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Old 02-20-2017, 03:20 PM
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Aggie Aggie is offline
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Default Winston - Odd numbers; need advice

So, we just got a diagnosis last week after Winston (22 pound rescue poodle mix, probably around 10 years old) suddenly started drinking and urinating a lot. His blood sugar was close to 500 per the lab. Six months ago it was 120, so this is a recent and totally unexpected development.

So far he is on 5 units, once a day, of Vetsulin. Things have been going downhill a bit with the shots. The first one he didn't notice, then he started twitching with them, then he started looking around, then yesterday he sort of vocalized. That's after just 5 days of shots. I hate the idea of these shots every day, and so far it's a two person deal because my husband is in charge of holding and distracting him and giving him a treat afterwards, while I am in charge of the actual shot (in his scruff or shoulder area). After the first shot I thought I was OK, but now that he is reacting (admittedly, just a bit, but still) I am starting to feel uncomfortable too. We'd like to get it so that only one person can do the whole thing, in case one or the other of us is not around. Is there any way to make it not painful? How can just one person do this effectively? I think I am doing it right, but Winston is basically sort of a wimp about needles and so am I.

The other thing that was devastating was that my vet (who has a diabetic dog, himself), told me to expect blinding cataracts, that they were practically inevitable. My question there is, should we get surgery or not when that happens? We can afford it, but it seems pretty traumatic and risky. I should mention that Winston has been mildly epileptic the whole 8 years we've had him, and is on phenobarbital for that (which has nearly eliminated his seizures, only 2 in the past 4 years), so surgery is always kind of extra scary. Being a human, to me eyesight is important. Maybe not so much for dogs, but Winston likes to chase toys and birds and such, and run around freely, and it seems that if he was blind his quality of life would be pretty bad.

In spite of his extensive health issues, he is pretty darn cheerful and energetic at the moment. He will go in for a checkup in 2 days. With the insulin, he has been drinking and urinating less, but still more than normal, I'd say.
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:38 PM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: New and pretty overwhelmed

hi and welcome

i can tell you from being on the forum everybody figures how to give shots that works for caretaker and dog no choice

some here on the forum have dogs that were biting and had to resort to a muzzle which was temporary until the dog understood this is the way its going to be the rest of there lives

from being on the forum once a day shots have not had much success i think i may have seen a couple that could do it but no one active with that method at this time most do 2 shots 2 meals 12 hours apart

as far as getting cataracts its not guaranteed my jesse has been diabetic for 7 years and is still good ( knock on wood ) my girl actually has epilepsy for her whole life but she never went on medication and actually the last couple years her seizures have greatly reduced dont know why but we are grateful for any relief

as far as shots i give jesses when her face is in her food bowl . i pull up some loose skin on her backside on either side of her spine maybe 6 inches up from her tail put the needle in she pauses eating for a second and inject and she goes back to eating but jesse has been good about shots and testing her blood sugar at home

you do have to be comfortable with the process and you will
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Jesse-26 lbs - 15.5 years old - 10 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 02-20-2017, 04:11 PM
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MomofGus MomofGus is offline
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Default Re: New and pretty overwhelmed

Hello and welcome. Being overwhelmed is totally understandable, but in time, this feeling should subside. You've come to the right place for questions and support. My dog has been diabetic 1.5 yrs now. He lost his sight almost overnight six months after his diagnosis. That will be a year ago March 1. He does just fine. The first week was the hardest in that he was apprehensive in going up/down the porch steps to go potty. I refused to carry him as I knew he needed to learn his way. We have fenced in back yard area, so he learned the smell and location fairly quickly. There were times he would be confused, but the sound of our voice directed him. The first couple of car trips to the vet were confusing for him because he didn't know where he was and getting him to walk there was difficult. But, now he does just fine when we go.

As for the shots, I see you are on Vetsulin,which uses a larger needle/syringe (U-40). If you were to switch insulin to Novolin (which is much cheaper than Vetsulin), you would be switching to the smaller, shorter needle & syringe (30 gauge) - both insulin & needles purchased from Walmart. The shorter needle is much easier to handle and my dog rarely feels it. The neck/scruff is not the best place for injection, per my vet. The hind quarters or along the side is best. I start at low hip area (away from the spine), and inject low, mid,or upper hip area, alternating sides.

My dog started out on Vetsulin and did not respond well, plus the cost factor. I had to switch Vets within a week because I was not pleased and wanted another opinion, who switched us to Novolin N (purchased at Walmart for $25/vial). So glad we switched.

You may want to consider home testing, as well. I know that's another stress factor for you, but it becomes second nature. There are several here using human meters & strips, but if you want accuracy, then the Alphatrak 2, or Advocate PetTest meters are designed for animals.Strips for alphatrak are expensive, and some (like me), have switched to the Advocate PetTest meter, using the alphatrak for backup.

I'm sure others will chime in here
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Gus - **Angel as of March 7, 2018"
10.5 yr mini-schnauzer, diagnosed Sept. 2015, currently 17.5 units Novolin N 2x day; diet W/D, tblsp pumpkin, Advocate PetTester tester/strips & Alpha-Trak2 for alternative (when I question weird BG readings); blind as of March 1, 2016
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:13 PM
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Aggie Aggie is offline
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Default Re: New and pretty overwhelmed

Thank you for your reply, jesse girl. I think he's on a once a day insulin right now because they start out that way but then adjust after he's had further testing. I do think it's likely he will end up on two a day. I give him the shot immediately after he finishes a meal, to make sure he eats the meal.

Winston had only about 4 seizures a year for the first 4 years we had him, and he always recovered very completely and quickly, but then they started increasing to weekly or every other week, which is why he went on meds.
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: New and pretty overwhelmed

MomofGus, I will ask about the Novolin. The needles we use now are 29 gauge.

I'm curious as to how you can pull up enough skin from the hip area? (maybe with the shorter needle this isn't an issue?) Winston has a lot of extra skin around his scruff area, not so much anywhere else. I want to make sure I don't get his muscle or stab myself.

I have a glucose meter because I am pre diabetic, myself, and I test myself with it. However, on Winston my meter read 352 when the lab read 480. So that is very inaccurate. Is that typical, that human meters are not accurate for dogs? Or is my meter just not working?

Last edited by Aggie; 02-20-2017 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:34 PM
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MomofGus MomofGus is offline
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Default Re: New and pretty overwhelmed

It doesn't take much skin to tent up, and with the shorter needle, it's much easier, and basically painless if adminstered correctly. Are you in the U.S.? Most vets start with Vetsulin because they sell it, and it's formulated for animals, but it doesn't always work (which was case for my dog), and it costs so much more and has to be purchased from a vet. Vetsulin was given twice/day 12 hrs apart. We gave it a month to work, and weren't getting anywhere. With Novolin, it took another 8 months to find the right dose, but we finally did.

And, yes, human meters are not accurate for dogs. But, many here use them. CraigM, here is the meter expert. Maybe he'll be along to respond to your post.
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Gus - **Angel as of March 7, 2018"
10.5 yr mini-schnauzer, diagnosed Sept. 2015, currently 17.5 units Novolin N 2x day; diet W/D, tblsp pumpkin, Advocate PetTester tester/strips & Alpha-Trak2 for alternative (when I question weird BG readings); blind as of March 1, 2016
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:05 PM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: New and pretty overwhelmed

i use a human meter they maybe off somewhat more in the higher range but get pretty close when in the 100s

actually the difference you posted is not that big a deal .both numbers are in a higher range

as long as its consitent and not bouncing around with numbers that dont make sense you can use it and if you decide you can get something else

its great you are testing it does help quite a bit

diabetes in dogs and managing it is somewhat different than humans with a different attitude it isnt as exact as what we do for humans
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Jesse-26 lbs - 15.5 years old - 10 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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  #8  
Old 02-20-2017, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: New and pretty overwhelmed

Jesse girl, I only tested with my meter on the day that we were at the vet's for Winston's diabetes confirmation blood test. I brought my meter along and had them give me a drop of blood so that I didn't have to wait for the test results, which I already suspected would be bad news. I think that taking a blood sample from him would be difficult, but the vet said he could at least show me how to do it when we are over there next.

I just gave Winston his shot today and he jumped but didn't say anything.

MomofGus, I am in California. I will know if the Vetsulin is working at all in a few days, I guess. It's only been less than one week, and I don't know how long it's supposed to take. As I said, he is drinking and peeing somewhat less, but he is still going out at night (but later, and only once) which is not normal.

It's kind of good to know a human meter isn't accurate for dogs, because for me it's always been really accurate (like a few points off), and I was kind of concerned there.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:04 PM
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Default Diet for diabetic dog

So, this is my second thread here. I am trying to figure out a good diet for Winston. He was diagnosed with extremely high triglycerides last May (a possible red flag for current diabetes?), so the vet put him on Royal Canin GI low fat.

This was confusing to me because I know personally, it's low carb that reduces my triglycerides-- the exact opposite of low fat.

But, in 3 months, his triglycerides dropped from 2500 to 800 on that low fat diet, and just last week it was 476. (when he got the diabetes diagnosis) It's not great but it is going in the right direction for sure.

Again, because I am prediabetic, I know that carbs raise blood glucose and make it harder to control. But because of the triglyceride thing, and his concern about pancreatitis (which Winston has not had), the vet seems to want him to stay low fat AND ALSO low carb. That's pretty much impossible to pull off. We are currently trying Hills W/D, both canned and dry mixed. He loves, loves this food. I would say that it is slightly higher in fat than the Royal Canin, which makes my vet nervous because of the triglycerides, but it's still not super high in fat. It has a lot of fiber, but is not super low in carbs. It's kind of moderate in everything.

Is there anyone out there who has had a dog with high trigs and diabetes who found a decent food for them? Is the Hills a good place to start?

Full disclosure: when I found out Winston had diabetes I tried just plain boiled chicken and nothing else, thinking that is very low carb and low fat too. He loved it but he vomited it up. Too much change too fast, I guess. :-(
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Old 02-21-2017, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: New and pretty overwhelmed

Hi and welcome ! I understand that overwhelming feeling. As far as shots, tenting is way unnecessary. I just pulled up loose skin and injected at the bottom. Also, the scruff area is very uncomfortable for some -my Maggie would squeal every time I tried. There is also auto-injectors that people here have raved about. I never used one but Inject Eze is one I have heard about. Maybe some of them will chime in.

Also, saw your food post and I can talk about it here. Diabetes in dogs is totally different than type 2 human diabetes. Although the carbs don't need to be high, they need carbs to work with the insulin. This is why high protein low carb diets typically don't work well. My dog wouldn't eat the prescription diets. The lowest fat I found was Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Duck and Pea dry. It is about 11%. The canned is not low fat enough but Weruva makes a canned food that is about 9 % and that was the lowest that I found. When you compare foods, especially wet foods, make sure you are comparing them. The fat percentage on canned food is not correct until you take the moisture factor out. The Weruva says 1% but when considering the moisture, it is actually 9 %.

Also, learned through my non-diabetic mini schnauzer, omega 3 fish oil has helped bring down her triglycerides.
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