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  #1  
Old 06-23-2014, 09:20 AM
arcticcatzgirl arcticcatzgirl is offline
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Question Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

Hello,
My 4 year old female Siberian Husky was diagnosed with diabetes about a month ago and we have been trying to get her regulated on Novolin N insulin and have completely changed her diet from dry food (Rachel Ray's Nutrish) to fresh chicken/beef twice a day. At first we tried 20 units of insulin for two weeks which seemed to work but then it started not to.

We have been increasing her units slightly over the last few weeks and it seems that the more insulin she is getting, the higher her blood sugar levels are getting and staying that way. The vet has her on 34 units now. I can't get her glucose levels lower than 400 and before I was able to get it in the upper 200's.

Anyone else experience this issue?

Thanks,
Lisa
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:53 AM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

Hi and welcome to the forum. I have to say I am quite concerned that you have gone from 20 units to 34 units in a month's time. That is pretty quick. Plus, if a lower dose did work for some time and now higher doses are pushing her higher, then that points to overdose. When you raise that rapidly without letting a dose settle, then unfortunately, you can pass the correct dose. Without knowing everything, that is my first impression.

My dog was initially overdosed and amazingly her body help up pretty good. I was blissfully unaware with a vet who was in way over her head. It all came crashing down eventually and I almost lost her to a hypoglycemic seizure. But, a new vet and some research by me and she has done pretty good - she is almost at the seven year mark.

We can help you. First, if you could give more info, that would be great.

How much does your dog weigh? Is she spayed? Are you feeding twice daily followed by her insulin shot? Are her meals twelve hours apart? Are you home testing her blood sugar? If so, what monitor do you use? Do you have any curves that you could post - either from the vet or yourself?

Sorry for all the questions but all of this is relevant.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:14 AM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

i agree with amy its very possible you went past the dose that was needed . its possible the 20 units may have been to much

a clue to overdosing is as amy suggested with every raise to the dose the numbers actually get worse .

you did have a food change did you get better numbers on the other food . sometimes that can have a big affect also
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:54 AM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

How is her blood sugar being monitored? Does she get serial blood glucose curves either at the vet or at home?

If only spot readings are being done, there's a good chance you're missing lower blood sugar at other times of the day. Curves are a must to determine a dose of insulin, which has to be based on the LOWEST blood sugar in 12 hours, not the highest.

And that low and high can occur at any time. Some dogs have "mountain" curves with lowest blood sugar at meal time and highest blood sugar in the middle of the day. A spot check in the middle of the day is terribly misleading for such dogs.

I would need to know how much she weighs to know whether her current dose of insulin is pretty normal or is abnormally high or low.

Another possibility is that she still had some insulin-producing ability when first diagnosed so needed less injected but now no longer produces any insulin of her own and needs more injected.

So... we need a lot more information - how much she weighs, whether curves are being done, the results of any curves that have been done, and how quickly her insulin dose has been increased.

Natalie
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:58 AM
arcticcatzgirl arcticcatzgirl is offline
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Default Re: Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

Hello,
Thanks for your response.

How much does your dog weigh? --- 58 pounds

Is she spayed? --- No, she is not which is my own fault for waiting.

Are you feeding twice daily followed by her insulin shot? --- Yes

Are her meals twelve hours apart? --- Yes, 7AM/7PM

Are you home testing her blood sugar? --- Yes, with AlphaTrak2

Do you have any curves that you could post - either from the vet or yourself? --- I just got the AlphaTrak2 meter on Thursday of last week and will be doing my own curve this week. I just order more tests strips so I will need to wait until I get them to do it. I was using a Contour meter but, the results were very inconsistent.


I have to say, it does make sense that she is being overdosed right now. There is no reason why at 34 units given at 7am that by 2pm her sugar is still high at 541, that should be her low point. Now mind you, at the time of her diagnoses, she had a UTI/bladder infection that has now since been addresses and is no longer present. Now that I think about this, her having the bladder infection, UTI, and being dehydrated I would not be surprised if she passed her proper dosage like you are stating.

The fear of her body all of the sudden catching up with the dosage and then getting hypoglycemic is very scary. I am going to plan on decreasing her dosage gradually. I don't care what the vet says, it's my dog.


Her dosage increases by DATE:

First diagnosed on: 5/27/14 - first initial dose 14 units

5/29/14 - 5/30/14 - 20 units (she was in the hospital those two days because of her dehydration and lethargy, vet boosted insulin to 20 units)

5/31/14 - 6/6/14 - 24 units

6/7/14 - 6/13/14 - 26 units (around this time is when her glucose numbers where her lowest however, that was with the Contour meter so I am not sure how accurate it was. After this she started to climb back up.)

6/14/14 - 6/20/14 - 28 units

6/21/14 - PRESENT - 34 units


I do have a notepad with the glucose readings from the start of all this that I could scan and post but, I am at work and don't have it with me.

Last edited by arcticcatzgirl; 06-23-2014 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

Yikes!! I would immediately reduce her insulin to at most 21 units. Very few dogs - even unspayed female dogs - would need 34 units twice a day when weighing only 58 pounds. She very likely is overdosed, possibly severely.

Until she is spayed, she is going to be a very difficult and high risk diabetic and needs to be spayed as soon as possible.

As she goes in and out of heat, she could go from needing NO insulin at all to needing 20 units or more twice a day. And it's not always easy to tell when that change is going to occur. Which can make diabetes life-threatening in an unspayed dog.

Has she ever had a curve done?

Natalie
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:11 PM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

At 58 pounds, her starting dose at 1/5 per pound should have been 11 units. And many vets would have started even lower.

Until you get her spayed, it is going to be extremely difficult to regulate her. Hormones create very unstable blood sugar. I would schedule it asap.

Also, I have serious reservations about this vet. That dose was ridiculous and they should have suggested spaying her immediately.

Don't feel bad about anything - nobody sees this coming or is really prepared for it. It is great that you are testing at home and you can get this going the right way.

I wouldn't gradually reduce her - I would cut her dose as Natalie suggested.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:19 PM
arcticcatzgirl arcticcatzgirl is offline
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Default Re: Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

The vet did do a spot check every 2 hours but for only about 8 hours when she was in the hospital so I am not sure if that is considered a glucose curve? I am having the vet fax that to me now. If I remember right, her numbers were between upper 300's to upper 200's and that was on 24 units and at that time she still had the UTI pretty bad.

I am really just so worried that this outrageous increase in insulin has now done irreversible damage to her body. Whether that means that she can longer create insulin on her own or worse. I just really hope I don't lose her.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

The main risk is life-threatening low blood sugar when the hormones levels are low and life-threatening ketoacidosis when the hormone levels are high.

For a while, their bodies can compensate for too much insulin by releasing stored glucose that's held in reserve. But chronic overdosing can exhaust those reserves, making them unable to recover from an injection of too much insulin.

Where is she in the heat cycle at the moment?

Experiences like yours with excessive increases in insulin unfortunately are somewhat common. I shudder to think how many dogs' caretakers never reach out for help. This forum exists because of the kinds of problems you have encountered.

The readings every 2 hours are a curve. At home you will be able to do a much more comprehensive one, and one that involves her normal daily routine instead of being confined at the vet.

Sounds like 21 units is a good place to cut back to but then test and see how she does with that after she's had a few days to adjust to the smaller dose.

Natalie
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:50 PM
arcticcatzgirl arcticcatzgirl is offline
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Default Re: Trying to regulate newly diagnosed Husky

Both hypoglycemia and the ketoacidosis really scare the crap out of me.

It seems like the hypoglycemia is something that she is so far from having right now and is closer to getting ketoacidosis but you guys know more than I do since I am brand new to this whole thing. I do have say that the information you guys are giving me is extremely helpful.

I am going to reduce her insulin tonight Now, what is the immediate worst case scenario with this change? Ketoacidoses? Or is there anything? I mean, obviously the insulin isn't doing much of anything anymore.

Her last heat cycle was in mid-April.

The curve the vet did was:

Date: 5/30/14

Glucose Levels: (This was with 20 units given at 7am that morning and mind you that being in the hospital would bring her stress and sugar up)
8am - 327
11am - 330
2pm - 341
6pm - 290

Last edited by arcticcatzgirl; 06-23-2014 at 12:54 PM.
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