|Max the Mini Schnauzer's Story|
My name is Shawna Hoffman. I have a six month old neutered male Miniature
Schnauzer named Max. I work at a vet hospital and he was brought
in for a second opinion by his previous owners for a diagnosis of canine juvenile
diabetes. The owners were informed by the vet that this was a very rare
type of diabetes and was possibly genetic in nature. The owners, wanting only
to breed him, elected euthanasia. After consulting with the vet and
finding out that with proper management Max would be an almost perfectly normal
puppy I elected to adopt him. It was the best decision of my life.
I was also really lucky. Max only required a two day hospital stay and one glucose curve to determine his insulin dosage. He gets 5 units in the morning with food ( Eukanuba Glucose Control Diet) and then another feeding 8-12 hours later. He's a great dog. He's energetic -- I take him and my Beagle Pandora on walks at least three times a day around our neighborhood they love it!!
The only problem I am facing is the problem with finding out more about his condition. Juvenile diabetes in dogs is very rare, and I am finding it hard to learn more about what I will be facing in the future. In fact the vet I worked for has only seen one case in 30 years of practice and that was Max. I don't use home monitoring as it was not made available to me. He was diagnosed when I got him a month ago and so far we have had no problems. He is due to go back to the vet in a month for another liver function blood test. So far , his current regimen seems to be working but we won't know until the vet checks his liver function. There was some minor damage to his liver due to being diabetic from birth and not being treated for the five months prior to his diagnosis but it is not affecting his daily life. Working at a vet also makes his care a lot easier in the fact that if I have any questions or concerns or suspect something is wrong I can just take him in with me and the vet is right there. I also am able to understand better the complications of the disease as I seem them all the time with our clients. Other than the diabetes, he is in perfectly normal health. I am very glad for this!!
All in all Max is a great dog . He is a very special dog and I think he knows it! He also loves people, cats and other dogs. He and my seven month old Beagle puppy are inseparable.
It amazes me every day when I look at him and think that he almost was killed for something that has only slightly altered his life. But then again when my friends and family call me crazy for adopting him I can point out that he is perfectly normal -- just really, really special. Thank you for letting me tell my story. It makes me feel better knowing that there are others out there going through the same stuff I am.
Sincerely, Shawna and Max!
Contributed January 2000