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Old 06-18-2011, 08:30 AM
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Post Abby's Story - 12.24.1999 to 12.31.2013 - Forever in our hearts

Hi,

I am new to this forum, but I have been reading the posts for about 4 weeks since my Abby (20 lbs Yorkie/Schnauzer) was diagnosed as being diabetic, glucose level 385.. after the symptons of increased thirst and urinating in her bed. She was sent home with very little instructions, NPH (Humilin N) to use 10 units 1x a day, did not matter if she ate or not is what the Vet stated. She was kept originally for 3 days to get her regulated.

Since then, it has been a roller coaster ride. I switched vets, as this vet did not believe in home testing, nor would be open to any form of communication, and felt that the once a day method was not the correct way to control diabetes.

The new Vet was more concerned about her high liver functions, and after a week on 10units a day, her Glucose levels were at 120, 7 hours after her last shot. The new Vet suggested 5 units 2x a day. Continued this for a few days, and Abby had a Hypo event. Vet then suggested to take her off of insulin thought she may have Cushings. I only monitored her by taking her to the Vet for testing, or by urine strips.

Since then we have been going down the Cushings path, and she was put back on insulin with 2 units (her glucose when tested was 285). Tested again with urine strips, and with changing to a raw diet, urine strips were negative. After 1.5 weeks, with missed insulin, fasting, as well as Aspirate test of the liver and a liver ultrasound, and a ACTH test her glucose has risen (I have no numbers... just urine test strips), and they have diagnosed her as having Cushings and wanted me to start Trilostane, and then stop the insulin the day I start Trilostane. They did see enlarged adrenal glands in the ultrasound.

Needless to say, at this time, I am just beside myself. I have not started her on the Trilostane, as what I have heard is that she could be giving false positives on the Cushing's test, in addition if she does happen to have both, then she should be regulated with the diabetes first before treating the Cushings. My vet seems to think that the diabetes is caused by the Cushings.

I'm having doubts.... her coat is wonderful, shining not falling out. Her increased water consumption stopped once on insulin. Her activity level is normal since she is on insulin. There are no other signs that I can see that leans towards just Cushings.

Your forum has been a wealth of information (I am also a member of the sister site for Cushing's) and the advice and support that you all give is a wonderful feeling, especially when you feel you are on your own.

First in order, is that I need to get a glucose meter and start to do some home testing. Do you have any suggestions? Also, I'm little frighten of the whole process, as I was originally when giving the insulin (but I have gotten use to this). Abby is not a big fan of touching her mouth in any way. Any other suggestions as to where to test?

Currently right now, Abby is on 3units 2x a day. I am feeding her a raw diet, with minced sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, brown rice with either lamb, chicken, turkey or beef. The portions are 80% vegetable and 20% meat. In addition, I have added Flax Seed, cod liver. She gets a 1/2 cup of this in the PM. In the AM, she receives 1/2 cooked egg (with egg shells), oatmeal, organic pumpkin, low fat cottage cheese (1/2 cup as well) with Milk Thistle w/Dandelion. I also have added Kelp (to support the thyroid and provide iodine). For a snack (if she receives one) is a dehydradated sweet potatoe.

She originally was overweight at 27 lbs, but she is now 20 lbs.

Thank you for all that you do.
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Barb & Abby 12/24/1999-12/31/2013 ~ dx 5/10/2011 ~ Forever in my heart ~

Last edited by Abby's Mom; 06-18-2011 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:48 AM
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Soaphie & Sydney's Mom Soaphie & Sydney's Mom is offline
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Default Re: Abby Diagnosed about 4 weeks ago

Welcome!

I cannot help you with the cushings items (there are others that will reply).

You are very wise to want to start to home test. Many here use the One Touch Ultra2 meter (it's what I use on my two sugar babies). Save money by buying the strips etc on Ebay (just watch the expiration date). I test my pups on the upper lip, but some test on the base of the tail, the ear, calluses etc. There are videos on the main page of this site to show you how to go about testing.

I cannot attest to the diet you are giving Abby, but can tell you that carrots are high in sugar - my opinion is to avoid them. Also important with diet is to give the same thing each day at each feeding. It sounds to me like she is getting different food and amounts in the a.m. and p.m. I would recommend making it the exact same for now until you get a handle on things - then make small changes - only one at a time.

I'm sure others will chime in - but I do want to welcome you and to tell you that you have come to the right place! Lots of knowledge here!

Tami, Sydney and Soaphie
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Soaphie = 15 yr old Border/Berner mix dx 07/08. ~8.25 units a.m./p.m. vetsulin, blind/deaf. Ultra Senior, Vital Beef/Bison, Brown Rice and lots of loving. Soaphie passed on October 29, 2015. Sydney = 14.5 yr old Aussie/Shar Pei mix dx 11/10. NPH-varies w/ predinisone a.m./p.m., blind/deaf. Sydney passed on June 3, 2014.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Abby Diagnosed about 4 weeks ago

I agree with tami home testing will give you a clearer picture as to what is going on and keep her safe

my jesse is on a raw diet also completely raw for 6 months she has 80 percent meat and 20 percent vegetables the opposite of you the veggies are green leaf type processed and mixed into the grounded meat to help digestion as you said the diet has improved her health and it has reduced her insulin needs which is a plus for my jesse because she appears to have a reaction to the nph but smaller amounts seem to lessen it to almost nothing

I have learned to listen to my instincts if I did not jesse would probably not be here to day so you have to be a pain in the butt sometimes keep those vets on there toes and be an advocate for you baby I have no knowledge on cushings either but you might want to just see if you can control the blood sugar at this time and testing will definitely will help with that just a thought

welcome to both of you and you will sort this out
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Abby Diagnosed about 4 weeks ago

Thank you everyone! I am going to purchase the glucose meter today, and give it a whirl! Wish me luck, not that Abby will bite, but she can certainly dance around a bit when something is unpleasant.

Thanks for the heads up about the carrots. Some of the raw foods are good for the cushings, and not for the diabetes, and vice a versa. This is going to be difficult journey... but I will do anything for my pup!!. (Well my 11.5 year old puppy).
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:40 AM
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Arrow Re: Abby Diagnosed about 4 weeks ago

Barb,

Dogs have to learn about testing blood glucose (BG) levels, same as we humans have to learn. If you take things slow and easy, and use canine calming signals, that should help you get to being able to test.

For actual testing, here are excruciatingly detailed pages, with pictures:

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

Throughout, don't be in a rush. Take your time. Remember to breathe. Use the calming signals. Give tiny treats.

And yell for help when you need it!

A Big, Fat Welcome to you and Abby!
Sun, 19 Jun 2011 01:39:46 (PDT)
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: Abby Diagnosed about 4 weeks ago

Thank you Carol, that was helpful. We are learning together. I am using the "above the tail" method. It seems to be the least amount of stress for both of us. I'm realizing, however, that there is a lot of squeezing that needs to be done. After 3-5 attempts (those testing strips can be expensive, and at this rate 3or 5X more), I am successful!!

The levels have been high!

4:30PM: 375
Feed: 6:30 PM
12:30AM: 400
6:30 AM = 475
Feed: 6:45 AM

How often should I test to get a good curve?

I also got some Ketone strips, and they appear to be Negative (I'm thankful for some good news).

Thanks everyone!!
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Barb & Abby 12/24/1999-12/31/2013 ~ dx 5/10/2011 ~ Forever in my heart ~
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Abby Diagnosed about 4 weeks ago

I hope they do an ultrasound and can get to the cause of this. I also hope they can explain to you why they think the Cushings is still an important part of the puzzle. Could weak muscles be something in her bowels?

Harry's Mom: how did Harry's gas get alleviated?

I'm sure sending prayers your and Abby's way Barb.


xoxo Judi & Jenny
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Abby Diagnosed about 4 weeks ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poodles View Post
IHarry's Mom: how did Harry's gas get alleviated?
Judy,
We followed the standard protocol of no food for a day. Then put him on white rice and boiled chicken / cottage cheese for a few days and then gradually introduced his kibble. We also put him on Flagyl or sometimes Panacur (if fecals showed something).
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Abby Diagnosed about 4 weeks ago

I just spoke with Abby's new vet (#3), and she is apparently getting more information than I. I asked her what could be causing this symptom, and she stated that what they found was excessive minerals in her colon. More than likely Abby felt it was painful to go, or this just stopped things up.

So, unrelated to Cushings at all. I think we have many vet's opinions going on, and the reason for my confusion. I asked her vet if she felt we should go down the Cushing's road, and she said not at this time. She is in agreement with me, that I could not have had Abby's BG levels reined in with 4.5 units 2x a day for a 19 lb dog (which is acceptable), and for her to have the numbers she is having. She stated that she did not see any other clinical symptons with Abby. By the way, her initial visit with Vet #1 had her on 10 units 1x a day. She has not increased her dose over that 10 units (or 5 units 2x a day). I would suspect to see an increase, if we have an underlying problem here.

In addition, her liver functions have decreased from where they were two months ago, with being on milk thistle alone. She did suggest using Denamarin for a month to see if those levels either drop, or stay the same. I have a bottle that I will start with her, once we get her going again. She is recommending a supplment called Balance IT and will provide me with a diet (this is the first vet that I have been to, that will even suggest a diet other than commercial grade).

I am hopeful. Abby should be back home tomorrow, if they get her to eat and drink, and go!! I do miss her and can't wait to have her home.

Thanks everyone for your input and prayers, sometimes you need a reality check!!

Side note: I think I may have caused this issue in trying to do the best for her ... I am hopeful because I do learn from my mistakes... now if only Abby will forgive me.
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Barb & Abby 12/24/1999-12/31/2013 ~ dx 5/10/2011 ~ Forever in my heart ~

Last edited by Abby's Mom; 07-19-2011 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Abby Diagnosed about 4 weeks ago

Abby, I hope things have improved---how frustrating! I went through 3 different vets as well---I found that home testing with the One Touch Ultra is best for us. I prick my boys ear. It works every time (helps when the ear is warm). I dont prick too far IN the ear, I prick closer to the outer edge and have a lancet that allows me to adjust the level of needle going in ( 1-5) got it at walgreens.

Anyway, My vet misdiagnosed Howie with cushings and the whole time it was diabetes. Go with your gut. Cushings is more rare and would show more signs of skin prob etc etc.... home testing is great and gives me peace of mind. This way you can see how she changes compared to her BG levels.

I have Howie on WD wet with a tiny bit of EVO mixed in for taste and a bit of dry food ( barking at the moon) for nutrition I feel the wet food lacks. My dog is a biter, so I have had to muzzle him for the shots. I put his butt in my lap and hold his back legs so no squirming, and quick give him a shot in the butt. As far as ears, it looks like your dogs ears (if that is him in the pic) the pricking would work there to get the blood. Anyway, I hope some of this helped
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