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Old 10-05-2009, 10:06 AM
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chasing_bella chasing_bella is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Default Isabella Kelly (Diabetes Mellitus & Cushing's Disease)

When Bella was diagnosed last Saturday with diabetes mellitus, it wasn't a big surprise. My 10 yr old mini schnauzer has been tested for both diabetes and cushing's about 11 months ago with negative results. Her prior history with bouts of pancreatitis (not acute), liver inflammation, and low grade heart murmur (1 on a scale from 1-5) has kept me on my toes. In August, she had her annual cardio work up & geriatric blood work done. Every thing came back normal. 8 weeks later, a rush to the emergency clinic, and it was confirmed. She had developed diabetes mellitus. The good news is that there were no ketones in her urine, the upsetting news, the emergency vet strongly recommended testing for cushing's asap. Bella spent 4 days at the regular vet clinic for the sugar curve test and was put on insulin (2x's daily). We are waiting for her to regulate/stabilize b/f testing for cushing's.

So now that our journey has begun, I'm not as prepared as I thought I would be. My hopes and prayers were for her to live out her golden years without having to go through this. Bella is hanging in there like a trooper. As for me, I'm a total mess. Between the nervous breakdowns, sleepless nights, worrying, and tears, its a wonder I can even get my thoughts together to administer the right dosage of insulin.

Here are some questions I have.

-Bella has been on Hill's RX W/D diet for the last 2 years. Her treats were apples, bananas, carrots, and milkbones. I have changed over to veggies because of the sugar content in these fruits. She now gets romaine lettuce, peeled cucumbers, celery, and raw string beans. How much can I give her for snacks during the day? She struggles during the 12 hr span between breakfast and dinner (7am-7pm).

-Will waiting a month b/f testing for cushing's going to cause more damage to her? (not that we have a choice, just trying to prepare).

-How manageable are both diseases?

I could call my vet again & ask, but I'm trying to save my phone calls for emergency situations. I believe I've talked to him about 50 times in the last week.

Thanks for the advice and support.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:41 AM
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peggy0 peggy0 is offline
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Default Re: Isabella Kelly (Diabetes Mellitus & Cushing's Disease)

Hello and welcome. You've come to a great place for advise and support. All of us have gone through what you are feeling at the moment. I'm so sorry your Bella has to join our club. We manage though and have happy pups to prove it. My forbin is 10 and was diagnosed last Christmas. The people here helped me get through. Forin went blind from cataracts and was just operated on to remove them. He can see again.

I'm not sure why your vet wants to check for Cushings. Kathy and Natalie will give you advise on that one as I am not familiar with it. My dog shows no symptoms of cushings, just has diabetes. Once you stabilize bella on the right dosage, you can experiement with treats. There are some out there that don't seem to bother diabetic dogs. I use Neumanns Organic Chicken treats. They have no sugar and don't raise Forbins BGs. Others do feed their dogs veggies like you, but I'm not sure the quantity that they give. If you home test, you will have peace of mind. Do you have a monitor? There is a lot of advise about monitoring as well. Knowing your dogs BG patterns not only gives you some peace of mind but also helps determine how food and treats are affecting it.

You'll feel much better given a little bit of time and sticking to the board here. We are all here for each other and you can reach out day and night.

There are several schnauzer friends here to talk to. Welcome again.
Forbin, miss you every day. See you at the bridge Buddy.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:59 AM
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We Hope We Hope is offline
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Default Re: Isabella Kelly (Diabetes Mellitus & Cushing's Disease)

Welcome to you and Bella!

What you've posted about the plan to test Bella for Cushing's sounds VERY right!

There are times when the initial diabetes diagnosis is made that the results of the tests indicate there's diabetes, but there also may be Cushing's too. Waiting until the diabetes is under control and then, if it's still suspected, testing for Cushing's, would be the right way to go.

The initial lab values may indicate the possibility of Cushing's, but as you get the diabetes under control and then do a Chem 21/full panel again, if there's no Cushing's, you will see that those abnormal values that made you wonder if there might be Cushing's have gone back to normal levels.

If Cushing's is present, you will notice that it's very difficult to get regulation (lower bg's). Cushing's is basically an excess of cortisol and cortisol is one of the hormones that drives bg's up.

Waiting until Bella's diabetes is better under control before doing any Cushing's testing sounds right--we've had members whose dogs were initially diagnosed as having diabetes and also possibly having Cushing's.

They concentrated on getting the diabetes under control and in doing that, later blood tests showed that the only problem was the diabetes. Why not wait to worry about Cushing's until after you've been working with Bella and her diabetes a little longer?

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Old 10-05-2009, 12:14 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: Isabella Kelly (Diabetes Mellitus & Cushing's Disease)

Both diseases are entirely manageable. Diabetes is probably the less expensive one. Cushings can be difficult to properly diagnose and really requires a skilled veterinarian just to make the diagnosis while diabetes is pretty easy to identify.

Damage from Cushings disease occurs only very slowly over the long term so whenever diabetes and Cushings come up together as potential problems, I always like to see the diabetes addressed first. Unresolved diabetes leads to considerable damage from very high blood sugar, including ketoacidosis, which is fatal if not treated quickly.

Cushings will make the diabetes difficult to control so in some ways starting to treat the diabetes helps to sort out whether Cushings is present also! If you get good regulation, you can forget about Cushings.

Lots of Schnauzer folks here alright! I am starting to think that if you bring home a mini Schnauzer, you might just as well plan on diabetes!

Those snacks are virtually calorie-less so I think you can be pretty liberal with them.

Welcom to you and Bella... love your user name!

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Old 10-05-2009, 01:12 PM
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chasing_bella chasing_bella is offline
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Default Re: Isabella Kelly (Diabetes Mellitus & Cushing's Disease)

Natalie can you please explain the difference between glucose in the urine vs. ketones in the urine?

Bella (my little chunky monkey) will be happy to know I can be a little more generous with her veggie treats.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:01 PM
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BestBuddy BestBuddy is offline
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Default Re: Isabella Kelly (Diabetes Mellitus & Cushing's Disease)

Hi and welcome to you and Bella.
My Buddy was diabetic and also had cushings. He had already had diabetes for 4 years before we got the cushings dx and one of the reasons for testing for it was that his normally regulated BG was all over the place.
Diabetes and cushings have a lot of similar symptoms so you need to start one first and diabetes is the right choice. Uncontrolled diabetes can skew the results on cushings tests and if you can get the diabetes side under control you may find that the cushings isn't an issue because regulated diabetes is usually not possible with cushings.
Good luck.
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