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  #1  
Old 07-24-2018, 01:28 AM
Julia Julia is offline
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Default Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 😨

Hi Everyone!

My 10 yr old Chi mix (possibly Boston or Pug) was diagnosed with diabetes about 6 wks ago and we are still in the process of figuring it all out. My sister and I live together, are both retired and both have Lyme Disease, various co-infections and chronic pain. We are also in the process of moving altho currently have 15 boxes out of about 5,000 packed so it may take some time before we actually make the move. Needless to say, we have a lot on our plates right now.

As we don't work, both of us realized immediately that he started drinking too much water and urinating excessively and we saw his vet two days later. We were surprised to discover how high his glucose was, the AlphaTrak2 monitor wouldn't even read it, no number, it only said Hi. Our vet had us bring him in right away to inject him with insulin and she showed us how to do it. He's about 15 lbs, or at least he was to start, and she started him off at 2units of insulin after breakfast, 2 units after dinner and every 5 -7 days we do the blood curve, send her the results and she adjusts the dose accordingly. Right now he is on 6 units at 8am and 5 units at 8pm with meals. He is only eating 1/2 cup of chicken or beef twice a day. He doesn't get any kibble or treats altho this week she said he could have bully sticks to chew on but he's not crazy about them so rarely touches them.

There are a couple of areas of immediate concern. He is on Caninsulin and not always, but fairly often, he eats, has his injection, then 2 - 21/2 hrs he starts panting like crazy and his whole chest and stomach are heaving very quickly. It's scary to see him pant so hard like that. We either put him in the sink and run cool water on him or wipe him down with water and put a fan on him. Sometimes it stops quite quickly, other times he pants heavily for 2-3 hrs. We've taken his readings when it happens and they are high still but not as high as other times when he hasn't had the insulin for awhile. For example, we did a blood curve today and took the first reading at 8am before he had breakfast and insulin and his reading was 30.1 and there was no panting. When we tested him a couple of hrs after his insulin and food when he started panting both mid morning and around 10:30pm, his readings were in the low 20's. He was lower in the midday, 10.4 and 14.3 and there was no panting. He literally pants approximately 2 hrs after his food and insulin when his glucose no.s are midrange for him so we know it has something to do with the insulin. Do dogs ever have an allergic or bad reaction to the insulin? What could be some reasons for panting so hard?

Our second issue is with the curve and getting a spot of blood. He doesn't like his mouth or paws messed with so the ears are our only option. I call myself "The Prick" as somehow I got elected to do the dirty work. I have really struggled with it and it doesn't seem to be getting much easier as time goes on. I've seen the videos of various animals being tested who hardly seem to realize they have been stabbed with a pin or needle. My guy reacts each time and I feel horrible hurting him. I don't understand how sometimes I can give him a good prick and no blood comes out so I do it again and nothing. I know I'm doing it hard enough, he about jumps out of his skin but I look and there's no blood. Sometimes I give a light prick and get blood; it makes no sense. And I hate hurting him; how to I get to the point like the ones in the videos who seem not to feel anything? Any tips? I can't imagine doing this every 5 days for the rest of his life.

I would really appreciate if anyone could offer any suggestions, information and sage advice. Thanks in advance!
Cheers,
Julia
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2018, 07:15 AM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 😨

Hi and welcome

My theory with the panting is maybe there is some discomfort from digestion .It seems to occur a couple hours after eating from what you describe

Just a straight meat diet may struggle with regulation and digestive issues for dogs . Another thing a balanced diet with all the minerals and vitamins are necessary . The problem for diabetics they have a compromised pancreas already so something easily digestible is helpful . Also diabetic dogs usually need some carbs in their diet to work with insulin

As far as testing i dont think its a pain thing but an in my space thing . Possibly a bit scared from the sound of the lancing device and maybe pricking with just the lance may work better . We struggled with the ear for testing and gave up and moved to the lip but that appears to not work for your pup . Maybe warming the ear before to get the blood flow going may help . Maybe raising the heart rate with a bit of exercise could help . I do understand the flow of blood even in the same area can be different from test to test . I see that with jesses lip .
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Jesse-26 lbs - 15 years old - 9.5 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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Old 07-24-2018, 06:17 PM
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Raysaint Raysaint is offline
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Default Re: Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 😨

I agree with jesse girl, a diabetic needs food with some carbs, and low fat, moderate protein and fiber. Carbs are essential to balance the insulin. High protein can be hard on the kidneys.

As for lancing, see if you can get a Softclix Plus, they're made by AccuChek. I am diabetic and they're the best I've used. Not noisy, and about as painless as you can get. I have it set to the highest number, as dogs ears are thicker than my skin. My dog barely flinches when lanced.
Also, with your finger behind the ear where you are going to lance, don't push the vein up, thinking it will lance deeper, just let the skin rest against your finger for support, then lance.
I read this not long ago on the vet database site.
An allergic reaction to the insulin is rare but possible. There are other conditions that cause heavy breathing, but yours seems to follow a pattern. A switch to Humulin might be in the cards.
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Riley, 8 yr. old maltipoo, 25 lbs., diagnosed Feb 2017, taking thyroid meds, had pancreatitis and DKA mid March, eating Wellness Senior formula can food. NPH dosage now at 9.0 units Humulin N. Adding either pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, yams, or green beans to his food. Also omega-3 oil.

Last edited by Raysaint; 07-24-2018 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:35 PM
Julia Julia is offline
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Talking Re: Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 😨

Thanks so much for the replies jesse girl and Raysaint! Actually my sister and I discussed the chicken/meat diet and no carbs or fiber a few days ago too and wondered how long he was to continue on it. The vet had said originally that we should only give meat because his sugar was literally off the charts and he was admittedly very overweight. We don't have a scale but I can tell he's lost a lot of weight in the past 6 weeks. We decided to make an appointment with our vet to discuss these various issues and find out where we go from here. We see her on Friday at 1:00p.m.

I hope you both don't mind me asking a lot of questions. I think our vet is great but I think the ones who live it know more about the practical, every day sorts of things. Our other sister found a collar online (can't think of its name) that has a disk that attaches to the dog's neck and tests the blood sugar every 15 or 30 mins. She said she would send me the link but it certainly would be great to have versus doing blood curves every 5 days, sticking poor Binky multiple times for 12 hrs. As you can probably tell, I really hate blood curve day! Has anyone heard of or used the collar?? I will look out for Softclix Plus as I'm really not impressed with the lancet that comes with the AlphaTrak2 monitor. I'm in Canada and we don't always get the same products as the US. Is Caninsulin a good kind of insulin? I saw somewhere else in the forum a question about insulin and people having to switch from a NPH(?) insulin...I wasn't sure if Caninsulin was in that category. What would be a reason for changing to Humuliin?
Thank so much for your help! This is all so new and confusing to me. Hopefully one day I'll be able to pay it forward. Cheers! Julia
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:12 PM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 😨

Well i have probably poked jesses lip over 10,000 times . The funny thing she gives me a lick after . Her vet in the beginning thought i was kind of cruel another said i was going to kill her . It was a difficult time if not for the forum I may have given up . Jesse was difficult to regulate and to get well , That was over 8 years ago

I took the path least traveled with jesse no medical background or understanding and i proceeded to educate myself as you can see the vets wernt much help. They did save her but keeping her here i was not very confident so for me and jesse we went it alone . Very scary but i felt we had nothing to loose because she was on the decline . I always had the forum for support

You have to find what path you need to follow and it will probably be very different from my path with jesse . It is so dog individualistic what can work for one may not for another . Many dogs do well on your dogs insulin and many do well on NPH and maybe one other . There are not many choices on that

The key is a balanced diet lower fat . Start at a conservative starting dose and do a curve once a week and adjust if needed . Usually a flat high pattern needs a dose adjustment up . Big swing in sugar can point to a dose to much or an imbalance . Getting to regulation takes some patience but most get there . Now regulation can be different for that individual dog . Most times it may not be textbook and it will most likely never look like normal but the good thing dogs can do just fine with that and have mostly normal lives with maybe some limitations .
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Jesse-26 lbs - 15 years old - 9.5 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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Old 07-25-2018, 06:54 AM
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Raysaint Raysaint is offline
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Default Re: Any suggestions are greatly appreciated ��

I'm in Canada also, and the lancet I suggested comes with AccuChek, made by Roche in Quebec. Give them a call and ask about getting their lancet.
https://www.accu-chek.ca/en

Your Caninsulin is like the Vetsulin in the U.S. It's a combo of regular and intermediate acting insulin. It works for some but not all. Sometimes Humulin NPH needs to be used. But the reverse can also happen. Once you get more into the regimen and do some curves, you'll make tweaks and continue on. If it seems difficult to get close to regulation, that's when people may choose to switch insulin, but then you kinda have to start again, but whatever time it takes, you have to get there for the dog's sake.
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Riley, 8 yr. old maltipoo, 25 lbs., diagnosed Feb 2017, taking thyroid meds, had pancreatitis and DKA mid March, eating Wellness Senior formula can food. NPH dosage now at 9.0 units Humulin N. Adding either pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, yams, or green beans to his food. Also omega-3 oil.
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2018, 04:43 PM
Julia Julia is offline
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Default Re: Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 😨

Thanks again both of you. Your suggestions and the information you have given me is so helpful. I definitely see the necessity of working with his diet and will speak to the vet about it tomorrow as well as the insulin. Now knowing that Caninsulin is the same as Vetsulin, I can read all those posts and articles about it and apply them to us.

When we started doing curves his early morning he would be in the high 30's and get down in the 20's at his low point. This last curve, before insulin and breakfast, he was 30.1 then dropped to 28 then 14.4 then 10.3 then curved up to 19.6. We were concerned about him going for 30 to 10 because the 30 is high but should we increase the insulin to bring it down, would not that 10 drop a lot too? I know the 10 can be lowered a bit, but I'm concerned about it going too low. I know finding a balance can take some time.

From my reading on the forum, I learnt to my astonishment, that many people get the blood from their pet's upper lip. I have tried to open his mouth to check his teeth and he is not a willing participant at aĺl. I guess I should start playing with his mouth so he might become comfortable with me pulling on his lip etc. He has a paper thin ear...even thinner than a cat's. Perhaps that's why it's so sensitive when I prick him and it's hard to get results unless I practically go all the way through it. For the most part I have done it freestyle w/o the lancet. The lancet is very hit and miss for me. He doesn't react to the sound of it but he snaps at me at the moment I do either method then starts kissing me like crazy in apology for the snaps. That makes me feel worse; I should be one apologizing for hurting him and I'm 99.9% sure he reacts from pain not surprise. I've seen that some ppl shave the back area just up from the tail and get the blood there. That may be a better option for us. Any hints on how to do it? I've seen the lancet must be on the highest setting but where do you aim for? I'm thinking changing area throughout the blood curve might be good, he'll never know what's coming next LOL.

I've seen a few posts about the monitors and testing strips and from what I've read, the AlphaTrak2 is a good one but the testing strips are the most expensive?? I have to admit, I was surprised how expensive everything is especially as we were going through endless strips on the first few curves as we would stick one in but not get enough blood or something would happen, now I only stick the strip in when I'm sure everything is right. Are there other reliable systems that are less expensive? On eBay 50 strips turn out to be over $100 CDN and I ended up buying a whole new AT2 system with monitor, 75 strips, 130 lancets for roughly $115 Cdn; it was cheaper to buy the whole kit rather than just the strips. Crazy! By next summer I should have at least 10 monitors lol.I think the collar might turn out to be the cheapest and easiest of the lot.

I had another question but I can't think of it right now plus I've monopolized your time long enough. Thanks again ladies for all you do; I am most grateful for this group and the lovely people in it. Cheers! Julia
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Old 07-27-2018, 06:42 AM
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Raysaint Raysaint is offline
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Default Re: Any suggestions are greatly appreciated ��

Increasing dose may bring the 10 lower and start to get dangerous. That's one of the offshoots of an insulin like that, because it has the Regular insulin in it which works fast. And then what's left may run out and thus give you the high fasting readings of 30.
Humulin NPH might end up being a better insulin, however, let's see how your diets changes go. More low glycemic carbs may help with slowing the big drop from 30 to 10.

I tried lancing at the base of the tail, it worked sometimes. I shaved an area on either side of the base of the tail, and use a thicker lancet. Thicker lancets might not fit your lancing device, but they are available and some do fit certain lancing devices. Or you can just freehand poke with the lancet.

As for the Alpha strips, when I first got my meter my vet's price for strips was $125 for a box of 50. I told them no way I was paying that, I'll look elsewhere. They lowered my price to $80 a box. They want the business, but realized I wasn't going to go along with whatever price they set. Try it with your vet, $80 for them is better than zero, they might go for it.

I'd trust the Alpha more for curves, than this collar you mention. Is it like a human constant glucose monitoring device, which needs an implant under the skin?
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Riley, 8 yr. old maltipoo, 25 lbs., diagnosed Feb 2017, taking thyroid meds, had pancreatitis and DKA mid March, eating Wellness Senior formula can food. NPH dosage now at 9.0 units Humulin N. Adding either pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, yams, or green beans to his food. Also omega-3 oil.
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Old 07-28-2018, 01:38 PM
Julia Julia is offline
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Default Re: Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 😨

Hi ladies!

We saw the vet yesterday and she was thrilled by our progress. Binky has gone from 17.5 lbs to 13 lbs and we are wondering if he really is a Chi mix or a large full Chi. At any rate, he was very overweight and looks much better. She has added kibble to his diet so he will be eating a mix of half kibble, half chicken or beef. Let's see if that helps the panting. I know it will help him feel more full at least. We asked if he could have a diabetic treat in between meals and she said NO. He was on 6 units of insulin in the morning and 5 at night. She changed it to 6 and 6 so hopefully the slight change at night would bring his first test in the morning down but not effect the midday reading...that made sense to me but let's see how it goes. We have a big bottle of honey and aren't afraid to use it.

She said once again that she doesn't think he's just diabetic; she has thought since the start he probably has Cushings and possible liver issues. She did more testing and we'll have the results on Tues. He desperately needs dental work including a couple of teeth pulled. A fill in Vet told us about a year ago that we should wait for his dental, clearly wrong advice. She wants to get him stable before she does his teeth but feels his teeth could be effecting his test results. She vetoed the Freestyle Libre collar as it is pricking and covering the hole for a long time which she thinks could be bad in case it got infected. She advised us to go to 30 gauge lancets and gave us some tips for the pricking so hopefully that will improve. She also gave us a bag with 200 free syringes that someone had donated to the clinic. I really think she isn't trying to gouge us in any way..she has told us to look online for insulin and strips for better prices than the clinic has but in truth, I've looked around and the clinic is only slightly higher than buying online.

Raysaint, the device I mentioned is called the Freestyle Libre collar and if you add dogs when you search for it on Google, they will show videos of how it works on dogs and there is a guy who has videos of his hacks and he seems to be able to extend the life of the device. It seems interesting especially if you are doing curves every 5 days but as I said, our vet vetoed it for Binky.

Thanks again for all you do!
Julia
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:28 PM
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Raysaint Raysaint is offline
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Default Re: Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 😨

kibble is usually grain based and can have a lot of carbs. I would suspect it may raise his sugar levels, or at least change them from what you are seeing now. But if it's low fat and stops the panting, then you'll just keep tweaking the dose until you see steady improvements in readings.

Maybe because it's early, she said no treats. However, there are treats that have no carb value at all and usually doesn't affect blood sugar. Freeze dried liver or chicken breast are examples.
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Riley, 8 yr. old maltipoo, 25 lbs., diagnosed Feb 2017, taking thyroid meds, had pancreatitis and DKA mid March, eating Wellness Senior formula can food. NPH dosage now at 9.0 units Humulin N. Adding either pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, yams, or green beans to his food. Also omega-3 oil.
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