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


PsychoDog is what my son called Loki. 
Loki's mommy has more gray hair now, but is still the apple of her eye.
Loki at 12 weeks - such a serious little tyke!

Obviously, I love my pets. I carried Loki's picture in my keychain for a while.
My pharmacist laughed at me and asked why I carried my dog's picture instead 
of my kids. My reply was that the kids left home, and the dog didn't.


One day in May, 2003, I was brushing my dog 7-year-old dog Loki, and brushed out all of her
undercoat. She was bald in some spots on her haunches and on her shoulders. You could see the
skin on her back. She had a few sores, and her bladder outlet was swollen. I took her to the vet, 
who thought she was having an allergic reaction. (Loki is allergic to St. Augustine grass which is 
common in Houston lawns and breaks out in welts on her tummy.) He prescribed Omega-3 (fish oil)
capsules to put on her food and oatmeal-histamine shampoo. Although she had always been 
overweight at a consistent 17 pounds (granddad always gave her people food and let her lick the 
plates), she had dropped to 13.2 pounds. The weight loss was good, but something to take note of.
If she didn’t improve, the vet said that the next thing to look at was an endocrine problem.

About a month later, I was having trouble with her peeing on the carpet. I tried to get her to stop 
one day, and ended up with a little puddle, a trail, a little puddle a trail, etc. It was impossible for 
her to stop. She also looked even thinner to me. So on June 24,2003, I took her up to the clinic 
to have her weighed. She was now 12.2 pounds. I was thinking kidney infection. I even thought 
cancer. Never in the world was I prepared to hear the vet tell me that Loki’s blood sugar was 480,
and she was diabetic, even though I am a type II diabetic. (Like mother, like daughter.)

Loki was in the hospital 1 week while they got her regulated. She was a very sick little dog, 
since she also had a UTI with e coli and enterobacter. I visited her every day in the clinic, 
held her in my arms with IV trailing, and rocked her. She clung so tightly to me! On Saturday 
when I picked her up, the vet gave me some photocopies (3 pages of medical text) on canine 
diabetes to read. He also prescribed a diet and taught me how to give her insulin injections. 
I left his office with my furbaby empowered, thinking, we can do this! We-l-l, I didn’t figure 
Loki into that equation. She has always been a picky eater. The only food she ate 
with any consistency was canned Pedigree, which the vet said was full of sugar.

That night I fed her, but no way in the world was she going to touch the prescribed dry dog food!
The nerve! End of day 1: Loki 1, Mom 0. Since I knew I couldn’t give her insulin without
her eating, I was now in a panic. I did some research on the internet on diabetes in dogs, 
and full of dread, read about the complications and the short lifespan. I also found a wonderful 
support group of people at the Rainbow Bridge. The people here were very calm and reassuring.
The most important thing right now, they said, is to get her to eat. They gave me some suggestions,
and I gave Loki a meal of turkey hot dogs and Cheerios. She loved it! End of day 2: Loki 2, 
Mom 1. (We both won that day.) Loki didn’t even hate me for the injections! 

It’s now over two months later. There have been a few ups and downs with her eating, 
but there has been such a dramatic difference in Loki! She plays with her stuffed puppy, just
like she used to. She even plays ‘gotcha’ in the closet with Sammy (her cat) instead of running 
from him. When I tell her its time for her insulin, she comes to me and crawls into my lap. 
She’s even eating her DCO (knock on wood) with a little ground turkey mixed into it.

Loki is a Shih-tzu/Lhasa mix (3:1, birth mother was full Shih-tzu) and came into my life as
a graduation present (master’s degree) in April, 1996. She was such a tiny little scrap, 
and weighed only 1 ½ pounds. From the beginning, Loki always seemed to know that I
was hers. She was the runt of the litter, but the second out of the ‘nest’. She was the one
to select me. I named her Loki after the Norse god of mischief and lies, because I was 
always missing one shoe whenever it was time to go to work. I think the little scrap dragged
my big old shoes around just to prove she could. When I’d come home from work, she’d
be so excited that she’d wag all over and just quiver from excitement. If her ‘granddad’ 
would say “Go tell your mudder!”, she’d come flying to get me. At times when Loki saw me
sitting on the couch, she’d come running as fast as she could, take a mighty leap – and totally
miss the couch. Some times she’d jump too soon and fall short of the couch. Other times, she 
would jump too late, and would catch the couch with her shoulders. So Loki developed arthritis.
One day a couple of years ago, her vet told me that Loki had a heart murmer. I was shocked and 
more than a little worried, but even more determined to take care of her. The heart condition 
didn’t seem to bother her, and she wasn’t an extremely active dog anyway due to the arthritis. 

Looking back on things, it was easy to rationalize the changes in her behavior. She pees on the 
carpet because her granddad who is 80 forgets to take her out while I’m at work. She’s not 
very active because she has a heart condition and arthritis. Loki has been a joy to my life and 
has always been totally sweet and loving. She’s a perfect little lady. I regret that I didn’t know 
she was so sick. However, the diabetes was caught at a time when it was fairly easy to get it 
regulated. God willing and with the help of a group of wonderful people, Loki will have a long
and happy life, and I can continue to return the love she has so unselfishly given to me.

Karen Baldassarre

Loki's Photo Album

Loki at Twelve Weeks

Sammy Cat

Mom Karen & PsychoDog

Look Mom I am much bigger now!
It's Me Sammy...meow meow
Meet my new Brother

My tree...........all mine...mine mine mine MEOW

Mama really loves me ...we play and play!
We be nice kats to Loki. She's O-o-o-l-d! Besides, she's pretty cool. For a dog, that is!

Meet my new sister Nyssa

 Click here for Story and Pictures of Nyssa 

Read More Stories about Other Diabetic Pets


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