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


Zaki
Rainbow Bridge -February 18, 2007

ZAKI, MY DIABETIC YORKSHIRE TERRIER 

My husband Jerry and I have been married for 28 years and have had dogs the entire time.
 Every time one of them went to the Bridge,  we would always say – “No more dogs, it just
hurts too much to loose one of them”.  Some how, the joy they brought us would always 
tempt us until we got another puppy.  Mind you, we were always a 3 to 4 furbaby household. 

A few years ago, a friend of mine had gotten a Yorkie puppy and I absolutely fell in love
with her.  Not too long before that I heard the name “Zaki” mentioned on the 
Martha Stewart TV Show and I thought to myself what a cute name that was 
and that I needed to find a puppy to go with that name. 

A girl that worked for our vet mentioned that her dog was about to have a litter and when 
she told me that they were Yorkies, I asked her if I could have first pick. This was, of 
course, without mentioning anything to Jerry about it.  The puppies were born on 
September 30, 1995.  There were only 2 – both females.  However, one of them was 
sick and her little life only lasted a few weeks.  Zaki on the other hand, was a very 
healthy, normal sized Yorkie puppy and I loved her from the moment I saw her. 

Not knowing how to break the news to Jerry about the “blessed event” which was about 
to take place in our lives, I invited 6 couples over for dinner one evening.  While we were
eating, I stood up and said I had an announcement to make and after I told everyone about 
our new puppy that would be coming to live with us in about 2 weeks, all Jerry could say is
“I know you aren’t serious”.  When in actuality, he knew I was very serious. 

Zaki was the cutest little bundle of fur and after being introduced carefully to Annie, Tashya,
and Riley (our other three) she was right at home.  Like I said, she was a normal sized Yorkie
Her mother weighed 6 lbs. and her father weighed almost 4 lbs.  But Zaki kept growing and 
growing.  She was still under a year old and she already weighed over 15 lbs.  Today she
weighs 21.4 lbs.  She’s had every thyroid test available and she’s been on every diet 
suggested to us.  The vet has finally decided that this is just the way she is going to be. 

Last December, I started to notice little puddles on the floor in the kitchen area. 
Having 4 dogs, I didn’t know who the culprit was, so before I could do anything,
I had to narrow it down to one.  The puddles were very sticky when I went to clean
them up – almost like “sugary” Kool-Aid.  On New Year’s Eve, I finally saw Zaki 
squatting in the kitchen.  I scooped up a sample and brought it to the vet.  We were 
hoping that it was only a UTI, but I guess I already knew because of the stickiness of it
what the results were going to be.  Her doctor called me back and couldn’t bring himself
to give me the results.  He said “I don’t know how to tell you this…she has diabetes”. 
He really did make it sound like her days were numbered. 

After the holiday, I brought her back to the clinic to have her started on insulin. 
He tried but couldn’t get her down under 400.  He has said that she has been the most
difficult dog he’s ever tried to regulate.  We finally had to take her to an internist in 
Memphis, TN and we’ve had more luck there. 

We were immediately shown how to do home testing which I now realize I couldn’t
have managed without.  I’m probably one of the only members who draws from her tail. 
She doesn’t mind this procedure at all.  She speaks to me”wooooo-wooooo” each time
I get ready to give her a shot, and then she puts her head down and waits for it.  It makes 
me laugh every time.   She now takes 2 shots of Novolin N each day – 13.5 units each. 
She has the outward appearance of being Cushionoid (potbellied), although she was 
tested for this and so far is negative. 

She has had two trips to the opthamologist.  She has the very beginning of cataracts.  The
first time, he said little flecks were forming and the second time he said that they had became
a little larger.  She doesn’t have to go back to see him until November, unless we notice 
some change in her eyes.  I check them all the time.  She has the most beautiful big brown 
eyes and we’ve decided to have cataract surgery, when and if the time ever comes. 
The doctor said that it could happen over night, or it could take years for them to develop.
Since being diagnosed, and being regulated on insulin, we have noticed a big change in Zaki.
 She has become more like a puppy with more energy and very playful. 

The only good thing that has happened to me while dealing with this disease, is having found 
an Email Support list.  All the information I have received, and people (and of course their 
furbabies) I have met here the last 8 months have meant so much to Zaki and me. 
We couldn’t have come this far without you. 
We thank all of you for your support!!! 
We both wish all of you the very best life has to offer. 

Carol and Zaki (now that there’s a story about my life complete with pictures, 
does that mean that I’m a celebrity? And do I need to get an agent?) 

Update on Zaki November 2002 

Zaki celebrated her seventh birthday on September 30th of this year. 
Her third year anniversary of being a diabetic will be on December 31st. 

I don’t know where the time has gone.  It seems as if it were just yesterday that 
Dr. Doug told me ~ “I don’t know how to tell you this…Zaki has diabetes”. 
I really thought this was about to be the end of her life. 
He made it sound like a death sentence. 

We’ve had our problems over the last three years, but every time I’ve tested her blood,
each time  I checked her urine, every insulin shot, each trip to the vet with pancreatitis 
has been worth it.  She’s a happy, active, playful bundle of fur most of the time. 

Zaki is one of the few dogs on the list that has been successfully taking U for the past 
2 years or so.  She was first tried on L and we couldn’t get her any lower than the 400 range.
 N didn’t work for her either.  It made her drop too low too rapidly.  She regularly sees an
internist in Memphis, TN which is about 80 miles from where we live and after much 
consideration and research, Dr.Carolyn switched her to U and she’s been on it ever since.

We test her blood twice a day ~ before each meal and more often if we think there 
might be a problem.  She has an additional problem of high fat content in her blood. 
For this, we are giving her Niacin daily. 

Zaki had cataract surgery and artificial lens implants last November. 
As soon as she became diabetic we brought her to an ophthalmologist on a regular basis.
 Her cataracts were very slow to grow, but it came to a  point where 
the doctor said even though they were not fully developed,
it would be better to go ahead and  remove them 
rather than wait too long. 
She’s had great success with her surgery and no problems for now! 

She eats WD and boiled chicken breast with very few in between treats. 
I will give her green beans or sometimes a small piece of fat free cheese. 

We’ve been having problems with chronic UTIs. 
I’ve added 100 mg of vitamin C two times daily to her food, as her internist said that there 
has been medical proof that this will help to eliminate these infections.  We just started
this supplement, so it’s a little early to say whether or not it is helping her 

She’s had pancreatits a few times, but luckily I know what to look for and we are able
to have her treated  early.  When she’s beginning to develop pancreatitis is the only time she has problems getting along  with Pandy and Kelci, her two “sisters”. 

Believe me when I say that I would give almost anything for Zaki to be diabetes free, 
but it’s become  a way of life at our home.  We do make sacrifices and schedule our lives 
around her, but it’s such a small sacrifice for us to make. 
She’s the most precious girl and I’m so glad that she belongs to me ~ 
or should I say that I belong to her! 

We’re doing OK right now managing this disease 
and I hope we can do so for many, many more years 

ZAKI UPDATE ~ JULY, 2003

Zaki will be celebrating her 8th birthday on September 30th.   Her 4th anniversary
of being diagnosed with diabetes will be on December 31st of this year. 

After the initial shock of being told that she had this disease, I really didn't think that
she would still be with us.  As I've said in her original story, her doctor made it sound like 
her days were numbered.  I guess Zaki proved him to be wrong!

She's one of a very small number of dogs being treated successfully using Humulin U insulin. 
She was started on L and then on N and has been on U for over three years. 

We no longer do curves on her, but I do check her blood glucose at least twice daily, 
mostly before meals.  Most of the time she has good readings, however because of the 
additional problem of high cholesterol, at times her bg runs high.  Her internist said that 
the way she is feeling is a good indication of how her blood sugar is running ~ 
and most of the time Zaki is feeling really well.

She had a kidney infection two weeks ago, and we thought she was getting pancreatitis again.
 But, luckily she wasn't.  Her infection has cleared up and right now things are back to normal.

Zaki, Pandy, and Kelci had someone very special come to visit them last week.  Our friend
Annie from New Jersey, who is Max's mother, came here to meet them.  I warned Annie
ahead of time, that Zaki isn't the most outgoing member of our family the first time she meets
someone new.  However, Zaki proved me to be wrong where Annie was concerned.  She
was giving Annie kisses within an hour of meeting her.  I was very pleasantly surprised.

I don't have the opportunity to post many messages any more, but I am still receiving
valuable information through the Rainbow Bridge list.  I am so grateful for that. 
I learn something new almost every day, things that help me in Zaki's treatment.

She's a dear, sweet, precious little girl and I'm so thankful that we belong to each other. 
Every time I look at her sweet face and see those big brown eyes,
I realize how lucky I am for having her in my family.
 

Zaki's Family Album

 "Robarge Family"
Jerry holding Pandy, Kelci in the middle, and Carol holding Zaki.
 
 


Zaki in her scarf!

Rolling in the Grass!


Merry Christmas 1999 from Zaki and Family 

 Zaki's Memorial Page 

Read More Stories about Other Diabetic Pets
 

 

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