of there way to help , they worked away out for here to stay one day and I would do the rest with there instructions . has been bit harder that way but more affordable .
They started here on 13 units but end of day up to 18 still didn’t get to low , she asked me to bring her in for blood test but done it in here time and never charged me , here collage done it for me the next day he put her up to 20 units she was going well on 20 here lowest was 8.7 not sure whey but he put her down to 17 and after that she was high every day around 18 was her lowest but most times about 20 to 23 scary
Today is her first time I got her right again 6 am before food 11.2 1 hour after food 15.5 then lunchtime 10.7 hurray
I been feeding here 2 wheat Bix for breaky that was what she always had , she always suffered from constipation and that helped plus 2 chicken necks dinner about 200 gram mince and 1 carrot and one zucchini grated in to make it filling she is just so hungry .
I changed her yesterday to Kangaroo meat only 2.5 % fat morning and night and today she had this low readings ………….so is it the food ???
I not sure what right amount is but I guessing and she have about 350 gram in morning and same at night she is know about 37 kg
I put on her collar a little bag with Glucose the vets said if she gets to low
No problem with injections she just sits there ,she gets them along her neck plenty loose skin there
yesterday I slept longer ( due to restless nights from worries ) then I normally do and she barked at me at ¾ 7 when I usually get her food ready …..Did she know ?????????????
know all we need is cheaper Insulin so i can affored it
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:04 PM
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CarolW CarolW is offline
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Arrow Re: Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

Somhelga - hang in there! I'm so pleased with the vet who helped without adding charges to your bill. Didn't care for the one who just thought Serena was too fat. I believe often, dogs with diabetes get too fat, and it's impossible to get the weight off till treatment with insulin begins - that's what happened with my Kumbi.

That Caninsulin is quite tricky stuff, and there' s no avoiding the fact that it's also quite expensive. I don't know what NPH insulin that we have here in Canada and the U..S is called in Australia - note to Jenny - do you know?

Somhelga - I'd try to stabilize what you're feeding Serena - same amount, same food, morning and evening, as closely as possible, 12 hours apart. I'm NOT a food expert at all; some people here on the forum know a lot more about it than I do, and I'll let them make suggestions. For now, I think getting the insulin straightened out would be a good idea.

With dogs, it takes from several days to a week for the dog to adapt to the current insulin dose, especially with a new diagnosis.

A usual starting dose for insulin is about half a unit per KILOGRAM, though you can go as low as a quarter unit per kilogram, so 20 units (of whatever insulin) LOOKS about right as a starting dose for Serena. To me, anyway. Our more expert people, Natalie, Patty and Peggy, might know better.

It's good that you're getting some lower numbers now, and it's WONDERFUL that you are able to test the blood glucose levels at home - that is a great safeguard.

My vet wanted to see somewhere between 6.0 mmol/L and 16 mmol/L as a range of glucose levels; the flatter the curve, the better. My tech told me there's not a hypoglycemic episode until you go below about 5.0 mmol/L (millimoles per Liter).

Many of the numbers you'll see here on the forum are not in mmol/L, but in the measurement used in the U.S. - mg/dL, which is milligrams per deciLiter, so if the numbers on the forum for other dogs look strange to you, that's why!

The conversion factor is about 18.2, so, to translate from our measurements (Canada and Australia, mmol/L) to U.S. ones, we multiply by 18.2.

And to figure out what the U.S. numbers mean, for us, we divide the mg/dL number (U.S. measurement) by 18.2.

But your meter and mine are reading in mmol/L, and you can just go ahead and use those numbers in your reports, as you have been doing.

The low-fat kangaroo might be really good for Serena - but when you change food, yes; the blood glucose numbers are likely to change. If you can, and if her tummy is stable, I'd keep her on the kangaroo now, and hold the food - same amount, same food, twice a day, 12 hours apart, as closely as you can. You do need other food in there too, as you say, to prevent constipation, for one thing. Low fat is generally good for diabetic dogs. Adding fiber can be a good thing. Some people use canned pumpkin - not the pie-filling, just plain canned pumpkin - for fiber.

The zucchini should be good. The carrot, if it's raw, is probably okay; cooked, carrots have a lot of sugar, I understand. Raw, I think it would just go through and come out looking the same as it went in.

And there about food, I stop, as others might have better suggestions than mine.

I do want to emphasize that you won't likely see reliable results from the insulin dosing till Serena's been on the same dose for about a week - my vet liked to wait two weeks. However, you DO need to watch for lows - say, anything below about 6.0 mmol/L, and you should watch. Keep corn syrup or honey handy, and rub it on the gums if Serena goes really low; then follow up with a protein/carbohydrate treat, when Serena can eat again - say, a quarter hour later.

In principle, you'd want to get the insulin dose worked out first, and then the food.

I'll be watching and cheering you on.

Sun, 20 Mar 2011 21:04:20 (PDT)
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:10 PM
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CarolW CarolW is offline
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Arrow Re: Questions about dog newly diagnosed, from Australia

I forgot to say - it REALLY would help you financially, I believe, and also, likely, be very good for Serena, if you can get your vet (and this forum) to help you change over from Caninsulin to the kind of insulin we call NPH in the U.S. and Canada. Wish i knew what it's called in Australia. Might be Humulin-something.

Sun, 20 Mar 2011 21:10:01 (PDT)
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