PDlogo   Mariah's Story 


I would like to share my dog's story since it may give others hope. This may be a bit lengthy, but our dog was SO bad that I feel it'd important to share the details. Mariah was diagnosed with diabetes on May 6th, 2000 (my birthday - great birthday present) at the age of 10 years. She is a spayed 85% wolf, 15% malamute cross. She had not been feeling well for about a week and was slowly "going down hill". She was drinking a lot of water and was lethargic. This wasn't too usual since we were having extremely hot weather at the time. Mariah is not the type of animal to show her pain and is a very tough canine. I became very concerned about her on Friday, the day before we took her to the vet.

First thing Saturday morning we took her in and at this point Mariah could not even walk. At first the vet could find nothing outwardly wrong. Then, they did a blood test. We were advised she would need immediate, 24 hour case since she was currently in ketoacidosis. We took Mariah straight to a 24-hour animal hospital where we were advised she was in critical condition. The next few days, Mariah started having tremors which we never figured out. Perhaps it was nervousness at being confined in a strange place. Tuesday the vets became concerned as they felt something was wrong with her liver. They did an ultrasound and stated her liver looked enlarged. We did not feel this needed to addressed immediately, as Mariah's diabetes was not stabilized yet. If there was something critically wrong with her liver we would not have put her thru the "invasive" treatment for a liver problem. The vets agreed with us on this. Things were so bad that Tuesday we thought we were going to be facing putting Mariah to sleep. But, we tackled each day one at a time. 

The hospital got Mariah's diabetes stabilized about 4 days into her stay, but was Mariah was refusing to eat, therefore we faced more problems. When I started visiting her everyday after work she seemed to perk up a little bit. She finally ate some baked chicken which was not the best thing for her, but we felt it critical to get something in her as soon as possible. We weaned her on to canned chicken in order to get her eating regularly and enable her to come home. She was still unable to get up on her own, but she could now walk about 4 steps with a towel slung under her to support her. The vet techs started exercising her this way several times a day. When we would visit her we started "walking" her with the towel to outside to sit in the grass. Her attitude was good, but she was still extremely weak. Money was now becoming a major concern. After we indicated this, the hospital started pushing Mariah to eat and exercise in order for us to be able to get her home. 

We took her home a week after she was admitted to the hospital. She was on 10 units of humulin L twice daily. She still could not get up on her own and could now walk about 6 or so steps with the towel support. She did not have much of an appetite and we worked and worked to get her to eat after she came home. One way I got her to eat is by boiling chicken in some garlic powder and a little parsley. I also tried a few other creative things without giving her "junk food". 

Two days after she came home Mariah started "kicking in". She started walking on her own after I got her up, but still could get the back leg strength to rise on her own. The following day she actually started getting up on her own. This allowed me to return to work since Mariah proved to me she could get thru her dog door on her own also. 

The next week or so took her to the vet and left her for the day BG testing. They raised her insulin to 25 units. 10 days later - same tests and upped to 28 units. 10 more days and we went to 30 units. This is where we are at at this point and staying. 

Mariah is almost completely back to normal in her strength. She eats regularly between her Hills K/D dog food and the other 2 dogs' food in which she nibbles on throughout the day. When I give her the Hills twice a day I usually have to mix "something" in with it. Usually canned chicken. She goes outside regularly to scout the back yard with her "buddy" Holly, our terrier. I do not do blood monitoring at home, our vet advised this does not need to done with Mariah. He just suggested period checks with them. She is back to a normal drinking level along with energy level. 

We have not experienced, so far, any complications from the diabetes that I have read about on any diabetes web page. I have not read about any other animal so far having been in ketoacidosis and have been told by our vets and the hospital vets that usually dogs do not survive this. 

None of the vets expected Mariah to ever walk again. We didn't either and had decided after we brought her home that if she was not able to walk we would have her put to sleep. But, Mariah with all of her strength and will to live fooled us all.

-- Contributed by Robey

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Contributed June 2000
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