I would like to share my dog's story since it may
give others hope. This may be a bit lengthy, but our dog was SO bad that I feel
it'd important to share the details. Mariah was diagnosed with diabetes on May
6th, 2000 (my birthday - great birthday present) at the age of 10 years.
She is a spayed 85% wolf, 15% malamute cross. She had not been feeling well for
about a week and was slowly "going down hill". She was drinking a lot
of water and was lethargic. This wasn't too usual since we were having extremely
hot weather at the time. Mariah is not the type of animal to show her pain and
is a very tough canine. I became very concerned about her on Friday, the day
before we took her to the vet.
First thing Saturday morning we took her in and
at this point Mariah could not even walk. At first the vet could find nothing
outwardly wrong. Then, they did a blood test. We were advised she would need
immediate, 24 hour case since she was currently in ketoacidosis. We took Mariah
straight to a 24-hour animal hospital where we were advised she was in critical
condition. The next few days, Mariah started having tremors which we never
figured out. Perhaps it was nervousness at being confined in a strange place.
Tuesday the vets became concerned as they felt something was wrong with her
liver. They did an ultrasound and stated her liver looked enlarged. We did not
feel this needed to addressed immediately, as Mariah's diabetes was not stabilized yet. If there was something critically wrong with her liver we would
not have put her thru the "invasive" treatment for a liver problem.
The vets agreed with us on this. Things were so bad that Tuesday we thought we
were going to be facing putting Mariah to sleep. But, we tackled each day one at
The hospital got Mariah's diabetes stabilized about 4 days into her
stay, but was Mariah was refusing to eat, therefore we faced more problems. When
I started visiting her everyday after work she seemed to perk up a little bit.
She finally ate some baked chicken which was not the best thing for her, but we
felt it critical to get something in her as soon as possible. We weaned her on
to canned chicken in order to get her eating regularly and enable her to come
home. She was still unable to get up on her own,
but she could now walk about 4 steps with a towel slung under her to support
her. The vet techs started exercising her this way several times a day. When we
would visit her we started "walking" her with the towel to outside to
sit in the grass. Her attitude was good, but she was still extremely weak. Money
was now becoming a major concern. After we indicated this, the hospital started
pushing Mariah to eat and exercise in order for us to be able to get her home.
We took her home a week after she was admitted to the hospital. She was on 10
units of humulin L twice daily. She still could not get up on her own and could
now walk about 6 or so steps with the towel support. She did not have much of an
appetite and we worked and worked to get her to eat after she came home. One way
I got her to eat is by boiling chicken in some garlic powder and a little
parsley. I also tried a few other creative things without giving her "junk
Two days after she came home Mariah started "kicking in".
She started walking on her own after I got her up, but still could get the back
leg strength to rise on her own. The following day she actually started getting
up on her own. This allowed me to return to work since Mariah proved to me she
could get thru her dog door on her own also.
The next week or so took her to the
vet and left her for the day BG testing. They raised her insulin to 25 units. 10
days later - same tests and upped to 28 units. 10 more days and we went to 30
units. This is where we are at at this point and staying.
Mariah is almost
completely back to normal in her strength. She eats regularly between her Hills
K/D dog food and the other 2 dogs' food in which she nibbles on throughout the
day. When I give her the Hills twice a day I usually have to mix
"something" in with it. Usually canned chicken. She goes outside
regularly to scout the back yard with her "buddy" Holly, our terrier.
I do not do blood monitoring at home, our vet advised this does not need to done
with Mariah. He just suggested period checks with them. She is back to a normal
drinking level along with energy level.
We have not experienced, so far, any
complications from the diabetes that I have read about on any diabetes web page.
I have not read about any other animal so far having been in ketoacidosis and
have been told by our vets and the hospital vets that usually dogs do not
None of the vets expected Mariah to ever walk again. We didn't
either and had decided after we brought her home that if she was not able to
walk we would have her put to sleep. But, Mariah with all of her strength and
will to live fooled us all.
-- Contributed by Robey
Contributed June 2000
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