A Is For Allergies…

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this site on Beignet (I’m a lot better at updating the associated Facebook page). Anyways I always laugh when I picture my face when our vet, Dr. Brad Everson, said diabetes would be a secondary concern when compared to all her other diagnoses. I couldn’t imagine anything would be more life altering for us than the diabetes diagnosis. Dr. Brad has been right over and over again. Diabetes for us is nothing to manage. It literally is everything else…

Our biggest struggle the last 6-9 months has been severe eye swelling. Our amazing vet ophthalmologist, Dr. John Warren at Veterinary Eye Institute, scheduled Bennie a double specialist visit with both himself and Dr. Dennis Crow of DermVets. Dr. Crow skin tested Beignet and found she’s allergic to everything. She started personalized oral immunotherapy back in February within days of that appointment. Dr. Crow started her immediately on the maintenance vial to speed things up since her options for other medications are limited by her diabetes diagnosis. Don’t know about y’all, but one of my pet peeves is hearing that my sweet girl is ineligible for anything because she’s diabetic.

Well here we are almost 3 months into immunotherapy. Bennie’s right eye is so awful looking. There are days I haven’t even been able to see her eye itself due to the swelling. 4 weeks ago, we made the hard decision to risk putting her on Atopica (cyclosporine). There was quite a risk of terrible side effects with this medication but Dr. Crow felt it was her only other option since she’s diabetic. Dr. Brad said we were at the point that we had to take the risk. 5 days in she did starting throwing up and have to go to the ER vet for a Cerenia shot but has been fine since. 3 weeks in and the swelling is 50% improved. During this time we also put our cat, Boudin, on the new Purina LiveClear cat food to reduce his dander (after 3 weeks of eating this food it decreases cat dander by 80%). And Dr. Warren had us stop ALL topical eye medications to ensure she was not also have hypersensitivity reactions from her many eye meds. He knew this would cause her dry eye to get bad but said we needed to know. This past week I first added her Tacrolimus Eye Drops back and she had immediate swelling. When things returned to the 50% improved state we added Cyclosporine Eye Drops. Things were going okay until she woke up with terrible looking eyes this morning with external bleeding🤢. She spent the day with Dr. Brad. Dr. Warren personally called and feels today’s issues are related to her also having a sensitivity to Cyclosporine eye drops. So basically we can assume we will never get back to having good dry eye control again 😢. And let me just say, I can’t even count the times Dr. Warren has personally called me during all of our struggles – 1 week I spoke with him twice. He is that caring of an eye vet and although we haven’t required surgery, we know his surgical skills are amazing – if you are within driving distance of the greater Dallas area – he’s the one you want to use for sure!!!

So all in all, I’m just hoping and praying that something works for us. My own eye doctor gave me a concoction to try on her eyes. Dr. Warren gave us the green light to give it a try next week. So hoping that it has a miraculous benefit. As a physician that understands allergies, this process has been so incredibly defeating. I’ve doubted myself over and over again. I just cannot understand how a dog this incredibly sweet with such a amazing spirit can possibly continue to get one worse thing after another. I continually worry about what the next expense is going to be as her current expenses keep me stressed as is. I guess if I try and have 1 positive thought about all of this, at least her hypersensitivity reactions just knocked off a few pricey prescriptions from her list… No more compounded eye meds shipped in from New Jersey…

All in all, we are still making it. Beignet is definitely not at all a fan of social distancing. She cannot stand curbside pickup at Southern Hills Animal Hospital. This morning I thought she was going to lose her mind because I couldn’t take her inside the building and she had to wait an entire 5 minutes for a vet tech to come out and get her. She cried and moaned nonstop. And literally leaped our the car window into the tech’s arms. My girl sure loves going to the vet and seeing Dr. Brad and crew. We hope everyone else is doing well. Our goal was to start doing some video blogs on diabetic dog care and those may still come so stay tuned…. For now, we just need to survive severe allergies!

Stay Well!

~Devoted Doxie Mom

Chemosis Is Atrocious

I haven’t been a great blogger, but we are planning some vlogs to come your way soon. Part of the reason we haven’t been blogging much is the battle Beignet has faced with severe chemosis these last few months. It’s really been just plain awful to look at her with massively swollen eyes. For those of you who panic over steroids in diabetic dogs – Beignet had 3 shots of short-acting Decadron during a 6 week time span. No it’s not ideal but if it’s necessary, your dog can probably handle it too. Beignet didn’t even have much of an increase in her blood sugar ironically. We saw a local vet dermatologist at the beginning of January who said Beignet had Staph Blepharitis which basically means her immune system is reacting to Staph bacteria. The treatment was a shot of steroid followed by 3-4 weeks of antibiotics. I really didn’t want to do this treatment – a 3rd steroid dose and prolonged antibiotics when we have her IBD and pancreatitis so well controlled… Sounded like it could fix 1 problem and then cause another. But then I felt there was no choice. However, unfortunately, it did cause another problem and did nothing to help the chemosis either. Ugh! We’ve started Vis Biome Vet probiotics and started with a new Eastern Med Vet to adjust her Chinese herbal therapy since that helped with her appetite and GI symptoms so much in the past. We just started her new herbals Thursday night.

We’ve been counting down the days to do a combo specialist visit next week. She will see Dr. Crow, a veterinarian dermatologist along with her regular vet ophtho, Dr Warren. Dr. Crow comes to the Plano location of Veterinary Eye Institute to do visits with Dr. Warren on Wednesdays. Dr. Warren said their success rate working together on cases like Beignet’s has been unbelievable! I feel confident they will help fix our Bennie!! I literally can’t wait for the appointment!

One example of Beignet’s chemosis.

We’ve got some new equipment and will soon get back to our passion, which is educating on diabetic dog care! I’ll be able to start videoing some of the basics that we do each day. Unfortunately our primary glucometer broke suddenly yesterday and I am so ready for the replacement to arrive tomorrow! Hopefully we can help some other diabetic dog owners and even encourage others to adopt or foster diabetic pets. There’s not much a diabetic dog can’t do! Yesterday, our Bennie had a blast participating in a real life version of the game Clue put on by CluedUpp games. She even tied for Best K9 Detective!

Best K9 Detective sniffing our whodunnit in Downtown Shreveport!

I had a theory Bennie might be allergic to benzalkonium chloride. I removed all eye products containing this additive on Friday, 1/31/2020. Initially I thought I was for sure right because after no days free of swelling, her eyes were almost back to normal by the next Thursday. Came home the following evening after work and she looked great. She went outside for a little bit and next thing I know she can’t open her eyes and was acting very lethargic. This was different than her previous episodes. I flushed them well. My vet said to do her steroid eye drops immediately and then do Flonase in each nostril. At the 30 minute mark I headed to the ER and of course by the time we got there she perked up and her swelling was improved. She’s never had swelling resolve that fast so this seemed much more like an immediate allergic reaction than what we usually deal with. I was so worried she needed more but then I was worried about her appointment in Dallas being effected. It was a waste of time and money. I know Beignet and this just wasn’t her normal reaction. I felt semi-vindicated when she started vomiting on the way home. I could have turned around and taken her back but at this point I can handle a vomiting diabetic like a pro. I cleaned up the car and came in and literally cried. I just want this to be over and us to have an answer. My stress level has been through the roof lately just not knowing what to do when it comes to the eyes. I get she’s complicated but it’s tough when no one knows what to do. People keep trying to tell me to go to their vet. It’s actually super annoying. My vet goes over and beyond for this dog. We’ve been to someone who’s supposedly the best of the best specialist wise and I think she jumped too quickly to a diagnosis personally. Although, I get that she’s typically a complete rock star who always figures out the tough cases. So just because maybe we didn’t get the right diagnosis – I totally think the majority do and we still recommend her. No ones perfect… For all I know our 2nd opinion will give us the same diagnosis and I will then accept that she does have it. So at this point because someone’s vet is super cheap and great or someone just plain loves their vet – that’s not going to make me think it would be worth my time and money to see them for a case that is super complex. There’s no one that understands my dog more than Dr. Brad. And I also don’t understand how when a dog has something very complicated and complex that hearing they can go to a super cheap vet makes anyone feel reassured? For me it’s not the cost, its the skill level of the vet. We are lucky to have Dr Brad, Dr Warren and maybe now even Dr Crow. Oh well – rant over. Like I said, stress level is through the roof! If we weren’t going Wednesday and I had to wait another week, I might completely loose my mind!

Friday nights scare!

So that’s our update! We will let y’all know what we find out Wednesday!

Sincerely,

Devoted Doxie Mom

Walking In A Wiener Wonderland

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. First I wanted to wait and give updates on this treatment or that. Then I’d be too frustrated to blog. Here I am getting my first pedicure in 6 months (and yes I feel sorry for this guy too) on a Monday night and thought maybe it’s time…

She really is a Tiger Fan

So our positive is that we started also seeing an Eastern Medicine specialist in early October. Herbals have been a total game changer for us as far as eating goes. I mean my dog eats twice a day most every day now. What??? Even breakfast! Yep it’s still completely shocking to me! Diabetes is as well controlled as it can be on Humalin N. On our last curve 2 weeks ago she ran between 119-228!

Our eyes are a disaster. Bennie’s right eye area continues to swell up huge. She’s having to wear this flower petal cone of shame most days. It’s the only cone that she can easily drink water while wearing. Can’t restrict a diabetic from their water! To make matters worse, she was diagnosed with lipid keratopathy from her steroid eye drops in November. She was changed to an anti inflammatory drop that doesn’t seem to help much with all this inflammation. She’s had to continue the steroid drops along with Benadryl frequently over the last couple of months. It’s extremely frustrating. We are now being sent to a Dermatologist. Apparently Vet Derms also specialize in allergies and immunology. We have an appointment 1/4/20. So hoping for answers that don’t involve much expense. I’m feeling tapped out. Knowing how little I’ve done for myself the last 2 years, I’m starting to resent that no matter how hard I work or how much I spend – it never seems to be enough. Don’t get me wrong, I love that dog (and her sister and brother) more than life itself, but I just so much want to have a stable normal. She actually had to get a steroid shot 2 weeks ago because of the extreme inflammation in her body which caused a ulcerated sore by her eye – I mean I’m not exaggerating, her eye area is a hot mess!

We’ve also had 2 UTI’s in the last 3 months – naturally both after hours requiring trips to the local ER Vet. I definitely recommend keeping pet urinalysis strips at home that make it easy to know when to take your diabetic in for a UTI (or even DKA if ketones are present). Not sure what’s up with the UTI’s since she’s been UTI free for the rest of her time as a diabetic. But we all know Bennie does what it takes to go see her vet friends🤦🏼‍♀️

Waiting to be seen for UTI #2

So pray for no eye swelling, inflammation, good diabetes control, continues good appetite, no more UTI’s and as cheap of a vet derm appt as is possible in 2020. We’re hoping for a lottery win over here!

We hope all of you have the Happiest of Holidays! We are so thankful for everyone in Team Beignet! We’d be lost without you!

Sincerely,

A Tired & Frustrated Devoted Doxie Mom

Beignet Bootcamp!

It’s been a wild few weeks. If you follow our Diary of a Diabetic Dachshund Facebook page, you may have seen some posts about my older doxie, Andouille Sausage (aka Annie for those of you who don’t speak Cajun). Hopefully we will get more answers on Miss. Andouille after we see vet ophtho later this week.

Beignet on the other hand is currently doing really well (despite the fact that I somehow forgot to give her yesterday AM insulin dose after she decided to wake me up at 5am on my first Saturday off in a few weeks🤦🏼‍♀️ – I beat myself up pretty good over that). So here’s the great news! Beignet has been eating so much better after I found a way to show some tough love! I bought a foldable pet gate and made her a little doggy jail for meal time. Why it took me long to think of this, I’ll never know. So the beauty of the pet gate is that I can now leave the room during meal times. Normally I have to referee ensuring Annie doesn’t eat Bennie’s food and that Bennie doesn’t just leave the room and find somewhere in the house to go back to sleep. Those are definitely pluses. But the best part is she’s eating much better in her new dog jail! She’s eaten dinner pretty much every night. For breakfast I forcefeed wet food if she doesn’t eat within 45 minutes. Sometimes I have to stuff a bite in and then she will start to eat on her own. She hasn’t willingly eaten wet dog food since February 2018. Now she’ll eat it on her own if I get her started which is a huge change. My vet says when she gets food in her tummy, it typically makes her feel better. Often it’s just getting a little food in for her to realize this. Diabetes feeding schedules are tough but add in chronic pancreatitis & inflammatory bowel disease and you have some idea of the nightmare feeding has been for us for the last 21 months. It’s such a huge weight off my shoulders to have had a few weeks of minimal meal time drama. Beignet immediately became very territorial over her feeding area. She often stays in and guards her area from Andouille. If she hasn’t finished every bite she’ll growl and go back and eat another bite or two while Annie watches her. For anyone with a dog that won’t eat this concept maybe worth a shot. I’m hoping our success continues!

Hope everyone has a great week!!!

~Devoted Doxie Mom

Diary of a Diabetic Dog Mom

I’m about a pound away from being the weight I was when Beignet became diabetic. How disgusting to think that I’ve had to spend the last 13-14 weeks erasing 40lbs of stress. 40lbs lost on a body that has at least 40 more pounds to get rid of. I can celebrate getting my life back, but now I can finally celebrate each pound lost starting from this point forward. I can celebrate being able to wear the wiener dog dress pictured that I once bought on a clearance sale & thought would never fit me – too bad its too hot to actually wear out in public.

The stress and emotional burden on caregivers should never be ignored. As someone who truly enjoys to work-out, I quit. I spent months barely eating but still managing to gain weight. I spent months eating whatever I wanted and definitely gaining weight. I spend most days at a job where I should be a role model and am constantly encouraging my patients to eat healthy and be physically active. However, I was doing none of these things myself. I then stressed over carrying this burden that I was letting not only myself down, but my patients as well. Due to the expense of having a pet with complex medical needs, I also stopped spending money on things that would potentially help me relieve stress – massages, pedicures, facials, etc.

Thankfully, I was able to realize I couldn’t continue on this path. The path that had me weighing more than I’d ever weighed in my entire life. I wasn’t sure where to turn. With my work schedule and my dog care schedule, I had to find something that I could handle without issue on even my most stressful days. My friend Amanda introduced me to the Optavia plan and her sister, Michelle, became my coach. I’ve now lost weight when Beignet had a pancreatitis/IBD flare. I’ve lost weight on days she hasn’t eaten. I’ve lost weight on extremely stressful work days. I’ve never once even had the slightest temptation to deviate from the plan. I don’t have to go anywhere to weigh in. I don’t have to have scheduled visits or phone calls. I only wish I’d found Optavia sooner. The program and the results are absolutely amazing. It’s the easiest “diet” I’ve ever done and for the first time, I know 100% this is something I can maintain forever.

So my advice for anyone out there that’s going through something: Do NOT let it get the best of you! Your health is too important. Your family needs you. Your children and your pets (if you have either) especially need you. You can do it!!! Take it from someone who’s turned it around. It’s possible, but not until you take the first step! And if you need some motivation, I’m here for you! Also message me if you have questions about Optavia and I will get you in touch with Michelle!

Cheers to our health and happiness,

~Devoted Doxie Mom

UPDATE: I am now a Certified Optavia Health Coach and am happy to help anyone else get their life back on track!

Monday Funday

As a diabetic dog owner of a picky eater, meal times are NEVER fun. I’m always shocked (and extremely thankful) when I see an empty bowl. Starting out a Monday morning with your dog staring up at you with those innocent eyes while she refuses to eat… Well those are the days I absolutely dread!! Most days I can tell the difference between Beignet being a diva and being sick. This morning, I really couldn’t.

So instead of heading to work, I headed to Southern Hills Animal Hospital to leave Miss. B with her favorites. She was literally crying and moaning at the locked door when we arrived. While we waited, Andouille (who I had to bring since our plans changed unexpectedly) decided to escape her collar and make me chase her through the parking lot in this 100 degree heat🥵. Thankfully she did not make a mad dash onto Bert Kouns which is a very busy highway and eventually let me grab her.

I managed to make it to work a little after 9. Just called to check at the start of our lunch break, and discover she’s still not eating😭. I mentioned to Dr. Brad this morning, I was worried about her kidneys with the recent eye swelling since that wasn’t checked and today was our first time to see him since before all that drama. He agreed she should get an electrolyte panel. He was also doing a screen for kidney function that picks up renal disease earlier than just an abnormal creatinine. I can’t even imagine if I have to add another diagnosis to her list😳. Prayers the labs are all normal!

Dr. Brad said some research is being done on autoimmune conditions such as hers. He thinks her eye is a part of the autoimmune process. There’s even work being done on special diets. It’s difficult to have a dog like Beignet. She’s so full of life and love but her system is completely messed up. I know at some point all of this will get the best of her, but until then I will do my best to keep her healthy. Part of the reason for the blog is to share our story as well as to help educate those with pets with special healthcare needs. The other part is that this blog can help raise funds to help with Beignet’s care without having to spend any money. Please subscribe to our page by entering your email address. Also LIKE our Facebook page. And the most important thing you can do is remember that pets are family. They deserve our very best!

Sincerely,

Devoted Doxie Mom

Doxie at the Dentist

So as most of you know, we stuck around Dallas yesterday to be able to see a doggy dentist. Beignet’s veterinary opthalmologist, Dr. Warren, highly recommended, Dr. Sunny Ruth at Victory Bark veterinary clinic in Dallas, Texas. We were so thankful Dr. Ruth was able to fit us in for a 5pm appointment while we were already in the Dallas area. Dr. Ruth confirmed what Dr. Brad’s told us since Beignet was diagnosed with diabetes – she has 2 fractured molars. The right side is worse with a little bit of root exposed. Despite Beignet having severe eye swelling of only her right eye, it is not related to to the fractured tooth. If that tooth were to be absessed, it would end up causing the eye on that side as well as the cheek to swell and occasionally cause a drainage tract of pus from around the eye. Yuck!

Beignet’s tooth is definitely at higher risk to absess. Dachshunds have notoriously bad dentition. Dr. Ruth said it is really impressive for a dachshund of Bennie’s age that her teeth (besides the fractures) look so great! She told me to keep up our at home regimen. I’ll post the products we use at the end of the post for anyone who’s interested. I do personally scale Bennie’s teeth every few months since anesthesia for a dental is so risky for her. Although with an uncooperative dog, scaling could be dangerous and this certainly isn’t advised to be done at home for every dog.

So what’s the plan for the fractures? Dr. Ruth said if it was her own dog with Beignet’s history, she would not do any repairs or extractions. So she agrees we should just do watchful waiting. She will be happy to help if anything changes. I avoided going into detail on all my anesthesia concerns and let her come up with her own plan. I always appreciate a vet who does whats right for the dog and not whats best for their bank account. We already have that with our personal vet, but its nice to see a specialist with that seem mentality. Hopefully since this tooth hasn’t caused issues for the last 20 months – we will keep that tract record.

As far as what’s causing the severe swelling – the consensus is its likely an unknown allergen. My hope is it never happens again in which case I will be fine not knowing what caused it. Allergy testing isn’t overly accurate in dogs and it would likely end up with us on a wild goose chase trying to find an answer that we might not ever be able to confirm. The best news of all is that she doesn’t have a tumor in her orbital area based off of her physical exam findings with Dr. Warren yesterday.

Thanks so much to everyone who’s messaged me to check on Beignet! We will continue to share her story in hopes she can help other pets!

Sincerely,

Devoted Doxie Mom

We use this to scale with as well as the one below which really helps to have if something gets stuck between her teeth.
Clenz-a-dent is a great to help clean those stinky dog mouths and help with dental issues.
These brushes make it easier to reach back to the cracked molars. My other dachshund, Andouille, is completely neurotic and she will actually let me brush her teeth with these.

Eyes Wide Open

Beignet saw her favorite eye doctor, Dr. Warren at Veterinary Eye Institute in Plano. Her eyes are looking great today (unlike the 2 recent episodes in the last couple of weeks). No signs of orbital disease which was a big concern with the recurrence and made it necessary for us to come today instead of waiting for our scheduled appointment in a couple of weeks. So what caused these episodes? Either something dental or it’s due to an unknown allergy. Beignet cracked a molar day 1 of becoming diabetic so the dental one is a definite possibility. Due to all her illnesses, no one has wanted to touch her cracked tooth. Dr. Warren wants to get the opinion from a specialist in Dallas he 100% trusts. I called as soon as we got out of his appointment at 12:45 and Dr. Ruth is able to squeeze us in at 5:00pm today. Will post updates on that in the next few days.

Just remember if your diabetic (or even nondiabetic) dog has snotty eyes – insist on a dry eye test. If your dog does have dry eye, colored mucous means likely means dog’s eyes are reacting to being too dry. This is not “pink eye” and they do not need antibiotic eye drops. If you ever have any concerns about your pet’s eyes and are in this area of the country, definitely come see Dr. Warren and his staff at Veterinary Eye Institute! We’ve never had anything less than a wonderful experience. It’s been worth a 3 hour drive. They have also been incredibly responsive between appointments to every question and concern I’ve had. See Bennie getting dry eye tested below!

Fingers crossed her tooth is okay and if not, that it’s not going to cost me a small fortune. Also, Beignet is still defying the odds since she is still cataract free 20 months post diagnosis!!! The great majority of diabetic dogs get cataracts within 1 year of diabetes diagnosis. Ideally all diabetic pets should be followed by a veterinary ophthalmologist. Please like our Facebook page and subscribe to our page so we can help raise funds for when her day comes by helping us get ad revenue! We also earn money anytime someone purchases a product through links on our posts and if anyone uses our link to purchase the Embark Dog DNA test (which also gives the purchaser $25 off from using our code) – see our post on DNA of a Diabetic Dachshund for more details!

Sincerely,

Devoted Doxie Mom in Dallas

Thankfully a family member had a hotel nearby so we are relaxing in style for the next little bit while we wait to see the dentist.

This girl’s never met a bed she didn’t love!

World’s Most Spoiled Dachshund!

Beignet got super spoiled today by my absolutely amazing work team before she heads to Plano tomorrow! She was so excited and immediately curled up with her new stuffed animal! What would we do without Team Beignet or Team G??? Today’s treat was so absolutely unexpected!We are so blessed! ❤️ each of you!

Praying for a good visit tomorrow!!! Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers! Don’t forget to like Diary of a Diabetic Dachshund on Facebook and/or subscribe to our blog!

Get Organized!

The most important part of having a special needs pet or family member is staying organized. There are days where I can’t remember whether or not I’ve given Beignet her insulin. Our syringe organizer seen above is actually sold as a lip gloss organizer. Each Sunday I pre-fill Beignets 3x/day metoclopramide syringes and then put 2 insulin syringes per day as well as 2 empty syringes for her pentoxyfiline since those can’t be pre-filled. This way I never have to guess whether or not I gave a shot or med. The easier you make things for yourself, the less stressed you are! If only organizing Bennie’s eye meds was as easy!

Bennie switched from Novolin N to Humalin N about 2 weeks ago thanks to a generous donation of Humalin N from a diabetic patient! Although both are NPH insulin, I am seeing so much improvement on Humalin N so far.

The bad news is that on Saturday night Bennie had to go to the ER Vet after coming inside with her right eye super swollen again😭. We were so thankful that Dr. Saunders from PetStar where she often medical day boards was doing an ER shift. He saw her eye when she was with them during her episode a few weeks ago. Her eye doctor let us know today she can’t wait until her scheduled appointment 8/21/19 so looks like I’m going to have to take off work to take her this week. It’s crazy that it’s happened again. This poor girl can’t catch a break! We would gladly take any volunteers that want to come give her around the clock Benadryl! We can’t do the suspension at all but getting a chewable in her… Let’s just say it’s not fun!

That’s our update! Hope everyone has a great week! Keep sharing our site! The more people we can get to subscribe, the more opportunities we have for earning money to help pay all these vet bills!

Sincerely,

~Devoted Doxie Mom

Allergic Reaction

We’ve had an incredibly busy last week or so. Haven’t had a chance to update to let everyone know that Beignet is doing very well. Her eye turned out to be a severe, prolonged allergic reaction – so no tumor! It was so hard to hear that as an option right after I was told by the amazing vet, where she often medical boards while I’m at work, that things were worsening. So glad that is behind us. We definitely appreciate Dr. Torres from Southern Hills checking on her everyday while Dr. Brad was away on vacation. We’d be absolutely lost without our Southern Hills vet team as well as Dr. Turner, Dr. Saunders and crew at PetStar of Bossier where she medical boards. Beignet is one lucky dog that’s for sure to have so many people that love her! Anyways, she’s behaving at the moment and had a great glucose curve yesterday after switching from Novolin N to Humalin N a week ago. We will post again soon when things slow down. Think we’d all like to be spending our Monday morning like Beignet in the pic above! Have a great week – we plan on it!

~Devoted Doxie Mom

Worry About Cataracts They Said….

Your dog gets a diabetes diagnosis and you’re immediately flooded with comments on your dog’s inevitable cataract diagnosis. So January 2018 my thoughts were on how I needed to have a perfectly controlled diabetic dog because I didn’t think I could justify paying $5000 for cataract surgery but also didn’t want a blind dog.

Fast forward to August 2018 when we discovered a diagnosis much much worse than cataracts – Dry Eye. I didn’t think we could upgrade an eye diagnosis from there – until today.

Yesterday Beignet’s eye doctor was out of the office and someone else viewed her pics. We heard back from her eye doctor this afternoon. He said there is only 2 things that can explain the amount of swelling she has – an allergic reaction or a tumor. A tumor??? He wants me to call Monday and let him know either way whether the swelling is still present. If it’s present he will want to see her so he can access and start the process of figuring things out. I was very hopeful the allergy diagnosis was the culprit when things seemed better this morning. Unfortunately her amazing crew at PetStar let me know around noon that the swelling had definitely increased from when she arrived that morning. They gave her a shot of antihistamine and she continued to swell but did have a decrease in swelling right before I was able to pick her up after 5. We are to keep her on antihistamines throughout the weekend as well as the increased frequency of her steroid eye drop. Of course I pick her up crying and she comes out giving me kisses like she needs to make me feel better…

We need some prayers that this is all just an allergic reaction. If not we definitely need to increase our followers to help cover upcoming expenses. PLEASE, PLEASE subscribe (add your email address – if you are going to our site from your phone please scroll all the way down to subscribe or look to the right on your desktop) AND also LIKE our Facebook page. Please spread the word and let people know how to subscribe even if it’s just liking our Facebook page. We get quite a bit of traffic but lots of comments on people not realizing how to subscribe. We appreciate everyone’s help! I’m also so appreciative of everyone who checked on us today. You know those who truly care about you because they care about your fur babies too! Hearing the word tumor and then having to smile and walk into patient rooms like nothing is wrong is not the easiest thing to do. I definitely could have used some hugs that’s for sure.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and keep sending us positive vibes and prayers!

~Devoted Doxie Mom

Seeing But Not Believing

Our day didn’t quite go as planned. No, Bennie didn’t have her first spa day… I actually was about to publish a blog earlier when the doorbell rang. Turned back around and noticed Beignet’s right inner lower lid was bulging/ballooning out. Her eyes had been just fine an hour before when I did midday drops. Pictures were sent to her eye doctor (I won’t post since I know not everyone will want to see). The wonderful, Dr. Tori Torres, was able to squeeze Bennie in since Dr. Brad was out at our regular vet. I was totally freaked out!

Say some prayers this was an allergic reaction and will respond to the antihistamines she got and some extra doses of her steroid eye drops for the next few days. Worst case scenario she has a cyst in her tear duct (which maybe common in dachshunds😬). That will be the suspicion if it doesn’t start to improve. Veterinary Eye Institute said she would need to see Dr. Warren early next week if it doesn’t go down. After a long weekend of call and another doctor already on vacation I really, really don’t want to have to take off work to take her to Dallas. Plus I’m a little nervous about all that would need to be done since she doesn’t tolerate sedation well at all. Wish us luck!

On a side note, only Beignet would actually enjoy wearing the recommended cold compresses! Ironically the cold pack pictured was the smallest I found at either CVS or Walgreens. They totally need child sized cold packs! So came up with a hack for all that Karo syrup diabetic dog parents have via a Google search! Apparently corn syrup freezes and is still very moldable. Our Karo packs seem to be freezing great and will be ready to use in no time!

Hope everyone has a night less eventful than ours!

-Devoted Doxie Mom

Just have to add this pic of Bennie searching for Dr. Brad. She always manages to get to his personal office to look for him when he’s out.

Home Sweet Home Testing

This is a post I started a few weeks ago. I was just about to hit the “publish” button when I looked over and noticed Beignet’s right eye was incredibly swollen for the first time. Needless to say, this has been sitting in the DRAFT section ever since… The information’s important for those with diabetic dogs, so wanted to go ahead and share:

Where would you rather spend your Sunday? At home or the ER vet? You can see my answer in the title to this week’s blog.

Yesterday morning I gave Beignet her insulin shot and about 20 minutes later she started vomiting. Thankfully because I home test my vet said I could give her Cerenia and watch her at home (but of course to bring her in if things didn’t improve). If I didn’t check her sugar at home we would have had to go and I’d probably be out several hundred dollars today.

Click pic above to purchase your own Alpha Trak 2 Blood Glucose Monitoring System. The most tested pet glucometer!

Home testing seems like a daunting task, but in actuality, it’s INCREDIBLY easy. There are multiple locations to test from- see 1 of my first blog posts for more details on how to home test and even a video of how I check Bennie’s blood sugar!

Click the pic above to purchase AlphaTrak2 test strips!

The best way to help a diabetic pet is to Home Test. NEVER would a human diabetic inject insulin without knowing a blood sugar. Also, its been proven that home testing where a dog is in its regular home environment is the MOST ACCURATE way to determine your dog’s response to their insulin dose. Think of it this way, your dog goes to the vet for a blood sugar check. The sugar comes back “good” but what you don’t realize is that your dog’s sugar was very high or low and it either dropped or jumped up because your dog was extremely stressed at the time they checked (i.e., scared of the vet, scared of another animal at the vet, etc).

I know I’m always happy to help anyone wanting to learn to home test. Also the Canine Diabetes Support & Information (CDSI) page is actually where I learned to check Bennie. I check Bennie’s inner upper lip. It sure sounded gruesome to me when it was first suggested by another CDSI member, but once I got started I can’t imagine checking any other way. There are multiple other locations to check. If I can’t help you learn, the crew at CDSI definitely can! Never give up – your dog’s life depends on it.

Happy Home Testing!

-Devoted Doxie Mom

DNA OF A DIABETIC DACHSHUND

Having a human medical background might not always be the best thing when caring for a special needs pet… My medical side is always wanting to know each and every detail on why Beignet is going through everything she’s been through. When she was so sick a month ago, I was on Chewy.com ordering some things for her when an ad for the Embark Dog DNA test came up. From what I read, it was created at a vet school and tests for over 170 different medical conditions. At the time before her pentoxyfilline had kicked in, I wasn’t sure she would survive. I’m also almost certain she could help the future of veterinary medicine in some way. The thought that she could get a genetic diagnosis that could either explain some of what we’ve been through and/or help treat her was too much to resist.

Her kit arrived and I swabbed her mouth and sent it back in several weeks ago. I was embarrassed to tell my vet that I did it. However, he was actually excited that I had done it! We received her results last week which I’m going to attach below. Testing can not only help you determine a genetic predisposition to many conditions, but also can help you discover exactly what breed your Rescue pup is! If you decide you want to test your dog, PLEASE PLEASE use Beignet’s referral code by clicking this link – https://www.talkable.com/x/3mHvwl. You will get $25 off!

First, Embark confirmed she is 100.0% DACHSHUND!!! I guess it might be embarrassing if she wasn’t being that our site is all about being a diabetic dachshund! The test shows that she has a low normal ALT (liver enzyme) so even increases within normal range could indicate liver damage… I, of course, have gone back through some of her labs to look at her previous ALT’s more closely. This gene in no way causes liver damage though. Essentially the rest of her test was unremarkable. Scientists from Embark have emailed me and will use her history to help with future dog DNA discoveries. All in all, I’m really glad I did it! I think knowing the ALT part alone was worth the cost of the test. It kind of made me giggle when it said you could reunite your dog with his/her relatives. Can you imagine if I contacted Beignet’s relatives to request a meet up so that she could meet her biological family?? I also discovered that Beignet’s “WOLFINESS SCORE” is higher than most dog… Most dogs are <1% wolfy and my Bennie is 4.3%. Here’s a link to her profile for anyone interested: http://embk.me/beignet12 and to her vet report:

Hope you enjoyed! And don’t forget to use our link for $25 off if you decide to do DNA testing on your dog!

http://www.talkable.com/x/3mHvwl.

Sincerely,

Devoted Doxie Mom

FreeStyle Libre Could Have Killed My Dog…

Most of you who read our blog have seen recent posts where we sung the praises of the FreeStyle Libre. BOY WERE WE WRONG!!! Keep reading to find out the scoop on what Abbott Pharmaceuticals thinks of dogs.

The last few days, Beignet’s glucose readings on the sensor looked great. But were they actually great??? Unlikely!!! This morning I scanned her and was shocked to see a 47.  I immediately grabbed her AlphaTrak2 meter and got a reading of 313.  I did a repeat reading thinking the 313 had to be wrong with a scan of 47 and got 310.  That kind of variance is NOT okay.  I immediately called Abbott Customer Support where they “had a high call volume” with a “hold time of 30 minutes.”  What did they have to say???

The gentleman acknowledged that the variance we had was not okay but he said and I quote, “It’s a dog so there is nothing we are going to do about it.”  I asked him to repeat his statement and he proceeded to tell me very condescendingly that they are in no way responsible for dogs.   I proceeded to tell him that I called when we first got her sensors and I specifically stated that I was using them on a dog and they replaced them.  I have had many I did not call about because I realize they may not all stick for 14 days on a dog and I certainly don’t expect them each to be replaced if they don’t stay in place.  However, for a malfunctioning sensor, I do expect replacement especially only 4 days into a new 14 day sensor.  He kept talking rudely about it being just a dog.  I informed him I knew for a fact that sales reps market these sensors to veterinarians so again how are they not going to take responsibility for a faulty sensor?  I was put on hold and he came back once or twice and asked my address, etc.  Then I was sent to Miles the supposed technical specialist.  Miles was incredibly rude about it being for a dog and he delighted in telling me what was wrong with my sensor but that they were not responsible because “it’s on a dog.”  I was also told that if a veterinarian requests information on their product they send a rep.  Well isn’t it unethical to do that if your product is not for pets and you delight in telling pet parents this?

So who’s dog is “just a dog” and not a valued member of your family?  Who of us on the dog diabetes journey isn’t giving their all to keeping their dog healthy and happy each and every day?  How many of us are spending a small fortune to do so?  Most humans are able to use insurance while pet parents are their probably almost 100% exclusively cash paying customers.  From the get go, I wanted a Dexcom because it is far superior to the FreeStyle Libre but just not affordable.  I was very pleased with the results I got with the FreeStyle Libre and I recommended the product to many human diabetics being that I am a physician.  At this point, its hard to articulate the callous manner I experienced with these Abbott representatives for anyone to fully appreciate.  I will say it was enough to make me NOT want to recommend any Abbott products which quite frankly is more of a problem for them and not me in my field of pediatrics when there are equivalent if not better products from other companies.

The worst part about it that I can hardly let myself dwell on, is the harm that could have come to my precious Beignet due to me relying on this sensor that gave faulty readings. I can’t even think about all the consequences, but realize this device COULD HAVE KILLED MY DOG! Yes I know (and have many, many times) cross-checked readings with her glucometer. But when you’re readings look wonderful, it doesn’t cross your mind to bother her by poking for a blood sugar. No one says being a good diabetic pet parent is easy. Perhaps, one should always question a device that makes it so much easier because there’s that saying about if it seems to good to be true…… I’m sure I will continue to beat myself up over this for quite some time.

I ask that each of you let FreeStyle Libre/Abbott Pharmaceuticals know what you think of their position on dogs by commenting below or on our Facebook page or contacting them directly. You can flood their Facebook page with copies of this post and your thoughts [https://www.facebook.com/FreeStyleUS/?brand_redir=954298964703081 ] . You can call their Customer Service department at 1-855-632-8658. Support diabetic pet owners, PLEASE SHARE THIS POST!!!!!!! If sensors are faulty in dogs (and we’ve had now 2 in 5 months) it’s clear there are faulty sensors in humans too. Diabetes is no joke. Diabetics require good control or side effects will occur. This device may make you think you’re controlled when you are not. If you chose to use this device for your dog you still must very regularly home test. Don’t become complacent with not testing when numbers look good because your dog will be the one that suffers. And know they will not stand behind a faulty product if it’s used on your pet. I can understand not continually replacing sensors not staying on a pet (which is why I’m out money for many of those) but a defective product – absolutely ridiculous!

~Angry Doxie Mom

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5094557/

https://www.americanveterinarian.com/news/wearable-flash-glucose-monitor-tested-in-dogs

Diagnosing A Diabetic Dachshund

I’m always getting asked how I knew Beignet was diabetic. I admit, I almost missed it myself. During the Holidays of 2017 things were hectic as they typically are that time of year. I had noticed that one of my two doxies had been having accidents in the house, but I was never sure if it was Andouille Sausage or Beignet. On New Years 2018, I convinced myself one of the two had a UTI. I planned on taking both to the vet the following day to see which one had the infection. I took them both to my parents’ house to watch LSU play in their Bowl game. While we were there, Beignet started having accidents in their house which had never happened before. She also started drinking insane amounts of water. She was even trying to drink out of their swimming pool. Right then it hit me. I instantly knew she was diabetic and took her straight to the ER Vet where my suspicions were confirmed. So always remember, it is NOT normal for your dog (or cat or yourself) to be drinking excessively and urinating excessively. Diabetes can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. Dying from undiagnosed diabetes would be a very unpleasant way for your pet to leave this world. This is not a vet visit to put off. I might also mention that it is very treatable and not a reason to euthanize your pet. If your dog gets the diagnosis, develop a plan with your vet, plan on home testing, join Canine Diabetes Support and Information and before you know it your dog will be feeling great again!

I can’t say enough, if your dog is drinking and urinating excessively – this is NOT normal and they must be evaluated for diabetes ASAP!!! These symptoms are so often ignored and felt to be associated with another issue, but diabetes must be ruled out first!

I’m going to post some of our favorite products below. Feel free to click on any you may want to purchase! You will definitely want the washable puppy pads – they were a total gamechanger after diagnosis. I’ve yet to find a disposable pad that can handle a diabetic dog!

Sincerely,

Devoted Doxie Mom



Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie!

Well Beignet got a little summer weight off the hard way, but she’s still thriving on Pentoxifylline! She’s eating better than she has in 1 1/2 years! It’s absolutely amazing to have such stress free meal times! She was doing great at her follow-up yesterday! She still has a little chronic peritonitis from her constant inflammation but otherwise was perfect. She was thrilled to see Dr. Brad and got lots of tummy rubs from the entire Southern Hills staff. Our biggest issue has been getting her glucose back under control with her increase in intake, but I know we will get there.

Will update again soon! Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!

The Power of Prayer or Pentoxifylline?

Just wanted to give a quick update. Beignet was dramatically improved yesterday. She ate breakfast, dinner and snacks throughout the day. She did not require toppers on her dog food which never happened before she got sick. I waited to post until this AM. Breakfast is always a struggle even when she’s well. The video above is her eating breakfast this AM!! I know we could still have setbacks but just 2 days ago I felt such hopelessness. Wow!! I know the prayers that her experimental treatment would help have been heard. Beignet’s beloved, Dr. Brad called it divine intervention. We can’t say enough about how much Dr. Brad has gone over and beyond for Beignet. I doubt there is any other vet anywhere that would have put the time, thought and research into a dog’s care. I doubt any other dog would have been prescribed pentoxifylline. For anyone in Northwest Louisiana needing a phenomenal vet, go see the crew at Southern Hills Animal Hospital in Shreveport. Of course we are partial to Dr. Brad Everson but everyone there from the other vets, techs and receptionists are amazing! I’m not sure Beignet would still be here without everyone on her team. Keep the prayers coming that she can continue to thrive!

~Devoted Doxie Mom

Diabetes or Livabetes

Y’all I’m so frustrated with veterinary medicine. If your pet has diabetes, they are screwed if they have anything else. In the human world, diabetes is not a death sentence. In the vet world on the other hand… With 1 in 100 dogs being diagnosed with diabetes these days, it should be a significant focus in veterinary medicine. However, research on diabetics with other illnesses is in my opinion absolutely pathetic. My dog has treatable conditions – but in the vet world they are not treatable because of diabetes?? I’m not a vet. I’m tired of researching. Frankly in general I’m exhausted. I appreciate so much my vet trying so hard to research options but why aren’t there treatment plans? No one would accept common human illnesses with no treatment plans. Why is it okay to just put a dog down that could live a happy life?

Meanwhile I’m stuck handling this solo. No advice or help getting her to eat but told to keep going. I’m so confused on what I’m supposed to be doing. On the other hand I’m also over hearing “but it’s just a dog.” Over the fact that I know 100% that if I had a patient with these conditions they would have treatment options. I’m over sitting at home crying. I doubt the pentoxifylline trial will do anything. I’m feeling completely defeated and alone.

Do I give up? Do I travel to a specialist again? I know in my heart that it’s not time yet – she’s not ready to go but I refuse to sit back and do nothing. She’s far too precious and doesn’t deserve to ever suffer.

So I will keep helping her eat for now and making sure she knows how much she’s loved. And in the meantime I don’t want to hear that I’m crazy. That she’s just a dog. Or that I’ve already done too much. For all I know she’s sick right now because of the cracked molar she’s had since diabetes diagnosis that can’t be fixed because she’s a diabetic. I mean how crazy is it that diabetic dogs get refused by vet dentists because they are diabetic? I truly will never recover from the insanity that I’ve learned about the vet world. And I will never understand that people so easily put down dogs that have very treatable conditions. My pets are family and couldn’t be more loved.

~Beignet’s Mom