Dog Diabetes..

Discussion in 'Pets' started by JackieP, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. JackieP

    JackieP Funster

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    Dugal the dog was diagnosed with diabetes at the beginning of January. I was on my way to Morocco but turned around and came back to my vet in Portugal. It's been a long slog getting him stable enough to travel. The vets were giving him huge amounts of insulin in an attempt to get his blood glucose levels to normal levels. This resulted in him having some serious hypoglycaemic attacks and I nearly lost him on several occasions. Thank goodness for agave syrup as rubbing it on his gums is what saved him.

    The vets were trying to get his blood glucose levels the same as a dog without diabetes but after I'd done some research I discovered that dog with diabetes never have levels as low as a dog without. I told the vets this and they have now halved his dose of insulin and thankfully, for the last three days I've got my old dog back. Does anyone have any experience of this?

    The worry for me is leaving for the journey back. I hope to leave to go north within the next two weeks. I was going to buy a glucose meter and test hm myself but the vets tell me it's impossible to do this alone and that I should just call into vets on the route home. I would feel happier knowing what his levels are myself. Again - does anyone have any experience of this?

    Hope someone can help. It's been a lonely road these last few weeks.
     
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  2. JackieP

    JackieP Funster

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    When he was fit and healthy… IMG_9286.JPG
     
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  3. Clewsy

    Clewsy Funster Life Member

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    We had a Lab that was diabetic and we had to get a sample of his first pee each morning and test the levels with the strips that change to different colours depending on the level. This determined the insulin dose to inject. This was around 20 years ago so I guess glucose meters have replaced the strips
     
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  4. JackieP

    JackieP Funster

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    Thanks for your reply.

    I'm going to the pharmacy tomorrow to talk about getting a glucose meter - I'll ask about the strips - that would be a far easier way of finding out how things are going. The vet tried to stab Dugal in the war and the gum and the tail and the paw and couldn't get a drop of blood out of him. By the time she finished he (and I) were stressed to hell so if there was an alternative I would prefer to use it.

    Did you then regulate the amount of insulin after urine testing or did the vet do it?
     
  5. Oscar

    Oscar Funster

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    So sorry to hear of your problems, hope you can get him stabilised soon xx
     
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  6. Madmag

    Madmag Funster

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    You should be able to control and monitor using urine check each morning. Use the stix they aren’t quantitative but qualitative but are are a good enough guide for calculating insulin dose. Once you have a rough idea of normal daily dose then you just use same/+2 units or -2units depending on reading. Well that’s how it used to work!!!
     
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  7. JackieP

    JackieP Funster

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    Thats absolutely marvellous news. Thank you!

    Do you think human stix would work or did you have special dog ones?
     
  8. Phileas Dog

    Phileas Dog Funster

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    Our dog ( my avatar) is diabetic, don't give up it's very hard to deal with to start with, but 2yrs on we're doing fine,
    I take blood but only a couple of times a week, the vet advises a reading of 10-15 but it fluctuates, if it's high I increase her insulin a little.
    I use a Alpha track blood glucose monitoring system.
    I find I can get blood from her inner lip without distressing her, but it's much easier if you have someone to help.
    The system is specifically for dogs, but "you tube " has lots of info about using monitors, the human ones are cheaper but they are calibrated differently so you need to know what level you need to aim for.
    I inject her twice a day, and she's very accepting, it just becomes routine.
    Your little Dugal looks so sweet give it time it will become easier to deal with, when you get him stable, and when he's feeling better and running about he will burn off some of the glucose.
    Hope you find a way to help the little chap.
     
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  9. Madmag

    Madmag Funster

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    As far as I remember they are the human ones we used. Not aware of any "dog specific" ones but things do change. Can't imagine there would be any difference though, except in the cost!!!
     
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  10. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    My dad was a vet... and a Diabetic.
    The only relevance is that he tested himself with Ketone Strips rather than blood monitoring... and
    He always said that Doctors/Vets "practice" because they're always learning & their knowledge comes from experience.
    When I got Kerry, a greyhound, I was advised to take her to vets used to treating Grey's because their physiology is different to other dogs.

    Conclusion = test with dip strips, blood testing is overkill.
    Find a vet who has experience of treating diabetic dogs.

    Good luck.
     
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  11. Oscar

    Oscar Funster

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    Good advice Stephen
     
  12. Parrot Face

    Parrot Face Funster

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    About 5 years ago we were about 2 weeks into a 3 month tour of Spain and Portugal when our dog got diabetes. As a nurse I spotted the symptoms and made an appointment at the vets in Alcossebre. But then after setting up the motorhome and just starting our evening meal he went into a coma. The site receptionist rushed us to the vets. They stabilised him overnight and we stayed in the area for about a week until we were happy to move on. We got dietary advice and urine sticks along with insulin. We carried on with the trip calling in at various vets along our way to obtain more insulin etc. The trip was a success and Pickles always seemed to keep his sugar levels at a good level.
     
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  13. Madmag

    Madmag Funster

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    Exactly!
     
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  14. JackieP

    JackieP Funster

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    My experience couldn't be more different. My vets here reportedly had a good reputation with diabetic dogs. We began visits at the beginning of January and for the first five weeks we were visiting the vets every morning and every evening for blood tests. Even after that we visited most days. My mistake was trusting that they really knew what they were doing. How I wish now that I'd asked this question on here back in January but to be honest, I was in a bit of a mess myself. I've paid nearly 700 euros now in blood tests and last week he went into a coma on three consecutive days. After that I began to research myself and found that they were giving him twice the dose that he needed. When I challenged them they said that they were trying to achieve normal blood glucose levels and were quite surprised when I told them that diabetic dogs blood glucose levels are always going to be higher than dogs who do not have diabetes. We have now halved the dose and for the last three days I feel as though I've got my old dog back.

    It's been a real challenge for me. Travelling back and forth every day, finding somewhere at night to lay my head and no time to connect with anyone apart from hellos and goodbyes. I'm OK now but I did really go through it January/February.

    I'm astounded and sad to read of your experience and I could kick myself now for not moving to another vet but I just trusted that they knew what they were doing. The fact that you were dealt with so quickly just leaves me speechless - happy for you of course - but speechless for me.
     
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  15. JackieP

    JackieP Funster

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    Thank you to everyone who has helped me with this. The vets here have told me that testing with the urine sticks is pointless but having read your comments and from doing some research of my own (have spent a few days at the stadium in Lagos where there is free wifi) I can see that it's the best solution for me. I've been desperate to leave here for ten weeks, I'm hoping now that my dog's insulin has been reduced and that he now, finally seems more stable, that I can get on the road north.

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart.
     
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  16. Clive

    Clive Funster Life Member

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    I have a diabetic cat who’s 17 years old. You try testing a cat. The blood test, pad of paw, have you seen their claws or edge of ear, very near the teeth. It was taking two of us and after a month we realise she was getting more blood out of us than we ever got out of her.
    Then the pee stick. Even with a cat lit tray it’s a race against her burying it.
    We now get the vet to do the test on her six month check up. That’s worked for the last 3 years.
     
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  17. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Our Shelby a now 13 year old Westie was diagnosed three years back. Vet who diagnosed did various blood and pee checks to give a start point on insulin level erring on the low side for safety. They also did a fructosamine (sp) test. It's a blood test that if done right maps the sugar level over the last three weeks and confirms correct insuline level. Couple of vets couldn't get it to work, our origional plus latest, we were moving around alot, always got a result, oddly Scotish vets. Shelby is 10.2 kgs and pretty settled wieghts wise and we keep diet and exsersize levels as constant as possible. She's never thankfully done the coma bit and rarely has any issues, just occational pee moments, usually our fault giving an extra or unsuitable chew, just given a load away as we realised they were wrong for her. She's steady on 9 units twice a day and no daily testing required.
     
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  18. JackieP

    JackieP Funster

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    I bought the sticks this morning at the pharmacy. The vet here doesn’t use units only mls. My dog is currently on .1 of a ml. No matter I still will be able to dose up or down. When I get home I’ll get some proper insulin syringes and find out how many units it works out at.

    Thanks again.
     
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  19. Madmag

    Madmag Funster

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    Try a normal pharmacy for the syringes. Generally they are standard for human & animals. If in doubt take your insulin with you and they should be able to show you.
     
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  20. SpeedyDux

    SpeedyDux Funster

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    @JackieP - my sympathies to you and your dog. I had this situation with a diabetic Bichon. The vet was unable to stabilise him. Eventually I succeeded by trial and error using the ketone diastix, daily caninsulin jabs, and a strictly controlled diet. I can't remember what the brand of food was but it had a lot of fibre. He lasted another 18 months with a good quality of life and was always positive and very active despite going blind.
     
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