Kiva, passed away on Friday, November
14. She died suddenly and unexpectedly of what the vets think was a pulmonary
embolism: a blood clot that blocks an artery in the lung, often causing sudden
death. Her vet said that diabetics are at risk
for developing embolisms.
She lived with diabetes for 2.5 years before she died. She was diagnosed in May
2001. Her vet (Dr. Guy Newton, Peak to Peak Animal Hospital, Nederland,
Colorado) took excellent care of her. This newsgroup and all the pet diabetes
websites helped me tremendously in getting educated on the disease and its
treatment. I can't thank the list-owners and web-site maintainers enough for all
your help! It was so scary at the beginning, but the knowledge I gained on the
Internet helped me enormously.
Kiva went in for several BG curves in the vet's office at the beginning, but she
her BGs were always jumping around. We thought we had gotten her more or less
regulated, but one day, about 4 months after her diagnosis, she went hypoglycemic. She was stumbling around and couldn't walk straight. We took her
to the emergency vet. Her BG was still only 30 when we got to the emergency vet,
even after tons of Karo syrup and a 45 minute ride to the vet. All the vet did
was monitor her BG and give her food. She was wiped out the whole next day, but
she recovered well. That night, I did research on the best glucometer, and the
next day I went out and bought one. I was determined never to give her a shot of
insulin again that would cause her to go hypoglycemic. After that experience, it
was too scary to give her a shot and not know what her BG was when I gave it to
We picked the Lifescan Onetouch Ultra tester. It required the smallest amount of
blood. I would dry the underside of her lip with a paper
towel and prick her
with a lancet. She took it so well! I would do this twice a day, and adjust her
insulin based on her BG reading. She still bounced around a lot with her BG
readings (150-400) was the usual range. I would err on the side of keeping her
BGs higher rather than lower, after that first scary experience with
hypoglycemia. I figured high blood sugar would kill her eventually, but low
sugar could kill her immediately.
She also developed cataracts and took thyroid
medicine. The cataracts developed
quickly, within about a month. The eye vet said her vision was about 80%
obstructed, but you couldn't tell except for she had a hard time seeing small
things. Once the cataracts formed initially, they stopped growing and never did
get any worse. We were going to have the cataracts removed, but then my husband
of 19 years was diagnosed with lung cancer and died less than six months later.
Boy, I thought dealing with our dog's diabetes was difficult. My husband's
illness and death put that into perspective real quick.
I believe the twice-daily home testing with the Lifescan glucometer was the
single most important part of Kiva's diabetes management. She was 10.5 and had
had diabetes for 2.5 years, but she felt good and was active and happy until
just a few hours before she died.
-- Contributed by Laura
Contributed November 2003
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