I have a wonderful geriatric male (neutered) chocolate
Lab named Maverick who is now 12-1/2 years old. He was diagnosed with
diabetes about 3 months ago and placed on Lente insulin one injection per day.
Since I am in the healthcare field as a Dietitian I found it quite
interesting that I would now have to treat my wonderful pet as a patient.
Maverick already has other medical conditions such as arthritis in his hocks and
he receives Etogesic 300mg daily. His weight is often an issue since he
can no longer walk very far nor climb stairs or run. He is happy
swimming, weather permitting.
In the past he had been on steroids for his
arthritis and this may be why he is now diabetic? When we found out about his
condition he had to stay at the vet clinic until stabilized since he was
spilling ketones. He returned home on 50 u Insulin and a Neura High Fiber Dog
Food, Low Fat. He eats twice a day which works out well. My vet stated I should do
only urine testing and I did so for a month. He stated blood monitoring may be
difficult. After he had several bouts with hypoglycemia I knew it was time for
blood monitoring. It should be noted the first time he was hypoglycemic I thought it was
just his arthritis until I saw him trembling and fall down like he was drunk.
I read on the website how to get blood from the
lip and was determined to help regulate my loving dog. Well, he was not happy at
first but he is so sweet and realized this was part of his routine. Now he just
lies down on the floor and puts his head on my lap while I get the blood drop.
It is really easy and my Vet was surprised. With his glucose levels falling, so did the
Insulin provided. Recently we felt he was having Somogyi
rebound because he would bottom
out in the morning and afternoon. I now know how important it is to watch for
the signs of both hypo-and hyperglycemia. Having corn syrup (Karo) is
essential........I cannot stress that without it your pet can die.
As of this
date we are still trying to get him regulated. All his other tests came
back ok, and I do two bg tests a day to try to stabilize him. It has been trying with high
comes the no eating, peeing, and drinking. Currently, we have him on 20 units of Lente.
I can see why
some people do not wish to care for a pet with health issues. It takes time and
understanding of the disease which fortunately had great insight into with my
work. However, there are differences with dogs and humans. Humans can go to the
refrigerator for sugar or juice if they feel poorly--pets cannot. So close
monitoring is essential.
Maverick is my pal, my buddy, and as an old man I
only want to keep him regulated and in the best health. I will continue to
work with my vet to get him on the right track. It has been a trying 3 months
but in time I think he may be in control. I do however think a good multi-vitamin along with the high fiber food will help with nutrition.
-- Contributed by Debbie
Contributed December 2001
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