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sibhus 02-17-2014 11:05 PM

Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Hi all, i actually started off on the k9cushings forum suspecting my dog of having cushings. Back in November 2013 my dogs glucose was 135 prior to a liver mass tumor removal. Just yesterday it had increased to 365 and i had noticed my husky was urinating and drinking excessively feeling dull with weakness in the hinds legs.

The vet is convinced she has just diabetes based on the ultrasound and cbc tests but she still pants. My questions are have i caught this early enough to prevent an outbreak of cataracts? Also my initial dosage is 8 units twice a day which seems a tad low for a 70lb dog but im curious given its this low, could a healthy diet and exercise ween her off insulin? Also do diabetic dogs pant on occasion as the cushings dogs do? Finally i was curious what dry/wet foods are recommended or what are you using for diabetic dogs?

Thanks for the help, Cal.

Riliey and Mo 02-18-2014 01:03 AM

Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Hello welcome to the forum Cal

As you, ll see our dogs here are on different diets. They need to eat food they, ll gobble up and like. I went to my pet food store to get a diabetic friendly food.

A healthy diet, exercise and insulin will regulate our dogs, they can live a normal life. Food and exercise won, t ween her off insulin.

Your right 8 units is low for a 70 lb dog. By doing a 12 hour curve blood testing every 2 hours will help in changing doses.

As soon as she gets more insulin by doing the curve, her urinating, thirst and leg weakness symptoms will subside.

Some dogs get cataracts some don, t, cataract surgery is an option if their a good candidate for surgery.

The first thing you need to do us preform at curve. You can do a curve at home. You need a glucose meter, strips that match that meter and lancets. Theres videos on site to help you

Did the vet do a curve?
Is your dog spade?
Does she have any medical conditions?
Is she taking any medications?
What food is she eating?

Were here to help

Mo

Eddie 02-18-2014 02:08 AM

Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Hello and welcome

Mo has already answered most of your questions so I don't have a lot to add.

Our dog (who does not usually pant much) started panting a lot after his evening meal when he was first diagnosed. He would do it for about an hour and only in the evening. It gradually wore off as we increased his insulin and got him better regulated. I assume that it was just because his blood glucose would rise quickly after a meal and gave him something like a hot flush.

You can't manage diabetes with just exercise and good food. your dog will need the insulin as well. Exercise plays a part and in some dogs it can have quite an effect on their blood glucose levels but it doesn't do the job that insulin does.

Similarly a healthy diet will probably help but no more than that - and what is a "healthy" diet seems to vary completely from one dog to another. The key thing with food is that you feed them something that they will reliably eat every day - so you can give them the same amount every day and balance it with their insulin. There are no real rules about this. What suits one dog doesn't suit another and people on here manage their dogs well on a whole variety of foods. We just carried on feeding what we already were feeding as our dog had another digestive problem which we didn't want to upset with a diet change. If there is no reason to change what you are feeding then you might consider just sticking with it for now.

8 units is where we started for our 63lb dog. We are now up to 14 units but we got there very gradually and with a lot of testing along the way. Best to go up very slowly and check that you don't overshoot the correct dose.

It is all a bit of a learning process but there is a lot of info and experience available on this forum. It does all become much easier as you go along.
Antonia

momofdecker 02-18-2014 09:47 AM

Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sibhus (Post 124003)
Hi all, i actually started off on the k9cushings forum suspecting my dog of having cushings. Back in November 2013 my dogs glucose was 135 prior to a liver mass tumor removal. Just yesterday it had increased to 365 and i had noticed my husky was urinating and drinking excessively feeling dull with weakness in the hinds legs.

The vet is convinced she has just diabetes based on the ultrasound and cbc tests but she still pants. My questions are have i caught this early enough to prevent an outbreak of cataracts? Also my initial dosage is 8 units twice a day which seems a tad low for a 70lb dog but im curious given its this low, could a healthy diet and exercise ween her off insulin? Also do diabetic dogs pant on occasion as the cushings dogs do? Finally i was curious what dry/wet foods are recommended or what are you using for diabetic dogs?

Thanks for the help, Cal.

The safe starting range for a diabetic dog is 1/5 to 1/4 of their weight in kg. So a 70 pound dog would = approx. 31 kg. 31 x .25 = 7.75 (round up to 8 for the starting dosage). Having said that, if your pup does have other concurrent disease such as cushings, pancreatitis and/or hypothyroidism going on - she could be experiencing some insulin resistance from those diseases as each individually could cause insulin resistance.

If that is the case, until the underlying disease is treated she could end up needing a higher than average dose of insulin. Ask your vet about using urine strips to test for ketones. They can be found at most local pharmacies. Anything more than trace ketones should be considered an emergency situation.

As an example of resistance, my boy was not well controlled on 37u of humulin n. Switched him to levemir insulin which is four times as potent as NPH. He was at 10u (equiv. of 40u NPH) and still not well controlled. Then we discovered he had high lipids (cholesterol and fasting triglycerides), pancreatitis and that he was hypothyroid. Once we started his thyroid meds his insulin needs dropped the equiv. of 16u in a five day span. A couple of weeks later they dropped the equiv. of another four units.

I read your post on the cushings forum. Did the vet test for pancreatitis via SPEC cPL blood draw? What makes the vet think there may be something else going on related to hypothyroidism? (you typed hyper but most dogs are hyPO thyroid) - cats tend to be hyPEr thyroid.

There have been some dogs on here who've experienced hind end weakness with diabetes. I believe hypothyroidism can also cause joint pain and muscle mass loss - which could show as hind end weakness as well. Like the folks on the cushings forum said, there are a lot of symptoms among diabetes, cushings and hypothyroidism that all overlap. Diabetes is pretty easy to diagnose. Hypothyroidism, in the face of diabetes or any other disease, will need a full thyroid panel run to diagnose. A T4 thyroid test alone can be skewed as diabetes can cause the T4 value to be low. So if your vet tests for hypothyroidism - make sure a full thyroid panel is being run. Cushings is difficult to diagnose by itself. When we considered it on Decker's list of potential problems, we were told to start with the UCCR - urine test, which happened to rule it out for Decker. Should the UCCR come back positive, it would not confirm cushings, it would only warrant additional testing for it. The ACTH (vs. LDDS) would be the next cushings test for a diabetic dog.

Welcome to the forum! Wishing you the best in this new journey of yours!

Holli

Auddog 02-18-2014 08:45 PM

Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Hi there,
I just wanted to add our welcome to you and your pup.
You've found a wealth of information between us and the cushings forum folks ;) I don't have much to add to the suggestions you've already received, but we'd love to hear more about your girl:

Name?
Age?
Weight?

Just as others have said, cataracts seems to be a dog by dog basis. Some get them, some don't, and some will even seem to develop them overnight. Bazzle has developed cataracts very slowly over the past year that he's been dealing with diabetes, and I still think he can see a little bit. I know surgery is an option, but because of the problems Bazz has coming out of anesthesia and the cost we decided not to do it.

I know this seems overwhelming, but I'm sure you'll get the hang of it all soon enough. We're all here to help you through it all, and again welcome to the forum :D

Audrey & Bazzle

Riliey and Mo 02-19-2014 12:48 AM

Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Hi Cal

Just wanted to add to my previous post regarding the low dose of insulin.

A 70 pound dog starting dose in lbs would be at most 17 units.

Do you have a recent curve from the vet that you could post?

Maybe ask your vet why 8 iu. A curve will show how much insulin he needs

How is he feeling?

Monsters Momma 02-19-2014 04:04 AM

Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Hi and welcome! :)

It seems my other friends here already know the answer to this, but what kind of insulin are you using? That can make a big differeNce on the starting dose as well.

Other than that, I'll tell you that we started out on a 'diabetic' food, got Vinny pretty much regulated, then figured out he had lost too much weight. We changed his food and have since seen some changes in his energy level and weight and his coat looks better. You will hear this over and over...every dog is different and you have to do what works for your dog. AND it might take awhile to figure out what that is. :o

This diabetes thing takes a lot of patience and sometimes a lot of ingenuity. :)
Hang in there!
Mel

sibhus 02-19-2014 09:35 PM

Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Thanks all for the responses.

Im using Humilin N for now and was told to administer 8 units 2x a day but to develop a Blood Glucose profile over 7 days which would then be tweaked by my vet. She said since her glucose was at 365 it wasnt as bad as some other cases.

So far Sierra (10 year old husky weighing 70 lbs) has stopped urinating, reduced water consumption and improved rear end lameness but she is acting a bit dull. Im not sure if its due to the insulin.

However, i was told she may have pancreatitis as her pancrease was slightly enlarged on the ultrasound. The dr prescribed Hills ID to be fed in small amounts for a few days. So far she is pottying and urinating normally, no vomiting and no diarrhea.

I was curious as she only eats once a day, do you guys recommend insulin just once a day and also do i really need to change to two feedings, this will obviously require a new BG profile to determine insulin amounts.

Also i was curious what you guys think of changing to a raw chicken diet along with say a can of Hills ID.

Thanks again, Cal

Riliey and Mo 02-19-2014 11:49 PM

Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Hi Cal

I feed my Riliey twice a day followed by his insulin right after he eats. Works for us. The food and insulin work together supporting his immune system and regulating his diabetes.

So glad Sierra is doing better.

The 8 units is a low dose for a 70 pound dog to start.

I would stick with the same food as it is working with the insulin, you can changed foods later if you want.

Think you, ll see her getting more energy on 2 meals a day followed by injections, she wont feel sooo dull..

I, d ask your vet why such a low dose if insulin to start with?

Did you have a curve done on Sierra? Thats testing her blood glucose for 12 hours testing every 2 hours. This will help adjusting her insulin dose.

amydunn19 02-20-2014 07:12 AM

Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions
 
Two meals a day typically balances the best with two injections a day. Humulin N typically only has a duration of about 12 hours, thus the two injections a day. It works with food to balance. When you give two shots a day and one meal, it might be a tad risky that there is no food on board for that second injection. Keep in mind, I say "typical" and that doesn't mean that it is required. A couple of members here whose dogs have issues give one meal a day but I believe that they do give some snacks or mini-meals as a supplement.

Is there a reason for one meal a day? I would be quite interested to see the curve your dog has. I would think you really would need a 24 hour curve to see the impact of the 12 hour period with the food and the 12 hour period without the food. Some drastically different things could be going on with highs and lows and your goal should be to get the curve as flat as possible during the entire day and night.

Also, there is a blood test that will confirm pancreatitis - the Spec cPL. Knowing for certain whether your dog has pancreatitis is important because it can be deadly. It might be worth doing.


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