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Help W/diabetic Dog!

zenga
August 9th, 2008, 09:25 AM
I am new to this forum, so alittle lost here, but trying to figure it out lol.
I have a schkipperke that is 9yrs old, his name is Zenga and was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, and is also blind. I am having a terrible time regulating his sugar level. I just switched his insulin to Hummilin N, and he is getting 11units in the am and 9 units in the evening. I have been using urine strips to test his level, but those are not accurate. I bought a meter at walmart, but I am having a hard time finding a spot to get blood from him. Can someone let me know where and how they are getting blood from their dog? Also this week he has been vomiting and had two seizures. He is going very low and then very high. He is just laying around and not wanting to eat. I went to the vet yesterday and all he said is trying upping his night dose, but I am not feeling very confident these days with my vet. I have been searching online to try and get help to some questions. This morning I tested his urine and it just read negative, but I think it was low as by the way he was acting, so I feed him, but he vomited it all up. Then two hours later the urine strip tested high. I don't know what to do and really wish I could figure out how to get blood from him so I can use this meter I bought. It is hard to be constantly bringing him to the vet to have his blood tested, as he charges me $150 each test, so it would help alot to be able to use this meter at home. I am concerned if something else is going on with him besides the diabetes, like maybe the flu or whatever else because of the vomiting and seizures. Zenga is my child and I am upset as people are telling me to let him go and put him down. Well that is like the doctor telling me to pull the plug on my human child, Zenga is my child also and this is tearing me up inside as to how I can help me and get his sugar level regulated. Sorry for the long post, I just am at my wits end and need to talk to someone that has a diabetic dog and can help me learn about this terrible disease. Thank you so much!

sugarcatmom
August 9th, 2008, 12:07 PM
I am new to this forum, so alittle lost here, but trying to figure it out lol.

Welcome to pets.ca. Sorry that it's under these circumstances! While I don't have a diabetic dog, I do have a diabetic cat so maybe I can help you with some stuff (although treatment can be a little different).

I have a schkipperke that is 9yrs old, his name is Zenga and was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, and is also blind. I am having a terrible time regulating his sugar level. I just switched his insulin to Hummilin N, and he is getting 11units in the am and 9 units in the evening.

What insulin and how much was he on before the N? How much does Zenga weigh? What does he eat?

I have been using urine strips to test his level, but those are not accurate. I bought a meter at walmart, but I am having a hard time finding a spot to get blood from him. Can someone let me know where and how they are getting blood from their dog?

Blood testing is for sure the way to go. Where have you tried testing him? With cats, the ear is the best, but I'm not sure there is an ideal spot with dogs. I've heard people use the inside of the lip, the base of the tail, and possibly the ear, depending on breed. Here is a link demonstrating different locations: http://www.caninediabetes.org/bloodtesting.html

Also, are you using a lancing device, and how deep is the setting? I know some people just use the lancet without the cap on the pen (called freehand). Others use the needle of a syringe (careful with this one, some areas may be too sensitive). You may have to warm up an area first by rubbing it vigorously for a minute (for instance, ears almost always need to be warmed).

Also this week he has been vomiting and had two seizures. He is going very low and then very high.

Sounds like he could be experiencing rebound, which is from too much insulin. Do you give him anything like karo syrup when he has a seizure? What was your starting dose on the N and how fast was it raised?

He is just laying around and not wanting to eat.

It's very very important that a diabetic eat. The risk of hypoglycemia increases dramatically (don't give insulin unless he eats!), but also other complications like ketoacidosis. How long has he not been eating? What things have you tried to tempt him? Stuff like deli-meat or hotdogs or plain lightly cooked chicken, anything to get him eating.

I went to the vet yesterday and all he said is trying upping his night dose, but I am not feeling very confident these days with my vet.

Your vet's advice is dangerous. I don't blame you for being uncomfortable with this. Something is going on and just raising the dose without looking into it further than that is not a good idea.

I have been searching online to try and get help to some questions. This morning I tested his urine and it just read negative, but I think it was low as by the way he was acting, so I feed him, but he vomited it all up.

How was he acting? Do you have any Keto-diastix that also test urine for ketones as well as sugar?

Then two hours later the urine strip tested high.

Yup, this sounds like rebound, and the answer is to lower the dose, not raise it like your vet suggested.

It is hard to be constantly bringing him to the vet to have his blood tested, as he charges me $150 each test,

Is that for an all day curve or just one little spot test? Cause if it's just one test, your vet is ripping you off big-time.

Zenga is my child and I am upset as people are telling me to let him go and put him down. Well that is like the doctor telling me to pull the plug on my human child, Zenga is my child also and this is tearing me up inside as to how I can help me and get his sugar level regulated.

Diabetes is totally treatable!! Unless there are extreme complications that prevent Zenga from having any quality of life, there is no reason to put him down. We just need to find the right dose to get him back on track. Hometesting his blood glucose can help with that, so check out that link above, but maybe also call around to other vet clinics in your area and see if someone else could show you in person how to do it.

Here are some more links that you might have already seen in your internet searches, but just in case:
http://www.caninediabetes.org/
http://www.petdiabetes.net/
http://petdiabetes.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
http://www.petdiabetes.com/recipes.html

the gang
August 9th, 2008, 05:06 PM
i hope this helps, i have a dog that is diabect, i do a blood curve on him every 3 months ,shave down the ear and you can prick him there, i use a small roll of tape under the back of the ear as to not go right through!!! we use canaslin he gets .5 in the am and point 5 in the pm,, important to know it has to be done at the same time day and night,, and no longer than 15 min before you feed, i feed my guy 3 times a day its easy and better for him, he is a min pin! i too am a diabect! and yes i use my meter, if there is something i can help you with just let me know, ps also try and get him on diabect food from the vets its full of fiber!! good luck brenda and the pins..:thumbs up

the gang
August 10th, 2008, 10:58 PM
how are things going?????? brenda.

zenga
August 11th, 2008, 12:14 AM
Thank you both for giving me alot of information.
First of all I am not sure I am using this right to reply back to you? At the end of both of your replies there is a quote button, do I use that if I want to reply to each of you, or what I just did now, not knowing if you will see it or not, I went to the end and clicked on reply to thread????? lol. I have never used forums before so I am lost.

But anyways after I wrote here yesterday I packed Zenga up and took him to the vet with my lancer machine, and asked him if he could help me use it and that I needed Zenga's blood tested right away to see what level he was at, he told me he couldn't, each time I have brought him in for blood testing, he makes me give his insulin, feed him and then says he has to wait 8 hrs and then tests his blood. No Sugarcatmom for $150 its only one blood test and like I said 8 hrs after he has had his morning insulin. I asked him well, I don't understand you, why can't we test him right now so we know what his sugar level is, he said nope.

I don't understand it, human diabetics test throughout the day. My sister has been trying to help me as she is diabetic, and has an insulin pump.

The vet switched Zenga's insulin about a month ago and first he was only getting one shot a day, and then he told me to go up to two, and that was only with him testing his blood one day and only once that day, which I feel isn't right. I would think he would want to have him testing his blood for a few days in a row and more than one time a day before deciding on a dose?

So I left his office yesterday with out anything, he wouldn't test his blood, wouldn't show me how to use the lancer. He told me to bring him back Monday morning, then he would take blood send it out to the lab to test to see if something else is going on, which that will be $165 and at the sametime that day, but only 8hrs after he has had his morning shot he will test his blood right in this office to see what level his sugar is at. Does this make any sense to you at all? It doesn't to me.

I have had this vet for 5yrs, but never until Zenga became diabetic did I have any problems with the dogs, so I only brought them to him for their regular visits and shots, so I am guessing maybe this vet doesn't know alot about diabetes?

I also told him that on the box for the insulin, it says to discard after 30 days, so I have been doing that, he was in shock and said no no, you can keep it for years, he said I use mine for a few years lol, I said well read the box it says unopened shelf life is 1yr, if opened 30 days, is this what I am suppose to do?????

So yesterday all day Zenga's level was coming up negative on the urine strips, but I knew it was low by the way he was acting, so I gave him some food, and yes I do use Karo syrup. So I also didn't give him his night dose, as his sugar was still low and I was so confused as to what to do with him, so I didnt want to overdose him with insulin, so I skipped it. So I thought it would be high this morning and no it was very low and he had a seizure. So I was crying and panicking and didn't know what to do, so I waited a bit and like I said i made him eat, and thankful he didnt throw it up.

So I gave him his morning shot, but really wasn't sure what to do, usually he gets 11units, so i only gave him 8, which I don't know if that was the right thing to do or not?

I had to leave the house for a few hours and couldn't find anyone to stay with him, as I was worried to leave him, well just as I was walking in the door he was seizing, so I go the Karo syrup and gave him that, I again tonight didnt give him a night shot, am I right or wrong to do this?

I am so scared for him and have decided that first thing tomorrow, I am not going to work, I am going to find a new vet.

Also yes he is on a special food from the Vet, very high in fiber. I also started giving him some fresh raw veggies in between meals also. I am trying to make him eat every two hrs.

As for trying to use the lancer, Sugarcatmom thank you I now know to take the cap off and use it that way. I need to shave his ear, or leg I was told and try one of those areas, I had tried the ear and couldn't get enough for the strip, but I am going to try the leg, the vet said bring him monday I will shave him on the leg and ear and show you how, I really don't think he wanted to have me learn to use the lancer, so I would have to keep bringing him for his blood test to him, but he wont test at any given time, only after 8hrs. lol.

So I am not sleeping, as I am finding myself sitting right next to Zenga and just watching him, as he is not himself at all, he is sleeping so much.

I am so sad and upset and hurting for Zenga and I am determined I am going to learn to care for him and get his dose correct, as he is also blind, but gets around no problem, except the past few days of course he is disoriented.

I feel like I am the diabetic, I am just not getting the insulin lol, its a tough thing to learn, but like my sister says you will learn and become a pro at it lol, I hope so for Zenga.
Thank you all for helping me and hopefull my new vet tomorrow will help alot


Brenda sorry I put gand instead of gang, my fingers arent working right tonight lol and I tried to come back and edit it, but couldn't

Purpledomino
August 11th, 2008, 12:31 PM
I do not have anything to offer as far as suggestions, only that I found this website where you may get some answers. Best of luck to you. :fingerscr

http://www.caninediabetes.org/

sugarcatmom
August 11th, 2008, 06:55 PM
I have had this vet for 5yrs, but never until Zenga became diabetic did I have any problems with the dogs, so I only brought them to him for their regular visits and shots, so I am guessing maybe this vet doesn't know alot about diabetes?

Not all vets know everything there is to know about every disease or condition. There's a lot to know! But they should at least be able to refer you to someone else if their knowledge on a subject is limited. It sounds to me like this one is really shooting in the dark on Zenga's diabetes and I definitely encourage you to find another vet who's willing to work with you on this.

I also told him that on the box for the insulin, it says to discard after 30 days, so I have been doing that, he was in shock and said no no, you can keep it for years, he said I use mine for a few years lol, I said well read the box it says unopened shelf life is 1yr, if opened 30 days, is this what I am suppose to do?????

The pharmacy companies often have very conservative expiry dates on their products mostly just to cover their asses. Lots of people use insulin well past these windows. But that's also why home testing bg is so important: you'll be able to see for yourself if the effectiveness is diminishing. I have a bottle of Humulin R insulin that I've been using for well over 2 years, and it's still as potent as the first day.

So I gave him his morning shot, but really wasn't sure what to do, usually he gets 11units, so i only gave him 8, which I don't know if that was the right thing to do or not?

I would consider giving him even less until you can test his blood. The seizures tell me he's clearly getting too much insulin, so it might be safer to go down to less than 5u. Humulin N can be a fairly harsh insulin. What dose was he started on?

well just as I was walking in the door he was seizing, so I go the Karo syrup and gave him that, I again tonight didnt give him a night shot, am I right or wrong to do this?

You were right not to give him the shot. Seizures are dangerous and you absolutely need to avoid Zenga having them.

I am so scared for him and have decided that first thing tomorrow, I am not going to work, I am going to find a new vet.

Good plan. Let us know how it turns out. :fingerscr that you find someone more knowledgeable! One thing to remember about diabetes is that it's ultimately a home-managed disease. Good communication with your vet is important, but it's you as Zenga's day-to-day caregiver that should have the biggest input on his care. If you feel something isn't right, your vet should be listening to you!

zenga
August 11th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Well I am just beside myself right now.

I brought Zenga to my regular vet this morning and told him all the things I read and learned and he ran a blood test, it showed Zenga's liver level, was through the roof, his sugar was 438, he wouldn't give him insulin, he told me I had to wait until Tuesday morning, as I already missed his morning dose, which I said doesn't make any sense, if he needs insulin it doesnt matter what time a day it is.

Also he said I am his only patient that has had a problem regulating his sugar, that I am doing something wrong and that I worry to much lol.

It went on and on at his office, so $125.00 later I left his office with what for an answer, don't worry, give him his insulin tomorrow morning and bring him back in a few days for another blod test.

I said what about the vomiting, seizures, sleeping and color of urine, also now puss coming out of eyes and where he urinates, he said don't worry.

So I drove to a big animal clinic in the next town and as soon as the look at him without even running any tests knew what was wrong.

His liver is failing and that it is, really bad, his alt level was 2000, which should be 212, three other things related to the liver were so high, he was extremely anemic, and the list goes on.

My options? send him to Tuft's University and they would do everything under the sun, to have him just end up dying.

I fell to my knees on the floor next to Zenga and lost it.

So I have him home for tonight to say goodbye and take more pics of him and have to bring him first thing in the morning to say goodbye.

I can't do this, I can't stop crying.

I have him right next to me at all times and keep patting him and giving him all the comfort and love I can.

I am so upset.

I will let you all know how things go tomorrow, as I left a message with my old vet, telling him thank you for knowing what he was doing.

Thank you all for your support, I will need it.
Gayle

the gang
August 11th, 2008, 10:02 PM
oh gayle i sent you something,i dont know what to say:sorry: i know diabect dogs have a liver probelm, its hard to judge, a 3rd oppinion before you put him down might help i know girl---- this is tough i was scared out of my mind, but i have sent you my emaill address just use it, i feel so bad for you i just dont want to tell you what to do, all the best brenda and the pins..

zenga
August 11th, 2008, 10:34 PM
Thank you Brenda for all your support and advice.

Yes I did get a 3rd opinion, not sure if you have ever heard of Tuft's University? It's a top notch #1 Vet hospital.

I faxed all his test results to them and they even said if they took him and treated him around the clock for 24hrs with all the meds and everything they would do, they said they can't save him, as it is so severe.

I have so much guilt Brenda, for not getting a second opinion sooner.

I couldn't believe everything this new vet was telling me, and they were in shock and couldn't stop shaking their heads as I told them what I was going through for the past week with my vet.

Also I told them that 1yr ago my vet said his alt level was up, and the first thing I said is ok what do I need to do for him, he told me just give him lipoform, which I found out today no that is wrong, as because his level was very high back then, he should've been started on iv meds, etc, and this could've been avoided.

I could tell you so much more that went on between my vet in the past year, as even all the stuff that happen this morning in his office before I left and went somewhere else. It would shock you.

Why didn't I do more research on his liver level? but my vet said it would be ok and just give him this, so I did and it was all wrong.

Brenda you should see Zenga, he is so weak and I even feel so guilty for making him suffer through the night, but I HAD to bring him home for my son and boyfriend to say our goodbye's and take more pics of him.

I am having him cremated and being put in a beautiful cherry box, with his pic on top.

How will I be able to drive to the vet's tomorrow morning and be able to do this?

I am devasted that my boyfriend can't come with me because of work, but I am wondering if it is because he doesnt want me to see him break down, as he is so close to Zenga, we call ourselves Mom and Dad and the dogs are called our boys lol.

Brenda this is like a doctor telling me that one of my human sons is sick and they have to pull the plug on him, I am flipping out.

It is so sad watching how sick Zenga is, no strength, he can barely walk and won't eat or drink.

I left a message for my old vet and I am curious if he will call me.

I have learned a very good lesson, but the hard way!

I can't and don't want to even go to sleep tonight, and I didn't sleep at all last night, as I just layed next to Zenga watching him and trying to give him liquids and some food.

Thank you all for your comfort and support, as I will really need it.
Gayle and the "boys"

geisha
August 11th, 2008, 10:46 PM
Our thoughts are prayers are with you during this time. :grouphug:

sugarcatmom
August 11th, 2008, 11:22 PM
Oh Gayle, I don't know what to say. Brenda is right about unregulated diabetics often having high liver values. The liver does have an amazing ability to recover, but how do you know when enough is enough? Has pancreatitis ever been mentioned?

So sorry that you're going through this. Give Zenga lots of lovin, see if maybe he'll eat some of his favourite treats.

zenga
August 12th, 2008, 12:03 AM
First of all I want to thank all of you for all of your support through this tough time with Zenga.

Sugarcatmom, yes the new vet explained so much to me and before the results came back she did discuss pancreatitis, she was amazing and I can't believe how much the explained EVERYTHING to me, and why didn't I leave my old vet long ago when I suspected things weren't right??

If last year when the vet told me that his liver levels were high, I had gone elsewhere then I wouldn't be going through this right now, but I asked him so what and how do we treat this, he said don't worry just give him Lipo-form each day, well wrong that is NOT what he needed.

Here in Mass we have the #1 Animal hosp., Tuft's and we faxed all the results to them today and the new vet spoke with them as to if they could help Zenga, but they said even if I had all the money in the world, nothing can save him at this point.

I am thinking about writing a letter to my old vet, yes I know it's not all his fault, but I do blame him alot, as I put my faith in him to tell me what needed to be done to care for my dogs and he didn't, but not only with the issue going on right now with Zenga, I found out a few other things, so now I have to get my other dog to them right away also.

My old vet told me today that I needed to relax and stop worrying so much, I couldn't believe he said to me, as here I was holding Zenga in my arms and he was so sick and could barely move, wasn't eating, was seizing, vomiting, etc.

Then new vet and a few of the staff members could see right away without even any testing, knew a few possibilities that was wrong with Zenga, and said your old vet sent you home with just a bottle of pedialite, only because I said I was concerned about him not drinking, and just told me to come back in a few days to have him retested. WOW

I stood there in his office as he was telling me to bring him home and I had this look on my face of so much confusion and he said what do you have a question, I said yes, what is wrong with Zenga?????? and his answer was don't worry he will be fine.

Sugarcatmom, I have tried to give him everything I could think of for food tonight and he doesn't want anything except fresh strawberries lol, so that is what he had lol.

It is now 12:05 am and he won't even sit up or walk or anything, it is so sad, just looking at him you can see he is a very sick dog and my old vet couldn't see this???

Again thank you all for you concerns and support and I will really need some prayers to get me through tomorrow.
Gayle

Purpledomino
August 12th, 2008, 12:42 AM
I just want to let you know that if you need prayers and support, you've come to the right place. I understand the heart-ache you are going through and I am sure many here can relate as well. I wish more could be done for your dear boy. :pray:

the gang
August 12th, 2008, 06:13 PM
just know!!!! im thinking about you, brenda and the pins :grouphug:

the gang
August 13th, 2008, 09:13 PM
how are you???????brenda and the pins

zenga
August 13th, 2008, 09:43 PM
Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts.

Well my baby boy Zenga is not suffering any longer, but my heart is so broken and I can't stop crying.

They place I brought him to was so wonderful to all of us, including Zenga.

It was the toughest thing I have ever had to do in my life.

They wrapped him in a blanket after it was over, and I held him in my arms and rocked him for about an hour and told him how sorry I was for his suffering he had to go through and how sorry I was that I didn't get him better help from a new vet sooner, but I trusted my vet.

I found out so many things from the two new vets I know how for my other dog York, about my old vet, and I am in shock as they are with what he did and didn't do for Zenga.

But nothing I do or say will bring him back to me.

They made a paw print on a piece of clay with his name on it and baked it and he will be put in a beautiful box with his name on it and his picture.

I am having such a hard time dealing with it and just want to sleep and stay in my room.

I have learned a really good lesson the hard way, always always get a second and third if possible opinion and if any doubt in your mind about anything you feel that your vet is doing or not doing please see another vet.

They were in shock that when last year my vet told me that his liver level was up that he only put him on lipo-form, which he should've been treated with iv and meds and so many other things he did wrong, and had I got a second opinion then Zenga would be here, as they said his liver at that point could've been fixed.

I am blaming myself so much.

So again thank you all so much for your support and if anyone can advice me as to how to try and deal with this huge lose I would greatly appreciate it.
Gayle

sugarcatmom
August 13th, 2008, 10:18 PM
Oh Gayle, my heart is breaking for you and the awful pain you're going through right now. :grouphug: So much anguish. . . . I wish I could hug you and make it all better. One thing to think about in all of this is that animals live in the moment, they don't dwell on their own demise or worry about how long they'll live or any of those specifically human preoccupations. You can be sure that Zenga loved you everyday with all his heart, and he'll continue to live on in your heart.

My most sincere condolences to you and your family. :candle:



http://www.pet-loss.net/index.html
http://www.angelbluemist.com/aplaceforus.html

14+kitties
August 13th, 2008, 10:27 PM
Gayle - I am so so sorry for your loss. Please know that Zenga would not blame you. You did everything you could do for your baby. He would not blame you, please don't do that to yourself.
:grouphug: for you in this difficult time.
:rip: sweet Zenga :candle:

the gang
August 13th, 2008, 10:31 PM
were here for you, just know that!!!! this a wounderful form with SUPER people hugs gayle brenda and the pins:candle:

hazelrunpack
August 13th, 2008, 11:08 PM
Gayle, you did everything you could and you did it with great love for Zenga. The lack was not yours, hun. :grouphug: No regrets. Zenga will wait for you and the reunion will be joyous. Not once will he reproach you. Because he knows that your love is what's important, and you gave him all of it. :grouphug:

:candle: Zenga

Purpledomino
August 13th, 2008, 11:49 PM
Zenga was so lucky to have such a caring Mom. My heart goes out to you and your family. :candle: