Diabetes in Dogs: The k9diabetes.com Forum

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

jim maceri 10-23-2011 05:56 AM

Spirit Crossed the Bridge Today..... June 9, 2016
 
Hello all,

First, I have a 4 year old newfoundland, male, intact. Neither parent nor any siblings have diabetes. As a matter of fact my breeder has never had a newfoundland with diabetes that she knows of and has been breeding for over 45 years.

About 6 weeks ago I took him to the vet who gave him a CBC at my request to get some baselines as well as xrays for hips and knees. The results all came back good and within normal limits.

4 weeks ago it seemed he had difficulty urinating so I took him back into the vet with a suspicion of a urinary tract infection. They put him on an antibiotic and while he was there we did a blood sugar test. It was in the morning about 2 hours after he ate. The vet was shocked to see his blood sugar level at 284 especially when the CBC was in normal ranges just weeks before. We discussed diet, weight and he had me try hills diet WD for the next 10 days. When we went back he again was tested and the reading was 283. He then took blood and sent it in for a fructosomine test which came back high.

I am taking him back on Tuesday for another CBC, Fructosomine and to check the blood sugar except this time I am not going to feed him prior to the appointment. My dog does stress at the vet but I thought that would only raise the sugar level by 50 +/- points.

I am having real reservations about him having diabetes and wonder what other things could be going on that could cause his levels to be so elevated. Infection? Thyroid? Pancreatitis? ect......can anyone suggest some other tests to run before we just accept the fact that he is diabetic? I am going to suggest a round of testing to make sure it is not something else because many of the breeders I talked to said it is just not in their breed especially if it is not hereditary.

I've been feeding him "Wellness" brand prior to the hills diet and supplemented the kibble with the hard "loaf" type of dog food shredded over the top. I have found out that the loaf is high in sugar and have eliminated that.

Please help, I know there is alot of wisdom here.

Jim

MaryLea 10-23-2011 11:25 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Hi, Jim. Welcome to the forum.

You came to a good place for advice and support. We did not have any fructosomine tests run on Ruffles; all dx was done from blood glucose tests, which we learned to do ourselves. There are many on this site who have experience with a wide range of tests, and I'm sure they will weigh in with information.

You are wise to not jump to dx of diabetes, though, I feel. Ruffles was consistently in the 600's for the first week of treatment. Your pup is not nearly that high, and there are many things which might raise the BGs into the 200s. Several of which I am aware are the same ones you mention. My take on this at the moment is that something is going on besides diabetes.

Watching and cheering you on,

Mary

k9diabetes 10-23-2011 11:46 AM

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

Welcome you and your Newfie! :)

There aren't many other things that can cause high blood sugar other than diabetes.

Cushing's disease can raise blood sugar, usually modestly, which is the case with your dog - a lot of dogs' blood sugar is 400 or higher at diagnosis. So that is one thing to consider. Personally, I'd rather a dog have diabetes than Cushing's if only because Cushing's disease is so much more expensive to monitor and treat.

Pancreatitis can also cause transient diabetes but I think that would be likely only if he had raging pancreatitis where he's terribly critically ill, which apparently he isn't. I don't know that I've ever seen a dog with asymptomatic pancreatitis develop diabetes... not saying it couldn't happen. That kind of transient diabetes is extremely rare. I've only seen one or two dogs with that type of diabetes in seven years on forums. Even the ones who got it from a bout of pancreatitis usually wind up being permanently diabetic.

Since your dog's blood sugar may not be sky high yet, it could be something else causing it or it could be you just caught it early while he still has some insulin producing ability left.

What was his score on the fructosamine test, which measures average blood sugar over the past two weeks?

Was it very high or moderate?

If you have the score and the chart of what various levels mean for the fruc test, please post the results. There are a couple of different versions of the tests and the references ranges are different for each of them.

His fructosamine test being abnormal confirms that vet stress is not behind the high blood sugar and that it has been high for a while. I'm just wondering how high it's been.

There are definitely breed tendencies toward diabetes and I haven't seen a lot of Newfies get it, but I have seen every breed of dog imaginable wind up with diabetes. In dogs diabetes is an auto-immune disorder so it tends to fall in along with hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease, plus allergies.

I don't think there is any such thing as a breed that doesn't get it.

Besides the sugar in the urine, was some other problem like bladder stones or crystals found to explain his problems urinating?

Diabetic dogs usually don't have "trouble" going - they go a lot! So I wondered if there was some other urinary issue.

If he's determined to be permanently diabetic, they will want to neuter him because the hormones levels will be a problem for his diabetes regulation.

As long as diabetes is well managed, your dog can live a normal happy healthy lifespan. And if it is diabetes, you've caught it early, which is the best way to beat the worst side effect of diabetes, cataracts. So don't let wishing it wasn't so delay his treatment. You have a good chance of avoiding cataracts by working to regulate his blood sugar as quickly as possible (methodically, carefully, but starting right away).

Natalie

Cara's Mom 10-23-2011 12:04 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Welcome to the forum!:)

I have to agree with Mary....the Blood Glucose is rather low for Diabetes.....
Cara BG were in the high 500!
Pancreatitus is an infection of the pancreas, which will influence the out- put of the amount of insulin from the pancreas. In Diabetes the pancreas is not able to produce insulin at all or just very small amount! And when the pancreatitus has been treated the blood glucose will most of the time return to normal.....But there is a risk with Pancreatis for Diabetes!
Diabetes is breed related to some breeds, but that does not mean your dog can not become diabetic............I have had English Setters for close to 20 years, never heard of it in the breed , but my last e-setter, Cara, is a diabetic!
I would do some more testing, if I was in your position!

Best of luck!

jim maceri 10-23-2011 01:05 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Thank you all for the responses.

first his fructosomine test was only done once and I think the vet said it was around 500 but his glucose tests have both been in the 280's range. The vet said when a dog is diabetic he usually sees it around 500 or above.

Yes there has been some slight crystals in his urine. The vet put in a cathetor on the last visit and said there was slight bacteria, hence the antibiotic but there was no obstructions.

I've gone back 2 generations with the breeder and neither his parents or grandparents have diabetes nor do any of the offspring that the breeder tracks. The first reason I brought him to the vet was slow urination and him taking a long time to relieve himself in the mornings but by afternoon he had a normal strong stream. Now that he's gone thru the round of antibiotics his peeing is normal.

This is my second newfie and this guy drinks no more water than my last one. I've been measuring his water intake for the last two weeks and it is about 14 cups a day but that was not at all alarming to our breeder and not unusual for giant breed dogs. If the CBC showed elevated levels just 6 weeks ago I would be less suspicious but this came on very suddenly.

I will post his results when we get them next week. I'm taking him in on Tuesday and I'm going to get a urine sample first thing in the morning to take in with me so he doesn't have the stress of a cath again. On both previous tests, he also ate two hours before I took him to the vet. On this trip I'm going to have him fast from 9:00 the night before since the appointment is at 9:00 in the morning. Thanks everybody, I'm just kinda freekin' out right now thinking about having to give my dog injections and monitor this. The good news is I am able to work out of my house so I am literally with "Spirit" (that's his name) all day and night. Just seems weird that he turns 4 this December, is not consuming alot of water, is not urinating any more than normal and is not lethargic. Of course, newfies are known to be lazy anyway but he walks 3 times a day with me for a half to a mile each time.

Glad I found this site. Reading some of your experiences have helped during this anxious time.

jesse girl 10-23-2011 01:22 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
well it could be temporary you might think about home testing which can give you a better picture on what is going on as far as blood sugar seeing if you are getting the rise during food see if blood sugar comes down on its own

at one point my vet thought jesse was miss diagnosed and suggested to take her off insulin for a few days she did rise substantially with food but she did drop some after about 9 hours so maybe there was some production of insulin but not able to support sugar produced by food and over time any production of insulin has ended

SandyL 10-23-2011 01:35 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Hi Jim and welcome to you and Spirit!!

When my dog was diagnosed... I caught it VERY early!..... She was only 243 After 2 days of numerous "accidents " in the house, and the consistency of the urine, I knew there was something wrong :(. I, like you, prayed that it was something else.....she wasn't drinking more ten usual, and she was acting fine! Nope, she was still producing a little insulin on her own and we went through a "honeymoon " phase which kinda gave me hope that this was all a fluke. We never had a fructosemine test done, I learned to do my own BG's. She's been a little sugar baby now for 9 months, looks and acts healthy as ever and I contribute the fact that catching it so early is the reason she still has her pretty, yet buggy lol, brown eyes!!

There's worse diseases that they can get, and they really do get used to all this, much faster than we do actually!! No need to freak out.... He isn't! :D

Sandy

eileen 10-23-2011 02:08 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Sending you a warm welcome!

A very dear friend of mine that taught me so much about canine diabetes back in 2004 when Mildred was first diagnosed also had a diabetic Newfie.

It does take time but before you know it things will become second nature.

I strongly encourage you to learn to home blood test, the benefits are tenfold.

I have no doubt that had I not learned to blood test Mildred on the day she was dx as being diabetic she would not still be here with me today...7 years as a diabetic.

Shellie 10-23-2011 02:19 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Welcome to the forum, Jim! You've found a great place to get a lot of answers!

I wasn't as lucky to catch 'whatever' was going on and my Hank had to be hospitalized with ketoacidosis which happens when the glucose isn't controlled. He was in the 500's when diagnosed and we're still working on regulation due mostly to his horrible eating habits.

It sounds tho...if it is diabetes...you've caught it nice and early and will likely be able to avoid some of the problems others have had. It will be interesting to see what his numbers are on Tuesday and to see what the vet has to say.

Welcome once again!

CarolW 10-23-2011 05:01 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Jim - Spirit is a lucky dog to have you! I, like Eileen, was aware of a Newfie who had diabetes - so it's not unheard of.

I'm very glad you found us, because this is one of the finest forums on canine diabetes I've ever seen. Though my Kumbi died over a year ago - of cancer, NOT diabetes - I remain here because I became so interested. And of course, the forum members here are my friends!

Sounds as though your vet is very competent, and appears also willing to work with you as a team-mate. If this is so, oh, treasure that vet! Not everyone is so fortunate with vets! Some here have changed vets several times, by necessity, to get the competence and willingness to work as a teammate.

It does indeed appear that if Spirit has diabetes, you caught it early enough to work on fairly tight glucose control, which is the only way to save a diabetic dog's sight (that I'm aware of). In part, it's the luck of the draw, but keeping tight glucose control can only assist.

When Kumbi was diagnosed, my vet cheered! She said, "Thank goodness; it's only diabetes!"

Managing diabetes in a dog does take care and attention - daily. Injections aren't all that difficult, provided you know what you're doing, and your dog trusts you.

Your vet or tech can show you how to do the injections. Here's an excruciatingly-detailed analysis of making injections completely painless:

http://www.coherentdog.org/vek/painlessinj.php

Looking forward to your next report, perhaps Tuesday evening?

Here's our Big, Fat Welcome to you, to this magnificent forum!
Sun, 23 Oct 2011 17:01:32 (PDT)

k9diabetes 10-23-2011 05:09 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
If his blood sugar is staying in the 200s mainly, I wouldn't expect him to be drinking a lot of water. Some dogs are sensitive and will start getting really thirsty in the 300s but some, like ours, don't really show any signs of symptoms until the blood sugar is sustained at a higher level, like the high 400s.

The good news for Spirit is that dogs tolerate diabetes generally quite a bit better than people do. They can thrive and lead a good quality of life even if the blood sugar is not very tightly regulated and a few forays into the 300s generally doesn't bother most of them too much. They also don't suffer from many of the side effects of Type 1 diabetes that people do. Cataracts and a tendency toward UTIs are the main problems encountered.

Injections are likely going to be a lot easier than you think they are. And with all that fur, you won't have to see much! ;)

You get into a rhythm with your dog and injections are just part of life, like brushing your teeth in the morning. Our dog was diabetic for five years so we gave literally thousands of them.

And I've known and still do know lots of dogs diagnosed relatively young like Spirit who lived with diabetes for 8, 9, 10 years. We have even seen a couple of dogs diagnosed as puppies. Now that's a challenge!

Natalie

Patty 10-23-2011 07:31 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Jim,
You've gotten some great advice/input so I just wanted to say welcome to you and Spirit!
Patty

jim maceri 10-24-2011 05:22 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
I'm sure I will be posting his morning BG level when I return from the vet Tuesday morning. I'm going to ask for another CBC and Fructosomine also and those test result will take a couple of days so I'm guessing Thursday.

I can't thank all of you enough. I got my first good nights sleep in weeks yesterday because I was able to turn off the voice in my head thanks to the wonderful folks here. I've decided it is what it is and I'm getting more comfortable with the notion of giving injections. In any event, no matter what it ends up being I'm going to get a BG meter after the vet and begin testing him before meals and several times thru the day and night. Wish me luck tomorrow. I know it is wishful thinking but I'm hoping this increase was some kind of episode but it's ok if it's not.

jjefferjo 10-24-2011 05:26 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Hi Jim and welcome-
Yo will do just fine whatever the results - we are watching and cheering you on.
Jj

hwilhelm 10-24-2011 06:32 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
One tip, get your meter before the vet visit. That way vet can compare your meter with the meter he/she uses. My old meter registered 40 points lower than one at vet's office. There was only an 18 point difference when Mindy's bg levels were lower.

Heidi

jim maceri 10-24-2011 07:31 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hwilhelm (Post 59030)
One tip, get your meter before the vet visit. That way vet can compare your meter with the meter he/she uses. My old meter registered 40 points lower than one at vet's office. There was only an 18 point difference when Mindy's bg levels were lower.

Heidi

will do....thanks. Any suggestions on the brand or type that works well for everyone?

SandyL 10-24-2011 07:42 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Lots of people on here use the One Touch Ultra.... Me included and it has worked well. Strips are pretty pricey, but you can get them cheaper on eBay or amazon.

Craig is the authority on LOTS of different kinds of meters. You could always message him

Good luck today!!
Sandy

CarolW 10-24-2011 08:05 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
I very strongly recommend the OneTouch Ultra2. That's their main full-size model. I suggest NOT going to any other model from the same manufacturer, as the Ultra2 is the one really renowned for consistency and reliability. Luckily, once you get it set up (date and time, as instructed in the manual), that's pretty well it; after that, the meter tells you right on the display what to do when.

The OneTouch Ultra is the older model, not manufactured any more, so the current full-size model is the Ultra2. There are others as well, but I think the Ultra2 is the one to get.

Besides, its consistency makes it really useful.

You'd probably want to start with about 50 strips (at least), as you'll waste a few while learning.

But check out the leads here to testing BG levels, and also, there's excruciating detail here:

http://www.coherentdog.org/vek/bgtest.php

Do yell for assistance if/when you need it, and lots here will help guide you!
Mon, 24 Oct 2011 08:04:56 (PDT)

Patty 10-24-2011 10:12 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
I agree on the OneTouch Ultra2. I has a good track record for consistency. All human meters typically measure your dog's blood sugar a bit lower that actual due to the difference in size/shape of a dog's red blood cell. And that difference gets smaller with lower blood sugar.

Amazon is the cheapest place I've found thus far for the Ultra2 meter at about $20 including shipping. Retail runs around $60. I also buy my test strips on ebay for about 47 cents a strip (including shipping). Often I can get them for less if I'm patient and catch a good day. Just watch for factory sealed boxes and good expiration dates.

Depending on where you think you'll test on your dog, I like the AccuChek Softclix lancing device. I use the lip stick method and these lancets work well for that area. http://www.k9diabetes.com/bgtestvideos.html

If you are using a thicker place, many like the larger gauge lancets (the lower the number, the larger the lancet) such as 25 gauge to get a good drop of blood.

If you don't get your meter and master testing before this vet visit, don't stress. It took us a while to find the right "sweet spot" for testing.

Take care,
Patty

jim maceri 10-25-2011 09:16 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Just got back from the vet with spirit. His BG was 264 after a 12 hour fast. He still has a slight urinary tract infection so he is back on a 7 day antibiotic regiment.

Since he fasted for 15 hours, the vet decided to do alot of blood work just to make sure he can rule out any other causes of the elevation in sugar. We also took in a first in the morning urine sample and indeed it did have sugar in it. I really like my vet and the fact that he wants to be cautious before we have to drop him off for 3 days to begin the insulin injections. We should have the results of the blood work up back either Wednesday or Thursday so I will let you all know those results too.

My wife was with me today and this has hit her a bit harder than me since I was somewhat prepared for the diagnosis. The hardest part will be not having him with us for 3 days......as I said working out of the house means Spirit is literally with us 24/7. I'm hoping he will let me visit and walk him each day to reduce the stress of being apart (for both of us).

I guess the blessing is that 7 weeks ago he had completely normal blood levels on the CBC so we have hopefully caught this very early. I guess I'll be a regular here now looking for support and great information. We plan to take the motorhome to Florida on Christmas Eve so it will be good that we have a couple of months to try and get things regulated. At this point, he doesn't want me to do any home testing until they can get the BG curve done at the hospital.

We are looking at taking him in on November 14th for the start of his stay unless the blood work tells us something different.

Thanks again, this site has been a great comfort.

Cebe 10-25-2011 09:25 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
What is the vet going to do for three days with your dog? I do not mean to question your vet, as I'm not the one examining the dog (nor do I have a vet degree), but my vet never did this with my dog. As a matter of fact, I'm still working toward regulation, and it's been several months.

What I'm getting at is a question (not a judgment or opinion) - is your vet planning some sort of intensive regulation treatment to get your dog going on insulin, or is there some other reason to keep your pup for 3 days?

Hope you don't mind the intrusion. I am curious about this. Thanks!

Abby's Mom 10-25-2011 09:28 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Welcome Jim!

I was the same situation as you back in May, when I had to leave Abby at the vet's for 3 days, and I too work out of the home, so she is with me 24/7. I missed her alot, and I was not allowed to see her, nor did they keep in touch with me (even after calling 2x a day0... since then, I have switched vets. When I picked Abby up, she sat in the seat next to me, looked at me sidewise, (as if to say, I'm not speaking to you), and then about 5 minutes later just complained.... continued to bark all the way home. I think she was yelling at me!!

I have the One Touch Ultra2, like most on the forum, and absolutely love it, but I will say it did take some time in getting the blood sample right the first time, but that just takes practice, so do not discourage, if you should have any problems.

Just wanted to give a warm welcome....

SandyL 10-25-2011 10:07 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Hey Jim

I'm also a little confused on the 3 day stay?? :confused: has your vet NOT started Spirit on insulin as of yet??
When Tiggy was diagnosed, we got the instructions that day to start insulin, what kind, how much, feeding etc. we did take her back for a curve about a week later, but that was just for the day.
Some dogs regulate quickly..... Others never do at all :(

Sandy

jim maceri 10-25-2011 11:01 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
I'm going to question the vet about the stay also....his explanation to me was that they are able to give the insulin and create a curve each day and night so that after 3 days he will be confident to have the right "starting" dose. He said he has done it both ways, letting the dog go home and keeping them for 3 days. He has had much better luck in regulating the amount when he keeps them. Also, I live in a rural area and the vet is 30 minutes from my home. I'm sure he would do it either way if I insisted on trying at home. Being new to this he wants to improve my chances for success and get the initial dosing right.

He then said I would be bringing him in once a week (unless I have an issue) for the next month and once we get it somewhat regulated it will be check-ups every 3 months. I'm a bit overwhelmed as I said, so your questions to me are helpful for me to then ask the vet. I will be talking to him again on Wednesday (26th) to get the blood test results so I can ask him about the stay. I also get the sense that he knows I am nervous about this.

Cebe 10-25-2011 11:51 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
You know I've been working on regulating since June 1 and I see some benefit to your vets plan if you can pay for it. Seems like with some intensive work on his part he might be able to get you farther down the road than if you try yourself but on the other hand my experience with going slowly is that it is a very slow process where any change in insulin needs a few days to settle in before knowing how it affects your dog.

Again I'm not questioning your vet. This process he is suggesting with the 3 day stay and weekly testing might be a very effective way to get regulation, if you can pay for it.

k9diabetes 10-25-2011 11:54 AM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
I'm personally not a fan of regulating a dog in the hospital. The environment isn't the same as at home so the response can be quite different, they may not be willing to eat like they would at home, and, perhaps most important, three days really isn't long enough for the body to adjust to being on insulin so I don't think you get an accurate picture of the response.

I personally prefer a safe starting dose - around 1/5 of a unit per pound - started at home.

Have you considered home blood glucose testing?

You could start that now and monitor his blood sugar and then if he goes on insulin you can do curves and test him at home.

I know that might be overwhelming to consider right now. But it would allow you to give him the careful monitoring the vet wants from the hospital setting while he's in his own home with his normal routine.

He may also need to start on a very small dose of insulin if the diabetes has been caught really early. In which case home monitoring would also be very important to check for low blood sugar due to honeymooning.

http://www.k9diabetes.com/dogdiabeteshoneymoon.html

I'm glad the vet is flexible on this. That way, you can do what works best for you and Spirit.

farrwf 10-25-2011 12:19 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jim maceri (Post 59131)
I really like my vet and the fact that he wants to be cautious before we have to drop him off for 3 days to begin the insulin injections. My wife was with me today and this has hit her a bit harder than me since I was somewhat prepared for the diagnosis. The hardest part will be not having him with us for 3 days......as I said working out of the house means Spirit is literally with us 24/7. I'm hoping he will let me visit and walk him each day to reduce the stress of being apart (for both of us).

Abby's Mom: ....I was the same situation as you back in May, when I had to leave Abby at the vet's for 3 days, and I too work out of the home, so she is with me 24/7. I missed her alot, and I was not allowed to see her, nor did they keep in touch with me (even after calling 2x a day0... since then, I have switched vets.

HUH, ... what's with the 3 day stints?

No visitors????

Abby's Mom 10-25-2011 12:45 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by farrwf (Post 59151)
HUH, ... what's with the 3 day stints?

No visitors????

I know!!! I wish I knew about this forum prior to dropping her off. After all of this, their home instructions where;

1. Give 10 units once a day
2. Doesn't matter if she eats or not.
3. No scheduled needed.
4. See you in a week.

Ugh! I left there in a hurry, and then found this forum, found a new vet. It has been a godsend.

farrwf 10-25-2011 12:58 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Abby's Mom (Post 59154)
I know!!! I wish I knew about this forum prior to dropping her off. After all of this, their home instructions where;

1. Give 10 units once a day
2. Doesn't matter if she eats or not.
3. No scheduled needed.
4. See you in a week.

Ugh! I left there in a hurry, and then found this forum, found a new vet. It has been a godsend.

Don't blame you.

I was kind of startled, .... never heard of that before.

Now, Otis was there 3 days, ... but with IV's in his arms to get rid of the ketones and get the ultra high sugar down.

jim maceri 10-25-2011 01:10 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Just ordered my ultra 2 monitor, strips and lancets from amazon. Going to start checking when it arrives. I would rather do this at home and drive the dog in 3 times a day if needed then leave him. I know he will stress if I do that. Just after todays visit he is acting weird....

SandyL 10-25-2011 01:30 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Yay!! Way to go Jim!! Believe me, and I'm sure others will agree, when you're home testing, it gives you so much more peace of mind!! Not to mention no stress for spirit!

Sandy

Cebe 10-25-2011 01:37 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
I have found home testing to be vital with my dog, and my pocket book! :)

My vets were a little resistant - because I think they thought I would change doses on my own and over-adjust too soon and too fast. But I don't. I only change doses with their approval. Now that might not be forever, but while I'm regulating my dog, I'm getting dosing approval from the vet. At some point, I can see myself making adjustments on my own, but only after I learn better to read my dog's curves and to understand the rhythm of her diabetes. :)

jim maceri 10-25-2011 02:31 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
My wife and I are having a REALLY rough night....it all seems to be hitting home. Spirit is my second Newfie and the first one had TPLO surgery on both knees at 4 and 5 yrs old only to die from a mass (cancer) at 6. I wish there where some words I could say to my wife to make her feel more at ease. It is just all so much so fast. We've never been able to have children so our pets have been our "fur children" and having the luxury of working at home for the last 6 years means he is with us always and our travels, plans visits with relatives always revolved around our boy.

She is not ready to begin reading the forum yet so I printed her off some of your stories and posts of encouragement and just handed them to her. I think we're going to take a couple of exedrin PM curl up under the blanket and just call it a day.......thanks everyone!

Jim, MJ and Spirit bear

Cebe 10-25-2011 02:51 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
If it makes you feel better, I was devastated by Zoe's diagnosis in the beginning, just horrified. But my mom had a diabetic cat so I knew she would survive. Still it was awful, overwhelming, and terrifying in the beginning. But now it's old hat, easy breezy. I am still concerned for my dog but so much more relaxed. and this forum was a lifesaver for me.

In all honesty, I was all up my dog's butt for a month or two trying to get her regulated as soon as possible, but my cat's illness over the summer moved Zoe down the priority ladder and lo and behold she survived not being my main focus (and probably thanked the cat for it) and I've kept that attitude. So try not to get trapped in the idea that regulating your dog is mission one in your life, relax and take it very slowly.

You guys are going to get through this just fine and your dog will do great. It's a manageable chronic disease, that's all.

Relax tonight and check back in when you're ready. All the best.

eileen 10-25-2011 03:09 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Jim,

I'm sorry that you and your wife are having such a hard time with this diabetes diagnoses.
While it is a horrible disease, it is very manageable.

Several months after Mildred was dx with diabetes I had a cat that was having issues. My vet called me and told me that he "only had diabetes", which was true, and I was thankful for that.

Diabetes is quite manageable and altho the initial shock can leave one thinking the worse, it is really ok, they can be fine with the correct treatment.

Mildred has lived a long and happy life with the disease for 7 years now, unfortunately she now has bladder cancer so it will be that that takes her life, not her diabetes.

Judi 10-25-2011 03:15 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Hang in there Jim and Jim's wife! I went through the emotional roller coaster this summer and right now we are on a pretty even keel diabetes-wise and I ask myself "who was that person?"

You should have your wife read Harley's thread. Shirley really had a tough time and had no clue how she would cope and now Harley is a big boy and they are maintaining fine.

We all understand because we've all been there but trust me, it gets easier. My Jenny has even lost her eyesight due to cataracts and it is no longer freaking me out (she has always handled it just fine)

hugs, Judi

Quote:

Originally Posted by jim maceri (Post 59166)
My wife and I are having a REALLY rough night....it all seems to be hitting home. Spirit is my second Newfie and the first one had TPLO surgery on both knees at 4 and 5 yrs old only to die from a mass (cancer) at 6. I wish there where some words I could say to my wife to make her feel more at ease. It is just all so much so fast. We've never been able to have children so our pets have been our "fur children" and having the luxury of working at home for the last 6 years means he is with us always and our travels, plans visits with relatives always revolved around our boy.

She is not ready to begin reading the forum yet so I printed her off some of your stories and posts of encouragement and just handed them to her. I think we're going to take a couple of exedrin PM curl up under the blanket and just call it a day.......thanks everyone!

Jim, MJ and Spirit bear


jim maceri 10-25-2011 03:51 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
Just got an email from my breeder.....

In the last 5 months Spirit has had the following symptoms:

Refusal to eat food (especially in the morning) and vomit (a yellowish bile)
This didn't happen all the time but at least a dozen times in 5 months.

Diarrhea- his morning stools seemed to be somewhat firm but his afternoon stool was always loose and seemed to be thin, yellow and greasy. This has been going on for at least 5 months

Depression and Lethargy- Spirit seems to like to lay down alot more in the last 5 months. He used to follow me everywhere, especially to the kitchen. Now he doesn't always get up and follow.

Pain- I wondered why Spirit would sit off in a corner at times and simply and quietly whimper. I thought it was because he is a bit spoiled and wanted my attention. My breeder said they are "noble" dogs and try to hide pain but whimpering can be a sign of discomfort and pain.

I may be going thru denial here but my breeder "castaways kennel" just isn't sold on the dx of diabetes yet. She has asked me to really check into accute pancreatitis and the symptoms I told her about seem to fit the profile. She also said (and I don't know if it is true) but accute pancreatitis will affect the output of insulan and give higher BG readings. As I said before, Spirits 3 test for BG where:

284, taken 2 hours after eating.
283, taken 2 hours after eating.
261, today at the vet without eating breakfast and after 7 days of being on Hills prescription WD.

I will admit that I did give him some table scraps....fatty part of my steak, an occasional fig newton, a piece of my pizza crust ect....I know shame on me but that was the norm growing up with dogs at my house. Now I know better of course.

So many opinions can make your head spin......breeders suggestion was to continue with the food for another week and start testing the BG at home to see if it continues to reduce. I was under the impression that we needed to get things started right away to avoid other issues such as catarachts (sp). She insists that the readings I have gotten are not off the chart and no reason for panic. She also said I could get an ultrasound to see if the pancreas is inflamed....Love to hear from all of you.

jesse girl 10-25-2011 05:06 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
maybe pancreatitis is a possibility

your vet may have checked that already but if not you may look into it

k9diabetes 10-25-2011 05:32 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
There is a blood test to check for simmering pancreatitis so you certainly could have that done. I am a big fan of covering all of the diagnostic bases if you can afford it. A Cushing's test is another diagnostic to consider, though if the rest of his bloodwork is good that might not be very likely.

Our cat a few months ago was just "off" - no real specific symptoms until she started to lose weight. We did bloodwork and it didn't really show anything. So we had x-rays done and that hinted at colitis. So then had an abdominal ultrasound done, which confirmed the inflamed bowel. Put her on Flagyl and she's doing much much better. Buit it took a lot of expensive looking to identify the cause.

I think a good abdominal ultrasound is always a good tool as well. Something you could consider.

Spirit's blood sugar is only mildly elevated.

But we also know, from your testing two months ago, that diabetes, if it's present, has been caught early. A lot of dogs don't get diagnosed until they have had high blood sugar for months. At these glucose levels, he probably wouldn't have been drinking and urinating excessively. So if he hadn't gotten an infection, he might have gone several more months before something showed up to alert you to the problem.

I'm not sure if I hope it is or isn't! - Some potential problems seem a lot worse to me than *just diabetes.

Our dog was diagnosed at 9.5 years of age and lived to be 14.5, which is quite old for a dog his size. He was a complete mutt but weighed about 65 pounds.

His diabetes was a breeze compared to his heart problems. He eventually racked up a half dozen different heart problems - arrhythmias, enlarged heart, premature ventricular contractions, a leaky valve... And then got cancer.

Dogs not only don't die of diabetes as long as it's well managed, but they lead whatever turns out to be a normal lifespan for them. Really the biggest adjustments to be made are by their humans, who have to get used to a more regimented schedule.

http://aboutvetmed.com/2010/11/13/ho...a-tragic-tale/

Natalie

SandyL 10-25-2011 05:45 PM

Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions
 
The pancreas is the organ in the body that produces insulin. One of the main complications of acute pancreatitis in dogs is that the Endocrine portion of the pancreas ( the part that produces insulin) fails and stops producing...ie high blood sugar. Some articles that I have read have said that once the pancreatitis is cleared up then it starts functioning again normally......so maybe....

Sandy


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