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-   -   My Max, one year since diagnosis (http://k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7871)

Susan M 03-27-2018 03:12 AM

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....

KathyLindly 03-27-2018 02:40 PM

Re: New to all this....
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

jesse girl 03-27-2018 03:29 PM

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

amydunn19 03-27-2018 06:24 PM

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.

Scooterspal 03-28-2018 03:35 AM

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.

Raysaint 03-28-2018 10:42 AM

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.

Scooterspal 03-29-2018 03:53 AM

Re: New to all this....

Originally Posted by Raysaint (Post 164500)
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.


Susan M 01-30-2019 05:18 PM

Out of control barking!
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....

jesse girl 01-30-2019 06:05 PM

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

Susan M 01-30-2019 11:56 PM

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.

momofdecker 01-31-2019 05:55 AM

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.

jesse girl 01-31-2019 09:00 AM

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

k9diabetes 02-01-2019 04:02 PM

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.


Susan M 03-02-2019 12:33 AM

My Max, one year since diagnosis

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!

jesse girl 03-02-2019 07:06 AM

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

k9diabetes 03-02-2019 11:00 PM

Re: My Max, one year since diagnosis
Aw!!!! Congratulations to you and Max - wishing you many many more Sugarversaries :)


MikeMurphy 03-03-2019 04:51 AM

Re: My Max, one year since diagnosis

Congrats to you and Max!

amydunn19 03-05-2019 10:17 PM

Re: My Max, one year since diagnosis
Congrats on a year! You are doing great! Once you get past the learning stage, it becomes your routine and life goes on. I didnít realize how strong I was until Maggie became diabetic.

Susan M 10-29-2021 12:13 PM

I havent been on here for a while but have always gotten great info and
help here. My 7 yrs old terrier mix has been diabetic for over 3 yrs. He recently
spent the night at the vet (mid sept) and had to get his insulin increased. He
is on 8 units twice a day. He has been fine until today. He threw up about an
hr after eating and started acting paranoid. He was walking backwards and
had his tail tucked between his legs. His back legs looked wobbly and weak.
I should also mention that the vet thinks he possibly has cushings. We have
not as of yet confirmed that. On our way to the vet now....

Riliey and Mo 10-29-2021 12:54 PM

Re: Stroke?
hi Susan

8 units seems alot for 17 lbs. a starting dose would be 4 units.

were curves done each week ? can you post recent curve just to see how you got up to 8units

i dont know just guessing as theres not enough info.

when was the insulin increased? 2 weeks ago?
if he got ill after the 8 unit injection he might have had a hypo incident?
what was his bg at that time?
was there any other changes health wise?

Susan M 10-30-2021 12:03 AM

Re: Stroke?
He was at 7-1/2 units until it was increased to 8 in mid sept.
He was started at 5 units when he was diagnosed over 3 years ago.
Always did curve with vet to verify his numbers and make sure. It was not a hypo incident. In fact when I got to the vet he was totally normal. Vet didnt think it was a stroke but Im not sure I agree. Im going to start checking bg at home. I have been apprehensive but I know he needs to be checked more often and Its so costly at the vets office.

Riliey and Mo 10-30-2021 02:55 AM

Re: Stroke?
because the problem started around an hour after insulin its a good possibility he had a hypo .

home testing relieves alot of stress not knowing. you.ve done a few years of clear sailing without testing. its probably time to know more.

and knowing what their blood sugar is before they eat, then after they eat if its below 200 wait till its over before injecting insulin, test half hour after food if bg is high theirs usually too much food, testing 1 1/2 hours after insulin will tell you if the food and insulin have met up.

if this happens again test right away .get him to eat his vomit or refeed him even put some alittle karo syrup on his gums, treat if it is hypo bring up his blood sugar. i always had a bottle of syrup on the kitchen counter. if he doesnt eat inject 1/4 of his insulin.

theres a few good human meters to buy and the Alphatrack for dogs you can get on amazon. FYI buy extra strips to start off with.

i tested Riles on his upper lip a good blood supply. put him between my knees started the meter, sound off on meter, jabbed with just the lancet not the device
hopefully it wasnt a stroke. am assuming hes had a recent wellness checkup.

jesse girl 10-30-2021 07:19 AM

Re: Stroke?
Loosing his food and a full dose of insulin could lead to a low blood sugar event and once levels come up they can come back to normal like nothing happened
Hard to say with not knowing blood sugar levels . Remember what's tested at the vets office maybe once a month or longer doesn't say what's going on at home

You have been doing this for a while so it may have been a flare up of the pancreas also which is something we see with diabetic dogs so something maybe to check while at the vet . Especially if you continue to see digestive issues

Hopefully its just an odd ball event and yes I would get a meter . I used a budget human meter on jesse her entire diabetic life . They are not perfect but they give a good idea where your dog is trending as far as blood sugar and most meters are fairly close at the lowest levels where you need to know the most

Susan M 10-30-2021 11:14 AM

Re: Stroke?
jesse girl,
I have followed your posts for a long time. It keeps me hopeful when I see that someone managed their pet for so many years as you did. Its good to know that it is possible.
I am getting a meter and will be monitoring at home soon. Im sure I will be needing advice and support with that too! I am so grateful for everyone here. This forum and the dedicated members have been my best resource for managing Max's diabetes. Thanks to all of you!!!!

k9diabetes 11-24-2021 01:09 AM

Re: My Max, one year since diagnosis
There are a few possibilities but low blood sugar is definitely one of them because he threw up and so had no food to go with his insulin.

In response to seriously low blood sugar, the liver releases some sugar to prevent severe hypoglycemia. It basically "corrects" the problem. Which is the basis for "rebound hyperglycemia" - that, in response to too much insulin and resulting low blood sugar, the liver dumps a bunch of sugar into the bloodstream, causing the BG to go from very low to very high.

I have low blood sugar myself occasionally unrelated to diabetes. If it doesn't go terribly low, I can just ride it out and let my body get back on track. But if it's dropping too quickly and too far, I eat something sugary to avoid having shaking and, worse yet, a potential seizure.

Dogs chronically going extremely low because of dosing errors can exhaust their supply of backup glucose and suffer fatal hypoglycemia.


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