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Busy07
05-05-2009, 04:21 PM
• Breed Cairn Terrier
• Birth date or age 8 Months
• Weight 14#
• Date diagnosed with diabetes 4.25.09
• Type of insulin and how often given Vetsulin 4 units U40 2x's day with meals
• Diet W/D Science Diet
• Method of monitoring (home blood glucose testing, urine testing, clinical signs) -NONE
• Other medical issues VSD & Meningitis


Hi everyone. I thought I'd really dig in by posting Oliver's story. He has been such a challenge since we brought him home last November. But we adore this little guy. I hope you have a nice cup of coffee or tea before I start this very long story.

Oliver came home with us in November 2008. We took him, a week later, to our vet for his puppy check up and next set of shots. What was supposed to be a happy event was not so happy as Oliver had a heart murmur. At that time, she did not know if it would resolve or if we'd have to see a canine cardiologist. Well, it was not resolved and in January we made his first visit to the cardiologist. They performed an echocardiogram and he was diagnosed with a very small VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect). The cardiologist said it should cause him no problems but he will have a very loud heart murmur.

We were very pleased with the diagnosis and everything was going great until April 1st when my husband said there's something wrong with Oliver. When we pick him up, he cries a bit. He seemed fine that night but I took him to the vet on Thursday; April 2nd and she said he is definitely having pain. She then set to work trying to discern if it was his back or belly. He appeared to be most tender in his belly but she was unsure if it was his belly or pain radiating from his back. She did x-rays and ran all kinds of labs. Everything was unremarkable…matter-of-fact, his labs were perfect. She kept him for two nights and he was not really improving but she was fairly certain he had belly pain. We had him home Saturday afternoon and evening and on Sunday things really deteriorated. He was in severe pain, his right leg was dragging a little and he would cry out in pain if you even approached him.

We called our vet (we have her cell phone number) and she said it was time to take him to the Emergency Clinic. We have a fabulous clinic here called GVS. We brought Oliver in and they did an initial workup. He wasn't really showing any glaring symptoms but pain and a little dragging of the right rear paw. He stayed the night and they put him on pain medicine which was what I wanted. I couldn't bear to see the young man in pain. The next morning he was assessed by a neurologist. This doctor was fairly certain he was seeing a case of SRMA (steroid responsive meningitis). A spinal tap was performed and the fluid was cloudy not clear, indicative of SRMA. They ran all of the appropriate tests for parasites, fungus, etc. Everything was clear. SRMA is an immune disorder effecting young dogs and is treated by high dose steroid treatment. In Oliver's case, he was sent home on 15mg of prednisone per day. This meant, peeing over 40 times a day, hungry all of the time, etc. His mood did not seem to improve. We spent time with the neurologist and he thought he was just slow to recover as he had a pretty severe case of SMRA.

Finally, I called the neurologist and said there is just something wrong and he's not responding to these meds or something else is going on. We made an appointment for the following week for another visit. The next day, I decided to take him to our regular vet because I didn't want to wait. I wanted him to be checked out. She called a few hours later and said, you will not even believe this, but he has developed diabetes. Evidently, prednisone can cause diabetes. Clearly he had the classic symptoms but how would we know? The diabetic symptoms and side effects of prednisone mirror each other. I guess it was another case of mother's intuition, that something was not right but I surely did not expect diabetes of all things!

It can sometimes be reversed and other times it cannot. She kept him another two nights to get him started on insulin. We brought him home on Monday; April 27th with a bag full of insulin, syringes, W/D dog food and tons of notes.

He is slowly getting back to his normal puppy state of mind. He had his first glucose curve done at the vet's office yesterday and his insulin was raised by 1/2 unit. We're still quite a way from stabilizing his insulin, but at least we're on our way.

For the meningitis we are reducing his prednisone now to 2.5 mgs every other day and have replaced it with a drug called Atopica for the immunosuppressant to combat the meningitis.

On top of all of this, Oliver has a few baby teeth that did not errupt and that will need to be addressed once we have his other medical conditions under control.

From my standpoint, I am not liking this at all. I don't like giving him shots. I don't like having to make sure someone is home all of the day. But I think most of all, my "don't likes" are worries. At some point we're going to have to leave him home alone for periods of time. I'm concerned that it's going to take a long time to get regulated. I'm not looking forward to the eventual home glucose testing.

But, I'm hoping that I'll learn a lot from all of you and gain the confidence and knowledge to help keeping this guy healthy.

Our current regimen:
4 units Vetsulin - U40 - 2x's per day with meals
2.5 mgs prednisone every other day
35mgs of Atopica once per day
And LOTS of puppy pads for the middle of the night.