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My little >Buddy> in is crisis

buddingartist
February 26th, 2010, 03:24 PM
As some of you may know, Buddy was recently diagnosed with diabetes.

I am bawling my eyes out as I am typing this.

This week has been very bad and he declined very rapidly. He went blind 2 days ago, started drinking copious amounts of water last night and he had my husband up 3 times during the night.

This morning, he threw up last night's dinner and couldn't even react for the morning walk. I called our vet's office and they said to try and feed him a little later on, give no insulin and called them back after 2 hours.

After my husand left with Cleo, Buddy found his way to the front door so I wrapped him in his coat, got dressed and took him in my arms to see if he would walk a little and we didn't even make it further than half the driveway. I was able to collect his urine and when I tested it, the ketone levels were at the top of the scale and he refused any food.

Our vet called to see how he was doing and when he heard, he told us to bring him in right away.

He has Ketoacidosis and it looks like his body is insulin resistant since his levels never went down lower than 300 and were as high as 600 after 3 weeks.

He is in the hospital and currently on intravenous and will be kept overnight. Our vet consulted with a specialist who suggested the course of treatment and asked that he also be tested for pancreatis. If they manage to bring the keytones down, they will try and feed him a little and they will try and administer NPH.

If that does not work, we just don't know.

Our poor little Cleo has been crawling into mine or my husband's arms and licking our tears wondering what is happening.

Tundra_Queen
February 26th, 2010, 04:36 PM
Oh no, I'm so very sorry about Buddy. :(

I have been diabetic myself for 47 years and started losing my sight at 21 and had a heart attack at 35 all caused by diabetes. But now they have wonderful things that can help diabetics and I'm sure it's true for dogs with diabetes too. Maybe if u can get Buddy's sugar under control his sight will return. Also ask the vet if there is Metformin that dogs can take. It slows the blood sugar from spiking so quickly after a diabetic eats.

I really hope they can help Buddy. Maybe he just needs a different type of insulin. :grouphug:

Debbie

Dog Dancer
February 26th, 2010, 04:40 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about Buddy having such a hard time of this. Hopefully the vets can stabilize him and get his system regulated in short order. It has to be hugely stressful for you. Please know we are all sending pawsitive thoughts to Buddy and you will all be in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong, you are doing all you can.

sugarcatmom
February 26th, 2010, 04:46 PM
Oh no!! My heart sank when I read this. Having been through 2 DKAs with my cat, I know how scary it is. The good thing is that Buddy is where he needs to be right now. Is the hospital a 24 hr facility?

:grouphug: Hang in there!! My kitty was on death's door but with round-the-clock care, he pulled through. That was 7 years ago.

Frenchy
February 26th, 2010, 05:24 PM
I'm so sorry buddingartist :( I'm hoping your vet will be able to make him better , I'm sending you and Buddy lots of positive vibes :goodvibes:

:grouphug:

buddingartist
February 26th, 2010, 06:16 PM
Thank you all so very much for the support. It feels good to know that people don't think you are crazy for crying for what is happening to your furry friend. I think we are out of tears...

We just got a call from the vet. My <little man< has managed to charm the staff and they have been giving him love and treats. The vet has managed to bring down his glucose levels by a fair amount with the new insulin and he tells us that Buddy is a bit more alert in his cage.

As for the pancreas, there is definitely something there. What the vet tells us is if it is pancreatis, it is a pain the ass but we can deal with it. If it is cancer, we will have to make a decision. We will know more tomorrow and he is definitely coming home to us tomorrow

Cleo is completely lost without her little brother and she is refusing any food or treat. To top it all, my husband is ready to sell his new Ford Escape to pay for the care of Buddy. Needless to say, I am freaking out since we are both retired and living on a fixed income and as you know, I lost a sibbling to renal failure due to diabetes and the other one is a ticking time bomb with pancreatic problems.

I know you all have your own challenges with your babies, however, this kindness is very much appreciated.

I will keep you posted

Louise

Deauce
February 26th, 2010, 06:16 PM
Take comfort in knowing that you are staying right on top of what Buddy is going through, and giving him all the care possible. I am sure they will go through all possibilities and come up with a positive answer very soon. Keep your chin up.

14+kitties
February 26th, 2010, 06:20 PM
:grouphug: Stay strong for Buddy. :grouphug:

sugarcatmom
February 26th, 2010, 06:38 PM
The vet has managed to bring down his glucose levels by a fair amount with the new insulin and he tells us that Buddy is a bit more alert in his cage.

Excellent!! That's half the battle right there. :thumbs up

Needless to say, I am freaking out since we are both retired and living on a fixed income

Not sure if you live in Ontario, but you might want to look into The Farley Foundation (http://www.farleyfoundation.org/) if the cost of Buddy's care gets to be too much. They offer financial assistance to seniors with sick pets.
:grouphug:

Frenchy
February 26th, 2010, 07:33 PM
The vet has managed to bring down his glucose levels by a fair amount with the new insulin and he tells us that Buddy is a bit more alert in his cage.


Maybe things will keep on improving !! :fingerscr :fingerscr

hazelrunpack
February 26th, 2010, 07:36 PM
Sending a few more :goodvibes: Buddy's way! And a few :grouphug:s for you and your husband!

buddingartist
February 27th, 2010, 12:11 PM
My <little man< is home and a lot more alert than when we took him in on Friday and the staff thinks he is such a good little dog.

Even though his glucose levels are still in the 300's (he was in the high 600), it has almost never been this good. Also he warned us that Buddy may need to go out a lot more today because of all the liquids that they gave him to flush his system out and restore the balance.

He is now on Novolin NPH 3 units twice a day (every 12 hours). The new diet is MediCal Gastrointestinal and the vet gaves us dry and wet food. If Buddy does not want to eat, they suggested that I mix some water with the wet food and they gave me a serynge to feed him that way. Because he was in acute stage, I am to switch him over to the new food immediately, but it is still OK to give him apples, pumpkin, boiled egges and brocoli and keep him on the hypoallergenic treats.

The vet also suggested that I continue monitoring his sugar and ketones with the stix and he was quite happy to hear that I wanted to learn how to use a glucometer and they will teach me.

There is definitely something with the pancreas and he thinks cancer is at the very bottom of the list of his worries. Which came first? pancreas problems which caused the diabetes or the other way around. Unfortunately, the other necessary tests (biopsy, xrays, ultrasound etc.) to determine this would be extremely costly so he is advocating that we just proceed slowly and he feels confident that we are closely monitoring the situation. He also gave us his cell phone number and if we have a problem this weekend, we are to call him directly instead of going to the emergency clinic and he will direct us what to do from there.

As for the blindness, he does not know if it will come back because it came so rapidly but doesn't hold much hope on that. His wife is a trainer so hubby and I were thinking of getting a couple of training sessions on how to deal with a blind dog because our dogs have been trained with hand signals.

Sugarcatmom, I checked the Farley Foundation and we would not qualify. The traditional <you are too rich< to qualify but not rich enough to live up the expensive life but thank you for the information. We will manage.

Thank you all so very much for the support, prayers and well wishing thoughts. It was very much appreciated. Today is officially a major cuddle day:thumbs up:cloud9: with our babies.

sugarcatmom
February 27th, 2010, 04:53 PM
Today is officially a major cuddle day:thumbs up:cloud9: with our babies.

So glad to hear that Buddy is back home. Happy cuddling! :grouphug:

ancientgirl
February 27th, 2010, 06:21 PM
I just read this. I'm so glad Buddy is back home and getting mommy cuddles. I'm sure now that he's on the right medication and amount things will get better for him. :grouphug:

the gang
February 27th, 2010, 06:57 PM
i am very happy for you all, i too have a diabect dog, its hard too. he too is blind!! its been almost 3 yrs, he too gets canislin 2 x per day i wish you the best brenda and the pins.:fingerscr

hazelrunpack
February 27th, 2010, 08:14 PM
Glad to hear that Buddy is doing better! Whew! :grouphug:

I hope the new meds continue to work their magic for him! :goodvibes:

growler~GateKeeper
February 28th, 2010, 01:34 AM
Sorry to hear of the troubles your little guy is dealing with :grouphug: :goodvibes: for speedy improvement

There is definitely something with the pancreas and he thinks cancer is at the very bottom of the list of his worries. Which came first? pancreas problems which caused the diabetes or the other way around. Unfortunately, the other necessary tests (biopsy, xrays, ultrasound etc.) to determine this would be extremely costly so he is advocating that we just proceed slowly and he feels confident that we are closely monitoring the situation.

According to this site http://www.caninediabetes.org/pdorg/pancreatitis.htm diabetes can cause pancreatitis and acute pancreatitis can cause diabetes mellitus (which usually disappears once the pancreatitis is cleared up) but since Buddy was showing signs of insulin resistance I would think the bout of pancreatitis was a result of the unregulated diabetes:

Diabetic animals that have a bout of pancreatitis may show some insulin resistance

Hopefully once the diabetes is consistantly regulated with no glucose spikes/crashes the pancreatitis will clear up & not return :goodvibes:

Some info of Ketoacidosis: http://www.caninediabetes.org/pdorg/ketoacidosis.htm

Just to give you an idea re cost of ultrasounds - I've had 2 abdominal ultrasounds done on my cat within the last 5 months and here in the Vancouver area they were between $315-350 each, an ultrasound may or may not show any abnormalities in the pancreas.

:goodvibes: for Buddy & the new insulin

Tundra_Queen
February 28th, 2010, 07:06 AM
Hi
I'm glad that Buddy is back home again. I hope the new insulin will start working better and bring his sugar down a bit more.

I have read about spraying the walls with furniture polish at nose level so a blind dog can follow it. Also if u have stairs I would suggest u buy a baby gate so that he won't fall down the stairs. Maybe even get a strip of carpet, that is different texture if u already have carpet, and put it along where it is safe for Buddy to walk. Carpet stores sometimes sell rements cheaply.That would help him find his way around the house now that he is blind.

Take care
Debbie

buddingartist
February 28th, 2010, 02:11 PM
Again thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

Yesterday, Buddy showed signs of improvement however, he was drinking copious amounts of water and to our absolute surprise, he peed in the house 4 times. The good news is that he was able to go for a walk and as suggested in what I read so far on dealing with blind dogs, I had a little bell in my hand and I kept talking to him.

Last night, from 11:30pm on he woke us up every 30-40 minutes and that lasted until 3:30 in the morning. The last few times he went out, hubby realized that he only wanted to lick snow so he got concerned about dehydration and decided that he may as well be up all night so he gave him a bowl of water and strangely enough, he drank like crazy and slept until 7:30 this morning. We thought that his little body had been through a trauma and with the IV fluids, he was just flushing out.

This morning, he is still drinking a lot of water, has absolutely no energy, can barely jump on the lower couch and could not even do his walk past the driveway. Keytone present but low and same as yesterday and sugar through the roof.

He has managed to occasionally jump on the couch, find his water and food bowls, and despite our attempts, has yet to go to his favourite cushion but overall he seems to be adapting rather well. My husband went and shovelled some paths in the backyard so he doesn't struggle too much when he gets stuck in a snow bank and it seems to have helped Buddy finding his way back to the sun room.

As for stairs in our house, it is almot inexistant. We bought this house for our retirement and had those issues in mind. The one thing we did when we moved in was to ramp off the deck to the yard outside the sunroom because both Buddy and Cleo have luxated patellas and have difficulties with stairs.

I also read about using different scents to guide them to various areas of the house, however, I will avoid the Pledge because that is what I use on my side tables and coffee table so I don't want him to use that small as a <safe< smell.

My husband and I have been going back to his medical history and multiple test results in the past 2 years and we are almost convinced that the pancreas problems came first and were excacerbated (sp?) by 2 surgeries, multiple infections, 2 months of antibiotics, anal sac problems, etc. Glyburide is also know to damage the pancreas and Buddy started the treatment with those pills.

Growler, I realize that $350 may not sound too exhorbitant to some however, I'm sorry if some of you don't agree with our decision but so far we have spent about $1,000 since this all started and we know that we could not afford the costs of a specialist and any surgery or expensive treatments, and this is just gut wrenching.

I also want to keep thinking about the quality of his life and comfort myself with the fact that when we took Buddy (and his sister) out of that puppy mill, our vet told us he was a week or two away from dying. He has been a spoiled little guy for 9 1/2 years.

When my babies are sick, I sing >you are my sunshine, my only sunshine... please don't take my sunshine away< and just when I thought we had no tears left.....

We are taking Buddy back to the vet on Tuesday, so we will see

Another problem that seems to be surfacing is that Cleo is getting a little jealous of the attention that Buddy is getting and we have found her growling at him occasionally. Yet, she just did not want to walk fast yesterday and kept looking back for him and every time he woke us up during the night, she was up and wide awake.

Thank you all. Now I'm going to go and have another good cry

Louise

Frenchy
February 28th, 2010, 03:22 PM
Another problem that seems to be surfacing is that Cleo is getting a little jealous of the attention that Buddy is getting and we have found her growling at him occasionally.

I'm thinking this may be because he still smells like the vet's office. Or that she can sense something is not ok with him and she's unsure about that. I don't think it's jealousy. For the water intake , this happens a lot when they come back from a stay at the vet , and also his condition will make him drink more.

Good idea about the bell , I fostered one blind dog once , and also had my golden Bailey , who lost his sight slowly as he was getting older , both of them amazed me by their ability to get used to their surroundings , as long as you don't move furnitures around , he will be ok :thumbs up

I also understand about money issues and their quality of life. My motto is : do the best you can do for your pets with what you have, don't be afraid to ask for help when needed , don't let your animal suffer and give them all the love you can give them. :grouphug:

buddingartist
February 28th, 2010, 03:59 PM
I also understand about money issues and their quality of life. My motto is : do the best you can do for your pets with what you have, don't be afraid to ask for help when needed , don't let your animal suffer and give them all the love you can give them. :grouphug:

Thank you Frenchy. It feels good to read your kind words.

As an aside, we are celebrating a little victory.:highfive::grouphug: My husband is watching the hockey game and I thought I would take the dogs out for their walks. When I said the magic word, Buddy did not move so I thought I would just take Cleo and hubby could stay with Buddy. Lo and behold, the little guy quickly found his way to the front door and would not be left behind so daddy decided on his priorities and took the little guy for his walk. He did so good.

Maybe some of you experts can help me. The insulin shots are every 12 hours and that is a long time between 2 meals. It is the second day that Buddy comes back from the walk around this time and he is just starving so we decided to serve him (and Cleo) 3 meals, smaller portions but still. He will get the other one at 9pm before the insulin shot. Am I doing more harm by feeding him? :shrug:as I know that this raises his blood sugar.

the gang
February 28th, 2010, 05:44 PM
i too do 3 meals a day it helps with being diabect!!!! your little one is scared, i had the same probelm with dakota, try not move anything!! he will find his way! the 2 shots a day take a few days to kick in, its water pee, much like predosone they want to drink and pee, please fell free to email me or post i would be happy to help if i can, brenda and the pins, oh and best of luck on tuesday :fingerscr

the gang
February 28th, 2010, 05:45 PM
what time do you give inslin??

pugsrule
February 28th, 2010, 10:53 PM
I am so sorry for your troubles with Buddy. You say he was changed to Humulin N? Was he on caninsulin before that? If he was, it is possible you could have some recourse from caninsulin/vetsulin, it was recalled, and currently not being produced. FDA pulled it, as it was unstable, and now if you check their website, they are not saying when/if they will be producing it anymore. No diabetic pet should be on this insulin.

You really need to get a glucometer, they are pretty much free in Canada, when you buy the strips. After the first set of strips, then you can get them on ebay for less than half price. It is the only way to regulate buddy, and make sure his bgs aren't too high, or too low.

The urine sticks don't help much, as they only tell you if the glucose was over the renal threshold (180 or 5.5) since the last time he urinated. the trouble is that perhaps hours ago he was over 5.5., and thus there is glucose in the urine, but at the moment you test you have no idea if he is 3 or 30!

If your vet will show you how to use a glucometer, then you can begin to regulate him. Until then, 3 meals a day are not good at all. He should only be fed and insulin at the same time twice per day. i know it is hard. I have 9 dogs and one is diabetic. They were all used to getting treats etc. and then I had to change it with a diabetic in the house. Buddy is hungry because at the high glucose levels, he is not utilizing the food properly, and so will feel hungry and lose weight. Once his blood glucose gets back to more normal levels, then you can increase or decrease his meals so he doesn't feel hungry all the time.

BTW the glucometer will save a lot of money in the end, as you won't have to get the glucose testing done at the vets, and can save big time that way.

You will be absolutely amazed how fast he will be back to feeling himself, as soon as you get his bgs back to normal, within a day!! He will stop drinking and peeing, and just be himself. Pleaase don't give upon him, this will be easier than you think.

Hugs Joan

sugarcatmom
February 28th, 2010, 10:59 PM
The urine sticks don't help much,

True in the case of Diastix, but Ketostix or Keto-diastix, which test the urine for the presence of ketones, are vitally important to monitoring diabetes, especially in the early days.

Buddingartist also knows about the Caninsulin issue, but her vet insisted on using it.

growler~GateKeeper
February 28th, 2010, 11:13 PM
Growler, I realize that $350 may not sound too exhorbitant to some however, I'm sorry if some of you don't agree with our decision but so far we have spent about $1,000 since this all started and we know that we could not afford the costs of a specialist and any surgery or expensive treatments, and this is just gut wrenching.

I was only trying to give you a frame of reference for ultrasound costs in a major city, as I have had vets in the past who will only say a procedure/test is "expensive" without giving an actual amount and allowing you to decide for yourself if you can afford it. I was not passing judgement on your decision.

I know all about being stretched beyond the limits of budgets and expensive vet treatments I have a cat with kidney failure and in the last 3 years have spent somewhere in the neighbourhood of $10,000 that I don't have & most of that is accumulating interest owed on my maxed out credit card.

:goodvibes: for Tuesdays visit

pugsrule
February 28th, 2010, 11:23 PM
Sorry you are right on the keto stix, but I am so worried for this little guy.
What kind of vet would use a product that is proven dangerous?

sugarcatmom
March 1st, 2010, 07:19 AM
What kind of vet would use a product that is proven dangerous?

Here is the original thread: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=68014

pugsrule
March 1st, 2010, 08:19 AM
I think it would help Buddy and you to visit a site that is exclusively for diabetic dogs. There are knowledgable people there that help newcomers deal with the starting regulation for dogs in these difficult circumstances. They deal with this condition every day, and that is the type of help that could save little Buddy.

A good example is http://caninesupportgroup.com/

buddingartist
March 1st, 2010, 03:46 PM
:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::highfive::cloud9::c loud9:
We are both sooooo excited and over the moon with joy and highfiving each other and we both know that there will be off days.

Buddy is doing so much better and looks a lot more alert and the kicker is that we were able to take him out for both his morning and afternoon walk, other than just picking him up for a few minutes when he showed signs of being a little tired. His proud little gait was almost back. Daddy takes Buddy and I take Cleo but she always wants to stop to make sure her brother is following.

He is also navigating very well around the house and amazingly, he finds his way to the front door rather quickly when he hears: Wanna go for a walk?:D

I checked his keytones and they were negative this morning whereas there was a trace for the past 2 days. Believe it or, the sugar went down (again only using the stix) and we are going to the vet tomorrow.

As for the food, I have to give him food 3 times a day and I spread the daily portion in 3. Both dogs are just hovering and absolutely starving by 4. Considering he was 22 pounds, all muscles and he went down to 16 pounds, he needs to put some weight back on.

They went from not eating before 2-3 in the afternoon for 9 years and now breakfast at 8:45am, injection at 9am. Walk at 10:30, a little food at 4pm, dinner at 8:45pm following by the injection.

As for the Caninsulin in Canada, our vet had received the notice and I read it that it was still being recommended in Canada. I even talked to 2 owners of dogs that our vet is treating and they are both doing extremely well on it. It could have been an underlying condition for Buddy. In all fairness, my little guy has been through a lot in his life and he didn't exactly start out well either.

In all fairness, our vet has been very committed to Buddy's wellness ever since we moved here in the country 4 years ago. When we took him in on Friday at noon, the vet stayed with him until midnight that night and called us to let us know how he was doing. He also consulted a specialist for advice and suggestion instead of referring us (which saved us a ton of money). He sees that we are committed to our pets's health and that we do a lot of reading and he and his staff are all routing for us and have been very compassionate. Yes, I admit maybe going through a bit of anger but I guess that is part of the various stages of transition (sadness, anger, acceptance, bargainning etc, etc.)

Pugsrule, thank you for the website. I had a quick look at it and I am going to register.

Brenda, I'll PM you.

Thanks a lot everyone, you are such a great bunch of people. I don't know how I would have gone through this without your information, words of wisdom, advice, support, etc, etc,

ancientgirl
March 1st, 2010, 05:23 PM
I'm so happy to hear Buddy is improving. I hope he continues to do so. :pray:

Frenchy
March 1st, 2010, 06:15 PM
woot woot for Buddy !!!! :clap:

14+kitties
March 1st, 2010, 06:52 PM
:grouphug: :fingerscr for continued improvment!!

the gang
March 1st, 2010, 07:23 PM
good job buddy:thumbs up