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Old 03-04-2016, 01:27 PM
graymoment graymoment is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: California
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Default Indie - Border Terrier mix - Looking for suggestions

I am new to this forum, and looking to get as educated as possible to get my dog's blood glucose levels in check, and get him past liver disease. Here's his details:

Dog's name, breed: Indie, Border Terrier mix
Dog's weight: 19 lbs, 10 oz. (down from 21.8 when diagnosed because I'm feeding him less)
Diet: Zignature, Trout & Salmon Meal Formula (just switched to it)
Insulin: Relion brand Novolin N
Number of units per injection and injections per day: 6U, 2xday
Brand of BG meter if home testing: AlphaTrak 2

About a month ago I noticed my dog was drinking and peeing more than usual. After a week or so, I saw that he peed the carpet (uncharacteristic of him), and after peeing 2 times in the house, I took him to the vet to get checked. They did a blood panel and diagnosed him as diabetic and with liver disease. The vet prescribed Hills W/D, but I got a different dog food that's low in fat and high in protein and fiber (but only 6.5% fiber, not 12+% like Hills).

I immediately got online to read everything I could, bought the Alphatrak 2, and had my vet give me dosage for the Novolin N so I could buy the Walmart brand. After a week of giving him 5 U every 12 hours, I noticed his glucose levels stayed in the 300-600 range. I slowly upped his dosage to 8 U every 12 hours, but saw little improvement.

I went to a new vet in the area to get a 2nd opinion. This vet also prescribed Hills W/D. I might switch to it just to see if it helps, but I'd rather not. I also find it a little strange that you can only get this dog food from a vet, despite there being no medication in the dog food (why is it "prescription"?). This vet said he actually would have started my dog on 3 U, but to go ahead and do 5 U for 14 days and then come in to do a curve. I told him I could do a curve at home where it would be less stressful for my dog, but he said he's really prefer I have them do one so he could get a baseline (I think th eliminate testing error, even though he said they use the same monitor that I do).

Now we're back where we started. Giving my dog less insulin and seeing him stay in the 400-600 range. I even bought a new vial of insulin just in case the vial I had was compromised somehow. I'd love to get feedback from others, and any suggestions you might have. I'm open, and just want to get Indie's levels in check so we can see if his liver disease will go away. I do not see the need to continue this for another 14 days when I've already done so for 14 days with the other vet.
Indie: Border Terrier mix, 9 years old, eats 1/3 cup (3xday) of Zignature Trout & Salmon, uses ReliOn Novolin N (6 U twice per day)

Last edited by graymoment; 03-04-2016 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:14 PM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Posts: 8,424
Default Re: Indie - Border Terrier mix - Looking for suggestions

hi and welcome

unless you want to manage the disease on your own you probably stuck with your vets methods unless you can persuade them to change

as far as food the prescription foods appear to work the reason maybe the large fiber content . i think there are other prescription diets for other challenges why they need a prescription i believe is to control the management of the disease they dont like to see other variables

i decided to pass on the prescription diet. i was already early on with jesses diabetes that i was going to mange the disease myself .

if you want you can post some curves but single numbers or just a couple doesnt tell much as far as blood sugar . one thing you dont want to do is pass the dose thats needed
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 03-04-2016, 02:28 PM
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peony peony is offline
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Posts: 91
Default Re: Indie - Border Terrier mix - Looking for suggestions

"I told him I could do a curve at home where it would be less stressful for my dog, but he said he's really prefer I have them do one so he could get a baseline (I think to eliminate testing error, even though he said they use the same monitor that I do)."

My suggestion is to find a vet that will let you do the glucose testing at home. My original vet would make me bring Kirby in and it stressed him out. I decided for several reasons to look for a new vet. I researched vets familiar with diabetes and then I called the offices and asked if they allowed testing at home. I found a wonderful vet who thinks it is preferable. Her only demand was that I use an Alpha Trak 2 (which you already have.)
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:49 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 11,299
Default Re: Indie - Border Terrier mix - Looking for suggestions

Probably they are doing something they routinely do (often incorrectly in my opinion) - ruling out rebound and overdosing.

The best way to counter this and move forward with the insulin is to do a detailed blood glucose curve - at home because that is where his activity level and meals are normal.

The vet cannot prevent you from doing the curve so once he's been at this dose for a minimum of 5 days (it takes time for them to show a long-term response to change), do the curve and see what you get.

Ideally, do a very detailed curve and for as much of the day as you can, to bedtime. Starting with a reading before food and insulin and at least every 2 hours after that, with a reading before dinner and insulin.

Then, if you want, post it here and we can give our takes on it.

If it's not bad, then yay! If it's not good, then you can present it to the vet as a good case for an increase sooner.

I would like to see it if you could post it. I've seen a LOT of curves over the past 11 years on these forums and can give you a good idea of how things look given the stage of your dog's diabetes.

As for the liver disease,

How serious is the liver disease?

Moderate elevations of liver enzymes are quite common in an untreated diabetic.

Much larger elevations of liver enzymes would indicate a problem specifically with the liver and/or Cushing's disease - has anyone mentioned Cushing's disease?

Is Indie on liver supplements? They often are very helpful in improving a liver problem.

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Old 03-04-2016, 06:02 PM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Hi and welcome! How high protein was the food you chose? High protein is not always a great choice depending on what it is.
Maggie - 15 1/2 y/o JRT diagnosed 9/2007, Angel status on 6/20/16. Her mantra was never give up but her body couldn't keep up with her spirit. Someday, baby.......
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:28 AM
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Eddie Eddie is offline
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Default Re: Indie - Border Terrier mix - Looking for suggestions

Hello and welcome

It is still quite early days so it makes a lot of sense for you to keep the dose stable and do a curve to see how things are looking. It can take quite a time to get them regulated and the only safe way to do it is quite slowly.

We didn't know how our vet would react to home testing so we just started doing it, then (when we were confidently doing it) we told him. Our dog has only ever had one curve done at the vet in over three years. The vet has just had to accept that that is how we are managing it and he happily gives us prescriptions for insulin based on our numbers.

On food, people here feed a wide variety of different foods, including the prescription ones. We just carried on feeding our dog the same as before, which happened to be rather high in protein, because it suited his other digestive problem. It may be that we could get better regulation on a lower protein food, but we just didn't want to risk upsetting his other problems when we had finally got them sorted out. It's a bit of a balancing act sometimes! The absolutely critical thing is that you find a food that the dog will eat reliably every time.

Eddie - Lab x golden retriever. Weighed 63lbs. Ate Canagan. Diagnosed October 2012. 13units of Caninsulin twice a day. Had EPI as well as diabetes. Died 20 June 2017. Loved forever.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:02 AM
Andrea Andrea is offline
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Posts: 57
Default Re: Indie - Border Terrier mix - Looking for suggestions


I am still learning this also. My vet wanted me to feed my girl hills w/d also. I am not sure where you are located but my pet smart sells this also. You still need an Rx for it though. Once your vet gives you a copy of it just take it to the vet inside of pet smart and they will print you a card. Everytime you go to buy it just show the cashier your card.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:01 PM
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Magoo's Mom Magoo's Mom is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Bonita Springs, FL
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Default Re: Indie - Border Terrier mix - Looking for suggestions

Hi and welcome!
I am having a tough time getting my little guy Magoo regulated as well. Fortunately, I have a great vet who encourages home testing. He even helped me learn. First of all it is better for the dog and secondly, it is cheaper than having him do it. He says he can just analyze the results for me. I am just learning to home test and getting better at it each day. You did not mention if you are urine testing. This can be as important as the blood work. If you dog is passing Ketones that is something the vet would want to know right away.
Magoo has not so far, thank God. I check him every chance I get. I bought a long handled spoon and try to do it with his first pee of the day and then later in the day. You can get the strips at any drug store. Bayer makes them and most drug stores have their own brand also. You just catch his urine in a clean container and stick in the strip. Wait 15 seconds and match the color to the chart on the bottle. Good luck with Indie. You have come to the right place for help.
Mr. Magoo, 10 yr.old Morkie, diagnosed 2/2/16. 3U Vetsulin once a day. Royal Canin gastro wet food.
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