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Old 06-12-2012, 09:59 PM
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Shellie Shellie is offline
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Default Re: K9Diabetes in Australia

My pup, Hank, has been steadily getting worse and worse in the vision department but thankfully, it's been gradual for us. However, I've been working towards getting him, and myself, ready for that day when he can't see at all. We try to use the same routes when walking. I use 'step up' and 'step down' for sidewalks while walking even tho he doesn't yet need it. I wear a jingly bracelet on my ankle so he can find me wherever I am in the house (thankfully it's small). I got rid of my coffee table which had sharp points on it. I practice keeping his pathways clear of obstacles like shoes, etc. I find it really helps to THINK about what he is going thru...where he's going in the house...it reminds me to remember what I need to do to help him. I'll be getting a bed rail so he can't fall out of bed by accident, steps to help him get into bed or onto the sofa. All stuff you can do right away so he can get used to everything faster. I don't expect it will be easy for Hank but I do know that he WILL be ok if I make it ok for him. As I always tell him about whatever yucky stuff we have to do...no big deal. Hugs!
Shell and Hank (aka Mr. Pickypants) - now deceased (4/29/1999 - 12/4/2015) Cairn Terrier mix who was diagnosed 8/18/2011 and on .75 U Levemir 2Xday. Miss you little man!
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:25 AM
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Cebe Cebe is offline
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Default Re: K9Diabetes in Australia

Home testing is not for changing doses and food, especially right now when youre new to this. It's to give you and your vet the best information available so the two of you can decide on doses.

If you're feeling helpless, home testing can give you back a feeling of control and confidence. You said you're worried your pup is losing confidence because of his blindness. You being more confident about his illness and treatment can help him feel better to the extent that they feed off of our feelings.

My vets were somewhat resistant to my home testing but it has been very helpful and after Zoe had a hypo incident I felt it was absolutely necessary. I will also note that curves done in the comfort of your home may give you more accurate readings than those taken in a stressful vets office.

Sorry for the hard sell, but I think it's important to test, if you can.
Zoe: 12 yr old Black Lab/shepherd mix. Diagnosed 6/1/11. Currently on 15 units Novolin NPH 2x day, and hopefully as close to regulated as possible. Feeding merrick Grain Free Salmon and Sweet Potato. Weight 63lbs.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:30 AM
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Rubytuesday Rubytuesday is offline
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Default Re: K9Diabetes in Australia

Originally Posted by rustyangel View Post
I'm feeling very overwhelmed and Cosmo is not really responding well. Since he has started to loose his sight he has totally lost in confidence and when he makes a mistake in direction, he seems to lose his sense of direction completely.
I hear what everyone is saying about home testing, but not sure how to work out what food he would then need or amount of insulin he would need.
To be honest i'm concerned about his mental health i guess, he has about 4 blood curves done, and has to go for another soon, i don;t really want to take him at the moment while his confidence is so low.
It took my Ruby a few weeks to not be depressed about going blind. The thing that has helped her the most has been rug runners placed in the traffic areas. if those are taken up to be cleaned for pee accidents then she loses her way easily.

In regards to the home testing and then working out the food and insulin I understand how you can feel confused and overwhelmed right now. That is just what the home testing will help clear up. Through frequent testing you can start to see trends that are individual to your dog and how the food affects them.

If you can get the curve results that your vet ran we could help you make some sense of it.

Don't feel discouraged. The learning curve can be steep with regards to this disease, but we are here to help you figure it all out. Home testing may not be for everyone, but if you can find your way to doing it will not only save you tons of money, but also help you to truly understand how your dog's body responds to the insulin.

keep your chin up, it gets better.
Tara in honor of Ruby.
She was a courageous Boston Terrier who marched right on through diabetes, megaesophagus, and EPI until 14.
Lucky for both of us we found each other. I'd do it all again girly.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:58 AM
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momofdecker momofdecker is offline
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Default Re: K9Diabetes in Australia

Decker lost his vision gradually and I do think that made the transition a bit easier for him. If someone who didn't know he was blind were to see him in the house or yard they probably would not know he couldn't see. He navigates the house, including stairs, very well.

Take him out of his comfort zone though and it becomes very obvious he can't see. He looks a bit like a drunk dog when he walks and you can hear his nails scratching on the pavement as his gate is very different from when he could see.

On walks we do a lot of 'up' and 'down' commands near the curbs. We use 'nose' as he gets close to a pole or tree to sniff ("watch your nose" came flying out of my mouth every time so we just shortened it to 'nose'). I have to watch the levelness of the grass he walks in because he's been known to take a nose dive if his footing is uneven. Had his first 'scare' moment the other day. It had rained pretty hard and there were puddles everywhere. A car went by and hit the water in a puddle. The sound of tires hitting the water sent Decker flying into the air scared. Just gave him a quick pat and got him walking again. I try to keep calm in hopes that it encourages him to stay calm too. Have noticed that he is much more confident walking when his non-diabetic brother, Kinser, goes too.

Over time we've noticed his other senses getting stronger. His hearing is great. He can be two floors up and will hear me pick up his leash or he will hear the rattle of the poo bags and come down ready to walk. His scent is also getting stronger as he now recognizes when another person or animal walks by us. We play games with him - hide around the house and tell him to 'sniff' for whoever is hiding. Lots of praise and pats when he is able to find us. Do the same with his toys - 'find your bone' or 'find secret squirrel'... will give the toy one squeak and let him figure it out. Again, lots of praise and a quick tuggie session as his reward.

Hope things settle in soon and that you are able to develop a new routine that works for all. 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!
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:57 AM
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Kat Negron Kat Negron is offline
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Default Re: K9Diabetes in Australia

Another thing you might want to try is if you have wooden stairs with no carpeting, get some little bits of carpet you can add to stairs to keep from skidding down hardwood stairs. I put those in our house last year only because I'm a clutz, but I figured out that Gigi is using those so that she can tell when she's on the stairs and when she's on the main floor. She goes up each step and when she knows she's back on hardwood, there aren't any other stairs to go up or down.

It's tough. Gigi is getting used to it. Last week before her eyes went bonkers, we were even playing tuggie and she was having a blast with her chewies with her barely there vision (totally blind in the left, nearly blind in the right). They adapt, but it takes time.

And you never know, if it's from cataracts, your dog will still be able to tell the difference between light and dark. We were out on our last run of the evening last night when there was a storm building in the distance. Then there was a flash of lighting (no thunder since it was far off) and Gigi wanted to be right back in the house immediately and bolted for home. You never know with these pups!
Gigi - 11.5 year old Jack Russell/Beagle mix - dx 11/11, hypothyroid dx 8/23/12 | Insulin: Novolin N | Frequency: 2x's per day | Dosage: 4-5 units, depends on the day | Blood Glucose Meter: Alpha Trak 2 | Typical BG Readings: 100-200| Regulation: Doing great! | Celebrating 11 years together, 3.5 of those as diabetic |
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:46 PM
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BestBuddy BestBuddy is offline
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Default Re: K9Diabetes in Australia

Home testing is great. Just because you test at home doesn't mean you can't get instructions from the vet. If you can learn to test then you could go back to the vet with the numbers and let him/her decide the next move.

You wouldn't be changing food/insulin at the start because you would need to get some BG numbers to see what the patterns are after eating at at different times through the day. Once you have that info then you can adjust the insulin slowly or make some diet changes to see if you can get the better numbers.
It really isn't as hard as it seems and the meters are not too expensive and it is much cheaper that running to the vets every couple of days.

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Old 07-17-2012, 03:40 AM
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rustyangel rustyangel is offline
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Default Re: K9Diabetes in Australia

Hi, I haven't been here for awhile, I have tried to taking advice on home testing but some reason blood don't show on hand held monitors.
Only seems that able to do it at vets with bigger machine, vet wonders whether it is all the other meds Cosmo is taking that is causing the problem.
Currently we are doing spot checks, so he doesn't have to spend whole day at clinic because we are thinking stress levels are making his BGL's worse.
Last spot check his BGL was 9, amazingly good for Cosmo, Thursday he is spending the day and if his levels are high, we are going to assume his stress levels are the cause of high BGl levels.
He is starting to adjust to his blindness and so are we!, although he hasn't gained any weight and still wieghs 8.4 kgs, but is looking happier.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:59 AM
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Patty Patty is offline
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Default Re: K9Diabetes in Australia

Originally Posted by rustyangel View Post
Hi, I haven't been here for awhile, I have tried to taking advice on home testing but some reason blood don't show on hand held monitors.
Only seems that able to do it at vets with bigger machine, vet wonders whether it is all the other meds Cosmo is taking that is causing the problem.
You might try a OneTouch Verio meter. Geoff had the same problem and was able to get a reading with the Verio meter: http://www.k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?p=71835

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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Old 07-18-2012, 04:04 PM
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Geoff Geoff is offline
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Smile Re: K9Diabetes in Australia

Hello! yes my Bailey had all sorts of problems when it came to obtaining blood. I would go straight for the one touch verio which I bought from:


The accu-check just didn't work for me (or the vet) so I tried the one-touch verio and it works a treat, pretty accurate too when compared to the vet one (big machine forget it's name). I do bum testing, just above Bailey's tail with size 21 lancets from here:


I just phoned them up and ordered a pack of 100 (around $25 delivered)

I tried Bailey's lip for prick testing but he just hated that with a passion, took me months to finally get a reading. I lance by hand, he doesn't seem to mind as it's fatty around the base of his tail. I just squeeze with thumb & forefinger (not too much but enough to make a small fold) and then prick, I am still working on technique but it does work.

Bailey is on epileptic drugs also, Phenobarbitone and Epibrom which the vet thought could interfere with the accu-chek but to be honest no one knows, all I know it it works now and the vet now uses my meter when I bring him in for a check!

As for his blindness, gosh, that was hard for me too, poor Bailey went blind almost overnight and really freaked him out (of course!) He was bumping into things and very disoriented which made things worse. Resist the temptation to pick Cosmo up to help him. Bailey is fine now, still bumps into things a little but not too much, he (all dogs!) are truly amazing I do not know how they do it, he has remembered or learned his way around the house and follows me everywhere, up/down stairs, outside, we play ball (tennis ball with cat bell inside works wonders!! Bell was $2.20 from vets and tennis balls I found lying around)

He seems fine with his blindness now, I have (and he) accepted it, at first I cried my heart out (over the whole ordeal really) but we still cuddle and play and do the usual stuff and he now pulls me on the lead when we walk! At first it was hell with him been very hesitant, but now he won't slow down!! Truly amazing!! So stick in there, it's very hard I know, it breaks your heart but they do start to cope within a few weeks. I even bought some doggles for him but never needed to use them (for protecting his eyes) I tried scents and smells and bells and all sorts!! In the end he has figured it out himself.

Best of luck, the people on this forum are wonderful!!

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