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Old 01-04-2014, 03:28 PM
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MikeMurphy MikeMurphy is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Western New York
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Default Re: Lily - My English Setter - Diabetis and Hypothyroidism

Originally Posted by momofdecker View Post
Welcome to you and Lily -what a beautiful girl - love her point!

My non diabetic boy had a white boxer for a mom and we were told dad was a lab. But he is mostly white with two large black spots on his butt and both eyes/ears are black. As he matured he got many more black spots and lots of feathering along his underbelly, legs, ears and tail. We suspect dad had some spaniel or setter in him - LOL!

How much does Lily weight? Is she spayed?

My diabetic boy suffered from undiagnosed hypothyroidism too. Kudos to you for being so persistent in getting it diagnosed! He was overdosed at 40u of Humulin N in the beginning. We ended dropping him back to 20u, which was twice too much, then to 15u and starting over. He was 97 pounds. From Dec. 2011 to May 2012 he went from 15u to 37u and his blood glucose (bg) remained 300 - 600+ most of the time. We noted his bg did seem to do better in warmer weather. In May 2012 we switched him to levemir (which is four times as potent as humulin/novolin). He started at 5u levemir and was worked up to 10u before we started testing for concurrent diseases. When he started his thyroid meds his levemir insulin needs dropped from 10u to 6u over a five day span. After a couple of weeks it dropped back to 5u - a 50% reduction in insulin.

The AAHA Guidelines have information on how to manage diabetes in dogs and their website states,

The initial evaluation of the diabetic dog and cat should:
Assess the overall health of the animal (history, physical examination, medications, diet).

Identify complications associated with the disease (e.g., cataracts in dogs, peripheral neuropathy in cats).

Identify concurrent problems often associated with the disease (e.g., urinary tract infections, pancreatitis).

Identify conditions that may interfere with response of the diabetic to treatment (e.g., hyperadrenocorticism, hyperthyroidism, renal disease).

Evaluate for risk factors such as obesity, pancreatitis, insulin-resistant disease, diabetogenic medications, and diestrus (in the female dog)."

Though hypErthyroidism is mentioned for cats, hypOthyroidism is not mentioned for dogs in terms of identifying conditions that may interfere with response of the diabetic to treatment . Makes one wonder how many GP vets truly understand the impact a low thyroid can have on a diabetic dog and trying to manage their insulin needs.

Unfortunately for my boy, his main symptoms centered more around his behavior than his physical appearance. By the time he was finally diagnosed he had most of the clinical signs but prior to that he had a full thick coat, was high energy and was a very nervous and reactive dog. We truly didn't understand the full impact the thyroid meds had on him until about four months after he'd been on them. He remained nervous but the reactivate behavior he'd had for many years went away. He too lost his vision to cataracts but did quite well - it took a couple of weeks for his sense of smell and hearing to take over but once they did and his energy level returned to normal - he was quite amazing to watch!

Glad you found your way here and thank you for sharing Lily's story. Best of luck to you both on this continued journey of yours!

Hi Holli,

Thanks for the info. Lily weighs 64 lbs and is spayed. I think you are right about many GP vets. Lily's vet only did the T4 thyroid test. Her specialist did the full thyroid profile and that was the key to a correct diagnosis.

Lily is a 62 lb English Setter, born 07-27-2007.
Diabetes: Aug 2013 - Hypothyroidism: Dec 2013 - Cataract Surgery: Feb 2014
Insulin: Novolin R/N mix - Meter: ReliOn Prime
Nulo Adult Trim Cod & Lentils, Pumpkin, FortiFlora, Dasuquin, Thyroxine
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