What could be sweeter then a pet with diabetes!
Who am I?
A weekly feature in the pet diabetes email support group.
Monday, July 28, 2008

Hello everyone.  My name is Andrea McMurran, and my husband Rob and I have a special little girl named Kaya.  She's our one and only at the moment (both in the human world and the animal world).  :o )  She came to live with me at just 6-weeks old, while I was still in college.  I wasn't in search of a dog, but she found me and needed a home, and the rest is history.  We share a very close bond and have been through a lot together.  I love her to death.  When I started dating Rob, he became very close and attached to Kaya too.  We would often go on long walks all together.  They are great buddies and share a close bond also.

Kaya was diagnosed with diabetes in August, 2003.  When she was first diagnosed, I found it very interesting, as we were currently living with my mom who had 2 kitties at the time, and one of her kitties (Pumpkin) was also diabetic.  (Pumpkin has since passed over the Rainbow Bridge along with my first little pomeranian dog, Lance.  Elsa, my mom's other kitty is still with us, as sweet as ever).  When the vet gave me Kaya's diagnosis, I said, "Goodness. Does it run in the family?"  Of course I knew it didn't, but I thought how strange that 2 of our 4 pets would have the same condition.

Kaya went blind from cataracts very soon after her diagnosis.  It broke my heart to see her that way, and I wanted to do anything possible to help her.  I weighed the pros and cons and decided to go through with the surgery.  After all, she was only 6 years old, and I knew she had many years ahead.  In May, 2004, Kaya had surgery to remove the cataracts from both eyes.  The surgery was a huge success, and she could see immediately! I will never forget that "smile" on her face when I picked her up from the vet.  She was looking around at everything!

Kaya did very well for the past 4 years, up until just last week.  All of a sudden (and I literally mean within a couple of days), she developed glaucoma in her right eye.  We rushed her to the emergency vet last Saturday night, and the opthamologist was called in.  He told me Kaya could no longer see out of that eye and that the glaucoma was so severe, she would probably need to have the eye removed.  We went to her regular vet Monday, the opthamologist Tuesday, and Wednesday she had the surgery.  Yesterday I thought I had made the wrong decision, as she looked miserable and in a lot of pain.  However, today, she is almost back to her old self... kissing me every chance she gets and coming in the kitchen when she smells food.  :o )  Her appetite is back, she's sleeping well, and we even went on a little walk last night.  My greyhound girl was pulling me along, as she usually does.  She acts like she knows something's "different", but she seems okay with it.  I love her so much, and just want her to be happy and as healthy as possible.

Thank you for all of your prayers for my Kaya!  Our prayers are being answered. :o ) 

What is your name and your pet's name?  My name is Andrea.  My baby's name is Kaya.

How old is your furbaby and what kind?  She is 11-years old.  She's a black lab/greyhound mix.

Birth:  May 1, 1997

When your pet was diagnosed ?  August 2003

What is your pet's weight?  52.5 lbs.

Name of the insulin being used?  Novolin N

What is the insulin dosage now?  19 units 2x per day

What time(s) of day do you give the insulin?  7am and 7pm

Do you home-cook or use a commercial pet food?  Commercial pet food and sometimes homecooked.

If Commercial - what brand?  Purina One Weight Management/ Also mix in a bit of moist Purina One food so she'll eat the dry.  When I homecook, I normally make her chicken and brown rice.

Do you urine test? Not usually

Do you blood test?  Not usually....  Use observation mostly.

Other Health Problems?    Kaya has been very well-regulated for years with her diabetes.  She has done extremely well.  However, she did develop cataracts very shortly after diagnosis.  She went totally blind.  She had the surgery to have her lenses removed and replaced in 2004.  She did extremely well with that too (and I would highly recommend it).  I will never forget the day I picked her up after surgery.  We went straight to PetSmart, as I was so excited at how well she could see and how happy she seemed.  :o )

However, just this past week, she developed glaucoma in her right eye, and her right eye was removed yesterday.  She had a rough night and morning, but she is doing better.  She has eaten and is sleeping soundly.  She was also given medication for high blood pressure and conjunctivitis in the left eye. 

Webpage of Pet:    http://www.caninediabetes.org/whoiskaya.html

We don't have one yet, but I will be making one for her very soon.  I just discovered this site when searching for others who had to have their dog's eye(s) removed.

Your Location:    Hampton Roads, Virginia

How did the diagnosis of diabetes in your pet change your life?    It made me love her even more (if that was possible).  I knew that I was responsible for her care, and though I was only 24 when she was diagnosed, I knew I had to do everything possible to take care of her and her health. She is very special to me.  When she came into my life, I was not looking to share my home with a dog.  I was a college student, and it probably wasn't the best of environments for her at first.  However, she needed a home, and I committed myself to her.  Since she is part greyhound, I quickly learned how fast this girl could run and how high she could jump.  I was literally chasing her all over the neighborhood some days. :o ) After we settled her down a bit from her "puppy stage", she has just grown into the most loving, sweetest little dog I have known.  We have a very close bond, as we have been through a lot together.  This past week has been very hard on me, as I absolutely hated the idea of having her eye removed at first.  However, by reading others' stories on this site, I feel more at peace about the decision.  I just want my old girl back...ready to run all over the neighborhood (on leash, of course, now).  We have both grown older and wiser since those days.  :o )

Thank you for welcoming us into your group.  We wish all of you and your babies the absolute best!  I will let you all know how she does in the days to come.  Hopefully the worst is behind us. 

If you  have missed a who am I email. They are available to read at the following url.

If you would like to participate in the Who am I? emails then contact one of following people

Judy Dick
Email:  queenie@mnsi.net

Karen Baldassarre
Email:  kbal37@comcast.net

Michael Jay Smith
Email: smithmj@clearwire.net

Bonnie Iovine
Email: biovine@comcast.net

Email: curaduk@aapt.net.au 

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