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Old 11-05-2011, 06:48 PM
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nibbles-mommy nibbles-mommy is offline
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Default Nibbles earned his wings

Hi everyone,

I have been a lurker for awhile and always check here first if I have any questions. My dog Nibbles (16yo beagle mix) was diagnosed in February with diabetes and cushings. I just wanted to introduce myself and thank everyone for there helpful posts.

I have had a very stressful and sad 2 years. I had 2 dogs for 14 years. Casey, a black lab mix, and Nibbles, a beagle mix. They were bosom buddies. Always playing and fighting. My boyfriend and I are have also been together for 16 years (I'm 32 yo) no kids, so are dogs are definitely our babies. In 2006, Casey was diagnosed with metastatic mammary cancer. She underwent and partial mastectomy and the doctor said she may only last a few months. Well she did great for 3 years. In 2009, she had more nodules so in June so underwent another mastectomy. She rebounded quickly and was doing great. Until the end of September, that's when everything went downhill. We woke up one morning and her head was tilted and she couldn't walk straight. We rushed her to the vet and he said it was vestibular disease. He put her on prednisone and she did very well and it passed. Her head still stayed a little tilted but not bad. Then at the end of November she got this cough and terrible congestion so I brought her back to the vet and he gave her antibiotics and told me to hold her in bathroom with the shower on hot so the steam helps her. She was always a horribly picky eater and would go days without eating if it was up to her. She didn't like anything! It got to the point where she wouldn't eat anything at all and just layed on her blanket and drink water occasionally. I ground up her dog food and mixed it warm water and used and medicine syringe to squirt it in her mouth twice a day so she would eat. She couldn't walk without getting out of breath. I really thought it was just some type of cold and it would go away. She always bounced right back from everything. I slept with her on the couch every night from when she had the vestibular disease but on December 8, my boyfriend came home from work (2nd shift) and I decided to sleep in bed. He woke me up at 3:46 am and told me "it happened" , Casey passed away at the age of 14. We were so devastated. The doctor did say that we always had watch for coughing because with that type on cancer it travels to the chest first. I was also worried that Nibbles wouldn't be ok because they were together for 13 years. Nibbles did great. He didn't have to share attention and was loving it he could finally lay on the couch without her chasing him off. Then in February 2010, I came home from work and he was sitting on the floor like he was hurt. He wouldn't eat (he LOVED food, any kind) and was acting mushy so we took him to the vet and he took xrays and we got an ultrasound. Turns out he had a large tumor on his spleen. We had it and his spleen removed and he did great, until September. He woke up in the middle of the night with a head tilt. Took him back to the vet and it was of course vestibular disease. The vet took xrays while we were there and said he saw a large shadow on his trecia. If it was a tumor it was inoperable and he would more then likely starve to death. We took him for another ultrasound and astonishingly nothing was there. The doctor said because he is a barreled chested dog it is hard to determine but everything was fine. We were ecstatic! Everything was going great until February 2011. I noticed he was drinking an awful lot and peeing alot so we took him back and the vet said he was diabetic and had cushings. He put him on humulin and vetoryl His sugar was over 800. I was so nervous about everything and really didn't think I could do it. Well I did. But in April my worst fear happened, I woke up to let him out and he was running into walls. He went blind. Now 7 months later we live in a house full of pillows. He's doing really well. I don't test his sugar at home and just rely on the urine strips and his behavior. The only thing is he mostly walks in right circles. I read that he was mapping the area but he's been doing it for 4 months.

Ever since Casey passed, he has become a picky eater and the only was he eats is when i sit on the floor and hold the bowl at an angle while he lays there. He's so lazy! I have been getting very worn out lately with the worrying all the time. Every day at 8:30am and 8:30pm is battle time. I have to start the feeding process at 7:30 to ensure he eats enough to give him his needle and I can't do anything or go anywhere that would interfere with those times and I have been sleeping on the couch with him for over a year. Now he gets up all night long and runs around being all happy and wanting to play at 4:00am (he's such a brat!).

Sorry for the long story but I needed to talk to people who understand. And thank everyone for all the insight these past few months.

I also wanted to add that after 8 months the urine tests are negative for glucose. They were always on the darkest square. That was a very happy day for us

Last edited by nibbles-mommy; 11-06-2011 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: My dog Nibbles

Wow, you've been through a lot. I'm still learning so I will say welcome and let others with more experience give you advice - except (bc. I can't resist) it sounds like you might need to institute some tough love for your dog and yourself to make sure that you get enough rest and he gets on a regular schedule.

Also have u considered adding a touch of cat food or something else to entice him to eat?
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Zoe: 12 yr old Black Lab/shepherd mix. Diagnosed 6/1/11. Currently on 15 units Novolin NPH 2x day, and hopefully as close to regulated as possible. Feeding merrick Grain Free Salmon and Sweet Potato. Weight 63lbs.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:10 PM
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Arrow Re: My dog Nibbles

Wow; you certainly have been having a hard time. You have my great sympathies.

So sorry you lost your Casey. I can hardly imagine a greater pain than losing a beloved dog.

Let's see how things go with Nibbles. I'll look forward to more reports from you, when you're ready.

Wishing you and Nibbles all the best!
Sat, 5 Nov 2011 19:10:41 (PDT)
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: My dog Nibbles

I have tried everything including tears. It's so sad because we used to scream at him because he ate too much and now this. He's been eating Mighty dog and Alpo the wholesome goodness one. The doctor said to give him what ever he wants as long as he's eating.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: My dog Nibbles

my jesse is a seven year old beagle and yes the disease can be challenging

have you thought about home testing jesse has been extremely easy to test on he lip it is a great tool when things get out of whack but it all depends on the individual i have never done urine tests so i cannot compare the 2 but very happy with blood testing if its something you want to try just ask

the people here on the forum have a kind ear and some great suggestions

welcome to both of you
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:22 PM
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Shellie Shellie is offline
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Default Re: My dog Nibbles

I can certainly relate to the picky eating! My Hank is the world's best at that. But after some trial and error...most of the time he'll eat Cesar IF I give him a small section of cheese stick first. He also regularly eats cat food. Sounds horrible but so far...that's all he'll eat and both the doc and I are happy he'll eat anything.

So perhaps you can try some different brands that are out there. I wouldn't worry overmuch that it's not the perfect diet for a diabetic dog...it ends up being what is healthy for them (such as not too much fat for a pancreatic dog)...and the calories. I know if he gets X amount of food and has a bg of X, then I can give him his regular dose and he'll be fine. That's where the bg testing may come in to help you out.

But right now...just getting him to eat is the most important thing! Try a teaspoon of Fancy Feast cat food on his food. Try tuna or meat baby food on his food. Try different foods altogether. Some dogs like their kibble in beef or chicken broth or even gravy. Some dogs like the higher protien diets and some like the high fiber.

Just go a bit slow in your trials...I offer and if he doesn't eat it...I give him whatever he will eat. We may go thru three or four cans of food but eventually you will find something he will like better than what you are currently feeding him.

It's a tough road and I don't have him regulated yet due to the food problems. We're also looking at him possibly having tummy problems. You could consider a pepcid tab a bit before mealtimes if your vet oks it. I know Sandy's dog, Tiggy, does much better with one and so does my Hank.

Regardless of what you try...we're here and we'll listen and try to help all we can! Hugs on the loss of your other dog...hardest thing on earth to lose one of our babies and we ALL know that pain all too well. Take care!
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: My dog Nibbles

he doesn't like anything with chunks, i give him the ground food and put water in it. a few months ago i decided to ground him kibble and sprinkle it in the wet food. well he started gagging and spitting it out and wouldn't eat anything. i've tried cat food, dog food, people food any type of food. the doctor said he's just a spoiled brat. when he was first diagnosed he lived off of ham on wheat bread sandwhiches and chicken nuggets from wendys. i think it may be the vetoryl that really curbs his appetite. he weighed around 65lbs when diagnosed now he around 45lbs. i always wanted him to lose a little weight because it was affecting his hind legs but now i think he's too skinny. when he lays on his side you can see his ribs. when he walks around he doesn't look thin. i don't know maybe i'm obsessive. but when we first started with the needles, i would feed him before a try not to feed him again for 12 hours, that's when he lost the weight. now i feed him until he eats all of his food which can take hours.he hasn't been drinking much. and he pees maybe 2-3 times a day. i don't know if it's that i was so used to him drinking constantly or what. poor dog can't win. also if he doens't eat all of his food a few hours later he vomits yellow. so since he eats less in the morning i dropped to 12 units of humulin and 13 at night. it seems to work better. his vet is an hour away and i need to bring him back for tests and i'm so scared he doesn't do well in the car and i haven't had him in there sonce he went blind and i'm really scared of him being in the cage at the vet all day (curve and cushing test). it puts so much stress on him. i've been thinking that maybe i'll just leave him alone as long as he's happy and comfortable (that's all that matters). it seems like everytime i take him to the vet something else happens.

Last edited by nibbles-mommy; 11-06-2011 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: My dog Nibbles

my jesse is similar in weight to yours as far as visual cant put any weight on her any time i try things get out of whack she has stayed consistent over a year and she is good on health and everything we get so used to seeing us and are animals a bit heavier and when this changes it does not look normal i would not worry to much about the weight for now if nibbles is holding his own
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: My dog Nibbles

Hi and welcome to you!
I'm so sorry to hear about Casey. It is hard to lose a best friend.

Quote:
Everything was going great until February 2011. I noticed he was drinking an awful lot and peeing alot so we took him back and the vet said he was diabetic and had cushings. He put him on humulin and vetoryl His sugar was over 800.
Do you know what test was done to diagnose Nibbles with Cushings? I ask because it can be very difficult to accurately diagnose a dog with Cushings in the presence of uncontrolled diabetes.

If you are up for it, I think trying to home test Nibbles would be a huge asset. You wouldn't have to leave him at the vet all day for curves. There are videos of the various places you can test here: http://www.k9diabetes.com/bgtestvideos.html And we could help with meter/lancets options.

Patty
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: My dog Nibbles

ACTH stim was the cushings test. The vet told me the same thing about my dog casey and said she had cushings. I really didn't see any symptoms in either of them. We had the test done for casey too and he said her cortisol levels were high also. Casey definitely wasn't hugely overweight or losing hair or drinking alot. So I didn't put her on vetoryl. In November 2010 during the tumor on the trachea fiasco he tested nibbles for cushings with the stim and said he had it. They sent me the medicine but when I saw how much it cost ($210 us) for a month I didn't put him on it. I really didn't buy into the whole cushings thing especially when he said both dogs had it because neither showed any of the symptoms. But when we found out about the diabetes, i put him on vetoryl because the vet said it's very difficult to control the diabetes with cushings present. His last stim test said her was responding well to it. So I really still don't know about the cushings but he's is doing well and that's all that matters.

I'm really nervous about testing at home. I do so many other things to him i.e. sticking a bowl of food and water in his face for a total of 10 hours a day, begging him to pee, jabbing him with needles, forcing pills down his throat...I didn;t want to prick his lip too.
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I'm Debbie and Nibbles is a 16yo beagle mix ~ Diagnosed in Feb. 2011 with Diabetes and Cushings ~ Currently at 11 units Humulin N ~ Eating Wellness canned food.

Last edited by nibbles-mommy; 11-06-2011 at 11:32 AM.
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