Any advice for life with a diabetic (Non-EB) dog??

ThatsBull

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Does anyone have any advise for a diabetic dog?

Our 10 year old Rottweiler had a serious bout of pancreatitis several weeks ago that almost cost him his life, more than once. He has been exhibiting signs of diabetes since he got past the worst of the infection. It took a couple of weeks between timing and courage to get his blood sugar (we have a glucometer at home). The vet (who got to know us really well lol) gave me an insulin needle and said I should try and get blood from a vein where he was shaved from his IV. So it turns out I am absolutely NOT a plebotomist. That amazing, sweet dog took about 5 or 6 attempts at a vein, and ultimately a few attempts with a lancet on his front dew claw pad before I could get a single drop of blood (maybe he is a zombie dog?). Normal blood sugar is 4-8, but Taz was at 27.2.

I called the vet this morning, and he is going to get all the insulin and supplies ready for me and I can just pick them up (I don't even have to take him in, apparently my vet thinks I am capable!!) since we had talked about this possibility a couple of weeks ago when Tia was in for her check-up. Any fear I had about poking him was worn off by last night (and this amazing dog never even looked at me funny, he just laid there and took it like a champ). I know that insulin needles are super fine, and probably don't hurt much, but I will still give him a little treat (pancreas and sugar friendly) with each needle I think.

I just wonder if anyone had any advice to give, generally speaking, about life with a diabetic dog.

IMG_703076522358215.jpeg
 

Manydogs

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Hello [MENTION=12783]ThatsBull[/MENTION] I had a Shih-Tsu, who had injured her back and had to be on prednisone. As a result, she became diabetic. I had a full time job at the time-so they usually tell you to give the shot and feed them about 1/2 hour later. I would give the shot, and then feed her. It is easy to give the shot, as it is fine and under the skin. I gave it to her on her neck. I had a low tv dinner plastic tray, and would catch her urine every morning-her first pee, and would adjust her insulin accordingly. In 7 years, she wound up in the hospital 3 times because her sugar and ketones would just go wild for no apparent reason-but all the rest of the time she did very well. If her sugar showed high-sometimes I would have to give her two shots a day-but I made sure I checked her urine every morning with the keto-stix. My sister also had a dog who became diabetic after a serious bout of Pancreatitis-whom the vet did not expect to live. She made it and she lived at least 5 years. My dog was 7 yrs. old when she became a diabetic, and she lost her sight eventually, and as she got older lost her hearing. She was a trooper and lived to be 14. Once you get a routine with your dog,
it will just be normal to you. You just have to be strict with her diet-and treats. Sometimes when I got home from work at 4, I could see she would be "rubber legged"
which meant her sugar was low and I would quickly give her kayro syrup-or even a sugar cookie. Now they have special tablets for diabetics when their sugar gets low.
Best of luck with your baby! You can order insulin needles on Jeffers. com, but you will most likely have to get the insulin at the pharmacy. Just make sure you keep a pretty strict routine for her and don't let anyone feed her extra things. My dog knew she was going to eat after her shot-so she was happy to get her shot! If you have any questions-don't hesitate to message me!
 

2BullyMama

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what a handsome boy Taz is! beautiful photo of him!

I have no experience with all this but wanted to wish you the best of luck in his daily care
 

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Hi Christine, I'm sorry to hear this about Taz. I don't have any experience with a Diabetic dog, although my Dad had a cat that had Diabetes. He used to give his cat daily Insulin injections, and said it wasn't hard. I am Diabetic, and so is my Dad, and I would think you would deal with it the same as we do. It is important to monitor blood regularly, determine the right dose of Insulin/and or meds, and administer the needle every day after he eats, Proper diet is important, and feeding the same amount and at the same time each day to avoid spikes or low blood sugar. The food should be higher in protein and low fat but with sufficient carbs and fibre to help slow the absorption of glucose. Also be careful with treats. Regular exercise is also important, and regular checkups with the vet.
 

ddnene

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I don't have any advice for a diabetic dog, but I did have a diabetic cat that lived to be 18 years of ageā€¦
I NEVER checked his blood sugar, what they would do was check him once/twice a year and keep him for a few days to check on his blood sugar levels. Then I would give him his insulin shot twice a day, it was super easy!!! The only thing that gets tricky is you HAVE to monitor his food intake, snacks, everythingā€¦ if someone gives him an extra snack (or he eats another pets food) that could throw his sugar off and he could crash. It happened a couple of times w/Midi but I would give him karo syrup and take him to the vets. I know it seems overwhelming at first, but you will get that hang of it and your baby will be fine!!! ;)
 

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My Dads last dog was a miniature Schnauzer, Dusty that was diagnosed with diabetes at around 9 or 10 and he gave him his shot every day he never acted any differently. It just becomes part of the routine like feeding them. I hope everything works out for your Rotty. He sure is a good looker. :)
 
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ThatsBull

ThatsBull

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Thanks so much for the input, advice and well wishes everyone!

I went and picked up the insulin and gave Taz his first shot tonight. He will be getting shots twice a day for now. I was advised to give him the meds for 3 or 4 days, and then check his blood sugar again about 3 hours after his shot. He took his shot like a total champ, and got a small piece of plain baked turkey breast (skinless) as a post injection treat.

I have warned my girls not to give Taz anything for now. Thankfully I was already in the habit of buying soft natural treats, and slicing them very small (in Tia's agility they get a LOT of treats, but I didn't want her to gain weight, so I every 4 or 5 agility treats actually works out to 1 normal sized training treat lol), so their impact on Taz should be very small. We need to weigh out the pros and cons here. He is basically at "end of life" age for a Rotty, we knew that when we adopted him, but we want it to be a GOOD end of life. We want a happy dog that can feel as though he gets treats sometimes too. That is why I bought the skinless turkey breast, so I could cut it into small pieces and give it to him as a 'post injection treat'. With it being straight protein, and small pieces they shouldn't have too big of an impact on his blood sugar.

Turns out this is going to be fairly expensive though. If he does well on the dose he is on right now (25 units, twice a day), then it will cost about $200 a month. He is worth it, it's just a shame it has to cost so much. I am sure it doesn't cost that much to make canine insulin and lower prices would make treating diabetes a more available option for pet owners. I can't imagine how many pets are rehomed, abandoned or put down due to unnecessary high costs of pet medication (I realize some meds are expensive, and they need to charge more, but at the same time, I am sure there are a lot of companies that charge a lot for the drugs just because they can).
 

ddnene

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[MENTION=12783]ThatsBull[/MENTION]

I'm not sure about dogs, but I gave our cat just regular insulinā€¦ the same that people use. I didn't even know that they made specific insulin for dogs?!! The insulin I found wasn't very expensive at all, it was the needles that were outrageously pricedā€¦ I'm wondering if you vet clinic could give you a discount on needles. I didn't have pet insurance at that time so I don't know if they cover supplies like that...
 
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ThatsBull

ThatsBull

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I have actually been reading and apparently its not uncommon for people to give their dogs human insulin and sometimes, in hard to control cases, it can even work better than dog insulin. Its definitely something to discuss with my vet.
 

Manydogs

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All the years my dog took insulin, it was human insulin-I'll bet there is no difference, as she lived all that time. I think the syringes are much cheaper at Jeffer's than the vet-or the drug store! Take a look. Don't let the vet overcharge you. They just buy it and mark it up.
 
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ThatsBull

ThatsBull

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Dont you need a prescription for insulin? This is all very confusing and overwhelming to me.
 

ddnene

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Dont you need a prescription for insulin? This is all very confusing and overwhelming to me.

No I didn't need a prescription for it, but I do remember telling them that it was for my cat. PLEASE ask any question, I remember feeling very overwhelmed when I started this w/Midiā€¦ we are here to help!!!
 
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ThatsBull

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How does the cost vary between human insulin and Caninsulin?

For the Caninsulin I pay $48 for the vial of 10ml. He is currently taking 25 units twice a day, but this is a BRAND NEW dosing, he has only had 3 doses so far. I understand it takes a few days to really take effect, but when I woke up this afternoon (I work overnights), there was still water in the water bowl, and when my daughter took him out for a pee, he came back in on his own in just a few minutes!! It's a small thing, but it makes me hopeful because he is SO SO thin right now that it honestly makes me cry sometimes.
 

ddnene

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How does the cost vary between human insulin and Caninsulin?

For the Caninsulin I pay $48 for the vial of 10ml. He is currently taking 25 units twice a day, but this is a BRAND NEW dosing, he has only had 3 doses so far. I understand it takes a few days to really take effect, but when I woke up this afternoon (I work overnights), there was still water in the water bowl, and when my daughter took him out for a pee, he came back in on his own in just a few minutes!! It's a small thing, but it makes me hopeful because he is SO SO thin right now that it honestly makes me cry sometimes.

It's been years, but I don't remember paying more than $20 for a vial of human insulin. Of course you have to remember I'm in the states too, and things are cheaperā€¦ I would ask your vet what the difference between the two insulins are (human versus canine) and go for the cheaper one. [MENTION=1904]cali baker[/MENTION] is there a difference between the two insulins?!!

I know it's overwhelming right now, but honestly your baby will feel better in no timeā€¦ once you get his levels figured out!!! Hang in thereā€¦
 

cali baker

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I'm not sure on cost differences between the two insulins. I'm gathering that the canine one is more costly tho , which is the usual case w/vet drugs. I understand that the canine insulin is a pork insulin which is identical to a dog's insulin. Dogs can use human insulin though but i think there's just a slight difference chemically but still compatible. You really should d/w your vet however, especially if Tia is responding positively to the canine one, it may be best to stick with it.
 

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