View Full Version : Vito and Ginger

10-12-2008, 12:17 PM
I just accepted your account so you're all set! Welcome!


10-13-2008, 08:11 AM
Thanks for clearing me to post. I have a Bichon Frese, and she is 9 years old. Her name is "Ginger". You cannot tell the age since she is jumpy and only 13 pounds. She is a bundle of joy. A few weeks ago we took her to the vet, because she was frequently urinating, and drinking water too frequently too.
I received the bad news at the vets office. She was diabetic.
I went haywire. Now I give her two shots of 5 units per day.
Everything has changed, maybe its my mind............
The vet did not show me half the things that I learned on the web.
Then I found this site, and it was fabulous. People with the same problem sharing solutions.

I just want to thank you for letting me in and be a member of your group.

Vito in Brooklyn,NY

We Hope
10-13-2008, 09:06 AM
Welcome to you both!

Please tell us more about Ginger. You've been working at this now for a few weeks, how are you both doing?

Much of the time, everything DOES change with diabetes; there's a whole new set of rules and "ropes" to learn. The good news is that once you have them "downpat", you get so used to them that you can't remember when you DIDN'T do this this way! :)

Glad you're here!


10-13-2008, 02:23 PM
Hi Vito,
You have come to the right place These people are wonderful I noticed that you were from Brooklyn. NY I am from Lynbrook, NY( Nassau County:15 mi from Manhattan Have some Italian cousins in Brooklyn HAven't seen them in years(2nd cousin) They had some concession stand in Coney Island My Aunt lives in Valley Stream But anyway just want to welcome you and Ginger:D:D.

10-14-2008, 05:43 AM
Welcome, Vito, to you and Ginger. Please tell us a little more about your baby...we love the details. I am so happy that you have found your way here. These guys are the best...so knowledgeable, and when you need someone to listen, they are always here. You will get accustomed to the routine, and it will soon become second nature. Again, welcome!! Glad you are here!!

Love and hugs, Teresa and Ricky;)

Cara's Mom
10-14-2008, 08:27 AM
Vito and Ginger,
Welcome:)! So glad you joined us! There is a beuatiful group of people here, all very willing to help you through this initial very rough period and beyond! It will get better:):)believe me!

Best wishes,

10-14-2008, 09:07 AM
Vito and Ginger...Welcome...My Mickey is a Bichon/Poodle..diag with diabetes close to 6 months ago..I know it is scary at first ( I was in a panic if you read my thread youll see) the information and support here is priceless! My Micky is 6 yrs old and was diag when he was only 5 so you can imagine my shock..he is on 7 units of Vetsulin 2x's a day and he is doing fine..Diet plays a big part in getting your Ginger regulated.. I cook Mickeys food because there is too much garbage in most commercial dog food,,,He gets white meat chicken, green beans and brown rice and loves it,,,the only commerical dog food I will give him is either Merricks or Cesar...Again Welcome to you and your Ginger ( we have a beagle named ginger :) )

10-14-2008, 11:45 AM
Thank you everyone that has sent me a welcome note, especially Kathy and Natalie, for making sure that I was checking in all right. I think I got it.

We Hope
10-14-2008, 11:46 AM

You sure did! You logged in just fine now!:)


10-14-2008, 11:57 AM
I hope I am doing this right. I would like to know if others experience the fact that my Ginger doeesn't want to eat. We prepare turkey, and chicken without skin along with a balanced low carb/ high fiber dry food.
Since I only gave her 5 units of humulin L insulin and she is ok. But she scares me. The other night I gave her 6 just like my vet said, but she did not eat for three hours after that, so she started to shake. Promptly I administered some food and Aunt Jemima syrup around her gums. She was ok right away. So the whole thing is a guessing game on how much insulin to give her. I think her vet is not that much help, because most of the knowledge that I have about dog diabetes has been from this site.
Anyway, question is what do you do if they don't want to eat at the specified time? Will they go to eat when they start to feel weaker?
If I am mumbling on and on, its becasuse I find myself overwhelmed by this whole thing and I love my dog like any other person in the house. ( sometimes I think more):)
I am sure most of you have gone through this phase, and sorry to talk a lot.

10-14-2008, 12:12 PM
Hi Vito,

Are you monitoring Ginger's blood sugar at all, perhaps with urine test strips?

Not wanting to eat is pretty common with high blood sugar. But Ginger is already on a fairly large dose of insulin.

Humulin L generally is not available anymore... just some old supplies around. Could be your vet started with that, but it would be very unusual.

Please check the insulin bottle and tell us exactly what it says.

If you can answer some questions, we will undoubtedly ask more questions but will also start to get a good feel for what is happening with Ginger.


10-14-2008, 12:18 PM
Thanks Natalie, on the bottle it says Humulin N NPH human insulin. I did make a mastake. It has says it's U100 and its from Eli Lilly and company.
Thanks for catching my mistake, I hope this is not discontinued.
Vito and of course Ginger

10-14-2008, 12:26 PM
Oh good! NPH is great!

Is your vet having you monitor Ginger's blood sugar at home?


10-14-2008, 12:30 PM
Yes Natalie, but with the urine sticks. The proper way and the most difficult would be with the human meters. But since the dog is only 13 pounds, she has to be shaven in order to get a blood test. Thanks for getting back to me.

We Hope
10-14-2008, 12:32 PM
OK, Vito, here we go!

Start testing her urine for glucose three times a day--before breakfast, before dinner and later at night before you go to bed. If you haven't started keeping records of things like the time you give Ginger her food and shot, now is a good time to start--any notebook will be fine for this.

After you do the urine tests and read the color key to know how much glucose is in Ginger's urine--you write that figure down and what time you did the test. There's a link at Intervet to help you determine by the readings you get from the urine test whether Ginger's blood glucose is too high, too low or just right:


See the table on the page where it says Test 1, Test 2, Test 3--Action Recommended. A "-" on the table means the urine showed no glucose, "trace" means just that--a bit--and "+" means that you did get a glucose reading.

I think Ginger's blood glucose went too low the other night when she was given 6 units of insulin and you did BOTH of the right things for her--giving something with sugar in it right away and some food afterward because the sugar alone will get the blood glucose up but it won't stay up by itself without giving some food with complex carbs in it that take longer to digest. Sugar and syrup are simple carbs--they raise the blood sugar quickly, but don't last a long time. Complex carbs take longer to raise blood sugar and last longer.

When they don't want to eat and it's time for insulin, the full dose of it should never be given because that dose is based on the food Ginger was to eat and didn't. We have a couple of threads here about that:



And a recommendation from Intervet that says not eating or not eating a full meal means you should reduce the insulin dose you give:


Page 15-

"When a patient is unwilling or unable to eat due to illness, administer a lower dose of insulin (approximately 30% of the normal dose) until appetite is restored."

So if you were giving 10 units of insulin at a time and your pet decided either not to eat or not to eat all of his/her meal, instead of giving the 10 units, you would give only 3. Many of us had a talk with our vets in the beginning and asked the question about how much insulin our dogs should get if he/she wouldn't eat.

The answer goes according to the body weight and size of the dog, just like the insulin dose you give when he/she is eating all the breakfast or dinner. :)

Later on, when we're sure we haven't made you want to run away because of all this information, we'll talk about why the body needs insulin even when you don't eat. ;)

I hope I haven't scared you off by all of this! :D


10-14-2008, 12:33 PM
What results are you getting on the urine tests?

10-14-2008, 12:41 PM
It used to be dark brown, and now its close to lite blue. I know thats better, but the fact remains that it only shows on the urine strip after the blood spills from the kidneys. Between you and Kathy, I have to be on track.

We Hope
10-14-2008, 12:46 PM
http://groups.msn.com/isapi/fetch.dll?action=MyPhotos_GetPubPhoto&PhotoID=nGwAAAFMHO0furvnXlDQXkBsROYu3nRO9VH1sdbDqg JCRuFWqFlltchywAjweX8fl

So this means she's either in the 100 range or negative for glucose, as seen in the chart.

10-14-2008, 12:54 PM
One of the biggest problems with urine strips is that they don't tell you anything about low blood sugar. You did a GREAT job of treating Ginger's low BG the other day and I think it's worth considering that she may be getting a bit more insulin than she needs generally.

One way to determine this would be to decrease the insulin dose slightly and see if the urine tests go back up right away into higher levels of glucose.

I think it would be good if you talked with your vet - explain the urine readings you have been getting now being mostly negative and tell him/her that you are concerned that her blood sugar might be going lower than it should and see what the vet says.

She should have some blood glucose tests done - by the vet if you're not ready to test yet - to make sure she's staying in a safe range.

10-14-2008, 01:00 PM
Read it and you are of course right.

We Hope
10-14-2008, 01:01 PM
Just going to throw in here that problems with eating can come from either being too high or too low. Ginger may be going too low based on what happened when you gave her the 6 units. Backing off on the insulin somewhat after consulting your vet, telling him or her about Ginger's not wanting to eat, might do the trick with getting her hungry again.


10-14-2008, 03:49 PM
Kathy Im going to say you were right again. I called the vet about Ginger's not eating.
He said for tonight to cut back on the insulin to 2. If it happens again I should take her to his office. Take care, Vito

We Hope
10-14-2008, 03:52 PM
And now we all hope Ginger's in the mood for her meals! :)


10-16-2008, 07:51 PM
Vito - I meant to welcome you and Ginger, but I got swamped. Maybe you're swamped, too, because we haven't heard from you for two days!

So please, when you have time, tell us how you and Ginger are doing now! How did the talk with your vet go?

Also, I'd like to give you and Ginger on of our Big Fat Welcomes! This really is a very fine place; I only found it a bit over a month ago. I was SO IMPRESSED I joined right away, and put a link to it on my own web site.

Now I'm waiting for your report! [grin] Kwali and Kumbi say they are waiting too, and they send special greetings to Ginger.

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 18:51:22

10-16-2008, 09:33 PM
Welcome Vito and Ginger, you've come to the right place, lots of information here and good people to help, ask any questions even if you think they are crazy or dumb we have all asked them already! :)

11-21-2008, 08:43 PM
Hello everyone, I am back with Ginger my beautiful and wonderful Bichon.
Im giving her 6 units of insulin twice a day and she takes like a pro.
I am feeding her chicken without skin and she likes it, but I am sure she will get tired of the same thing, even though at times I had some turkey bits to her food.
If anyone has any easy to prepare recepies, I would appreciate reading it.
I want to thank the administrators of K9 (they know who they are ), for everything they said to me to calm me down. This is in October 2008 when my little Ginger was diagnosed with diabetes. I'll be roaming around K9diabetes, take care you all. Vito in Brooklyn, NY

11-21-2008, 08:47 PM
My Niki eats cooked ground turkey, chopped up green beans and brocolli, and some oats or brown rice or barley, sometimes instead of the grains i will add some dog food.

i buy the 1lb tubes of ground turkey at a discount grocery store like Aldi's or Save-a-lot about 1.19 each, maybe cheaper now being thanksgiving next week.

My vegetables i buy frozen and chop up in food processor, and all the grains I cook.

Hope this helps,Oh add me as a friend to your email, it would not let me send a message, but i clicked to send anyway, so i hope you got it.

Take care:)

We Hope
11-22-2008, 09:41 AM
Hi Vito!

We're glad to see that Ginger is doing so well and that you haven't forgotten about us! :)

I'm sure everyone who does home cooking will be glad to post their "secret recipes" for you. :D


Debbie & Apollo
11-22-2008, 04:59 PM
Can't really add much -- but wanted to say hello, I must have been sleeping when you joined on
-- Go Brooklyn!
I used to live there:)

Not sure if it was mentioned --on the urine strips - just remember that the reading is a few hours behind -- since the body has to process and store the PP :)

Debbie and Apollo

11-24-2008, 09:13 AM
It's nice to hear from you Vito and to hear that things are going so well. :)

Can't help with recipes as we generally haven't done much home cooking. We have added chicken and cottage cheese to canned and dry food, mainly to improve blood sugar control.