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Old 02-18-2014, 09:47 AM
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momofdecker momofdecker is offline
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Default Re: Husky owner with diabetes questions

Originally Posted by sibhus View Post
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 & Decker // diagnosed November 5th, 2011 // Journeyed to the bridge January 26th, 2013, surrounded by his family at home // 9 years old // Levemir insulin // Hypothyroid // C1-C5 cervical spinal lesion // weight 87 lbs // Run with the wind my sweet boy. Run pain free. Holding you close in my heart till we meet again!
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