Katie's  Story


This Pet Diabetes site has certainly helped us out through the difficult times with our dog Katie, especially during the early months when she was diagnosed with diabetes.

Katie Katie is a female Maltese that I adopted from the Humane Society in the summer of 1995. She was a scraggly looking dog then. She was 3 years old at that time and was shaved nearly bald all over. She had tear stains on her face and according to their records, she was given up by her previous owner because she was "difficult to groom". I couldn't believe that! She had 5 more days to go at the shelter and if nobody adopted her, she was going to be put to sleep. My heart was just won over by the "ratty-looking", nervous dog. I just had to take her home, out of pity more than anything else (knowing nobody wanted her at the state she was in). She immediately bonded with me and would not let me out of her sight. She had "separation anxiety" for a month and howled and cried every time I had to go to work or even leave the room for a minute. I finally had to move because my neighbor in the apartment next door complained that he cannot work at home and that Katie needed a doggy shrink.

That was the past. Katie has bloomed into a lovely, sweet and loving dog. Last September 1998 my husband and I went to Maine for a week. We left Katie at her vet's boarding kennel. When we came back, we noticed that she was acting very weird. She was urinating all over the place and even in her sleep. She drank excessively and seemed mopey. We brought her to the vet thinking she was either stressed out from the boarding or perhaps has a urinary tract infection. We were devastated when we found out that she had diabetes. I knew that it would drastically reduce her lifespan despite getting managed but I did not know that the course of it would be so fast. We had difficulty regulating her glucose and by February of 1999 she was all ready at 8 units of Humulin Ultralente twice a day. Too much for a little dog.

Giving her shots were not as bad as we thought it would be, though. She knows when it's time for her "yumyum shot" and willingly comes over for it. We reward her with a little piece of Snausages, her favorite treat. She is strictly on a Science Diet Light formula 3/4 cups twice a day.

We noticed the cloudiness in her eyes around January. I knew she was bound to have cataracts but again everything was just too fast. She was still able to see snow and play in it last February (she loves to romp around in the snow). But by March she was already bumping into things and could not climb up the stairs. When she couldn't even see our cats in her path, we knew she was completely blind. We switched to a new vet which was closer to our new house. He was able to catch something wrong in her blood work that the previous vet did not notice. When I delivered my baby on the 19th of May, Katie was diagnosed with Cushing's disease after they ran an ACTH test on her. Her liver was so enlarged she looked pot-bellied. Her hair was thinning in her back and she had what looked like age spots in her skin. She was started on Lysodren for a week just to "load her" and then a repeat test was done. Currently she is on a maintenance dose of a 1/3 tablet of Lysodren twice a week. Her insulin need was decreased to 4 units twice a day now. The amazing thing is how different her personality is now. She is beginning to act like how she was a year ago, spunky and happy. She is still hampered by her loss of vision but someday when she is more stable and when we are able to raise the funds, we may have her cataracts removed if feasible.

We love our dear Katie so much and I'm sure you will too if you meet her. We will continue to try to make the rest of her life as happy and comfortable as possible.

Contributed by Jessica

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Contributed June 2000
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