PDlogo   Tiny Tales of Diabetic Pets









Here are some vignettes of diabetic pets who are just starting their diabetes treatment.

Rascal. My 12-yr-old Min. Schnauzer was diagnosed 4 weeks ago. Rascal had been acting "punky", listless, not interested in eating, and drinking more water than usual for a couple days, so I took him to our vet. His blood glucose was sky high, and he was hospitalized to get him stable. I took him home two days later, and began twice/daily injections of .5 units of Novolin 70/30 insulin and urine testing two hours after injections. Initially, he seemed to be doing fine but then his urine glucose became very high and he became listless and refused to eat. She increased his insulin to .9 units. My vet has suspected Cushing's even prior to the diabetes diagnosis and as much as she didn't want to test him during this crisis of not eating, he was going downhill and we felt we had to. While at the hospital for the all-day testing, he actually improved and was eating better that evening and the next day. She was so sure he had Cushing's, she started him on Lysodern that next day. He again started refusing food so after 3 consecutive days (rather than the intended 5) on Lysodern, we stopped the drug. It took Rascal 3 more days to 'bounce back' but bounce back he did! He has been wonderfully stable for a bit over two weeks now -- blood glucose curve taken one week into this stable period was perfectly normal and good. His appetite is great and he's consistently eating 3/4 cup of Hill's W/D and his urine glucose is 'negative'. He is alert and interested in things around him again, and is physically active, although we're not attempting any real exercise. We are going to allow this stability to continue for another week before getting him back on the Lysodern to finish the initial regime for that disease but clearly, even the incomplete first treatments allowed us to get his diabetes on an even keel. That won't continue indefinitely unless the Cushing's is also managed and under control, but we are optimistic that it will go well and that the on-going use of a weekly dose of Lysodern that is necessary with Cushing's will be manageable. Because his urine glucose is running 'negative', I am going to start home testing of his blood glucose to make sure he isn't getting into a hypo state but not showing observable symptoms. I am very lucky in that Rascal accepts his injections just fine, and is willing to go outside and urinate "on command" so that I can test him on time. All in all, I am very encouraged by our current situation and just have my fingers crossed that we can continue to keep Rascal on an even keel. The petdiabetes.com e-mail forum has been a wonderful source of information as I get myself up to speed on this disease. Thank you!  -- Contributed by Liz. June 2003

Patti is a 6-1/2 year old miniature schnauzer. I found out she had diabetes about a year ago. I noticed a significant weight loss and a larger than normal water consumption. She had been boarded at a private home, where she had been before, for three days. I thought this was the cause of her symptoms, but took her to the vet to make sure. After many visits to this Dr. and then finding another wonderful and caring vet, I have stabilized her blood glucose. She has started to get cataracts and is beginning to lose some hearing, but she is always in good spirits, very happy and loving. In the beginning, I had to fight her to give her a shot 2x a day. Even the vet said she was "tough", but now with a lot of patience and a special treat after each shot, she looks forward to it. Now I understand how brainwashing works! Thank you for this website. I can feel the special love everyone has for their pets with diabetes.
-- Contributed by Joan

Minnie is our 14 year old dog who was recently diagnosed diabetic My husband and I adopted Minnie from a pound about 4 years ago. She was one day away from being put to sleep because nobody wanted her, but we did.  What joy she has brought our family!  She was just diagnosed with diabetes a few days ago.  We get to take Minnie home from the vet tomorrow.  We can't want to bring her home!  We just wanted to say "thank you" to all of you who wrote about your experiences.  My husband and I now know we have a place to turn to for support.

Jeff, Debbie, Hydie (sister, 12 year old cat), Sparky (brother, 6 year old Welsh Corgi) and of course, Minnie (our daughter and big sister to Hydie and Sparky)From: Florida

Our Humphrey aka Stouffer cat's name is Humphrey, aka Stouffer
He was a stray that came to stay in our house 2 years ago and is around 6 years old. Yesterday he was diagnosed as diabetic and we felt very gloomy. However your website has given my wife and me hope that a robust cat like Humph, with good care and medication will live a long and happy life. 

Thank you for the info that this website provides and would you put this picture of Humphrey on your site so we can share this cute pic with other friends with diabetic pets.

Yours faithfully,
Martin & Wendy Kelly
And Humphrey Cat, Kes Cat, Teddy Cat and Meg Cat!
From York In the United Kingdom

Valentino Humphrey aka Stouffer is about 5 and a half years old; I adopted him when he was about one and a half, after the first person who adopted him had died. He's always been a quiet and very shy cat and very much a "one-person" cat, the one person being me. He has a wonderful soft purr and is all black except for a little white diamond of fur at his throat. He was diagnosed with diabetes last April (1999). He's now on 14 units of Humulin U once each day and has gained back the weight he had lost. He also has become much less shy (!) and much, much more playful (!!).  His vet thinks that his diabetes was triggered by 2 or 3 injections of Depomedrol, a corticosteroid, that she gave him for a skin allergy. He is the sweetest kitty; his nickname is "Mr. Softee" for his soft purr, his soft purr, and his soft nature. His little "sister-friend," Velcro, another black cat who came to live with us when I found her wandering the streets, really likes Valentino's W/D dry food and also likes to entice Valentino into playing "chase Velcro." 

Ziggy is a 7 year old schnauzer that we "adopted" from someoneZiggy locally who said she just couldn't give her the time and attention that she needed. Ziggy was extremely overweight when we brought her home and introduced her to her two "big" brothers Alex and Bear (who are also schnauzers).

After we had Ziggy about 6 months, she suddenly started getting us up in the night three or four times to go outside. When she came back in , she would drink lots & lots of water. She was always a heavy drinker, but this was excessive, even for her. So, we took her to the vet and found her blood sugar was over 400!

The vet immediately changed her diet to Hills W/D and we monitored her blood sugar for about another month. She was starting to lose weight, thanks to the W/D, but her blood sugar was still way up. So the vet decided we needed to start Ziggy on insulin.

We give her 5 units of Humulin Lente a day now and at her last check, her blood sugar was down to 110. In addition to the diabetes now being under control, Ziggy is a slim 20 pounds now, down from 28 pounds when we started the diet! Our only problem now is getting the daily urine sample, something that Ziggy just doesn't want us to do!

-- Contributed by Brenda M.

Gemma the catHi my name is Gemma, I have been newly diagnosed with insulin-dependent Diabetes. I am 13 years old and have been pretty healthy up to now. My Mum Sarah is learning how to cope with my condition. She wasn't too great with my needles at first but now I'm teaching her relax more she's not doing too bad.

My first week, I went all limpy, vomiting, drinking and not much else, I didn't want anyone to touch me, even my favorite food didn't interest me. Mum thought I was on my way to cat heaven and called the vet who told her it might be my Thyroid because of my age. He told her to make me comfortable and keep me in a quiet room and keep an eye on me, then take me in the next morning. The next morning I bounced back like nothing was ever wrong. Mum thought I had eaten something that made my tummy bad (I had used Toilet as drinking bowl when I was a kitten and had bleach poisoning). I won't do that again but Mum never takes the chance anymore. Mum left me for the day and went to work. In the evening I was ill again so mum took me to the vet's the next morning. I had my throat shaved and blood tests done. The vet came back with the diagnosis, 'DIABETES'.

My Mum's first question was can I be treated and saved? The vet told her that I was to be admitted and monitor. I was given a big cage on my own and started on insulin... with frequent blood tests (far too frequent for my liking), through the next six days. Mum rang every morning to check on my progress and came to visit after work and on the weekend. My first day in was Wednesday 4th December 2002, 'D Day', Mum will never forget that day. I came home on Monday 9th December 2002 and Mum was thrown in at the deep end frantically checking the Internet for information. She couldn't keep her eyes off me. Thankfully Mum's boss is a pet fan so let her have time off to look after me.

This is my third week after being diagnosed, I have small cataracts in both eyes but this doesn't seem to be bothering me too much, Mum just puts the lights on in the dark. My Sister 'Tia' soon directs me to the dinner plate. I am having my blood sugar test every week by Tom 'my personal vet' who is really nice apart from sticking needles in me. He has made Mum aware of all of my mood swings and what they mean. In fact I have just come back from the vet's and am sulking a little just to let mum know I'm not impressed, but I know it needs to be done and they are only trying to help.

Mum knows a bit about Human Diabetes so that helps, but she would like to know more about my diabetes and tips on how to control it. So if there are any other feline experts out there, Mum would be grateful of your help.

--Contributed by Sarah  sjbminx@hotmail.com


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Updated December 2002
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