Post 1 of 2
Symptoms of diabetes in a dog might include:
1. Excessive water consumption
2. High volume or frequent urination, incl. housetraining accidents/wetting the bed
3. Unexplained weight loss
4. Excessive appetite
If you suspect your pet has diabetes, get them to the vet. The sooner a pet is diagnosed and treated, the better.
Post #2 of 2
I have enjoyed reading the posts regarding diabetic dogs. Ben, your page sharing your experience is wonderful.
As Ben and others have said, the monthly cost of insulin and syringes is not that great. Supplies (insulin and syringes) for Heidi cost about $25.00 a month. But there are other expenses involved. Initially, the biggest expense involves getting the dog regulated. Achieving regulation can be easy, or it can be difficult and require a longer period of time and therefore, be more expensive. Diabetic pets, like diabetic humans, are more susceptible to infections--things like ear infections. Diabetic dogs can develop cataracts. Pets that are regulated may not, for whatever reason, stay regulated and require adjustments in their dose of insulin.
The key to dealing with a diabetic pet is CONSISTENCY. A diabetic pet needs to fed consistent amounts. The food needs to be high quality food, so that the amount of carbohydrates in the food remains constant. If you are lucky, the pet will require only one shot a day. Most require two shots a day, approximately twelve hours apart. The amount of exercise needs to be kept as consistent as possible.
Giving the shots is not such a big deal. I, who cannot watch a lab tech draw blood from my own arm, can give Heidi a shot twice a day. My technique has improved and most times she doesn't even feel the stick. And I haven't poked myself in the thumb for a while, either.
Owning a diabetic pet can be stressful. I worry more about Heidi than I do about my two "sugar free" babies and are more attuned to changes in her behavior. But if I had to make the same choice all over again, knowing what I do now, I'd still choose to treat her. As Heidi is fond of telling me, "the alternative ain't very good".
The Muffin (diabetic pet) e-mail list is a great resource. There's also very good book written by a vet for vets, vet assistants, and diabetic pet owners on canine diabetes. The name of the book is THE MANAGEMENT OF DIABETES MELLITUS by J.W. Simpson. I obtained a copy through interlibrary loan. It gave me a better understanding of the physiology involved, possible causes, treatment, and complications. I highly recommend it to anyone that is thinking about adopting a diabetic pet or someone that has a pet with diabetes.
Canine Diabetes Health Homepage