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Old 02-01-2009, 03:45 PM
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ladygirl ladygirl is offline
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Default Princess - Fights Injections

Hi to all,

I just stumbled on this forum after hours of searching up on dogs diagnosed with Diabetes. Quite frankly it's a lot to take in as I'm sure many of you know.
I have a 5 1/2 year-old Miniature Pinscher, Princess, who was just diagnosed with Diabetes yesterday late afternoon. We had noticed she had been drinking a lot more water then usual and getting up at unusual times at night to let us know she wanted more water or to go pee. I hate to say that one of our faults as her owners was that she was never properly potty trained, that and we don't have a fenced backyard, so she always usually pees in the house when she isn't on a walk, but we noticed her peeing a lot more then usual. In addition she also appeared to have been losing weight. Ever since she has been spayed as a puppy she had been overweight, around 21 or so pounds, she was weighed in yesterday at around 18 since her last visit about a month ago. She is also one of three dogs in the house that are usually taken on a 20 or more minute walk twice or three times the day.
We went to the vet yesterday to see if maybe she had a UTI or something, and although it came back negative, the vet did notify us that her glucose was unusually high which was positive for Diabetes. Her health is my number one priority of course, but I do have some other concerns.
We started her in training classes around mid-December where she has gotten more treats then she ever really did in life. Before going to the vet yesterday I relayed this to the trainer and she said among the possibility of Diabetes or Cushing's, one contributing factor she thought could have sparked the sudden thirst and peeing was because of all the treats she had recently been getting.
The doctor told me to take today to figure out things and what I wanted to do. Of course if insulin (as the doctor prescribed) and a prescriptive diet is what I have to absolutely do then I will certainly do so. But before getting her on insulin which will make her dependent on it, I want to know if perhaps, if time permitting, I should change her diet to prescriptive and pay more attention to managing her weight. Most of her life she has been on just regular dog food and we never really paid attention to the carbs or fiber, as we were feeding three dogs. That and perhaps stop giving her so much treats that she has been getting recently in the last month or so and see if there is some sort of improvement.
Ultimately before committing to insulin I would like to see if there is anything we can do on our part (i.e. managing strict diet, no more treats, more exercise) and check back in perhaps a couple weeks or a month and see if this perhaps makes a difference.
I came here because I've read how experienced most of you are and would love and appreciate all your advice. I just posed my thoughts to the vet and the assistant said she should get back to me later on tonight.
I would love to hear from any of you really as I'm new to all this and just want to know everything before essentially making her dependent on insulin the rest of her life.
I'm sorry for the long message but I'm sure you all can understand my concern.

Thanks again,

Natalie
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:58 PM
AlisonandMia AlisonandMia is offline
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Default Re: New Member - Princess Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

Hi and welcome.

Just one question, from what you say a urine test was done that showed high glucose but was a blood test done? If it hasn't been done already, I think you need to have a blood test done to check that her blood glucose is in fact high (and to get a baseline against which to assess response to insulin treatment) before starting on insulin. There is a rare kidney condition that can cause high glucose in the urine even when the blood glucose is not high.

If Princess does have diabetes then she will require insulin as there is no other way of managing the type of diabetes that dogs get. Diet is important in so far as it must be balanced against the insulin given but diet alone will not treat diabetes.

Alison
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:10 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: New Member - Princess Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

Hi Natalie,

My name is Natalie also! Sorry to hear Princess has developed diabetes.

The trainer is probably somewhat misinformed. You probably know about Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes in people. Type 1 diabetics are incapable of producing insulin for themselves so must have injections to survive. Type 2 diabetics have some resistance or do not make good use of insulin but are physically able to make insulin so oral medications and diet changes can be used to better control their blood sugar.

Cats are akin to Type 2 diabetics but dogs are almost without exception Type 1 diabetics in that their pancreases suffer damage and lose the ability to make insulin at all. So they nearly always need insulin injections to replace this vital substance.

The one caveat for me is the potential for pancreatitis from all the treats, especially if they are something like hot dogs or anything very high in fat, for example. Pancreatitis could theoretically result in impaired insulin production, resulting in higher blood sugar with the potential to recover once the pancreatitis resolves. I don't think this is very likely but I don't like to say never...

I hope the vet did blood work and the only abnormal value was the blood glucose.

So most likely the diabetes will indeed require insulin injections.

Please get a copy of all of the test results from the vet and post them here, along with the reference range (the range of "normal" values) for each test.

I'm curious, personally, to know how high the blood sugar was and also whether any other test results were out of the ordinary.

If she needs insulin, no problem. Dogs do great and diabetes that's well managed does not reduce a normal healthy lifespan. Our dog was diagnosed at 9 and lived past 14 and he was a pretty big guy with a lot of other health problems already.

Anxious to hear more about Princess,

Natalie
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: New Member - Princess Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

Hi Allison and Natalie,

Thanks for your response. Looking over the invoice of her visit yesterday, I don't see anything indicating a blood test. Everything listed is as follows:
Urine Sample Collect/Prep
Urinalysis Package
Urinalysis Sediment Exam
Urine Specific Gravity
Urinalysis Test (Individual)
So I think maybe no? The vet assistant said when they took her back that they would be poking a needle into her bladder, I think, to see what she had. They then came back and said they didn't find anything in the urine but that her glucose tested on the strip came back at a brown color as opposed to the deeper teal color. So I don't think any blood test was done.

Update: I just spoke with the vet over the phone and she said looking over labs she sees that they actually didn't do any blood test, so we are going to go in an hour or so to do that.

Last edited by ladygirl; 02-01-2009 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: New Member - Princess Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

That's odd. I'm glad they are doing it today. I wouldn't want diabetes diagnosed and insulin started without a blood panel.

Given the weight loss, I think plain old diabetes that will require insulin is very likely. It's fairly common in Min Pins.

Will she urinate for you and let you collect a sample?

It would be good to check her urine for ketones - ketodiastix (ketostix if they don't have the glucose/ketone combination) are usually available at any pharmacy and can be used to check to make sure she doesn't have ketones, a product of excessively high blood sugar that can lead to a very dangerous condition called ketoacidosis.

The weight loss suggests that she's been running high glucose for a while so grab a box of the ketodiastix if you can and check that while the diabetes diagnosis gets worked out. I'm assuming they won't have the blood panel results back until tomorrow.

Natalie
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: New Member - Princess Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

That's a good idea. Do you think they would have that at PetsMart? We go to the Banfield in there as her regular veterinary clinics. I was surprised as well after reading everyone's posts that some form of blood work wasn't done. Though the vet is very nice, she seems VERY inexperienced as far as diabetes. She says that she had to search some more about diabetes in dogs on the internet earlier today. But she said that when we come in she's going to do some blood work and a chem panel to get more definitive results, and do another urine test on the stick to make sure.
She also said while it would be a good idea to start regulating her diet first and foremost, she doesn't want to say for sure to try this for a couple weeks because it could be that the diabetes progresses and something else may occur during that time that could have been prevented. But she said it would probably help to manage her diet for a week and come back then to see if there are any changes.
She didn't really give me any results because she said she didn't have the stick right after the test? But she brought in a sample one and said, "Where most dogs are around negative and a teal color, Princess was a brown and around 1000" (regarding glucose levels in the urine), but nothing really concrete. So I guess I'll have to ask more questions when I get there, and perhaps go get a second opinion elsewhere? Again she is very nice but I want to make sure I have an vet who is experienced with diabetes before putting Princess on insulin.

And honestly you guys are a god send, really. : )

Oh also one thing I wanted to add is I just noticed her constantly licking her private area for about 10 minutes straight. She keeps doing it on and off just recently today, do you think that could be something to point out?

Last edited by ladygirl; 02-01-2009 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: New Member - Princess Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

I don't think they will have them at Petsmart except possibly at Banfield itself and may not have boxes to sell - usually have to go to a pharmacy. The Diastix used to be very easy to get but with people all moving over to meters instead of urine testing, they are tough to find. Ketostix are still used fairly frequently because only one or two meters test ketones.

For diabetic dogs, the ideal is ketodiastix as they will give you a very rough idea of how high the glucose is - that's what the vet used - plus check for ketones.

I agree that you will want someone more experienced. Even that isn't always enough but this vet sounds like she will not really be able to guide you. We are here to help you assess whether the veterinary expertise seems to be up to snuff.

Urinary tract infections are quite common in diabetics, especially uncontrolled ones. The sugar in the urine is a real treat for bacteria. Presumably they are checking the urine for bacteria so should be able to sort that out for you when the UA results come back but it wouldn't be surprising. Do mention it to them.

Take a look at the information on the main website if you haven't already, www.k9diabetes.com, and then we can sort this out more when the chem panel results come back. At the Links page there are many additional resources about managing and treating diabetes in dogs too.

Natalie
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: New Member - Princess Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

Thanks Natalie. Just looking at my dog right now brought all my emotions to the surface. I can't help but feel I did this to her, and that is something she really doesn't deserve. I'm trying to compose myself before I head out for the vet.
And I'm sorry for perhaps not understanding entirely, as I'm a little out of my realm right now, but what is it exactly that I shouldn't be mentioning to them? (I mean as far as the whole UA test thing, my mind is just a little foggy right now.)

I'm also a little frustrated that she didn't do all of this yesterday, because going back now means I have to pay ANOTHER office visit fee for something they didn't bother doing. She told me she thought she had done them but apparently didn't. They were busy yesterday with ONE doctor seeing everybody and I spent about 3 hours there to do everything, it was sort of irritating.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: New Member - Princess Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

Mention the licking... it sounds like they already sent a urine sample to the lab to check for bacteria but it's good to tell them that she's been licking at herself.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: New Member - Princess Just Diagnosed with Diabetes

We have ALL been where you are right now and know how scary and emotional it is... funny thing is, you reach a point after things settle down where you wonder what you were so worried about... remind me to tell you my "Chris' skull" story when I have more time!

I think the most likely case is that Princess just plain old developed diabetes - that's how it goes. One day they don't have it, next day they do and you didn't do anything to cause it. It's pretty common in dogs and Min Pins are well represented. We have a few members here with Min Pins -- Helen just was by a few days ago. Her diabetic Min Pin, BeBe, passed away a few years ago (her story is on the website) but she has two new girls now and is looking at getting a third.

It will all be okay and you have time to sort things out. Does sound, though, like you will need a vet at a clinic where there is more experience and good follow up.

Natalie
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