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My Max, one year since diagnosis

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  • My Max, one year since diagnosis

    My dog has just been diagnosed with diabetes. He is a terrier mix and is only 4 yrs old. My vet said that it is almost a for sure thing that my boy will be blind and possibly in a matter of months, maybe even weeks. I am looking for some honest feedback on what kind of "quality of life" issues we may be facing....
    Max is a 17lb terrier mix. Born 1/2014.
    Diagnosed diabetic 3/2018.
    8 units Novolin N twice a day.
    Nature's Recipe Grain Free

  • #2
    Re: New to all this....

    Hi,
    Other more experienced folks will have comments also, but don't be too worried about the cataracts at this point, concentrate on treating the disease. Some dogs will lose their vision but others do not. Mollie was diagnosed about 1 year ago and has cataracts, she has not lost her vision even though the cataracts do affect her vision in the dark a bit, she is just very cautious when walking around in very dark or shady places. There are other members who do have dogs that are blind and the dogs appear to have adapted well to blindness
    You can also search the forum for cataracts or blindness and find posts on the subject
    Miss Mollie, rescue pup, Malti-Poo, 12 years old, 10 pounds, diagnosed on 4/3/2017
    She is eating Hills w/d, kibble 1/4 c green beans, 1 tbsp Pumpkin 2X a day, insulin is Novolin currently at 6 units 2X a day
    Using AlphaTrack2 for home testing

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    • #3
      Re: New to all this....

      hi and welcome

      No guarantees either way but my feeling the more you put into the management of the disease the better the outcome
      Jesse-26 lbs - 16.5 years old ,11 years diabetic, one meal a day homemade and a vitabone snack . 3 shots of Novolin( under the Relion name ) a day . Total insulin for a 24 hour period is 6.5 units of NPH insulin .
      Jesse earned her wings on 6/21/2021

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New to all this....

        Most dogs are really unfazed by losing vision - they just donít value it on emotional terms. Dogs are so much more able to live in the moment and just carry on and adapt. There are exceptions to this - my Maggie was one. She lost her vision practically overnight and was just paralyzed with fear. We ended up having cataract surgery and her vision was restored but ironically as she got older, it started gradually going again and she was not upset at all. Maggie had an abusive past before I got her and had the worst separation anxiety. She had to be sedated to be in a kennel at all. I suspect that had something to do with her reaction to blindness.

        Beyond blindness, there really arenít the type of long term side effects that many humans have with diabetes. Very few have extensive organ damage or the types of healing issues humans do.

        Diabetes makes them susceptible to things like pancreatitis and dry eyes, but if you keep them on a low fat diet and be very consistent with the schedule of feeding and shots, and testing blood sugar periodically, your dog can have a relatively normal life span. My Maggie was diagnosed at 7 and lived almost 9 additional years with diabetes. She had a very good life and in the end, it wasnít even diabetes. She had developed very painful cervical spine damage and I couldnít bear that pain. She had fought too hard to suffer like that.
        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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        • #5
          Re: New to all this....

          The consensus among most experienced vets who treat diabetes is dogs will show signs of cataracts with six months of developing diabetes. Scooter has them but can still get around fine. I am attempting to treat them with drops and supplements. That can take time. For some dogs it works, for others not so much.

          It is important, if your dog does get them, to have him tested for glaucoma every few months. The increase in eye pressure can damage the eye to the point having surgery is not possible.

          Finally, get his blood glucose levels under control as quickly as possible. Levels below 250 can at least delay the full onset of cataracts and perhaps slow their progression.
          Diagnosed 9/15/17. A 17 lb. terrier mutt, 15 years old. My bestest friend. Novolin N 6U, Novolin R 3U, 2X/day. Cesar Classics 3.5 oz. packets w/ 4 tbsps of old fashion Quaker Oats, 2x day. Probiotic every 3 or 4 days. Omega 3, two 300 mg. capsules 1X/day for skin. Occuguard Plus, Billberry, Lutein, Vit E, Vit C every meal for eyes.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New to all this....

            Not sure why your vet would say with such certainty that cataracts will develop. My vet told me it's the most common side effect, but in no way did she predict a time frame, or even that it would happen. It's different with every dog.

            As for quality of life, get it under control, take your time with it, be consistent and methodical, and they can lead a normal life, much like a human diabetic.
            Riley, 8 yr. old maltipoo, 25 lbs., diagnosed Feb 2017, taking thyroid meds, had pancreatitis and DKA mid March, eating Wellness Senior formula can food. NPH dosage now at 9.0 units Humulin N. Adding either pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, yams, or green beans to his food. Also omega-3 oil.

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            • #7
              Re: New to all this....

              Originally posted by Raysaint View Post
              Not sure why your vet would say with such certainty that cataracts will develop. My vet told me it's the most common side effect, but in no way did she predict a time frame, or even that it would happen. It's different with every dog.
              Both my regular BCI, board certified internist, and the one I will see at the same practice "in a pinch" for simple work, have broached the subject. The latter being a bit more direct.

              Also, all the data I have read suggests the same thing. They start to appear around the 6th month of diabetes diagnosis. Yes, that can vary by dog and no, not all dogs will get them just as not all dogs will develop diabetes.

              I'd rather have that information upfront so I can both be prepared when it happens and be in a position to try and do something about it, now, if I can.

              Knowledge is power, I believe. The whole point of this forum.

              The high sugar is what will cause the crystals to form in the eyes causing the cloudy result and loss of vision over time. Keeping those BC levels as close to normal (80 to 120) is key to controlling their formation.

              Beyond diet, there are also supplements that can potentially help to delay the onset of cataracts. I'm using the Occuguard capsules mixed in Scooters food each meal plus giving him a Vit. E and Billberry in some cheese twice a day. These antioxidants have been shown to help the eyes maintain good health with the Billberry shown to strengthen the micro capillaries in the eyes.

              This board certified veterinarian othamologist describes it fairly well.

              https://youtu.be/MxWi9FZSrEM
              Last edited by Scooterspal; 03-29-2018, 04:03 AM.
              Diagnosed 9/15/17. A 17 lb. terrier mutt, 15 years old. My bestest friend. Novolin N 6U, Novolin R 3U, 2X/day. Cesar Classics 3.5 oz. packets w/ 4 tbsps of old fashion Quaker Oats, 2x day. Probiotic every 3 or 4 days. Omega 3, two 300 mg. capsules 1X/day for skin. Occuguard Plus, Billberry, Lutein, Vit E, Vit C every meal for eyes.

              Comment


              • #8
                Out of control barking!

                Hi,
                My dog Max is diabetic and this forum has been a great resource for me. Even though this post is not related to his diabetes I was hoping someone here may have some advice for me. Max is a terrier and as you would expect is a barker, but his barking and "screaming" goes way beyond the norm. When he sees another animal he gets so excited that he becomes uncontrollable and begins to shriek and scream. I have tried exposing him to other animals more in hopes he would calm down but it seems to have gotten worse. He gets walked daily and is rarely left alone. Its so bad that other animals get defensive (I understand why) and Im worried that it will cause him to be attacked when we are out walking. Any advice would be appreciated....
                Thanks
                Susan
                Max is a 17lb terrier mix. Born 1/2014.
                Diagnosed diabetic 3/2018.
                8 units Novolin N twice a day.
                Nature's Recipe Grain Free

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Out of control barking!

                  How old is max ? Sometimes as we get older we can get grumpy and defensive . I guess dogs can also . My jesse barks a bit more at dinner time and being a beagle its very loud . I have trained her to speak quiet . She will do it until it doesnt get her point across

                  Only training may help but for older dogs that becomes more difficult . Me and jesse run into a cattle dog named roxy . constantly barks anytime a dog crosses her path and its been that way for the 8 years me and jesse have run into her . We try to work with roxy because jesse is such a calming dog ( except for rabbits and dinner time ) She has gotten a bit better but being that type of breed they want to heard everything

                  Terriers can be very aggressive and its in there nature . Maybe you can work with a friends dog that may help to calm max or maybe some professional training would help
                  Jesse-26 lbs - 16.5 years old ,11 years diabetic, one meal a day homemade and a vitabone snack . 3 shots of Novolin( under the Relion name ) a day . Total insulin for a 24 hour period is 6.5 units of NPH insulin .
                  Jesse earned her wings on 6/21/2021

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Out of control barking!

                    Thanks for your reply,
                    Max just turned 5yrs old. He does the normal excited barking when Im getting his food ready or when someone comes to the door, thats fine, its the screaming ear piercing uncontrollable frenzy thats the problem. It sounds aggressive but its him being excited. He isnt wanting to engage other dogs in an aggressive way but unfortunately other animals think he is.
                    Max is a 17lb terrier mix. Born 1/2014.
                    Diagnosed diabetic 3/2018.
                    8 units Novolin N twice a day.
                    Nature's Recipe Grain Free

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Out of control barking!

                      If it's a newly developed behavior it may be worth a vet visit. My diabetic boy had an obsessive love of barking (was a mixed breed with strong herding instincts). Over the years his barking got out of control. About six months after being diagnosed diabetic, he was diagnosed as being hypothyroid. Some of the earliest signs of hypothyroidism in dogs can be behavioral changes. This belief is somewhat controversial and not all vets believe that low thyroid levels cause behavioral challenges, however, it was something my family experienced first hand. Some vets also believe that hypothyroidism does not occur in younger dogs and will only test their T4 levels. A T4 level is less expensive but will not give you accurate answers. Your vet will need to run a full thyroid panel to accurately assess thyroid levels (especially in a diabetic, as the diabetes alone can cause the T4 level to be low).


                      A twice daily, inexpensive pill allowed my dog to regain the balance he'd started to lose when he was about three years old. He was eight when his hypothyroidism was dx.
                      Holli & Decker // diagnosed November 5th, 2011 // Journeyed to the bridge January 26th, 2013, surrounded by his family at home // 9 years old // Levemir insulin // Hypothyroid // C1-C5 cervical spinal lesion // weight 87 lbs // Run with the wind my sweet boy. Run pain free. Holding you close in my heart till we meet again!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Out of control barking!

                        Just one more thing to add me and jesse would run into a small poodle who would just scream on walk like a child if he saw another dog . It was quite a spectacle and me and jesse worked with that dog also . The owner did do some training and was able to gain more control of the situation . It took allot of work and consistency to make progress

                        I give you credit for continuing to take max out on walks as i know it must be stressful hope you can find a solution
                        Jesse-26 lbs - 16.5 years old ,11 years diabetic, one meal a day homemade and a vitabone snack . 3 shots of Novolin( under the Relion name ) a day . Total insulin for a 24 hour period is 6.5 units of NPH insulin .
                        Jesse earned her wings on 6/21/2021

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Out of control barking!

                          I agree with checking for a medical issue such as hypothyroidism.

                          If all seems fine physically, find a good positive-methods-only trainer to help you.

                          His barking could be frustration because he wants to play but it also could be an expression of fear of other dogs and he barks to tell them to stay away from him.

                          Regardless of the source of the behavior, some simple training techniques can make a big difference. For example, one thing trainers do is show your dog that the sight of other dogs makes treats "rain from the sky" and so is a positive thing, especially if he is scared. And even if not scared, distracting him with treats teaches him over time to ignore other dogs. You can also distract him by working on other behaviors, such as sit or heel or tricks - replacing his barking with some kind of fun interaction and treats as rewards. If he's concentrating on you, he won't be concentrating on the other dogs.

                          A good trainer could really help you out with just a session or two and sometimes classes are another good way to deal with this.

                          Many more dogs are fearful than people realize. Even terriers!

                          We have a dog who was so fearful that he would bite what scared him. We worked with a really great behaviorist and also ultimately gave him anti-anxiety medication because he was so fearful - he still needs management, but our walks are a joy. He ignores other dogs and people and just enjoys himself because he feels safe.

                          Natalie

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My Max, one year since diagnosis

                            Hello,

                            The first thing I want to say is thanks to all the members here for the valuable information I have gotten from following your posts. It was scary at first, and I didnt have a clue how we were going to get through this but here we are one year later and Max is doing great! So far no cataracts and any issues that have come up have been minor.
                            When he was first diagnosed I was overwhelmed. The shots were so awkward and I was consumed with the "what if's" These days the feeding schedule/injections are routine and no big deal. I no longer look at him as a sick dog..... he's my baby just like he has always been.

                            To anyone new at this, there is hope!
                            Max is a 17lb terrier mix. Born 1/2014.
                            Diagnosed diabetic 3/2018.
                            8 units Novolin N twice a day.
                            Nature's Recipe Grain Free

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: My Max, one year since diagnosis

                              Congratulations to max and you making a great team to get max to enjoying a dogs life .

                              It really isnt a big deal and it all becomes a new normal
                              Jesse-26 lbs - 16.5 years old ,11 years diabetic, one meal a day homemade and a vitabone snack . 3 shots of Novolin( under the Relion name ) a day . Total insulin for a 24 hour period is 6.5 units of NPH insulin .
                              Jesse earned her wings on 6/21/2021

                              Comment

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