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  #21  
Old 01-03-2021, 09:56 PM
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Thanks for the info everybody!
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  #22  
Old 05-09-2021, 08:59 PM
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Today is Pippi’s 2nd Year Sugarversary. She turned 12 years old on March 29. She still has bright clear eyes with no cataracts. For those new to this site, there is hope that your dog won’t go blind. You just have to be very diligent at keeping their blood glucose under control. Pippi’s Sugarversary, however, is bittersweet.

Pippi has been having gastrointestinal issues on and off for several months, now. She was diagnosed with a clostridium infection back in September 2020 and was put on Flagyl. The infection cleared up and she was back to her normal self again. In January and again in March, she seemed to have another relapse. The flagyl seemed to clear up whatever was going on. But each time she got sick, her symptoms got worse

She got really sick again in early April. She was lethargic and breathing fast and shallow. My regular vet’s office couldn’t get to her until after hours that day. I was so worried about her fast breathing that I decided to take her to another vet as I felt whatever was wrong with her couldn’t wait.

The other vet I took her to said that Pippi had a heart murmur – a grade 3 out of a scale of 1-6. I said no one had told me that before, and she said a mild murmur can go undetected, but can get worse all of a sudden. Pippi’s respirations per minute were around 80 bpm. Her bloodwork showed slightly elevated white blood cell count, but the vet said that she wasn’t worried about this. (Pippi had bloodwork done in January with her regular vet and the white blood cell count was a little elevated and they weren’t concerned about this either, probably because there could be an infection). Everything else in the bloodwork was pretty normal.

The vet also took xrays and said that Pippi had fluid on her lungs and had heart failure. But she said that dogs could live for years with this and didn’t seem to be too concerned about it. She kept Pippi on oxygen for the day and I picked her up that afternoon with heart meds and began doing as instructed. There were glitches here and there, but after we regulated her heart medication, she began doing so much better and seemed pretty much back to normal. Her blood glucose numbers were actually better than they ever had been after being put on the heart meds. I was so encouraged by this. I took her back for a follow-up visit on Thursday, April 21, and the vet was very happy with how everything was going.

Then Sunday, April 25, Pippi crashed again and was worse than ever. She was very lethargic and wouldn’t eat. I made an emergency call and the vet had to meet me up there. The bloodwork showed an abnormally high white blood cell count and her platelets were at 40,000. 200,000 was normal. She had a temp of 103. The vet said that if her platelets got too low, she could bleed spontaneously. So she did an ultrasound and found that Pippi’s lymph nodes in her intestines were really enlarged. She said that she possibly had inflamed bowels which caused the lymph nodes to swell or possibly intestinal lymphoma. She took a sample to send off to a pathology lab. She said intestinal lymphoma is rare in dogs, so I hoped it was just inflamed intestines. When doing the ultrasound, she looked at her other organs and said they all seemed to be normal – no evidence of tumors.

She said that either way – Intestinal Bowel Disease (IBD) or lymphoma, we needed to put Pippi on Prednisone (I think for 6 weeks) and put her back on flagyl again. She said that the Prednisone would make her blood glucose go up and I would have to adjust her insulin for that. I’ve raised her insulin levels, but am still struggling at finding the right doses – especially at night.

I took her back the next Wednesday for another platelet count. The good news was that she was 80,000, so her platelet count was going up. The bad news was the pathology report had come in.

I’d told myself it had to be IBD. That was treatable. But the pathologist report interpretation after looking at the aspirated lymph node stated “histiocytic sarcoma”, not lymphoma. The comments said: The presence of abundant histiocytic cells with atypia is consistent with a histiocytic sarcoma. He did say that granulomatous inflammation (I think this is IBD) is another possibility that cannot be definitely ruled out. But it is less likely due to large numbers of histocytes and atypia seen.

The vet said that a lymph node would need to be removed and sent for a completely positive diagnosis, and if it was for sure this type of aggressive cancer, with chemotherapy, the median survival rate was 8 months. If we did nothing, she might live 6 to 8 weeks. I was in shock. This whole thing has come so out of the blue. This particular cancer is extremely rare.

She mentioned the prednisone will put cancer into remission for about 6 weeks, but if I wanted to start chemo, the sooner we started, the better, as the longer a dog is on prednisone, it is harder for the cancer to be controlled.

I’ve decided not to put her through surgery to extricate a lymph node. And I’m not considering chemo. There still is a slight chance that she has IBD, but even if it is cancer, I just want her to enjoy every moment she has left without surgeries or possibly being sick from chemo for the last months of her life.

Her blood platelet count went down to 30,000 this past Wednesday. The vet has put her back on flagyl again, this time using a low dose for maintenance. This seems to be helping. Since Wednesday, her energy is returning and she seems much more alert and close to her normal self. Strange, I know. I’m hopeful, but I’m also trying to be realistic. I’m going back in for a platelet count this week.

I’m now focusing on getting her blood glucose at normal levels since she is on the prednisone, doing glucose curves and increasing the dose. And I’m taking her every day for walks around the block and to Beck Lake Park. I so want her to be able to see the rabbits for as long as she can.

Last edited by Pippi's Mama; 05-09-2021 at 09:02 PM.
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  #23  
Old 05-10-2021, 07:08 AM
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Happy Sugerversary, Pippi! Keep up the good work.

Bonnie and Angel Crissy Ann
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  #24  
Old 05-11-2021, 07:37 AM
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Jesse had undiagnosed bowl problems with bouts of soft stools and diarrhea and blood at times . I put her on a daily dose of milk thistle permanently a few years ago and knock on wood she has had wonderful stools

Jesse at 16.5 years is my hospice girl meaning there wont be any medical intervention to extend life . We keep her comfortable and give a lot more attention . She has canine cognitive dysfunction which is doggie dementia . I did not put her on medication for that . I added some methyl b-12 as a supplement and we shall see how that goes .She is still present and very loving so we go as far as she wants to

Jesse like pip is physically healthy . great fur. No cataracts after 11 years but hearing maybe completely gone and her eyesight is not what it use to be which is understandable. Rabbit days are long gone but thats ok . She chases them in her dreams

I think for jesse her nutritious homemade diet played a big part in her longevity and health with that supplement of milk thistle . I take it also and it seems to help for me also . Me and her do mostly the same things together and why I think she saved my life because I changed my diet to almost what I designed for jesse . Completely changed my blood work

Hopefully you can figure this out . Its great you managed pips diabetes so well. Maybe you can find a path for that to continue for a long time . Jesse is a good example of that but it was some work figuring out . As my mom always said we only have today

Positive thoughts for Pip and you
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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
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  #25  
Old 05-12-2021, 06:52 PM
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Jesse Girl,


Do you get Milk Thistle at the Health Food Store? So it's good for the intestines? How much would you give a 11 1/2 pound dog?



If Pippi does have Inflammatory Bowel Disease, it seems from reading articles that her diet needs to be changed.



Do you know how much milk thistle she might need? And what do you feed your Jesse? What might be the appropriate amount for Pippi?


I know that all diabetic dogs are different, but I'd love trying some natural remedies. She is still on prednisone, but can't stay on that forever. The flagyl does seem to help. Every time she comes off of it, she crashes.



I'm still having a hard time regulating her, especially at night, but she is in the 200s and 100s a lot. In the middle of the night, however, she can be in the 500s on occasion and I get really worried. I've always been able to control her blood glucose until she was put on the prednisone. It does seem that if I give her 6.5 units after feeding 2x a day and 1 unit at 3:15 a.m. (I don't set my clock, she gets up and wants to go pee and drink lots of water so I check her bg), she's relatively stable. But there are times when things don't make sense with the blood glucose. I have done some bg curves at night, and it seems that 6 units aren't enough. She seems to be doing well until 12:30 a.m. and her blood glucose starts rising until it gets to high levels. Daytime is normally really good, but today at 4:05 p.m., she was 382. Usually, her blood glucose will go down if I walk her, so I walked her around the block, and she was still 382 at 5:15 p.m. so I gave her .5 units. From what I've been experiencing with the prednisone, if I'd waited til her normal 8:30 p.m. feeding time to give the insulin, she'd have been in the 500s or 600s. I just can't handle her getting up that high. Especially since she has been stable for all these years.



I'm going to up the dose to 6.5 tonight and do a curve again. From the couple of curves I've done at night at 6 units, it seems her low is around 11:30 p.m., about 3 hrs. after she has eaten. Then her blood glucose starts increasing slightly between 12:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. After that, I've gone to back to sleep, and Pippi wakes me up around 3:30 a.m. to pee and drink water with a bg at least in the high 300s or into the 500s. I'll give her 1 unit at this point, and by morning at breakfast time, she is back to normal. So I'll start the morning all over again how I mentioned I was doing. So far, I haven't been able to get her to 2x a day like I had before the prednisone. I'm worn out from having to get up at night and from doing glucose curves at night.



She's not her normal self, but doesn't seem to be feeling bad. Just doesn't have lots of energy. I read that prednisone can cause muscle weakness. Maybe that is one reason she seems to get tired on her walk. But blood issues probably cause her to get tired, too.



Please give me some info on the milk thistle and your home feeding. I'd really appreciate it.
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  #26  
Old 05-13-2021, 11:00 AM
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I give Jesse 175 mg a day . and she is 26 pounds . No scientific reason based on amount and weight just wanted to give it a try because her stools had been a struggle . Another thing that seemed to help when I added pinto beans to her homemade diet . She also gets cooked green leaf vegetables ,chicken breast cooked in a pressure cooker I do the same for the pinto beans . A bit of canned mackerel ,sweet potato yam , oatmeal , a hard boiled egg . I also put some grind up to a powder eggshells for some calcium and i sprinkle yeast flakes on top

The other factor I just feed her one meal a day with the hope that would ease digestive problems not having multiple meals but some say smaller and more is better . I cant be sure what helped but I do know she has had wonderful stools for years now where before not so good

Yea its going to get wacky with the steroid . If its given once a day it maybe be a struggle with blood sugar when the steroid is at its strongest and when its weaker blood sugar may improve . So you may have to give a bit more insulin at the time of strength with higher sugar like you suggested .

I give jesse 3 doses of NPH . 2 units with her meal ,3 units 2 hours after that and 3 units in the morning with a milk bone type snack . So as you can see you can create a dosing regiment that may not look like the norm but can work . The key is being consistent

I was very reactionary with jesses blood sugar for her first 6 months just trying to keep her from not sitting high all day . I would use a fast acting insulin and like you did some exercise . It worked Ok but I always wanted a consistent regulation routine and not reactionary and this did it for me

If I was able to figure this out for jesse with her challenges I believe anyone can come up with a dosing strategy that can work for most additional challenged dogs . It just takes being a detective and experiment . For me I am not some medical scientist but I have good common sense and if it made sense I would try it but always being conservative with the dosing to see the affect

Its really cool when you have an idea and apply it and it works . Now many did not but I learned from my accomplishments as well as my failures
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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
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  #27  
Old 05-22-2021, 07:19 PM
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Hi, Jesse Girl,

Thanks so much for your last post about what you feed your Jesse and about the Milk Thistle.

I went to the health food store early last week and found some Milk Thistle Seed extract. After calculating, I have figured out to give 2 drops with her morning meal and 1 drop with her evening meal. This extract doesn’t contain alcohol – only vegetable glycerin and purified water, so I think it will be good for her. I did see some other Milk Thistle Seed capsules that were mixed with other types of herbs, but I didn’t know if those other ingredients would be good for her or not, so I went with the extract.

I have begun to incorporate some of the foods into her food that you feed Jesse, but I’m taking it slow as I don’t want her to get an upset stomach.

After getting her as regulated as I could with the steroids on her own food, I just started giving her boiled chicken yesterday afternoon for a snack and last night with her meal.

This morning, I cut back her dogfood by .6 oz. and added .25 oz. boiled egg, .2 oz. mackerel, and .25 oz. chicken which came out to .7 oz. of those ingredients added. I was a little worried to make a more drastic change at first until I saw how she handled the new food. I thought it might be a good idea to add protein first to see how she does as it won’t make her blood glucose get out of control too much. Tonight, I plan to do the same thing as this morning. Both yesterday and afternoon, I gave her about .3 oz. of boiled chicken as a snack.

I gave 7.5 units insulin like I normally do this morning and checked her blood glucose throughout the day to see how she was doing with the food change. I am encouraged. Even though the numbers are a little higher than I’d like, that is the best all day curve she’s ever had. And she's on steroids!

Here are her numbers after cutting her dogfood back a tad and adding the chicken, mackerel, and egg this morning:

9:15 a.m. – 264 (before feeding)

11:30 a.m. – 254

1:34 p.m. – 193

Took for slow walk around block at 2-3 p.m. Her stool on the walk looked great and firm, so far she’s doing well on the slight food change.

3:15 p.m. – 204

Gave .3 oz. boiled chicken at 3:30 p.m. (She has been losing weight, so I thought it would be o.k. to give her this for a mid-day snack).

5:10 p.m. – 223

8:00 p.m. - 212

Tomorrow morning, I’d like to maybe cut back a little more on her regular dogfood and add more egg, mackerel, and chicken and some greens. Is canned spinach o.k.? I have some that has no salt. Do you think it would be too fast to add some pinto beans? I don’t want her meal to be too heavy on the protein side if I continue to cut back on her dogfood.

What is a good protein/carb ratio? Do you weigh your ingredients? If so, what weight is each ingredient you put in? I know Jessie is 26 lbs. and Pippi is now 10.6 lbs., but I could calculate the difference to get a ball park figure. I weigh everything I put in her food – except I always give her 6 canned green beans morning and night without weighing.

Two weeks ago at her vet visit, her platelet count was only 20,000. Should be around 200,000. The vet had me give her melatonin 2x a day as she said it helps with increasing platelets.

This past Thursday, her platelet count was up to 24,000. Not great, but at least not going down.

She wants Pippi to be given Vincristine, which is a chemotherapy drug, to get her platelets up more. She still thinks Pippi has histiocytic sarcoma and not intestinal bowel disease, even though symptoms can be the same and IBD has not been conclusively ruled out without taking a lymph node.

The vet mentioned that dogs with IBD who have low platelet counts and no cancer at all are still sometimes given Vincristine to help increase blood platelet counts. She said if I did decide to do chemo for histocytic sarcoma, Pippi would actually be given a different chemo drug, not Vincristine, to treat the cancer. But that her blood platelets have to be higher to give the chemo drug she needs as it could cause her platelets to decrease. She said that if I’m going to do this, it needs to be done as soon as possible as this is a very aggressive cancer, and it has been almost a month since the pathology report came back.

Since there is still is a slight chance that she might have IBD (I’m being very hopeful), I thought changing her food might help things while I continue giving her the melatonin to see if her blood platelets continue to increase. I also read that milk thistle may be good at slowing cancer if that indeed is what she has. I don’t want to give her Vincristine unless I absolutely have to – if her platelet counts get dangerously low. They are not at that point right now.

Even if she does have histiocytic sarcoma, I don’t want to put her through chemotherapy treatment. She is actually doing pretty good. Not her normal bubbly self, but she doesn’t act like she feels bad. And she really enjoys her walks even though she gets tired and still loves playing with her toy pig. She did great on her slow walk this afternoon. I am a little worried about her weight loss. She has lost around a pound in the last month, but didn’t seem to lose much weight this past week.

Last edited by Pippi's Mama; 05-22-2021 at 08:04 PM.
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  #28  
Old 05-22-2021, 08:52 PM
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Pips blood sugar is way better than my daughters boyfriend who is type 2 and in the 200s and 300s and thinks that's fine

For me I dont weigh the food but use measuring cup . A third of a cup of grind up vegetable's , pinto beans ,chicken and outmetal . I give a slice of yams ,one hardboiled egg which is small . Use to give 2 but I cut back to one as I wanted to reduce calories as she gets older . I give a tablespoon chunk of mackerel . Now this is her entire meal for the day as she only get one . As you can see I am not a weight weenie and not that exact because it doesn't affect her numbers as the body probably can compensate with small differences in the amount.

I call Jesse my Frankenstein diabetic as I took pieces and parts from other dog diabetics to create her routine . I hoped I was taking the best parts that work for her . Now it was trial and error to finally settle on this routine which took me about a year.

I have used spinach and many others . Not very particular on that but I use a wide range of types and rotate them which again that doesn't have any impact on blood sugar

The key is to watch the pooh and how well formed and firm it is . That was my key for jesse as she struggled with that

I did not know they had a liquid version of milk thistle . Well done finding that . This its how its done you take a routine and make it your own and your dogs needs . I guess its doggie diabetic plagiarism haha

hope the pip doesn't have the cancer but if so maybe what your doing can slow it down . Jesse has been on hospice for a few years as I will not get her any major medical intervention to try to extend life . she has some doggie dementia and i just let her enjoy a simple life that is well cared for .

keep up the good work
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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

Last edited by jesse girl; 05-22-2021 at 08:54 PM.
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  #29  
Old 05-23-2021, 07:50 AM
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Is the oatmeal cooked? I was thinking maybe I could just sprinkle some on uncooked.



I forgot about the yams. I will try a little of that, too.
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Old 05-23-2021, 07:54 AM
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"A third of a cup of grind up vegetable's , pinto beans ,chicken and oatmeal."


Does this mean that you give a 1/3 cup of each of these or 1/3 cup total of all ingredients?
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