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Old 11-24-2021, 12:56 AM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 11,356
Default Re: Newbie needing help

Hi Donna,

We have found that some diabetic dogs really need some carbs in their diet to balance out the insulin action. Some so much so that they needed something highly digestible like oatmeal or crackers!

And the response to various carbs varies significantly dog to dog. Some dogs have been given oatmeal and gotten lovely flattening of a curve when added to a mostly protein diet. Others have had their blood sugar go through the roof shortly after a meal that included oatmeal.

It's all very dog dependent.

WD does work well for many diabetic dogs and can require a reduction in insulin. I know many aren't a fan of the ingredients, but I've been on forums for diabetic dogs since 2004 and I've seen a LOT of dogs do fantastically well on it and live long healthy happy lives.

So if the current food doesn't seem to be working, it is worth considering it so long as no allergies to the ingredients.

It's also important to consider potential honeymooning, which can make an insulin look like a fabulous choice in the beginning but turn out to be a poor choice they totally lose their ability to produce any insulin of their own.

Our dog's diabetes was caught early and he honeymooned for months with very flat curves and blood sugar too low. We dropped the dose repeatedly until he was almost off of insulin. But then, when the honeymoon was over, we found that the insulin we had been giving wasn't a good match for him at all. His blood sugar climbed for hours and then dropped sharply approaching his next meal. We got much better control when we changed insulins.

So curves are the key.

And never change something based on a single high blood sugar reading.

Things happen, including high readings out of nowhere that do not require an adjustment. The insulin dose should always be based on how LOW the blood sugar is going. And then, if there is a big difference between highest and lowest blood sugar, you can adjust diet and/or timing to obtain a flatter curve.

It all starts with a curve or two or three on a stable regimen so you can see exactly what is happening during the day on that regimen. If you post the curve, we can see if adjustments are needed.

Not sure if you've read Chris' case history, but we went to the vet who wrote the book on canine diabetes used to teach vets all over the country. He was terrible... and eventually we wound up managing our dog's diabetes on our own. It's not where you start - you need to gain experience with your dog's version of food and insulin and exercise. But over time, with home testing you can become much more knowledgeable about Max's "book" than a vet could ever be.

On a side note, we have a dog now who wasn't on grain free but still may have been affected by inadequate taurine. He developed a heart murmur five or six years ago and we have been supplementing with taurine every since. That was on the advice of a veterinary cardiologist - possibly outside the knowledge of many general practice veterinarians. He's just recently started taking Vetmedin as his leaky valve has gotten a bit worse.


Originally Posted by MomtoMax View Post
So I went to my vet appointment today and it was as bad as I expected it to be… I honestly think I know more about diabetes than she did… She read the curves, then asked me what I fed. I told her Acana Heritage meat and she immediately brought out a spreadsheet (from Hills Science Diet I might add) that showed Acana to be the worst in the ongoing battle about cardiac disease in grain free diets… I’ve read the published articles about this and I know it’s from too much pea protein, which Acana doesn’t have much of. But she persisted. I also told her I do supplement with Taurine, which she had not heard of??? This is where the whole grain-free debacle stated from??? WHF? Anyway, she was more interested in trying to find something wrong with his heart (which she couldn’t) than helping him with his diabetes…
When I asked about a fast acting insulin, she also had no idea what that was???
She insisted if I put him on Hills W/D, his problems would go away, and if they didn’t, he’d need to see an internal medicine specialist at the school she recently graduated from… And that gives me what hope?
I bought a bag of the food she recommended and left there very disappointed and about $300 poorer. We’re on our own now….
Donna and Max
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