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-   -   Spirit Crossed the Bridge Today..... June 9, 2016 (http://k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6869)

Abby's Mom 10-26-2011 07:10 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
Jim, MJ and Spirit...

Whether it is diabetes or pancreatitis (Abby has experienced in both), it is the thought of Spirit being sick that is making this a hard time. I know the feeling, you feel helpless and just want them to feel better.

With some testing and a good vet, you will find the problem, and then because we love them so much, we will do whatever it takes to make them better.

Sending warm hugs your way.

jim maceri 10-26-2011 07:50 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
The vet will be calling today to give me the results of a "TOTAL HEALTH PLUS & TRIGLYCERIDES" blood work. When he calls, based on what he says, we are going to ask for an ultrasound to look at the pancreas and see if it is inflamed.

Since I have the resources to exhaust all possibilities I think this is a good choice since spirit has exhibited the symptoms of Pancreatitis. After all, the bottom line is we want to get to the bottom of this no matter what.

I have my ultra 2 meter and strips being shipped today, picked up Ketostix from the pharmacy and watched all the wonderful videos on how to test the BG. I AM READY!!! New day, New outlook.

Starting tomorrow I will try and get a BG curve started. I'm thinking of testing 6 times a day to start....once before his morning meal and then every two hours until his evening feeding and then again 3x in the evening.

I'm also going to ask the vet that IF we begin insulin therapy we do this at home to keep the stress low on my buddy AND myself.

Soaphie & Sydney's Mom 10-26-2011 07:58 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
sounds like you are ALL SET!!!!

Cebe 10-26-2011 09:00 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

Originally Posted by jim maceri (Post 59212)
I'm also going to ask the vet that IF we begin insulin therapy we do this at home to keep the stress low on my buddy AND myself.

Right because stress can cause his bg to rise, so having him home would logically give you more accurate results.

Jim, it surely is a new day for you guys. I was worried about you yesterday but I'm so glad to see your renewed energy!! :)

CarolW 10-26-2011 04:31 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
Jim, and MJ too,

I'm REALLY thrilled with you for going ahead with this. It seems to me a good idea to run the blood test for pancreatitis; that would give you more information. And ultrasound never hurts!

Have a look at this page:


Note the heading, a bit down the page:

"Diabetes? YAY!"

Well, I didn't, myself, feel "Yay" right away. Naturally. I was just like everybody else here. Sad, overwhelmed, not knowing how I would manage. Actually, I didn't join here till more than a year after Kumbi was diagnosed - didn't need to, because my vets are SO good, so helpful.

I believe yours is, too; I get the feeling you have a good vet; my only concern is waiting till 2 November to start insulin. I'd think you could get a start on the insulin because you (will) have a consistent, reliable meter, even though it's for humans; it will still show trends.

If it were me, I'd talk this over with the vet, and likely, use Natalie's suggestion of 1/5 of a unit per pound of dog, for a starting dose. That would likely be very safe.

My vets also took Kumbi in for three days, actually, twice, to get him under way with the insulin. He was on Novolin-NPH. That insulin did very well for him, all his life (he died of cancer, not diabetes).

But Kumbi was started on insulin right away. On the other hand, we didn't catch his diabetes as early as you caught Spirit's.

My guess is, by the time you're ready for the motorhome trip, you'll be fairly stable with Spirit's diabetes.

About breeders - hey; I'm familiar with breeder attitudes. It's hard for them to accept something they didn't expect, and have no experience of. The breeder is not to blame for Spirit having diabetes; it's the sort of thing a breeder would be worrying about, naturally! My understanding is that diabetes can be heritable, but it can also arise for other reasons. It's good that your breeder is interested, but I hope she can divest herself of any idea that she's to blame for Spirit contracting diabetes.

I'll be checking in on your thread; please keep us posted!

Lots of love, hugs, licks and wags,
Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:31:06 (PDT)

jim maceri 10-27-2011 05:35 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
Will get all the blood work back today and will post the results. Strange thing, yesterday spirit's water consumption dropped from about 16 cups per day (which I think is normal for a giant breed based on my last newfie) down to about 12 cups. I continue to measure the intake every day on a chart.

I'm going to look into starting the insulin on Monday that way if there is any issues the vet will be open. I still have to discuss doing this at home but MJ and I are both pretty adamant that it IS going to be that way. If the vet wants to see him I'll drive him there 3 times or more a day but we both feel confident about measuring the BG here and keeping him calm.

I'll post the results of his tests later today.


CarolW 10-27-2011 06:57 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
Hi Jim and MJ,

I think you're doing wonderfully well with Spirit. Makes me so happy!

Dogs do vary in how much they drink. Kumbi usually drank a lot. But the amount varied from day to day.

The following charts were done when the cancer already had a big grip on Kumbi, but we didn't know what was going on.


Notice the strong variation in BGs, day-to-day, at estimated nadir time! (mmol/L above the line; mg/dL - U.S. measurement - below the line).

and the second chart:


On that one, I didn't include the BG readings, but they can be very approximately estimated, from the mmol/L scale on the left Y-axis, and the mg/dL scale on the right Y-axis.

I think that second chart, in particular, shows that the more stable Kumbi's BGs in a particular day, the less water he drank.

But he died less than a month later, of cancer. All the same, I think it's very natural and normal for BGs to vary as shown on those charts; see the other charts in the series:


With Kumbi, I noticed seasonal changes in BG levels, sometimes requiring an adjustment in insulin dose, and sometimes changes if we had a hot spell or a cold spell in the weather.

He got more activity (walking) in better weather, and less in inclement weather (surprise!)

Kumbi's BGs would usually drop with exercise.

I'll be watching for your further reports; keep up the great work! Hope you can get Spirit started on insulin soon - but agree with you, wise to start on a day the vet's office is open!
Thu, 27 Oct 2011 06:57:06 (PDT)

jim maceri 10-27-2011 11:07 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
Our vet just did a half hour consult going over the results of all the blood work. Red cells, white cells, liver, pancreas, thyroid, triglycerides and the list goes on and on.......everything was in the normal range with the exception of his glucose which was 271. All things point to early onset diabetes. He was quite impressed that we caught it before any episodes or damage and believes since his levels at each testing have ranged between 260-284 that his pancreas is still producing some insulin or we would have seen values in the 400-500 range and above.

The main part of our discussion was on his beginning treatment process. Instead of 3 nights at the vets he agreed and convinced us to let him have him for 2 nights. He had many great points as to why this works so well at the office as opposed to us doing it here. He said...."you will have plenty of time to work on his curves and testing at home, I've had great success with early onset like spirits in regulating and I promise I will personally be looking after him."

We scheduled for November 3rd, Thursday dropping him off at 9:00 in the morning and picking him up on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. We can come as much as we want to walk him, feed him and he said we can even sit with him for hours if that helps us and him. If he sees spirit is under stress or not eating he will alter this plan.

I guess if we like and trust our vet we should go along with this. He gave us the names of several families who have also gone thru this procedure so we can talk to them and calm our nerves about how their dogs managed at the office. I'll be calling them today.

We will begin checking his BG here at home and get him used to the process before we drop him off. So I guess in one week from today we will be starting this process and that will give us almost 8 weeks before we take our annual motorhome trip to Florida. The vet is going to give us a list of vets on our route and said he is available to talk 24 hours if we have any issues....just call he said.

I hope we made the right choice but after listening to him it did make sense and he is probably right when he said we will be under more stress than our dog will. Time to go watch all the videos again.....

On a side note, this forum has been so very helpful to ease some of our fears. Knowing that there are alot of you out there doing this makes it seem much easier. I'm sure we will be posting and reading from this point forward and I'll make sure to give you all updates and photo's from our trip. I would like to post a photo of Spirit but I'm not sure how to do that yet.

jesse girl 10-27-2011 11:21 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
it sounds like a good plan

due to the fact that insulin is probably being produced seeing those flat numbers dosing might be tricky for a starting dose so being under a vets care should be ok but i would like to see some checks during the night hours also

dosing requirements may change overtime and that would be expected as production of insulin will probably diminish over time so your home testing will be a big help to keep your friend safe

MaryLea 10-27-2011 11:39 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
I agree that it sounds like a good plan. I'm glad you have a vet you trust! ;) Our first one--well, not so much after the advice to double Ruffles' insulin (from 4u to 8u, 2X/day for a 15-lb dog). :eek: (We started looking for another vet immediately after posting that here; everyone cautioned us about it being too high a dose, which it was.)

Will be watching for your posts and cheering you on!


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