Pet Diabetes Presents Stories from Around the World!
Of Owners and Their Pets with Diabetes Mellitus

Casie and Harley

miniature pinscher
Diagnosed: 09/26/01
Currently on 5 units of NPH 2x a day, 
mostly regulated. 
She eats 1 cup of Walthams low fat with 2 tbsps of low
sodium beef broth added  2x a day.
She has developed cataracts but is not completely blind.

We got Harley from my husband's mom in May 1996.  Harley was born on May 9th.
 She had "issues" pretty much from the start.  When she went in for her first set of shots,
she came home and blistered up.  We rushed her to the emergency vet where they
gave her prednisone.  She only got worse.  The next day the vet did some blood work
and some other tests and came to the conclusion that Harley could only receive one 
shot at a time, would need to be pre-treated and to not ever get the bordetella again.  
He also thought she may have been overdosed with the predisone, which is why she
got worse.  

She did very well for the next year, but in 1998 she got mange
and also a bladder infection.  Poor thing.  

When we moved to VA in 1998, she did ok until about 1999.  She seemed to just
pack on the weight for no reason.  The vet ran all sorts of tests and got nothing back.
 Then in 2001, harley suddenly dropped from 26 (YES 26 lbs!!!!) down to 12 in less
than 2 months.  The current vet we had kept telling me her diet was finally working. 
I found that hard to believe since harley had always been well behaved and suddenly
would snatch food right out of your hand.  I took her in for a sore she had on her leg 
and asked again for the tests to be ran.  The vet told me that Harley was fine, and 
that her sore was from licking.  I argued as I had not seen harley licking her leg at all.
 She gave me spray, which only made it worse.  When I took her back, we saw a 
different vet and immedietly reached for some tweezers saying that she had a wood 
splinter in her leg and it was now getting infected.  I told him about her rapid weight
loss and he scheduled her for blood work.  So... Finally after 3 more visits demanding
they run some tests, the regular vet ran the diabetes test and it came back with her 
blood sugar well over 600!!!  She sent us home pretty much clueless and with 
instructions to give harley .5 units of insulin.  I had no clue how to give a shot or 
anything!  Fortunately the pharmacist was very nice and showed me.  She also could
not believe that the vet had prescribed .5 units, as that is pretty much nothing!!  
She even called to double check.  
3 days later, I woke up to Harley covered in hives and her little face was swelled up. 
I immediately took her to the EV.  He gave her a shot of benadryl and said to take her
to the regular vet.  I took harley in to the regular vet at 9 am.  They sent me home with 
some liquid benadryl and said to give it to her every 6hrs.  Well around 11 am, I could 
tell that Harley was about to break out again.  She was acting funny and seemed ansty.  
I called the vet and was told I needed to give the medicine time to work.  An hour later,
I went up there with Harley completely covered in hives again.  The vet told me that
harley must have been bitten by a "biter beetle" and said we should hold off on giving
her another shot, as we needed to let the benadryl start working... after we sat in the
waiting room for 2 hrs.  They actually wanted me to drop her off and come back later
to get her... as they were "very busy" doing a vaccination clinic.  I was like... HELLO! 
I am NOT leaving her to sit in a cage till you get around to her!!  The other vet who 
had ordered Harley's bloodwork, came around the corner and scooped her up,
gave her a different shot, and Harley was fine.  Well come Monday Harley did not 
seem to have much of an appetite.  I was worried, so I called the vet.  Of course they 
were "very busy" so I called a new vet office.  They told me to bring her right in.  First
thing the new vet did was write me a referral to see a specialist since Harley had a 
history of problems.  Then he upped her insulin to 3 units 2x a day, and put her on a
special diet.  He told me to come back after I saw the specialist and he would have 
some pamplets for me.  We saw the specialist who said Harley seemed fine, and 
could continue with a regular vet, but to schedule a glucose curve.  I took the
paperwork back to the new vet and he had loads of papers for me to look over on
canine diabetes.  He told me that if I needed any help at all to let them know.  I knew 
right then, Harley would never be going back to the old vet!  And I have never 
regretted giving up our pet insurance through Banfield and switching to a new vet. 
They have been absolutely wonderful at our new vets, and they care so much about 
both our dogs!! Harley is doing very well other than her cataracts which seem to bother
me a lot more than her!!!  The vet and specialist have both advised against the surgery
since Harley seems to be well adjusted and becuase of her history they think it would
do more harm then good as far as recovery and stuff.
Our other dog is Casie.  She is a long haired dachshund.  She also has some "issues". 
She had pancretaitis and spent a few days in the hospital... and also has an enlarged
heart.  And believe it or not she is also allergic to the shots and needs to be pre-treated
and can only have one at a time!!  We got Casie in Feb of 1999.  She was born on 
Christmas Eve of 1998.  She is quite a character... and such a "lap dog". 
She and Harley are "best buds".
Well now that I wrote a book... lol 

We spend about $16 a month on insulin, 
$13 on needles, 
$26 on food, and
$10 on a blood sugar test. 
 $4 a month on needle containers to put the used needles in
 $2 a month on alcohol pads we use to clean the top of the insulin bottle with
We have one curve done a year at $80. 

So we spend approx $65-70 a month and around $860-900 a yr. 

We do not do at home testing, so sometimes we might spend $10 a wk on tests. 
But usually it is just once a month. 

Update on June 29, 2003
Harley is doing very well!  Her cataracts have progressed, so she only sees a
little out of one eye, but the vet has recommended we not do the surgery as 
Harley's numbers become unstable so easily.  She has adjusted well, so we think 
it is probably for the best if we did not do the surgery.  Her numbers usually stay
within normal range, but do jump up in the mid to upper 100s now and then. 


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