Expect The Unexpected…

Its clear your lives will never be considered boring again once you bring home a diabetic dog. Now coming home each day is a time of uncertainty – what are you going to come home too??? This weeks post was supposed to be some more information to help new doggie diabetic owners. Instead we ended up at the ER vet getting diagnosed with bilateral corneal ulcers (worse on the right)😢😢. Now we are home in our cone of shame trying a pain med we think she tolerates and starting an eye drops instead of the ointment she’s been on for conjunctivitis the last few days.

On this topic, the best thing you can do for you dog is to follow your gut. Just like tonight, when the ER doctor said it was definitely a good thing I did not wait until morning to have her checked. Our instincts about our pets are usually spot on. Trust yourself. Don’t feel stupid for asking too many questions or scheduling too many visits. Do what you need to do to make your dog healthy and happy.

I’m off to try to get my little conehead to bed. Hopefully we sleep well!! It reminds me of our first week as a diabetic when she had to wear a cone so she’d quit trying to pull her IV out and those were some sleepless nights. 🤞🏻😴.

Also feel free to always comment with your own stories, etc on any of our posts.

Night!

-Devoted Doxie Mom

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Syringes matter!

So my first topic is going to be making sure you are using the right insulin syringe! Vetsulin requires a U-40 syringe. Novalin N & Humalin N (NPH Insulin) require a U-100 syringe. 1 unit in a U-40 does NOT equal 1 unit in a U-100. U-40’s should have a red needle cap and U-100’s should have an orange needle cap (however always verify your syringe says U-40 or U-100 because some brands are misleading). Syringes comes in different sizes with different size needles. Remember that the smaller the gauge needle, the larger it actually is. So small dogs need a higher gauge. When my ~10lb dachshund was on Vetsulin for a short period, we did use a 29 gauge U-40 but on Novolin N she uses a 3/10cc 31 gauge U-100. A 3/10cc syringe would be my recommendation for a small dog who should never come close to needing 30 units of insulin. I prefer a syringe that has half unit markings as small dogs typically increase doses in half unit increments. I pictured my favorite syringes I buy in a 5 box special deal at a great price from http://www.adwdiabetes.com. I accidentally bought 50 unit syringes in bulk once that didn’t have half unit markings. I hated them. I had a ton of fur shots because the needles seemed flimsy (a fur shot is when you miss some or all of your injection and the insulin ends up in the fur and not in the dog) plus it was harder for me to pull up smaller dose without a ton of air bubbles. I ended up donating them all to my vet. Another important point is if you ever switch between Vetsulin and NPH insulin please make sure there is no way your syringes can get accidentally mixed up. If your syringe does not have half unit markings and you want to dose a half unit, on most syringes if you line up the black tip end of your plunger with the hash from the unit below, the tip of your plunger usually ends up at the halfway mark. This isn’t true for all syringes though. Hope this helps!!

-Devoted Doxie Mom

Welcome to our journey!

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