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  #1  
Old 10-13-2012, 01:06 PM
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amyt amyt is offline
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Default Sweetheart golden/lab Jack passed away March 23, 2016

Hi everybody. My Jack was diagnosed about 3 months ago with diabetes. Heís a big, sweet golden/lab mix (about 7 years old), started at 108 lbs at diagnosis and is down to 91 lbs right now. I have a question about food. On top of everything else weíre trying to figure out right now, Iím feeling overwhelmed about the food issue. Hereís some background:

Initially I was feeding him Purina DCO and giving him 23 Novolin units 2/day, but when he went in for his first glucose curve, he had a high spike (450) at 4 hours, then a gradual drop to 88 at 8 hours. The vet was concerned about the drop in the afternoon, so she decreased the insulin to 18 units 2/day. I was concerned about the food because it contains so much corn and it was so expensive. I decided to switch to Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight, and when he went in for his 2nd curve, the readings were very high all day (147 1st reading, then 580, 432, 366, 427, 462, 481). Blue Buffalo wasnít working. The vet recommended increasing the insulin to 20 units 2/day and going back on the DCO, so we did. I still was concerned about the corn in the food, and the more I read online about homecooking, the more I wanted to try it (actually mixing real food and the DCO 50/50).

Now my head is so turned around with all of the things to consider when cooking for him (calories, quantities, expense) that I was hoping somebody here could give me some advice.

Iíve read that he needs about 1700 calories/day, so 850 calories per meal (about 425 calories from the DCO and 425 real food). All of the recipes I see from people giving their (big) dogs the homecooked/prescription food mix are giving their dogs 1-2 cups dry rx food and 1 cup cooked per meal. Iíve figured that the

4 cups green beans
2 lbs chicken breast (about 6 cups)
2 cups uncooked brown rice (so 6 cups cooked)
2 cans black beans

that I just cooked for him (for about 7 of the 50/50 meals) has about 3600 calories, but it winds up being 23 cups. Each cup has about 156 calories, so Iíd need to give him almost 3 cups of real food per meal to make sure he gets the 425 calories he needs. Plus the 1+ cup of DCO. So 8+ cups of food per day. That seems like an enormous amount of food for this dog. Am I doing something wrong with my math? Plus when I calculated how much everything costs and how much he needs, the real food seems to be more expensive than the DCO on a cup versus cup basis.

I go to Walmart for the insulin & supplies, but donít have the glucometer. I just canít afford it right now. So Iím depending on the vet and her curves @ $40 every 4-6 weeks (which I realize is a really good price, but a lot of money for me nonetheless). Can anybody out there help me clear up my confusion on the food? Itís like a Rubikís cube puzzle for me and itís driving me crazy. I go to sleep thinking about it and itís the first thing on my mind when I wake up.

Sorry for this long post. Weíre heartsick about Jack and Iím hyper-focused on doing the best I can manage for him.
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2012, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Food Quantities?

hi and welcome

those are some big swings in blood sugar not sure if it is food related

the second batch of numbers you posted saw a 147 to start which is good than a huge swing up its very difficult to determine if its food or maybe a response from the body and can be difficult to figure out

it is possible you are still giving to much insulin and a clue to that is big swings in blood sugar your vets decision to lower the dose was appropriate

if you do reduce the dose what you want to look for if the numbers flatten out and no big swings and that may point to a possible overdose


if you are not testing blood sugar at home i would recommend it the larger dogs are usually very easy to test the information you will get from testing will greatly help to figure things out more quickly and most important keeping your baby safe

another issue to think about how does your vet test blood sugar with a hand held meter or a lab analyzer

handheld meters even the pet one can have the potential for being off quite a bit at higher levels and seeing those big swings may point to the numbers may be a bit off so it maybe worth discussing with you vet
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2012, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Food Quantities?

I'm just thinking "out loud". When you tried the Blue Buffalo, did you reduce the amount fed? If I'm right, the DCO is a very high fiber food and requires quite a bit more than the Blue Buffalo?

The insulin reduction from 23 units because of the 88 reading was a good idea, but dropping 5 units might have been too much of a reduction, especially if you switched to Blue Buffalo at the same time.
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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 9Ĺ years.
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2012, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Food Quantities?

I'm back from running errands. Let me add to my earlier post.

Did you feed the same amount of Blue Buffalo as you did DCO? If you did, then you might have given more food than he needed which may have caused the high numbers? Combined with the 5 unit reduction (about 20%), that could really have raised the numbers.

I realize Annie is much smaller than your pup, but a 5% change (1/4 unit for her normal 7 1/4 injection of NPH) in insulin makes a noticeable change in her.
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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 9Ĺ years.

Last edited by CraigM; 10-13-2012 at 03:28 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2012, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Food Quantities?

Welcome to you! I don't have any direct diet recommendations but I do have a book that was recommended to me that I wanted to pass along. Lew Olson's 'Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs.' The book has examples of low glycemic diets and breaks the foods into ounces and then tells you how much to feed based on the weight of your dog.

Tried a modified recipe out of the book for two weeks for my Decker. He loved it. Was getting over chronic pancreatitis due to undiagnosed hypothyroidism. The book also had great tips for pancreatitis diets as well as things to consider for hypothyroid dogs.

Best of luck to you on this new journey! Holli
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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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Old 10-13-2012, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Food Quantities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofdecker View Post
Welcome to you! I don't have any direct diet recommendations but I do have a book that was recommended to me that I wanted to pass along. Lew Olson's 'Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs.' The book has examples of low glycemic diets and breaks the foods into ounces and then tells you how much to feed based on the weight of your dog.

Tried a modified recipe out of the book for two weeks for my Decker. He loved it. Was getting over chronic pancreatitis due to undiagnosed hypothyroidism. The book also had great tips for pancreatitis diets as well as things to consider for hypothyroid dogs.

Best of luck to you on this new journey! Holli
that sounds like a good book i know there are diets and supplements for liver maybe kidneys but i wondered about the pancreas and what you can do to strengthen which for most of our diabetic babies can have problems with jesse had severe pancreatitis early on i think she had some flare ups a few month after that and the she seems to be doing good now knock on wood
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Food Quantities?

Hey there, I can't offer anything regarding the diet. I have all I can manage with figuring out the insulin so have gone with a prepared low carb/ high protien diet.

I wanted to encourage you to rethink home testing as I think that might help a lot with the weight gain. When the numbers are out of whack the body isn't able to absorb all the nutrients in the food.

Walmart has an inexpensive meter (Prime $20) and the strips are $9 for fifty. Then you would be able to evaluate the changes you are making very quickly. A food change you can test to see how it is working right away, and after dose changes you can do a curve as soon as 3 days after.

You might also do some research on organs extra virgin coconut oil. I think it can help with weight gain even when numbers are high. You wouldn't want to use it though if your dog was prone to pancreatitis and I would start slowly to be sure it didn't cause a problem.

Tara
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Tara in honor of Ruby.
She was a courageous Boston Terrier who marched right on through diabetes, megaesophagus, and EPI until 14.
Lucky for both of us we found each other. I'd do it all again girly.
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Food Quantities?

Hi Craig, thanks for thinking about my situation (twice!). I don't remember exactly how much I was feeding Jack when he was solely eating the Blue Buffalo, but I know that after the diagnosis, I looked for hours online at discussions on dry food, decided on the Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight, and would have followed the recommendations on the back of the bag for his current weight (on the lower side since I consider him to be "inactive" moreso than "active").

I know I did 2 things at once (changed dog food and lowered the insulin) so it's harder to point a finger to exactly what caused the increased numbers, but I felt frantic about it actually, and wanted to fix it, you know?

Part of me feels like I should have these curves done more often. The vet I'm going to is part of a non-profit practice and sees people on a sliding scale thankfully, plus she has a diabetic dog herself (the other type, insipidus), so I feel she's doing her best for us. But it's still expensive for us right now. And I think it makes Jack anxious to be there all day -- he won't drink water there and when he comes home he drains everything, even going for the toilet water. Just like he's been in the desert for 8 hours. I don't know how much of a factor that can be on glucose levels, but I'm sure it doesn't help.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:32 AM
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Rubytuesday Rubytuesday is offline
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Default Re: Food Quantities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amyt View Post
Hi Craig, thanks for thinking about my situation (twice!). I don't remember exactly how much I was feeding Jack when he was solely eating the Blue Buffalo, but I know that after the diagnosis, I looked for hours online at discussions on dry food, decided on the Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight, and would have followed the recommendations on the back of the bag for his current weight (on the lower side since I consider him to be "inactive" moreso than "active").

I know I did 2 things at once (changed dog food and lowered the insulin) so it's harder to point a finger to exactly what caused the increased numbers, but I felt frantic about it actually, and wanted to fix it, you know?

Part of me feels like I should have these curves done more often. The vet I'm going to is part of a non-profit practice and sees people on a sliding scale thankfully, plus she has a diabetic dog herself (the other type, insipidus), so I feel she's doing her best for us. But it's still expensive for us right now. And I think it makes Jack anxious to be there all day -- he won't drink water there and when he comes home he drains everything, even going for the toilet water. Just like he's been in the desert for 8 hours. I don't know how much of a factor that can be on glucose levels, but I'm sure it doesn't help.
Stress can raise and sometimes even lower bg levels. Whichever way it tends to affect your guy will probably stay consisten, but it may be different from how other dog's bgs react. I have read that dehydration can make the bgs read higher as the blood is more concentrated.

I was wondering how the vet curves were so inexpensive for you. You could always do drive by curves, where you go to the vet before food and insulin have them test and then take the dog home and feed,. returning to the vet every two hrs. to have the bgs tested up till dinner time. Only you can judge if you think this might help with the stress.

There is no reason other then cost and convenience to wait so long between curves. Doing them sooner will get you where you want to be sooner.

Tara
__________________
Tara in honor of Ruby.
She was a courageous Boston Terrier who marched right on through diabetes, megaesophagus, and EPI until 14.
Lucky for both of us we found each other. I'd do it all again girly.
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:37 AM
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amyt amyt is offline
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Smile Re: Food Quantities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofdecker View Post
Welcome to you! I don't have any direct diet recommendations but I do have a book that was recommended to me that I wanted to pass along. Lew Olson's 'Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs.' The book has examples of low glycemic diets and breaks the foods into ounces and then tells you how much to feed based on the weight of your dog.

Tried a modified recipe out of the book for two weeks for my Decker. He loved it. Was getting over chronic pancreatitis due to undiagnosed hypothyroidism. The book also had great tips for pancreatitis diets as well as things to consider for hypothyroid dogs.

Best of luck to you on this new journey! Holli
Thanks for the recommendation on the book. It sounds like it could help me figure this stuff out. Expecially with the ounce breakdown and Jack's weight. I'm trying so to help him, but with every meal, I worry I'm doing more harm. I'm glad the book was useful for your Decker; I've seen it mentioned several times online, but saw the word "raw" and then dismissed the whole thing.
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