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K9 Biographies / Stories A place for you to post your "story" about your dog, including details of diagnosis, treatment, and management of your dog's diabetes; other medical issues; diets; and any other history or information about your dog that you care to share.

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Old 05-10-2016, 08:05 PM
morriscjm morriscjm is offline
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Join Date: May 2016
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Default My Sweet Emma Mary

I am not even sure how to begin my Emma Mary's story. I guess I will start from the beginning....
When I decided to adopt a dog, I knew I wanted an older dog from a rescue organization. I started looking on-line at local rescues and came across Emma's sweet looking disposition. I adopted her in August 2012 and was dedicated to giving her a great life. Emma (more later on why "Mary" was added to her name) was a Keeshond mix, about 7 years old, with a tri-color coat ( a very soft coat indeed!) She absolutely loved her twice daily walks, rides in the car (she always tried to get on my lap), going to the park (if the park had grass, even better), snuggling on the couch, tummy rubs, teeth cleanings, and using her plush toys (in the shape of bones) as pillows to sleep on. She was the sweetest dog albeit shy/nervous around dogs in general and would whine and bark but was never aggressive. Emma was very social and loved meeting people on our daily walks. I had a lot of nicknames for Emma - Emma girl, baby girl, monkey butt, sweet angel pie, snookie cookie wookie, rascal muffin. Do you sense a theme? It was because she was so sweet!

Emma was diagnosed with Diabetes in December, 2012. She was urinating all over the rug and tile floors and I didn't know why. I took her to the vet and that's when they told me. I didn't know anything about Diabetes except that one of my uncle's had it and he eventually died from gangrene. I learned how to give her insulin shots ( a miracle considering I hate needles of any kind) and everything seemed good for a while. I wanted Emma to have a great life, in spite of this chronic disease. But Emma was special and a very hard dog to get regulated on her insulin. When my vet couldn't do it and Emma started vomiting and wouldn't eat, she referred me to a specialist. This was the first time she had Ketoacidosis and she was hospitalized for 3 days. She was also prone to frequent urinary tract infections (UTI's), common to dogs who are Diabetic. I had a doggie door installed about a year and a half after her diagnosis (the one that you can put in the sliding glass door) and the UTI's were less frequent but still came around once a year. The vet specialist was able to get her regulated for a few months at most but then she would need to go back and have the usual glucose curves and fructosimine tests done, blood work, etc. Around July 2015, she had a horrible seizure. This was a horrible sight to see and I never wanted her to go through that again. After giving her some honey, I rushed her to the emergency vet and her blood sugar was around 70. The specialist tried so many different types of insulins, different combinations, multiple tests to rule out all the reasons she could be insulin resistance, other disorders, and so on. You name it, he tried it. Her second hospitalization for Ketoacidosis came in July 2015. Again, she recovered and was home in 3 days. He told me some dogs are just so hard to regulate. He even took her home with him for several weeks (twice he did this, mind you) to try and help her get regulated. Nothing seemed to work. Emma was one of those hard to regulate dogs but I loved her and made a commitment to give her the best life I possibly could. In Nov/Dec, the specialist put her on Lantus and Hills w/d. All seemed fine for a few months. I had the animal hospital check her blood sugar on a weekend I was away and had her hospital boarded. Her blood sugar was ok at 175. This was in mid-March. About a month later, I noticed a discharge coming from her vulva after she urinated. I took her to my regular vet a few days later and had them do a urine test. No blood in the urine but she the discharge was still happening. The vet did a vaginal culture, urine culture, some type of antibiotic sensitivity test, and a senior screen. While I was waiting for the final sensitivity test, the vet called and said her blood sugar was 590. I told her I was going to increase her insulin and have her blood checked in a few days. My dog was drinking and urinating so much after that and then she vomited really bad. I rushed her to the emergency vet. I told the emergency vet what was going on with Emma Mary and the tests she had had done, etc. They wanted to do an ultrasound as they suspected Pancreatitis. I got a call from the doctor and my dog had Ketoacidosis and Pancreatitis. Her blood sugar was still 590. She was in the hospital for 5 days, not eating, still on short-acting insulin because they couldn't get her to eat (and thus couldn't get her on long-acting insulin). I just couldn't stand to see my Emma girl suffer like that anymore. She wasn't herself - the last two times she had Ketoacidosis, she recovered fairly quickly - this time was different. When the doctor wanted to talk about options with me, I went to the emergency hospital. The doctors knew her history of not being able to get regulated. They even asked if she seemed better. I was like, No, not really. I know what my dog looks like when she is better. She was not eating and becoming anorexic. This was not a good quality of life. I had the chance to be with Emma Mary before the doctor came in and all I wanted for my Emma Mary to have was a great life and I gave that to her.

Deciding to put my sweet Emma Mary to sleep on 4/29/16 at my regular animal hospital was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I miss her so much but she was suffering with Diabetes and the complications there of. My Emma Mary was the sweetest dog (I added the name Mary to her name in honor of my own mom who passed away in April 2014) and on her final hour she got to go for a walk, a car ride, and sniff the green grass. Her peaceful spirit can now run, run and play free from Diabetes, insulin, needles, infections, ketones, and hospitalizations. Her final resting place will be with me, Always. Thank you for letting me share my story with you about my sweet Emma Mary. I needed to do this as part of my grieving process. I am glad I found this forum. Colleen

Last edited by morriscjm; 05-12-2016 at 03:30 PM. Reason: add a picture of my dog
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:26 AM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 11,328
Default Re: My Sweet Emma Mary

Colleen, I am so sorry to hear that you lost your adorable Emma Mary... And thank you for sharing your story of her.

Most of us, I think, found that the routine of diabetes management created a really unique bond with our dog. One that we cherish and that also tears the heart even more when they pass.

My diabetic dog has been gone almost 8 years now... it will be 8 years this summer... Sometimes it seems like a long time ago and sometimes it seems like last week.

Our diabetic and the dog we have now both came from shelter / rescue and I now volunteer at the local shelter. I know how blessed Emma Mary was to become a cherished member of your loving family.

Sending her a kiss skyward and a hug to you.

You are always welcome to tell us more about Emma Mary and your life together. Before and during diabetes. Totally up to you whether it would be helpful to have a place to talk about her where everyone understands what you went through.

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Old 05-14-2016, 04:30 PM
morriscjm morriscjm is offline
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Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 2
Default Re: My Sweet Emma Mary


Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it. I picked up Emma Mary's ashes and paw print on Thursday evening. I am so glad she is home with me now. I think the hardest part right now is not seeing her when I come home after work. She was so happy to see me and, well you know, wanted to go for her walk. There are so many great memories of her in every room in the house. I miss snuggling with her, which we did after dinner, while watching tv.

Before I forget, how can I add her picture? I tried but it says the file name is not correct or something like that. It can't be that hard. If you could tell me, I can show everyone my beautiful angel.

Since I rescued her, the only info I got was that she belonged to an elderly couple and the wife passed away and the husband couldn't take care of her. My gut tells me she may have already been diabetic when I got her since it wasn't long before she was diagnosed.

Anyway, every so often I may reply and tell more stories of my Emma Mary. It was just the two of us and boy do I miss her. Thanks again,
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