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My girl is Kyra. Kyra She is a Samoyed and was just recently spayed. She just turned 8 and was 7-1/2 when diagnosed with diabetes. She is currently on Humulin N twice a day. We recently switched from the traditional WD diet to a completely homecooked one. She has done well on it so far. She gets two meals per day at 12 hour intervals. She is quite good about waking me up at 6am for her first feeding. I try to time her insulin injections depending on her bg. If she is higher than normal then she gets her shot a bit before her meal. I can always count on her to eat. If her bg is normal she gets her injection at meal time. We try to take at least two walks per day, depending on the weather and how she is feeling. We monitor her glucose with both blood and urine testing. I cannot really monitor her water intake as it does not fluctuate much with her. She will drink a little bit more when her bg is around 200 but anything above that (or under that) she just ignores water. I normally do blood testing 3 times per day: before her meals and before bedtime. I spot check her urine during the day but not at any scheduled times. I can tell by her mood if her bg is high or low. When it is above 200 she will just lie around and mope. She feels best when her bg is between 80-120 and that is when her stuffed animals are just flying around the house. I try to limit my full bg curves as I tend to overdo it. However if I get readings that are too high or low I do a curve. The vet has not asked to do bg curves at the clinic anymore, but the vet will do an occasional fructosamine test to monitor the average bg control over the last few weeks. We also get CBCs done on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

I have been fortunate with the insulin and have not had to use other types. But I often have to make dosage adjustments as Kyra suffers from quite a few secondary ailments. She has an auto-immune disease called pemphigus. The pemphigus usually causes problems with her skin and she has to be on immuno-suppressant drugs when this happens. Currently we use  Imuran and it seems to control it quite well if a little slowly. One of the side effects of this medicine is bone marrow suppression, and this is why she has many CBC tests done. So far all her blood work has been wonderful and we only give her the Imuran as needed. She is often on an antibiotic called Baytril because she gets many secondary infections such as urinary tract infections, interdigital cysts, and most recently a reaction to the sutures from her spay.

Kyra has immature cataracts and has lost quite a bit of her sight. Her main problem is with depth perception. We go up and down all stairs together now. Other than that she can still fetch her tennis balls and numerous toys. I was very surprised at how well she dealt with her diminished sight. Kyra tends to be a shy girl but since her cataracts she has become so much more outgoing, she is interested in the smells around her and greets everyone with a big smile and wagging tail. I am considering cataract surgery for her but have not come to a final decision.

I use various dietary supplements in Kyra's daily regime. One that has helped the most is chromium. Her insulin requirement decreased by 45 percent and her bg curves leveled out. She also gets Ester C, vitamin E, Glucosamine, Echinacea, Cranberry, Garlic, Parsley, Alfalfa and Zinc. Since starting the supplements Kyra has blossomed. She is full of energy and became the smiling girl I thought I had lost forever. I am not sure if supplements are for every pet, however I think Kyra has benefited from them because of her debilitated immune system. I make sure all her meals are nutritionally complete and use only organically grown foods. Though I would give just about anything for her not to have diabetes I have to admit it has given me a new view on how much I can care and how much I have to enjoy every minute that I spend with her and my other pets. In a strange way I think Kyra understands this new and special bond as well. She is more vivacious and playful now than she has been in years.

Contributed by Maria S. and Roberto I.

Kyra went to the Rainbow Bridge in November 2001 due to cancer. Her diabetes was successfully managed for over 3 years. 

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Contributed July 1999
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