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Insulin Injections for Your Diabetic Dog

Updated on July 21, 2010

Giving Insulin Injections

Your vet has just told you that your beloved dog is diabetic and that he/she now requires insulin injections to live. What now?

When my little Maltese Ozzie was diagnosed with diabetes at age 7, I was lucky: I have juvenile (Type 1) diabetes and years before had taken the insulin he was going to be taking. Caring for for my dog simply extended the knowledge about diabetic care that I had developed over 20 years. The information here is based on my experience with Ozzie, who is a happy, playful, 12-year-old today.

Once diagnosed, your pet will likely need to stay with the vet for a couple of days to stabilize, and your vet should show you how to administer insulin injections before you take your dog home. But if you are not yet comfortable with the injection process, here are some hints to help you perfect your technique and gain confidence:

1. Practice on an orange. Canine and human skin are much stronger than you think, and much more resistant. Skin and orange peel show approximately the same resistance to puncturing, so practice on an orange to gain confidence. And remember: confidence and ease are imperative when giving shots. Your dog will sense whatever fear or trepidation you feel. If you're tense, your pup will be tense, and you don't want the process to be a fearful one for her. After all, she is going to have two shots a day from now on. By practicing on an inanimate object, you'll lose much of your fear.

2. Load the syringe with water. Don't waste insulin you can save for your pup. To practice, use water instead. You'll need a syringe and a small cup of water to do this. If you want to make it easier to see how much liquid you'll be pulling into the syringe, you can add a few drops of food coloring to the cup of water.

Remove the colored cap from the syringe, and pull the syringe plunger back to the number on the barrel indicating the dosage your vet has prescribed. (For instance, if your dog is to have 5 units of insulin twice a day, pull the plunger back to 5 on the barrel.) Now hold the needle tip under the water in the cup, and push the plunger down, releasing air into the water. Don't skip this step! When you do a real injection, you'll inject air into the insulin bottle before withdrawing the insulin, which makes it easier to pull insulin into the syringe.

Once you've injected air into the cup of water, and with the needle still in the water, pull back on the plunger, withdrawing an amount of water equal to the dosage of insulin you'll be injecting. You will now see (colored) water in your syringe. Hold the syringe towards a light source and check for air bubbles. If you see a small bubble, "flick" the barrel of the syringe to force it out. Now you're ready to administer a practice injection.

3. Give the practice injection. Hold the syringe in your dominant hand and an orange in the other. Keeping the syringe at a slight angle, insert the needle into the fruit. (You'll have to use quite a bit of pressure to puncture the peel.) Now use your thumb and press down the plunger, releasing the liquid into the fruit. When the plunger stops, you will have injected all the (colored) liquid into the orange.

I suggest you practice until you can "feel" the correct amount of pressure to apply to the syringe plunger for it to enter the orange peel. Remember: your dog's skin is tough. It will resist the needle.

4. Gather the injection supplies. Now it's time to get ready for your dog's insulin injection.

IMPORTANT: I advise giving injections after your dog eats a meal. If you give insulin before a meal and he subsequently has no appetite, the insulin can cause a dangerous - even fatal - drop in blood sugar level, and you'll be making an expensive trip to the emergency clinic for the vet to administer intravenous glucose.

Before you feed your dog, gather his insulin and a syringe. This way, you can prepare the shot while he is eating - and unaware. Also, if you prep the shot while your pet is eating, you can warm the insulin in the syringe by holding it in your hand. Don't give a shot of cold insulin, which is painful to your pup.

Prep the insulin by gently rolling the bottle: rotate the bottle several times in your hand to mix it. Never shake insulin vigorously! This causes it to break down. To load the syringe you'll do much the same as you did when practicing with the orange. First, pull back the plunger to the number equal to your dog's insulin dosage (5, for example). Insert the needle into the insulin bottle and push in the plunger, injecting air into the bottle.Do not skip this step! Doing so will create a vacuum in the bottle and make it difficult to withdraw insulin.

Now, withdraw the prescribed number of units from the bottle. Check for air bubbles, flicking the barrel of the syringe to remove them if necessary. Replace the cap over the needle, and hold the syringe in your hand for a few moments to warm the insulin. You're now ready to give your pup a shot, so WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

5. Consider giving a treat. When you're ready to administer the injection, you may want to get a small treat or a few pieces of dry food to use as a reward. I give my Maltese one of his two daily treats after each injection. Knowing he will receive a treat after his shot gives him a reason to look forward to injection time and helps make it a positive experience. It forces him to focus not on the injection, but on the treat to come!  If you want to try this, put the treat on the table where your other injections supplies are so you keep everything together. 

6. Administer the injection. If you're nervous, compose yourself. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that by giving your dog injections, you're saving her life. And remember that insulin needles are very, very thin. They cause little or no pain, so there's no reason for you to feel guilty. (I know this for a fact; I take multiple insulin injections every day.)

Because your dog has just eaten, she will likely be in a good mood, so take advantage of it. Call her to you, keeping an upbeat, inviting tone in your voice. (I call Ozzie by saying, "Ready for your medicine?" and showing him the treat he's going to get afterwards.) If your dog is small, you can sit on the floor (with her in front of you), on the sofa, or in a chair (with her on your lap). If your dog is larger, you can sit beside her, or put her in front of your chair or sofa, where you can easily reach her.

Your vet should have told you where to administer the injection, usually along the back. Pull up the skin at the injection site a bit: you should be able to feel fat under the skin where you'll give the shot. (Insulin must be injected into fat.) Holding the needle at a slight angle (remember the orange), quickly push the needle into your dog's skin, and push down on the plunger. releasing the insulin under the skin. Once you can feel the plunger stop, remove the needle. Pet and praise your dog, giving her the promised treat.

You'll soon find that you and your dog establish a routine for food and injections, and your dog will learn to anticipate shots and subsequent treats. Remember that with every insulin dose, you're extending your pup's life, keeping him in good health, and making it possible for you to continue to enjoy your special relationship. Good luck!

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      Debbi Asher 9 months ago

      My little Min-Pin was diagnosed with diabetes recently. His blood was tested on his LAST day of steroid weaning {from a cough} He was on steroids for 50 days until I got him OFF after he developed cataracs/ear infection & 450 glucose reading! He was in perfect health before the steroids {aside from coughing} HE STILL HAS THE COUGH! Now he is on Vetsulin...after testing and a "glucose curve" and 4 day's ,the vet has him on 2 units ONCE a day..AM...his glucose was 176 after a 24 hour insulin free time span{morning to morning} She will see him after New Year,and doing this dose for 5 days. He is in great spirit's!! MY QUESTION. Could the steroid have caused a "false" glucose reading...and this is all unnecessary??? I feel the steroids caused the glaucoma and diabetes spike because my dog, Pepper takes DAY'S longer to get a drug out of his system than most dogs...he is a lightweight who lost 5 lbs of fluid from the steroid in 4 days. Now he is a healthy 21lb beautiful dog...and I feel that he does NOT have diabetes...but had a negative response from the steroids. His urine went from 1000 to 300 in 2 days. He is on 2 meals a day of chicken/potato/asparagus/egg mixture...but HATES ALL acceptable treats for diabetes...PLEASE TELL ME WHAT can I( give him, for an occasional treat that has MEAT FLAVOR. hE is so upset not to get his usual REWARDS for things that he has for the past 4 years! REVERTING TO GOING TO THE BATHROOM IN THE HOUSE...LIKE HES MAD at us, so why bother going to the door when I have to pee cause no one cares anyway...you know? I welcome any and all advice,because I don't want to treat my dog for a disease he may NOT have. It's a fact that no dogs get one shot a day ...and yet 2 shots could put him in shock...which is why I feel all of this MAY be questionable? Thank you so much.Pepper is a male 10 year old rescue from 2012...has NEVER had a health issue since I got him....AFTER STEROIDS.....ALL OF THIS WITHIN 3 WEEKS TIME....very strange in my mind. My vet possibly agrees...but very very slim!!!

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      SQIAR 23 months ago

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      Alexandria Vartanian 3 years ago from Merseyside England

      Hi my little West Highland is 15 years old.She has most of the problems that old dogs have.we love her to bits.Recently she was diagnosed with diabetes.She has to have 2 insulin injections 12 hours apart.My Husband gives her her evening shot when he returns from work ( no problem) I give her her shot in the morning.I have taken on board every bit of advice but still she screams when I give her the shot.I am really becoming stressed with it, I prepare the insulin offer her a little of her favourite boiled chicken and give her the shot when she is eating but still she lets out a yell .I am sure she senses I am apprehensive and is reacting to that.I asked my Husband if he could take her to work with him and give her her shot in the morning but he said an old athritic diabetic dog would not be much use as a guard dog lol xx

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      dave 3 years ago

      my 7 year old chessie was diagnosed with diabetes 2 months ago. I'm on my third bottle of insulin. I give him the kind of food vets recommend for diabetic dogs. he eats more than a year ago, but still loses weight, urinates all the time, and within a 5 day period last week he went blind. He walks into walls. He is miserable. When do I decide it's not worth the pain and misery he is going through, while paying the Vet hundreds and hundreds of dollars without him getting any better, and have him put down? I know some people will think I'm a monster, but they aren't in my shoes. I've done everything the Vet has told me to do, but he's getting worse.

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      BKTROTT 4 years ago

      Hi, my 8 year old Poodle/Shi Tzu mix was diagnosed with diabetes 3 days ago, as well as bladder stones. My vet has decided that getting her diabetes under control was our first priority. We will take care of the stones once we get her controlled. My baby is 10.4 lbs. She has lost some weight which was my cause for taking her to the vet. I have gotten comfortable with administering the shots that she receives twice a day. Every 12 hours she is getting 1 unit of Novalin and I think, I have adjusted fairly well to the devastating news. My two main concerns are diet, and her activity level. First is diet. My vet prescribed Hill's w/d which she ate on the first day, both canned and dry. After realizing she was not interested in another helping I could not give her the shot, because she did not eat. I have now begun to give her boiled chicken and brown rice which she seems to love. Is that okay, and what else can I add to ensure she is being properly nourished? Second thing is, she seems to be really tired before and after her insulin injection. She barks at people walking past the window and if the doorbell rings, but she is just laying around. Is that normal, and will she ever adjust to the insulin and regain if not all, at least some of her energy?

      Thx.

      B.T & Precious

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      Victoria 5 years ago

      I just wanted to wrote in with our recent experoences with this issue. Our 11 year old beagle mix was diagnosed woith diabetes this past March. He ended up at the vet with pancreatitis and ketoacidosis, it was a long road but he came out of it. We also had a terrible time administering his meds, he is on twice a day shots. We had many breakdowns dealing with his reactions, somedays he wouldn't get his meds at all and ohters he would but not without a fight. He had started biting and jumping back into the needle - even bending one. We still need two people to make it work but this is what we came up with. Since he has no interest in treats or food once he knows what we are abotu to do that was not an option. I ended up using a pillowcase, folding it into a 3 inch band then placing it over the top of his nose (not covering the end so he can breath) cris cross it under his chin and join the two ends on top of his neck just behind the ears. This way I can hold that with one hand while using my other to pet him, this way my husband can administer his meds without any movement.

      Hope this post may help someone else dealing with the same issues.

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      KarenR 5 years ago

      My 8 year old mini poodle is now on insulin twice a day. I have been trying to make sure she is eating a good balanced diet. I have noticed people saying they give their dog chicken, rice and veggies. Can you tell me what veggies are acceptable for dogs with diabetes. Thank you!

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      Jon 5 years ago

      Hi - what a great site!

      What are some brand name urine test strips we can use to get the blood sugar range for our 9 year old Springer Spaniel girl? She was recently diagnosed with diabetes and seems to be responding well to the insulin shots - but I'd like to get a ballpark range of her blood sugar daily without having to do blood tests. Would like to do that only if the urine strips indicate a problem.

      Thanks!

      Jon

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      Pamcgivern 5 years ago

      I have the same question , my dogs wants to eat at 4 and his evening shot is at 8

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      Paula 5 years ago

      I give my dog shots at 8 am & 8 pm. The morning shot is right after she eats. However she gets hungry around 4 in the afternoon. Her next shot is 4 hours later after she eats. Is that o.k.? Thank you so much. Glad to find this site

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      Rdparsonssr1 5 years ago

      I made s mistake and gave my dog a imsulin shot one hour early, is this a big problem?

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      Karen 5 years ago

      My 8 year old 11 lb poodle was just diagnosed with diabetes. My vet wants me to inject insulin after meals and every 12 hours. My dog eats at about 7am and cannot seem to wait until 7pm for dinner. She usually wants to eat at about 5pm. I try to wait as long as I can. Would there be a problem injecting before the 12 hours??

      Thank you

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      Author

      Shelley Cetin 5 years ago

      Jonny,

      I thought I had posted an answer to your last comment but apparently it didn't "take" for some reason. So sorry.

      I'll try to answer your questions in order:

      1) You mention that you're going to keep honey sticks with you at all times in case your pup's sugar gets low. Just FYI...honey is much more slowly metabolized than many sweets. Even regular table sugar gets into the bloodstream faster. I can't remember if I mentioned the tubes of glucose you can buy at any drugstore (or at WalMart). They're actually the best thing you can carry with you. If your dog seems confused, woozy, unsure on his feet, wobbly, or if he's shaking or goes off to "hide" somewhere, his blood sugar could be low. WIth the tubes, you just squirt a little into his mouth (you might ask the vet how much, as how much he requires will depend on your dog's size) and the glucose will immediately begin raising his blood sugar. Once he's gets closer to "normal" again (i.e. he's alert, can stand securely, stops shaking), you can give him some food to make sure his sugar doesn't drop again. The tubes cost between $3 and $4 each, but you (hopefully) won't use them often (and they do keep even after they're opened).

      2) Re: how to make sure the insulin is warm enough to inject. Since the syringes are small, you can just gently roll the syringe between the palms of your hands if you can't hold onto it, or just put it between your two hands for a couple of minutes. That should be enough to warm 2 units. Another thing you can do if it's easier is to hold the loaded syringe between your arm and your body to warm it up.

      3) You can find the urine test strips at any pharmacy, even WalMart. You don't need special ones for animals. Just go to any pharmacy and ask the pharmacist (or tech) where to find them. (Some pharmacies keep them behind the counter.) I can't remember how much they cost, but I'm pretty sure it's under $20 for 30 of them. If you can't afford to test more than once a day, the fasting test (before breakfast) is the most important. It will give you a range of glucose levels according to the color the strip changes once touched by urine. SInce your dog is a boy, it's really easy to do the test. You'll have to follow him to wherever he wants to "go," and when he starts to urinate, put the end of the stick (with the little fuzzy tab on it) into the urine stream. The sticks are pretty long so there's not much danger of getting any on your hand. You then wait the amount of time the instructions tell you to wait while the strip end turns color. Then you compare the color of the strip to the color on the side of the bottle to get a range. These tests aren't as accurate as doing a glucose test, but they are cheaper, easier, and less invasive as there's no sticking the dog anywhere. And they do let you know if your dog's glucose is getting too high or too low. To give you an example, the color on the strip might point to a range between 70 and 130 - that's actually pretty low for a dog. If you get that reading in the morning before he eats, you'll want to give him extra food, or maybe give him some treats a couple of hours after his breakfast (if you think you won't forget. If you're not sure you can remember, just give him extra food at breakfast.) On the other hand, if the strip indicates a range, for instance, between 220 and 300, you know that your dog's sugar is getting high so you can give him a little less food (and the same insulin dosage). If ever the reading approaches 300, I would call the vet and ask if you can adjust the dog's insulin dosage to compensate or if he recommends something else.

      4) You seem really worried about your dog's being hungry now that he can only eat twice a day. Wait until your pup is fully stabilized, but you can ask the vet if your dog can have a treat or two between meals. The vet will suggest what to give him and will tell you when and how much/many to give. That might help to get his mind off food and once established as his routine, you'll find that you're pup stops begging for more food at meals and looks forward to his treat time(s).

      Good luck, Jonny. If ever you have a question you need answered and you want to make sure I see it quickly, on my home page, there should be a link that says "Email Shelley." Those messages go directly to my email inbox. Kisses to your baby from me!

      Shelley

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      Deb 5 years ago

      Shelley, Thanks so much for maintaining this page. This has been one of the most difficult things I've ever had to deal with and your page has helped answer so many questions and kept me positive. You are an awesome person!

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      Jonny 5 years ago

      Shelley,

      Thanks for the information. I have a friend who was diabetic, but it seems that animals are the same in systematics yet different. He has 3 unopened boxes of the blood glucose testers which he will give to me since he is no longer diabetic and will get trained by my vet on the location where to extract the blood as to save myself $$ since I was recently laid off from my job. I went at the same time tonight as to not create any reactions. I always feed him 20 minutes before an injection. I will have to visit the vet 1 time every week for the next 3 weeks so they can get him solidified on his unit intake. Its a whole new change and outlook for everything. So far he has taken it very well and I would really like for him to retain his eyesight. I will also buy honey sticks and keep them on me at all times incase his sugar gets too low. During all of this period I am extremely nervous.

      He is used to eating whenever he wants, and somehow got into the trash as I left for a while today. So I feel bad making him wait to eat food, but want to do what is best for him as much as it may hurt. Also, I read that you say to make sure the insulin is warm before I inject into him as coldness hurts. How do I do so when it is 2 units, I cant seem to get my hands around it enough to warm it up, or maybe I need more time in my hand?? Sorry for so many questions, but I like to have all the i's dotted and t's crossed. I am trying my best here.

      His 3rd injection was tonight, so I have not been testing his urine/blood as I am not sure where to get the urine strips (which you say are not always accurate) for animals. I really and truly appreciate all your advice shelley!!! You seemed to have helped many and I know even the small inputs go a LONG way! I am too big of an animal lover and dont want to do anything wrong, as my dog is my child :/ I plan on keeping all the injections consistant, it was just this one time I realized I should probably do this earlier so he is not eating so late at night. Thanks again for EVERYTHING Shelley! We know you will be passing the gates to heaven when the day comes!

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      Shelley Cetin 5 years ago

      Hi, Jonny.

      It sounds like you're trying to get a handle on managing your pup's diabetes. I know it's pretty overwhelming at the beginning because we parents are always so worried about our fur kids.

      Your pup is on an insulin which has aout a 12-hour reaction cycle. If nobody explained this to you, insulin, when injected, begins to "react" on the glucose in the bloodstream. To do this, the insulin allows glucose molecules to enter blood cells, where the glucose can then be converted to energy. Without insulin, your dog will starve no matter how much he eats, because glucose will just keep building in his bloodstream and never be able to enter cells and become energy (basically). Humulin N doesn't begin reacting (lowering blood sugar levels) until about 4 hours after injection. It "peaks" (becomes most active) at 6 hours, when the reaction curves downward until there's no more Humulin N in the system after about 12 to 14 hours. That's why the vet told you to give your dog his injections 12 to 14 hours apart.

      So what does this mean if you want to change your dog's injection schedule as you want to do? You can generally move a shot up or back an hour or two without needing to worry that you're going to endanger your dog. (Notice that your vet gave you a 2-hour window when he said 12 to 14 hours.) If your dog is now having his shot at 9:00 and you move it to 7:00, here's what will happen. Since the Humulin N takes about 4 hours to begin reacting, your dog is virtually without insulin for the first 4 hours or so after his shot, and during that time, he eats and his blood sugar begins to rise. When the insulin starts to react, his sugar goes back down to (hopefully) normal levels; his blood sugar will follow these reaction curves throughout the day as his insulin reactivity surges and diminishes, and there will be some periods where there's no or hardly any insulin in his system.

      If you move his injection time up by two hours, you're going to be cutting the amount of time between the exhaustion of the last insulin and the reaction of the current one. In your dog's case, since his sugar is still abnormally high (if it's in the 300s), that could actually be a good thing. However (and this is an important qualification), you CANNOT continue to move his shots back and forth. Doing so would risk his developing either really high or really low blood sugar levels since the space between those reaction curves would increase or decrease. But unless your dog's blood sugar is very well controlled (and it sounds like your pup's isn't yet), you can therefore move the time of his shot back 2 hours. (If his blood sugar levels were perfect, this could be risky; it could cause low blood sugar).

      So I would go ahead and give his evening insulin 2 hours earlier, and then continue to administer the shot at the same time after that. Just remember your vet's admonition to do the injections 12 to 14 hours apart; 12 hours is better than 14 since you're actually trying to approximately natural blood sugar levels.

      One note of caution: you should give your dog his shot after he eats, not before, to make sure he doesn't vomit. If you were to give him his injection and he then got sick, the insulin would be in his system and there would be no carbs to be converted into glucose once the insulin started to react. The result would be hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and if his blood sugar got low enough, he could die. When Ozzie was first diagnosed, since he responded so well to his insulin therapy, I gave him his shot right after he ate, but as he got older and his health more fragile, I began waiting 15 to 30 minutes to make sure he would keep it down. If you have any reason to suspect your dog might get nauseous, don't give him his shot until you're sure he can keep the food down. I don't want to scare you, but just remember this if your dog has a sour tummy or is sick.

      You don't mention whether you're testing your dog's blood sugar or his urine. If not, please consider at minimum doing urine strip tests on him prior to his shots. You can buy urine test strips over the counter, and they're not very expensive. If checking his blood sugar is too expensive, you can use the urine test strips before he eats to get an idea of his level. Urine testing is not as accurate as a glucose test, since the strips give you a range, not a specific number, but they will tell you whether your dog's sugar is in normal levels before you give him his shot. You should do one or the other to make sure your dog's glucose levels don't get too high or too low before an injection, and your vet can teach you how to adjust your dog's insulin if his glucose is too high or too low.

      Hope this helps, Jonny. There's a lot of information to learn when a dog is first diagnosed, but you'll soon internalize it and your dog will get used to his new routine. If your dog's sugars are still running in the 300s, don't let it go on more than a few days without consulting your vet about giving him more insulin. 377 is just way too high; he should be closer to 200 to be safe, and if his sugars continue at their current level, your dog will certainly go blind. The closer you can get his sugar levels to normal, the better the chance you can preserve his remaining eyesight.

      Best of luck!

      Shelley

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      Jonny 5 years ago

      Hey Shelley,

      My dog was diagnosed yesterday with diabetes. He is a toy poodle/Maltese mix. He has gone blind in one eye, and is ready to go in the other, making me think he has had diabetes for about 2-3 years without me knowing, as blindness can be caused by diabetes. I have been givin the Humulin N and he is required to have 2 units, 2 times per day. My question is as I started the injection late last night at 9pm. They say every 12 hours, but I want to bring the time down. Would it be a bad thing if I were to give him the injection at 7pm (2 hours earlier, or 1.5 hours earlier? I forgot to ask my vet today as now I have to monitor his eating habits.

      I used to leave the bowl out with food so he could eat whenever he was hungry, but now I must manage it. His blood sugar was 377. I know he is hungry as he is 11 years old and always at the same way, and now his habits have changed. They told me I can go 12 - 14 hours for the next injection after the morning one. What happens if I want to change the schedule and undercut it by 1.5 hours? I am nervous about everything when it comes to animals and want to make sure that I do everything accurately. I keep a log spreadsheet everytime I provide him with an injection as to not double dose. Your input would be greatly appreciated!! Love this blog as it is very knowledgeable and I give you great thanks to helping EVERYONE who asks/has questions in regards to this matter! God Bless!

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      Pat 5 years ago

      Our multi-poo was just diagnosed with diabetes and I have found that putting a blanket on my dining room table and putting the dog up there makes him sit very still while he gets his shot. Afterwards he gets praised and fed and handles the whole process very well.

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      Kailyn 5 years ago

      My dog has recently been diagnosed with Diabetes. She at first was fine with the little dosage. The vet recently upped the dosage up to 11cc. She now yelps every single time we get the injection. What should we do.

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      Nanette 5 years ago

      Also, I have read vitamin E and Brewers Yeast are good. I don't know what to do, I have my daughters meter, but not sure where or if i can stick her...I feel so bad, she is just laying around. She still has not eaten in almost 48 hours, I am putting her on pedialite for the dehydration Im sure she has from this. We used it at the farm on all our animals and it works pretty good. thanks

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      Nanette 5 years ago

      Shelley, hi my 8 yr old siberian husky Nala was diagnosed with diabetes 4 months ago. She was drinking water all the time and going everywhere, when we went to the vet they tested her and she had a bladder infection and high blood sugar. The regular vet was on vacation and the fill in said she would be ok for 3 days until her vet came back and would get us started on insulin. She took antibiotics for the uti and we started humulin n, 10 units twice a day. He got me urine strips and said to test it, and it more than likely would have to be increased, but do it gradually, checking her urine every couple of days. Also, to feed her as soon as I gave her the shot. We didn't always go 12 hours, sometimes it was 11 because she was very vocal etlling me she was hungry and wanted to eat. We can't get it regulated, some days she does great and doesn't need to go outside or drink for several hours, others its every hour. The strips still have a tint of brown so I think it is still to high since she drinks. A week ago she got up on the counter and ate a dozen cupcakes (had never jumped up on the counter). I was scared it was back up to 500 like the first time in the vets office and strip would be black, instead it was lighter green....she laid around full for a day, but then back to normal, or at least lately normal....yesterday morning before work when i was to feed her and give her shot she wouldnt get up, didnt come bark at me to eat at all. I thought maybe she was over medicated, a friend is going through the same thing with their dog, so I went to work, but she was watched closely. When I got home from work, she had drank water a few times, and went outside, but never wanted to eat, only went back and laid down. Last night she got up and drank a lot of water, then vomited it back up, it had undigested dog food in it from Saturday 4pm feeding. I woke up at 6 this morning and gave her her shot, then a couple of treats to get something in her, but she still has not eaten. She is breathing more regular instead of panting. I have been fixing homemade chicken broth with cloves, garlic, and cinnamon, then putting meat and broth with her dog food....I am not sure what to do now. I am convinced my vet doesn't know what he is doing, but neither does my friends, and theirs meter doesnt even test consistent. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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      Janinabakes 6 years ago

      Shelley,

      THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I really cannot write it enough. I am going to get those syringes ASAP. I sell Medical Equipment and Supplies so I can get them at cost, which helps a lot since the insulin is pricey. My vet told me to use maple syrup if she became hypoglycemic. But I feel safer with the glucose gel you suggested. There is so much for me to learn and I am so overwhelmed right now.

      My husband sometimes helps me with her evening shots but I'm on my own in the mornings and its still quite a challenge. I have thought about sitting in the bathtub but she's so jumpy I'm afraid she'll jump out and hurt one of her legs. Either way, I may just try it tomorrow morning.

      Thank you for the exercise tips. Before she was diagnosed she was living with my Mom most of the time and would never exercise. But I live in a townhouse with no yard so she pretty much has no choice but to take 2 long walks a day with her "brother". We live in Florida so there are few days the weather will hold us back from a walk. I will mention her exercise regime to the vet. I really did not know how important it was.

      Last year,Cookie was diagnosed with a fatty cyst in her pancreas area so she's on Royal Canin Gastrointestinal low fat. I just read on the bag that it's low in fiber so I don't know if I should maybe add flax seed or something to her food. This was prescribed by an Internal Medicine vet so I am thinking about going back to that vet so she can OK a change in her diet.

      I am going to buy a toothbrush for her first thing tomorrow. Her teeth are pretty gross so I am going to make sure I take care of them from now on.

      Thank you for all the tips and for taking the time for me. I really appreciate it. I am going to dedicate this weekend to research everything you have mentioned and make a list of questions to ask the vet when I take her in next week.

      Thank you again. Your answers and encouraging words mean more than you know :)

      I will keep you posted.

      Janina

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Janina.

      I'm sorry your little baby is having trauma about her shots, but I think there's something really simple you can do to help ease her pain. You say you're using a 1/2" needle; that length of syringe is just too long for such a little dog. She's hurting because the needle goes in too far for her little body. If you go to the pharmacy, you can ask for the "mini" needles (Tell the pharmacist you have a tiny dog and want the ones for babies). These syringes are the same gauge, but the needles themselves are much shorter, so they don't go in as far under the skin. With a little dog like Cookie, that's about the only way you can get her to feel comfortable with her shots. This will mean that you won't use up whatever supply of syringes you still have, but maybe you can donate them to your vet or an animal shelter. You should be able to donate whatever packages haven't been opened. Then use the tiny needles on Cookie; I can almost guarantee she won't cry and she'll soon get used to the fact that her injections don't hurt any more. This is what I did with my little Oz-Oz and it made his life SO much easier.

      To get Cookie eased out of the fear she's already developed about her shots, is there any way another person could help you give her shots for a few days? If another person could distract her by sitting in front of her with a treat while you give the injection, it might help since she'll soon realize that while she's getting a shot, it just doesn't hurt like it used to. If that won't work, you can either sit on the floor, making a sort of "triangle" with your legs and putting Cookie in the triangle to hold her. If you then put her treat(s) on your leg, you'll have a few moments in which to give her the shot while she's occupied with the food. I know a couple of people have also told me they've actually sat in the bathtub with their dog. The isolation seemed to calm them a bit. It may take Cookie a while to understand that her shots don't hurt much any more, but I'm pretty sure she'll get there if you use the tiny needles.

      The best way to ensure that Cookie doesn't go blind due to cataracts is to control her blood sugar as well as possible. That means establishing and maintaining a routine balancing her food, insulin, and exercise to best control the disease. If Cookie isn't currently on a regular exercise (i.e walking) program. she should be. Exercise greatly stabilizes blood sugar levels. She should also be on a low-fat, high-fiber diet since fiber also helps stabilize blood sugar levels by absorbing some glucose and helping to flush it from the body. If she's not on such a diet, ask your vet if she can go on Science Diet W/D (a diabetic formula) or another such food. A prescription diet is best for a diabetic dog. She can still have some treats after her shot (and maybe before and/or after her walks), but her main food should be low in fat and high in fiber.

      Before you put Cookie on a regular exercise program (if she isn't on one now), you'll need to talk to your vet. Because exercise lowers blood sugar levels for 24 hours, Cookie's insulin dosage will need to be adjusted (i.e. lowered). DO NOT TRY TO ADJUST HER INSULIN YOURSELF. You vet will do precise calculations to determine how much less insulin she will need. Along with a lower insulin dosage, she may also need a little more food, so be sure to ask the vet how much (if any) to increase food intake. He/She may just say to give her a few extra treats before her walks, but it's important to know this before you start her on a new exercise program. Too much insulin before exercise can result in hypoglycemia - or low blood sugar - and this can be very dangerous.

      Because balanced blood sugar levels are the best way to protect a diabetic dog's eyes, it will be important to keep Cookie's sugars from getting either too high or too low. Exercise, the correct insulin dosage, and the correct intake of a good prescription will help. There are things you should know about, though, if you try to do relatively intensive management of Cookie's diabetes. Unfortunately, the better controlled one's diabetes is, the higher the risk of developing low blood sugar because just a little too much exercise, slightly too little food, or even the tiniest bit too much insulin can drop insulin levels. So read up on canine hypoglycemia. (There are articles on hubpages on this topic if you do a search.) Before you increase Cookie's exercise, go to the pharmacy (in fact, please do this when you get her new syringes). Ask the pharmacist for glucose gel. It comes in little tubes which cost about $3.50 each. If Cookie should ever become hypoglycemic, you need to administer glucose immediately to prevent her from having serious problems. (Too low blood sugar can be fatal.) Read up on the signs of hypoglycemia in dogs and memorize them. If you ever see any of them in Cookie, put some glucose gel on your finger and rub it insider her gums or squirt a little into her mouth. (You can ask your vet how much to give her; each tube contains 15 carbs, and there are lines on the tube to guage how many carbs you are giving.) You should keep a tube in the kitchen and tell everyone where it is and how to give it to Cookie. If Cookie goes out with you (in the car, on a walk), always keep a tube in your purse or in your pocket in case her blood sugar should ever fall too low. I'm not trying to scare you, and if Cookie is on a well balanced regimen, chances are small she will ever have a problem, but it's better to be safe than sorry! (Really.)

      These are the best things to do to help Cookie maintain her eyesight. I was lucky because I have juvenile diabetes and knew how to take care of Ozzie, so I was able carefully control his blood sugars. But by communicating with your vet, asking questions, and learning as much as you can about the signs of low (and high) blood sugar, you can keep Cookie at pretty normal levels. Ask your vet how often she should have a fructosamine level done (a test that tracks diabetes control) and never be afraid to pester the vet with questions. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so ask, ask, ask.

      You may be surprised, but in 6 months time you and Cookie will find this seemingly complex routine to be old hat. It will be like brushing your teeth, you'll be so used to it. (And that reminds me to tell you to brush Cookie's teeth every day to make sure she doesn't get infections, which can cause high blood sugars.) And yes, well controlled diabetes can prevent blindness. I once had a neighbor whose dog was diabetic, and her little guy (also a Min-Pin) still had good eyesight after 5 years with the disease. So educate yourself and discipline yourself to keep Cookie on that regular schedule; chances are that in 5 years she'll still be romping around the yard and chasing squirrels!

      Good luck and let me know how the mini syringes work out.

      Shelley

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      Janinabakes 6 years ago

      Hi Shelley,

      I just wanted to thank you for posting this page. It has really been a Godsend for me. I came upon this last night while searching for dog's having problems with their insulin injection. My 6 year old 10lb rescue Min Pin Cookie was diagnosed with diabetes at the beginning of this month. She's been on 3 units twice a day of Novolin for a week and a half. I use a 27G 1/2" needle. She seems to be feeling great. I am still having a hard time adjusting to this and so is she. The first adjustment was the fact that I will never sleep in again! But that's the least of my worries. My husband and I want to start a family soon so this just gets me prepared for when I have a baby. It seems like everyday its a struggle to give her her shots. She freaks out as soon as she sees me going towards her with the needle. I give her treats, which she loves, but she tries to eat the treats and not get her shot! I thought she was doing okay / so-so with it but she got really bad last night. Biting at me and hiding in a corner so I wouldn't get her. I just put the needle near her and she would lash out. I assume its because her morning shot seemed to have been painful as she cried after I gave it to her. I think she thought it was going to hurt the same. I tried the towel method this morning and it didn't work either. Ive even tried showing her the treat and I try to hold her away from it so she can get it after the shot, but she just wiggles her way out of my grasp. Do you have any other suggestions? I hate to see her suffer.

      What really had me in tears last night was the fact that she may go blind. The vet only mentioned that cataracts was a concern and I had not given blindness a thought until I read this page. Her eyes have always been bright and clear, even clearer than my other Min Pin who does have some beginnings of cataracts. I know it may sound selfish of me, since she is not blind, but every time I think of the possibility I start to cry. I know your dog didn't lose his sight fully. Do you know of any other diabetic dogs that maintain their sight?

      Thank you.

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      lisazoe 6 years ago

      Thank you! I have an appointment with my vet this Saturday, so I will discuss with her, see if someone there can stop by for the shot (they close 7 pm Thursdays and Daphne needs her shot around 7:30 so hiring someone from there may work). If not, I will call a petwalking service, I know there are some locally - and can have my 'elderly' pal let them and and stay with them, since Daphne knows and is comfortable around him. Thank you for some excellent suggestions.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Lisa.

      Let's see if I can get this to work this this time. You have 3 (possibly 4) choices as I see it concerning how to handle your upcoming situation. I'll list each of them and explain the pros and cons of each.

      1) You're going to be home 5 hours later than your dog needs his shot. If you give him his shot that late, his body is going to be without insulin for about 8 hours because Humulin N is a long-lasting insulin that takes several hours to begin its activity. In the meatime, your dog's blood sugar will continue to rise. His liver produces some glucose. Adrenalin causes rises in blood sugar. If he eats, of course, the food is transformed into glucose. Just being alive ,we produce glucose.

      So the problem of just delaying his shot is that over the delay his blood sugar is going to go pretty high - even if he misses only one shot. I know some pet owners do delay their dog's shots like this, but it's not a good idea. HOWEVER...if you decided to do this, here's my recommendation:

      Don't feed your dog his p.m. meal that day. He'll be hungry but it would be more harmful to feed him. Then, first thing in the morning, take him to the vet's office to get a blood sugar count on him. Ask the vet how to adjust your dog's next several shots to compensate for the rise in blood sugar caused by the delay. He/She might recommend that you add 2 or 3 units to the next 2 or 3 shots.

      The downside to doing this is a) your dog's blood sugar is going to be high b) you're going to have to take him to the vet's, which will incur expense and c) you'll have to adjust his insulin dosage according to the vet's instructions, perhaps also adjusting his food intake over the following day or two. DO NOT DO THIS OPTION WITHOUT FIRST INFORMING YOUR VET AND FOLLOWING UP.

      2) Option two is, as you mentioned, boarding your dog with your vet. There, the dog will be well cared for, will have his food and insulin on schedule, but will be stressed. The additional stress could make his blood sugar go up somewhat, but your vet will undoubtedly check the dog's blood sugar several times while he's there, and he/she can adjust the dosage for that time period to make sure your pup comes home with a good blood sugar level.

      This option isn't the best option for you because you feel guilty about leaving your dog in a place you kinow he doesn't like. None of us like to think that our beloved pets are unhappy, even for a short time. However, this would be a short-term solution and remember that you would pick up your pup the following morning. He'd be asleep much of the time he's away from home. While my dog wouldn't like being at the vet's, I would definitely take him there if it meant the difference between keeping his blood sugar and routine on track and his blood sugar levels going crazy for several days.

      3) Your final option is the one I used wth my little Ozzie many times. We used to live outside Washington, D.C., where our work and commuting schedules were crazy. Sometimes we just couldn't get home to give him a shot, sometimes we had to travel for work, and sometimes we just needed to get away. We asked our vet to recommend a pet-sitting service that could take care of diabetic dogs that needed insulin injections., I contacted several and chose one that had several former vet techs on staff.

      This business offered overnight pet sitters, sitters who would feed or give shots, or sitters who would just check on dogs and walk them. I had to fill out an application (complete with medical info on our dogs), and I checked out the business's insurance and made sure they were bonded (since they were going to be in our home). I explained that I wanted to leave my dogs at home where they'd at least be comfortable and not so stressed, and that I wanted someone to come by 4x a day: once in the early a.m. to let them out, give Ozzie his shot, feed them, and walk them. I specified another mid-day visit (another walkand a treat), a 7:00 p.m. visit (another shot, dinner, and a walk), and a 10:30 visit (final trip outside and a nighttime treat).

      A couple of days before we left, the owner came by with the tech and the dog walker who would be taking care of our babies. The tech watched me prep their food and give Ozzie his shot; then both caretakers played with the pups to become acquainted. They told me the tech could come by the following morning to give Ozzie his shot while I was still there, but I didn't think it was necessary since Ozzie seemed so comfortable with him. We gave them the house key and 2 days later we left on a long weekend. We asked the tech to call us after the first shot and meal - all went fine. When we got home 3 days later, Ozzie and Molly (our other baby) were as happy as little clams. They hadn't had to be boarded, but had had the best possiblle care.

      If you only needed to do this for one evening, it would be much less expensive than boarding your dog with your vet. You could still ask your friend to come by to check on things and keep your pup company, but he wouldn't have to worry about the dog's injection.

      This is the option I would choose if I were you. But if you don't live near a sizable city, you probably won't be able to find a similar service. (I now live in Kansas City and we have a service here that does the same thing.)

      4) The last option might be possible. I have heard other pet owners tell me that they actually hired a vet tech from their vet's office (with the vet's okay) to administer a shot. This could work, but you'd have to be really sure of the tech's reliability and honesty since such a person wouldn't be bonded. If anything happened the house (such as something getting broken), you would be responsible. But if you know your vet well or know a tech well, you might be able to get the techn to come over for the shot. And your could always specify that he/she come over while your elderly friend was in the house so you wouldn't have to give anyone else a key.

      So here are your options, Lisa. I hope I've given you enough information to help you come up with a feasible solution. Good luck with your diabetic baby. Sounds like you're doing a great job with him!

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      lisazoe 6 years ago

      Oh no, I'm so sorry that happened!

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Lisa, I just wrote a LONG comment but it's not appearing for some reason. Will check back in the a.m. to see if it shows up and if not, I'll rewrite it so you can see what my recommendations are.

      Shelley

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Lisa.

      Those typos do get us into trouble, don't they? ;

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      lisazoe 6 years ago

      Obviously I meant her SHOTS 15 minutes later - many apologies!

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      lisazoe 6 years ago

      My Daphne was diagnosed a few weeks ago, but seems to be doing well on Humulin-N (16 units in am, 15 in pm) along with a homemade diet. She eats 7 am & 7 pm, with her shits 15 minutes later.

      In two weeks I have a work event in the evening I can not get out of. I will probably not get home until after midnight. I have someone who can feed her, but not someone who can give her the shot (he is in his 80s, and it is not an option).

      What is my best course of action? To skip the dose but let her have her dinner? To let her eat a small meal at her regular time, another small meal when I get home & an injection (and how will this impact the shot the next morning)? I can board her at the vet overnight, but seeing as I am getting home that night, and she HATES being caged, I worry the stress of being there until the vet opens the next day will be detrimental.

      Any thoughts? This is a one time thing, I normally would have no trouble staying on schedule, this is a once a year event.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Thanks for the positive feedback! It's good to know the info here is helping dog owners learn about diabetes and their pups.

      Shelley

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      mabmiles 6 years ago

      Very useful and informative hub about dogs having diabetes. Thanks for the knowledge here.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Aurora,

      I'm glad your little guy is a fighter! Aren't our dogs amazing? Sounds like Chester is having a tough time, but you're lucky he has a great vet who knows how to treat his various problems. When Chester's diabetes is under control, you'll see a big difference in him. His lethargy will be gone, he'll eat and drink normally, and he should stop having those accidents. (Some dogs need a little refresher house-training after coming back home because they've not been able to control their bladders for a while when their diabetes was acute. Usually it doesn't take to long to get them back on track.)

      I hope you are settling into your new routine with your baby. (Is he home yet?) Keep reading about diabetes - especially about hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) so you know how to treat it if it ever happens. You'll also need to read up on exercise so Chester's diabetes is as well controlled as possible. It's hard to keep diabetes in check without regular exercise, which greatly stabilizes glucose levels when balanced with insulin and food.

      The key word for Chester now is balance. Learn his new routine and try to maintain it as much as possible. Keep an open line of communication with your vet and don't be afraid to ask him to give you information about something you don't understand or show you how to care for Chester. Find out how to treat hypoglycemia (find articles here on hubpages), learn to recognize its symptoms and those of high blood sugar. If your vet is willing, ask him to teach you how to adjust Chester's insulin if a test shows his glucose is high. (You'll need to reduce exercise and increase insulin, but NEVER give Chester more insulin blindly; even a little too much could kill him!)

      It's scary to get a diagnosis of diabetes for a pet, but you'll learn and the two of you will soon feel comfortable with your new lifestyle. My little baby Ozzie got so used to his shot routine that I would ask him, "Ready for your medicine?" and he would run to me and jump on my lap! (He knew he'd get a little treat as soon as he had his shot.) Since Chester is a little guy, get the mini needles for his shots; they're thinner and shorter (actually made for human babies), and they are much less painful for little dogs.

      You can't do it all at once because there are so many comments and answers here, but do read through them a few at a time. You can learn a lot from what other people have dealt with, and the more you learn, the better armed you'll be if a crisis ever happens.

      Good luck with your little Chester. I hope he'll be healthy and happy for a long time to come!

      Shelley

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      Aurora 6 years ago

      Thank you for your wonderful advice and stories of inspiration. I was distraught when my min pin Chester was diagnosed 2 days ago because he was DKA status during diagnosis. I thought how sad it was going to be without my 1st born son. Thankfully I have an amazing ve who worked his magic and assured me he could live a quality life for his final years. This site feels therapuetic. Chester also suffers from low thyroid, and symptoms of Cushings (tests came back grey area...retest in 1 month...after diabetes stabilize). I just feel blessed to have the finances to afford his medications, the stomach to give him shots, and blogs like this so I do not feel so alone with my worries and feelings of having a diabetic doggie baby. I wil help spread the word about this silent killer, because my lil pin never had symptoms until he developed excess water consumption, urination, and lethargic behavior caused by diabetes. Much love for all of you.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      John,

      I'm so glad this hub has given you the confidence to help your dog live with diabetes. It is a challenge, but just like any big change, once you get used to the routine, it becomes just another part of your day. You and your dog will get used to it and as long as you can maintain a balance between his insulin, his diet, and an exercise program, there's no reason why he can't live a healthy, productive, and comfortable life. My little diabetic Ozzie lived for 7 years with diabetes, and in the end, he died from cancer, not the diabetes. My husand and I took good care of him, but it wasn't that much trouble really, and if you can keep the food, insulin, and exercise balanced, you can help your dog avoid serious health problems so that his everyday care isn't too expensive. Make sure to read up on exercising a dog with diabetes and about hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in dogs. You can find other hubs (by me and by other writers) about those topics here on hubpages. Most important, make your vet part of your team. Stay in touch with him or her and if you have questions, always ask - don't wait. By keeping on top of things, you'll keep your pup healthy and happy.

      As I said, if you can balance the 3 areas of diabetic care, your dog can live much longer than 2 years - maybe 7 or more like my little Oz-Oz did. And you don't have to be diabetic like me to learn. You'll have to follow a reasonably consistent schedule for his shots and food, but he'll get used to it. If you can keep his blood sugars under control, he doesn't have to get the secondary illnesses that many diabetic pet owners worry about. Lots of people think that a diabetic dog will become blind no matter what: not true. Dogs whose diabetes isn't controlled will almost certainly become blind, but again, my Ozzie kept his eyesight. It was only the last year of his life that he developed cataracts serious enough to compromise his sight. When he died (after 7 years as a diabetic), he had lost all the sight in one eye but still had about 40% in the other and could still run and play. (We did carry him up and down stairs his last year.) He was a happy little guy who enjoyed his life and who even looked forward to his "medicine" because he knew that getting his shot meant he got his favorite treat afterwards.

      I know what you mean when you say that you were afraid you might have to put your friend down; in fact, when Ozzie was diagnosed, the vet told me that many people chose to euthanize their diabetic pets. My response: they didn't kill me! I had a chance to live on insulin

      and I wanted the same for my little pal. So keep your chin up, be ready for a few challenges, but know that things will be progressively easier and more routine once you know what you're. If you ever have a question for me, please write and tell me. Write me at my personal email address to make sure I see your message the same day - you can click on the "Contact Shelley Cetin" mail icon at the top right of this page.

      Good luck!

      Shelley

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      john 6 years ago

      Shelly,

      thanks for this posting and all the helpful advice, I just had my wonderful dog diagnosed today and was fearful that i may have to put him down, in the best interest of the dog, because of a lack of ability on my part to administer proper care, but because of this site and many others i have found online and many wonderful people out there, i now feel confident that i will be able to manage his diabetes and have him feeling better soon. am now feeling more cheerful and am looking forward to maybe at least a couple of more years with my best friend

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Judy.

      Sounds like your having some challenges with your pup trying to get used to his new routine. Once you get your lancet, testing him will probably be easier because the tests really do hurt less with a lancet device. When you get it, you may want to test it on your own finger in order to determine at what depth to set the needle. Most lancing devices have a "top" that turns, moving the needle up (more shallow) or down (deeper) with each turn/click. Try it on your finger,turning and clicking the top until you get it to a depth that draws blood easily without hurting too much. It really hurts much less with a lancet than it does in the doctor's office, where the nurse usually sticks a needle into your finger. Ouch!

      Glad your insulin was okay. If a bottle is left out for some time but is still cool, it should be okay. I'm not sure about the exact temperature at which Humulin N starts to break down, but a doctor once told me that a bottle is okay up to about 85 degrees. You might want to ask the vet if you think it could happen again,especially since Humulin is a newer formulation which may be more stable at warm temperatures.

      Good news that the urine test was negative, but remember that a urine strip only tests a blood sugar range. Some urinalysis strips give you a color indication of a range of blood sugars, not just a positive or negative for ketones. You may want to get those. The strips you describe, I think, just test for ketones, not for blood sugar level. They will only help you if your dog's sugar is high, but they won't tell you how high the pup's blood glucose is. For that (untily your meter arrives), you can get glucose test strips. They work the same way as the ketone strips but the strip turns color in a range (i.e. from light beige to deeper colors). The color will tell you, for instance, that your dog's sugar is BETWEEN 100 and 150. That's much more valuable when trying to get a diabetic dog under control.

      One other thing about the ketone strips: Ketones will only show up when blood sugar gets pretty high, but your dog can feel the effects of high blood sugar even if there are no ketones present in his urine. If, for instance, his glucose is running around 250 or so, he may feel tired and not feel like running and playing. This might explain your dog's lethargy - which, by the way, is a typical symptom of high blood sugar.

      You say you're giving your dog only 2 units once a day since he hasn't been eating. Is this the "sick day" dosage your vet gave you or did you just determine that amount? In general, a dog that doesn't eat still needs a basal amount of insulin in the blood round the clock, and for a diabetic dog, a once-a-day shot of Humulin N wouldn't be enough because it only lasts for about 12 hours. That means your pup would have no insulin whatsoever in his system for half the day, which is really dangerous. If you can't check your pup's sugar with a meter, test the urine with a glucose urine stick to get a range. If it's over 250 or so, ask the vet to calculate a "sick day" dosage for your dog; it should still include 2 shots per day. That will be the amount to give your pup when he won't eat or is sick. If he's only on 2 units once a day, I'm going to bet that his sugar is pretty high, which is probably what's making him lethargic and tired all the time. Don't just break up the one shot's amount into 2 doses, either. He still won't have enough insulin in his system if his sugar is currently high. Anyway...do ask your vet exactly how much insulin to give your dog when he won't eat and if the vet only wants the dog to have one shot per day, ask why.

      Your poor baby may actually be hungry, but if his sugar is really high, he could actually be feeling nauseous or have an upset stomach, which could explain his not wanting to eat. Very high blood sugar can (yes) increase the appetite, but high (but not accutely high) levels can also commonly cause a decrease in appetite. I know that if I'm sick and my sugar is high, I never want to eat. The very thought of food makes me sick to my stomach. So make sure you get a reading on the dog's glucose (not just ketones), as a high but not immediately dangerous high level could make him not want to eat.

      Good luck!

      Shelley

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Oh, it's me again. I'm sure the insulin wasn't compromised. I still haven't received the glucose meter I ordered. He won't eat now and I have been skipping insulin injections. He's been getting maybe one a day. He had only one yesterday, 2 units, at 8 pm. I have offered him every food he could possible want. If I'm very lucky, he might take an ounce of breast meat.

      Until today, he was full of injury. He's not lethargic but lazy which isn't unusual for him. I read that hyperglycemia can cause a dog to have a ravenous appetite or no appetite at all. So, I bought Clinistix urine test strips for glucose. I got a mid stream sample and it was negative. I'll test again in a few hours to make sure it was accurate. This was suppose to make me feel better but it doesn't.

      Thank you for your support.

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Ugh. It never stops. I forgot to refrigerate my new vial of Humalin N. I left it in my purse for about 2-3 hours. It's about 80-78 degrees here. The box still felt cool to the touch. You think it will be compromised? Thanks.

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Looks like a lancing device comes with the glucose meter I ordered. I thought I had to order it separate.

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Do people use a lancing device? Or, is just using a lancet okay? I'm looking for the least painful method for a sensitive pup. Thanks!

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      Krystal 6 years ago

      OK. I just wanted to double check. It isn't actually the stomach, but on the site, just under the rib-cage, in the "loose" skin. Kind of hard to explain the exact area. Thanks for all the information you give everyone!

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Krystal. From what you describe, you're giving your dog his shot just above and in front of his thigh - the flank. That is one safe place to give a shot, so if this is what your vet showed you, you should be okay. Scared me when you said stomach, but the place you're doing it isn't really the stomach and is a good place for an injection. Good luck with your pup!

      Shelley

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      Krystal 6 years ago

      I have a question about the location of the insulin shots. You mentioned don't give in the stomach area. I was told to give on the side, just below the rib-cage, in the "stomach" area. Not necessary the stomach itself, but with Mocha laying on her side, under the rib-cage, pull the skin up, inject, then put the skin back down. Kind of hard to explain, but that is what I was told to do and also googled it. This seems to be the most effective place. The nap of the neck is good too, but the area just under the rib-cage is the better place. Is that what you have heard?

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      have lots of questions so I'll answer them in order.

      1) DO NOT give your dog an insulin injection in the stomach. (From "stomach," I understand you're giving the injection directly onto the underside of his body.) Dogs are not people and you can't treat your dog's diabetes the way your grandmother treated hers. There are several places to safely give a dog an insulin injection: around the nape of his neck (into the fat where the skin is loose) and in the flank (the fatty area above and in front of your dog's thigh). If you don't check your dog's sugars daily, you should take your Jack Russell to the vet to have it tested. Your having given him shots in different (possibly inappropriate) places could mean that his sugars have become high (or are getting too low).

      2) Most owners give their dogs injections at 10-12 hour intervals. The time you give for your dog's shots is okay as long as you're feeding him at those times. (Don't move his shots any closer together than 10 hours without talking to the vet. It can be dangerous as the reaction times of the insulin shots will be overlapping.)This is VERY important: You must give your dog his injection close to his feeding times, say within 30 minutes. As you don't mention when you feed Russell, but you give his shots so late in the morning and late at night, I'm imagining that you are feeding him earlier in the a.m. and postponing the shot for several hours. This is the worst possible thing you can do. You dog is almost certainly on an N type of insulin, which has about a 12-hour reaction cycle. It won't become active for a couple of hours, and it's activity peaks at 6 hours after injection. When your dog eats, his food is digested and converted into glucose; he needs insulin to help him convert the glucose into energy. If you don't give him his shot when he eats (preferably a little bit after to make sure he'll keep his food down), but instead wait several hours, his glucose is going to build up to a dangerous high over the course of the day because of that lag time. So make sure you're administering the shot shortly after he eats. If you haven't been doing this - and if you don't check his sugars - take him to the vet to have his glucose checked. He could have high blood sugar that needs to be brought back under control.

      3) Diabetes affects virtually every system in the body, and dry skin is a pretty common side affect. You can buy a very soft-bristled brush for your little Russell, take him outside, and brush him all over (against the grain) to remove dead skin. Brush his tummy, too. Then you can spray him with a moisturing spray for his skin; these are easy to find at big pet stores like Petco and Petsmart.

      Please talk to your vet about what you've been doing with Russell's shots. It's very dangerous to give him shots in inappropriate spots on his body as different tissues absorb insulin at different rates. Have him show you exactly where on Russell's thighs you can give the shots. And please don't rely on things you remember or have heard about what family members have done for their own diabetes. Sometimes things are the same, but often they are very, very different for diabetic dogs and people.

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      Sandra 6 years ago

      Hi Shelley

      My buddy is a Jack Russell. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I have to give him two shots a day 3 units. I have family members who have diabetes. I remember giving my Grandmother her shots at times. In her leg or her stomach. Is it the same for dogs ? I ask because I was told to give it to him in his neck area. But he gets very relaxed when I rub his tummy and he lets me give him the shot so much easier. He is so good where ever I give him the shot. But I did the moving thing around the neck. But I can see it irritates him. What do you think ? Also how many hours between feeding should it be ? By the way his name is Russell yes and he is a Russell long story. He is 7 yrs old. I have been giving him the shots one at 11AM and the other at 10PM. But I think the time in between is too long. What do you think ? Wow I have one more question. Does Diabetes make the dog skin dry because I noticed his becoming dry and flaky. Thanks for any advise you can give.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Judy.

      I'm glad your dog is doing so much better on the diet you're giving him. You know you're on the right track if his glucose curve was good. From what I understand, a dog's blood glucose levels generally run somewhat higher than a dog's. However, the 70 and 60 are technically hypoglycemic in a dog. In fact, the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) recommends slightly reducing the insulin dosage in any dog whose blood glucose level falls below 80 at peak insulin activity (i.e. lowest blood glucose level during a curve). There could be reasons your vet wasn't concerned: maybe your dog didn't eat that morning or didn't eat well the night before. But those glucose levels are getting close to levels that could cause your dog to have low blood sugar problems (tremors or worse) so I would definitely ask the vet about the lower numbers. I think that dog's glucose levels are supposed to be between 80 and 150 at insulin peak time, but several vets have told me that they are happy when a dog's average glucose is below 200. The AAHA also recommends no change in a dog's insulin dosage if blood glucose at peak insulin time (low BG) is below 250.

      The difference between chicken breast and thigh meat is that the breast is white (low fat) meat and the thigh is dark (higher fat) meat. There is quite a bit more fat in dark meat. While feeding your dog chicken thighs isn't going to affect his blood sugar levels, you vet has told you to feed him breast meat because he wants your dog on a low-fat diet. Eating dark meat once or twice isn't going to hurt your dog; your vet is thinking about keeping him healthy over time. Maybe you could use the thigh meat in some meals for the family - spread out over time, too, so their hearts don't suffer either.

      Be sure to ask your vet about those lower blood glucose numbers, Judy, and make sure you know how to treat for low blood sugar if your dog ever starts shaking or showing other signs that his blood sugar is getting dangerously low. Ask if you can/should give your dog some extra carbs in the early afternoon (a little rice, a couple of biscuits) to avoid lows.

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Thanks, Shelley.

      On Friday, he had a blood glucose curve. The vet thought the results were fantastic. Apparently, he was well over 300 before. His scores, if I remember correctly, were 105, 90, 70, 60, and then back up to around 90 or 70. According to you, that is too low. He seems active enough, though.

      The vet said keep him on the boiled chicken breast diet since he's doing so well. He also said with a regular exercise routine, his insulin could be decreased from 3 to 2 units bid.

      I came home and started reading about canine blood glucose curves and thought it might be too low. However, subsequently, he's started eating a lot more.

      I asked someone to get me more chicken breasts but instead they came back with chicken thigh fillets. Is there much of a difference between chicken thigh meat and breast meat for a diabetic dog? Should I call the vet?

      Again, thanks for all your help.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Judy.

      Dogs do need some carbs if they're on insulin, but there's a "but" attached to that statement. Your dog's body naturally produces glucose whether he's eating carbs or not. Stress causes rises in blood sugar, as does illness. In fact, just the stress of everyday activity makes the blood sugar rise. Your liver (and your dog's) also produces glucose in small amounts (and stores it for emergencies). So how many carbs your dog needs depends on how much insulin he's taking. Since Krystal's dog is experiencing blood sugars in the 90s and 100s toward the late afternoon, her dog probably needs carbs in her food to avoid low blood glucose. But if your dog is having good sugar levels even just on chicken, his insulin dosage may be calculated perfectly just for the chicken and the glucose his own body produces throughout the day.

      If you check your dog's blood sugar (or do periodic urine tests), make a note any time his blood sugar gets below 140 or so, and then tell his vet when you go for the blood workup. Also, if you dog ever gets shaky, seems disoriented or confused, seems dizzy, has trouble walking, or falls down for now apparent reason, his blood sugar may be low. You need to learn how to handle low blood sugar (read notes above), but also tell your vet because that can be an indication that your dog does need to eat some rice with his food or have some treats with carbs in them. If your dog doesn't like W/D, you might ask the vet if he can have R/D (or if you can mix R/D with his W/D). R/D is another high fiber Rx food but it has a little higher fat content. Because of the higher fat level, it is more flavorful, and sometimes you can get a dog interested in his W/D if you mix in a little R/D. It comes in both canned and dry forms. Shelley

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Since I've mixed everything with the WD and he wouldn't touch it, I gave up on the WD. I called the vet and asked about how much chicken he should get and can he live on chicken alone. They asked if I was giving him rice. I said you didn't tell me to give him rice - just chicken. Maybe they thought he would be getting WD and chicken. Anyway, the vet said that just chicken is okay for now and next week I will take him in for a full blood workup.

      I still have to coax him to eat but once he gets started he does seem to enjoy it, as he should - shredded tender chicken breast prepared with love. Mmmm.

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      Krystal 6 years ago

      @Judy - I think they need some of the "good" carbs. Have you tried mixing the W/D with the chicken breast and rice? Has his glucose level been good since eating the chicken breast only? I would think as long as the glucoses are good, I wouldn't worry about it. But then again, I am not a vet and still testing stuff out myself since February of 2011 diagnosis of Mocha!

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      Judy 6 years ago

      So, if dogs need carbohydrates, how can my dog live on shredded chicken breasts alone? I'm wondering if I should just be giving him the chicken so he will have something in his stomach when I give the insulin and then try to get him to eat the W/D? I don't think he will go back to the W/D though.

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      Krystal 6 years ago

      Also, when taking the EVO back to the pet store I got it from, I was told that EVO is sometimes TOO rich for older dogs as it has a lot of protein in it and some dogs are just not used to that!

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      Krystal 6 years ago

      Shelley

      Thank you very much for all your comments. I have decided to keep Mocha and Cinnamon on DCO and the "baby" Belle on Purina ProPlan Selects. Purina is one of the dog foods that wasn't in the recall back in 2007 (or around there) so I am very confident on Purina. Even though a lot of people talk down on Purina products, I am convinced that Purina is a lot better than a lot of other brands who received that product which contained melomine. I am going to stick with Purina from now on!

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Judy.

      It's important to mix the insulin before filling the syringe. If you don't, your dog can get either too much or too little insulin (which is in the little crystals you see in the bottle). Check his blood sugar to see if he's gotten high over the past few days. If so, call your vet and ask how much extra insulin (or how much less food) to give him to get his sugar back on track.

      Krystal,

      I got your email about the dog foods. It sounds like you come up with a viable solution for Mocha and your other dogs regarding their food. You need to remember that dogs aren't strict carnivores; since they're both natural hunters and scavengers, they eat plants (like grass) in the wild. They sometimes eat berries and fruit if they run across it. Also, the prey that dogs hunt are often omnivores or vegetarians. This means that when a dog kills and eats a rabbit (or whatever animal), the dog is consuming the stomach contents of its prey. If the prey eats carbs, so does the dog that kills the prey (if indirectly).

      Since dog foods like DCO and W/D have been scientifically developed to meet the needs of dogs on insulin (which requires carbs in order for a dog's blood sugar not to fall to dangerously low levels), they contain carbs. A non-diabetic dog's pancreas would produce insulin only when the dog's blood sugar rises to a certain level, and even then in very small amounts. So a non-diabetic dog can eat an all-protein diet without a problem. But when we inject insulin into our diabetic pets, the insulin dose and the insulin's reaction make it necessary for a certain amount of glucose to be in the dog's system when the insulin begins to lower blood sugar. Thus the carbs in scientifically developed diabetic dog foods. They anticipate the steep drop in blood sugar that will come when the insulin begins to react and especially when it peaks. That's really the reason these food have carbs in them.

      There's nothing wrong with giving your dog carbs along with protein, which is what DCO and W/D do. They also provide high fiber, which helps balance out blood sugar levels. (And remember: fiber is one of the carbs included in the total carb count of a prescription dog food like W/D.) All diabetics - human and canine alike - need high levels of fiber to help maintain the delicate balance between food intake and insulin dosage.

      I'm not sure why a high protein food would cause your dog to have loose stools; however, I can tell you that diabetes affects the digestive system, so any change (as you learned) has to be made very carefully. It could well be that the extra protein is just too much for Mocha. Since you know she does well on DCO, maybe you can keep her on it and - as I suggested to you before - force her to get some exercise. That will go a long way to improve her blood sugar. Personally, I'd keep Mocha on a prescription diabetic dog food for her best overall chance to control her diabetes.

      Shelley

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Just got off the phone with the vet and he says boiled chicken breasts shredded. So, I will try it and maybe try to sneak in a little W/D.

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      Krystal 6 years ago

      I have decided to keep Mocha on Purina DCO. As I explained in my email to you, the reason why. Thank you very much for all of your help.

      @Judy -- Thank you for feeling my pain. Mocha was just diagnosed in February of 2011 and I was thinking a higher protein food would do better for her, but it didn't. She developed loose stools and she wasn't even through the transition, not even half way through the transition so I am thinking it was just too rich for her. I think the high fiber in the DCO will be good for her. Just my opinion!

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      Judy 6 years ago

      I'm also having problems getting my dog to eat. I make sure he has at least a 1/4 of his daily portion just before or right after the insulin. It seems that 3-4 hours after the insulin, he will eat the rest. He's currently on Hill's. I've been mixing a tablespoon of his old dog with it and it seems to help.

      Question: This morning, I forgot to mix the insulin before drawing it and injecting it. Does that mean too much? Too little?

      Again, thanks for all the help.

      PS: Krystal, I feel your pain!

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      Krystal 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for all of the information.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Krystal.

      I'm glad I can help you a little with this page, but I hope you'll try to get your little couch potato off the couch and taking short walks. Without exercise, it's going to be very, very hard for you ever to get her diabetes under control. You might try putting her leash on her to start with, carrying her outside, and just making her walk around the house, for instance. If she gets overexerted easily, that tells you that she's in poor shape and really needs the exercise. And even an older dog can learn to accept some exercise if you increase it in small increments.

      Since Mocha's blood sugars are running between 90 and 100 before, I sure wouldn't stop her evening meal or she'll be in big trouble from low blood sugar. Sounds like your vet wants to give her more insulin in the a.m. shot. (?)

      Sounds reasonable, but carefully watch Mocha at night and if she gets confused, trembles for no reason, starts hiding, or seems wobbly on her feet, give her glucose. You can go to the Wal-Mart pharmacy for it. Look for the diabetic supplies, and you'll find little tubes of glucose gel meant to raise low blood sugar levels. You should ALWAYS have tubes on hand and make sure everyone in the house knows where they are and how to administer the gel. They cost around $3.50 per tube but last forever. (No refrigeration needed.) I recommend keeping them in a kitchen cabinet where they're easy to get to. When you buy them, take off the cap and remove the little plastic cover from the opening; it can be tricky to remove and you don't want to be losing time messing with it if Mocha ever needs glucose. You can then either put the end of the tube in her mouth and squirt a little bit in, or you can put a little on your finger and put your finger near her lips for her to lick off. (The latter might be easier for little dog, as that way you won't squirt too much into her mouth and make her gag.) A tube has 15 grams of carbs, so I'd try to give her about 1/3 of the tube to start with. Wait 5 minutues or so and if she's not acting more normal, give her a little more. Once she's back to normal, feed her a little or give her a couple of treats to prevent another drop in her sugar levels. I'm telling you all this because when a dog's glucose is at 90, it's actually getting low, and you don't want her sugar to go too low while she's asleep and might not wake up for you to know something is wrong. (Dogs' levels tend to be somewhat higher than human levels.)

      I don't know what rural vets recommend for diabetic dogs to eat, but I'm in Kansas City, and vets around here seem to recommend Hill's Science Diet W/D formula hands down. I actually hope you haven't bought it yet because it's a low carb diet. Such a diet can be VERY DANGEROUS for a diabetic dog! Diabetic dogs need carbs, and EVO is almost completely protein. If your dog is on insulin, the insulin is lowering her blood sugar all the time is reacting in her blood. Carbs are converted into sugar (glucose), which insulin allows her body to convert into energy. If you feed her a food with too few carbs, there will be insufficient glucose in her system for the insulin to convert. The dangers of this are confusion, seizures, brain damage, and even death. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for Mocha to be on a high fiber, low fat diet - not a low carb diet. I know you're trying to help lower her blood sugar, but EVO is not the way to go with your dog, especially since her sugars are getting near 100 in the evening. If she has no carbs in her system, she's going to have a hypoglycemic reaction (or many and frequently) and she could die. So please rethink your choice, and be careful to do general research on any other food you try out. Mocha needs a diet with a balance of protein and carbs, and without those carbs she could die. Seriously.

      I know you're desperate to help her, but be very careful about dietary changes. You can talk to your vet but I'm sure he'll tell you the same thing, that Mocha does need carbs. You should stop thinking that carbs are bad for her. They're not as long as she's not getting an excess amount, but the Purina DCO and Science Diet W/D are especially balanced with carbs and protein to make sure your dog's blood sugar stays within range and doesn't get too low or too high. Your vet is doing the right thing in trying to give Mocha more insulin in the a.m., but remember that the more insulin she takes, the MORE CARBS SHE NEEDS.

      I feel bad about frightening you, but I feel like I have to as changing to this type of diet can truly endanger Mocha's life. And remember I'm speaking to you as a diabetic on insulin for more than half of my life. I have felt the effects of low blood sugar. It's not fun, and I've been in the E.R. a number of times, unconscious because I'd gotten too much exercise, too much insulin, or too little food (i.e. carbs. I know that you may have found some info on the web about EVO being good for diabetic dogs, but the fact is that it is not formulated for diabetic animals and their shtick about how it's a back-to-nature, carnivorous diet is just that...a shtick - at least as far as diabetic pets are concerned. Your dog is no longer a member of the carnivore club. She's on insulin, so she's now in the omnivore club or the protein-plus-carb club. So please either keep her on Purina DCO or change her to another formula especially intended for dogs on insulin. Mocha might not survive if you don't.

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      Krystal 6 years ago

      Thank you for all of the information. My dog is more of a couch potatoe. She will not exercise. She gets over exerted. I am pretty much on my own as far as regulating her as my vet wanted to increase her insulin weekly, starting with 3 units, once a day, and only feeding once a day. I decided on my own to feed twice a day and talked to a pharmacist to get the units I am at now. I have decided to change her food to EVO which was recommended on another website to be good for diabetic dogs. I have a glucose monitor which I monitor her frequently. I guess I am just expecting some miracle or something to happen as I have googled and read up on a lot of stuff. It just seems like all the stuff I am trying is just not doing the job and when you have a vet in a rural area, it seems harder to get them to help. Not bashing my vet, just telling the truth. Thanks for the help and information!

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Krystal.

      From your description it seems like there's something definitely out of balance in your pup's routine. But it's not necessarity something you can't fix. I'll give you some suggestions based on what I'd do. You may still need to talk to your vet about adjusting your poodle's insulin. More on that later.

      First, be sure that your dog has a regular routine including a set amount of exercise every day. To successfully control diabetes, a dog (or person) needs to balance insulin, food intake, and exercise. Without the correct amount of any of these, high or low blood sugar levels can result. Too little insulin or exercise = high blood sugar. Too little food = low blood sugar. Too much insulin or exercise = low blood sugar. Too much food = high blood sugar. (These are generalizations that depend on general health.) Looking at your dog's high a.m. levels, which then decrease throughout the day and into the evening, leads me to think that your dog may not be on a regular (or sufficient) exercise program. If her insulin dose was generally too low, her evening sugars wouldn't be so good. Probably she's at her highest in the a.m. (fasting and then right after eating), and when her humulin N peaks (6 hours after she eats), her sugars start falling and continue to fall because she's got lots of insulin in her system but hasn't eaten since the morning. Before she has her evening meal (and more insulin), her blood sugar is probably good before her shot, so you continue to get that drop to 90 or 100 after the p.m. injection.

      Here's the problem: if your dog's blood sugar is 100 before bedtime, that tells me her insulin dosage is good. But overnight, blood sugar can rise for a number of reasons. If she were exercising sufficiently, that exercise would help prevent those a.m. highs, as it lowers blood sugar levels. So...the first thing you need to do is ask your vet how much exercise your pup should be getting. You don't say how large your poodle is, but most dogs' sugars can benefit from an hour of exercise every day. (Just walking is enough.)

      To remember: the lowering effect exercise has on blood sugar levels can continue over the ensuing 24 hours, so if you do introduce a new exercise plan (i.e. if your pup isn't walking now and she starts), that's going to end up dropping her evening sugar levels even more than at present. So you'll need to either increase her evening food, give treats before bedtime (to prevent lows), or decrease her p.m. insulin dosage. Again, you'll need to have a conversation with your vet to determine how to adjust her insulin, food, and or treats. Just don't forgot or your pup's blood sugar could go too low at night, which is very dangerous (and in extreme cases can be fatal. You need to read up on hypoglycemia in dogs and learn to treat it; you can find info here or on other sites.)

      Concerning your dog's diet, I wouldn't worry so much about the carbs contained in her food as the lack of fiber in it. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that passes through the system without being absorbed like a sugar. It has the effect of LOWERING blood sugar levels. Any diabetic dog should be on a high fiber diet. Purina DCO is such a food, so it's definitely not that your dog is consuming too many carbs. DO NOT change to another food that's not high fiber or your dog's blood sugars will go even higher. People tend to think that carbs are bad. They're not. They're a necessary part of any good diet, and dogs need them for energy. I don't know how Purina DCO compares with Hill's Science Diet W/D (their prescription diabetic dog food); you can ask your vet if one is preferable. (But if your vet sells Purina and not Hill's, you may want to do some research to see which has more nutritional value, as your vet may well have an agreement with Purina - not that that's necessarily bad.)

      So, don't change your to another food (Orijen). Only 25% carbs is a very low amount for any dog and very misleading. Because people think carbs are bad, they (like you) see that 25% figure on the label and think it must be better. But remember that your dog needs carbs as well as protein. It's the fiber that's more important. (And remember that fiber will be included in that carb count, so I imagine any food with only 25% carbs can't also be high in fiber.)

      You can also ask your vet about increasing your dog's a.m. insulin dosage just a bit (maybe by 1 unit) along with increasing her exercise to include a morning walk (after her a.m. levels get down to more manageable levels. Ask your vet if it's okay to walk her when her blood sugar is over about 250.) Once her sugars are okay in the a.m., you can walk her after she eats, or you can simply wait until mid-afternoon (when she's around 200 or lower) to exercise her. 2 30-minute walks, or 3 20-minute walks, or 1 1-hour walk will do wonders for her sugar levels.

      If your vet agrees to slightly increase her a.m. insulin to lower her high a.m. sugars, also ask if you should accordingly decrease her p.m. insulin by the same amount (so your dog will still be getting 16 units per day). If the vet makes any changes to your pup's insulin and okays the exercise, you'll then need to monitor her blood sugar closely for a couple of weeks, especially checking her fasting levels and bedtime levels. (Once she starts exercising, her blood sugar is going to drop overnight, not rise as much as it has been, so you may need to start giving her some treats (i.e. carbs!) before she sleeps to prevent a low blood sugar during the night.) Give her a couple of Milkbones or something similar until you learn how many carbs will result in a good a.m. blood sugar - and start with more rather than fewer or she could go too low. Read up on low blood sugar in dogs and learn how to prevent and treat it before you make any changes in insulin or exercise.

      I know this is a lot of information, but I'd rather give you too much than too little. Ask your vet about adjusting Mocha's insulin levels (both a.m. and p.m.) and adding more exercise to her daily regimen. If you can get her on a balanced daily schedule (to include some p.m. carbs), you should see her sugar levels even out after a week or two. She may not have perfect levels, but she should have more even ones, and once that happens, you and your vet can tweak her insulin/food/exercise balance more to get her where she needs to be.

      Good luck wth little Mocha!

      Shelley

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      Krystal 6 years ago

      My 11 year old poodle was diagnosed with diabetes back in February of 2011. The original reading at the vet was 565. She was put on Humulin N. We bought a glucose meter and monitored her glucose levels every day. She is currently on Purina DCO. I am thinking about changing her diet to Orijen as Purina's carbs are 46% and Orijen is 25%. The reason why is because Mocha is on 8 units twice a day of insulin and her counts are still high. In the mornings around 8 a.m., they are in the 400s. In the afternoons around 3:30 p.m., they are in the 200s to 300s, and at night before bed around 9:30 p.m., they can range between 90s to 100s. What am I doing wrong? Do you think it is the 46% carbs? Please help! Thanks!

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Agan he yelped and jerked and I had to stick him again. Then he jerked and the syringe came out without all the insulin going in. He did get almost all of it. I think I'm going to have to find someone to help me until he adapts. ugh.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Good luck with the mini needles, Judy. Since your dog is so little, I'm willing to bet that much of the discomfort he was feeling was due to the length/size of the needles. The mini needles are really tiny, so they won't go very far beneath his skin, just far enough to deliver the insulin into the fat layer beneath. I used them on my little Ozzie. He was about 14 pounds, so they should really help your baby. Again, best of luck!

      Shelley

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Just found your helpful comments on mini needles. So, I will give them a try.

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      judy 6 years ago

      Thank you, Shelley.

      The pup is experiencing discomfort with the injections. I use 29 gauge 1/2" needles. I called the vet to check to see if I had the right size. The assistant said that there were smaller size needles but didn't prescribe a specific size. I'm wondering if a smaller length needle might cause less discomfort. He is a 13.2 lb poodle.

      What length needles do people use?

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Judy,

      I'm glad your puppy is feeling better! The poor baby is probably wondering what's going on. It's so hard that they can't understand us. Also, it sounds like his insulin will last a pretty long time, so that's good to know. Good luck with finding that insulin.

      One other suggestion for you: you may want to start doing urine tests on your pup if checking his blood sugar is too expensive. You really do need to know where his sugars are before you give him his insulin, especially in the a.m. You can buy a glucose meter and strips and check that way. Strips are sold in quantities of 25 and run about $1 each. (The meters are pretty cheap.) If that's not possible, you can go to the pharmacy and ask for strip to test his urine. They're about half the cost of blood test strips (or less), and while they won't tell you and exact sugar level for your pup, they will give you a range. That can at least let you know if his sugar is getting too high, which is probably why he's been feeling so lethargic. Then you can adjust his insulin accordingly. (Ask the vet how much extra to give him if his sugar is high. He can give you a calculation to use to figure out how much more your dog needs. But remember to err on the conservative side; you don't want the opposite problem - hypoglycemia. Read up on that, by the way, so you know what to do if your baby's sugar ever gets too low. It's very important.

      Good luck with your baby. If you inform yourself and help him maintain a good balance of insulin, food, and exercise, he can live a long, happy, active life.

      Shelley

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      Judy 6 years ago

      I do not know what is wrong with me. Worry, I think. There are 100 units per cc and 10 cc per vial.

      Anyway, the love puppy is suddenly acting 100% better. :)

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      Judy 6 years ago

      So, there are 100 x 10 units per bottle. Cost is not an issue. And, he seems to have just now perked up. He hates me being on the internet and is whining and wagging. :)

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      Juy 6 years ago

      Okay, I screwed up my math. I'm giving 3 100ths of a cc.

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Thank you, Shelley, for your quick response.

      I live in LA. I went online and checked both CostCo and Walmart and they didn't have NPH listed. Possibly, it is better for me to call and verify that they carry it. The 10 ml vial says it contains 100 units which means it will last about 16 days.

      I'm more concerned that the dog isn't responding. He came home yesterday and got his first insulin at 2 pm. He also has a UTI and I gave him his antibiotic. Because I wanted to get him on a regular schedule, I waited until 7 am to give him his second insulin and antibiotic. Here it is 5 hours later and he still seems lethargic. He ate well, though I mostly had to hand feed him. I know that it takes some finagling to find the right insulin dose for him, and he's suppose to go back in a week for tests. I'm just worried about him.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Judy.

      I'm not sure where you're writing from; that could have something to do with the price of NPH if you're in a rural area or an area with a sparse population. If not (and you're in the U.S.), you might try a Costco or Sam's Club pharmacy (if you are a member) or a WalMart pharmacy. Those places often have much lower Rx prices.

      Some things to remember when calculating the cost of insulin injections are the size of your dog and the amount of insulin he/she takes in each injection. If you have little dog, it may take only 5-6 units twice a day, or 10-12 units per day. That means a bottle can last weeks, maybe even nearly 2 months. (Remember to refrigerate it.) So if you have to pay $69/bottle, and it lasts say, 7 weeks, that's not even $10/week, a pretty low cost for a life-saving drug despite the higher initial cost. Good luck.

      Can anyone else give Judy suggestions? If so, please post for all to see.

      Shelley

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      Judy 6 years ago

      Trying to find affordable NPH. My pharmacy charges $86 a 10 ml vial. DiscountPetMeds sends me to 1800-petmeds and charges $69. Where are people finding it for $30 or $40 a vial? Thank you.

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      Brandy 6 years ago

      Thank you Shelley. I went ahead and put it back in the frig. Your encouragement and advice is greatly appreciated.

      Brandy :)

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Brandy.

      I'm glad your Sadie is doing well with her diabetes. My little Oz-Oz lived with diabetes for 7 years! When we lost him to cancer, he was mostly blind in one eye and had about 40% vision left in the other one, but he didn't start getting cataracts until he'd had diabetes for 5 years. You must be doing a good job with Sadie if she's still active and doing well. Dogs are so brave and resilent! Like my Ozzie, I'm sure Sadie is learning the layout of her home and learning to navigate every corner and piece of furniture. The last couple of years with Ozzie, we had to carry him down stairs because he had lost his depth perception. He would go up on his own (slowly), but learned to "tell" us when he wanted to go down. They are so amazing.

      You don't have to discard the bottle of Humulin you left out this a.m. Since I now use insulin pens (which must be used within 28 days if you leave them out), I can't remember how long you can safely use a bottle of Humulin once it's out of the frig, but I know you can do it because I carried my Humulin bottle around in my purse for years. Go ahead and use your same bottle, but note the date. Then call your pharmacist to find out how long you can keep it.

      Best of luck with Sadie. You sound like a great mom to her!

      Shelley

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      Brandy 6 years ago

      Wow! I wish I could have found this site a long time ago. Our sweet Sadie has had diabetes for 3 years now. She is up to 9 units 2 times each day. She is a wonderful patient. Unfortunately, she has developed cataracts and is pretty much blind. However, she is still a happy girl and gets around very well. She loves life and is an inspiration to me every day! I left an unopened bottle of humulin out from 9pm-9am this morning. Should I discard and replace it?

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Susie.

      I'm so sorry about your baby becoming dibetic. But don't be afraid. Diabetes is NOT a death sentence. You can learn to take care of her and it doesn't take that long. The "learning curve" is actually pretty short; if you have a friend or family member who can help you, it's even shorter.

      It's true that many vets do offer to put down dogs diagnosed with diabetes. I think it's because there are actually some pet owners who don't want to make the effort, and the vets don't want to dogs to suffer. You are obviously not that type! You're ready to commit to helping your fur kid get back to health. You're not alone, either. When my little Ozzie was first diagnosed, my vet (who didn't know that I have juvenile diabetes), told me that some owners choose to put their pets down. My response? "They didn't kill me when I was diagnosed!" You just have to learn what to do, adopt a new regimen, and then stick to it.

      First some questions: Why does your vet insist on keeping your dog for such a long time? If this is your regular vet, you may want to take your dog to an amergency vet clinic, where they are better accustomed to dealing with a diabetic dog in an acute stage. There's no reason it should take 2 weeks to stabilize a dog - unless the vet is used to doing it and doesn't know how handle an acutely ill diabetic dog. The problem I see here is that if the vet is only giving the dog small amounts of insulin for 2 entire weeks - just enough to keep her blood sugar on a slow downward curve - a lot of serious damage can be done to your dog's organs in 2 weeks. An emergency vet will be used to dealing with dogs that come in with very high blood sugar and can deal with the problem much more quickly. (Even a whole week is an unusually long time.)

      Here's what scares me about your situation: You say your vet will give your pup the "injection" she needs every day. The vast majority of dogs are on two injections per day to keep their sugar levels stable. I"m not a vet, so I can't give you medical advice, but I would start asking questions. Your vet may have very good intentions, but this situation doesn't sound normal to me. It sounds like he/she isn't really equipped to bring a dog out of acutely high blood sugar, so he/she is just giving a bit of insulin every day. That's just not right. High blood sugar damages internal organs - kidneys, heart, nervous system, digestive system, eyes, skin, etc. It MUST be brought under control as quickly as possible, and the people at an emergency clinic may be much better at doing this than your vet.

      Problem 2 is a practical one: It's SUPER expensive to take your dog for daily vet visits. They're feeding her, giving her her injections, and, I assume, checking her blood sugar several times a day. This adds up fast,and few of us can afford two weeks of this level of care. If you have told your vet that you can't afford for your dog to stay at the emergency clinic for 3 or 4 days while she is stabilized, that's a different situation. But the combination of 2 weeks of vet bills and ongoing damage from still-high blood sugars is odd.

      Number three, why doesn't the vet want you administering shots yet? Probably because your dog isn't yet stabilized, but again, why aren't they stabilizing her nmore quickly? An emergency clinic would keep your dog for 2 - 4 days, but would have her on an insulin drip 24 hours to bring her sugars down. Yes, that's expensive, too, but your dog would be stable much more quickly and you'd avoid the damage to her organs.

      Finally, your vet shouldn't let you be so scared. You can definitely take care of your baby. Thousands upon thousands of us do it every day, and most parents of dibaetic dogs aren't diabetic like I am. They start from square one, just like you, when their pets are diagnosed. You need to start reading about how to care for a diabetic dog. You can start her on hubpages with my articles and others. Read about how to give injections; diet (ask the vet about putting her on Hills Science Diet W/D formula, a dog food especially for diabetic dogs); how to recognize and respond to low blood sugar; and how to balance food, insulin, and exercise. If you already read the above article, you've learned the basic info about how to give shots. Now you can start practicing. Read through all the questions and responses, too, as they cover lots of material.

      Now go talk to your vet and find out why he/she doesn't want you to be more involved in taking care of your baby. Ask why it's going to take so long to stabilize hegr and why he can't do it sooner. (The answer can tell you whether to take your pup to an emergency clinic - if the vet seems nervous or uncomfortable or sounds like it's the only way he knows to do things.) Tell the vet you want to be directly involved. Why can't you check your pup's urine and blood sugar at home? Why won't his/her office show you how to do these tests on your own to save (lots of) money? They should. Why won't they tell you more about their strategy for bringing her sugar into normal range? If he/she insists that doing this over 2 weeks is the only way to go, I'd head to an emergency clinic or another vet. Your pup probably doesn't feel well, may be urinating a lot, drinking a lot, and feeling drowsy and lethargic. These are all signs of high blood sugar, and signs that her sugar levels are hurting her. Ask these questions of your vet tomorrow and see what he/she can do to speed up this process or take your pup somewhere that can get her well sooner. And read, read, read. Good luck!

      Shelley

      P.S. Read about practicing giving injections above. Get some oranges to practice on and some little low-fat treats to reward your dog with after her shots.

      P.P.S. If you go to the upper righthand portion of this page,you'll see a place where you can contact me directly instead of writing on this page and waiting for me to see it.

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      susie 6 years ago

      My dog was just diagnosed with diabetes on friday past and kept in untill today ..First thing vet said on friday was we can just put her to sleep if you like and i said no way so he said we could start her on insulin..They ..We have to take her into the vet everyday this week and next and they will give her the injection she needs ..They have asked us not to feed her and take the food with us for them to give her ..I have cried all weekend worried sick for the dog and worried i will fail at it all and make her even more ill ..They said once they get her fully stable then we can start doing the injections at home ..Is it very difficult to give the dog the right care that she will now need? So sorry for all the questions i just want to do whats best for my dog .

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Sounds like you have a great vet. Good luck with little Gambit. I hope he does well on his new diet, and thanks for the info on the pet nutrition website (www.petdiets.com). I'm sure it will help lots of people.

      Shelley

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      Amie 6 years ago

      Hi Shelley,

      My little 9lb miniature pinscher Gambit was just diagnosed with diabetes. He had already been diagnosed with Chronic Bronchitis, Collapsing Trachea, acid reflux, seasonal allergies and is on a number of medications already. He is also a very picky eater. We have an awesome vet who has just been amazing with him, which helps ALOT. Our vet put him on the DCO diet with canned w/d but Gambit refuses to eat it. I did some research and found that if commercial diets don't work you can try a homemade diet, and those work out really well too. So after I spoke to our vet he did some research and he gave me this site: www.petdiets.com. They are certified pet nutritionists who work with your vet to provide a balanced diet for your pet's individual needs. It is expensive, however. I'm fairly broke as it is, but with Gambit's issue's, this is my best bet to make sure his diet is right.

      Also, my vet recommended the AlphaTrac pet glucose monitering kit, which is the one he uses. There is also a new one called the iPet Home Glucose monitering kit, but I haven't read too much about it, so I don't know how accurate it is yet.

      Thank you for the idea for the mini needles. I am definitely going to be asking for those, because my pup is small and his needle is bigger then my husbands, who is also diabetic!

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Lauren,

      Here is a website that tells about ReliOn insulin. It is apparently Humulin insulin that is dual-branded as HumulinReliOn insulin in a cooperative agreement between Lilly and WalMart. If you can't decide from this info whether to put your dog on it, you should be able to print out this information and give you an opinion.

      http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/walmart-li... Shelley

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      Lauren  6 years ago

      Hi again,

      I was just wondering if you have any experience with Walmart's Reli-On Humulin insulin? I want to do what is best first and foremost for my dog, but this insulin is supposed to simply be the same insulin as Humulin, but the manufacturer has a contract to label their insulin for walmart under the Reli-on name but for significantly cheaper (24.99 compared to 60)

      I would like to try this insulin because money is an issue as well (after speaking to vet) but have already been told they haven't heard of it... Grr

      Thanks

      Lauren

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      Lauren 6 years ago

      Shelley,

      You are so wonderfully helpful and considerate to maintain this site for people like me (ie - scared and overwhelemed). While you did scare me more (lol), it is good to know the truth and how to handle such a matter. I gave my first shot tonight and it was not so bad... I distracted my Peanut with a bit of lunch meat and she was good to go... Followed all the steps and I think it was a success... Just worried I may develop OCD over all of this lol... Thanks again, this site is now in my bookmarks and I will be visiting often!

      Thank you!

      Lauren

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi, Lauren.

      I'm sure you are overwhelmed right now, but I can assure you that you and your baby will soon get settled into your new routine. It will become like brushing your teeth...just one more thing to do in the morning.

      You ask about changing your dog's injection schedule so that she can have her shots earlier in the day. Since she had her injection this morning at 9:00, you can move her up by one hour tonight with little risk of a problem. That will put her p.m. shot at 8:00. Then could you give her her morning shot at 7:30? And her p.m. shot tomorrow at 7:30? Then the next day, move the a.m. shot to 7:00 a.m., the p.m. shot at 7:00 p.m. You can basically keep moving the injection time back by 30-minutes increments (after the first 1-hour adjustment) without much risk of her running a low blood sugar. That's the basic risk of giving injections earlier, because her previous shot won't have all left her system. However, I assume she's on an N/Nph insulin with a 12-hour activity level. If so, by giving her her p.m. shot tonight at 8:00, she'll have the very last bit of her a.m. shot left in her system, so the overlap shouldn't be a problem. (Remember that I'm not a vet, but I've done this numerous times with myself and with my own dog, and I've spoken to lots of other owners of diabetic dogs who've done the same thing.) If you move the initial evening injection back by 1 hour, then 30-minute increments, there won't be that much "overlap" and thus less change of your dog's having low blood sugar. You can move the injections back by 30 minutes until you get to the time you want her injection schedule to fall on, then just keep that schedule. If you want to move the injection back faster, call your vet, as he/she may need to adjust your dog's insulin level for a day or two to avoid her having really low sugar levels. (By the way, you need to read up on what to do if her sugar ever drops. You can search canine hypoglycemia, or canine low blood sugar, for articles on hubpages. I have one out there and I'm sure there are others.)

      You say that your vet told you to pull back on the syringe plunger before you inject the insulin to make sure the needle isn't in a blood vessel. This is absolutely correct...and something that vets do that infuriates me! Why didn't he also tell you why and then tell you what to do if you ever accidentally inject the insulin into a vessel? Grrrr....

      So here's the story. Insulin is injected subcutaneously, i.e. into fat over muscle. It is then slowly absorbed into your dog's body through the fat, and it eventually gets into her bloodstream little by little. If insulin is injected directly into the bloodstream, it immediately starts to react and lowers the dog's blood sugar - precipitously. Within a matter of minutes, your dog could die because her system would be overloaded with insulin and her blood sugar would drop to zero. Vets and doctors thus tell people to pull back on the syringe plunger because if the end of the needle is in a vessel, you'll see blood come back into the barrel of the syringe. If that happens, immediately pull the syringe out, empty it, and start all over with a new syringe (because you don't want any of the blood from the first syringe to get into the insulin bottle).

      So...when you give your dog her shot, put the needle into her scruff (or wherever you give her shot). Hold the syringe normally, with your index and middle fingers under the little "rim" (which looks like a little "hat" on each side of the barrel), and your thumb on top of the rim. Once the needle is in the skin, move your index finger above the rim, and use the bottom of your thumb to pull back on the plunger just a little. If you see anything pink or red, remove the needle and start over. This sounds hard, but it's really easy with practice. So to practice, take an orange (or a ripe lemon or lime - a citrus fruit) and practice injecting water in the orange, pulling back the plunger just as if you were checking for blood in the syringe.

      To make this easier on your dog the first couple of times (or until you've gotten comfortable with the process), have a friend or family member distract your dog by holding treat for her to nibble on. I promise you'll get through this. And remember...the needles are very small. The dog will only feel a little prick and once the needle is in the skin, she won't feel anything else. (Remember to always warm the insulin once it's in the syringe. Cold insulin is very painful!)

      If you ever do accidentally inject the insulin into a blood vessel, IMMEDIATELY get your dog into the car and to the nearest emergency clinic. (Not your regular vet unless you've first verified (soon) that the office can treat a dog with very low blood sugar.) Also, go to the pharmacy (any big chain or even Walmart) and buy a couple of tubes of GLUCOSE GEL. (They're between $3.50 and $4.00 each.) If you know - or even suspect - that insulin has gone into your dog's bloodstream, grab the tubes of glucose gel and squirt some into her mouth asap - before you load her into the car. See that she swallows. If another person is with you, have them hold your dog an administer more glucose gel while you're driving. Don't delay. With insulin injected directly into her bloodstream, you have maybe one minute before she starts "crashing." She could go into a coma and die if she doesn't get glucose immediately. That's why I say go to the pharmacy as soon as you can to get some gel to keep on hand. Tell everyone in your family and everyone who is around your dog where the glucose is and tell them how to administer it. One more thing....when you buy the tubes, open them up and remove the little film on top of the opening. It can be tricky to get off and you don't want to have to fumble when your dog needs the glucose.

      I'm probably scaring you to death, but I really believe in the saying that "It's better safe than sorry." Prevention is everything with a diabetic pet. It is extremely, extremely unlike that this would ever happen, but if it should, you want to know how to react, not be running around wondering what to do.

      Good luck with your baby. Remember to practice on that orange! The rind is very similar to human skin in toughness. Let me know how she does!

      Shelley

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      Lauren 6 years ago

      Hello,

      My dog was diagnosed with diabetes on Monday. I am so overwhelemed with all of

      It and this site has helped tremendously! Anyways, my dog had a glucose curve yesterday. Well they gave her first injection at 9:00 am and thus her pm injection would be at 9:00pm, well I would like to change this schedule as I work and it is not a good time for us. I mean who wants dinner at 830! Anyways, how can I go about adjusting this?

      Also, my vet said once I inject the needle to pull back to check and see if it is in a blood vessel. This part terrifies me, I am afraid of taking too long and it becoming a disaster. Anyways can you tell me what the risk is of having insulin inject into a blood vessel?

      Thank you,

      Lauren

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      Jamie 6 years ago

      Wow - Just found this WONDERFUL site! Our dog was diagnosed in November. Up until a few weeks ago he was doing pretty good. He's now getting 2.5 units 2 x a day. I can't home test him because I cannot get blood. We have been doing the mini-curves since at the Vet's, but he's getting a full curve on Monday because his Keto-Diastix have been showing consistent high glucose wherein they never have before. No ketones. I'm wondering if I've contaminated the insulin and that's why he's showing glucose. I put the little bit of air in and I pull the syringe back a little more than I give him so that I can get an accurate amount and push it back into the bottle until I'm where I should be. Sometimes I can't get rid of the bubbles and I pull back again, and then back up again into the bottle until I'm at his dosage.

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      You're so very welcome! I'm just glad this website helped you and your dog. Please be sure to inform yourself about what to do in case your dog ever has low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). And good luck with your baby!

      Shelley

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      So Grateful! 6 years ago

      Shelly- Thank you SO much for your advice! I am unbelievably grateful to you! I pulled out an orange and practiced like you said. I spoke excitedly to my dog and we practiced the steps of showing him the treats, prepping his neck and giving the shot. We did that a handful of times until I started feeling more comfortable and my dog understood.

      When it was time to make it happen I made sure the shots were room temperature, which I think really helped. All in all I did it and my dog didn't yelp! THANK YOU so much! You made my night!

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Please note: Rachel and Shelly, I'm having to answer both your questions in this one comment space as one never popped up for Rachel's question. S-

      Rachel,

      I hope your little dog is doing better. You can read my article above and go through all the comments below it for all my previous about how to do the shots and what to feed your dog. I've answered lots of similar questions and hope you'll be able to find something above that will help you.

      Science Diet has some special prescription foods for diabetic dogs. Science Diet W/D is very good. It is both low-fat and high fiber, and high levels of fiber help control blood sugar levels. You also don't want your little Min-Pin to be overweight, so the low-fat formula will prevent that. Because this is an RX dog food, you'll have to get if from a vet. It comes in both dry and canned types - I generally mix the two to get my dog to eat well.

      You say your dog bites, so a muzzle is definitely the way to go. If he won't let you do the shot in his thigh, try the area below his neck and to each side of the middle of his back. (As you said, his scruff.) Imagine that the area is a "grid"; each time you give a shot, you want to move down the grid by 1/2 to 1 inch. When you get past the scruff (toward the middle of the length of his body),move the shot over 1/2 to 1 inch and make your way back up the "grid." This important so that your dog's skin doesn't become irritated by the insulin and so that he won't develop fat deposits at the injection site. Rotating prevents both of these.

      See my comments above about how to give a shot to dogs that won't easily accept them. You can prep the shot first, put it on the table (out of his sight), then pick him up, put him on your lap, and while he's facing away, pick up the syringe and remove the cap. Then give your dog his favorite treat and when he starts eating it, give the shot. Generally dogs are so interested in getting the food that they don't worry too much about the little prick of the injection.

      You could also have another person hold the treat in front of your dog while he's on your lap. You can then give the shot while he takes the treat from someone else's hand - though since he bites, this might not work. If he gets really agitated, it may help to isolate him in a small space when you give the injection - even a corner of the kitchen or living room where he's in a small space with you might help lessen his anxiety.

      Please read all the comments above, as there is a ton of information that could help. I also have articles about exercising diabetic dogs and how to recognize low blood sugar, something you should also educate yourself about.

      Good luck!

      Shelley

      -----------------

      Shelly,

      I'm not a vet, but I've taken care of diabetic dogs and nursed my Maltese through several bouts of pancreatitis. I'm really afraid for your little dog. First of all, did the vet put her on antibiotics? If her white cell count was so high, he should have addressed that immediately.

      Secondly, your dog was diagnosed with pancreatitis only on Friday, and you say you've been giving her shots and food for several days. This is not the usual course of treatment. Most dogs have to stay off food for at least 48 hours once they're diagnosed. This is to allow the pancreas to rest and recover. If your vet never told you not to feed her, her pancreatitis could be getting more serious, which would explain why she's getting worse every day. I suspect that her pancreatitis is very serious since your little dog can't walk.

      Finally, you need to talk to a vet who will walk you through the first steps of caring for your newly diabetic dog. Read my article and comments above and my articles on exercise and low blood sugar in diabetic dogs. You want to familiarize yourself with all these things. HOWEVER, if this were my little dog, I would IMMEDIATELY take her to an emergency clinic to see a vet who specializes in critical cases. Your baby is really sick and to me, your vet has not been doing his/her job. Please find someone as soon as possible who is accustomed to treating emergency cases and take your dog there. It could save her life. Please don't wait. Good luck, and let me know how she is.

      Shelley

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      Shelly  6 years ago

      My 10 year old lhasa was diagnosed with pancreatis and diabetes on friday. She also had an infection somewhere but the vet couldn't say for sure, he just said her white blood count was 39,000 and should be 17,000. I have been administering her 2 shots of insulin a day for 3 days now and she is continually getting worse :( she can hardly walk today and it's only monday (3 days). She has gotten cortizone shots all her life for allergies and back problems, after doing research i'm assuming that is why she had diabetes now. My vet said nothing about feeding her before the shot or any advice for that. The only thing he told me was to give her high protein and low/no carbs. She won't eat the new food I bought but loves her new all natural beef treats. I've also cooked her some chicken breasts that she gobbles right up (but I have to bring the food to her because she can't hardly walk). I don't know what to do. Please help, she's my baby!

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      Rachel 6 years ago

      My dog Howie was diagnosed today. He had sugar level past 700--- was hospitalized for 3 days-nobody can tell me what brand of food to feed him I cant even fond it on the internet! he is a min pin mix and bites, so to give him a shot while distracting him with food is asking for a visit to the E.R.

      he has bitten so many people and now that I have to give him a show, I have had to by a muzzle.

      Help! What do I feed him???? How do I do the shots? my vet thought by the back leg was good, but he will have none of it---I think I need to do by the scruff---this has been awful for everyone---- I need help!

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      Shelley Cetin 6 years ago

      Hi there!

      I'm so sorry your Jack Russell has been so afraid of getting his shots lately. From what you describe, your dog is actually getting upset because he is anticipating the shots. It doesn't sound like the actual shot bothers him since you don't mention his crying or whimpering when you administer the injection. He has obviously learned that the sight of the syringe means something unpleasant is coming.

      Not sure if this will help (and I assume you've read all the other comments from other readers and from me above), can you prep the syringe some time before you plan to give the injection, perhaps then laying it on a table nearby where your Jack Russell can't see it? That would allow 1) the insulin to warm to room temperature, important because cold insulin is very painful and 2) you to distract your dog by playing with him or perhaps offering a tiny bite of a treat to begin to get him to associate the time with something pleasant. This could help in several ways.

      First, if you can prep the syringe out of your dog's sight, it might initial diminish his dread of the coming moment. Put the prepped syringe on a table near where you give him his shot, but out of his sight. Then district him for 15 minutes or so. If you usually cuddle him, hold him, play with him, do the same thing. Then put him down and let him run off for a few minutes. He'll figure out that your holding him, cuddling, hasn't led to anything "bad." Pick him up a few minutes later, and maybe offer him a tiny bit of a treat. Then let him down to run, play, whatever. Do this several times before you actually pick him up to give him his shot. The idea is to "decondition" his fear of the moment.

      When it's time for his injection, pick him up and carry him to a chair by the table where the syringe is...but try to keep the syringe from his view. (Maybe you can even put the syringe under a kitchen towel after you prep it so that it's out of sight.) Put your dog on your lap, facing away from you, and talk to him while you uncap the syringe and gently roll it to mix his insulin (if necessary). Your talking to him will mask the sound of your uncapping the syringe. Then, with one hand offer him a treat, and when he takes it and begins chewing, quickly give him the shot. Immediately pet him, hug him, tell him he's good, and offer him another treat. Make sure that each time you give the shot, you are moving down an invisible "grid" at the top of his back (between his shoulders) at 1/2 to 1-inch increments so that his skin doesn't develop a painful sensitivity to the insulin. (I talk about this in a couple of posts above, I think.)

      Each time you give your dog his shot, the idea is to create more positive situations than negative ones. Get him to understand that when you pick him up in the morning, love him, hug him, he's not "trapped." He'll soon feel comfortable with that idea. By eliminating his visual fear of the syringe by prepping it, uncapping it, and rolling it to mix the insulin out of his sight, his psychological dread of the moment should begin to subside. Your talking to him while you offer a treat and simultaneously give the shot will create a positive association. Hopefully, the combination of so many positives along with the injection will help him overcome his fear and thus his aggressiveness. It may take some time, but I know this has helped with a lot of other dogs...including my own. Good luck!

      Shelley

      P.S. You are absolutely correct that you cannot administer insulin into very muscular tissue. Only do the area between his shoulders or near his thigh/buttocks, and ALWAYS remember to rotate every injection. (That is, move down the imaginary grid, then across, then up, then across, then down, giving each shot 1/2 to 1 inch apart. This will prevent painful sensitivity from developing and will also prevent fat deposition from forming at the injection sites.)

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      JacksonRussel 6 years ago

      Hi, I have a jack russel and he has been diagnosed with diabetes about 2 months ago. He gets shots twice a day. Until about a week ago he was fine that I was giving him his shots. He growled from time to time and that meant for me that I did it either a bit too rough to his liking or that the spot got a bit too sensitive..I contacted the vet and instead of me giving him his shots in the thigh/buttock area to do it in his neck. Exactly as described in the above article my dog let me do it for two days..and was hardly feeling anything which was good! Now, all of a sudden he wont let me get close to him at all because he knows that he is getting his shot..he growls, and even starts biting me! I don't know what to do..I tried to calm him down..pet him and cuddle him and trying to make him more relaxed..but as soon as I come close or he suspects that I have something in my hand he just starts to snap at me and really really is growling! I really need help on how to help him because I can not give him his shot..I also like to add that apart from his thigh/buttock area his neck is the only spot with "loose" skin to give him the shot without pain..other parts of his body are too muscular and I assume that would be the last place I can give him his shot without getting bit...PLEASE CAN ANYONE HELP ME?

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      JacksonRussel 6 years ago

      Hi, I have a jack russel and he has been diagnosed with diabetes about 2 months ago. He gets shots twice a day. Until about a week ago he was fine that I was giving him his shots. He growled from time to time and that meant for me that I did it either a bit too rough to his liking or that the spot got a bit too sensitive..I contacted the vet and instead of me giving him his shots in the thigh/buttock area to do it in his neck. Exactly as described in the above article my dog let me do it for two days..and was hardly feeling anything which was good! Now, all of a sudden he wont let me get close to him at all because he knows that he is getting his shot..he growls, and even starts biting me! I don't know what to do..I tried to calm him down..pet him and cuddle him and trying to make him more relaxed..but as soon as I come close or he suspects that I have something in my hand he just starts to snap at me and really really is growling! I really need help on how to help him because I can not give him his shot..I also like to add that apart from his thigh/buttock area his neck is the only spot with "loose" skin to give him the shot without pain..other parts of his body are too muscular and I assume that would be the last place I can give him his shot without getting bit...PLEASE CAN ANYONE HELP ME?

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      Janet 6 years ago

      Hi just learning everything, my dog is diabetic 1 week now and we are in the stages of learning...

      At the time of injection she eats 3/4 of her food and then 3-4 hours when the insulin peaks she gets the other 1/4 of her food is this right? Thanks

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      Peggy 6 years ago

      Thanks for all the helpful comments I have read through. My dog Scout (a Brittany) was diagnosed the day before Thanksgiving. She had been drinking a lot of water and after reading some information, we decided to take her into the vet. She was diagosed as being diabetic and the next day she could barely walk. Within a couple more days (I think before the insulin really kicked in), she couldn't walk at all. Our vet said she developed Diabetic Neuropathy. Scout didn't walk for 2 1/2 weeks - which meant we had to carry her everywhere. From what we understand - most of the time the neuropathy is reversable, which in our case was true - thankfully! She still has a hard time with stairs (I think partly because she got used to us needing to carry her), but otherwise her walking around is really good. The past few days she has not been happy (cried) when I give her a shot. I've tried different methods and just bought some shorter needles. I read tonight about a method you mentioned, so I'm anxious to try it tomorrow morning. Thanks again for all your helpful comments.

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      PK 6 years ago

      Many thanks - found your info very helpful, especially the tip about cold insulin being painful when administered. I'm lucky, my schnauzer is not bothered by the shots and loves to eat so a little love and a treat and he is happy.

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      Allie 6 years ago

      so we're going to keep giving it our best effort. Thanks very much for your advice. It's good to read that others are going through this and making it work n