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Introducing Roscoe

Roscoe's Mom
September 28th, 2007, 08:18 PM
Roscoe is a 20 month old Pit mix. He was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 6 months. When we got him out of the shelter he was only 11# and almost died before treatment could be started. But he is now pretty much regulated and is a very healthy, active and absolutely precious little Pitty Poo (well not so little - he's 60# now!).

I have a question that I'm having difficulty getting some concrete answers to. I have used an animal meter (Alpha Trak) and also use a human meter (Ascensia Contour) to test his bgs. I've been told 125-250 bgs is the range; but also have been told 60-110. I know the animal meter reads differently than the human meter. It's often hard to know when people are suggesting numbers based on the one or the other - very confusing.

Most dogs with diabetes are older and their owners don't have 10+ years ahead of them to treat their pet - that is one factor I've heard for allowing the bgs to read a bit higher (125-250). Roscoe is still a baby! And I'm so hoping to help him lead a long, very long, life. Maybe he should be maintained at a lower range of readings.

Right now on the Ascenia Contour he is regulating right around 150-170, with occasional slight ups or downs.

If anyone has some info for or against animal or human meters or some imput on what range would be best for a young diabetic dog, it would be much appreciated. Our Vet is great, but these are questions he's not even confident about as Roscoe was his first puppy with diabetes.

Thanks,

Roscoe's Mom

the gang
September 28th, 2007, 10:18 PM
all i can tell you is that i have a 9 yr old min pin that is a diabect we found out about 3 weeks ago he first tested at 26.4 wayyyyyyyyyy to high i use my meter as i too am diabect the vet has him on inslin 2 times a day .3 he is still up around 15 he should be around 6 so it will take some time to get him down, hope this helps brenda and the pins.

hazelrunpack
September 28th, 2007, 10:42 PM
Welcome to the board!

I don't have any experience with diabetes in dogs, but I think the 60 - 110 range you listed, Roscoe's Mom, is the normal range for humans. Not sure what the normal range is for dogs. What target figures did your vet give you to shoot for?

sugarcatmom
September 29th, 2007, 07:48 AM
Hi Roscoe's mom! Have you checked out this site on canine diabetes yet: http://www.caninediabetes.org/ Here is the "acceptable" range it gives for dogs: http://www.caninediabetes.org/monitor.html

Here are some more good websites on diabetes in pets:
http://www.petdiabetes.org/
http://www.petdiabetes.com/
http://www.petdiabetes.net/

And also a message board for diabetic dog owners: http://p092.ezboard.com/Canine-Diabetes/fpetswithdiabetescaninediabetes

As for the meters you're using, I would just stick with one or the other for the sake of consistency. And if it were me, I would ditch the AlphaTrack. The strips are stupidly expensive and you can only get them through the vet (what happens if you run out in the middle of the night?). A human meter is perfectly fine to use on animals, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The AlphaTrack just came along recently when Abbott Labratories realized they could cash in on the growing diabetic pet market. Also, you can get great deals on the Ascencia test strips on eBay (just watch out for the expiry dates).

Roscoe's Mom
September 29th, 2007, 07:04 PM
We also thought the 60-110 was for humans, but have found it quoted for animals on a veterinarian site; also was what our vet said (he openly admits to limited knowledge of pet diabetes - and no experience with it in young dogs).

I've checked out all the sites suggested in one of the responses here; some I've visited many times before. Much of the conflicting information we've gleaned has come from so-called pet diabetes sites, and that's where the confusion lies for us.

I do belong to an online group - they are wonderful people and have been a great help to many people. However, they all have aging pets; it would be great to hear from someone who has had experience with a young diabetic dog and it would be nice to see what things, if any, are done the same or differently, especially in terms of long-range treatment and expectations.

I don't interchange the animal and human meters at all. I changed to the human meter when I realized the numbers being discussed on our site were all from human meters - no wonder the readings we were getting were raising many questions.

The information given on one site suggested here today was in favor of the animal meter, due in large part because of the way the two different blood samples register on the strip. Again, if I had only 3-4 years to treat Roscoe, it would probably not be as much a concern. I am quick to count my blessings in having a "healthy" young diabetic dog, but true to any pet owner's desire, my heart's goal is to find out whether or not his age really has any bearing on treatment at all, and ultimately, as all other diabetic pet owners also want, what is best for his unique, individual needs, to keep him healthy for maybe 8-10 years. If it means using something as simple as a human meter I'm all for it - my strips for it are free and clear right now so that would be ideal. But if it would be better and more reliable from a longevity standpoint to consider going to an animal meter which would possibly give me a truer blood glucose reading, that would not be out of the question either. I just wish there were more concrete answers and less bias and outright propaganda on the whole subject of meters.

Do appreciate the responses and look forward to anything people have to say on the subject. Would love to find someone who has a young diabetic dog, that would be a great plus.

Roscoe's Mom

sugarcatmom
September 30th, 2007, 06:10 PM
Part of what might be confusing is that the normal range for a non-diabetic isn't necessarily what you're aiming for with a diabetic. In an ideal world, yes, it would be great to maintain the blood glucose levels of a non-diabetic, but because we're administering exogenous insulin with nowhere near the precision that a healthy functioning pancreas can do (which, in very rough terms, is going to be spurting out small amounts of insulin many times a day as instantly required), we try to aim for something a little broader.

I can only speak about feline ranges, so I'll use that as an example. Most non-diabetic cats are somewhere between 60-120, although there are individual variations as well (some cats are perfectly fine as low as 40). When first starting insulin treatment, the idea is to aim for a bg above 100 but below 300. This allows for a little buffer at the low end so that hypoglycemia isn't as likely to occur. Remember, a number too low is going to kill faster than a number too high.

Once the caretaker gets a handle on that whole treatment dance of balancing food and insulin and testing and rebound and all the other intricacies of diabetes, they may wish to try for tighter regulation. I like to keep my cat's levels above 50 at nadir, but below 180 as much as possible. Not everyone would be as comfortable with such low numbers, but I know my cat and his response to the insulin he's on extremely well, after a massive amount of bg testing over more than 4 years. I would never suggest to someone just starting out that those are numbers they should also be aiming for. I also know people that have even tighter control, never letting their cat go above 140.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's all relative, and you have to work out your own system between you, your pet, and your vet. It can turn into a bit of a numbers game, but don't forget to look at the whole animal, not just the blood glucose levels. Is he eating well, drinking and peeing less, playful and energetic? All of those things are just as important.

As for someone else with a young diabetic dog, you might want to pm SEVIIN. Her dog was diagnosed in July at 8 months of age. Here is her post about it: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=42837

Hope this helps a bit.

Roscoe's Mom
October 1st, 2007, 07:37 PM
I am beginning to think along those lines - what works for him may not be what works for another dog - even if they are similar in many ways. I know he tolerates lows pretty well, but with so many cautioning us against lows, it makes you a bit wary. At some point though we have to just realize no one knows our pet as we do - no one else sees how they eat, sleep, play, etc. and treat for their own particular uniqueness.

I was very blessed a couple of days ago to run across a petdiabetes mailing list who just happened to have not one but three people with pets who were diagnosed at a very young age. One of them has been treating for 7 years and one for 10 years. That gave me some hope that I hadn't had up to now.

Thanks for your reply and thanks for the link. This is my first time on in two days, so I'll click on it and see where it leads me.

Blessings,

Sue

badger
October 1st, 2007, 09:01 PM
I'm waiting for you to post some pictures of this overly SWEET pooch.

Roscoe's Mom
October 4th, 2007, 08:55 PM
I finally had some time to get a couple of his pix online. Thanks for asking. Now I'm going to go and enjoy the other pix - the ones I've seen are absolutely to die for!