What could be sweeter then a pet with diabetes!
Who am I?
A weekly feature in the pet diabetes email support group.
Monday, July 7, 2008

I am Lee and I currently have 2 diabetics.  Both came to me this year after diagnosis. 
They are numbers 6 and 7 you can see all my rescues at http://truckeesrest.tripod.com
I don't have the two new ones up on the page yet.   None of my diabetics have died from diabetes, it has been things like cancer or old age. 

I am a Licensed Veterinary Technician and also run a dog rescue.  I currently take care of 23 dogs and 15 cats and I work full time and am mostly self supporting through my own contributions.   I retired from the Army Reserve 2 years ago.

I got my first diabetic in 1997 and found the list shortly afterward.  I have been on the list since then.  None of the diabetics I have had were my pets before diagnosis.  They were brought to me through one thing or another.  Mostly that the owners could not care for them after diagnosis.  I do not home test unless they have symptoms that I need to address.  I take them to work with me periodically to do spot checks.  Simon lost his eye sight before I got him, but Sammy still can see and I am working hard to maintain his sight.  I have both of these guys on R/D right now since I need to get them to lose weight.  Hill's is not using peanut hulls in their R/D any more so it is better than it was and I can get it at cost.  I actually search out diabetics, because I know they have a hard time adopting them out of the shelters and I have a talent for getting them regulated. 

I just did an interview for the AKC Gazette so hopefully we will see something in print soon about my family.  The reporter asked me why I do what I do and I told her that it would be like asking a preacher why they did that,  it is a calling.  I also do it for the unconditional love I get from the animals. 

Lee with Raven (non diabetic dog)

I am pretty busy, so I don't routinely comment on most posts, but I am happy to answer questions just put Lee in the subject line because that is what I try to read first.  Some times I miss, so if I don't respond in a couple of days try again.

Diabetic Pet's Name:  Simon 

Breed:  Beagle

Birth:   ? about 7 years ago

When Diagnosed:  Feb. 08, 2008

Age Diagnosed:   7

Weight:   47

Kind of Insulin and Amount Per Injection:   16u NPH BID

Food: Hill's R/D

Do you hometest?(blood, urine and/or observation)  observation

Other Health Problems?  Mass on Liver and overweight

Your Location:   Silver Springs, NV

Diabetic Pet's Name:   Sammy

Breed:  Black

Birth:  ?  about 10 years ago

When Diagnosed:  May 08, 2008

Age Diagnosed:   10

Weight:   37

Kind of Insulin and Amount Per Injection:   12u NPH BID

Food:   Hill's R/D

Do you hometest?(blood, urine and/or observation)

Other Health Problems? Overweight

Your Location:  Silver Springs, NV

Tippy was our first diabetic.  I figured out the problem based on the PU/PD and the fact she went blind almost over night.  It was at the same time I was caring for her owner who had cancer and I really wasn't paying that much attention to the dogs.  After her owner died, I noticed the symptoms and took her to the vet. He put her on Ultralente, BID.  I had no clue at that time.  He was the doctor, he knew best.  Thank doG, Tippy did well on U. She free fed and that seemed to work well with that insulin.  Tippy died at age 19 of kidney failure, was it related to the diabetes, who knows, she was 19 at the time. Tippy went to the Rainbow Bridge on 3/26/03 
Rainbow Bridge Webpage: http://www.caninediabetes.org/rbtippy.html

Big Vinnie was diabetic number 2.  I picked him up from a boarding kennel where he was taken after he was found as a stray.  It was Thanksgiving week and they needed the space for paying customers.  I was called because he was a Golden Retriever.   As soon as I had him in the car I smelled the smell. He was crusted in sticky dried urine.   I stopped by a vet on the way home with him.  BG was 665.  That vet recommended NPH, but since I had Tippy and a bottle of U I figured that that would work ok.  It was a mess.  We  got him on the the NPH and he did really well, until he got hemangiocarcoma, that was not diabetes related. He was with us a little over a year when we lost him to hemangiosarcoma Jan 19, 2001. 

Phoenix was our third diabetic.  He came to us from a shelter in another county.  We traded an adoptable dog for Phoenix.  He was totally emaciated. My boss called him Red Skeleton.  He had been uncontrolled for so long that he weighed about 27 pounds.  He should have weighed 45.  He was my most challenging project.  He also had pancreatic insuffiency and was hypothyroid.  We tried hard, but he was really too far gone when we got him, but I worked with him for nearly a year and it was his choice to give up, not mine. Phoenix joined our other bridge kids on 7/19/04 after his heroic struggle with diabetes, low thyroid, pancreatic insuffiency.  We miss him a great deal.

Molly, the only cat in the bunch, was our fourth diabetic.  She came to me from a cat rescue in Montana, mostly because I had much more experience with  diabetes than they did.  The vet in Montana had her on U, that they had watered down for ease of measuring.  I switched her to straight U and she was with us for a few months, but again she had been uncontrolled for so long her kidneys began to fail.  Since diabetic cats do better on high protein food and bad kidneys need low protein food, we were in a Catch 22.  We worked with it for a while but she was so miserable we let her go. Molly joined our other diabetic bridge kids on 10/12/04 dying of kidney failure.

Shadow is our fifth diabetic. 
DX 2/04 15u NPH BID
She came to us when her elderly owner brought her in because she was PU/PD.  Dr. Lisa was not there but I knew as soon as I saw her.  Tested her BG and she was over 400.  Told the owner to come back when the boss was there and after I got home that day I started making preparation for Shadow to come live with us.  I was right as that Friday Dr. Lisa called me and asked me if I had room for Shadow as her owner was going to have to put her down otherwise.  So Shadow came home to live with us. Shadow did well for over 2 years before she died on 7/22/06.

During this time I was on this list and somewhere along this time Margo joined up.  We went head to head over a couple of issues as I had been to classes and knew much more than she did.  The Vets teaching these classes were nationally known doctors.  What I have found out, with Margo's help,  is that if you manage  your diabetic closer to the human method, that 2 year survival rate increases dramatically.  Our sugarbabies die from things unrelated to diabetes.  Since then I have been on a mission to ask questions of these experts then relate my experiences.  I have also learned enough from the information discussed on this list to save many pets an untimely death.  Unfortunately I have also seen people on the list that lost their sugarbabies because they followed their vets instructions to the letter.

Much of the information we have is anecdotal evidence.  Most Vets will tell you that cats get diabetic neuropathy, dogs don't.  That is because they rarely see dogs that have made it past the 2 year mark.  Most vets will put dogs and cats on Science Diet W/D.  We have found that is not always the best food for our sugarbabies.  We have found that allergies can cause problems with regulation.  We know that steroids are not good for our sugarbabies.  We know that it may take some time to get them regulated.  We know that sometimes stress has a bearing on the BG levels in both dogs and cats.  Some breeds seem to be predisposed to diabetes.  And much more.

During my years in the Veterinary Medicine business I have seen lots of Vets deal with diabetes and I am amazed at some of their lack of knowledge.  Just recently I had a client come in for some eye meds for her dog.  She bounces back and forth between vets.  The other vet had prescribed an eye ointment with steroids in it.  As I was filling the prescription we were talking and she told me her dog was diabetic.  We had no clue as it was diagnosed by another vet and she didn't think it  was important to tell the other vets. Good Grief.    Another dog had come in because their vet was unavailable, we diagnosed the diabetes, got it started on insulin, their vet got back from vacation and told them to put the dog down as diabetes is a death sentence and they were wasting their time.  We had some one come in with a cat, the other hospital was unable to draw blood as the cat was one of "those" cats. They said they would not deal with it because it would die if they put it under anesthesia to draw the blood.  We talked to them, put the cat under anesthesia, got the blood, diagnosed it.  The owner is diabetic, so I set them up with instructions on how to home test, good thing because after 6 months the cat honeymooned.

One thing we must all remember is that Veterinarians have to know a little bit about many different species (Can a goat get diabetes? A frog? A horse?).  And in reality it is much more than a human doctor needs to know as they are only dealing with one species.  Vets deal with large and small animals, reptiles and birds.  No doctor, human or animal walks on water. They only know what they study.

Always remember that this is not a one size fits all disease and that there is no textbook with all the information in it.

at the intersection of flotsam and jetsam, west of Desperation, NV

If you would like to participate in the Who am I? emails then contact one of the moderators listed at the bottom of this email and write an introduction and send a picture of your pet.
The moderator will send you the blank questions to fill in and then the moderator will post your email for you....One will be going out every
Monday Morning....This way each pet is the star for a week.
Michael will take the email and turn it into a pdf file and upload it to the website and I will turn it into an html file for the following page.

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

Jane, Lee and Margo have a lot on their plates right now so the above moderators are available to do the Who am I Email?

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