Pet Diabetes Presents Stories from Around the World!
About Owners and Their Pets with Diabetes Mellitus!



Shelby was born on October 21, 1995 in Sioux City, Iowa. 
She will be eight years old this October and was diagnosed 
with diabetes on July 28, 2003.  She is on 6 units of Humulin N BID 
and we think she is nearly regulated.  Her food consists of Eukanuba 
Optimum with a little low sodium chicken broth poured over it along with
a biscuit treat twice a day of glucosamine & condroitin as well as 
a frozen pumpkin treat or two.

My younger son, Eric, and I were living in Sioux City, Iowa in 1995 when I decided
it was time for a dog.  One of the gals with whom I worked had a dog who was 
pregnant and due in late October.  I asked if I might have a female puppy 
when she gave birth. "Absolutely" was the reply!

I picked Shelby up the Friday before Thanksgiving.  She was only five weeks old
and almost fit in the palm of my hand.  It was so cold out that she rode home 
inside the sleeve of my winter coat under my left arm (her choice).

What a joy she has been for the past nearly eight years.  I moved from Iowa to 
New York in 1997.  Shelby was too big to put under the seat on the airplane, so we 
had to crate her and ship her.  Now she is NOT a good car traveler, and I expected her
to have problems on the flight.  We flew from Sioux City, Iowa to Minneapolis and then 
on to New York City.  When we got to New York, I waited for her to come out of the
baggage room.  When she did, and I took her out of her crate thinking she would be 
glad to see me as she always was when I came home from work.  Not Shelby -- she just 
pranced out into the airport and greeted everyone else she could find!

My husband, Ivan, and I were in Europe for about three weeks this summer.  I have a 
wonderful lady who keeps Shelby when we travel.  When I picked Shelby up after we 
returned in early July, she seemed fine.  I noticed, however, that she was drinking huge 
amounts of water and was peeing all over the carpets.  She sleeps in her bed or our 
bed in our bedroom, and she would get me up at three in the morning to get her water
and take her outside.  I knew something was wrong and hoped it was a UTI, 
but I think in my heart I knew it was diabetes.  

After a week of this, we went to our great vet who did all the blood work and the 
urinalysis all the while telling me that it was probably diabetes.  The phone call came 
the next day.  Shelby was a diabetic and had a UTI.  Antibiotics took care of the UTI,
but insulin was called for to control the diabetes.  I was devastated and scared.  I began
to read all I could find on the Internet on canine diabetes and came across 
"Rainbow Bridge" with all the wonderful caring and supportive members. 
I could not have survived the first month without all of you!

Shelby and I went back to Dr. Ness on Wednesday, July 30th to learn how to give 
insulin injections.  I was so surprised to find it was easy!  I think my worry had been
that they would be painful for Shelby which they are not.  She was started out on 
five units of Humulin N twice a day and a new diet.  Shelby had always been a free
eater ... I would put a bowl of food out in the morning and she would eat some then
(sometimes all of it) and then finish it later in the day.  She had been on Flint River dog 
food since she came home with me in Iowa, but Dr. Ness wanted her on Eukanuba 
Optimum.  Well, Shelby wanted NO part of it ... what to do?  After reading and writing 
to the Rainbow Bridge list, I put warmed low sodium chicken broth over it, and she loves
it.  She doesn't even mind the twice a day feedings of less food.  I also give her 
glucosamine and condroitin biscuit treats after each feeding as she has disc problems
in her back, and a frozen pumpkin treat in the middle of the afternoon.

Shelby is now regulated.  Actually, she appeared regulated after the first week on 
insulin, but a later fructosamine test showed that she needed more insulin.  We went 
from five units to six units last week, and she is doing just fine.  

Shelby is the love of this family's life,
and I am so thankful that we will have her with us for more years!


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