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  #41  
Old 02-28-2010, 09:05 AM
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eileen eileen is offline
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Default Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

Glad to see things going better for both you and Taylor.

Adding my input from my own personal experience...

For the first 5 years I carefully measured Mildred's food, several months ago I bought a scale and have gone to weighing each meal so to be exact. I am finding this to have an advantage.

I also used the Contour meter for a period of time until I soon began seeing irratic readings, I then tested it against the Freestyle and since the Alpha Trak and found it to be quite a bit higher than where Mildred actually was. Because I was depending upon my readings to make insulin adjustments I couldn't have this. It took me a week or two to get Mildred back under control once going to a more accurate (for Mildred) meter.

Just want to point out too that Walmarts ReliOn Novolin N is exactly the same as the more expensive Novolin N....price of the insulin has nothing to do with how well it works. Some dogs do better with Novolin while others Humulin, others it doesn't matter.

You make very good points...education on the disease is essential.
I too have figured the caloric content of Mil's food so to keep her weight steady with her insulin working well with the diet.
If extra fiber is needed but one does not want to adjust the diet you can add Benefiber to each meal.

What a great looking curve!

Eileen/Mildred
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  #42  
Old 02-28-2010, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

Very nice and great tips!!
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  #43  
Old 02-28-2010, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

Quote:
1. The initial dose of insulin will likely be too low to show much of an effect. It may take several months to achieve control. Do not assume you are doing something wrong when you do not see immediate results, however, do not remain too long on an ineffective dose while your dog continues to deteriorate.

2. Take on the responsibility for management of your dogís diabetes as soon as possible. Educate yourself quickly and use veterinarians (most likely more than one) as advisors.

3. Get a human meter with inexpensive test strips and learn to test. Cheap strips are important so you donít worry about the cost.

4. Try regulating on the least expensive Wal-mart ReliOn Novolin N insulin first. If it doesnít work you can always move on to a more expensive insulin.

5. Determine dogís ideal weight, calculate calories to maintain this weight, and choose an affordable, high fiber, easily acquired food that your dog likes. Measure exactly and be consistent. The insulin can then be adjusted to work with the diet.
These are all great suggestions. I especially agree with number 2 for those willing to dig in and learn.

Vets sometimes present decisions about diabetes like it is rocket science and only a medical professional can do it.

BUT human diabetics can't run to the doctor every day for advice on how much insulin to give. They must learn to manage it themselves - they count carbs, calculate doses, take exercise into account.

So it's perfectly acceptable as far as I'm concerned for people to manage their dogs' diabetes as long as they are willing to do their homework - you wouldn't want some people to manage their dog's diabetes as badly as they manage theirs!!

Learning includes recognizing the differences between human and canine diabetes and adjusting for the fact that the dog can't say "Hey, I think my blood sugar is low - please check it for me!"

So it's a skill but an entirely attainable one.

We switched vets around 2006 and by that time, I was managing Chris' diabetes entirely on my own. I had slowly taken it over bit by bit and was using insulin that did not require a prescription.

The new vet, in 2+ years of treating Chris for his many other problems, never even brought up his diabetes. He knew I just handled it and didn't worry about it. That was a real gift for us - to have that trust. One of the reasons I left the other vet behind - there was more than one - was that she did not ever really trust me to handle it.

And the staff would make big generalizations about what one can or can't do.

Like they just flat out informed me that most diabetic cats cannot have blood sugar tested at home. Now, admittedly, I don't think my cats would ever tolerate it - they are wild things with no manners. But the tech's opinion sure would come as a shock to the dozens of people on the feline diabetes forum who test their cats' blood sugar all the time.
In fact, we have a link to a great video of a cat being tested on our Home BG Test Videos page (www.k9diabetes.com/bgtestvideos.html) just because it's such a great video and so encouraging to people afraid to test!

I know the new vet had our situation explained to him by the internal medicine specialists who referred us to him but I hope that he could grant the same trust to other clients willing to take on that kind of management themselves.

Natalie
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  #44  
Old 03-06-2010, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

Help! I usually give the shot in the scruff of the neck but Taylor has been running really high all day so I decided to try a different spot along his flank. It didn't go well and now his fur is all wet and I now know what the insulin smells like. I assume I can't give anymore insulin. How high is he likely to go and can I test again at 10pm and if he is high not give him the cup of dry food he would normally get? How long is it going to take to get back on track?
Pat
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  #45  
Old 03-06-2010, 06:11 PM
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CarolW CarolW is offline
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Arrow Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

Hi Pat,

Hey, don't panic, and don't beat yourself up! You'd NEVER be able to call yourself "experienced" till you've done at least ONE fur-shot! haha!

Taylor will be fine!

Just resume a normal schedule!

About shooting along the sides instead of into the scruff, you don't in fact have to pull up skin very much. If you can get hold of even a tiny fold, that's enough. And some people don't even do that, but just slide the needle under the skin, at a very narrow angle, so as not to hit anything vital!

The pictures on these pages might assist you some:

http://www.coherentdog.org/vek/bevelup.php

(scroll down to the third picture on that page).

For detail of what the picture there is a diagram of, you can look at the one on this page:

http://www.coherentdog.org/vek/inject.php

You could also drop in on Carolyn and Gretel's thread, where there's some discussion, and a picture of alternative sites for injecting.

http://www.k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1690

Have fun - ha! I hereby dub thee Semi-Expert!

Sat, 6 Mar 2010 17:10:05 (PST)
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  #46  
Old 03-06-2010, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

Carol, you have made me feel much better! I will look on it as a rite of passage. For some reason everything has gone poorly today, even the testing has been difficult. Maybe I was getting over confident. I think a good nightís sleep and a fresh start in the morning is in order. Thanks for all the great information. Pat
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  #47  
Old 03-06-2010, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

Pat,

Thank you so much for the tips on what you would have done had you known. I am in the middle of experiencing a lot of things you wrote about, and I found it very reassuring and enlightening. Thank you!

As far as Carol is concerned...don't you just love her? I think she has become my new bff!! LOL

Kevin
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  #48  
Old 03-06-2010, 09:47 PM
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Arrow Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

I've been doing BG-testing for over three years now. And in my last series of tests - it was either Kumbi's most recent full-curve (21 February 2010) or in a series of spot-checks (five of them) I did on 1 March when Kumbi was drinking a lot of water, for one of the tests, I pricked Kumbi SEVEN TIMES!

I can't remember which it was, because I don't consider the problem significant! It's common enough!

Seven pricks were too many! When finally I decided it wasn't working, I quit! Five minutes later, I tried again, after considering what COULD have gone wrong. That time, we succeeded - together.

Kumbi doesn't bleed all that easily, even on the Lip-Stick, which is usually the easiest source for blood samples. Really, I need to warm the prick-site before pricking. If Kumbi's been resting a lot, or if he's just come in from outside, he bleeds less easily than ever.

So, I now warm the prick-site by dunking a paper towel in hot tap-water, wringing it out a bit, and then folding Kumbi's lip down over the wet paper towel. I hold it there for some 15 seconds. Then I remove the wet towel, and blot-blot-blot (pat-pat-pat) with a dry paper towel, and I dry my fingers and thumb on that towel, too.

Then I can hold Kumbi's lip up without its sliding out of my gentle grip.

THEN, usually, if I prick, I get a blood drop. Not always! I prick by hand. I'm thinking of going to a thicker lancet, if my pharmacy has them - I'm using 25-gauge lancets, but could go to 24, 23, whatever my pharmacy has. Maybe even 21.

Some days, and in some situations, Kumbi bleeds more easily than other days and other situations. If he's been lying down, we do best if I prick on the side that's been downward. Makes sense, doesn't it!

I am REALLY experienced. Lots of pricks, lots of ERRORS - but not too many READINGS that say ERROR, because now, I generally don't apply the test strip if I don't see the blood welling up just about right.

One thing I make sure ALWAYS to do is to let Kumbi go, if he really starts to struggle at all. One BG reading isn't worth making him miserable, so that he REALLY hates the procedure. He hates Procedures on principle, but in fact, is quite cooperative. I refuse to make him hate the procedure in PRACTICE!

And eventually, we succeed; I might miss a reading! Waaaaaaah!

Most dogs are quite cooperative by nature.

When I've messed up a reading, I make sure to give Kumbi a tiny treat anyway - usually, a pea-sized dollop of his canned food, which won't raise his BG levels by much, if at all.

And when I succeed, I sometimes forget to give him a treat! He really doesn't seem to miss it that much, when I forget, but he appreciates it when I remember!

Perfection isn't something I achieve very often, to put it mildly!

Sat, 6 Mar 2010 20:42:49 (PST)
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  #49  
Old 03-06-2010, 09:55 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

I agree that Pat's post was just fabulous. One for the books! Natalie commented on it, too.

Kevin, you're making me blush! One thing I love about this forum is the very individual, special qualities each member brings and shares.

It's the ideal team-work situation! - my favorite activity!

What is a bff?

I keep sending people here to read, because two features of the forum make it unusually excellent.

The organization - one dog, one thread - makes just fabulous educational value!

And Natalie's quiet, gentle leadership helps see to it everyone can both contribute and learn. Of course, with her long experience, she does a great job with thinking out loud, and looking at all kinds of possibilities and situations.

It's that creative mind that is part of the skill she contributes - and teaches!

There are so many other good helpers too that we can be pretty well assured everybody who comes here can find some kind of useful assistance.

Sat, 6 Mar 2010 20:53:52 (PST)
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  #50  
Old 03-06-2010, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Taylor - Road to Regulation

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Originally Posted by CarolW View Post
What is a bff?
Sat, 6 Mar 2010 20:53:52 (PST)
Hey Carol,
I don't know how to send a private message, so I guess I'll have to bore everyone here! A "bff" is what the kids say when referring to a "best friend forever."
Kevin
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