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-   -   Not sure what to do..... (http://k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8143)

Section1 04-28-2020 07:56 AM

Not sure what to do.....
 
We have a lab/Collie mix who was diagnosed with diabetes several months ago. Our vet started Henry on Vetsulin at 10 units twice a day. We have been doing all the tests and curves that he has wanted. Henry's numbers are slowly getting better but he is now getting 22 units of Vetsulin twice a day. On the last follow up visit the vet said he was getting better although not where we needed to be yet. He also said he spoke to another vet who is a internal medicine specialist and if needed we could increase the insulin up to 30 plus units twice daily.

A problem I'm having now is the cost of insulin. We are paying close to $60 a bottle and at these doses it doesn't last long, by my math it's about 9 days a bottle. I asked about switching to NPH and he said he had thought of that and mentioned it while speaking with the internal medicine specialist. He said that specialist was opposed to NPH and said that would be going in the wrong direction and recommend staying with Vetsulin only. Our vet is going with that advice.

I don't want to go against my vets advice but I can't really afford this insulin either. If the dosing keeps increasing I could be buying 4 bottles a month. I'm already at 3 now. I'm thinking about just switching Henry to NPH from Walmart and hoping for the best. I am really worried about what to do. I don't want to harm our dog and he is a family member in our eyes but it's getting expensive at the same time. I know we will come up with the money somehow.

I guess I'm just venting about medicine pricing but I can't help but thing there is something more affordable that could work just as well for Henry.

jesse girl 04-28-2020 12:49 PM

Re: Not sure what to do.....
 
Hi and welcome . If you have some recent curves you can post them to have a look see . NPH works very well for diabetic dogs . My jesse has been the Walmart relion brand for $ 25 for over 10 years

My jesse was on vetsulin originally and there was problems with it back at that time . I demanded my vet to go to NPH from Walmart and they protested and said we have plenty of vetsulin but I said it was going to be pulled off the market at that time and they finally agreed to switch . Two weeks latter I took over the management of jesses diabetes and have not had a vet involved and glad i did because she needed more attention to get her regulated and that only could be done at home .

How much does your dog weigh ?

Section1 04-28-2020 01:33 PM

Re: Not sure what to do.....
 
Henry weight is 71 pounds. This is the last curve we did on 4/25/20.

8:00 AM 385
9:00 AM 375
10:00 AM 395
11:00 AM 298
12:15 PM 391
2:30 PM 497
4:15 PM 579
5:30 PM 554
6:30 PM 573
8:00 PM 591

This one is from a week before on 4/18/20

7:30 AM 246
9:00 AM 301
10:30 AM 304
11:30 AM 350
12:30 PM 337
1:30 PM 384
2:45 PM 419
4:00 PM 363
6:00 PM 298
8:00 PM 424

Insulin times are 8 AM and 8 PM. The curves we done before were similar although it is somewhat better now. Our dog is overweight but has been losing some now. Last month was 76 and before that we was 80 to 85 pounds.

We keep him on the same food and feed the same amount twice a day also. Our vet wants him to eat Royal Canin Ultamino but he won't eat it. Also cost about $90 a bag which seems high. We are feeding him Natural Balance limited ingredient lamb formula.

jesse girl 04-28-2020 03:14 PM

Re: Not sure what to do.....
 
Well a normal starting dose for your dogs weight is about 15 units so the 22 is not a large dose

Is your dog showing any diabetic symptoms ? Is there any lethargy maybe a couple hours after shot ?

Has your dog been tested for thyroid problems as that can lead to weight gain and can lead to insulin resistance and hamper regulation

From what I see with the 2 curves which is a small sample size going to the Walmart brand of NPH insulin looks like a good candidate for your dog . Dosing is usually about the same in the number of units but use different syringes that can also be purchased at Walmart under the relion name

As far as dosing you could give a preliminary try at 15 units which would be a normal starting dose . Do a curve in a week and if higher than the past curve you maybe able to move up by 2 units . Remember your baseline which took 7 months to get to is 22 units which normally is comparable to vetsulin not on volume size but units from the 2 different syringes

Section1 04-28-2020 04:03 PM

Re: Not sure what to do.....
 
Our dog seems to be acting fine most of the time. He is a older dog, maybe 10 or so years old, and usually heads back to his bed after his insulin in the morning. If we go somewhere he will get up and go with us plus we go on walks through the day.

The vet does yearly lab work for thyroid and has never mentioned any problems. It all seemed to happen all of a sudden. He seemed to be doing fine then suddenly quit eating, wouldn't get up, and just looked sick. Took him to the vet and glucose was really high. He was admitted to the dog hospital for treatment.

He has had problems and always seems to be going to the vet. Seems to be allergy related causing skin infection and rashes. Was always placed on antibiotics and steroids. Some of the allergy problems we have been able to figure out like chicken which really breaks him out. The vet is convinced we will never figure it all out and believes it's best to manage symptoms.

I just know it's expensive and I don't want him to suffer. I think I've spent more money on this dog at the vet than I ever did my children growing up.

jesse girl 04-28-2020 07:36 PM

Re: Not sure what to do.....
 
It costed me about 10 grand when jesse got sick . Thats when i decided to manage the disease on my own . Very scary at the beginning as I had no medical background but the forum helped me through . Tested at home and I became an expert of my jesses diabetes . I am no expert on thyroid tests but more specific tests gives a better diagnosis I hear . Here are some physical symptoms you could see with thyroid problems .

Lethargy.
Exercise intolerance.
Mental dullness.
Weight gain without a change in appetite.
Obesity.
Cold intolerance.
Changes in coat and skin, like increased shedding, hair thinning, and hair loss.
Thickening of the skin.

Usually treatment is inexpensive .

Section1 04-29-2020 11:33 AM

Re: Not sure what to do.....
 
I'm afraid to know what we've spent at the vets office over the last few years. I do remember there were some test on his thyroid mainly because of weight gain. I believe it was us over feeding him and the constant steroids he was out on. I will mention it again though next time we are in the office. He does have some activity intolerance but may be age related. He seems to pant a lot but that seems to come and go. He has had skin and fur problems since we rescued him from the pound. My wife and I joke with each other that we took him because he was on clearance sale because when we picked him they were surprised. We had went to the local dog pound to find a dog. They showed us several great dogs they thought would be a good match for us. We didn't really connect with any of them when my wife pointed out a dog in the back and asked about him. They tried to talk us out of him saying he was a senior dog and bigger than they thought we wanted. He was brought out to us and instantly we knew he was the one. He came up to us like acted like he had known us forever. They came back and said they would lower the price on him if we took him. We laughed thinking we got a deal. Jokes aside we couldn't be happier that we got him. We think he is the best dog ever and enjoy every minute we have with him.

We have a follow up appointment coming up and I plan to see what we can do about the insulin. If there is some reason that he has to be on Vetsulin then we will find a way to do it but if he can be managed just as well on NPH then I believe that should be looked at. At least tried to see if it will work. We are able to do the testing of the blood sugar so we can monitor him for any problems if they arise.

Riliey and Mo 04-29-2020 01:02 PM

Re: Not sure what to do.....
 
i too changed insulins from caninsulin here in canada to novolin nph. the vet fired me. i started taking control of Riles diabetes. i was up to 6 1/2 units. everybody said up the insulin. i changed his food 1/2 tin twice a day started him on 5 1/2 nph then stayed there.
i.m concerned with Henry.s weight loss .not weighing him and not dropping his insulin dose. going up to 30 units is insane.:eek:
i.d weigh him. buy the nph inject starting dose wait 7 days do a curve.
peeps here use Apoquel for skin allergies it works. rashes.
why is he losing weight?
the feed chart says 2 cups twice a day

jesse girl 04-29-2020 01:05 PM

Re: Not sure what to do.....
 
My jesse completely ignored me out of a litter of pups and I said that was the dog for our family . I like independence and like you I have no regrets

Sounds like you have a good plan and maybe a reset which a change in insulin could offer . If you were seeing very good results with vetsulin than you may just stick with it .

After jesses initial veterinarian experience the expense has been very light . I test jesse at home and since she has been regulated I haven't done a curve in a long time . Just spot check to see if things are ok . The best part of testing at home is your not guessing . Like the panting you were seeing where you could test blood sugar to see if that is the problem

The forum can help if need be but its up to your family on the direction to go My Jesse is a very senior gal at 15.5 years and has lived a normal dogs life for with the disease for 10 years with some limitations and happy she continues with that life

Section1 04-29-2020 03:53 PM

Re: Not sure what to do.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Riliey and Mo (Post 168168)
i too changed insulins from caninsulin here in canada to novolin nph. the vet fired me. i started taking control of Riles diabetes. i was up to 6 1/2 units. everybody said up the insulin. i changed his food 1/2 tin twice a day started him on 5 1/2 nph then stayed there.
i.m concerned with Henry.s weight loss .not weighing him and not dropping his insulin dose. going up to 30 units is insane.:eek:
i.d weigh him. buy the nph inject starting dose wait 7 days do a curve.
peeps here use Apoquel for skin allergies it works. rashes.
why is he losing weight?
the feed chart says 2 cups twice a day

Not sure why the sudden weight loss. He had pancreatitis when they found out he was diabetic. He wasn't eating much at that time is what I thought was going on. Our vet was please with the loss. He would always bring up his weight and thought it was part of his ongoing cause of health issues. I think that's true to some degree but wasn't a big part. He is weighted everytime he goes to the vet. We do weekly curves to every other week curves and report to the vet. We check his glucose daily at home at least twice a day.

I feel since we get all of Henry's meds at the vet he wants to keep him on Vetsulin. I could be wrong about that though, it's just my feeling.


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