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Exhausted and self doubting ourselves (long post)

February 21st, 2010, 01:41 PM
As some of you may be aware, our little Buddy was recently diagnosed with diabetes. After the first glucose curve, he was getting 8 units once daily and we saw some improvements.

When we got Buddy and Cleo, it was suggested that we feed them twice a day then our vet suggested that we should leave the food down and let them eat when they are hungry. As a result, Buddy has been a grazer for 9 years and almost never ate before 2-3 in the afternoon. So that is something else that we need to change. We are now aiming for the first feeding at 11-11:30 am, after his morning walk, then his injection. The next feeding 6pm after his second walk of the day.

After the second glucose curve, it was increased to 11 units once daily but that night, he peed in our bed, which he has never done, either in our bed or in the house.

On the 3rd one, even the vet was frustrated as Buddy’s levels remained in the 600 all day and the vet recommended his dosage be increased to 14 units daily. Of course, a couple of days before we took him in, Buddy was refusing to eat and I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor trying to hand feed him so as a result of that, we could only give him half the dosage. We are to take him back on Wednesday at 3pm to see if there is any improvement.

Buddy also has serious allergies and after having tried so many different diets, we must now stick to the MediCal Hypoallergenic food and treats. Many of you suggested adding pumpkin to his diet, which I did and he loves it so whenever I add something new to his diet, I have to monitor for skin lesions and interdigital cysts. I inspect and clean his paws every night with saline water. I also started adding some apples pieces (peeled and pits removed) and so far, just one minor lesion.

The one suggestion that the vet technician made was to add some warm water to his kibbles and make a gravy. I have been doing this for 2 days now and it is working wonderfully and somewhat encouraging to see him eat again. So I started adding the pumpkin and apples in the mix.

Meanwhile, hubby is sometimes up 4 times during the night to take him out.
Last night, he slept right through to 8am this morning and the night before, I woke up to Buddy crawling into my arms (I just wanted to cry like a baby).

Sometimes he pees, other time he just sits there or lick snow (which he has always enjoyed). On many occasions, he just gets out (or needs to be pushed out) of the sun room and once his paws hit the deck, he just pees there (which we don’t mind – we can always hose it down).

His vision having started decreasing last summer, the vet told us then it was crystals. So that means that there is still light passing through as opposed to cataracts where he would not see anything. Buddy hesitates when there is a change in lighting or flooring texture and at night, it is particularly hard to get him to go out at night. Again, we don’t know if it is the decreasing eyesight or the side effect of the diabetes.

Also because he had severe mange when we got him at 10 weeks old, Buddy lost his first coat so now, with only one coat which is no longer looking as healthy as it used to, you can really see his spine and rib cage. He is so skinny and very little skin to pinch to give him the injection.

It really makes you question yourself whether you are doing all the right things. Buddy has always been a sound sleeper and can get dopey when you wake him up. He has also been a neurotic dog ever since we got him at 10 weeks old.

Did we give the injection properly? Were there bubbles? Is he suffering? Should we do something else? Is he going into hypoglycemia and just plain dopey cause we just woke him up?

Today looks like a good day. Sorry for the long post. I guess Just needed to share my (our) fears and worries. We are both seniors and very emotional when it comes to our babies.

February 21st, 2010, 01:58 PM
Gosh, caring for a chronically ill fur-baby really is an emotional roller coaster, isn't it? I totally understand how intense it can be. Just remember that you're doing the best you can and you're doing it out of love. :grouphug:

Is he going into hypoglycemia and just plain dopey cause we just woke him up?

One way to know for sure is to learn to home-test Buddy's glucose yourself. I know you wanted to take some time to get accustomed to the whole injection routine and all the other changes that come along with caring for a diabetic, but I really think it would be immensely beneficial for both Buddy's health and your peace of mind to have this tool at your disposal. Please think about it. I'm also a little concerned at how fast Buddy's dose has been raised. It's entirely possible that he's in chronic rebound from a dose that was raised too much, too fast. The only way to know for sure is to test him at home.
More info on the Somygi rebound effect:

February 21st, 2010, 05:10 PM
Tks Sugarcatmom. It sure is a roller coaster of emotions.

So you think an increase from 8 units to 14 over a period of a little more than a month is too rapid?

I have been doing a lot of reading about the glucometer, watched youtube video, and went back on one post in this forum however, the concern that I have right now (aside from drawing blood from his ear) is knowing what to do with the information. I don't yet fully grasp the curve, the difference between glucose and high blood sugar etc, etc so I am in education mode. Right now, I can tell you that I would be concerned about adjusting the dosage on my own. I will venture that eventually, we may move towards develop the curve ourselves.

The vet had me in contact with 2 other dog owners who have diabetic dogs, they live very close by and asked/offered to drop in to their place and take our <kids< with us and they have been very kind in offering the encouragement.

Also you guys had warned me that it wouldn't get regulated overnight and it could take a little while.

I must say, Buddy is having a fabulous day today. Alert, hungry and he even tried to hump his sister :laughing:

Diabetes is such an insidious disease and I hate it..... cause it runs rampant in my family. My brother died from complications, my nephew just had his right leg amputated below the knee, my sister has pancreas problem and is a ticking time bomb.

Thanks again

February 22nd, 2010, 07:33 AM
So you think an increase from 8 units to 14 over a period of a little more than a month is too rapid?

How much does Buddy weigh?

I think the dose increases have been too much in one go. The makers of Caninsulin recommend dose increases of about 10%. Going from 8 units to 11 is almost a 40% increase all at once. How does the vet know that 9 or 10 units wouldn't have been the magic number?

It's also possible that Buddy would be better with twice a day dosing. Vets often start off with just once a day because it seems more doable for most pet owners. But some dogs benefit from getting more even coverage provided by 2 shots a day. It's just one of the variables to consider in this diabetes dance.

the concern that I have right now (aside from drawing blood from his ear) is knowing what to do with the information.

For now, the info would just be fact-gathering. You don't have to make any decisions without consulting your vet.

February 23rd, 2010, 09:59 AM
Tks Sugarcatmom.
I read the article about Somogyi and I will keep that in mind.

Buddy was 22 pounds and now weighs 16 pounds

I must say that Buddy has been doing exceptionally well these past 2 days, he is exceptionally more alert, has been sleeping through the night and adding water to his kibbles has made a huge difference in his appetite.

I have also been adding the pumpkin and pieces of apple in it for fibre. This morning, I will be adding hard boiled eggs also for protein.

When I go back on Wednesday and the vet suggests another increase, I will ask that the increase be by 1 unit at a time (and I know he will get irritated with me again:D) but hey, it's my dog, my dollars.

When you use the Glucometer, do you draw blood from the ear, tongue? I have been doing so much reading lately, my head is spinning

Tks again Sugarcatmom

February 24th, 2010, 02:43 PM
Well I spoke too soon. Yesterday was a very bad day and Buddy scared the daylight out of me, wobbly on his feet and went and laid right down on the snow and was immobile for a few seconds, that felt like minutes and hours. He loves to roll in the snow but he had never done that. I ended up giving him corn syrup at 2:30 and when I called the vet at 3pm cause I was not seeing any signs of him perking up, they asked that we bring him in.

Before we left, I asked my husband to read the article on somigyi, French being my first language and the article being a little technical. Of course, by the time we got there, Buddy loves going to the vet and he just went to all the staff and had perked up and when they tested his sugar, it was through the roof.

Hubby had a bit of a discussion with the vet (had just finished surgery and was running late) and the dosage will be reduced by 1 unit down to 13 and we are to take him back between 2 and 3 on Friday. The vet explained that he was successful in regulating many dogs with one injection per day and that it now looks like it won't happen with Buddy and that we may now have to go to 2 a day.

The good news (I think) is that he has gained weight and now weighs 17.2 pounds

And now today.....It never rains but pours, this morning he did not get the full dosage and some of it leaked down his body. Also, watching his demeanor this morning, I can tell that he has now completely lost sight in the right eye.

February 24th, 2010, 02:57 PM
I've never had experience with diabetes, BA, but I wanted to say how sorry I am that you're going through this with Buddy :grouphug:.

I hope that you can find the right dosage that will keep Buddy stable. :fingerscr that twice a day will do the trick.

February 24th, 2010, 03:10 PM
Tks Luckypenny.

I am so grateful for the support and knowledge of many of the people on this board and most of all to Sugarcatmom for pointing us in the direction of that article.

February 24th, 2010, 03:18 PM
Diabetes can be a tough disease to manage, but hang in there! :grouphug:

Weight gain is good :thumbs up Is his water intake about normal?

Blindness is a scary thing, but it seems to be much harder on the humans than the dogs. My parents' dog was 18 when she died--blind since about age 13 from cataracts. But to her dying day, she was still able to chase rabbits out of the yard! They rely so much more on scent than we do that they really do quite well even if they can't see. Just make sure not to move the furniture too much or he'll be bumping into stuff. :o

I hope the double dose helps regulate his sugar better :goodvibes:

February 24th, 2010, 03:44 PM
Tks Hazelpackrun. Water intake is almost back to normal.

We'll see what the vet says on Friday.

About the blindness, it is the period of adjustment that is difficult. He is walking around in circle and until he hears our voice, he doesn't quite know where to go. When trying to jump on one of the couches, he missed but then he is so bloodly weak. The other couch is lower and he was able to manage that one.

We will hang in there, as long as we know he is not suffering cause we love the little guy like crazy. That's OK, we both had a good cry today and now we are more resolved than ever not to give up on him.

February 24th, 2010, 03:44 PM
I meant Hazelrunpack:sorry:

February 24th, 2010, 07:19 PM
I meant Hazelrunpack:sorry:
Not a problem :D Most people call me's lots easier :o

Ya, the adjustment time can be rough, but he'll learn what he can and can't manage and pretty soon he'll be navigating the furniture like there's nothing different. He's a well-loved little guy, that's for sure! :grouphug: