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  #1  
Old 10-21-2010, 04:17 PM
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Bichonluver3 Bichonluver3 is offline
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Default Sparky - the battle of the sugar

Out of the blue, Sparky has been peeing & drinking up a storm. Thought it might be Cushing's like Chloe but took him to vet yesterday and he was spilling sugar in his urine. Bloodwork came back today with glucose at 449. Confirmed our worst fears - 2 sick dogs. I am at my wits end. Am meeting with vet today to go over testing & insulin. Hope I can even remember what he tells me. Definitely need some reassurance
Carrol & Sparky
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Sparky just diagnosed (sister Chloe has Cushings) and I am petrified!

Hi Carrol,

Welcome to you and Sparky!

Gosh, it's just not fair to be hit with this double whammy!!!

I suppose it's what you know that you're usually most comfortable with but personally I'd rather do diabetes than Cushing's... mainly I think because diabetes can be monitored at home and isn't nearly as expensive to treat or monitor.

Sparky will most likely be started on NPH. You can buy it at Walmart inexpensively - $24.88 a bottle for 1,000 units. And can get syringes and test supplies for a good price there as well. Always ask for "Relion" which is the house name for Humulin (most likely - they just switched to Humulin) insulin, syringes, etc. If you buy the name brand, you pay a lot more.

The best way to start is with a conservative dose of insulin and work UP to the right dose, giving each dose change a minimum of four to five days to settle in and develop a long-term response.

Many vets don't promote it, but for me, home blood glucose testing is the very best tool there is for managing a diabetic dog. No guessing about whether the blood sugar is high or low. You can see video and picture tutorials for different testing areas at www.k9diabetes.com/bgtestvideos.html.

So tell us how things went with the vet and we can go from there.

Natalie
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Sparky just diagnosed (sister Chloe has Cushings) and I am petrified!

Carrol, welcome to you!
You'll find a lot of really helpful folks here. Natalie's given you some great information. Can you tell us what type of dog Sparky is? How much does he weigh? and what is he currently eating?

One of the things my vet didn't tell me right off is that food and insulin must be given 12 hours apart.

It's a steep learning curve in the beginning. I remember feeling quite overwhelmed. But feel free to ask any questions!

Take care,
Patty
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Sparky just diagnosed (sister Chloe has Cushings) and I am petrified!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bichonluver3 View Post
Out of the blue, Sparky has been peeing & drinking up a storm. Thought it might be Cushing's like Chloe but took him to vet yesterday and he was spilling sugar in his urine. Bloodwork came back today with glucose at 449. Confirmed our worst fears - 2 sick dogs. I am at my wits end. Am meeting with vet today to go over testing & insulin. Hope I can even remember what he tells me. Definitely need some reassurance
Carrol & Sparky
Hi Carrol,

Sorry to hear that you have just had Sparky diagnosed with diabetes. I well remember that feeling of despair when Dazzle was diagnosed in Feb 09. This list saved my life and my sanity.

Like you, I have another chronically sick dog (a Standard Poodle with Addison's Disease) so I know how hard it is to then have to think about coping with another one. I've also had two dogs with Cushings (a father and son) although not at the same time thank goodness.

This list will help you through these early days and get you comfortable with what you need to do and what you need to learn to help keep Sparky well in the years to come.
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Jan & Dazzle (Border Collie aged 12 yrs) dx 06th February 2009. Dx Hypothyroid 12th July 2011. 6 units am & 5 units pm for this week - still trying to get her back on track. Soloxine 0.4 mgs once a day.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Sparky just diagnosed (sister Chloe has Cushings) and I am petrified!

Hi Everybody!
Thank you so much for the warm welcomes. I have been a member of K9cushing's for a while so I know that here, like there, there are some VERY knowledgeable people. I know that I will be leaning on you for some time.
Wow, Jan, you really do know what it is like to have more than 1 sick pup - even more than [I] do!
Let me tell you a little bit about Sparky. His mom & dad were champions and the breeder was going to keep Sparky but he grew 1/2" too tall to show plus the fact that he did not travel well in those days. So we adopted him at 5 months old.
He has always been a "cave" dog, always looking for cozy little places to curl up in. He a fairly uneventful life with us and his older "sister", Chloe, who we discovered last April was a cushpup.
However, about 2 years ago, Sparky had stomach surgery for a foreign object which turned out to be a latex glove - oh yes, he ate the whole dang thing. Well, he was 1 week out of surgery and developed gastritis (on the weekend, of course) and spent 3 days at the emergency clinic. Sparky recovered but our bank account is still recovering.
We adopted a 3rd dog 2 years ago from the local rescue. Mr Grover is a maltipoo who thinks he is a bichon like the other 2 and we have not burst his bubble! Thank God, he is healthy.
Back to Sparky. I and my husband noticed last week that Sparky was drinking and peeing excessively. So, of course, I thought Cushings and took him right away to the vets. He was spilling sugar in his urine and they did bloodwork which came back with a blood sugar of 449. Sparky is a sweet dog but that was a little too sweet!
The vet called my husband, Sparky and I into his office that day and gave us the spiel on canine diabetes. He gave us an excellent handout on the different aspects of the disease. I am a nurse so am familiar with diabetes in humans. my husband, however, has no understanding of diseases and was freaking out. The vet very patiently answered his questions, sometimes 3 or 4 times! We were there for 1 1/2 hours and he didn't charge us 1 cent. He said he would rather us use the money for insulin.
Here is what he suggested we do. Sparky weighs 20.4 lbs. (His bloodwork 3 months ago was textbook perfect.).
The vet said to give him 4u Humulin N Friday night after his dinner. We did that and Sparky slept the whole night without crying to drink or pee.
Saturday night we were to give him no insulin as the vet was going out of town for the weekend and he wanted to be here when we started Sparky on his actual regime.
He had 4u again tonight and will get 4u morning and evening (12 hours apart) from now on. I will touch base with the vet tomorrow. I know that Sparky will have to spend a day at the hospital while they do a curve.
Sparky gets Hills Science WD kibble (3/4 cup per meal) along with 2 rounded soup spoon full of WD canned food. I mix his Ocu-glo into the wet food.
Now comes the big question. I asked the vet about glucose testing at home and he said they were not doing it as there had been difficulty with infection setting into the sites and they did not heal well. What are you thoughts
My vet has been very good when it comes to Chloe's Chushing's and has spent a lot of time with me on the phone after hours discussing her treatment. He will listen to me and has actually gone with a lot of my recommendations for her. He provides me with copies of all her lab work and has discussed options with Dr Oliver at university of Tennessee whenever he has questions.
I know he will be the same way with Sparky. He gave us a copy of his lab results at our meeting with him last Thursday.
I would appreciate any suggestions you could give as I AM new at canine diabetes
Thanks so much,
Carrol & Sparky
PS Sparky is on the far right in the picture

Last edited by Bichonluver3; 10-24-2010 at 08:49 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:43 PM
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Default Welcome from another bichon!

Rowlf and I just want to welcome another Bichon.

She was diagnosed almost 2 years ago, and is doing fine. Your Sparky will be fine too, once you get the routine down. It sounds like you have a very good vet, except I've never heard of infection setting in on testing sites. I test Rowlf on the upper lip and would think the possibility of infection would be far greater at a shot site than on her lip. But I'm sure someone else with a lot more experience will respond soon.

Anyway, I think diabetes is probably much easier than cushings. And there are many, many wonderful owners (and dogs!) here who will be able to help you. - sheureka
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2010, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Sparky just diagnosed (sister Chloe has Cushings) and I am petrified!

Hi Sheureka & Rowlf!
Thanks for the welcome. always glad to meet another Bichon. Thanks, also, for the encouragement. I am going to mention the lip testing to my vet. How does Rowlf take to the testing twice a day? Is it a battle?
Carrol
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: Sparky just diagnosed (sister Chloe has Cushings) and I am petrified!

Carrol,
Sparky is so cute! And I love hearing your pups' stories

The vet called my husband, Sparky and I into his office that day and gave us the spiel on canine diabetes. He gave us an excellent handout on the different aspects of the disease. I am a nurse so am familiar with diabetes in humans. That is helpful. I too knew about human diabetes. There's a lot that is similar to Type 1, but just as much that you will have to "forget" as dogs are a bit different in their regimen. my husband, however, has no understanding of diseases and was freaking out. The vet very patiently answered his questions, sometimes 3 or 4 times! We were there for 1 1/2 hours and he didn't charge us 1 cent. He said he would rather us use the money for insulin. That's really great of him!
Here is what he suggested we do. Sparky weighs 20.4 lbs. (His bloodwork 3 months ago was textbook perfect.).
The vet said to give him 4u Humulin N Friday night after his dinner. That sounds like a good starting dose to me. We did that and Sparky slept the whole night without crying to drink or pee.
Saturday night we were to give him no insulin as the vet was going out of town for the weekend and he wanted to be here when we started Sparky on his actual regime. I think I would have just decreased the dose if he was worried. But glad you are back on the insulin now.
He had 4u again tonight and will get 4u morning and evening (12 hours apart) from now on. I will touch base with the vet tomorrow. I know that Sparky will have to spend a day at the hospital while they do a curve. Not sure what time your vet opens or what time Sparky's injections are, but if you are able to get him there for a fasting blood draw, that's really helpful. Then they would take his bg (blood glucose) every 2 hours after that until next shot time. Be sure shots/meals occur at the regular times.
Sparky gets Hills Science WD kibble (3/4 cup per meal) along with 2 rounded soup spoon full of WD canned food. I mix his Ocu-glo into the wet food. Was he eating something else prior to diagnosis? Any issue with transitioning?
Now comes the big question. I asked the vet about glucose testing at home and he said they were not doing it as there had been difficulty with infection setting into the sites and they did not heal well. What are you thoughts How do they recommend home testing? Was he thinking you would do a venous draw? I've never heard of this with any of the people that have home tested here or on other websites. We have a number of people using various places such as the inner lip, carpal pad, elbow callus, or base of the tail area. Here are some good videos you can watch to see how it's done in these areas: http://www.k9diabetes.com/bgtestvideos.html
My vet has been very good when it comes to Chloe's Chushing's and has spent a lot of time with me on the phone after hours discussing her treatment. He will listen to me and has actually gone with a lot of my recommendations for her. He provides me with copies of all her lab work and has discussed options with Dr Oliver at university of Tennessee whenever he has questions.
I know he will be the same way with Sparky. He gave us a copy of his lab results at our meeting with him last Thursday.
I would appreciate any suggestions you could give as I AM new at canine diabetes I think one of the greatest tools you can have in managing Sparky's diabetes is home testing. I think your vet sounds like a good partner and I'd bet he would come around and might learn something from you on this one.

You can use a human glucometer. I like the OneTouch Ultra2. I know Natalie often recommends the OneTouch for medium and larger dogs and the Freestyle meters for smaller dogs. A human meter often reads the bg a bit lower than actual due to the difference in size/shape of a dog's red blood cell. Once you have the hang of testing you can always compare your meter to your vet's lab machine for accuracy. I also like using the Accuchek Softclix lancing device.

In the meantime, you might want to pick up some ketodiastix to track the glucose in your dog's urine. I've noticed most pharmacies just carry ketostix on the shelves now but can order the ketodiastix if you ask.

Hope that helps some to get you started!
Take care,
Patty
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Patty and Ali 13.5yrs 47lbs diagnosed May '08 Ali earned her wings October 27, 2012, 4 months after diagnosis of a meningioma ~ Time is precious ~
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2010, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Sparky just diagnosed (sister Chloe has Cushings) and I am petrified!

Hi Patty!
Thank you so much for your very helpful info. I am pretty sure that if I tell my vet that I want to home test, he will go along with it. Particularly since he trusts my judgment with Chloe. He jokes about how I must have a sixth sense because I knew something was wrong with both Chloe & Grover before they had any signs (that's why the blood was drawn 3 months ago. I felt something was wrong - don't know why- but the blood values were all normal!). My only problem is, I have no problem testing humans but to think of doing it to Sparky makes me feel really creepy Glad you gave me links!!!
I have been giving Sparky his food/insulin at 0700 and 1900. I will have to change my hours at work because I teach nurses and must hit all shifts. I have been going in at 0630 one day a week but will change that to an evening.
Sparky was on ID kibble but has been on WD before (come to think of it, I think he has had every brand in the world at one time or another. The reason we changed around at that time was to find something His Highness liked
He has never had a problem transitioning.
After the 4u last night, he slept through the night with no getting up in during the night to drink or pee. This morning, however, he did have a big drink when he woke up.
It is 0819 and vet is in at 0900. I'll bet he calls me before I call him!
Thanks again for your wonderful help. BTW, would you be willing to stop by twice a day to test Sparky?? lol
Carrol
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Sparky just diagnosed (sister Chloe has Cushings) and I am petrified!

OOPS! Forgot to mention- Sparky will spend a day at the vet's next week so they can map his curve.
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