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Old 10-22-2013, 03:49 PM
Bosco Bosco is offline
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My dog was just diagnosed on October 8. Her name is Bosco & she is a miniature schnauzer. I home cook her meals. I don't have a glucose meter yet. My vet says it's not necessary to do testing at home. I really can't afford the AlphaTrak testing strips. I am wondering about snacks, what kind & how often. Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:29 PM
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stylynjm stylynjm is offline
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Location: so. california
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Default Re: Bosco

Hello to you and Bosco,
Many people will join in, however. More about Bosco. When do you feed, and what, how much. When do you give insulin and how much, and what kind of insulin.
You can use a human meter, they do read lower than the alphatrak, but work well to give you a guideline of where Bosco is #'s wise and if he is safe. The most important. Lows are more dangerous than slightly high.
I use Novolin N, $25.00 at Walmart. their needles are also reasonable. I also use the Relion Confirm meter(walmart brand). the strips are cheaper than most and work fine. A lot of the members like the Ultra one touch, I think that's the model.
Diabetes is workable and home testing, as many will agree, has saved their pups more than once... Good luck. Everyone here has a lot of experience and knowledge, and are more than willing to help guide you through any hurdles.
Welcome, you have found the right place to be
Sissy 13 yr old Bichon, born 4/17/03, 12 lbs. Diagnoised 7/20/12. Passed away 12/29/16 in my arms. My life will never be the same again. She will always be with me. Run free my babygirl 3 ozs I/D 4 x's day. 1.75 units levemir 2 times a day. .1 mg thyroid pill, tramadol for leg pain, morning & night,Use Alphatrak 2 and Relion Confirm meters.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:42 PM
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CraigM CraigM is offline
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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Default Re: Bosco

Welcome! You've probably seen that most of us do home blood test. Very hard to know how Bosco is doing without testing, and a LOT cheaper than going to the vet every week or two. The way I look at it is that human doctors almost insist diabetics home blood test, so why not our pups? I know if my human son / daughter had diabetes we would be testing for sure. I guess there are some dogs that just won't allow testing, but these are very few.

The AlphaTrak2 is a great meter, but probably most here use a human meter for either all, or some, of the testing. The One Touch Ultra2 can usually be found on Amazon for around $15, and test strips online are much less expensive than at most local stores.

Treats generally need to be diabetic friendly, such as a green bean, piece of cauliflower, ice cube. Some might give a fingernail sized piece of chicken. Of course without home testing, you won't know if the treat you give is making the blood glucose jump or not. A couple of weeks ago I gave my Annie a small doggie treat and a few hours later she tested in the 300s (gave those treats away).

Most here feed two identical (I weigh the kibble on a food scale) 12 hours apart. Very difficult to get them regulated if the meal varies. Yes, there are a few here that vary from the 12 hours, but they have had been at it for years and have developed their technique by home testing.

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.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:12 PM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: Bosco

Welcome to the forum! As far as testing goes, most vets don't say it is necessary. I am guessing there are a few reasons - some think the concept of testing at home might be too scary for newly diabetic parents, some fear that if you test you will start adjusting insulin without their input, and some think all dogs go by the same protocol. If you spend much time reading the forum, you can see that isn't the case. Dogs are individuals and what works great for one may not work well for another.

I use a One Touch Ultra mini and it works well, so well that my vet got one for his clinic after using mine. You can get strips on ebay really cheap compared to stores. I got some today for 40 cents a piece and they are cheaper if you can buy bigger quantities. Make sure the boxes are sealed and the expiration dates are good and that the seller has good feedback. Most of the people are diabetics selling their extra strips.

Testing will save you money by doing curves at home rather than the vet and will speed the regulation process along plus it gives you peace of mind. Schnauzers have proven to be a little difficult to regulate as the breed just has some characteristics like high triglycerides.

I have a non-diabetic schnauzer named Mya - she is such a joy. She was a puppy mill mom dog who at four could no longer churn out puppies but once she discovered not all people are bad, being outside is not so scary and toys are fun, she is like having a puppy again.
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.......
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:38 PM
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harleychik66 harleychik66 is offline
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Location: Wisconsin
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Default Re: Bosco

We just started the home testing after about 5-6 weeks. Initially our vet said...oh no you don't test we do it here. We've done 3 all day curves tests to the tune of 250.00 a test. That actually was not my reason for home testing. I initially wanted to do so but my vet made it seem like it wasn't done. I have since found out differently. Couple that with my guy crashed on Saturday I was bound determined to be more aware of his numbers apart from bi monthly or monthly tests.

He was in yesterday for an all day curve and I took in a human meter to see the difference in points so I could have a better idea of where he is at at home.

I did a little reading on here..initally thought about the Alpha track but for now decided to try a cheaper human bg meter and I can always change later. I reviewed many online reviews and decided to go with the ReliOn Confirm. There was a cheaper unit and the test strips were cheaper by ReliOn but it didn't get the best reviews. The confirm also only needs a really really small blood sample hence the Confirm. The meter was 15.00. The strips at walmart were 40 each but I only bought a small container and then ordered 200 of them off ebay and they break down to 27 a strip. Not too bad I don't feel.

As far as feeding. I have always fed 2x a day at 6 and around 3:30-4. I had to change to 6 and 6 and there is/was no way my guy was going to wait that long. He KNOWS when his "normal" supper time was and he would not sleep/settle or to hear him survive if he didn't get fed then. Vet ok'd a small kibble meal to tide him over but it seemed that kibble meal was really bumping up his levels around 4. We have since switched to a small all protein meal of cooked chicken or rabbit or ground beef or venison, a boiled egg with the shell and a small spoonful of cottage cheese. It's actually more portion wise with fewer cals and this really seems for now to work much better.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:05 PM
Riliey and Mo Riliey and Mo is offline
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Default Re: Bosco

Welcome Bosco to our forum, ask away any question you have, were here tohelp you. I give my dog 6 green beans chopped up midway at the 6hour mark. 12 hours is a long time to go without eating.

I also give him a treat after his walk to bring up his blood glucose as he tends to go low. I dont want him to go hypo, very low dangerous blood sugar. He tends to get low 2hours after eating and injecting.

He gets a dried liver treatafter a walk in the am and pm doesnt raise his bg as I test him after a walk. Also at nite I give him a driedsweet potato treat.

When you get a minute tell usmore about your Bosco
Riliey . aka Ralphy, Alice, Big Boy
20 lb male 17 yrs. black cockapoo, dx Apr 2012 . 5 1\2 yrs diabetic. 2002 to 2017
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:14 PM
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jenny jenny is offline
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Location: UK, Wales
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Default Re: Bosco

Hello and another warm welcome to you and Bosco.

I started with home blood testing straight away and find it indispensible in keeping my pup in good ranges. Shes really happy and well 18 months in. I do remember how overwhelming it was in the begining though and would encourage you to read up as much as you can and ask away on this great forum. My vet had not come across anyone home testing either and is now sold on the idea and recommends it to other clients. I too use the human one touch ultra with supplies from ebay.

Looking forward to hearing more about your pup.
Pippa; Westie, diagnosed 17th April 2012 at 6.5 years old, 8.7kgs, 6.8 units canninsulin bd, Burns high oats food . Lives with George 9 (Black lab), Polly 19 (cat) and Basil 15 (diabetic mog for 5+ years). Im Jen and we live in West Wales where it rains too much!
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:56 AM
Bosco Bosco is offline
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Default Re: Bosco

Bosco is a miniature schnauzer and is 9 years olds. She was 15 pounds and in 3 weeks she went down to 13.2 pounds before she was diagnosed. She has not gained any weight in the 2 weeks she has been on insulin. She is on Walmart insulin, 2 units, 2x a day. She is going for another glucose curve tomorrow. Her blood glucose was 368 when she was diagnosed.

She is on a home cooked meal. I took the recipe for a balanced diet from
This is the recipe I use. These are raw ingredients.
2/3 pound ground white turkey
11/4 c pearled barley
1 c cottage cheese
1/3 pound carrots
wheat bran
2 tsp pectin
This makes 6 c cooked food.

I feed 1 cup 2x per day, 12 hours apart. I also give her a vitamin, Canine Plus. I have ordered a calcium supplement, Thomas Labs Vet-D-Cal Powder.
I have freezed dried liver treats from Trader Joe’s that I give her several times a day. I have also been giving her garbanzo beans several times a day. She will not eat raw or frozen green beans as a treat.

At the 6 hour mark, I give her 1 hard boiled egg, white only & a few cooked green beans.
The part of the eating routine I don’t understand is the treats. Are the treats supposed to be very limited or can they be given frequently? I don’t understand about giving a treat & then testing. What is the test looking for, high bg, low bg? I am lost.

Last edited by Bosco; 10-23-2013 at 06:48 AM. Reason: correct recipe
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:19 AM
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eileen eileen is offline
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Location: Central California
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Default Re: Bosco

The one thing that really jumps out for me are the carrots...many diabetic dogs will see an increase in the sugar levels with carrots, some are not affected.
A carrot would send my girl's sugar levels high.

In order to see how treats, or anything for that matter, will affect our diabetics is to blood test before and then after.
With testing we can see what effect, if any, the food in question will have on the sugar levels.

Because I blood tested at home I did not have Vet run curves.

Eileen and Mildred, 12 yo Border Collie Mx, 24.6 pounds, dx diabetic/hypothyroid 2004, gallbladder removed 2005, cataract surgery 2005, spindle cell sarcoma removed 2009, stroke 2009, tail removed 2011, dx with bladder cancer 2011, CDS, Organix~chicken / NPH,Humalog
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:36 AM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: Bosco

Basically, with testing, you are learning how the food and insulin are coming into balance for your dog. I test four times a day. Before each meal, at noon, and before bed. When you get to a certain point, you won't necessarily have to do it that often. My dog has tendancies to go low easily especially after exercise, a bath or sometimes for reasons I am not certain of.

The main advantage of testing is to keep them safe. If you test at fasting before meal time, and you were to get a lower than expected number, then you might want to rethink the dose of insulin. We don't habitually change dosage based on readings but if the number is below 100, it does make a difference because low sugar can be deadly. Here is an example from a day last week for my dog: Morning fasting 150, Noon 180, Evening Before meal 53 so, my plan is feed her normally, set a one hour timer and recheck her. There is no way I would give any insulin without making sure she came up to an acceptable level. Another recent event - we decided to go walk, i checked her before and she was at a good level like 180 I think. We went around the block nothing major and got back. She seemed fine and she tested at 44. So, I immediately gave her a snack.

As you test and learn your dogs patterns, you will see where you can make subtle adjustments to the things you do whether it is food, timing, insulin, exercise. Little things can make a huge difference.

In the early days, when you try to get to a regulating dose, you will want to keep treats at a minimum. But, that said, I think a pre testing treat and a preshot treat are important. I use a tiny piece of string cheese, or a freeze dried sweet potato chip or a freeze dried piece of buffalo meat. Nothing too carby or big. As your dog's levels become better and you see patterns, you can always add in a treat or minimeal if needed.
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.......
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