In May of 1993, my husband Sal and I got our first dog and my very
first pet of any kind,
a girl Yorkie puppy named Winnie who we promptly fell in love with.
I read somewhere
that dogs live longer with a companion so one day in early September
of the same year,
Sal found an ad in the paper for a four month old male Yorkie.
He called the number and went to take a look.
I got a phone call and I knew something wasnít right. Sal quietly
said, ďI donít know what to do,
this dog doesnít look like a Yorkie.Ē At the same time, Max was
standing right on top of Salís
big old work boots looking at him like ďplease get me out of hereĒ.
Sal reluctantly offered the
man less than he was asking and the man grabbed the money. It
turns out that this man was
in the middle of a divorce and got a puppy to cheer up his small children
for the summer.
Max came home in a tiny cat carrier. He was tall and lanky and
had very dark coloring.
His ears were packed with dirt and he was starving and hunched over.
This wasnít the
perfect little Yorkie I wanted as a companion for Winnie, but she really
liked him. In fact,
she latched onto his ear and pretty much tormented him those first
We tried to crate train Max since we both work and this had worked out
very well with Winnie.
But Max didnít like the crate at all. Every night, Iíd
get home from work and find Max freaking
out in the crate and covered with everything you can imagine.
He absolutely needed a bath
every single night and it was pretty disgusting. I didnít think
we could keep him, I mean I
was still new to owning a pet and this was not my idea of what it should
One day I was watching Max try to play with a little blue ball, Iíll
never forget how sweet
he looked with his big lanky front legs trying to hold the ball that
kept slipping away
and his puppy butt up in the air. I started to cry and I knew
I could never give him up.
So, I put up a baby gate and kept him and Winnie in the kitchen and
No accidents and no crate ever again for this little boy!
I was totally in love with this oversized dark colored special Yorkie
and he knew it.
Over the years, if we have loud arguments or if Iím upset, Max is in
my face giving
me kisses and he wonít stop until Iím calm.
Max was diagnosed with Diabetes 6/18/02. We had him on humulin
U, but this wasnít right
for him. We tried and tried, but werenít able to home test so we finally
took him to
a specialist hospital on 7/25/02 and he stayed there for a couple of
days. He was
experiencing somogyi, very rapid highs and lows in his bg readings.
He's now on N and weíre still working on getting him regulated.
We were told when Max was diagnosed that he had small cataracts.
We took him to an eye
specialist on 7/24/02 for a baseline in the hopes that, once the diabetes
was regulated, we could
have the cataracts removed. We were told that Max did not
have cataracts, but Progressive
Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and that he will go blind from this gradually
over the next one to two
years. Max also has dry eye and needs drops twice a day to control
Max went totally blind on 8/18/02, he had developed cataracts very quickly.
My heart was
broken watching him bump into things and look so confused. I
sent out a message and got lots
of encouraging responses and advice from people who have gone through
this. It really meant
everything to me to have loving caring people supporting us and Max.
We were finally successful at home testing on 8/20/02 ~ we tried the
ear and Max slept
through the first attempt. Itís not always easy getting blood
from him, but this is the best
spot we could find and Iím so grateful for the person who suggested
it and for the home
testing instructions on www.petdiabetes.com
The flashlight trick really helps.
Itís been a little over two weeks since Max lost his sight and every
time I start to feel too sad,
he does something to pull me out of it. Itís like little miracles
that make me smile so that I can
put on my cheerful voice for him. When I thought heíd never play
again and found
myself crying, I looked over and there he was chewing on his favorite
So, weíre all adjusting, but the main thing is to get Maxís diabetes
so that we can keep this special boy with us for a long, long time.
Thank you !!!
Anne, Sal, Max (dd), Winnie (ndd) and Mitchell (ndd)
Anne wrote a very informative email to the Rainbow List on Sun, 15
and has given permission for it to be posted here as an update on Max
I do not feel that urine testing is completely useless ~ it does show
a pattern, but it should
not be used to adjust insulin dosages because it doesn't tell you exactly
where Ludwig's bg levels
are at any given time. It's important to get the strips that test for
glucose and ketones.
If ketones show up, it's a problem.
I'm not an expert at this but it sounds like our dogs are pretty close
in both age and weight.
Max was turned 9 in April and was dx in June of this year. He
weighed 21 pounds before
getting sick and now weighs 15.5 pounds. We're on our 2nd internal
specialist. He got dry
eye right away and needed cyclosporin drops. He went completely
blind two months
after being dx. He has had serious eye problems, but with the
help of a very good eye vet
we've gotten this under control. And he's adjusted pretty well.
We could not get Max regulated on commercial dog food. We started
home cooking in
November and it's made a huge difference. He stays awake after
eating and his bg levels
do not fluctuate as much. I wish we had started this sooner.
|Food (we make a week's worth and store in the freezer):
Max's food is per day divided in half.
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 cup cooked carrots and green beans put through the food processor
1 hard boiled egg chopped up
1/4 can Wellness Senior wet food
Supplements (the mg's are for whole capsules or tablets):
1/4 Chromium Tablet (400 mcg) - to even out insulin duration
1/2 Cranberry Capsule (475 mg) - to avoid Urinary Track Infections
1/4 Alpha Lipoic Acid (100 mg) - antioxidant
1/2 Acidophilus (6 mg) - keeps good bacteria in system (like yogurt)
I mix four days worth of supplements with pure pumpkin divide evenly.
Treats (all three love these treats):
Frozen pure pumpkin about 1/2 tsp. each
Frozen green beans
He's on 5.5 units of N twice a day after meals
I have checked with Max's internal specialist on each change in his
diet and supplements.
I think it's very important to check with your vet before taking any
Anne & Max (dd, dx 6/18/02, blind 8/18/02) & Winnie (ndd)
& Mitchell (ndd)
Update - Fri, 25 Jul 2003
Max had his 10th birthday on 4/24/03
and his one-year anniversary of being diabetic on 6/18/03.
Sal and I have learned a lot this past year about diabetes, eye problems,
and nutrition for
our pets. Most of what weíve learned came from our rainbow friends
and for this we are
very grateful. In May, we started removing the egg yolk from Maxís
food and added
Niacin and Milk Thistle to his daily vitamins. We are hoping
that his next blood panel
will show an improvement in his cholesterol level.
When Max was first diagnosed, he was not doing well. I was looking
for answers and
saw Zaki on Judyís rollcall page. Zaki is a big beautiful diabetic
girl Yorkie. I fell
in love with her face and wrote to Zakiís mom. Carol wrote back
with lots of information
and advised me to join the mailing list. I just got back from
a wonderful trip down south
to meet Carol and Jerry and their three sweet dogs Zaki, Pandy and
Along with our bond of having diabetic pets, Carol has become a true
There was also a whirlwind trip in May with another friend I made on
the RB list.
Kim lost her beautiful diabetic Pom Anni suddenly in late March and
my heart was
broken for her and her husband Don. I convinced Kim to get away
for a few days to
the Jersey shore and she convinced me to come back with her to Canada
for a few days.
My dogs (especially Winnie) got so spoiled by Kim!!! Luckily
I got to leave
the house and go back to Kimís while they adjusted to ďnormalĒ life
While I wish that Max never became diabetic, and I wish this for all
itís amazing to me to have met and developed friendships with so many
who love their pets as much as Sal and I love ours. Even though
I donít post
that often on RB, but I do celebrate the happy news and cry over the
Thanks Judy for bringing us all together!!!!
Update Mon, 18 Apr 2005
We've changed Max's recipe and we've changed his vitamins too.
He's 16 pounds
Vitamins are 1/4 RDA of the following:
Calcium, Chromium, Cranberry, Omega-3
Acidophilus (when on an antibiotic)
Food is made in bulk and frozen, he gets 2 1/2 cups per day:
8 pounds Frozen green beans (thawed and shredded in food processor)
1 1/2 16 ounce bags Pearl Barley (cooked with 7 cups water)
5 pounds Boiled Chicken (shredded in food processor)
11 Hard boiled eggs (shredded in food processor)
Frozen Pumpkin cookies
Liver snaps (1 pound calf liver blended in food processor with 1/4
cup whole wheat flour and one egg,
spread on cookie sheet and cooked at 350
for 15 minutes, cooled and cut with pizza cutter)
Question from Judy:
Why did you change Max's Recipe?
We switched Max from oatmeal to barley at Jeannie's (Peter's Mom) suggestion
in the fall of 2003. We don't home test often but he seemed to stop
drinking water after meals when we switched.
Max was doing great even though we moved in January 2004 and he had
to learn the new house. His fructosamine tests were below 300 for
about 1.5 years.
In early April 2004, his test was around 260. Then Winnie (his
best friend of 11 years) had to leave at the end of April and he was a
mess. We had him tested in August and he was over 500. So we
increased his dosage by 1/2 a unit at a time from 6 to 7 units. We
also changed his food to more green beans and less barley and chicken.
We did a curve at 6.5 units and it seemed his couple bites of chicken at
lunch messed him up. So we switched to a couple teaspoons of pure
pumpkin on a dish. He was back in line by December with 7 units and
the diet changes.
Mitchell (11 year old Maltese ndd) has seen benefits from home cooking.
He's thinner. His fur is softer. AND his eyes don't tear as
much. Not sure if it was switching to barley or adding Omega-3, because
we made these changes around the same time.
I've attached a couple of pictures of Max.
Max on Deck 08-07-03
He's is doing fine. When I'm home, he's with me all the time.
He plays with his fuzzy toys if I sit with him on the couch. He'll
be 12 on April 24th. He's our sweet little old man.
Max on Dec. 18, 2004
Here is one of my favorite pics of Winnie.
It was taken just before she got sick.
Winnie on Oct. 20, 2003 - Rainbow Bridge April 29, 2004
Rainbow Bridge Page
Chasing butterflies at the Bridge.
Update - Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005
|Max turned 12 years old today. Our sweet, oversized, almost 3
years diabetic and blind Yorkie.
Dr. Tammy came out to the house for what will be an annual visit.
To see Winnie's Cherry Blossom tree and have a nice long blether (that's
a chat in Scottish). For newbies, I visited Connie Wyse in Scotland
last June and got to meet Buster. Now there's a dog with attitude.
He's a sweetheart.
It was a wonderful day. We have so much to be grateful for.
Happy Birthday Max!
Annie & Max (dd, dx 6/18/02) & Mitchell (ndd) & Angel Winnie
Max's Photo Album
Max, Mitchell and Winnie
||Carol & Annie
Annie & Kim in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
||Winnie on the Deck!
Aren't I cute Mom?
Mitchell in the Leaves!
After a hard day's work - Max, Winnie & Mitchell sleeping with
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