Diabetes- simple rules to maintain your dog

Diabetes is a very complicated disease. You can find a great deal of information

on the web, but my goal in this article is to describe it as simply as I can to help

you best maintain your pet at home. It conveys the information I give to my

clients when they go home with a newly diagnosed diabetic pet. At the end of the

article, I have listed some websites that have a much more in-depth and detailed

discussion of this disease.

Diabetes (type 1 in animals) is an issue of decreased function of the pancreas

(beta cells) to produce insulin. When your pet does not have enough insulin,

glucose cannot move out of the blood into the cells. The brain can ONLY use

glucose. If your pet does not have glucose for the brain, the body will make

ketones (ketoacidosis) to try to help the brain function.

There are three crises when dealing with diabetes: low blood sugar, high blood

sugar, and ketoacidosis.

Low blood sugar occurs when you have given too much insulin and there is not

enough glucose in the blood. This can lead to diabetic or insulin shock. If your

pet is acting blind, drunk, weak, quiet, or neurological, he requires vet attention

right away. He needs to get his blood sugar back up ,which, at times, must be

done in the hospital with IV fluids and dextrose. If this is not treated, the animal

can have a seizure and die. When your animal is acting in the above mentioned

way, you must always give heavy sugar water, kayo Syrup, or any high sugar

liquid. If your pet is willing to eat, you need to feed him. If you have a glucometer

at home, you should take a blood sugar level reading.

High blood sugar has the same clinical signs that were present when your pet

was first diagnosed and must be treated in the same way.

In an animal with high blood sugar (diabetes), you will see clinical signs of

drinking a lot, eating a lot, urinating a lot, and weight loss. If your pet has these

clinical signs, you should have regular bloodwork ( CBC/ Chem). a fructosamine

level, and a urine sample done by your vet. You need these tests to determine if

your pet has diabetes, and, if he was controlled at one time, why he is no longer

controlled.

Ketoacidosis occurs when an animal has had high blood sugar long enough for

the body to produce ketones. Often times the animal is very sick and needs to

be hospitalized and regulated very carefully. This is a state you want to avoid at

all costs.

Animals with diabetes will have a lower immune system defense, which makes

them more susceptible to infection. They will have infections more often. If

diabetic animals have an infection, it will change the insulin regulation. It is very

important for you to watch them closely and treat infections quickly. The number

one infection is a bladder/ urinary tract infection. I also commonly see skin

infections, pancreatitis, GI issues, and respiratory infections. Dogs will also get

cataracts when the sugar moves into the lens if they are not controlled

(regulated). Cats’ eyes are different, and they do not get cataracts the way a dog

does.

A diabetic pet is a great deal of work and requires owner compliance. The

number one reason for death in diabetic pets is lack of proper owner compliance.

It is a frustrating disease, at times, and it is often expensive to treat and maintain

a diabetic animal. As an owner, there is a great deal of responsibility when caring

for a diabetic pet, and one such responsibility is to make sure you never do any

harm in your treatment of him.

These are my five basic rules when taking a diabetic pet home.

1)

 

You must watch him closely. If he is acting drunk, weak, blind, or

 

lethargic, you DO NOT give him insulin.

 

You get a blood glucose level (BG). If it is lower than 58, your pet has

hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). (BG should be 60-120 in a normal dog.) You

should then give sugar water or kayo syrup, and feed him.

Call you vet right away, or take your pet in to be seen by a vet in an emergency.

2.)

 

If you are giving the insulin, and your pet moves, or you think you miss

 

it, never go back and give more.

 

It is safer to have a high blood sugar level for

a day, if you missed, than insulin shock if you gave too much.

3.)

 

If your pet vomits or does not eat the meal, DO NOT give the insulin. Call

 

your vet and get a blood glucose level.

 

Diabetic dogs who do not eat can be

sick, and giving them insulin will make them hypoglycemic (low blood sugar).

Always monitor for sickness, and do not try to save money. Call your vet. A sick

diabetic pet will just get worse.

4.)

 

You should give the insulin 12 hours apart due to the glucose curve that

the drug makes. The insulin will drop the blood sugar to its lowest point at 6

hours, then rise during the next 6 hours to its highest point at 12 hours. Our goal

is to never let the blood sugar drop to lower than 58 or so, and to not let it go

above 160-170 at 12 hours.

5.)

 

Make sure you handle the insulin correctly. Never leave it out. Once it has

been opened, change the bottle every three months, on average. (It loses

effectiveness over time). Twirl the bottle in your hands. Then turn it upside down

to draw out the said amount and remove all air bubbles.

Cats should always get insulin in the lower quadrant of the body. It has been

shown they absorb better in that area.

If you are going away and you are leaving your pet in a caretaker’s hands, please

make sure the person fully understands these rules and is able to give the insulin

correctly.

There are a few things you can do to monitor your pet at home.

You can do urine dipsticks. These help you to monitor for glucose, ketones, or

signs of a urinary tract infection.

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Dr Meenan – Bruno’s Mom

Bunker, the rescue

Image

I was born a prince.   My family lines were distinct and my destiny plan at birth.  I was guaranteed a loving home, Marianne made sure of that.   I was protected and loved every day of my life.  I have never known a bad day, a day where I worried about being cold or hungry, alone or hurt.    Yet, I am aware of the plight of my fellow dogs.

What happens when that is not the case?  When you find yourself out in the world left, hungry and cold like my “brothers” did. 

 Johnny was found in NYC with a shattered leg and starving.   He did not walk right for 8 months after surgery and to this day he has a limp.   Kathi, my mom, took him from the clinic just to rehab him since he could not walk on his back leg where his femur was broken in multiple pieces.   Despite the surgery to repair the bone it took 6 months of intense therapy before he walked on his leg again.  Today, he is fat and sassy and spends a good part of the day napping or figuring out how to eat the cat’s food.

Just last week another stray  found his way into our home.    He arrived last Thursday night after being picked up by Animal Control where he was dumped.  He had no tags or microchip and he was starving.  He was all skin and bones.  In fact they were calling him Bones.  He had gained six pounds by the time we had met and he was still way to thin.    Someone had tossed him way.   He was left to wonder around in the winter, starving and cold.  Luckily, last week he came into my mom’s exam room.   My family needed a Boxer and he needed a home.    Two days later he was invading my home.

Rich changes his name to Bunker.    Bunker the Clunker is more like it.  He is silly and way too big.  He steps right over me in his excitement.   He is an okay fellow,   I just had to explain to him who was the boss of this house a few times but now we are getting along fabulously.   I am actually starting to like him more because I have realized since he is so thin everyone likes to give him snacks and I am there to get my share.   

Now that Bunker has come home with us he will no longer be hungry and cold.  He may be pushed around by this Scottie, but he is part of the family and we take care of our own.   

Taking care of these animals is an important job.  Even pure bred dogs are not immune to abuse and neglect.  No one is immune   It is up to us to help care for these amazing animals that can face such abuse and neglect and still love and trust.   Their stories are truly inspiring.

I would like you to share your story with us about your rescued dog please write us.      

–           Bruno 

 

Bunker – all bones

Bunker - all bones

My new brother.

Bunker

Bunker

Skinny Bunker at the clinic

My Birthday

It is my Birthday and I ponder important things, such as do I wear my Birthday suit or do I dress up for the occasion?  What does it all mean?  Have I done enough with my life?  Have I missed anything?  What is getting older?  Am I really slowing down?  But then I realize there are only a few important things to worry about on my birthday and that is simple; Am I going to like the cake?  And will enough of my loved ones be with me to share it?

Last year my best friend Caddie was with me, and Jake was too but this year they are gone.  It is sad to think of them no longer being with me.   I often miss them.  It makes me think about how important it is to enjoy every day.

Truthfully, a birthday is a time to celebrate another year well lived and shared with our pack.  It is a time to celebrate that we are loved and have loved; that each day of our life has been an adventure and we are glad to be a part of it.  I will be celebrating this year with big party.   The guest will cross species; humans, canines, and felines.  We may be different but we love each other.  We are going to celebrate great friendships and the fact that we had another year to enjoy it together.

I will leave you with this thought that I so recently read:

  “Growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional”

So, enjoy each day like you are a young pup.

I know many of us have different ways of celebrating our birthday so would you like to share with us how you celebrate your birthday?

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/petsadviser-pix/8468406805/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/petsadviser-pix/8468406805/

Here is another handsome shot that was taken while I greeted the public.