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Diabetes Discussion: Your Dog Anything related to your diabetic dog.

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  #1  
Old 01-23-2018, 09:48 AM
dontknowwhattodo dontknowwhattodo is offline
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Default My sweet boy has passed... Jan 30, 2018

Hi,
I'm new to these forums. A couple weeks ago, my dog had trouble getting up and his hinder legs were very weak. I took him to vet and they ran blood tests. They said that he has diabetes as well as hypothyroidism.

He's only 7 years old. Anyways. He gave me thyroid pills and insulin injections. I started him on those and the first few days went relatively ok. Now my dog absolutely refuses to eat anything. I gave him 4 different types of canned food, 2 different types of dry food, chicken breast, canned fish, cheese, peanut butter, all the stuff he used to LOVE until this week. He won't eat any of them. He will sniff them for half a second, and turn his head away in disgust.

It's been 2 days and I can't even give him insulin if he's not eating. Also, I'm on the younger side myself too and I have a terrible phobia of needles, injections, drawing blood, most medical procedures that involve cutting or piercing through the skin and this whole thing has been extremely difficult for me. My hands literally shake when I'm getting ready to give him insulin and I can't sleep at night thinking about it. There is NO way I could draw blood from him in order to monitor his glucose because I'd faint as soon as I saw his blood.

I honestly don't know what to do and I honestly think I don't have the capability to take care of a diabetic dog, especially when he refuses to eat and I have no idea what's going on. The vet said "even if he skips a meal, you can still give him half dose of insulin" but what happens when he skips like 6 meals?

Also he's a very large dog at nearly 100 pounds and since his hinder legs are weak due to diabetes, I can't just take him to vet all the time. He has great difficulty even standing up and even greater difficulty getting in my car. If he was a small breed, I could just grab him and carry him to the vet every time something goes wrong.

He's too young to be put down due to my incompetency either. I wish there was a shelter where I could put him, pay for all his medical and food expenses and they watch and monitor him. If there was such place, I'd donate money to them every month for the rest of my life. I definitely don't want to put him down and I don't know what I'm going to do. I feel like he's going to suffer until he passes because of me.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2018, 11:20 AM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: I feel like giving up

He should have insulin even though he's not eating - likely high blood sugar is what's affecting his appetite. And a dog who is regulated can have 1/4 to 1/3 of the regular dose of insulin even if they eat nothing at all.

So yes, please do give him at least 1/4 of the recommended dose.

How many units are you supposed to give him?

Does your dog have ketoacidosis?

That's a life threatening side effect of very high blood sugar. And if he does, he must have insulin treatment along with fluids and possibly electrolytes immediately.

I had a terrible phobia of needles too when I first wound up with a diabetic pet, my cat. I almost passed out at the thought of giving her an injection. But I was all she had in the world so I knew I had to do it.

I practiced with an orange to get used to handling the syringe and then I just forced myself to do it - their having fur makes it easier visually!

Know what? She didn't even notice!! It was so not a big deal to her!

You can do this. And it's your dog's only way to survive. If it turns out you just absolutely cannot do it (I think you can), then I would find him a home where he can be taken care of.

But first things first. Get some insulin into him even if you have to take him to the vet to get the injections for a day or two.

And don't accept No Food, No Insulin from the vet. If that's what they say, they don't know enough about caring for a diabetic dog.

Please check with the vet about the presence of ketoacidosis and pancreatitis as those things plus just high blood sugar will create problems with their appetite.

Natalie
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:22 PM
dontknowwhattodo dontknowwhattodo is offline
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Default Re: I feel like giving up

Thank you, I'll do that. I am getting used to the part where I'm giving injections but I don't think I can do the part where I have to draw blood from him and monitor his glucose levels. Can I use urine testing instead? We have an appointment with the vet on Friday but if his non-eating persists, I will have to take him sooner.

He drinks a lot of water, so I was thinking maybe I can try to give him liquid foods such as coconut milk or chicken broth. He might be more inclined to take them. He is not throwing up or anything, so once he eats, he is able to keep it in but the problem is to actually get him to eat in the first place.

His current dose is 22 units because he's a giant dog and his sugar level was around 600 last week. I'll try to give him 6 units and see if that helps him in the short term.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:47 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: I feel like giving up

I think getting blood is much easier than the injection. Take a look, if you haven't already, at www.k9diabetes.com/bgtestvideos.html. There are numerous videos there of people collecting a sample of blood with their dogs.

Given you dog's size, he may have elbow calluses, which are a great place for testing - though you usually can't use a clicker and must lance by hand because the skin is thick.

The lip is a great place for using a clicker so you don't have to do the actual poking with a lance. We tested our dog there every day for four years! And there are few nerve endings in the area to test - inside upper lip about mid-area, so it doesn't hurt them. Take a look at Chris' video to see how easy it can be.

I admit this video was taken after we had tested Chris for years so it absolutely was more challenging at first. He was fidgety and I was clumsy and I thought for a while I would never get if figured out. Didn't help that I was using a meter that required a pretty large drop of blood.

Also, I had Chris lying on his tummy for the video because that made it easier to see on the video but I usually had him lie on his side so I could flip his lip back and have a more or less horizontal surface.

Natalie
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2018, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: I feel like giving up

I am thrilled to learn that you're already adjusting to the injections! Congrats! Seriously, I was a major phobe and still am with myself and needles. I quit a microbiology major in college when I realized how often I'd have to stick sharp things in animals...

That tells me you will do fine! You're up to the challenges. Believe it or not, this does get so much easier. After a while, it's just part of your day, like taking a shower or brushing your teeth, and not an event at all.

Natalie
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:55 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: I feel like giving up

Mistyped the link the first time, but I have corrected it now.

And there is a lot of general information at the main website in addition to the home testing videos: www.k9diabetes.com

Natalie
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2018, 06:09 PM
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Judi Judi is offline
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Default Re: I feel like giving up

my husband is terrified of needles, blood, puke, etc.

he was able to give the shots. he never tested for blood sugar. Most people on this forum do but a lot of people in the rest of the world with dogs who semi regulate pretty easily don't. It's a nice tool to have but not a requirement.

Like Natalie said, it does become a routine.

Being home every 12 hours is the hardest part. You need to teach some friends and family how to do this.

This forum was my support group. Too many people in my real world thought I was nuts so people on here talked me through things and pretty much saved my dog's life.

My husband and I had small goals: keep Jenny happy and try not to kill her.

We did it for 3 1/2 years. She died of old age not really her cushings or her diabetes. she was 14 and a half

If you want to, you can do this. This group of people is the most non-judgemental on the internet. All because of Natalie and the kind knowledgeable people who volunteer their time and energy and experience.

If it absolutely gets to be too much reach out to some rescue groups.

And please keep us posted and post pictures!

Someone on another message board I used to frequent had a personal motto "You can do hard things" She was right. you can.

Judi
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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 01-30-2018, 09:08 AM
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momofdecker momofdecker is offline
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Default Re: I feel like giving up

I had a dog who was diabetic and later on diagnosed with pancreatitis and hypothyroidism. His diabetes went uncontrolled for months until we discovered and treated the hypothyroidism.

The sugar in the urine can make diabetic dogs prone to urinary tract infections - and any type of infection can cause insulin resistance in a diabetic.

Dogs who suffer from undiagnosed hypothyroidism may have high levels of triglycerides and high cholesterol values (high lipids). High lipid levels can make a dog prone to pancreatitis. Hypothyroidism can also impact many other systems and can cause significant insulin resistance in a diabetic dog.

Pancreatitis can cause insulin resistance in a diabetic dog.

I say all of this because your dog has a lot going on right now - and he may simply need time for his system to slowly recover.

Has he had blood work done recently? How are his thyroid levels? What are his current triglyceride and cholesterol values (are they lowering with thyroid medication)?

Typically diabetic dogs get two meals a day - one before each injection. However, dogs with pancreatitis may be an exception - as they may require smaller, more frequent meals, to allow their system to slowly recover. They may also require a low fat, bland diet for a time while they recover, and as they show progress of recovering they can be transitioned over a period of time back to their regular dog food. Has the vet offered any pain medication for the pancreatitis? What antibiotic is he on for the UTI (some antibiotic medications can cause stomach upset)? What dose of thyroid medication is he on?

There have been several labs / lab mixes on this forum that have seen rear leg weakness and many have recovered with time. Both hypothyroidism and diabetes can contribute to the rear leg weakness.

Given all your dog has going on - it would be ideal to try to test his blood glucose on a regular basis - as things like his food intake, his UTI resolving, pancreatitis resolving, etc... will all impact his blood glucose levels and his insulin needs. I understand you feel that is not an option for you to do (thank you for being upfront & honest) - but maybe you could minimally purchase some ketostix to check his urine for glucose and ketones: http://diabetesindogs.wikia.com/wiki/Urine_testing_stix

It's not an easy road to travel - but you've been a great advocate for him thus far and if you can get him over these initial obstacles, hopefully his health will improve to where you'll know for sure he's still willing to fight.
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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; 01-30-2018 at 09:13 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2018, 10:41 AM
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momofdecker momofdecker is offline
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Default Re: I feel like giving up

Just adding - if you are able to bring him home, and the rear legs are still a concern - there are some harness options out there that can help tremendously. I had a 70 pound senior dog who had a case of vestibular - and the help em up harness was a true life saver for my back as he was not able to bear any weight on any leg for a couple of days.

Here is a link to a video on the harness (you can find many varieties of it on Amazon):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4yZUNEiSHE
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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!
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:01 AM
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Raysaint Raysaint is offline
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Default Re: I feel like giving up

You mention he's on many pain meds. That, even in humans, can diminish your appetite and make you lose weight. Maybe try and get it down to one, like Tramadol, which isn't so hard on his system.
That combined with being at home might change his appetite.

Read about some dog meds in this link, check the side effects.

https://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedaily...ain-dogs-31653
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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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