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  #1  
Old 08-13-2011, 11:22 PM
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Cebe Cebe is offline
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Default Sweet Zoe has departed February 18, 2018

I'm grateful for thus forum and K-9 Diabetes.com. Zoe is a 7 yr old black lab/Shepard mix. She was diagnosed with diabetes on June 1 and I'm already exhausted. She was started on 15 units, raised to 16 within two weeks, then had 2 hypo episodes and was dropped to 7 units then 9, and now 10 as her sugar is high.

I just got a used alphatrak meter and did my first curve. She had glucose in the mid 300s all day with two 400 spikes around the time I would gave expected her nadir. Thus, the tic up in insulin amount from 9 to 10.

Questions: alphatrak strips are expensive and I'd like to try freestyle strips with my alphatrak meter. I have read several threads on this and the only question I have is what is the difference between freestyle lite and freestyle? Does it matter? I intend to get more alphatrak strips but I want to use freestyle primarily because this is a pretty expensive illness for me to manage now.

Question 2: hair loss. She's losing hair. Anyone gave experience with thus? Possible Cushings but her insulin sensitivity with two hypo experiences is counterindicative of Cushing says the doc. Still he will look into that once I get her glucose stable.

Thoughts? Encouragement?

Thank you. Please excuse typos. I wrote this on my phone. :-)
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2011, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Zoe, a new diabetic with a worried mommy

Looks like "gave" should be "have". Happens a lot with this phone, sorry.

Also, her initial fructosamine test after two weeks was 400 or so and when she was having her hypo episodes three weeks later, it was in the 200s.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: Zoe, a new diabetic with a worried mommy

Welcome to you and Zoe!

It's possible that she was somewhat resistant to the effect of the insulin when first diagnosed. That can happen when the blood sugar has been high for awhile. Then after they have been on injected insulin for a while and have better blood sugar, the resistance breaks and they can need fewer units than they did before to reach the same blood sugar levels.

Dogs don't read the diabetes books so they don't realize that they are *supposed to have a nadir at around 6 hours. They pretty much do whatever they want. It's a function of the balance of their food and insulin. If, for example, they are slow to digest their food but put the insulin to work right away, you can see the nadir at 1-2 hours after the meal or injection. And some dogs have mountains for curves instead of valleys with the lowest blood sugar at meal time.

I think the key for Zoe will be to exercise lots of patience in working her dose back up to the right one. Best to stay at a single dose, currently the 10 units, for a minimum of a week to give her body a chance to adjust and show you her long-term response. Then take the curve at face value and see what might need to be improved.

As far as the hair loss goes, most endocrine disorders can cause loss of hair. Hypothyroidism is common in diabetic dogs and can cause it also - has her thyroid level been tested?

Because she's diabetic, she should have a more sensitive thyroid test than the one that comes with a standard blood panel. At least a Free T4 with ED and ideally check all of the hormone levels.

Other kinds of auto-immune and skin disorders can also affect the fur.

Is it thinning? In any area in particular? Or is it more of a patchy loss?

It is the Freestyle Lite strips that are identical to the ones used in the AlphaTrak.

Natalie
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:40 PM
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Patty Patty is offline
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Default Re: Zoe, a new diabetic with a worried mommy

Hi and welcome to you and Zoe!

I have a few questions if you don't mind.
- Is she on 10u twice a day/12 hours apart? or once daily dosing?
- Is she on NPH insulin? Did your vet tell you about Walmart's lower pricing?
- How much does she weigh?
- What is she currently eating?

Congrats on home testing! That's a huge benefit.

There are several here that use the Freestyle lite strips in their Alphatrak. I'll let them comment further. It is only the "Lite" strips that will work in the Alphatrak.

You might try Amazon.com or ebay for cheaper test strips. Just watch for factory sealed boxes and good expiration dates.

Again, welcome!
Patty
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: Zoe, a new diabetic with a worried mommy

Welcome!

I've used the Freestyle LITE strips with my Alpha Trak for a close to a year now ever since I was informed of the possibility.

I buy mine thru healthwarehouse at about 28.00 for a vial of 50 (no taxes or shipping).

Will be looking for the answers to the questions Patty asked...

Sending lots of encouragement as this disease can be treated, often stressful and exhausting but rewarded at the end of each day because they are still by our sides.

Mildred has been diabetic for nearly 7 years now, a long and hard journey with so many sacrafices,something I'd do it for the next 7 years, if only I could.
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2011, 07:46 AM
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Arrow Re: Zoe, a new diabetic with a worried mommy

This is a word of encouragement to you. Once you pick up the basics, which you can do rather quickly here, ESPECIALLY because you ALREADY are able to test Zoe's BGs yourself - magnificent work, there! - I believe you'll find things settle quite well. Then you won't be so exhausted. I think a very large part of the exhaustion is the stress.

Sounds as though you might not be home a lot, since you're using your phone (I think that's brilliant!) - but if you're home around the times Zoe is due for meal and shots, you might use a computer calendar as a way of checking off tasks completed.

I was home all the time with Kumbi, with my computer on all day and half the night. Here's the Calendar I used (and still do, even with my non-diabetic dog, Camellia - Havanese).

http://www.coherentdog.org/vek/calendarscope.php

That one only works if you're running Windows. If your computer is an Apple (Mac), there must be calendar programs for that one, too.

For me, having my computer tell me what to do when, and ALSO, having to check off each task - with the machine yelling at me till I check it off - was - and is - a HUGE stress-reliever. I'm a Bit Olde, and sometimes easily distracted, so knowing I'm properly on schedule for my dogs does truly help me a lot!

Also, I'd like to add my Big, Fat Welcome to the others you have, to this truly fine forum on canine diabetes - best I've ever seen. Though my beloved Kumbi died (of cancer, not diabetes) well over a year ago now, I stay here because of the excellence of the forum - besides, I made a lot of friends here, and don't like to lose touch! Then newcomers like you become friends, too, so I can never leave; haha!

Sun, 14 Aug 2011 06:45:55 (PDT)
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  #7  
Old 08-14-2011, 08:42 AM
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Cebe Cebe is offline
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Default Re: Zoe, a new diabetic with a worried mommy

Wow! Thank you all for the generous welcome! Let's see if I can answer some of your questions:

I'm single and care for Zoe on my own, but also work which takes me out of the house most of the day. That said I have been coming home most days to let her out because I knew her water consumption was up.

She gets 10 units nph 2x a day. She is fed 2x a day, pinnacle food, limited ingredient formula. She has food allergies and need a limited ingredient diet. This is a new food for her because she had a reaction to her old food, CA Naturals. There's a good chance she is digesting this food differently because her elimination habits have changed since I started feeding the new food.

The hair loss is on her belly mostly and flanks. Or at least it's most noticeable there because it was thin to begin with. She has a lot of fur on her back. And I have a lot of fur to vacuum up.

I tested her this morning after adding that one more unit last night and she was at 266. I did wait 13 hrs after her food and last injection cuz I overslept. . Anyway, the lower glucose was interesting.

Hope I filled in the gaps. Thanks again to you all. Big sigh of relief to have folks to talk to about this.

Last edited by Cebe; 08-14-2011 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Forgot to add info.
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2011, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: Zoe, a new diabetic with a worried mommy

Good morning and welcome to the forum.

I wanted to add to the comments concerning the AlphaTrak meter and FreeStyle LITE (FSL) strips. If you do order FSL strips, be sure they are the LITE strips and not the regular FreeStyle strips.

The other concern is coding of the AlphaTrak meter. In the "old" days of 2010, I believe all AlphaTrak test strips called for the meter to be set to number 7 (number on the container) for dogs. Those of us who were using FSL strips would just substitute the FSL strip, and leave the meter set at 7. Early in 2011, or possibly late 2010, we found the AlphaTrak strips were no longer all coded 7, but each container might be different. I believe the AlphaTrak meter should remain set to 7, if you are using FSL strips: so if you are using both AlphaTrak strips and FSL strips you may have to remember to change the meter coding before using the different type of strip.

If you want to try FSL strips, I would recommend a side-by-side comparison with the AlphaTrak strips. Test the same blood droplet by swapping out test strips, and noting the meter coding.

EILEEN: Do you have any thoughts about coding the AlphaTrak? I really haven't been using mine much this year, been using another meter most of the time,

Craig
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:42 AM
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Cebe Cebe is offline
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Default Re: Zoe, a new diabetic with a worried mommy

The strips I was using used the 7 code. And I won't change that for the freestyle strips, but if the new alphatrak strips I get have a different code, I will change it for those strips but still use 7 for the freestyle, correct?

Oh and I wanted to thank Carol for the calendar link. I use a diabetes log program on my phone to keep track of injections and glucose tests, but I will check out that calendar too.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Zoe, a new diabetic with a worried mommy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cebe View Post
The strips I was using used the 7 code. And I won't change that for the freestyle strips, but if the new alphatrak strips I get have a different code, I will change it for those strips but still use 7 for the freestyle, correct?
Yes. That is what I am doing and seems to be accurate. I would still run a side-by-side using the AlphaTrak and FreeStyle LITE strips. My testing showed these strips read within about 10 points of each other under about 200, sometimes within just a point or two different. Remember, FreeStyle LITE, not the regular FreeStyle strips.

Craig
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