What could be sweeter then a canine with diabetes!

Laddie and Phyllis November 2002
this is an update
Laddie was 5 yrs. old July 25, 2002.  He's doing great!!  He still weighs between 20-21 lbs. His eyes are still fine.  He still goes to an Optamologist in New Orleans every 6 mo. & the Dr. is simply amazed at how well he is doing.  He said he has never seen a Diabetic dog go so long without having to have eye surgery because of cataracts, etc.  Laddie has what you call "insipid" cataracts which I gather means very tiny.  The Dr. also said he thinks Laddie was just born with them as they act nothing like cataracts caused by Diabetes & his eyes haven't changed in 3 yrs.  He said he can only contribute Laddie's doing so well because of the care I'm giving him. Made me feel really good.  For those that don't remember, Laddie was only 3 1/2 mo. old when he was diagnosed with Diabetes.  The first year was the hardest since nobody had ever heard of a dog so young getting Diabetes.  We finally got the insulin dosage down & now Laddie is pretty much regulated.  Ever now & then he will jump to 200, but I can usually tell what he's eaten different, like acorns or magnolia pods outside.  You have to watch him like a hawk.  I'm still cooking for him so nothing has changed really in his routine over the past 4 yrs.  He's still on Humulin N insulin twice a day & I still give him a lot of different supplements.  Laddie is still very much loved & spoiled by Scotty (my husband) & me.  I can only say again:  I wouldn't take a million dollars for him. www.petdiabetes.com is a great source of information for anyone with a diabetic pet.
Phyllis Posey & Laddie
Laddie's Original Story

(A Diabetic Scottie)
My husband, Scotty & I have been together 14 years.  In all this time he’s wanted a “scottie”.  I had never seen one in person before but I had lots of “scottie” things because of my husband.

I really didn’t want a dog at the beginning as we had been living in an apartment & just didn’t have the room or time to devote to a dog.  I also preferred cats over dogs as to me they were just easier to take care of.   Scotty, on the other hand, doesn’t particularly care about cats & was very adamant about me not having any.

Several years later when Scotty had to have some surgery done & was recuperating this stray black/white cat found me outside our apt. complex one day & of course, I decided to keep him against Scotty’s wishes. We had many a battle over this cat, but now after 6 yrs. Checkers is very much a part of our life.

One Christmas 6 yrs. Ago, Scotty informed me that we were going to have to move to Gulfport, MS because his Mother was no longer able to take care of herself.  Well, needless to say, I was definitely not happy about this decision.  I didn’t want to leave all my family & friends, but regardless, we moved anyway.

About 18 mo. ago we were in the mall & I suggested we go look in the Pet store where we bought fish supplies for our aquariums.  While there we just happened to see this little “scottie” for sale.  I wasn’t the least bit impressed by this little scrawny  puppy, but then, all puppies are cute, aren’t they?  The girl that worked there told us she could put a 24 hr. hold on him & we could think about it.  We talked all the way home & could think of a million reasons why we shouldn’t buy him.  We just knew we didn’t really have that kind of money to spend at that time as the house needed so many repairs done to it.  Well,  we decided not to get him so I called the Pet store & told her to take him off the Hold List.  We just couldn’t stop talking about him & I kept saying, he really was a cute little thing, wasn’t he?  I could fix my backyard just for him.  You have to understand that when we moved here one of the first things I did was have Scotty build me a fence around a portion of the backyard so his Mother’s German Shepherd & Dobermann weren’t allowed.  I didn’t like these dogs as they were always tearing my flowers up & I didn’t like having to take care of them in the first place.  I wanted a place to go with my cat & I was tired of stepping in dog poop.  It was a constant source of irritation to me.  I tell you this because for me to offer my backyard with all it’s lovely flowers, etc. would be really something for me to offer. Well, Scotty said he would leave the decision to me.  I said no, it had to be a mutual decision & he would have to promise me that he would help housebreak him, etc.  Anyway, we drove back to the mall & all along the way we said that if he was still there we would get him & if not, then it just wasn’t meant to be. At first I didn’t see him & Scotty said my face looked so crestfallen.  Actually, in away I was thinking well good the decision has been taken away from me. Wrong!! He had just been moved to another cage. 
After getting food, & supplies we all headed home.   Laddie-Me-Boy was to be his name.   Scotty had visions of him being in dog shows, & becoming a stud.   This was to be his dog, his buddy.  Well none of his plans worked out.  Laddie, you see, turned out to be a very sick little dog.  He had Diabetes.  He would have to have insulin in order to live.  What a shock this was.  I think we were both numb.  I wasn’t afraid to give him shots as I had to give my son allergy shots when he was little, but to just know that for the restof this little dog’s life. I was going to have to do this was a scarey thing. 
How do you get it across to a little puppy that you don’t mean to hurt him by sticking him?
Now he doesn’t even act like he feels them anymore,he’s so used to them. 

The Pet store offered to give us another puppy in his place.  I refused.  I only wanted Laddie. They finally gave me a complete refund, but even if they hadn’t,  there was no way I would have given Laddie up. I guess I should tell you how we found out about his Diabetes. I started Laddie out in the kitchen as it had tile on the floor. He had his own bed & of course his own dishes. Trying to housebreak him was just going nowhere.  After 3 wks. of his constant drinking & urinating just as much, not gaining weight like he should I just knew something wasn’t right with him.  I kept asking the vet about it & at first everybody just kept saying, well, he’s a puppy & they go a lot. 
Then we started discussing the possibility of Diabetes or Cushings disease. 

Scotty came home from work one morning about 3:30am & woke me up saying Laddie was paralyzed in his back legs & couldn’t lift his head.  I flew out of bed.  Ran & gave him a little Karo syrup on my finger & that helped him a little.  I immediately called the vet & he met us at his clinic.  He checked Laddie’s blood sugar & it was 29.  He was going into a diabetic coma, or Hypoglecemic as you would call it, also.  A normal blood sugar 
range is considered to be around 80-180.  The vet gave him something called “STAT” a thick brown sugar looking  stuff.  Laddie was fine almost immediately.  I got to bring him back home but had to take him back at 8:30am & leave him so he could be started on insulin to see if he would respond to it.  He did & so I got to go get him that afternoon.  Several months went by before we could really get his sugar level fairly decent.  He 
would go way into the 400’s, finally we’d get him in the 300’s, down to the 200’s & today & for the past 9 mo. he stays between 70-230 which is pretty regulated.    Each time he would drop down to a more acceptable range it was like a celebration time. Each battle we won was another gift.

At the beginning of his Diabetes I couldn’t find not one single Dr. that had ever heard of a puppy with diabetes. I took Laddie to several different vets & some even said I should just put him to sleep as I was going to be in for a very tough time.  A lot of expense, an emotional roller coaster as he would be up one day & down the next.  They just didn’t know how to deal with a diabetic dog.  Well, I cried all the way home from one such 
visit & I vowed, I would not put Laddie to sleep, that I would somehow find away to take care of him & make him well.  I called everybody I could think of.   I called Dr.’s out of state.  I went to the library & read everything I could possible find on Diabetes in general. 
So much of the way Diabetes is treated in pets is the same as in humans.

Nothing was easy about dealing with this problem at the beginning & even now you still are always very much aware of the problem.  You never outgrow the need to be overly-protective.  You are always aware of anything different.  You watch when he’s outside to make sure he isn’t eating something he shouldn’t.  You make sure his stool is normal,  his eating & drinking habits are ok.  You just know when things are going as they should.

I have learned so much over the past 2 ½ years.  I decided I didn’t want Laddie eating the special food the vet had him on that also had the bad preservatives & chemicals in it.  I had a special recipe made up for him that consists of all good things like, chicken, barley,  fresh string beans,  broccoli, squash, zucchini, & carrots.  Sometimes I might add some peas or piece of sweet potato.  I also have added oats, millet, amaranth & apple at times.  This is all fit for humans.   He gets what amounts to ¼ c chicken, ¼ vegetables & ¾ c barley twice a day.  He gets lots of supplements to make sure he gets everything he needs. 

Cataracts is almost a certainty with Diabetes so you really have to watch their eyes. 
Laddie goes to an Optamologist in New Orleans, about 1 ½ hrs. away from here.
 His cataracts are still very small & the Dr. is very impressed with just how well he’s doing. 
She said that he might never have to have surgery if they stay like this. She said she has never seen a dog with Diabetes so well controlled. It made me feel very good to know that just maybe I’m doing everything right for my little guy.

Scotty always kids me saying that when I’m in the room there’s no question about who
Laddie wants to be with.  He said that someday he’s going to have his own dog.  Laddie thinks of Scotty as another one of his many, many toys. He loves to lay on Scotty’s foot as we eat supper or watch TV, but if I’m in another room, he’s always right there beside me.  He’s been my constant companion & never ceases to bring a smile to my face.  My backyard is his domain when he’s outside.  Our bed that was suppose to be off limits is his, too.  I now also have another cat, named Tiger that was a stray here.  He & Checkers keep each other company.  Needless to say, neither cat is thrilled about having Laddie as part of their lives, but they all get along fairly well.  Checkers doesn’t take any crap from Laddie but Tiger makes the mistake of running from him & to Laddie,  he thinks this 
means game time so he chases  him.  I had to block one of the front bedrooms off so the cats could eat & use the litter box in peace.

At this time Laddie is a very happy, spoiled little “scottie”.  I would have never dreamed that I would fall so in love with this little dog.  He has done some weird  things like the time outside when he actually swallowed a whole Hummingbird.  I just couldn’t believe that until he threw it up a few minutes later.  Unfortunately, the Hummingbird didn’t make it.

I think the one thing I would like to get across to everybody is that Diabetes is not a death sentence. You just have to be willing to make the commitment it takes in dealing with this problem. In my case I wouldn’t take a million dollars for Laddie. 

Phyllis Posey

Update Update Update
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 09:22:32 EST 
Subject: Phyllis and Laddie 
To: queenie@mnsi.net 

It's been along time since I have written to you or heard from anybody.  I had my grandson living with me for 2 1/2 yrs. up until last Oct. so just didn't have time to get on the computer much.  I would like to give you an update on Laddie.  Sorry, I can't send any pictures as my scanner & printer or both not working at this time. 

Laddie, as you know was diagnosed with Diabetes at age 3 1/2 months old.  He now is 8 yrs. 8 mo. old & is continually doing great!!  He still goes to an Optamologist in New Orleans, about 1 1/2 hrs. away from me, (Gulfport, Mississippi) every 6 months.  His eyes still haven't changed in 7 yrs. & the Dr. is amazed.  He is always asking me what I cook for Laddie or what supplements I am giving him as he has never seen a Diabetic animal that hasn't had to have cataract surgery by now.  I have changed somethings since the last update you did on us.  I had pretty much stopped home cooking the 2 yrs. my grandson lived with me & gave him the WD the vet had wanted him on all along.  I have now started cooking again for him.  His supplements include a Pet vitamin/mineral & I am thinking about trying a new one from Auregans.com.  It has a lot of natural, organic stuff & is formulated for dogs as well as one for cats.  It's a lot more expensive though.  I still give Laddie a Lutein/Bilberry capsule.  I had stopped giving him his Flaxseed capsule while giving the WD but this new Natural Pet vet in New Orleans I took him to last week told me to put him back on it as he had dry itchy skin which he never had this flaxiness before.  I have seen a difference already in just 6 days.  I also had been giving him this product called Blood Sugar Health that just this week the company I got it from (human) had stopped carrying this line, so I might order it off line.  I have also added some Milk Thistle to his food.  The Natural Pet care vet in New Orleans said she was amazed at how well Laddie was.  She said he showed no signs of back problems, arthiritis, etc. He was active & looked great!!  I had called her to ask her if there was anything else I could do better for Laddie or anything I might be doing wrong.  She said, frankly, she'd be afraid to change anything as he was doing so well.  I still have bloodwork done on him, especially a liver panel done every 6 months just to make sure everything is going ok.  Make sure people know to rotate injection sites as Laddie seems a little sensitive by his behind where he had gotten so many.  I always rotate sides.  I have now tried his sides just to change areas.  Being consistent in everything you do has still played a major role in his health, I think.  Scottish Terriers have a very short life expectancy with a little over 10 yrs. as normal.  Cancer is the number one killer of scotties & I don't want this to be the case with Laddie.  I spend a lot of time researching articles, etc. to try & bring the very best care I can to him.  

In the last update you did, I still had Checkers & Tiger, my 2 cats.  Well, I'm sorry to say that Checkers died of renal failure in Jan. 2003.  This almost killed me.  The vets had estimated him to be anywhere from 20-23 yrs. old.  I had only had him 10 yrs. long before Laddie.  I Had tried everything to save.  Tiger also died from what I don't know & I have no idea how old he was.  He died about 2 yrs. before Checkers.  

I now have a cat named Harley who was a shelter pet.  He is a little overweight so I have to watch that.  He's not Diabetic.  Anyway, other than still trying to get things fixed from all the damage Hurricane Katrina did to our entire gulf coast, we're ok.  We did evacuate a little further north as we're only 4 1/2 blocks from the beach & all the huge mansions that sat along the beach as well as businesses or completely gone now.  It's so unbelievable & very sad that we have lost so much of our history.  Laddie & our cats, I also have Callie who is mostly an outside cat evactuated with us.  I would never have left them.  Good luck to all of you. 
Phyllis/Laddie & cats 

What a great success story Phyllis!!!

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Page updated on March 17, 2006

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