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  #1  
Old 03-21-2009, 09:58 PM
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robertpri robertpri is offline
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Default Mik is gone...

It appeared Mik had cushings but we should know Monday if it's diabetes. I have read a great deal on this site, and one aspect is maintaining a firm schedule for meals and insulin. This makes sense, of course, but it will take some adjustment.

Wife had serious health problems and could not rise and get going physically until about 10 am. She had them fully trained to not eat until 11 am, and again around 6.

The diabetes has played havoc with Mik's schedule, except in the am. Wife did a fine job because neither Mik or his brother Mak will even get up before 10, and not ready to eat until 11. Their body clocks are set.

I have to be gone 3x a week from 6 am to about noon, so I come home and they are ready to eat.

But tips on this site indicate meals and insulin should be 12 hours apart. There is nothing I can do about the necessity of my morning demands, so should I try for their meals around noon and midnight? Obviously, if essential, I will find a way. But they are usually zonked by 8 or so.

But is that 12 hour guide set in stone? I could manage around noon at 10 pm, but that's 14 and 10 hours. How critical is the 12 hours?

Sorry for the long post, but i want to do this right.

many thanks to all and I"m grateful to be here.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu: importance of scheduled meals & insulin?

Hello & Welcome!

I was told 12 hours apart, with up to an hour wiggle room in either direction. But some of it depends on your dog and how their body reacts to their food/insulin/activity combo once they are regulated. Some dogs need to be fed/injected on a very tight schedule or there will be too many wide variances in their BG readings.

The good things is that the 12 hour window can be anytime that works for you. My vet says he has a dog with an owner who feeds/injects at noon & midnight because that's the only schedule that consistently works for her and her dog does great. I personally use a 10:30 am/pm schedule because my mornings are flexible, but I'm often out in the afternoon/evening and worry about getting home in time. We may even move to a noon/midnight schedule ourselves this summer since we are usually out later then.

I know it seems like the dogs will have a problem adjusting to a new schedule, but you'd be surprised how fast they get used to it and their body clock re-sets. They may pester you in the beginning, but then their bodies get used to it - especially if you stick as close as you can to the schedule and routine. My dog used to be a free-feeder so he was used to having food available any time he felt like it. Now he actually thrives on the new routine and his little internal clock starts going off by about 10:15, the time I generally head to the kitchen to get things ready. If I'm involved in something else, he is all too happy to remind me, lol.

Maybe you could try feeding/injecting around 5:30am/pm, so that you could do it before you leave and then their evening meal would still be around their normal time. Once you have used the routine for a while and Mik's BG readings are in a reasonable range, you could try adding some low glycemic veggies to the routine as a snack/treat when you get home around noon, so they're still getting something that they associate with your return home.

I'm very sorry to hear of your wife's health issues and hope she is doing better. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate with a sick wife and a sick dog. I'm glad you found your way here for support and look forward to learning more about Mik. My parent's had a Shih-Tzu and she was so darn adorable. They sure are cute little dogs.
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu: importance of scheduled meals & insulin?

Hi Robert,

Glad to see you here!

Erin's advice about the schedule is right on. You can pick pretty much anything that works for you and if there needs to be slight variation from the straight 12 hours some days that's usually manageable. I wouldn't go to a 10/14 hour schedule unless you have to as that could wind up giving you some problems.

Kind of depends on if you're a morning person or a night owl!

Could feed every day at 5:30 am and 5:30pm, which would come close to your the evening meal your wife set up before she passed away.

Or if you like late nights better, you could do something like 11:30am or noon and 11:30pm and be a little late with the noon meal on the days you have to be away all morning.

For those just meeting Robert and Mik and Mak, here's a link to the thread on the Cushings forum where you will find a bit more history...

http://www.caninecushings.net/forums...ead.php?t=8807

How is Mik feeling today?

Natalie
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu: importance of scheduled meals & insulin?

Many thanks, Erin & Bailey

No way for you to know, but wife died five months ago which triggered a lot of emotional problems in both dogs [and me!]

The three were constant companions, and for months, Mik and Mak would wander the entire house looking for her. They were confused and depressed. Mik would sit for hours on the floor near wife's side of the bed, convinced she was there, and he just waited for her to get up.

Heartbreaking to watch.

They were always happy, playful dogs, curious and chasing each other.

No matter how much time I spend with them, they have little interest in anything. I didn't post their history here, but it's been pneumonia, congential heart condition, months of hacking and coughing, seizures, trips to all night Vet ER's, blindness, and doing poorly in general.

Mik went blind in a matter of days, and that adds to his confusion. He has not learned to memorize things and bumps into everything.

Our wonderful vet has examined them many times over the past 5 months and has given me the "quality of life" speech. Lots of love and comfort.

My kitchen looks like a mini-pharmacy with post-its on which dog gets what and when.

6am/6pm would work for me and the insulin, but in 13 years, we have never got Mik to eat in the morning With the diabetes, it seems quite impossible. He has zero interest in anything but water until noon or after. I am sure he needs food with the insulin.

Correct?

Perhaps I can find something that he will eat that early. I will know more monday am with the vet.
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu: importance of scheduled meals & insulin?

We were posting at the same time Robert... as far as the a.m. not wanting to eat, we see a lot of this in dogs. Talk it over with the vet as diet is a big part of diabetes and his picking eating means he probably should not be switched to a prescription food unless he absolutely loves it.

If once you get going Mik just refuses to eat on that schedule, we will just have to get creative about how to deal with it.

But one day at a time - I say cross that bridge when you come to it just in case you luck out and you don't!

Natalie
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu: importance of scheduled meals & insulin?

Thank you, Natalie, I guess our posts hit at the same time.

I will have to figure something for the schedule. I have to leave for a part time job around 6 am. At 69, I should not be doing that, and my own heart doc agrees.

Luckliy, I'm not one of the home foreclosure victims but like so many others, suffered a gigantic pension and 401k loss. Retirement package and recent medical bills took a major hit. I'm NOT whining here, and consider myself blessed, but leaving my little guys alone is a necessity, and not a choice.

thanks for all your help, and I'm reading many threads here to learn more.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu: importance of scheduled meals & insulin?

Robert,

You'll find something that works for you! We have a quite a few people here who aren't at home all day and no one in their household is either. They manage to find a routine that works out fine for both them and their dog with diabetes.


Kathy
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu: importance of scheduled meals & insulin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by We Hope View Post
Robert,

You'll find something that works for you!


Kathy
Yes, I will. Thanks. Back to vet on Monday for the details.
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2009, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu: importance of scheduled meals & insulin?

I noticed something this am. Mik is weak, and he rarely eats more than a 1/4 cup of anything at once. So, to get food into him, I have to feed him several times a day, which I know is not good. But he needs to gain wt.

I saw that his front legs beging to tremble from the effort of leaning over to eat. Seconds after the trembling, he loses interest and walks away.

I wonder if his leg weakness\trembling is affecting his appetite?
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu: importance of scheduled meals & insulin?

Robert,

The thing when starting insulin is to get them to eat enough to be able to get their full insulin doses. If it's not good "diabetic food", I wouldn't worry about that right now; get Mik eating regularly first.

Many don't want to eat when their bg's are too high, just as it can be a problem getting something into them when they're too low and you also need to.

Mik may be weak right now and he also may have a problem called neuropathy if his bg's have been high and stayed there for a while. Neuropathy is a problem with the nerves and muscles communicating properly to allow you to do normal things like standing and walking with little to no effort.

These things get better most of the time a while after the dogs get on enough insulin; they also re-gain any lost weight when they're getting regulated.

Do you check his urine with ketodiastix to make sure Mik has no ketones? Ketones can be an emergency situation.

Kathy
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