Hilde's  Story
Susan Hudson RN, MSN, CCRN successfully treated her diabeticTerri-Poo, Hilde,
for seven years on a homemade diet.
I found this of great interest because Queenie has always been fed a
homemade diet and has been a diabetic for three years.
The standard food that most vets recommend is w/d made by Hill's.
I want owners to know that if your dog refuses to eat this dogfood
you can feed your diabetic dog a homemade diet and still control diabetes.

Hilde's  Background
as told by Susan Hudson
any questions  ask  Susan Hudson
All our pets were fed from a combination of table food(not junk food) and commercially
prepared foods (usually Pedigree).  Hilde started out the same way:  puppy food with
whatever she could mooch from us around meal / snack time.  Sometimes candy /cookies,
never anything with chocolate in it.  There were times, even when she was a baby, that she
would get the most awful smell to her breath (sewer breath, we called it).  The odor
would go away as mysteriously as it came.  When she reached the age of 8, the sewer
breath came more frequently.  I had her in to the vet countless times to have her teeth
and gums checked - always negative.  There were times when she couldn't get enough
water to drink or wouldn't eat anything for hours and hours.  Then the poor thing started
having infections (mostly gastrointestinal) and was using more and more antibiotics.
One particular GI infection was causing her to dehydrate more then usual.  I dragged her
into the vet, where she promptly received a big old injection of penicillin and liquid drops
to take for the next few days.  Before I made it back to the house (5 miles), the poor thing
was panting and going crazy! I pulled over and noticed her muzzle was puffy and that she
was getting hives on her belly.  I turned right around and rushed back to the vet.  Hilde had
an allergic reaction to the penicillin that required aggressive treatment (ipinephrine, benadryl,
prednisone).  After that incident, the sewer breath came and stayed for longer periods of
time.  It was always worse on certain flavors of Pedigree.  Once I made this connection,
we switched to IAMS.  Well, the only IAMS she would eat was the Small Crunchy Bites
and the Adult Lite (when it finally became available).  This lasted for almost a year until
she had a bout with pancreatitis.  She stayed in the hospital for 2 or 3 days, recovering
quite nicely.  We brought her home with antibiotics, and instructions to feed her "boiled
hamburger and rice".  She loved her new food, and guess what ? The sewer breath hardly
made an appearance the whole time she was fed that diet.  Soon we were instructed to
start her back on "regular" dog food.  Because of her allergies, I decided to get her food
from the vet.  At the time, they carried Science Diet and had a variety for dogs with allergies.
It was $100 a case, but I bought it.  Hilde ate it for about 2 weeks until she started having
sewer breath and GI problems again.  I finally made the connection, and put her back on the
boiled burger and rice diet.  She turned around nicely.  I returned the food and told the vet that
"it's making her have sewer breath and diarrhea".  The vet says "her pancreas is pooping out,
leave her on the hamburger and rice - it won't hurt her one bit".  Once I heard those words,
I knew I would have to watch her for diabetes (thank gosh for my nursing background).  She
stayed on this diet which our good friend (a kennel owner) said was a staple at her kennel.
Diabetic Symptoms
Well, poor thing got a little intestinal bug that required a shot of prednisone and a round of
antibiotics.  After about 2 days, I noticed that she was drinking a lot of water.  What I didn't
realize, was that all 4 family members were filling her dish all day long !  I got a call at work
on the 3rd day(I worked nights and my sister called me in a panic in the morning).  Hilde had
drank at least 12 dishes of water throughout the previous evening (around 1.5 gallons!), and
was urinating constantly.  She started throwing up around 2 or 3 am, and by 7am when I got
called, was bloated, grunting, and had had a small seizure.  I left right at the end of my shift,
and rushed HIlde to the emergency animal clinic.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis-Diagnosis
I told the vet "If I didn't think it was possible,I would think the little dog is in diabetic ketoacidosis !
She's acting just like our human diabetic patients do when their blood sugars are too high."
Well, the vet took one look at her and said"she is in diabetic ketoacidosis,
and we might not be able to save her because of her age."
We were devasted,  and I kicked myself all the way home in between sobbing.
Insulin Treatment Begins
$700 later, we had Hilde back home and on insulin.
She ate boiled burger and rice until her pancreas settled down.
  Hilde started out with about 6 units of NPH.  She quickly got up to 18 - 21
units until I realized that the type of insulin was probably not working
because of a combination of her allergies and commercial diet.  Her neck was
sore to touch and had little red spots on it one morning.  I figured it was an
allergy to the brand of insulin, as I had seen this in our human patients.
Once I switched from Pork or Beef insulin to Humulin, she did much better.
With a home cooked diet, Hilde stayed on 13 units of NPH every morning.  Any
time we switched her back to commercial preparations, the insulin dose had to
go back up to anywhere from 18 - 21 units.  When Hilde was back on Pedigree
and had that GI infection, her insulin went up to 26 units (all the stress was
just too much for her).  Hilde weighed 24 lbs for the majority of her life -
32lbs at her heaviest when she was 6yrs old.  Hilde was semi - active:  played
football, fetch, ran up and down the stairs, chased all yard intruders, and
swam with us in the pool during good weather.  She was a couch potato in the
winter, but we still played fetch and ran up and down the stairs whenever
possible.  We never have really walked any of our dogs on a routine basis, as
we aren't walkers ourselves (bike riding is more our speed).  Hilde had an
awful habit of just laying down whenever she got tired of walking (not
physically tired, just didn't want to walk anymore !!).  About the 3rd or 4th
time we had to lug that sack of potatoes 3 miles back to the house, walking
went right off her activity list !!  (That's a smart terrier for you !!)  At
the time of her stroke, she was still 24 lbs and on 13 units of NPH on her
homecooked diet.  Preparing the diet was inexpensive and quite easy, actually.
We went to Sam's club and bought frozen mixed veggies in the large bags ($3)
and also hamburger there whenever prices were good ($0.69 / lb for 10lbs).  We
ran all the turkey and burger sales, specially turkey in the frozen tubes
(very low to none in preservatives).  We kept a small stock in the freezer, so
that we always had a months worth of food on hand (great for those times of
year that meat gets expensive).  At first, we made food once a week until we
got the hang of what portions were needed.  This took about a month.  Once we
got the portions figured out, we made food once a month.  Boiled big old
batches of burger, turkey, and brown rice (more fiber).  When the meat was
done, we would toss in the frozen veggies and let them thaw.  Drained
everything in a big old strainer, mixed in the rice, and then bagged it up in
ziplocks to go back into the freezer !  It was actually a lot of fun, as we
all pitched in (even Hilde !!).  We taste tested, Hilde taste tested - that's
how we knew what she liked.  I (and my Vet Grand Blanc Vet Clinic in Grand
Blanc, MI) attribute her 7 years on insulin to her homecooked diet (much
easier to digest which places less stress on pancreatic and GI function).
She also loved fruit(watermelon and cantaloupe) which I let her have small
amounts every day.  I had her sugars checked by the vet every six months.
We used the "sewer breath/amount of water"technique to monitor her sugars
at home.  I would sometimes use a dipstick when she went out in the morning
for a little better measurement.  Hilde was taken from us by a stroke about
six and a half years after her diagnosis of diabetes.
Thank you for letting me share Hilde's Story.
Most Sincerely,
Susan Hudson   ...and... "The Girls"
Susan Hudson RN, MSN, CCRN

Hilde's Recipes

Home to Pet Diabetes and Home of Queenie
        Always take your diabetic pet to the vet because diabetes mellitus is a
        serious disease but is not a death  sentence.
        Do not change your dog's diet without consulting the vet in charge.
        Remember two shots of insulin a day will keep high blood glucose away. Judy