Diabetes in Dogs: The k9diabetes.com Forum

Go Back   Diabetes in Dogs: The k9diabetes.com Forum > Diabetes Discussion: Your Dog

Diabetes Discussion: Your Dog Anything related to your diabetic dog.

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-16-2016, 11:44 AM
bojangles321 bojangles321 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1
Default Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

Alright interwebs... let's do this. This is my first time on a forum so let's see what happens. My 8 year old labrador was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes the last week of April, 2016. He had been very active (running or walking 3.5 miles 3-4 times a week) steady diet of blue buffalo weight control twice a day. We always joke and say he "lives and dies by the kibble" because he's such a food hog! He is a healthy 85 lbs of pure snuggles.

Now our story begins...Nothing was out of the ordinary until we got home from a walk and he started acting "drunk". Stumbling around and falling over, still responsive but struggling to even raise his head. My husband and I decided thought it was possibly a stroke, but he never lost control of his bowels or anything and everything we read was jsut showing either an inner ear infection or low blood sugar. So we decided to wait and see if he came out of it, the next morning he was ok- nothing really strange but he was a bit lethargic and began drinking more water. This excessive drinking continued for a few days until we took him into the vet. They automatically did a blood panel on him and his glucose level was over 600!!! They perscribed 10 units of Novalin-N twice a day 20 minutes after his meal and a weekly follow up after that. Long story short, we eventually went every week and slowly got him up to 30 units.

At that point, he started having issues where his blood sugar would suddenly drop sometimes at night around dinner, sometimes in the morning. It really had no rhyme or reason. So, we continued with weekly visits to the vet and they started bringing the insulin back down. We were at 30, then 25 units, but having more low sugar episodes (we would grab a treat and cover it in honey to spike it real quick and prevent a melt down) So, last Friday we took him in and they suggested 22 units twice a day with meals, but if he gets an episode again to drop it down to 20. Well, Sunday morning we did the normal 22 units with the meal and he was not himself. We stayed with him all day to make sure he didn't have an episode. When we let him out to go potty, he started acting like he was pouncing on objects or getting stung in the face by bugs... crouching down and hopping around. We have NEVER seen him do this before, it almost looked like he was being startled by something or he couldn't see something until it was right infront of him. We brought him inside where he and I laid down for a 2 hour nap. He seemed better by the evening after dinner... we dropped the insulin down to 20 units for that dosage per the vet's suggestion.

So, this brings us to this past Monday. Monday morning he woke up, right as rain, ate breakfast and got his 20 units. When I got home from work he was acting very clingy and panicked. He was panting excessively, follwoing me like a shadow and his pupils were huge. I gave him his dinner (normally calms him a bit) but it didnt' help, so my husband and I took him outside to go potty. He started doing the weird crouching jumping/dance then keeled over and seized for about 3-4 minutes. I have never seen a dog have a seizure before, and let me tell you I don't want to see it again...

So, here's my dilema folks... that night we took him to the animal hospital immediately after the seizure. He had a glucose level of 55 by the time we got him into the hospital... he was very excited and his normally goofy self which is weird because how low would his levels have had to have been for a 55 to be a spike?! He literally just "snapped out of it" as soon as the seizure was over and he realized where he was and who my husband and I were. His glucose was monitored all night at the hospital and gradually rose to the highest level of the evening around 450. We picked him up the next day and were told to do a glucose curve test as soon as possible. The vet there suggested we only give him a maximum of 10 units twice a day from here on out and that he was recieving too much insulin.

So, the following day we took him to our normal vet for the curve test he was there from open to close. His levels rose up to 650 at one point. They gave him a small dose of Insulin type R that was the (fast acting kind), popped him down to about 417. The vet (upon picking him up) suggested we go back to 30 units twice a day again and to come back in 3 weeks for a check up.

So, my questions/concerns : if my dog's levels are dropping from too much insulin, why would a vet suggest a higher dosage after seeing his test results from this entire week and his history? Is this normal?

If my dog is having a crazy reaction to the insulin like this, is there something else that could be wrong with him that is masked as diabetes? I saw a bunch of sites suggesting cushings but apparently that test isn't entirely accurate and treating that if not truly a cushings case could be terrible for him.

I was initially told not to home test for his levels (per my suggestion on our first visit) but to come in every week until we got his insulin dosage correct- now they've changed their tune, anyone else have this problem?

Also, they suggested the urinalysis glucose test strips not the blood testing... very adament about that. They wanted me to test at least 3 times a day, after eating but before insulin to determine if we dose, 1/2 dose or no dose for that period. Again, has anyone else had this situation? I had been reading a bunch of posts on here and it seems pretty normal with the blood testing method for everyone i've read on here!

They're also recommending I make an appointment with an internist at another vet to possibly have an ultrasound/xray/tests done on my dog's pancreas because the levels and reaction are all over the board... again anyone else having this type of situation?

*** I am a fish out of water here, if anyone has anything that they think could possibly help or suggest for my adorable pup, please let me know.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 12:31 PM
CraigM's Avatar
CraigM CraigM is offline
Senior Member and Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 6,017
Default Re: Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

Welcome to the forum. Sorry to read about your pup's problems.

A few questions:
What is his weight?
What are you feeding and is it ONLY twice a day, about 12 hours apart?

Most on the forum home BLOOD test. Ask the vet if he had a diabetic human child would they not BLOOD test? Of course they would.

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 9 years.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 12:59 PM
CraigM's Avatar
CraigM CraigM is offline
Senior Member and Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 6,017
Default Re: Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

Just saw that he is 85 pounds. Although the "book" generally suggests 0.2 units of insulin per pound (17 units for 85 pounds) as a starting dosage, some pups might need less than normal. If he truly had a seizure with 20 units, you might need to reduce down to 10 units? He ate a full meal before that 20 units?

Just a wild question. What syringe are you using? There should be a number on the syringe like U-100. Are they U-100's, or something different?

Please verify it is Novolin-N. There are several other types of Novolin, just want to be sure the pharmacist gave you the right thing. (mistakes happen)

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 9 years.

Last edited by CraigM; 06-16-2016 at 01:12 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 01:01 PM
Judi's Avatar
Judi Judi is offline
Founding Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 5,278
Default Re: Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

I'm not one of the experts but my dog had other issues and scary lows so my heart goes out to you. My non diabetic dog had a seizure and I agree, no need to see that again.

A lot of vets don't "get" canine diabetes so your instincts are already on point.

1. Yes you need to home test blood. With your dog's issues you will get more accurate results, more frequent results, and save some money. We used a one touch ultra. When you drop them at the vet for a curve they are out of their environment and out of their routine.

2. I think consulting a specialist is an excellent idea. I put off seeing a specialist for too long with my dog and regretted it. those vets are used to seeing the "hard cases". I think you will gain some real knowledge.

3. I wouldn't trust your original vet for future input on dosage. While at the specialist I would ask if using your curves and emails they would be willing to work with you. (our specialist wanted us to still work with our primary vet). Otherwise you may need to change vets.

4. If you are still going for runs that could be causing the lows too. Once you start home testing you will want to test before and after exercise because the exercise may need to be factored in to the dose. or more treats.

Hang in there. You sound way more knowledgeable than I was in the beginning. Judi
Jenny: 6/6/2000 - 11/10/2014 She lived with diabetes and cushings for 3 1/2 years. She was one of a kind and we miss her.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 01:19 PM
jesse girl's Avatar
jesse girl jesse girl is offline
Founding Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 8,361
Default Re: Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

oh my

most of these problems would have been avoided with home testing blood sugar

the larger breeds are usually quite easy to test

the initial event during the walk sounds like a low blood sugar event and subsequent diagnosis of diabetes a bit weird

i agree there maybe something else going on and i would not rule out a miss diagnosis or something going on with the natural production of insulin from the body . maybe something to do with the pancreas .

doing a curve after a low blood sugar event will not give any information on raising the dose it could take a week for the body to settle back down and numbers can be elevated for days due to the event . so raising the dose back to 30 units based off this curve is not a good idea especially after a potential low blood sugar event

cushing's in dogs usually shows resistance to insulin and it appears you are not seeing that as insulin is dropping blood sugar

we have seen some dogs have a reaction to insulin maybe allergic in nature and had to use and alternative insulin

exercise and walks can drop blood sugar quite rapidly during active insulin . so if your still taking those long walks that can be part of the problem

my jesse has seizures due to epilepsy it can affect her blood sugar . dropping it initially and rising after . so maybe there is some neurological issues going on with your pup

you do need to test blood sugar at home. you will need a meter and lots of strips because you may need to test quite a bit . this will at least give you a window into whats going on with blood sugar and keeping your boy safe .
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
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 01:59 PM
CraigM's Avatar
CraigM CraigM is offline
Senior Member and Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 6,017
Default Re: Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

:-) OK, so everyone is suggesting you home BLOOD test. How to start? There are videos on this website, and probably hundreds of videos on YouTube. Just search "blood test diabetic dog" for a start.

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 9 years.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2016, 05:00 PM
Rubytuesday's Avatar
Rubytuesday Rubytuesday is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 3,284
Default Re: Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

Lots of good advice already. I strongly second Judi's recommendation to not follow your original vet with regards to diabetes. Obviously a dog who had a siezure at 20 units should not be increased to....30 units....and then not seen for three weeks. EGADS sounds like Holli and Decker's first vet. Decker was heavily overdosed early on.

A dog's liver can shoot out stored glucose if it senses the levels dropping too low, but eventually those reserves run out. I imagine a siezure was prevented with stored glucose when he was hooping and jerking the first time.The second time he could have run out.

I wonder if the hopping, pouncing, ect. was actually him feeling himself starting to fall or stagger and he was trying to right himself.

Tara in honor of Ruby.
She was a courageous Boston Terrier who marched right on through diabetes, megaesophagus, and EPI until 14.
Lucky for both of us we found each other. I'd do it all again girly.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2016, 07:43 AM
Lnard54's Avatar
Lnard54 Lnard54 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Salem Ma.
Posts: 28
Default Re: Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

I too had a tough time regulating my dog when first diagnosed ( no Seizures thank good) but very erratic BS with no rhyme or reason to it and not at all due to diet.
Our vet switched him to a 24 hour slow release insulins although still given twice a day for dogs (Levemir initially than we switched him to Lantus) as he is a rapid metabolizer of insulin he has done better with this although far from perfect still with infrequent highs and lows. I do home testing and my own curves which are a life saver. Maybe you should inquire about the longer acting insulins ?/
Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2016, 09:27 AM
amydunn19's Avatar
amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
Senior Member and Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Little Rock, AR
Posts: 4,616
Default Re: Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

I have some questions about your original vet and the journey from 10 to 30 units. Did your vet base his insulin dosage raises on a single blood test or did he keep him for curves at the office. How often and by how much did he raise at a time?

My dog was originally diagnosed by a vet who was very nice but not very knowledgeable about diabetes. She never did a curve and I had no idea she was supposed to. She had me bring her in at a time of the day she "should" be her lowest for one test. Apparently, Maggie didn't get the memo and she was actually at her highest at that time. They kept upping her insulin. Then, the seizures started. She was 11 pounds and they had her on 9 units twice a day. Horribly overdosed. I won't go through all her issues but I switched vets and changed food because she wouldn't eat prescription and she eventually ended up at 2.5 units. Scary stuff.

That is why I wouldn't jump the gun on concluding the insulin was not effective. If you feel the vet was not competent, then, it may simply be a matter of testing and lowering that dose. After you find that new vet. Your dog may not be a strange case at all, maybe it is the vet.
Maggie - 15 1/2 y/o JRT diagnosed 9/2007, Angel status on 6/20/16. Her mantra was never give up but her body couldn't keep up with her spirit. Someday, baby.......
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2016, 06:59 AM
chrmyr's Avatar
chrmyr chrmyr is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Danville PA
Posts: 80
Default Re: Newly diagnosed Diabetic- but he's a "strange case"

I haven't posted in a while, been to busy with life. But my 8 month old pup is running me through the ringer as well right now with ups and downs. Just when you think you have it figured out.... We had her fixed last month. That all went great. But now I'm almost back to square one on figuring out how much insulin to give. Just when I think I have it figured out she drops to low on me. And, some times she just doesn't want to eat. Puppies are like that, heck all dogs are. So constant BG checks at home is almost a must when your going through that.
Luna, 10 month old Great Dane, diagnosed around 12 weeks. Insulin is Novalin N. Blue Wilderness adult large breed salmon recipe with tuna, salmon or egg. Treats are carrots, green beans, and broccoli.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:05 PM.

Disclaimer -- The content on this site is provided for informational and educational purposes only. While we make every effort to present information that is accurate and reliable, the views expressed here are not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by a licensed veterinarian. Please consult with your veterinarian for specific advice concerning the medical condition or treatment of your pet and before administering any medication or pursuing any course of treatment that you may read about on this site.

The views and opinions expressed by contributors to this forum are strictly their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the owners, administrators, or moderators of this forum and the k9diabetes.com website.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2009, 2010 k9diabetes.com. All rights reserved.