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)
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!