Canine Diabetes

guatnutFebruary 13, 2010

Anyone out there have experience with their dog having diabetes? Our 12 year old lab, Snap, was just diagnosed and I will be giving him insulin injections 2x a day. Would appreciate any first hand experience and will certainly be needing a lot of encouragement.

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My mother's little bischon had it and she did very well on insulin. Mama was elderly and it was my DD and I who did the injections. DD was a vet tech, and I am a nurse, so it was a pretty routine thing for us.......but if you understand the basics of how to keep an animal on an even keel with food intake and on a good schedule for injections........then they can do fine.

We were buying insulin from the vet, and found out that it was very much cheaper from a pharmacy and the vet was fine with scripting us so we would not pay their mark-up. I usually do not do this and buy directly from a vet to support them and keep them in business.....but this is an item you will use long-term and it is expensive.

I think it's easier to control older animals than younger ones, because of their more moderate and constant activity level. Large changes in activity, food intake, or illness can really impact insulin demand. All these should stay as constant as possible. The doc may want to do frequent blood sugars for awhile to reach the correct dosage for your dog.

We rotated injections sites, just like you do with humans. We also worked with the vet as to how often they needed to monitor the blood sugars. The dog kept a really good, constant level and did fine. She eventually had to be put down due to back injury but it was not related to diabetes.

You will need to know the signs of insulin shock, and how to introduce sugars safely in an emergency in case it happens. I would suggest really talking with your vet or tech about the whole routine and reading up on it so you get comfortable about the disease and all its ramifications. I am not qualified to tell you diddly, other than to suggest you keep an open communication with your animal's health care provider and ask questions. Also remember to keep your supplies stocked. You can't always run out and replenish them if you're in the middle of a snow storm.

Our little doggie really snapped back to health when her diabetes was diagnosed, and did fine. Other than to remember to feed and inject on schedule, it didn't do much to impact our routine.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:53AM
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Thank you Calliope for your response. I especially liked the reminder to always keep supplies in stock....I just gave my 1st injection to Snap...and it was a snap! I was hoping he would immediately start running around excited about everything like he use to do, but, he's still just laying around being quiet. I know, too much to hope for this soon but it's hard seeing him so lethargic. He goes back for a blood test on Tuesday to see how his levels are. Thanks again for the valuable information & concern.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 12:53PM
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I have taken care of any number of dogs that were diabetic. Once things get levelled out - and you might have to work with your vet to get the insulin just right, the dogs did great. Although one dog lost her eysight at about 10 years old - it never slowed her down, she successfully found the Christmas ham cooling on the counter and took it outside to cool it off.
When giving shots, just relax, a little massage for the dog before hand and after and bing, its done.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 1:57PM
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Our little dog Buster who just turned 14 this last November was diagnosed with diabetes 7 years ago this June. He gets insulin shots at 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. every day. When he was first diagnosed we only gave him one shot in the morning and he was only getting 1/2 a unit now he gets 7 units twice a day.
Not long after being diagnosed he lost his eye sight but does just amazing.
Even being 14 he still loves to play, loves to go on rides on the 4 wheeler, he is at a healthy weight and until he decideds he no longer wants to do this we just keep him as happy as we can and spoil him rotten.
We have had to be very picky about his diet and have finally found a food that he loves and can handle.
As far as treats go we also have to be very careful that no one gives me table scraps and other junk. His very favorite treat is cauliflower. We don't know why but he loves the stuff.
We have also found that when giving him his shots because he is totally blind that we always let him know that we are there and make sure not to startle him.
Once your dog gets more level and you get him regulated you will notice a huge difference in him.
Good luck and give Snap a big hug!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 12:03PM
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Thank you Mazer & Firemanswife for your encouragement. We are entering the 2nd week of trying to get the right levels of insulin. I have been giving Snap his injections and have also learned to take his blood gloucose readings and am trying to develop a "curve". So far, it's been so erratic and discouraging, but I have learned so much. Snap is on Lantus (glargine) and I'm thinking he needs to try something else, but, right now I'm putting all my trust in the vet, so we'll see.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 9:24AM
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It will take a while until you know how his activities and habits and insulin impact his numbers. Is there a reason you think another insulin will work better? I'm not sure how dogs are usually treated compared to humans but I personally use lantus so I know a little about it. If you have any questions I could answer let me know.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 5:20AM
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