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

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Tales of a Hangry Dachshund

The look you get when you force your dog to try nasty vegetarian dog food…

Does anyone else have as many feeding issues as we do? I’m not sure even our vet team truly understands the time and energy I spend each day trying to get Beignet to eat. Mistake #1 is that both dogs free fed prior to the diabetes diagnosis. Definitely would never ever make that mistake with any future pets in the off chance we ended up right back here. So after diagnosis I had to add toppers and such to get Bennie to eat on schedule. When she became very ill 5-6 weeks post diagnosis, she had to be syringe fed about 4 times a day for weeks. After she recovered to this day she will not touch wet dog food, a previous favorite. She also doesn’t like to eat out of anything except her regular metal dog bowl.

Those are the easy things we’ve dealt with. The biggies are knowing she also has jejunal inflammatory bowel disease and chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis requires a low fat diet. IBD requires a novel protein or hydrolyzed protein diet. Not only do I have to ensure Bennie never gets into anything that could increase her blood sugar but now she’s so extremely restricted in what she can actually eat.

One thing I’ve learned is that there are almost no dog foods she can safely eat. Nor does any company specifically make a food for a dog with all of her conditions combined. Hydrolyzed protein foods are generally far too high in fat for her to eat. Because of the minimal options, vets are not comfortable making changes.

One thing I learned is that you can’t go by the fat percents on dog food bags. You have to calculate the dry matter fat percent using an online calculator (Ex: https://www.pawdiet.com/articles/dry-matter-basis-calculator-for-pet-food/). I now because of our ordeal have quite an extensive lists of foods I have calculated on my own so that I never deal with someone recommending a food she cannot have. https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3Ac9264731-8e11-4cbf-956f-413d835e9027

One of the most shocking issues we’ve had is that we traveled 4.5 hours to College Station for Beignet to be hospitalized with the Internal Medicine team at Texas A&M Vet School. My understanding is they are one of the nation’s leaders in gastrointestinal disorders. They insisted she should be on Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein dog food because it was the lowest dry matter fat food of any hydrolyzed food. We returned to Louisiana and Beignet’s blood sugars were rising higher than they had been and she continued not to feel well. Imagine my surprise when I calculated the dry matter fat percentage and discovered she was now on the HIGHEST amount of fat in a hydrolyzed. I called and the staff doctor was shocked by my revelation. She admitted they had never calculated the fat content themselves because the Royal Canin rep assured them it was the best food in dogs like Beignet. WHAT??? Apparently to this day Royal Canin falsely markets many foods to busy veterinarians that don’t take the time to do their own research. This should be illegal! They admitted to me this was not the food for my dog when I called to complain. I did my own research and had Beignet put on Purina ProPlan Veterinary Diet HA – the actual lowest fat hydrolyzed protein food after a failed attempt with Rayne Clinical Nutrition Low Fat Kangaroo food. After a few months on the Purina, Beignet’s hair finally grew back where they had shaved her stomach and she quit having flares. Problem is she hates the food. It reminds me of Kix cereal. Our vet had me start ordering grass fed ground bison to use as a topper (not sold locally so has to be shipped in since only vegetarian fed is available). Needless to say I’m completely over the feeding expenses I incur for food my dog hates.

I have to try trick after trick to get Bennie to eat so we can give her insulin. I shocked myself recently. After I removed all of my pets from Royal Canin last year (they lost a lifetime customer that’s for sure), I was willing to try just to see if it would work. Tonight was our first attempt with Royal Canin Vegetarian food – the only food I felt like she might tolerate fat-wise. My friend Heather had mentioned how much her dog Izzy had liked it. Well not so much with Beignet. She did sniff it as seen below but that was it. Back to square 1 I guess… Thank goodness she likes the bison as well as her absolute favorite treat, RooBark, 100% kangaroo jerky. I think she’d live off Roo Bark if I’d let her.

Click Above To Purchase Beignet’s Favorite Treat!

I truly believe one day I will find the right food that she will love without having to doctor it up. If anyone has any advice feel free to comment below. Or if you just need to commiserate over your own struggles.

Sometimes I wonder just which one of us is not going to survive all this! I sure hope she knows how much she’s loved!

Sincerely,

Devoted Doxie Mom

What a cool idea!  You can click on the pic above to get a dog food bowl with a built in scale!  That way you know exactly how much your dog ate!

Should We Be Enticed by Entyce??

Anyone else ever had to offer their diabetic a literal buffet to try to entice them to eat in order to get that all too important insulin injection done??? For Beignet, add in the diagnoses of chronic pancreatitis and suspected jejunal Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). If we have a flare of either, then meal time becomes an absolute nightmare🤯🤦‍♀️😭! When Bennie was hospitalized with the internal medicine service at Texas A&M Vet school, I was told to offer her different wet and dry options until she hopefully decided to eat something. That plan doesn’t work for Beignet at all. Thankfully they sent us home with something that did help – the new dog appetite stimulant, Entyce®️ (capromorelin).

When they initially prescribed it, I had questions. I had heard the sugar content was high and that it could potentially interfere with insulin. I’m not sure if it has now been studied in diabetics, but it had not been back in March. Our vet team listened to my questions and concerns, and said that I was absolutely correct in that its use is currently controversial. However, they said it was far more important that Beignet start eating (she had been very ill for ~4 weeks at this point) and that she would only be on the medication once daily for 4 days. So basically in the grand scheme of things, potentially having a few days of a higher sugar was a small price to pay if she overall improved. We’ve used Entyce®️ several times since March for flares. I only noticed her blood sugar increasing with our last round back in June. I’ve seen others post that their dogs increase every time. It takes about 1-2 hours for it to kick in on Bennie. So if I don’t know she’s not going to eat, its not as helpful day 1 of a flare if I want her to remain on her regular insulin schedule. I personally wouldn’t use this for the overly picky diabetic, but more for illnesses like pancreatitis and IBD. If your dog is in the latter category, its something you can potentially discuss with your vet. Since it is new, many vets are not using just yet. Our vet said we should always have Entyce®️ and Cerenia®️ on hand in case of a flare. We spilled some of our prescription from Texas A&M, so Dr. Brad ordered us a new bottle which was the first prescription they had dispensed from Southern Hills Animal Hospital (although they have used it on hospitalized patients with great results). Just sharing this to reiterate that this is a new product with a lot of promise for our diabetics with pancreatitis and/or IBD, but is something you may have to do a risk/benefit discussion with your dog’s vet if needed. Since we had some on hand, he had me give a one time dose to Andouille, my other dachshund, who refused to eat after having a procedure under anesthesia. It worked great for her as well! Hope this info helps since I left out info on Entyce®️ on my pancreatitis post!!

-Devoted Doxie Mom