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Levi, my little Bichon - Shih Tzu was diagnosed with diabetes at 1-1/2 years of age on February, 1st 2002. Quite rare, our vet told us, for a doggie so young. His symptoms had a fast onset, so I'm sure we caught it quite quickly. His significant thirst and VERY large puddles of "sticky" pee, was my first insight that something was wrong. Within days our vet confirmed my suspicions. Needless to say, I (like so many others, I'm sure) was quite devastated to hear the diagnosis. 

Levi has been difficult to regulate.  He Leviwas started off on 4 units of insulin, twice daily. A curve done after a week showed his BG to be too low during the peak. We then tried 3 units twice daily, but the "sticky" pee and thirst returned. Another curve was done, and the vet advised we give him the 4 units as previously prescribed. We were assured that the lowest bg reading after about 7 hours after the insulin shot, was nothing to get too worried about.

It has been a month now and Levi seems to be adapting very well. He associates his shots with being fed afterwards so he actually looks forward to it. When he sees that I have his needle prepared, I squat on the floor and he comes to me and situates himself between my legs so I can give it to him. He then runs to the counter where he knows his meal awaits him. I couldn't ask for a more compliant diabetic patient. Levi get his shots in 12 hour intervals. That to me seems too long between feedings, so I give him a bit of his regular dinner after I get home from work. About 10 hours. Then after 2 hours I give him his insulin and the rest of his meal.

Levi's bgs were going too low and we decreased the dose to 3 units twice a day.  He did fine for a while until one day when he went hypoglycemic.  Thank goodness it was a Sunday and I was at home at the time. Another curve done a week later showed a level of 1.4
mmoles/L (~25 mg/dl )  at the insulin's peak. Needless to say we had to reduce even more. At 2 units he started to show signs of having Diabetes. Large,  frequent urinations and thirst. We are now trying a second type of insulin - a faster acting insulin, Novolin NPH, and hope that his problem can be solved. It's only been 3 days so we're not sure.

My goal is to have Levi live a long and happy life with his "brother" Charley. Neither one seems to know there is anything abnormal going on, and now everything seems routine.

My advice to people whose furry children are recently diagnosed with diabetes, is to hang in there. It will get easier, and become a regular part of your daily routine. Of course you will always have fears and will do what you can to ward them off. But, as with real children, you'll have the instincts to do what is necessary to help them to live their life to the fullest potential.

-- Contributed by Deborah

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Contributed May 2002
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