I lost one of my precious "boys" to diabetes last August. My dog, a
long-haired dachshund, was named Dudley Junior (DJ). It is still
extremely hard for me to cope with his loss. I have so much guilt,
because he was over weight when the symptoms started. I had several
warning signs which the vet and I discounted as being serious much less being
diabetes. He had loss of hair in batches occasionally as well as balding
spots on his hind legs and tail a few months before diabetes struck with
He also lost his hearing suddenly and had bouts of diarrhea a month
before the disease
On Christmas Eve night, 1998, DJ had breathing problems and was rushed to
the emergency vet. After discovering he had had congestive heart
failure, the vet did tests and
found out he had diabetes, too. His kidney and other organs were already
damaged by this time. He was taking 17 units of
insulin ever since the emergency vet diagnosed his condition. I was also told that he was in real bad shape; it was a miracle
to the vets that DJ managed to live another eight months, mostly in good spirits
but with some days with an upset stomach, loss of appetite and was very
always gave him something to soothe his stomach and help him eat.
His last few days, he was very weak and went for a day and a half without
eating. This scared me since he was on insulin. I made the decision to
take him to the vet on his last day, because he was lying in a spot in
the backyard on top of a small rock garden.
This was extremely unlike him, because he never did this before.
My hope was that the vet would suggest an IV for nourishment and get him
well. After several hours of an IV, the vet said it was time to let him
go. I was and am devastated.
I keep reading that diabetes is not a death sentence and is treatable. The
truth is that diabetes can be treatable if
detected early enough.
As a tribute to DJ, I ask every one to get blood tests annually and watch
for warning signs. Even if a vet acts like nothing is wrong, depend on
your "parental" intuition and get tests done. I hope my sharing
DJ's story will help someone out there with their pet and they will not go through what my DJ went
through. Any early sign of illness should be taken seriously; early treatment is a step in a longer life for that
-- Contributed by Paul Moore
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