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  #1  
Old 06-29-2013, 02:40 PM
Monsters Momma's Avatar
Monsters Momma Monsters Momma is offline
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Default Our sweet Vinny is an angel, July 27, 2018

I thought I should introduce us since I've already started asking questions...mostly in my head, but some online!

I'm Mel and Vinny is the first lab we ever rescued. That was not quite 7 years ago when I had no time for a puppy in my life...my Mom was dying and even after she did, I didn't have the patience for this pup my husband and daughter had talked me into. I called him Monster from the first pair of shoes he chewed up to the table to the deck...you get the idea. I was told so often that lab's took some time to grow up...I needed time too.

I read Marley and Me on an airplane...geez, you'd think there would be some kind of warning on books like that. "Don't read in crowded places unless you want to become a sniveling fool in front of total strangers." Yea, reading that book made me realize what a total jerk I had been to a puppy/now dog that had no idea why I was mad at it...I was mad I lost my Mom, not at Monster (by now, all of us were calling him that ). So, Monster/Vinny and I developed a new relationship. He is definitely 'Daddy's Dog', but when he wants something, it's me he comes to!

Fast forward to last week...Vinny could not get enough water. He has always gone through a lot of water, but last week was different. Then he either woke me up in the middle of the night or had an accident! Unheard of since he was a pup. We were going away last weekend and boarding the dogs, so I decided he needed to see our vet first...just to make sure. John took him on Friday the 21st and was told...diabetes. Vinny was taken off his food and dog treats, everything, and put on a Rx food until Tuesday when he would have another blood test. Tuesday, our vet gave John Vetsulin and a bunch of syringes and now we're supposed to take Vinny back on the 3rd.

John doesn't ask a lot of questions...that's where I come in. I tend to be on the research side of our marriage when it comes to things like this. Unfortunately, the more I find out about this, the more I know I don't know. I've seen other's write about how overwhelming it is and boy are they right. Sometimes you don't what questions to ask...but lets start with...

Treats? What and when? The vet took Vinny off everything but the food and he acts like he's starving!
Vetsulin? I've read that it was taken off the market...what were the reasons and why is it ok now?
Food? I appreciate the fact that no one should say anything negative about someone's choices, but John didn't feel he had a choice. Since I've been reading your forum, it appears that is not the case.
Exercise? Our younger dog wants nothing more than to play with Vinny. Good, bad or doesn't matter? I'm thinking doesn't matter, but what if it involves chasing each other around our back yard?

I guess I've hit the biggest questions right now...unless you can think of something I should have asked!

Thanks, Mel
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Mel: My monster is Vinny! He's a black lab, diagnosed with diabetes June 21, 2013. His birthdate was celebrated the last weekend of May. He left this world on July 27, 2018, he was 12 years old.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:43 PM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: My Monster Vinny

hi and welcome to both of you

sounds like you are moving in a positive direction to this challenge .

it really is amazing how each individual dog parent finds a direction to get there pup to a better place and you will to.

yes vetsulin is back and more than likely for most vets it may become the standard insulin for dogs as it was in the past . i think in the past they had some consistency problems and there was some complaints but i believe the problem was not the insulin itself but the individual dog and how they responded to it .

you would see this with all insulin's used for dogs where a percentage of them are problematic whether its a reaction to the insulin added challenges outside of diabetes hard to say .

most of the dogs in the states who were diagnosed before the last few months are on nph insulin a humane insulin not really designed for dogs but many have had good success .

it is a big change food treats routine and exercise will have to be changed. a new normal begins they can have a happy healthy enjoyable lives with longevity . for us being more proactive is how we approached jesse diabetes getting a meter in the first week and started home testing immediately best thing we did to keep her safe .

exercise can have a big impact on blood sugar with insulin being active it can drop quite a bit for some dogs and rise quite a bit with insulin fading . spontaneous exercise can be a problem but its hard to prevent a dog from being a dog but you might want to not let it occur for extended periods of time it . if you decide to home test you will be able to see what your pup can and cant do

it appears schedule and structure is important for the body to adapt to the new reality the thing about this in general dogs enjoy structure they are most happy in this state because they know what to expect . in a funny way diabetes was good for jesse she enjoys the structure which she did not have before
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: My Monster Vinny

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsters Momma View Post
Sometimes you don't what questions to ask...but lets start with...

Treats? What and when? The vet took Vinny off everything but the food and he acts like he's starving!
Vetsulin? I've read that it was taken off the market...what were the reasons and why is it ok now?
Food? I appreciate the fact that no one should say anything negative about someone's choices, but John didn't feel he had a choice. Since I've been reading your forum, it appears that is not the case.
Exercise? Our younger dog wants nothing more than to play with Vinny. Good, bad or doesn't matter? I'm thinking doesn't matter, but what if it involves chasing each other around our back yard?

I guess I've hit the biggest questions right now...unless you can think of something I should have asked!

Thanks, Mel
Welcome to the forum! Nice introduction

I'm going to talk about your questions out of order.

Food: 1) has to be something Vinny will eat. Because insulin & food work together you will have a hard time if he refuses to eat. 2) Diabetic formulas often work well, but many dogs don't like the taste, see number 1 above. 3) Some diabetic formulas require LARGE portions because they are very high in fiber (fiber is good), but the meals may be too much for some pups to finish. See number 1 above. Which of the foods are you feeding, and is Vinny eating the entire meal at one "go"?

Insulin: Yes, Vetsulin had been removed from sale in the U.S., but it remained for sale in the rest of the world under the name Caninsulin. Many dogs did well on Vetsulin and didn't have any problems. I don't really recall the official reason it was withdrawn, but it seems to have passed the required tests to get back on the market. The only problem I have (I'm no expert, just a Dad to a diabetic pup) with Vetsulin is the cost. It seems many vet clinics are selling Vetsulin for around $60 for a vial that contains 400 units of insulin. Many of us are using a human insulin (Novolin-N) from Walmart for $25 for 1000 units of insulin. Just using 10 units per injection as an example (20 units per day): the 400 unit vial of Vetsulin would last 20 days, whereas the 1000 unit vial of Novolin-N would last 50 days. So in this example, the pup would require 2 vials of Vetsulin (about $120) to last about as long as one $25 vial of Novolin-N. Of course price isn't everything. If I knew my Annie would do better on Vetsulin I'd switch back, but Annie is doing well on Novolin-N so we will stay with Novolin-N. If cost is a problem, you might mention this to your vet next appointment. Hard decision

Hard to tell about exercise and treats without home blood testing. Every dog is different and some might get a big drop from an easy walk, while others might be able to go for a longer run without trouble. Same with treats, some will get a huge glucose spike from a Milkbone, others not so much.. Please consider home blood testing.

How much does Vinny weigh? What is he eating? What insulin dosage is he using?

Craig
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Annie was an 18 pound Lhasa Apso that crossed the rainbow bridge on 10-5-17. She was nearly 17 years old and diabetic for 9 years.
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: My Monster Vinny

From what my vet explained, the problem with vetsulin when they removed it was the crystalline zinc insulin component was not level making it unpredictable and unreliable. Then, there was a problem with sterility.
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2013, 04:11 AM
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Monsters Momma Monsters Momma is offline
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Default Re: My Monster Vinny

Thanks for the responses! I am definitely thinking we need to start home testing. Between food and exercise...and the laying around he does, I just think it would be good. I think I read on another thread that I can get a BG tester at Walmart. I'll have to look for that again! And look for those video's I saw...I wouldn't know where to begin on all of this if it wasn't for this forum!

Vinny is 100 lbs, but not overweight...just a big lab. He probably has a mix in him, we've just never been able to tell what if anything. We are feeding him Iam's Rx for diabetes ($37 a bag!) at just under 2 cups 2x a day. He eats it all in what seems like one gulp. This is less food than what we were giving him before by about a cup (not that we measured it) and he would get dog treats throughout the day. I really think we need to give him a snack at mid-day. Vinny is always looking for something to eat, or sneaking our food if he can; he just has never shown this much interest in food! Vinny got into some pizza that my daughter left on the counter and I freaked! I called the emergency vet clinic to see if I needed to do anything. Just a week ago, he would have been scolded...no wait, he probably wouldn't have gotten into it.

I'll be taking Vinny to his next appointment...I have too many questions not to.

Thanks again!
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Mel: My monster is Vinny! He's a black lab, diagnosed with diabetes June 21, 2013. His birthdate was celebrated the last weekend of May. He left this world on July 27, 2018, he was 12 years old.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:23 AM
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Soaphie & Sydney's Mom Soaphie & Sydney's Mom is offline
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Default Re: My Monster Vinny

I have found vetsulin online now for approx $35/bottle. I haven't had to purchase since it came back on the market as I had a big supply stocked up.
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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 06-30-2013, 08:26 AM
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CraigM CraigM is offline
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Default Re: My Monster Vinny

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsters Momma View Post
Thanks for the responses! I am definitely thinking we need to start home testing. Between food and exercise...and the laying around he does, I just think it would be good. I think I read on another thread that I can get a BG tester at Walmart. I'll have to look for that again! And look for those video's I saw...I wouldn't know where to begin on all of this if it wasn't for this forum!
I just finished writing a post on another thread and thought I'd just copy it here since you both were asking the same general questions about home testing.



I'm one of the few who test on the ear, a few others test elsewhere on the body. I think if you Google "diabetic dog blood testing: you might come up with a few videos. Here is a link to the AlphaTrak2 meter with lots of good info and videos. Keep in mind they are trying to sell their meter, but the general info is still valid:
http://www.alphatrakmeter.com/index.html

I generally use the Walmart Prime http://www.relion.com/diabetes/blood...g/relion-prime for routine testing because of the low cost test strips. The Relion Confirm meter is lower cost, but the test strips are more expensive. Just keep in mind that your readings are going to be lower than true because these were designed for human blood which is different than dog blood. Even though human meters generally read lower than true, you will still see "trends", and how your pup reacts to exercise, food, stress, etc. I think the Prime is a good starter meter, you can always add another meter later, like possibly the AlphaTrak2.

In addition to the meter and test strips you will only need lancets. Many think the 30-33 gauge are too thin and it might be difficult to get a blood droplet from the pup. My Walmart does sell 26 gauge lancets http://www.relion.com/diabetes/lancets Lancets are pretty inexpensive, so if your Walmart doesn't stock them, you probably would find them elsewhere.

A lancet tool (clicker) isn't necessary. I went years just holding the plain lancet in my fingers and poking! I tried the lancing tool that came with one of my meters and have been using it for awhile now, but it isn't required. In fact, I think I got a better (bigger) blood droplet without the tool. There are several styles of lancets / tools, most are interchangeable http://www.relion.com/diabetes/lancet-compatibility/ I would read the fine print on the box, or ask the pharmacist.

Craig

Here is my collection! https://www.dropbox.com/s/uncfbu5tmzsbnwb/P4100002.JPG
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Annie was an 18 pound Lhasa Apso that crossed the rainbow bridge on 10-5-17. She was nearly 17 years old and diabetic for 9 years.

Last edited by CraigM; 06-30-2013 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: My Monster Vinny

What was Vinny eating prior to diagnosis?
Will the vet be doing a full curve at the next appointment (where blood sugar is measure before food/shot time then every 2 hours after until next shot time)?

Welcome to you!
Patty
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: My Monster Vinny

Patty, Vinny was eating Purina One Beyond...Bogey, our younger dog is still eating this. Don't think that isn't causing any confusion! Vinny is supposed to be tested at the midpoint between feedings/shots, no curve has been mentioned to my knowledge...I will be asking! In the meantime, I'll be getting a meter today and using jesse girl's ideas from another thread to get him used to it. By the next weekend, I want to be able to do my own curve just to see where he is.

My biggest worry right now is food...as I suppose some of you have guessed! Being the stupid humans we are and the resourceful dog Vinny has become, he keeps getting into things he never would have before. Helping himself to food on the counter or in the pantry (dog food kept in here), cleaning out the cat food (behind two gates) or tearing open a bag of cat food (left alone for 15 minutes!), and getting into the trash. We really do have to change the way we do things around here and each time we 'fix' one thing, he gets into another! I know this has to be bad for him, but I guess I really don't know how bad; or better yet, what it can cause?

I'll be calling the vet today about snacks we can give him...instead of the pizza and chicken bones he's been helping himself to.

Thanks everyone for the welcome and input!
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Mel: My monster is Vinny! He's a black lab, diagnosed with diabetes June 21, 2013. His birthdate was celebrated the last weekend of May. He left this world on July 27, 2018, he was 12 years old.
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2013, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: My Monster Vinny

Mel ~ please keep us posted how you progress with the home testing. I will attempt this as well this week and am quite anxious about it. What monitor will you be purchasing?
Good luck!!

Margaret
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