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Discussion Starter #1
My pup is being held at the vet right now after we took her in for frequent urination, loss of appetite, increased thirst, weight loss, and energy loss. She has dangerously high levels of sugar in her blood, and also sugar in her urine, so they are monitoring her throughout the day. We go back at 5:00 to meet with the vet and make a plan for managing and monitoring diabetes which is most likely her condition. I don't know much about this diabetes, especially in puppies. I'm trying to read as much as I can before we meet with the doctor so I can ask any questions I have, but most of the information on the web is about diabetes in older, overweight dogs which is managed like adult-onset diabetes. I'm assuming this is more like type I juvenile diabetes. Does anyone have experience or knowledge about a puppy with diabetes? Is this common? Is it genetic? Is is manageable? What will I have to do for her?
 

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i don't have much to say, but I hope its manageble and doesnt limit your pup in his activities. good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Going to meet with vet now...
 

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i wish i had some information for you. Did you get your pup from a breeder? I wonder if this would technically fall under the health clause. You would basically manage it the same way you would in an older dog would be my guess. most of the women in my family are diabetic but i've managed to avoid it so far so i'm not much help on the subject. I hope everything works out and you gets it under control!
 

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I hope you get GOOD news from the vet, please let us know:)
 

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You can manage her diabetes and she can have a long life. My prior dog, Daisy a mixed GSD, became diabetic at the age of 8 years. We had her on insulin for almost 5 years until last year when we had to put her to sleep because of a cancer diagnosis.

First thing is getting her sugar levels regulated. This took us about a month. This meant getting blood work done twice weekly until levels stabilized. It is critical that she eats and gets her insulin injections at the same time everyday. The most important thing is to inspect all food and treat ingredients for sugar. No more sugar! This includes all sugar like forms like molasses too. You'll be surprised to see how many dog products have sugar. You'll also need to watch the amount of natural sugars in dog food like carrots, beets etc.

Daisy was on Humlin N insulin which we were able to buy cheaper at Costco or Sam's Club then at a drugstore. If we couldn't find Humulin N, the vet suggested a specifc inslulin for dogs which was more money. If you can afford it, buy the brand name, finest guage needles you can to minimize the pain at the injection site. Lesser name brands made her yelp occasionally.

Hopefully, your dog is a good eater. Mine was a very, very picky eater her whole life. So, trying to convince her to eat at designated times so she could get her insulin became our biggest obstacle. Many times when she wouldn't eat and we needed to leave the house, my husband and I would have to give her a quick meal we knew she would eat all the time: frozen bread and american cheese slices. Sounds like horrible dog parents, but it was the frozen sandwhich or the risk of her not eating and going into diabetic shock. I guess we didn't do too bad with her since we kept her alive for almost five years when the vet told us most adult diabetic dogs don't last longer than 2 years.

The hardest part will be adjusting your life to your dog's insulin injections and eating schedule. They must always be given at the same time or you risk diabetic shock or knocking the levels off balance. Your friends and family will think you are crazy when you tell them you have to leave an event to feed your dog and give her a shot. They just can't imagine being that devoted to a dog.

My only concern with your dog being a puppy is the the high activity levels they have. High activity means she will use her food faster and it may be necessary to feed her more often to keep her levels in check. Daisy loved to take long walks. But when she didn't eat her usual amount of food, she sometimes had low blood sugar when we returned and walked around like she was drunk. We had to give her more food to bring the levels up again. Your vet should be able to help you with this.

Good luck. It will be ok.
 

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I bet if you look there is a Yahoo group for this. I joined one when my pup had kidney problems and it was very helpful. Good luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We picked up our pup and found ourselves in the vet's office holding a box of needles and listening to the vet and tech tell us how to care for our diabetic puppy. We were sort of in shock! But we went to CVS, got insulin, gave her dinner and her first injection and she completely became herself again in about an hour! It's great to have her back to 'normal'. But this will take some getting used to. The injections haven't gone too smoothly yet since she doesn't sit still.

The vet also called an internal medicine specialist to talk about the case, since juvenile diabetes is so rare in dogs, and since this case was so sudden onset. We can go see him in the future. I will want to see him to ask if we can explore diet options. I heard that RAW can be good for diabetic dogs since it's low in carbs and sugars. Anyone here feed RAW to a diabetic dog?

To answer KZoppa's question, we did get her from a breeder, but I haven't had a chance to look up our health clause. It would be nice to get some sort of refund to help cover what this diagnosis has cost us, but I'm guessing it won't happen without trouble. In most cases, wouldn't you have to give the dog back to get a refund? That would not be a consideration!

On top of that, we're waiting for the results of an EPI test, suggested by the specialist. Since Shya's always been on and off diarhea, they think maybe her pancreas may not be producing enough digestive enzymes. It's another rare thing but more common in GSDs than other breeds. Since we know her pancreas isn't secreting insulin, it may also not be secreting enough of the other enzymes. Maybe she her pancreas just never developed right? That kinda explains everything so far... but I really hope this test is negative. We've got enough to deal with already.

Thanks Roxygsd for your stories. Sounds like you did an excellent job with Daisy. It's nice to hear from people with experience. And thanks for the Costco suggestion for insulin. The cost doesn't seem too crazy, but we will certainly try to get it down a bit. Insulin + needles is going to cost about $80 a month, which between that and the extra vet visits, kinda makes her cost twice as much now. Too bad, because we were planning on getting a second dog and we'll have to wait on that now.

We go to the vet next week to check blood sugar. Hope it's a smooth process of getting the right dosing.
 

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Make sure you get the results from the EPI test.... think I'd rather have that as a problem cause though you'll have to supplement forever, it's an easy add to the food.

I had a diabetic cat that needed shots/insulin for about 8 years! Imagine giving shots to a cat!???!!! The vet suggested pulling the skin up on her shoulder blades and giving the injection under her skin WHILE SHE WAS EATING! So with her head in the bowl she never cared.

My vet also said that as long as I only used the needles on the same cat (of course..) I could re-use them! HUGE savings! I just would recap it after each use, put it in the fridge with the insulin and use it until I could tell it was dulling. Poor cat never minded cause her head was in the food bowl. And I never had any problems or infections at the site of the injections.

MAKE SURE YOU CONTACT YOUR BREEDER! If for no other reason than the genetics involved in a repeat breeding but also as a heads up for the littermates.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We'll have the EPI results next week. But having EPI wouldn't substitute for diabetes, it would be in addition to. So even though the EPI treatment is easy, I'd be giving enzymes and insulin each meal!

Thanks for the reusing needles suggestion. We thought about that but figured there'd be a risk of infection. But if it worked for you, I'll try it! At least if I use the same needle morning and night and get a new one each day, I'll be cutting down the cost by half which is great. You have a good point that if we keep the used needle in the fridge, there's little risk of bacteria growing in it.
 

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I now costs are always an issue with a special needs dog, but I wouldn't recommend reusing a needle. After one use, the tip is bent (can only be seen under a microscope). You would be trying to insert a bent tip and that will hurt more than a straight tip.
 

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All breeders are different, most do want the dog back to honor a guarantee. However it never hurts to contact the breeder so they record this. I had a pup that when he was 8 months old we found out he had bad kidneys. I contacted my breeder right away and then when I confirmed with ultrasound that his kidneys never fully developed I told the breeder we could not give him back. She said because we were doing the right thing by him she would replace him whenever he passed.

We lost Rio at 14 months old, my breeder kept her word and gave us a new pup who is now Max. So you just never know.
 

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Poor girl, and soooo young! I hope you can get this under control , sounds like you have,,,I have gotten syringes pretty cheaply, I think from KV vet..I may have a whole box, unused of course, that I could possibly send you for nothing,,hopefully I didn't throw them out..I'll look for them tomorrow and let you know:)..
 

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I now costs are always an issue with a special needs dog, but I wouldn't recommend reusing a needle. After one use, the tip is bent (can only be seen under a microscope). You would be trying to insert a bent tip and that will hurt more than a straight tip.
Well, since I did this for over 8 years, twice a day, with my cat... it does work. And though I hate to put a price on an illness or on my pets, it worked for us (did I mention for 8 yrs :) ) . I was amazed how insulin is actually pretty cheap, but the needles (if you use 2 per day) THAT cost adds up very fast.
 

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over 30 years ago I had a Belgian who had this, first episode was near or during first heat, diabetes was not thought of and she seemed to get a bit better until really bad second heat, she almost died. Spaying was the only way to prevent her from having worse symptoms, since at the time I had bought her for show and she couldn't be shown I did go back to the breeder for my replacement pup hoping I could keep her too, but first he said for me to rehome her then I would get a new pup so friends adopted her and she was controlled by food for years. Then he, the breeder began ignoring my letters and phone calls, this was way before computers and I lived in BC and he lived in Wisc. I never got anything and her litter brother went on to win group at Westminster and become the top winning Terv of the time, no one talked about the diabetes in the line. I have also never heard of any other dog having it so young until now.
 

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Hi Jen,

I was just wondering how you and Shya are getting along with your new routines?

Hope everything is going well and she is starting to feel a lot better.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi everyone. Sorry it's been a while. This weekend was horrible and I didn't find time to update this post. The insulin injections are too difficult for us to do. Shya knows when it's coming and we can't trick her into sitting still. I messed up the Sat morning injection, and she was drinking and urinating frequently again. I had to leave her in her crate for an hour while I ran out, and I came back to her sitting in a big puddle. It was so sad.

She absolutely hates getting insulin. She's learned the routine and we can't get anywhere near her with the needle, even if I hide it. We took her to the emergency vet on Sat evening since we didn't want to miss another injection that day. They showed us a better way to hold her still, but it didn't make it much easier at home. This morning she bit my boyfriend pretty bad on his hand. At this point we're admitting that we cannot safely do this anymore. But we don't know what to do!

We're calling the vet today to see if they can agree to have us bring her in morning and night at least for now so that 1) we keep ourselves safe from getting bit or injected, and 2) we ensure that she's getting all her insulin during this time when we're trying to get her levels regulated.

At the vet on Sat she was very good about it. At home it's a different picture. She growls and snaps at us. The vet said to just be firm with her until she realizes she doesn't get a choice about it. She's definately scared and defensive. I can't entirely blame her for biting, but we can't be risking injury at every mealtime.
 
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