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Old 09-28-2015, 03:31 AM
Hollyfaucheux Hollyfaucheux is offline
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Default Pheobe, the golden/chow

I took my dog to the vet last week and it turned out she has diabetes!! My vet sat down and told me all that goes into into having a pet with diabetes.... He told me to go home and talk to my husband and make sure the whole family is on board with everything it involves having a diabetic dog. He said to them make appt this week to start insulin shots. He also said I needed to purchase prescription dog for her. So of course I bought a small bag to try and make sure she will eat it first because I was totally overwhelmed with all the info I was told! As soon as I got home I started researching! I never heard of a dog with diabetes before so i knew nothing but what he told me! This site has taught me so much and I am so thankful I found it!

My question is he flat our told me that he does not treat with human insulin shots, he will only treat with the one for dogs. I know that the one u buy at Walmart is the home with the best price and seems like a lot of people use it. Shouldni find a new vet who will treat with it?? Or do I just buy the one for dogs??
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:59 AM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: Vet will not treat with human insulin

Welcome - so glad you found us! It is kind of funny that your vet refuses to use human insulin (not laughing funny but odd funny) because vetsulin(dog insulin) was removed from the market for several years and all vets had to go to human insulin. Most went with NPH insulin and many of us have always used it. My original vet was never a fan of vetsulin even before it was pulled because at the time it was not very stable. I understand that all the problems were solved and the product is fine now. My guess is it will cut into his bottom line if you buy the cheaper human insulin at Walmart.

If you have read much here, you also may have noticed prescription food is not required either. Prescription food is effective for many dogs and works well with injectable insulin. My dog refused it flat out so I had to look for alternatives.

The fact your vet prefers vetsulin is not the concerning part - it is his rigidity to not consider NPH. If finances are an issue, diabetes is not a cheap disease to treat and if he won't take into account that buying human insulin will save you greatly, then that is bothersome. The other concerning factor is that sometimes dogs don't respond to the exact protocol outlined by the vet - because all dogs are different. My original vet told me if Maggie didn't eat the prescription food, she would die. In my naïveté, I was panicking because she wouldn't touch it no matter what I did to it. 8 years later, she still hasn't eaten it. I wasted many tears and frustration only to find out my vet wasn't very experienced with diabetes and there were many alternatives. Vets must be flexible.

Tell us more about your dog - weight, age, breed, and story of any health conditions to this point. Did he mention home testing?
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:03 AM
Hollyfaucheux Hollyfaucheux is offline
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Default Re: Vet will not treat with human insulin

Quote:
Originally Posted by amydunn19 View Post
Welcome - so glad you found us! It is kind of funny that your vet refuses to use human insulin (not laughing funny but odd funny) because vetsulin(dog insulin) was removed from the market for several years and all vets had to go to human insulin. Most went with NPH insulin and many of us have always used it. My original vet was never a fan of vetsulin even before it was pulled because at the time it was not very stable. I understand that all the problems were solved and the product is fine now. My guess is it will cut into his bottom line if you buy the cheaper human insulin at Walmart.

If you have read much here, you also may have noticed prescription food is not required either. Prescription food is effective for many dogs and works well with innjectable insulin. My dog refused it flat out so I had to look for alternatives.

The fact your vet prefers vetsulin is not the concerning part - it is his rigidity to not consider NPH. If finances are an issue, diabetes is not a cheap disease to treat and if he won't take into account that buying human insulin will save you greatly, then that is bothersome. The other concerning factor is that sometimes dogs don't respond to the exact protocol outlined by the vet - because all dogs are different. My original vet told me if Maggie didn't eat the prescription food, she would die. In my naïveté, I was panicking because she wouldn't touch it no matter what I did to it. 8 years later, she still hasn't eaten it. I wasted many tears and frustration only to find out my vet wasn't very experienced with diabetes and there were many alternatives. Vets must be flexible.

Tell us more about your dog - weight, age, breed, and story of any health conditions to this point. Did he mention home testing?
Pheobe is a golden/chow mix 4 years old and 63lbs. Only diabetes!
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:21 AM
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BMarra BMarra is offline
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Default Re: Vet will not treat with human insulin

Hi & welcome. My Bichon was diagnosed with diabetes in April and this forum has taught me so much. I would have been totally lost without it so you've come to the right place to learn all you can.

The vets don't know much about diabetes unfortunately and they ALL try to sell you the prescription food and it is because it is all they really know about "nutrition". They know nothing about other foods. Does your vet sell the Hills or Royal Canin?

You can certainly give it a try at first to see if it helps with your pups blood glucose levels and it does work for many. However, the ingredients are not the best and they are mostly full of corn and carbs. I believe the main reason it "works" is because it is high in fiber and the dogs lose weight on it so the weight loss helps with the sugar level.

After using the Hills w/d for 4 months I wanted to change over to something else as I believe the corn was causing a skin yeast issue with my pup. When I told my vet I was going to change and that I didn't like the fact that the w/d was over 50% carbs his response was that "carbs are bad for diabetics!". So, for 4 months he had me on that food apparently not realizing it was full of carbs.

I've switched to Wellness CORE Reduced Fat kibble and Wellness CORE Weight Management canned and her levels are pretty good and certainly no worse than they were on the w/d. As Amy said, there are many foods that are used and it really is trial & error.

It is extremely important to home test and hopefully your vet encouraged that. That is the only possible way to catch any lows and be able to intervene with food before a complete crash happens. Let us know if you need any help in that regard.

You will find this overwhelming at first but it will definitely get better so hang in there. It won't be long before you and your pup are in a routine and it becomes just a part of your daily life.

Keep us posted on your progress and with any questions and help you need.

Brenda
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11 yr. old Bichon Frise...Diagnosed April 2015...Novolin 2x/day; snacks- frozen green beans, dehydrated chicken piece and frozen pumpkin pieces.
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:25 AM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: Vet will not treat with human insulin

hi and welcome jesse was one of the dogs that was briefly on vetsulin before they took it off the market where she changed to nph insulin sold at walmart under the relion brand

the bottom line is getting the best possible blood sugar and you may get that with your vets approach but if not there is nothing else to turn to and your pup will be in trouble

as amy suggested its what you can afford and thats the good thing about the disease it has levels of affordability we use a discount human meter get supplies at walmart and do a home prepared diet . jesse was one of those dogs the normal routine would not work . so your vets approach would not work for her

we have managed this disease without a vets supervision because the vet at the time was telling stories and it wasn't logical so it worried me that was 5.5 years ago

another aspect you can test blood sugar at home. a dog your size is usually is quite easy to do .we use the inner lip above the canine tooth you can do some practice tests by rolling up the lip rub off the saliva with a napkin to see if your pup will accept that location there are other locations but this is the easiest as far as i am concerned . my jesse doesn't feel a thing and gives me a kiss after testing

i might look for a new vet who can work with you as a team if you cant find one you can manage on your own and we can give the proper guidelines but you will have to test blood sugar at home

you should not wait to long to start insulin
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Jesse-26 lbs - 16 years old ,10.5 years diabetic, one meal a day homemade and a vitabone snack . 3 shots of Novolin a day . Total insulin for a 24 hour period is 6.5 units of NPH insulin .
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:32 AM
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BMarra BMarra is offline
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Default Re: Vet will not treat with human insulin

Just to add, I wanted to also mention about the human insulin vs. Vetsulin which I've been using since diagnosis.

I have found that it is very difficult to find the right dose of Vetsulin and that it can be very tempermental. Not sure why it was taken off the market before but I believe it was because of instability and from what I've read of the "new" version they didn't really address that issue. They changed the instructions however and now you are supposed to shake vigorously when first starting so be aware of that if you do use it as the vets aren't aware of those new instructions. They will tell you to gently roll the insulin so please look at the Vetsulin instructions. I had to tell my vet about them.

Anyway, I believe I'm going to change over to Novolin N very soon to see if I can achieve more stable numbers as my pup will get great numbers for a few days then go off again or, like the other day, she was in 300's for hours then plummeted to 69!

So, do what you think is best for your situation and if your vet doesn't go along with you just be firm and say that you've done your research and you feel the Novolin is the right course to try. Of course, you always have the option of finding a new vet also.
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11 yr. old Bichon Frise...Diagnosed April 2015...Novolin 2x/day; snacks- frozen green beans, dehydrated chicken piece and frozen pumpkin pieces.
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:52 AM
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CraigM CraigM is offline
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Default Re: Vet will not treat with human insulin

Welcome to you and your pup.

I'll echo what the others have said. Vetsulin MAY be the better insulin, but there are many drawbacks using Vetsulin.

First, the price! Most vets charge somewhere around $50-$60 for a 400 unit vial. The Novolin-N from Walmart is $25 for a 1000 unit vial. Two and a half times more insulin for half the price. Your pup, weighing over 60 pounds, will likely start around 10-12 units twice a day and might be worked up to over 20 units twice a day. That can really cost $$$. (Of course don't use the dosage I just mentioned, that was just a rough possible estimate).

The syringes for Vetsulin, called U-40, are different than the standard U-100 syringes used with Novolin-N type insulin. Yep, you guessed it, you would probably need to buy the U-40 syringes from the vet also at a greater price than the U-100s from your local pharmacy (Walmart is probably the least expensive for the U-100s (about $12 for 100), but any pharmacy would carry the U-100s).

The diabetic foods may be better, but many dogs turn the noses up and walk away from their food bowl. You will have enough challenges without the added challenge of having a pup that won't eat! It's very important that they eat a REPEATABLE amount of food in order to inject a proper dose of insulin. Varing the food, or insulin, makes things much more difficult and would likely take getting him to a "good place" much longer. Yep, the prescription foods are more expensive and generally require much larger serving sizes. I remember when my Annie was on prescription kibble and it was a LOT of food for her to eat. A side effect of the prescription food for Annie was that her poop piles were HUGE :-) The ratio between food and insulin is so important that i use a kitchen food scale to weigh out her food instead of guessing with measuring cups (measuring cups may be accurate enough, but I've weighed her food for the past 7 years)

Home blood testing can really help. Without home blood testing you would be just guessing about how much insulin you should be giving. Yes, there are some on the forum who don't blood test, and are doing OK, but blood testing really would be beneficial. After a while most dogs don't even seem to feel the poke of testing. It's more the human's phobia than true discomfort to the pup.

Craig
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:55 AM
abdamurph abdamurph is offline
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Default Re: Vet will not treat with human insulin

I have found that most regular Vets really don't know a lot about diabetes and I have learned more on this forum than the Vet knew. I would definitely change Vets because this one isn't going to change his mind and what he is suggesting isn't the best thing for your dog. My Vet also wanted me to use the more expensive insulin and didn't want me testing at home at first, but I convinced her that is the only way I could do it and afford it so what choice did she have. You are the one that decides not the Vet stand your ground! He is doing well and regulated now from listening a little to the Vet and finding out answers elsewhere. If I had stayed with what she suggested he wouldn't be regulated now and I am so glad I found more info on here and on other sites.
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:58 AM
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CraigM CraigM is offline
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Default Re: Vet will not treat with human insulin

BTW, I totally agree with Jesse Girl, please don't wait too long to start. More than likely your pup has been diabetic for some time prior to the vet's diagnosis and it's important to start treatment pretty quickly to prevent / slow down related problems.

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 9½ years.
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:00 AM
Hollyfaucheux Hollyfaucheux is offline
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Default Re: Vet will not treat with human insulin

Thanks everyone this has been extermly helpful!! Is there any way that I can determine what dose to start at without seeing another vet? I a! looking for one but I would like to start now if possible?? I already bought the meter and I can go to walmart and get the syringe and insulin, I just don't know where to start?? As for her food.….. She is not havin . anything to do with it AT ALL!!! So I gave her what she was eating for the last few days and today I made one of the receipt I found. She is being her normal self.. Just drinking and peeing a lot, which was why I brought Ber to the vet!
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