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Old 03-21-2007, 01:01 PM   #1
Fiery Sword
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Default Doggie Diabetes

So my 11 year old lab/shepard/border collie (!) mix has been acting sick for a few weeks now. She's been eating on-and-off, drinking a lot, and peeing all the time. She hadn't had any in-house accidents in a looong, loong time but it has been happening 2-3 times a week in the last few weeks. All this made me taker her down to the vet for some tests. Well, today the bloodwork came back and she is apparently diabetic! I'm off to read about doggie diabetes on the internet, but does anyone have any first-hand insight into this? How manageable is it? What are definitely things to keep her away from? What should her diet consist of? What types of equipment/tools are used/available to test and correct her blood sugar? Any info would be appreciated!!! Both myself, SWMBO and the doggie would be very grateful.


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Old 03-21-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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My brother and SIL have a Scotty with diabetes. They give him an insulin shot twice a day and have to watch his diet carefully.I'm not a hundred percent sure of what they feed him but I know he gets green beans and raw carrots mixed into his food. He's had it for quite a few years now. The shots are simple, under the skin type. I had to give them to him a couple of times we watched him while by brother was away. Oscar's over 15 years old by now and he's had for at least 5 years or more that I know of, so with treatment your lab should be around for a while longer.


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Old 03-21-2007, 01:24 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your dog, Fiery.

I know it is not the same thing, but we have a cat with kitty diabetes. He had all the same symptoms as your dog.

We had to give insulin shots twice a day, which actually wasn't that bad. The worst was all the trips to the vet to do blood run-ups (at a couple hundred $ a pop).

In the end, we changed his diet and ALL the diabetes symptoms went away. He can only eat a particular brand of canned cat food that is low in carbohydrates, but he is doing really well. And I don't miss those insulin shots -- they weren't hard to do, but it really tied us down having to be home EVERY day at 6 and 6 (we are not used to that with cats).
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Old 03-21-2007, 01:24 PM   #4
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It's good to hear, and read, that it is a manageable thing. What is funny about this whole experience is the ah-HA nature of reading about all these symptoms. Same as a human sickness, once you hear a diangosis and do some reading you are left wondering how you didn't put it together in the first place!

I think she will be a trooper with the shots, figuring out the food situation is probably going to be a bit more challenging. I am leaning towards making her homemade food once a week and reheating it, but I've got to chat with her vet and do a bit more research before making the plunge. Thanks for the info, 2nd street!
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Old 03-21-2007, 01:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
We had to give insulin shots twice a day, which actually wasn't that bad. The worst was all the trips to the vet to do blood run-ups (at a couple hundred $ a pop).
Yea, I know there is going to be a $ variable in this whole equation, and I am still trying to nail it down. What do you mean by 'blood run-ups'? Is my assumption that (once you get into a pattern) all the blood testing and insulin stuff can be done at home incorrect? The first blood test (which confirmed the vet's suspicion of diabetes) cost $205, is this going to be a regular thing?
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Old 03-21-2007, 03:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiery Sword
Yea, I know there is going to be a $ variable in this whole equation, and I am still trying to nail it down. What do you mean by 'blood run-ups'? Is my assumption that (once you get into a pattern) all the blood testing and insulin stuff can be done at home incorrect? The first blood test (which confirmed the vet's suspicion of diabetes) cost $205, is this going to be a regular thing?
If you have a vet that will teach you how to do the blood sampling, then definitely do it yourself! Ask, if they don't offer. We had to take in our cat for a whole day so that they could check his blood sugar levels every hour after he went on insulin. I guess the idea is that they need to know how much his blood sugar varied over the course of the day to best prescribe the insulin dosage and timing of shots. But my wife and I have experience with animal handling, taking blood, etc., so we asked to do the next one ourselves. Taking blood wasn't fun, but after we got the dosage and timing worked out, we didn't have to do it very often. And all we used was a regular blood glucose meter that they sell at a drug store for human blood testing. (Oh, on an aside, I have been told that you can use these for testing sugar levels in homebrewing, too -- but I have never bothered to figure out how.)

Anyways, try not to let the vet soak you. I don't think they ever intend to, but it can happen very easily. And ask about diet. Two weeks after changing our cat from expensive dry food to less expensive (albeit very specialized) canned cat food, his diabetes symptoms went away. He is no longer insulin dependent, which is rare, but can happen.

Best of luck.


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