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Dog Help (Diabetes)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by SanduskyCav, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. SanduskyCav

    SanduskyCav NBA Starter

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    So I came home from OSU for the summer for work and I live with my parents. We noticed that our dog was losing alot of weight and was drinking a ton of water. A few days go by and he can't control his bladder and begins peeing all over the house. So my dad took him to the Vet and he informed us that he has Diabetes.

    We began giving him insulin. He was supposed to get a check up once a week to check his blood sugar, but it costed $600 so we cannot afford it and began just giving him a steady dosage twice a day that was prescribed at his last checkup. It wasn't helping very much and my dad heard about an herbal supplement that may help so we stopped the insulin and gave him that.

    That didn't help at all, so today we went to the Vet and got him insulin. I gave him his shot and he was with my dad and went into Diabetic Shock and almost died. He began foaming at the mouth and very unstable, it was a sad site to see.

    I was wondering if anyone has ever experienced a dog with diabetes or if they have any ideas on what we could do? Any information is helpful and we would be very grateful.
     
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  2. The Oi

    The Oi Or Also Schtick

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    Sorry to hear about this. I'd be very hesitant to use herbal supplements for ANYTHING, much less something like diabetes that can be life threatening. I can't believe there's evidence that any herb can treat diabetes properly for a dog, otherwise it would have caught on a long time ago.

    Why would one ever stop insulin usage on a diabetic????

    What did the vet say? Anyone's best recommendation would probably be to follow whatever the vet says to a tee, without exception.
     
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  3. Seize

    Seize Situational Stopper

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    If only my mom's 10 coke a day diabetes treatment worked for everyone :rolleyes:

    Sorry to hear about your dog. Back when I used to live in LA we used to get free treatment on your cats/dogs when they got sick by some charity....I will try to look for the name....
     
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  4. SanduskyCav

    SanduskyCav NBA Starter

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    My dad spoke with someone who he knew thats dog also had diabetes and he told him about it. He said the supplement somehow helps control his sugar level, like insulin. However he has a Jack Russel, which is a much smaller dog then our Yellow Lab, so I'm not sure if since our dog was bigger it maybe doesn't have as much of an effect?

    We spoke with the vet today and he said not to give him insulin untill Monday and if he goes into shock again to rub honey on his gums. He also told us the safefest way to go about this is to make sure we get his sugar level checked every week. So since my parents cannot afford a $600 bill each week for a vet check up, I just purchased a Animal Blood Glucose Meter so we can begin giving his our own check ups. Hopefully it works :pray:
     
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  5. The Oi

    The Oi Or Also Schtick

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    :eek: Holy shit, man. That's expensive. :eek:

    Did the vet recommend the glucose meter you got? Assuming it's a reliable product, hopefully that will help your case.

    Some companies, believe it or not, offer pet insurance. It might be something for your family to look into if you are all willing to take on the challenge of caring for a diabetic pet. I'm sure there's drawbacks to taking extra $$ out of your paycheck for pet insurance, but given the circumstances it might be worth checking out. Plus open enrollment for health insurance plans is coming up.

    EDIT:

    Found this too, an article about organizations who fund pet emergencies.

    http://dog-care.suite101.com/article.cfm/charity_help_with_veterinary_bills
     
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    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  6. bcort

    bcort Sixth Man

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    I forwarded your comments to my mother's email. I'll let you know what she says, maybe she has some advice.
     
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  7. MikeOC33

    MikeOC33 Cavs Fanatic

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    Our dog had diabetes (a keeshound), and we didn't notice it til she had trouble walking up steps and acting spaced out. She was about 12 at the time, and we thought it was age related for awhile.

    The only thing we had to do to monitor her blood level was the little pee strips that you had to dip into her first urine of the morning. The tough part was getting a little tray under her, but the strip turned a color which you compared to the color chart on the bottle to see where her blood sugar was. Then we gave her the same insulin as a human would use, with the same needles, 2x a day. A perscription of insulin cost about $45 and lasted about a month. This was all per our vets instructions. Not sure where the $600 comes in, all I can tell you is what we had to do. She never had any serious reactions, but we monitored what and when she ate pretty close, and as soon as she ate she got her shot. The she got a treat, so getting a shot was never any problem for her.

    By the way, because we caught the diabetes so late, our dog did eventually lose her eyesight, but she was still pretty active and alert, and finally died this past April. Something neurological went wrong with her spine suddenly, and we had to put her to sleep. She was almost 16, and the vet wasn't sure if the diabetes was related or not... she kinda felt it was something different.
     
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  8. SanduskyCav

    SanduskyCav NBA Starter

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    We weren't given the option to use the strips that you used. I will definately look into that. Our vet told us that we had to come in each week and they would test his sugar and keep him over night and monitor him then we could get him the next afternoon. That's supposedly why we had to pay so much. Thinking about it, it really looked like we were getting screwed and that's why we want to attempt to do it on our own.

    Do you know the names of those strips? If there is anyway you could let me know I would really appreciate it! Thanks for the info!
     
  9. bcort

    bcort Sixth Man

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    Here's her advice, hope it helps. Any more questions you can post in here or PM me.

    Ok, Advice I can offer: Diabetes is best controlled by Vetsulin (insulin for dogs) and a
    regulated diet. If possible the Hills Prescription diet called W/D. Yes, a bit costly but,
    does help. This means measured amount of food. No table food except allowance food
    like a baby carrot once a day. There are "treats" low fat that can be used also to compliment
    the Hills W/D diet. Blood glucose monitoring is the correct way of regulating the glucoses versus
    urine strips looking for "sugar" in the urine that were used many
    years ago. You would like to see the glucoses around 70-160 to be controlled. There
    are other factors that can keep a dog from being controlled such as a dog with complications like
    Cushings Disease. You can check out what Cushings disease is without me writing another page
    on that disease. If the dog is an unspayed female, that also can
    cause diabetes to be uncontrolled. Hopefully, someone at the Vets office explained how
    to draw up the insulin, how to read the calibrations on the syringe, where to administer the
    insulin and most insulin should be a bid dose, twice daily. The insulin shock as you probably know,
    is when the glucose (sugar) level gets too low. The dog looks like it is having a seizure. You do
    as you had been told, to give it some sort of sugar orally. It
    can be honey, syrup. corn syrup, jelly, etc. to try to get the glucose level up. And it
    is true that you can wait on giving the dog insulin for 12hrs or longer. We would rather
    see a dog with a bit higher glucose reading than one too low. You had experienced the
    reason why we say that. Most dogs to eventually get diabetic cataracts from the disease.
    Dogs with uncontrolled diabetes get the cataracts much sooner. When a dog is controlled
    with diabetes the water consumption and urine output is much less. One more thing, realizing
    the cost of the Hills W/D dogfood is expensive, going with a low fat, higher fiber commercial dogfood
    is an option. Read the labels to find out. Diabetes is a fiber responsive
    disease in dogs. The very last comment is to confide in the vet and see how they may be
    able to work with you in a cost effect way of treatment. $600. sounds pricey to me.
    Honestly, diabetes is a very serious disease. It is a responsibility for the owner to be able
    to give the dog the shots 2x a day for as long as the dog needs them. We do have owners
    that have elected to euthanize their pets vs treatment. I never make them feel bad. It
    is a difficult choice. Hope this helped. Any other questions, please let me know.
     
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  10. Corey

    Corey Banned

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    Watch that one episode of George Lopez to find your answer.
     
  11. MikeOC33

    MikeOC33 Cavs Fanatic

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    First, what Bcortell is saying is obviously good advice. What I'm sharing is what our vet told us to do and that is what we did. Also, like I had said, we did not suspect diabetes in our dog early. We (wife and I) both felt terrible about it, but simply thought she was getting old. Once diagnosed, we had no problems monitoring, regulating, or administering.

    The strips are Diabetes Test strips, or glucose strips. The wife got them at the drug store, same as the needles, and where she filled the perscription. First doggie urine of the morning (mostly my wife since she walked the dog every am) she'd slip a little tray under the dog to catch a little urine, then dip a strip in it and compare it to the color code on the bottle. It certainly wasn't as precise as a blood test at the vets, but it was close enough that she'd know to occasionally bump up or drop the cc's (?) 1 or 2 cc's. The insulin was the same as you or I would take. Like Bcortell said, there is a doggie insulin... all I can say is the regular stuff worked fine. Wait til the dog ate, gave her the shot, gave her a treat (our dog LOVED carrots... so we'd give her one or two baby carrots and she'd munch them up in a second and look for another).

    The shot was easy too. No discomfort for the dog at all. Grab a big "pinch" of the skin on the scruff of her neck, clear the hair away so you could see skin, inject the needle. Dog never flinched... the needle is so fine and that must be a not so sensitive area. One needle would be fine for about a week, then you could tell it was starting to get dull. My wife fed and "shot" the dog most of the time (her dog... she'd had the dog longer than she'd had me!), but when she was out of town I'd just tell her to write down the number (again, I guess it was cc's) and that's what I'd shoot. Be sure not to shake the bottle, but roll it in your hands gently to mix it. You don't want bubbles to form, and you certaily don't want bubbles in the hypo. Also, there was a pill we had to give the dog too... not sure if that was diabetes related too....wife isn't home right now to ask her.

    All-in-all, I think the dog was treated for diabetes for almost 4 years before she died... she was almost 16 which is pretty darn long... and even up to the day she was put to sleep, she was as active as a blind dog can be, alert, affectionate, good diet, never had accidents in the house... the diabetes is serious stuff, but like Bcortell said... 2 meals a day followed by the shot, try to cut out the table scraps, watch the dogs weight, etc... it can all be good. Excessive water drinking is an indicator, and as you know, the drunk behavior too. For our dog, it was obvious difficulty climbing stairs... like watching someone really old climb stairs. Good luck.
     
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  12. bomber

    bomber Abrasive

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    our first dog had diabetes, man it's been so long I forgot all about it. I'll have to speak to my parents about it, I just remember she would get shot up with insulin.

    It also never hurts to get another opinion, another vet hospital
     
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  13. SanduskyCav

    SanduskyCav NBA Starter

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    First of I wanted to say thanks for all of you your input and suggestions...

    I wanted to see if you could help anymore, any input would be appreciated. We are back on track giving him his insulin, and he has began to regain his weight and seems active like he used to. However he is still very thirsty and he still cannot control his bladder. Do any of you know why this could be? Is there something we can do with his diet or with his insulin level to help fix it that you know of?

    Thanks again!
     
  14. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    Does your dog have worse then normal bad breath or sores in his mouth by any chance?
     
  15. SanduskyCav

    SanduskyCav NBA Starter

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    Not funny, I don't care if you are a mod :fu:
     
  16. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

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    Wasn't a joke... if you do a search you'll see that I had to put down my dog who had late stage renal failure. The three sure signs of renal failure are...

    Unquenchable thirst
    Loss of bladder control
    Foul smelling breath

    The first two could be caused by diabetes but if his breath smells worse then normal you should have your vet check his urine to make sure his kidneys are functioning properly.
     
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  17. SanduskyCav

    SanduskyCav NBA Starter

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    No sores. I think it's 100% chance that it's diabetes. We are monitoring his blood sugar and as of a half hour ago he was at 430.
     
  18. SanduskyCav

    SanduskyCav NBA Starter

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    I see that some of you said you checked your dogs blood sugar. Did any of you actually check it with a glucose meter? We have to use this thing that you press a button and it poke the dog with a needle so you can get a blood sample. The only thing is, is we are having trouble getting the blood. The needle pokes him, however because he has thick but loose skin, it doesn't draw blood because it doesn't enter his skin. Does anyone have a suggestion on a good place to give him needle poke?
     
  19. MikeOC33

    MikeOC33 Cavs Fanatic

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    Never having used one, and not sure how the dog would like it... but maybe the ear?

    Certainly a concern would be finding a spot that you can draw blood, and also not hurt the dog. Even a sharp pinch would quickly teach the dog to RUN LIKE HELL everytime he saw anyone approach with the unit. I do remember the vet tell us that we could inject the insulin shot in the nape of the neck or I think she said in the inner lining of the mouth? We never tried it in her mouth, so I don't know if that is a sensitive spot or not.

    The back of the neck was definately NOT sensitive... but we never drew blood there either... so that rules that out.

    Wonder if down the leg above the paw but below the main leg joint... that is not a fatty area, and the skin is tight there.... again, I'd want to find a spot where the dog would hardly notice you were doing anything.
     
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  20. bcort

    bcort Sixth Man

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    I emailed my mother again. The first thing she'll probably ask is have you changed the dog's diet? What type of food are you giving it?
     
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