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  #1  
Old 03-03-2010, 03:30 PM
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MattiesDad MattiesDad is offline
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Unhappy Stress and blood sugar?

sg1231, I have a similar problem. Mattie, my 11 year old Miniature Schnauzer, is insulin resistant. She's 16#, and gets 13 units twice a day. Her glucose remains over 300, and she has since gone blind. In an attempt to lower her glucose level, I've switched to a grain free dry dog food. She hasn't been re-tested yet, so I don't know what, if any effect her diet has had. (No more pancakes, Mattie. It was like one per month, anyway.)

I guess I'm wrestling with a decision here. Obviously, her quality of life is diminished. When I'm gone, she doesn't have access to stairs, fortunately. I'm also concerned about my mother tripping over her when I visit, because she can't see people and get out of their way.

I've never had a dog expire quickly from a heart attack, it's always involved the trip to the vet, and I'm trying not to make any hasty decisions here.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Mattie mini Schnauzer having trouble regulating

Hi Mattie's Dad,

Can you tell us more about how much her blood sugar has been monitored and whether it's staying in the 300s or going a lot higher?

I wouldn't hesitate to give more insulin when there's evidence that it's working. It is having an effect if the blood sugar is down into the 300s.

A dog is not officially insulin resistant until they are getting more than 1 unit per pound and the blood sugar remains extremely high, as in the 500s, 600s. So Mattie could certainly have more insulin.

High triglycerides tend to make the blood sugar difficult to control, as does Cushing's disease.

So please tell us more about Mattie and the efforts to regulate her so far and we may be able to help you.

Dogs do not generally suffer the kinds of complications human diabetics do other than the cataracts so the blood sugar doesn't have to be perfectly regulated for Mattie to have a good long life. But of course the best thing is to have it as well regulated as you can.

Natalie
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Mattie mini Schnauzer having trouble regulating

It's been a while since she's been tested. My vet doesn't believe she has Cushing's, either, though I do wonder, as he never tested for it.

Mattie did show a fairly quick response to insulin, as her water consumption dropped from 4 bowls to two, and there was a 100 point or so drop in her glucose. (As I remember)

I guess the next step is to have her checked, and see where we stand. Since I bought this Taste of the Wild grain free dog food, I'm curious if it's having an effect.

Time to play "seeing eye human", and take her for a stroll. Being mindful to steer her around snow banks and trees.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:31 AM
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Arrow Re: Mattie mini Schnauzer having trouble regulating

Hi Mattie's Dad, and a big, fat welcome to you!

Glad you take Mattie for walks. Regular, moderate exercise is just fabulous for diabetic dogs, and blind dogs can do very well, as long as we remain sensitive to their needs.

I think Natalie is right on about the insulin.

It would be great to have glucose curve information - you or your vet could do a curve on Mattie. If you want to do it, we can help you learn.

There are a couple of advantages to having Human Dog-Parents do the curves - that is, first, it's a lot cheaper than having the vet do it; second, it's much less stressful for the dog, who can be at home.

And third - I always have to drop my third shoe - the numbers you get tend to reflect more accurately what goes on during the dog's typical day at home!

You're being a great DogDad for Mattie; she is a lucky dog!

Thu, 4 Mar 2010 05:29:49 (PST)
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Mattie mini Schnauzer having trouble regulating

The curve, is that done with blood or urine?

One thing I've noticed since I switched to grain free dog food is her breath is so much better!
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Mattie mini Schnauzer having trouble regulating

Ideally a blood glucose curve is done where a reading is taken every 2 hours starting with the fasting preshot level then throughout the day. Here's a link to some more information on monitoring: http://www.k9diabetes.com/monitoring.html

A curve can be done with urine testing to get a general idea of how much sugar is spilling into the urine at various times of the day. But a blood glucose curve is more accurate.

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Old 03-04-2010, 08:57 PM
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Arrow Re: Mattie mini Schnauzer having trouble regulating

Sounds as though the grain-free diet is being very suitable for Mattie in some way! I'll be interested to follow your - and Mattie's - progress!

About curves; usually it's done with blood. A vet will often do it with a blood draw from a vein, and then check the sample using a lab machine. Some vets will use glucometers; these use capillary blood, taken by pricking in some location such as:

the "lip" (my favorite - it's not really the lip, but the inner liniing of the mouth, sort of like the cheek). It's my favorite because it bleeds relatively easily, and there are so few nerve endings in that locatin that it's painless for the dog - with extremely rare exceptions.

a callus - on the elbow, or the carpal pad (where the dew claw is or was)

the base of the tail, where the tail joins the back.

I think there are other locations - OH YEAH the EAR! Vets typically use the ear on cats. So often, they also use the ear on dogs.

My vets showed me to use the "lip," but it seems relatively few vets are even aware of the possibility of using the lip as a prick site for blood samples for BG-testing (!)

Here's where you can check out various ways to test using blood:

http://k9diabetes.com/bgtestvideos.html

Now - about "urine curves" - such a thing had never occurred to me, but I tell ya, I learn a LOT on this forum, where site-owner Natalie, and numbers of experienced members, think very creatively and usefully.

Maybe Natalie can help you find the post I KNOW I read not too long ago, where she describe doing a urine curve, using ketodiastix.

You'd certainly get some information, if you do it as Natalie described. I must ask Natalie (Natalie; take this as my asking!) - whether she cooked up that idea! It would surely be typical of her to be that combination of creative-and-useful, and to help others with it.

I"d think doing a urine curve, though, wouldn't be sufficiently detailed with the information it provides to be a reliable souce of data on which to base decisions about changes in insulin dose.

For that, you would need a curve done on blood samples - either as the vet does with a venous blood draw (usually from the jugular or maybe a leg), or with fresh, whole capillary blood, which you get by pricking the surface somewhere. Glucometers are generally geared to use fresh, whole capillary blood, rather than venous blood. I'm not aware of any that are intended to measure glucose levels from venous blood.

A note about doing blood glucose testing - I think likely, most Human Dog-Parents find it quite daunting to think about pricking for blood samples, at least, at first. People who are paramedics or nurses or some-such might not have trouble with it, but for the rest of us, we probably have at least a little reluctance to overcome, before deciding to attempt this kind of testing.

It does turn out that most every Human Dog-Parent of a diabetic dog learns to give the life-saving injections of insulin - after all, that is a matter of life and death for our dogs. Compared to that, pricking for blood samples is optional, and I'm in touch with some people who never did make the attempt.

On this forum, though, there's so much help and support that members here often can and DO do all kinds of things they never thought they could!.

As often happens, I'm falling asleep at the keyboard, so can't be useful with more stuff for now.

Thu, 4 Mar 2010 20:37:24 (PST)
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2010, 10:53 PM
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Default Anyone Up? Mattie Had Major Seizure

Just wondering if this is common? Not pleasant, with the dog in bed with me, laying on her side, running in place, foaming at the mouth. She seems OK now, other than frightened by the experience.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Anyone Up? Mattie Had Major Seizure

I would say the insulin dose is too high or she needs something to eat. have you given her some food or honey? she has obviously gone way too low.

keep her close and comfort her, which i would say is what you are doing. she would be very frightened...

that would have been very scary to witness...i'm sure someone with a little more knowledge will answer your question. only 8pm here is australia, i think everyone else is still in bed.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: Anyone Up? Mattie Had Major Seizure

Her level hasn't been checked for a while, it's the same dosage for months. But a check is overdue. I don't have the meter, so I'll schedule a test with the vet.

I should also mention I'd forgotten her shot, normally given at 5-6 p.m., and gave it at 9 p.m.

Last edited by MattiesDad; 04-05-2010 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention injection time change
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