A Canine with Diabetes Mellitus
What Could Be Sweeter Then a Diabetic Pet?


Samantha is just our second dog.  Stan and I got our first when we moved to 
Raleigh.  Stan had never had a dog before so we went to the SPCA looking 
for a pup. I asked Stan if he found one he liked and he said, "Yes, that little
one in the corner that is shaking and facing the back of the cage."

She was a mangy, skinny little pup of about 3 pounds.  Stan named her 
Beauty and she was loving, affectionate and grew to 50 pounds with a 
silky long coat and a sweet face.  Everyone loved her!

Two years later, we adopted a 71/2 year old boy--John. He was just starting
school as he had been kept out of kindergarten cause he was such a handful. John
liked Beauty--in fact, when we traveled which we did often, Stan and I would go
out for dinner and ask John if he wanted to come with us or order from room 
service.  John would ask if we were taking Beauty. When we said no, he'd then
choose to stay in the room as "I know that you will come back for Beauty."  It 
was heartbreaking for us to think that he doubted we would come back for him.

Well years later, John had grown, Beauty had passed to the Rainbow Bridge,
and I was working as a Realtor 24/7. Stan was closer to John in those years 
and he was concerned that John, now 26, was going through a rough time 
emotionally.  He and John decided John should get a dog and I was assured 
that the two of them would take complete care of any puppy they selected!

Once again we went to SPCA on John's birthday April 8, 1994.  John selected 
a puppy that was black, female & about 7-8 pounds. He tried out several names
and she responded to Samantha.  We rode home with John holding Samantha in
the back seat--she didn't snuggle or cuddle, just tried to look out the window to
see where she was going.  Once home, John kept her on the lower level of our 
split level house where he had and still has his "apartment."  Samantha had a crate
but anytime she was out, she chewed up everything she could get her teeth on. 
 No had absolutely no meaning for her.  She had to be leashed anytime she went
anywhere as she would bolt and run off if she was not.  She never wagged her tail,
never liked to be petted, if she was lying by you and you would pet her,
she'd get up and move!  We'd take her to a fenced field and the park 
where we would throw tennis balls and let her run and play.
 After an hour, when we'd want to leave, she would not 
come to get her leash on and it was a test of wills to get back home!

John was so frustrated--he actually cried once thinking that he'd have 
to take Samantha back as she was so difficult.  Stan and I told him that 
she was part of the family and we would just learn to get along with her 
and we would not take her back!

Ultimately, she calmed down a little, wagged her tail when she saw us, and 
stopped chewing things. When she wanted to be petted, she would lay on her 
back and offer her belly for rubs.  However, it was still difficult to get her to do 
anything that WE wanted.  Stan walked her every day and used treats, snacks and
bologna to get her to respond.  Samantha loves food and as a result gained weight.

 By September of 2001, she weighed a hefty 82 pounds. During August and
September, she would moan in the evening as she lay on the floor.  She was
eating lots of kibble and drinking more and more.  I pooh poohed her behavior
blaming it on all the stixs and snacks she was getting.  But Stan and John
insisted that she go to the vets and on the morning of September 11th, 
after logging onto the net and hearing that an accident had occurred at
the World Trade Center, Stan and I took Sam to her vet's which is
about a 6 blocks from our house.  The vet kept her for tests.

Of course, the news of the terrorist attack was dreadful!  Later in the day the
vet added to our sadness with the diagnosis of Samantha's diabetes. He assured 
us that it could be managed and Samantha was staying at the clinic for treatment.
 John took her a pillow and a toy so she would have something from home. 
The next morning we received a call to come get Samantha as she would 
not eat.  So we got started on the regimen with shots and prescription food, 
W/D.  Samantha's bologna days were over!

Shots were difficult.  Stan would sit on the floor and hold Samantha who had 
to wear a muzzle.  He'd sing loud show tunes to distract her while I gave the 
shot.  It was always a major production.  Collecting the pee was easier.
I'd just follow her with a dixie cup and slide it under. Of course it took two, 
also--one with the leash and one with the cup!

Now I was still a full time Realtor but since I was the only one who didn't faint 
at the sight of a needle, I was called to service.  And am still the major
shot giver--John did fill in when Stan had bypass surgery and was in the
hospital for 30 days in January '04. 

I researched diabetes and found another site where I met Judy and a lot of 
other wonderful pet owners.  We had been taking pee up to the vets every 
day and were charged $7 for the results which the vet used to calibrate 
Samantha's dose. When I learned that Judy used the Keto Diastix with Queenie, 
I bought some and told the vet I'd do the test myself.  I also learned about some 
of the supplements pets were getting and how some owners cooked for their pets.
 After an extreme case of pancreatitis and immune mediated homolytic anemia 
and $2800 of hospital bills, the vet at an Animal Specialty Hospital dismissed 
Samantha saying there was nothing more they could do.

We brought Sam home to make her comfortable.  She still was not eating and
had been vomiting blood at the Hospital.  She'd had two blood transfusions and
looked terrible.  However, she stopped vomiting when we got her home and we 
tried to feed her whatever she would eat--blending the W/D with water and 
forcing it down so we could give her insulin.  2 days later, on Stan's birthday, 
she ate a treat and jumped on the bed!  What a birthday present.

We tried tuna fish which she would eat and also cooked Deb's 
recipe of chicken breast, brown rice and vegetables. 
Deb had a dog name Mork and she just fed him home cooked food. 
 Mork's Story and Recipe
Mork's WARNING from Heaven
 Mork's Rainbow Bridge Page
When I read of other pets who had difficulty with the W/D food, 
we discontinued it and home cooked for all her meals.  Now, 
not only was I nurse, but dietician and cook!  Samantha got 
stronger and instead of spreading her ashes in her favorite park which
we had anticipated, we were now delighting in her recovery. 

Samantha grew more agreeable--she came for her shots.  She still gets the 
muzzle as she will nip if it happens to smart!  I still cook but she does get 
some kibble.  We are now using Solid Gold as it has no preservatives.  And I 
found ground turkey at a grocery chain called Aldi's which sells for 69 cents a 
pound instead of the chicken breast which had gone up to over $2 a pound. I 
use low fat chicken broth, brown rice, barley (not the pearled) and chopped 
spinach.  She gets 1 cup of this mixture, 2/3 cup kibble and 1/2 browned 
ground turkey 2 times a day.  She also gets with each meal 1 milk thistle for
liver function, 1 cranberry capsule for urinary tract, 1 gloucosomine, 
1 chromium picolinate which helps metabolize the insulin. 
Knock wood, she has remained relatively healthy!

She now has a vet who makes house calls so she is not 
stressed out going to the clinic. What a life.

She still does not like to be petted except on her stomach when she desires 
and will still get off the bed if you pet her!  Since Stan's illness, I now walk 
her--sometimes an hour--I've lost weight and feel better than I have in years.
So although I do a lot for Sam, she has done a lot for me, also!

We're glad we adopted her.  And we are grateful to all the folks we've met on the
internet for their advice.  I truly believe she would not be alive but for all of you!

Margarete, Stanley, John & Samantha dd, dx 09/11/01


I am beautiful and I know it!

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