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Old 10-23-2011, 05:56 AM
jim maceri's Avatar
jim maceri jim maceri is offline
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Default Spirit Crossed the Bridge Today..... June 9, 2016

Hello all,

First, I have a 4 year old newfoundland, male, intact. Neither parent nor any siblings have diabetes. As a matter of fact my breeder has never had a newfoundland with diabetes that she knows of and has been breeding for over 45 years.

About 6 weeks ago I took him to the vet who gave him a CBC at my request to get some baselines as well as xrays for hips and knees. The results all came back good and within normal limits.

4 weeks ago it seemed he had difficulty urinating so I took him back into the vet with a suspicion of a urinary tract infection. They put him on an antibiotic and while he was there we did a blood sugar test. It was in the morning about 2 hours after he ate. The vet was shocked to see his blood sugar level at 284 especially when the CBC was in normal ranges just weeks before. We discussed diet, weight and he had me try hills diet WD for the next 10 days. When we went back he again was tested and the reading was 283. He then took blood and sent it in for a fructosomine test which came back high.

I am taking him back on Tuesday for another CBC, Fructosomine and to check the blood sugar except this time I am not going to feed him prior to the appointment. My dog does stress at the vet but I thought that would only raise the sugar level by 50 +/- points.

I am having real reservations about him having diabetes and wonder what other things could be going on that could cause his levels to be so elevated. Infection? Thyroid? Pancreatitis? ect......can anyone suggest some other tests to run before we just accept the fact that he is diabetic? I am going to suggest a round of testing to make sure it is not something else because many of the breeders I talked to said it is just not in their breed especially if it is not hereditary.

I've been feeding him "Wellness" brand prior to the hills diet and supplemented the kibble with the hard "loaf" type of dog food shredded over the top. I have found out that the loaf is high in sugar and have eliminated that.

Please help, I know there is alot of wisdom here.

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Old 10-23-2011, 11:25 AM
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MaryLea MaryLea is offline
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Default Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

Hi, Jim. Welcome to the forum.

You came to a good place for advice and support. We did not have any fructosomine tests run on Ruffles; all dx was done from blood glucose tests, which we learned to do ourselves. There are many on this site who have experience with a wide range of tests, and I'm sure they will weigh in with information.

You are wise to not jump to dx of diabetes, though, I feel. Ruffles was consistently in the 600's for the first week of treatment. Your pup is not nearly that high, and there are many things which might raise the BGs into the 200s. Several of which I am aware are the same ones you mention. My take on this at the moment is that something is going on besides diabetes.

Watching and cheering you on,

Ruffles was a Cairn Terrier mix born May 1997~~RIP 12/6/2010~~She was "a heartbeat at our feet"~~Gone, but not forgotten~~
Izzy--BD unknown;~~ RIP 7/13/2013 ~~; she was a sweet Yorkie spirit and we miss her
Bella--Yorkie rescue; BD 9/2013 +/-; RIP 5/2015
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:46 AM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Default Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

Hi Jim,

Welcome you and your Newfie!

There aren't many other things that can cause high blood sugar other than diabetes.

Cushing's disease can raise blood sugar, usually modestly, which is the case with your dog - a lot of dogs' blood sugar is 400 or higher at diagnosis. So that is one thing to consider. Personally, I'd rather a dog have diabetes than Cushing's if only because Cushing's disease is so much more expensive to monitor and treat.

Pancreatitis can also cause transient diabetes but I think that would be likely only if he had raging pancreatitis where he's terribly critically ill, which apparently he isn't. I don't know that I've ever seen a dog with asymptomatic pancreatitis develop diabetes... not saying it couldn't happen. That kind of transient diabetes is extremely rare. I've only seen one or two dogs with that type of diabetes in seven years on forums. Even the ones who got it from a bout of pancreatitis usually wind up being permanently diabetic.

Since your dog's blood sugar may not be sky high yet, it could be something else causing it or it could be you just caught it early while he still has some insulin producing ability left.

What was his score on the fructosamine test, which measures average blood sugar over the past two weeks?

Was it very high or moderate?

If you have the score and the chart of what various levels mean for the fruc test, please post the results. There are a couple of different versions of the tests and the references ranges are different for each of them.

His fructosamine test being abnormal confirms that vet stress is not behind the high blood sugar and that it has been high for a while. I'm just wondering how high it's been.

There are definitely breed tendencies toward diabetes and I haven't seen a lot of Newfies get it, but I have seen every breed of dog imaginable wind up with diabetes. In dogs diabetes is an auto-immune disorder so it tends to fall in along with hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease, plus allergies.

I don't think there is any such thing as a breed that doesn't get it.

Besides the sugar in the urine, was some other problem like bladder stones or crystals found to explain his problems urinating?

Diabetic dogs usually don't have "trouble" going - they go a lot! So I wondered if there was some other urinary issue.

If he's determined to be permanently diabetic, they will want to neuter him because the hormones levels will be a problem for his diabetes regulation.

As long as diabetes is well managed, your dog can live a normal happy healthy lifespan. And if it is diabetes, you've caught it early, which is the best way to beat the worst side effect of diabetes, cataracts. So don't let wishing it wasn't so delay his treatment. You have a good chance of avoiding cataracts by working to regulate his blood sugar as quickly as possible (methodically, carefully, but starting right away).

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Old 10-23-2011, 12:04 PM
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Cara's Mom Cara's Mom is offline
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Default Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

Welcome to the forum!

I have to agree with Mary....the Blood Glucose is rather low for Diabetes.....
Cara BG were in the high 500!
Pancreatitus is an infection of the pancreas, which will influence the out- put of the amount of insulin from the pancreas. In Diabetes the pancreas is not able to produce insulin at all or just very small amount! And when the pancreatitus has been treated the blood glucose will most of the time return to normal.....But there is a risk with Pancreatis for Diabetes!
Diabetes is breed related to some breeds, but that does not mean your dog can not become diabetic............I have had English Setters for close to 20 years, never heard of it in the breed , but my last e-setter, Cara, is a diabetic!
I would do some more testing, if I was in your position!

Best of luck!
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:05 PM
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jim maceri jim maceri is offline
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Default Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

Thank you all for the responses.

first his fructosomine test was only done once and I think the vet said it was around 500 but his glucose tests have both been in the 280's range. The vet said when a dog is diabetic he usually sees it around 500 or above.

Yes there has been some slight crystals in his urine. The vet put in a cathetor on the last visit and said there was slight bacteria, hence the antibiotic but there was no obstructions.

I've gone back 2 generations with the breeder and neither his parents or grandparents have diabetes nor do any of the offspring that the breeder tracks. The first reason I brought him to the vet was slow urination and him taking a long time to relieve himself in the mornings but by afternoon he had a normal strong stream. Now that he's gone thru the round of antibiotics his peeing is normal.

This is my second newfie and this guy drinks no more water than my last one. I've been measuring his water intake for the last two weeks and it is about 14 cups a day but that was not at all alarming to our breeder and not unusual for giant breed dogs. If the CBC showed elevated levels just 6 weeks ago I would be less suspicious but this came on very suddenly.

I will post his results when we get them next week. I'm taking him in on Tuesday and I'm going to get a urine sample first thing in the morning to take in with me so he doesn't have the stress of a cath again. On both previous tests, he also ate two hours before I took him to the vet. On this trip I'm going to have him fast from 9:00 the night before since the appointment is at 9:00 in the morning. Thanks everybody, I'm just kinda freekin' out right now thinking about having to give my dog injections and monitor this. The good news is I am able to work out of my house so I am literally with "Spirit" (that's his name) all day and night. Just seems weird that he turns 4 this December, is not consuming alot of water, is not urinating any more than normal and is not lethargic. Of course, newfies are known to be lazy anyway but he walks 3 times a day with me for a half to a mile each time.

Glad I found this site. Reading some of your experiences have helped during this anxious time.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:22 PM
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jesse girl jesse girl is offline
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Default Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

well it could be temporary you might think about home testing which can give you a better picture on what is going on as far as blood sugar seeing if you are getting the rise during food see if blood sugar comes down on its own

at one point my vet thought jesse was miss diagnosed and suggested to take her off insulin for a few days she did rise substantially with food but she did drop some after about 9 hours so maybe there was some production of insulin but not able to support sugar produced by food and over time any production of insulin has ended
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:35 PM
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SandyL SandyL is offline
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Default Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

Hi Jim and welcome to you and Spirit!!

When my dog was diagnosed... I caught it VERY early!..... She was only 243 After 2 days of numerous "accidents " in the house, and the consistency of the urine, I knew there was something wrong . I, like you, prayed that it was something else.....she wasn't drinking more ten usual, and she was acting fine! Nope, she was still producing a little insulin on her own and we went through a "honeymoon " phase which kinda gave me hope that this was all a fluke. We never had a fructosemine test done, I learned to do my own BG's. She's been a little sugar baby now for 9 months, looks and acts healthy as ever and I contribute the fact that catching it so early is the reason she still has her pretty, yet buggy lol, brown eyes!!

There's worse diseases that they can get, and they really do get used to all this, much faster than we do actually!! No need to freak out.... He isn't!

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Old 10-23-2011, 02:08 PM
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eileen eileen is offline
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Default Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

Sending you a warm welcome!

A very dear friend of mine that taught me so much about canine diabetes back in 2004 when Mildred was first diagnosed also had a diabetic Newfie.

It does take time but before you know it things will become second nature.

I strongly encourage you to learn to home blood test, the benefits are tenfold.

I have no doubt that had I not learned to blood test Mildred on the day she was dx as being diabetic she would not still be here with me today...7 years as a diabetic.

Eileen and Mildred, 12 yo Border Collie Mx, 24.6 pounds, dx diabetic/hypothyroid 2004, gallbladder removed 2005, cataract surgery 2005, spindle cell sarcoma removed 2009, stroke 2009, tail removed 2011, dx with bladder cancer 2011, CDS, Organix~chicken / NPH,Humalog
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:19 PM
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Shellie Shellie is offline
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Default Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

Welcome to the forum, Jim! You've found a great place to get a lot of answers!

I wasn't as lucky to catch 'whatever' was going on and my Hank had to be hospitalized with ketoacidosis which happens when the glucose isn't controlled. He was in the 500's when diagnosed and we're still working on regulation due mostly to his horrible eating habits.

It sounds tho...if it is diabetes...you've caught it nice and early and will likely be able to avoid some of the problems others have had. It will be interesting to see what his numbers are on Tuesday and to see what the vet has to say.

Welcome once again!
Shell and Hank (aka Mr. Pickypants) - now deceased (4/29/1999 - 12/4/2015) Cairn Terrier mix who was diagnosed 8/18/2011 and on .75 U Levemir 2Xday. Miss you little man!
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:01 PM
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CarolW CarolW is offline
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Arrow Re: New to forum, looking for suggestions

Jim - Spirit is a lucky dog to have you! I, like Eileen, was aware of a Newfie who had diabetes - so it's not unheard of.

I'm very glad you found us, because this is one of the finest forums on canine diabetes I've ever seen. Though my Kumbi died over a year ago - of cancer, NOT diabetes - I remain here because I became so interested. And of course, the forum members here are my friends!

Sounds as though your vet is very competent, and appears also willing to work with you as a team-mate. If this is so, oh, treasure that vet! Not everyone is so fortunate with vets! Some here have changed vets several times, by necessity, to get the competence and willingness to work as a teammate.

It does indeed appear that if Spirit has diabetes, you caught it early enough to work on fairly tight glucose control, which is the only way to save a diabetic dog's sight (that I'm aware of). In part, it's the luck of the draw, but keeping tight glucose control can only assist.

When Kumbi was diagnosed, my vet cheered! She said, "Thank goodness; it's only diabetes!"

Managing diabetes in a dog does take care and attention - daily. Injections aren't all that difficult, provided you know what you're doing, and your dog trusts you.

Your vet or tech can show you how to do the injections. Here's an excruciatingly-detailed analysis of making injections completely painless:


Looking forward to your next report, perhaps Tuesday evening?

Here's our Big, Fat Welcome to you, to this magnificent forum!
Sun, 23 Oct 2011 17:01:32 (PDT)
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