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Old 03-15-2018, 08:16 PM
R13sWife R13sWife is offline
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Default Need Help, Newly diagnosed Diabetic lab

Good evening every one,

I seriously need some help. I know quite a bit about diabetes as I'm an RN, and have been doing alot of research since my lab was diagnosed at the end of Jan this year. We are having some serious issues controlling her diabetes, so let me give you all the low down on what has been going on.

My lab is a female, almost 6 yrs old, her name is Cocoa. Back in November of last year, she came down with a skin infection around her left eye, swollen and open wounds. Vet put her on an antibiotic and prednisone. Of course, she had all the side effects, increased peeing, thirst and hunger. treatment was almost 3 weeks. So as we went into December, we thought the side effects would decrease. At this time, she weighed almost 94 lbs (we put her on a doggy diet as we foudn out she was sneaking my other dogs food when he didnt eat) Then came January...by the third week, she was feeling ill, still had the increased urination, thirst but no appetite, heavily panting and definitely not like herself. She started to shiver and had tremors which lead us to taking her in thinking she had a severe UTI. Took in a urine sample with us and low and behold, her urine was full of protein, not bacteria. They drew some blood and her sugar was 549. Because of the doggy diet, she weighed 79 lbs. The vet immediately put her on 18 units of vetsulin twice a day and sent us home. I was monitoring her blood sugar at home and things were going well...lowest was 82 and the highest 389. So I slowed down on taking her blood sugar as suggested by out vet. Two weeks ago, I took her back for a recheck, and all was well....fasting blood sugar of 104 and still receiving 18 units in the morning and evening.

Now this week is totally different. Monday was normal...18 units in the morning and then in the evening (7pm). By 4:30am Tuesday, she fell off our bed having a grand mal seizure, lasted 2 and half minutes. Tested her blood sugar and it was 40. (im guessing it was lower). Gave her karo syrup as the vet said...but it wasnt bringing it up. So I gave her bread, peanut butter and jelly and then some of her dog food. She never lost consciousness. after 45 minutes, I was able to get it up over 100. We went back to bed and I fed her more food at 7am, blood sugar was 80. Of course no insulin and definitely called the vet. She told me to not give any insulin until her sugar is up to the 300 level and only give 15 units. That didnt happen until this morning...she was 382 just after she ate. I didnt feel comfortable giving the 15 units, so I decreased it 12 units. My husband checked her at 1:00pm, she was 118. He fed her this evening at 7pm...and I checked her sugar when I came home at 9:30 tonight, she was 70 and I just checked her at 1030pm and she was down to 50....no seizure thank god but she was panting and circling alot. so I gave her some honey on bread and then more of her food. Just checked her while typing and her sugar is 125. I'm getting really nervous about this whole insulin thing...We are not home to monitor her all the time.

So can any one help me out with this...could she have Cushing's instead of diabetes?

Thank you in advance every one

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Old 03-15-2018, 09:14 PM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: Need Help, Newly diagnosed Diabetic lab

Hi and welcome! Sorry you are having issues.

Is she spayed? Hormones can make those levels fluctuate quite a lot if she isnít spayed.

My initial thought is that insulin starting dose is generally 1/5 unit per pound so that would be about 16 units. She might have been started a bit high so her dose might be too much. Did the vet do any curves where she stayed all day, checking blood sugar every two hours? Do you have any recent curves you could post?

I would do a twelve hour curve as soon as possible, starting before breakfast and testing every two hours until the evening meal. This is the preferred way to see what is going on. If you could do this over this weekend, then that would be ideal.

I am always perplexed at vets recommending backing off testing. So many things affect blood sugar and ďregulationĒ doesnít mean low blood sugar isnít possible or that things canít change. Blood sugar is ever changing, it seems.

I would reduce her further and try to monitor her more often if possible. If you canít check her sugar during the day, I would drop her insulin even further. Better to be high than low with no one home until you can get some normal readings and get it figured out.

Cushings is not really in the picture IMO because typically she would be showing insulin resistance instead of low numbers. Does she have any physical symptoms of Cushings? Hair loss, pot belly, insatiable appetite? If not, it is likely that Cushings is not the culprit.

I think a likely scenario might be that she may have been slightly resistant at first(many dogs donít see changes at first) and her body has now started processing the insulin more effectively.
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 03-15-2018, 09:33 PM
R13sWife R13sWife is offline
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Default Re: Need Help, Newly diagnosed Diabetic lab

Thank you for responding.

Yes, Cocoa is spayed, so that isnt a culprit. I was going to do a curve this past weekend but I fell ill myself, so Ill be doing a curve Saturday. As of right now she is at 162. I dont know if Ill give her any insulin in the morning, as both my hubby and I are gone til 5pm, it all depends on her reading. I definitely will post the curve results as soon as I have them.

By the way, I feed her 2 cups of grain free turkey and potato dog food as she has skin allegies for the past 4 yrs. No treats, if anything its fresh green veggies. I am also using a Relion Prime glucometer.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:26 PM
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Judi Judi is offline
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Default Re: Need Help, Newly diagnosed Diabetic lab

The infection could have been causing higher blood sugar. As the infection got treated, her blood sugar would have come down requiring less insulin.

my dog had some ups and downs because she did have cushings. Like Amy said this doesn't seem like cushings to me. She wouldn't have responded so well or gone so low with untreated cushings.

One time when my dog was at a severe low (might have been 40 I don't remember), my vet did have me skip an insulin shot. It might have been 20. We went 24 hours with no insulin

we did wind up with some roller coaster swings of sugar but she survived it.

you might might might want to give at least 1/4 of a lower dose (maybe 3 or 4 units?) just to take the edge off. Especially if she eats tomorrow morning

The seizure must have been really scary. Hang in there. Jesse girl has one of those automatic treat feeders that pops a carby treat out for her dog while she is gone during the day if necessary

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.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:50 AM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: Need Help, Newly diagnosed Diabetic lab

Maybe a misdiagnosis . Its very unusual to see numbers in a very good range just starting insulin therapy , the reason amy thought your dog could still be intact

Maybe the steroid treatment caused a temporary situation
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
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