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  #1  
Old 10-18-2009, 06:51 PM
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Default Buddy's latest Curve - Thinking about food change

Buddy was diagnosed with Diabetes in June of this year. At that time he weighed 60 lbs. I put him on a diet of lean ground beef, carrots, green beans, fat free cottage cheese and bone meal. By early Sept. he had lost 4 pounds. I switched him to dry WD along with a little canned WD. He has since lost another 4 lbs. All his tests come back perfect. His takes between 3-5 units of Humulin 2x a day. I went to the v et on Saturday and she started him on 1 can on EVO duck mixed in with his WD. I am desperate to try to get him to gain weight. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: My 10 Yr Old Lab is rapidly losing weight

Welcome!

3-5 units of insulin twice a day is a very small amount of insulin for someone Buddy's size, if he isn't "honeymooning" (having periods where his pancreas was capable of producing some, but not enough, insulin).

Generally when dogs lose weight, it's because their diabetes has yet to be controlled. We've had quite a few people here whose dogs initially lost weight; as they became regulated or closer to that point, they began re-gaining their lost weight.

We're glad you're here and are hoping you'll share some photos of Buddy with us!

Kathy
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: My 10 Yr Old Lab is rapidly losing weight

That's it....not sure what his sugar level should be..he eats 3 times a day...2 smaller meals at 6am and noon and then the larger meal at 6 pm...my Dad comes by at noon to feed him so I can't take his sugar. Usually in the morning it runs anywhere from 100-145 and when I get home from work, it can be anywhere from 130-200. Sometimes I wonder if my Dad may be giving him an extra cookie or not (I have the ones from the vet). Last time the vet took his blood, it was a perfect 100....took the blood out of his neck. I do not exercise him and I know I should. Not sure if I need to exercise him before or after he eats. I am not educated enough about this. I feel lost.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: My 10 Yr Old Lab is rapidly losing weight

If Buddy's staying between 100 and 200, those are ideal blood glucose numbers.

Has Buddy ever had a curve done either at the vet's or by you at home? Doing a curve would tell you if Buddy might have times when his bg's are higher than what you've all been seeing.

Regular exercise is good but you should know that most of the time it tends to bring the bg's down. Though some go up from it, it generally brings them down--this is why they keep telling people with diabetes of either type to commit to a regular sensible program of exercise--to help keep their bg's down.

The time not to exercise is near the time when the insulin is hardest at work--the "peak". When this is happening, the blood sugar levels are at their lowest from it and exercising at that time could mean having a low or a hypo.

You know more about diabetes than you think--you're doing blood glucose testing regularly!

Kathy
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: My 10 Yr Old Lab is rapidly losing weight

Welcome! I'm reading with interest. About Buddy's diet, you do want to see that it's nutritionally balanced. "They say" diabetic dogs need restricted fat, high on the fiber side (I gather that helps match insulin-to-food - in terms of timing of how the insulin gets absorbed).

You'll find quite a few helpful articles on this site.

My vet told me to feed twice a day, 12 hours apart, same food, same amount, for breakfast and supper - and to give insulin 30 minutes later.

Once we had that schedule well under way, and my Kumbi was stabilized well, I began giving him a mid-afternoon small snack, because his BG levels were lowest then, but ALSO, it's a time of day when usually I walk him (along with my other dog, Kwali) - and he can drop 100 points even on a moderate-exercise walk (slow and easy).

It's true in general that exercise benefits diabetics. but I'd suggest that when people talk about exercising dogs, they mean an awful lot of VERY different things! Dog-sports (which are really human-sports that humans like to watch dogs do) have burgeoned since the '70s. And it's very typical of us humans to go way overboard.

My understanding is that in principle, moderate exercise is appropriate for diabetics; it does aid circulation, of course; gets things moving in the system! If you can fit in a walk or two in a day, just letting Buddy sniff and explore, that makes wonderful exercise for a dog. They don't have to be great long walks at all. Short ones would likely do. The mental stimulation is very important, too - the sniffing and exploring.

Kumbi at one stage lost a LOT of weight - lost it very fast, and it took four months before he put on enough to stop being just a bag of skin and bones. In other words, it takes longer to put it back on than it does to lose it. So, we've been through this; I have a good idea of how you feel about that!

Best ask your Dad what, exactly, he's giving Buddy! It helps to know all that goes into his system!

I'll be watching and following your thread, wishing you tons of luck. You're obviously a very dedicated person; I expect Buddy will do well.

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 21:54:01 (PDT)
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: My 10 Yr Old Lab is rapidly losing weight

Thank you for everything. You mentioned a curve, what exactly is that? Dogs are just amazing, he doesn't realize he has something wrong with him. Still as happy as he has ever been. I normally give him the insulin right after he eats, I think I may try giving it 20-30 minutes later. He is smart enough to know that right after I take his blood, he eats. He may not like it but it's kinda funny to watch him run into the bathroom so I can take it. Will definitely have to post his pic along with my 4 others.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: My 10 Yr Old Lab is rapidly losing weight

http://www.vetsulin.com/vet/Monitoring_About.aspx

"The glucose curve is an ideal tool for differentiating the problem of short duration of insulin activity versus Somogyi effect. It helps to determine insulin effectiveness, and the maximum and minimum levels of glycemia, which should ideally be between 100−250 mg/dL (5.6−13.9 mmol/L) for the majority of the day."

How to complete a glucose curve

"Feed and inject the dog with Vetsulin as it is done at home. This may be done by the owner and then verified by the veterinarian. If the dog exercises at home during the day, the same exercise routine should be adhered to while the dog is in the clinic.

Blood Sampling:

"Just prior to insulin administration
Then, in at least 60 to 120 minute intervals
Over a period of 12 hours, ideally for 24 hours"

Most curves are done with blood being drawn every 2 hours and for the 12 hour timeframe. You're hoping to get something that looks like this when you're done:



Right now, it looks like you're doing just fine with giving the shot right after a meal.

If your dog is one who's prone to throwing up, then it would be advisable to delay the shot because delaying it lessens the risk of there being way too much insulin and not enough food, thus a hypo.

There are others who delay the shot because of the insulin/food timing for their dog. if you can think of food and insulin as a race, ideally you want it to be a tie--with them both arriving at the finish line at the same time.

When food gets there first, the result is high bg's; when insulin beats the food, the result is a low or a hypo.

FWIW, Lucky always got his shot right after his meal; I knew he wasn't one who tended to throw up and the insulin and food worked very well for him this way.

All forms of W/D are nutritionally complete and high in fiber. Lucky ate the canned one. He never lost weight before he was diagnosed and did so well with the W/D that he actually gained weight on it and we had to cut back his meals, even though it's used for diabetes, to keep weight off and for some bowel problems like colitis.

We would love to see Buddy and the rest of "your bunch"!

Kathy
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: My 10 Yr Old Lab is rapidly losing weight

Hi and Welcome!

Wow, that's a small amount of insulin! Makes me wonder if he isn't still producing some insulin of his own.

Sometimes you just aren't feeding enough calories to gain or maintain weight. Have you ever tried upping the portions you're feeding?

For a while when Chris first went on WD, we weren't feeding him enough of it - it's pretty low in calories - and he couldn't gain any weight back. With all that fiber in it, they can eat quite a bit of it, which is a good thing for them.

We increased the amount of Chris' food by 25% and he put the weight back on, then cut it back to about 110% of what we were feeding and he maintained on that.

Natalie
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:12 PM
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Default Buddy's first curve...it sucks

I have read where Vitamin E is helpful in regulating the BG in diabetic dogs. Is it the same over the counter I take and how much is ok to give?
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Vitamin E & Diabetes

We never supplemented with vitamin E... not sure if anyone here has. But fish oil and vitamin E tend to help blunt inflammation, which can raise blood sugar.

I would talk to the vet about how much to give.

If the food is supplemented already with vitamin E, that maybe should be taken into consideration as far as how much should be given. I don't think they generally put a lot in foods but it wouldn't hurt to include that information when you talk to the vet.

We have used various fish oil supplements over the years and they were a great help in controlling allergies and helping with inflammation.

Natalie
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