What could be sweeter then a diabetic pet?

Muffy was born on April 29, 1991 and is a small breed red dachshund.
Muffy came into our lives in Aug. 1991. We got her from a home breeder, she was the
last of the litter that no one wanted, she was already four months old when we got her.
We got Muffy for my son, who at the time was in 2nd grade, but it didn't take any time 
till she had stolen everyone's hearts with her big sad eyes and her funny ways and 
expressions. The years swiftly went by. Muffy was just a happy healthy little dog, 
with no problems, a special little member of our family. 

In Feb. 2000, Muffy was diagnosed with diabetes. A few months prior to that, she had
taken steroids for a possible back injury. Muffy was overweight, she weighed 22 and ½ lbs
and when diagnosed with diabetes, she had lost down to 17 lbs. I had no idea that animals
could have diabetes and my knowledge of diabetes was absolutely nothing. I just knew 
the vet would tell us what to do and we would do it and the problem would be fixed. Boy
was I ever wrong! The vet had us using urine strips and adjusting insulin dosage to that. 
That didn't work for us. Then I found the email list and learned how to home test. Even 
with home testing, there is still so much to learn about diabetes. It was a struggle and 
is still a ongoing struggle and also a ongoing learning process. 

Muffy was spayed in Oct. of 2000, 9 months after being diagnosed with diabetes. 
She came through the surgery with no problems. 

In August 2001, 1 and 1/2 years after being diagnosed with diabetes, cateracts were
found on Muffy's eyes. Cateract surgery was done in Sept. 2001. The eye vet had planned
on removing both cateracts and at the last minute changed his mind. The right eye had the 
biggest cateract and the one on the left was smaller. I never really got a acceptable answer
as to why he only done cateract surgery on the right eye and not the left eye, I was mad at
the time that surgery wasn't done on both eyes as planned, but now I am glad he left the
left eye alone. Cateract surgery on the right eye with lens implant went well, but her diabetes
was out of control and it seemed like no matter what I done, I just couldn't keep her blood
glucose levels under 200. The 6 months following the cateract surgery was the hardest 
6 months of her diabetes. Good days were few, most of Muffy's time was spent laying
on the couch. It was a sad time, I kept expecting to lose her, vets didn't know what was
wrong, all they would tell me to do was increase the insulin and  all I would end up with
was big drops in her blood glucose. Increasing insulin dosage didn't work.

After her 6-month check up, the eye vet took Muffy off of her eye pressure drop and
immediately I started seeing her blood glucose ranges coming down. Muffy was back to being 
Muffy again! Vets assured me the eye pressure drop had nothing to do with interfering with
her insulin, so I guess I have to assume it was a coincidence. About six weeks after her 
6-month eye check up, supposedly eye trauma happened to her cataract surgery eye. 
Scar tissue has left the pupil hung open and Muffy has very little sight left in that eye. 
She takes pills to control the eye pressure and that has worked out better than the eye 
drops. The left eye with the cataract is still about the same size as it was when it was 
discovered a year ago. She has limited vision in that eye. Sometimes Muffy will bump 
into things, but she gets around pretty good, more so inside than outside.

   I started using the R insulin in Jan. 2002, per vet, and now use it on a regular basis to 
help control the food spikes. Vet has suggested the 70/30 insulin, but it would be too 
much R in order to get the amount of N I need so for now, I'm just sticking with mixing 
the N and R. I still have problems with the Humulin N here and there, it is by no means 
the perfect insulin, but overall Muffy is doing better now than she has in the past since 
I have been using the R with the N. It is amazing to see the change in her after her blood
glucose levels have gone to a lower range. She plays just like a puppy. She still has good 
days and bad days, but more good days than bad days now. 

How has diabetes affected our lives?
We have all developed a much closer bond to Muffy. 
Everything is planned around Muffy, but we don't mind. 

The cost of treating diabetes? Just for diabetes, not a lot. A vial of insulin runs around $18 
and last for about two and ½ months, syringes about .10 cents each. 
Test strips, 50 for $22. The most expensive part has been treatment of her eyes. 

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