If you read my bio, you know I’m the proud doxie mom of Andouille Sausage (age 11.5yo) and Beignet (age 7.5yo). On New Years Day 2018, our world drastically changed. While watching LSU’s bowl game at my parents, Beignet started having multiple accidents in their house which had never happened before. She guzzled an entire dog bowl full of water and started trying to drink out of their swimming pool shortly after. I thought, could she be diabetic??? I immediately rushed her to the Line Avenue Emergency Vet in Shreveport, where the veterinarian confirmed my worst fears for my Bennie. She had to spend the night at the ER to get started on insulin and was to be immediately taken to our vet the following morning. I was in shock… How could this happen??? How could this happen to the world’s happiest, most loving dog? Did I do something wrong to cause this?? I went home in a fog. Going home without her was tough. So much uncertainty it was hard to know what the coming days and weeks would hold for us. Plus I was just worried about how she was doing at the ER without me. Not that I should worry much, because Bennie is notorious at all pet friendly locations. She was probably getting multiple tummy rubs while I sat home and cried. I actually ended up taking her favorite blanket back up there. They so thoughtfully allowed her to come to a room and spend about 15 minutes with Andouille and me before they needed to hook her back up to her fluids. This was night 1 of 3 months of my life I would never want to relive….
The first thing so many people said upon finding out about Bennie’s diagnosis was “Well you’re a doctor, this will be nothing to you.” Let’s clarify, I’m a pediatrician. The doctors that often high tail it out of the room while their nurses give the shots… Do I understand diabetes – of course. Did that make me even more terrified – absolutely! My point is no matter what your background is, getting this diagnosis for your pet is terrifying. I spent weeks reading everything I could. I learned 1 in 100 dogs are diagnosed with diabetes. Dogs are always Type 1 diabetics (insulin dependent or Juvenile-onset) although cats are often Type 2 diabetics (non-insulin dependent). Since dogs are Type 1 diabetics, they always require insulin. The greatest risk of mortality is in the first 6 months following diagnosis (which we just made on 7/1/18!!!). My dog now has a high risk of developing cataracts and becoming blind. Both of my dogs that have always free fed throughout the day would now both be required to eat on command twice a day so that Bennie could be given her insulin. My life would now revolve around being home at specific time intervals to give insulin ~ every 12 hours. And probably the absolutely hardest concept to grasp was that, I, world’s worst spoiler of wiener dogs, would be giving my baby girl shots. For each of you who have gotten this diagnosis, you knew the same feeling. Being completely overwhelmed. Dr. Brad our vet assured me that Bennie would realize the shots made her feel better and not mind them at all. Thankfully he was so right.
This blog will be to help me remember where we started and how far we’ve come. It will be to help others on this journey navigate this dreadful disease. I am not a veterinarian or an expert, but I’m someone who’s been in your shoes. I will discuss home testing, feeding woes, new unexpected diagnoses, vet visits, dog diabetes resources and I’m sure multiple other things. If I am doing something different than what your vet has advised, please discuss these things with your vet and do not base changes off of anything that I do with Beignet. Good luck on your Sugar Baby Journey!
~Devoted Doxie Mom