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Old 01-04-2014, 12:31 PM
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MikeMurphy MikeMurphy is offline
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Default Lily - My English Setter

Hi Everyone,

Just came across this very helpful site and thought that I would share some information about our six year old diabetic English Setter, Lily.

Here's a picture of Lily in 2012, before being diagnosed with diabetes ...



Lily was first diagnosed with diabetes in August 2013 after she suddenly became very lethargic and would not eat. After running some tests, our regular vet determined that she had a bladder infection along with very high blood gloucose levels > 600. The vet gave her antibiotics and told me she was diabetic and needed to be on insulin.

To make a long story short, Lily started out getting 5 units of Novolin N twice a day that gradually increased to 29 units. After several expensive trips to the vet for blood gloucose profiles that always had ranges > 500, the vet finally determined that Lily was somehow resistant to insulin. The vet then had blood work done for hypothyroidism and cushings disease. The results came back negative. It was now late November 2013. The vet switched her insulin to Vetsulin and that did not help.

By now Lily was getting more sluggish, started loosing hair, getting a dull coat getting black skin on her belly and her toenails started getting flaky. All the reading I had done on insulin resistance in dogs pointed to hypothyroidism, but my vet kept insisting that was not it.

So in December 2013, I decided we needed a second opinion and took Lily to a veterinary internal medicine specialist, who immediately saw that she had a thyroid problem, did a full thyroid profile on her which came back positive.

The specialist put her on Soloxine tablets twice a day and the insulin immediately started working. Lily's blood sugar levels are now consistently < 200! Thank God and her specialist! She is now back on Novolin N, 18 units twice a day.

Her coat is now starting to fill out. Unfortunately, she now has developed cataracts and can't see. We now have to deal with that. For now, She is doing well finding her way around the house. Her internalist has recommended a very good eye vet. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for listening.

Mike
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Lily is a 62 lb English Setter, born 07-27-2007.
Diabetes: Aug 2013 - Hypothyroidism: Dec 2013 - Cataract Surgery: Feb 2014
Insulin: Novolin R/N mix - Meter: ReliOn Prime
Nulo Adult Trim Cod & Lentils, Pumpkin, FortiFlora, Dasuquin, Thyroxine

Last edited by MikeMurphy; 04-18-2018 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Signature
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2014, 12:40 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: Lily - My English Setter - Diabetis and Hypothyroidism

What a beautiful girl! She's lucky to have persistent people caring for her!

Natalie
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:47 PM
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maladuca maladuca is offline
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Hi Mike and Lily! Thank you so much for sharing your story!
My dog Teddy (44 lb cockapoo) has a similar story - started on 5 units of Novolin in June - is up to 19 units now and is still showing blood glucose numbers in the 500s and an occasional 600. His numbers are all over the place. It seems as if we could just keep on raising the insulin level! Someone from this site (Mo) just suggested to me yesterday that I should have Teddy's thyroid levels checked. He has skin allergies, thinning hair, black spots on his stomach and is gaining weight despite his high numbers. Other problems include many tumors, cataracts which led to glaucoma and blindness.
You have encouraged me to seriously look into having him tested. Thanks for sharing!!
Margaret
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Margaret; Teddy is a 10 year old 40 lb. cockapoo; relion-Novolin-N 2x - 17 units; Natural balance fish and sweet potato; blind from cataracts and glaucoma
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:57 PM
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Default Re: Lily - My English Setter - Diabetis and Hypothyroidism

Just have a moment, but wanted to welcome you and say how beautiful Lily is!

Craig
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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 01-04-2014, 01:49 PM
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MikeMurphy MikeMurphy is offline
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Default Re: Lily - My English Setter - Diabetis and Hypothyroidism

Quote:
Originally Posted by maladuca View Post
Hi Mike and Lily! Thank you so much for sharing your story!
My dog Teddy (44 lb cockapoo) has a similar story - started on 5 units of Novolin in June - is up to 19 units now and is still showing blood glucose numbers in the 500s and an occasional 600. His numbers are all over the place. It seems as if we could just keep on raising the insulin level! Someone from this site (Mo) just suggested to me yesterday that I should have Teddy's thyroid levels checked. He has skin allergies, thinning hair, black spots on his stomach and is gaining weight despite his high numbers. Other problems include many tumors, cataracts which led to glaucoma and blindness.
You have encouraged me to seriously look into having him tested. Thanks for sharing!!
Margaret
Hi Margaret,

Thanks for the kind words. If you do decide to have Teddy tested for hypothyroidism, make sure they do a full thyroid profile. The basic thyroid tests can be inconclusive, as was Lily's basic testing.

Good luck with Teddy.

Mike
__________________
Lily is a 62 lb English Setter, born 07-27-2007.
Diabetes: Aug 2013 - Hypothyroidism: Dec 2013 - Cataract Surgery: Feb 2014
Insulin: Novolin R/N mix - Meter: ReliOn Prime
Nulo Adult Trim Cod & Lentils, Pumpkin, FortiFlora, Dasuquin, Thyroxine
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2014, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Lily - My English Setter - Diabetis and Hypothyroidism

Welcome to you and Lily! She is just stunning! I am glad you got her another opinion!
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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 01-04-2014, 02:07 PM
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momofdecker momofdecker is offline
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Default Re: Lily - My English Setter - Diabetis and Hypothyroidism

Welcome to you and Lily -what a beautiful girl - love her point!

My non diabetic boy had a white boxer for a mom and we were told dad was a lab. But he is mostly white with two large black spots on his butt and both eyes/ears are black. As he matured he got many more black spots and lots of feathering along his underbelly, legs, ears and tail. We suspect dad had some spaniel or setter in him - LOL!

How much does Lily weight? Is she spayed?

My diabetic boy suffered from undiagnosed hypothyroidism too. Kudos to you for being so persistent in getting it diagnosed! He was overdosed at 40u of Humulin N in the beginning. We ended dropping him back to 20u, which was twice too much, then to 15u and starting over. He was 97 pounds. From Dec. 2011 to May 2012 he went from 15u to 37u and his blood glucose (bg) remained 300 - 600+ most of the time. We noted his bg did seem to do better in warmer weather. In May 2012 we switched him to levemir (which is four times as potent as humulin/novolin). He started at 5u levemir and was worked up to 10u before we started testing for concurrent diseases. When he started his thyroid meds his levemir insulin needs dropped from 10u to 6u over a five day span. After a couple of weeks it dropped back to 5u - a 50% reduction in insulin.

The AAHA Guidelines have information on how to manage diabetes in dogs and their website states, https://www.aahanet.org/Library/DiabetesMgmt.aspx

"Assessment
The initial evaluation of the diabetic dog and cat should:
Assess the overall health of the animal (history, physical examination, medications, diet).

Identify complications associated with the disease (e.g., cataracts in dogs, peripheral neuropathy in cats).

Identify concurrent problems often associated with the disease (e.g., urinary tract infections, pancreatitis).

Identify conditions that may interfere with response of the diabetic to treatment (e.g., hyperadrenocorticism, hyperthyroidism, renal disease).

Evaluate for risk factors such as obesity, pancreatitis, insulin-resistant disease, diabetogenic medications, and diestrus (in the female dog)."

Though hypErthyroidism is mentioned for cats, hypOthyroidism is not mentioned for dogs in terms of identifying conditions that may interfere with response of the diabetic to treatment . Makes one wonder how many GP vets truly understand the impact a low thyroid can have on a diabetic dog and trying to manage their insulin needs.

Unfortunately for my boy, his main symptoms centered more around his behavior than his physical appearance. By the time he was finally diagnosed he had most of the clinical signs but prior to that he had a full thick coat, was high energy and was a very nervous and reactive dog. We truly didn't understand the full impact the thyroid meds had on him until about four months after he'd been on them. He remained nervous but the reactivate behavior he'd had for many years went away. He too lost his vision to cataracts but did quite well - it took a couple of weeks for his sense of smell and hearing to take over but once they did and his energy level returned to normal - he was quite amazing to watch!

Glad you found your way here and thank you for sharing Lily's story. Best of luck to you both on this continued journey of yours!

Holli
__________________
Holli & Decker // diagnosed November 5th, 2011 // Journeyed to the bridge January 26th, 2013, surrounded by his family at home // 9 years old // Levemir insulin // Hypothyroid // C1-C5 cervical spinal lesion // weight 87 lbs // Run with the wind my sweet boy. Run pain free. Holding you close in my heart till we meet again!

Last edited by momofdecker; 01-04-2014 at 02:13 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2014, 02:28 PM
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MikeMurphy MikeMurphy is offline
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Default Re: Lily - My English Setter - Diabetis and Hypothyroidism

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofdecker View Post
Welcome to you and Lily -what a beautiful girl - love her point!

My non diabetic boy had a white boxer for a mom and we were told dad was a lab. But he is mostly white with two large black spots on his butt and both eyes/ears are black. As he matured he got many more black spots and lots of feathering along his underbelly, legs, ears and tail. We suspect dad had some spaniel or setter in him - LOL!

How much does Lily weight? Is she spayed?

My diabetic boy suffered from undiagnosed hypothyroidism too. Kudos to you for being so persistent in getting it diagnosed! He was overdosed at 40u of Humulin N in the beginning. We ended dropping him back to 20u, which was twice too much, then to 15u and starting over. He was 97 pounds. From Dec. 2011 to May 2012 he went from 15u to 37u and his blood glucose (bg) remained 300 - 600+ most of the time. We noted his bg did seem to do better in warmer weather. In May 2012 we switched him to levemir (which is four times as potent as humulin/novolin). He started at 5u levemir and was worked up to 10u before we started testing for concurrent diseases. When he started his thyroid meds his levemir insulin needs dropped from 10u to 6u over a five day span. After a couple of weeks it dropped back to 5u - a 50% reduction in insulin.

The AAHA Guidelines have information on how to manage diabetes in dogs and their website states, https://www.aahanet.org/Library/DiabetesMgmt.aspx

"Assessment
The initial evaluation of the diabetic dog and cat should:
Assess the overall health of the animal (history, physical examination, medications, diet).

Identify complications associated with the disease (e.g., cataracts in dogs, peripheral neuropathy in cats).

Identify concurrent problems often associated with the disease (e.g., urinary tract infections, pancreatitis).

Identify conditions that may interfere with response of the diabetic to treatment (e.g., hyperadrenocorticism, hyperthyroidism, renal disease).

Evaluate for risk factors such as obesity, pancreatitis, insulin-resistant disease, diabetogenic medications, and diestrus (in the female dog)."

Though hypErthyroidism is mentioned for cats, hypOthyroidism is not mentioned for dogs in terms of identifying conditions that may interfere with response of the diabetic to treatment . Makes one wonder how many GP vets truly understand the impact a low thyroid can have on a diabetic dog and trying to manage their insulin needs.

Unfortunately for my boy, his main symptoms centered more around his behavior than his physical appearance. By the time he was finally diagnosed he had most of the clinical signs but prior to that he had a full thick coat, was high energy and was a very nervous and reactive dog. We truly didn't understand the full impact the thyroid meds had on him until about four months after he'd been on them. He remained nervous but the reactivate behavior he'd had for many years went away. He too lost his vision to cataracts but did quite well - it took a couple of weeks for his sense of smell and hearing to take over but once they did and his energy level returned to normal - he was quite amazing to watch!

Glad you found your way here and thank you for sharing Lily's story. Best of luck to you both on this continued journey of yours!

Holli
Hi Holli,

Thanks for the info. Lily weighs 64 lbs and is spayed. I think you are right about many GP vets. Lily's vet only did the T4 thyroid test. Her specialist did the full thyroid profile and that was the key to a correct diagnosis.

Mike
__________________
Lily is a 62 lb English Setter, born 07-27-2007.
Diabetes: Aug 2013 - Hypothyroidism: Dec 2013 - Cataract Surgery: Feb 2014
Insulin: Novolin R/N mix - Meter: ReliOn Prime
Nulo Adult Trim Cod & Lentils, Pumpkin, FortiFlora, Dasuquin, Thyroxine
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2014, 02:45 PM
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Riliey and Mo Riliey and Mo is offline
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Default Re: Lily - My English Setter - Diabetis and Hypothyroidism

Welcome Mike, your Lily is absolutely georgeous, just love her picture thankyou
Glad she is on the right path.

Mo
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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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  #10  
Old 01-09-2014, 07:44 AM
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MikeMurphy MikeMurphy is offline
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Default Re: Lily - My English Setter - Diabetes and Hypothyroidism

Hi All,

Back with an update on Lily. I've been reporting her BG levels back to her internalist twice a week and so far so good. This week's levels range from 104 to 229 and the internalist is happy with the progress. The next step will be going to the eye vet.

Here are couple more pictures (hope you don't mind).

The first picture was taken the day after we found out that Lily was diabetic. She's with her best friends Carly, Dakota and Carly's sister Maisy.

The second was taken today and shows the effect that hypothyroidism has taken on her. She lost practically all her tail, leg and belly feathering, but it is starting to come back now that she is on Soloxine.

Mike



__________________
Lily is a 62 lb English Setter, born 07-27-2007.
Diabetes: Aug 2013 - Hypothyroidism: Dec 2013 - Cataract Surgery: Feb 2014
Insulin: Novolin R/N mix - Meter: ReliOn Prime
Nulo Adult Trim Cod & Lentils, Pumpkin, FortiFlora, Dasuquin, Thyroxine

Last edited by MikeMurphy; 04-18-2018 at 12:08 PM.
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