Friday, June 3, 2011

Smooth Sailing

Buzz has 'officially' had diabetes for 6 months now. I say officially because he obviously had diabetes long before his diagnosis back at the beginning of December, 2010.

While we still have a long ways to go, Buzz is doing better than ever.

When Buzz was first diagnosed, I was scared to death that he was going to die. Not because of the diabetes directly, but because he was in such poor health due to the pancreatitis, colitis, and everything else that was wrong - all (in one way or another) caused by the diabetes.

Here we are, 6 months later, and I can say that he is out of the woods. He is (almost!) regulated, and he is healthier than we've ever seen him. Sure, he still has his bad days, but the good days are outnumbering the bad ones (yes, I realize I just anthropomorphised Buzz, but I do it all the time, so whatevs :) ).

For those of you going through a recent diagnosis of diabetes in your beloved pet, and you don't see a light at the end of the tunnel - just know there is one! I know it's hard (believe me!) and it sucks because it's a lot of $, a lot of time, and a lot of uncertainty. But with some help from your vet, lots of love, and thoughts of a happy, healthy pet, you can get through it!

Let's get back to that (almost) regulated statement. We took Buzz to the internal specialist, ohhh, I don't know.... a month and a half ago? His suggestion was to give Buzz less insulin during the day and more at night. I thought he was crazy because his insulin curves during the day were fine, great even, and his nights weren't because sometimes his sugar would be too low the next morning or even on the other end of that spectrum, 'hi' - so we didn't listen. We stuck to what we were doing, which was judging how much insulin to give based on his numbers at that point in time.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. It was our first wedding anniversary weekend, my sister's baby shower, and a whole lotta craziness. We decided to forgo testing that weekend since we were traveling as well and just give him a set amount of insulin (4 units. not too much, nor too little. 0% possibility something could happen).This was the first time we'd ever NOT tested Buzz before giving him insulin, and I was a little worried about it, but....

Buzz did fine that weekend. Upon our return home, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. We started doing the regimen that our vet suggested (3 units in the AM, 5 units in the PM) and only testing once a day. Buzz has been doing GREAT - and so has our wallet since each test strip costs a buck!

Here's our schedule as of now:

7:30AM: Food (1 cup of Royal Canin High Protein diet)
Immediately after food: Medicine (benadryl for allergies and famotidine for acid reflux - given in part of a Greenies pill pocket)
Immediately after medicine: Insulin (3 units of humulin-n)
9:00AM: Put in crate, water and 1 cup of food in the crate, which he eats immediately (he will usually pee in the crate, but I can't fault him b/c he's diabetic and that's what they do. But I'd rather him pee in the crate where I can clean it up than on my couch... plus, him and Bella sleep all day anyways)
5PM: Home
6PM: If weather permits, a 20-30 minute walk
7:30PM: Food (1 cup)
Immediately after food: Medicine (benadryl and famotidine again)
Immediately after medicine: Test glucose then insulin shot (5 units of humulin-n)

The key to getting a diabetic dog regulated? Routine. Schedule. Sameness.

In the next few weeks, we are going to switch over to testing his glucose in the morning. His glucose levels at night have been pretty consistent, so switching over to the AM will let us know what's going on then. Then (hopefully), we can go a few days without testing at a time and eventually taper off the testing (until there is a change in his diet or routine, of course!).

Veni, vidi, vici!


  1. Buzz looks great in the pictures you posted! We're so glad that the diabetes seems to be under more control now! I know you probably feel like it's taken forever...even though it's only been 6 months! Heck, I feel like it's taken forever and I'm not even the one having to test his sugar and give him his insulin!

    Yeah, unfortunately diabetes makes you have to pee a I definitely see where you're coming from about the crate being easier to clean up than the rest of the house! Chloe (my parents' 13 year old dog) gets bladder infections a lot (in fact, she has E. coli in her urine right now) and pees all over the carpet. We always say that when Chloe dies (I know, I'm being morbid here, sorry!) that we're going to have to get the nasty carpet taken up and replaced!

    Give Buzz and Bella some snuggles from us! :)

    Elyse and Riley

  2. Eeesh! Sorry that was so looooong!

  3. Yeah for Buzz and you! Glad to hear that his diabetes is getting under control, looks like he is happy about it too!

    Kirby's mom

  4. Glad to hear that things seem to be going well! :)

  5. My dog Rocky was diagnosed in September 2010. The Lil Debil won't part with his blood he is stingy. Says it's his and he won't share. We have been going through ups and downs for the last several months. We are now considering s home prepared diet for him.

    I don't blog a out him every day, but since he and I both have diabetes I blog about both of us. My blog is if you are interested.

    Will be checking here to see how you are doing.

  6. Elyse - thank you for the kind words! We are so relieved that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. :)

    Cheryl - thanks! He sure is - no more poking (in the ear, anyways!) :)

    Pup fan - thanks!! Buzz says thanks, too (which means he really just looked up at me, trying to get me to feed him again!) :)

    Ila - thanks for checking out my blog. I've already subscribed to yours! I know what you mean about his blood is his and he wants it to stay there! It took us forever to get Buzz okay with poking his ears - the trick is lots (and lots.. and lots!) of treats. That's great about the diet, I've heard lots of people have success that way - we feed Buzz Royal Canine High Protein diet (prescription) and it's working well. He's gained back all the weight he lost when he got sick - and the bonus is he loves it. :)

  7. My opie has a new friend Bogie and Bogie is having some real difficulty. His numbers are very high and very low and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. His mom is my mom's best friend and quite frankly a dear friend to me too. I'm going to send her your link so that she can read you blog and get some hope.

    Thanks for writing so comprehensively!

    Your Pal

    Opie's Mom


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