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Readers Respond: Your experiences living with a diabetic dog or cat

Responses: 17


From the article: Diabetes Mellitus
The diagnosis of diabetes can be daunting. For many people, monitoring blood glucose and giving daily insulin injections to their pets seems like mission impossible. After some time and practice though, managing your diabetic patient can become second nature.

What stories and tips can you share with others who live with diabetic pets, particularly the newly diagnosed? Share your experiences here. Please note - this is for your stories and tips about diabetes, questions cannot be answered on this page. Please call your vet about pet-specific questions about diabetes. Thank you.

my dog Lola

My pomaranian-puddle was diagnosed few days ago with diabeties.She is on insulin twice a day,three units.She was drinking more than usual and peeing so I took her to vet.Right now she takes her shots without any problem.but I'm so scared and overwelhmed.Trying to find good diet without a lot of carbohydrates,but some sites are so confusing,some of them say this is good and another say no.Any suggestions? Is chick peas and millet good for diabetic dog.
—Guest eva

Guest Jessica

the 14 yr old maltese is experiencing the same effects from the insulin. he has lost body mass, is lethargic and last week had a seizure. i rubbed karo syrup on his gums and took him to the ER. his blood sugar level was 214 bc of the karo. the vet suggested i lower his insulin dose from 5-1/2 to 4. i brought him to his regular vet and his blood sugar was 400. i don't know what to do for him and the vet isn't any help at all.
—Guest Diane

Life with my Diabetic Dog Jester

My toy poodle Jester was diagnosed with diabetes a few months after his second surgery to remove bladder stones. I was shocked by the diagnosis because I had no idea pets could be diabetic. I am not going to lie, the first year was very difficult until his insulin was regulated. He is on Novolin N, 9 units, two shots a day. I use a 3/10mLcc, 30 gauge, 8mm length syringe. I purchase his insulin and syringes from Walmart without a prescription. It is less expensive. He gets his shots sitting on my lap on my bed. When done he jumps off my lap onto the bed where his treats are waiting, two PCI brand chicken nibbles. My husband has been a great support through this whole process!
—Guest Dawn


My Westie has diabetes, recently diagnised she is on 2x9iu per day and is stable, I sm with all three of my dogs all the time so can monitor behaviour easlily, I have one problem I have an unavoidable trip for one week only my dog sitters have offered to inject in my absence but they are elderly and find it difficult and I feel they are under tremendous pressure. I'm afraid of overdose etc.. will the dog be ok with it's diet only and no insulin for this one time.. after this I have no plans to leave her again.. I'm thinking better high sugar than overdose,I'm in the uk, it's 2.30am I am concerned, my vet says it's doable but not ideal

durango's mom

My cairn terrier, Durango was diagnosed with diabetes about 2 years ago and giving him his shots were impossible for both my husband and myself. My husband and I came up with a sling like invention that works and we are able to give him shots very easily now. Our story is featured in Dogfancy magazine April edition(2014) on the back page. We also found giving Durango his shots in his buttocks worked best for him and seemed much less painful. The sling raises him off the ground giving him less security to fight back and treats before and after each shot keep him happy. Hope this helps .
—Guest pat

My dog Harry

My dog Harry was diagnosed with diabetes a month ago. He got very sick and very thin suddenly. We are treating him with low fat high protein food an 2.5 units of insulin twice daily. Though most sites say to give the insulin 20 minutes plus post a meal, my vet has said that I can give it to him during - but towards the end of his meal. I do it when he's just about finished and he barely notices. It's early days but he's been doing okay and now in the 4th week I can see that he's brighter. He's 15 and mostly blind and partially deaf, but he seems perfectly happy in his world and is coping well. It's early days but we're happy with how he's responding so far as we continue to test him and adjust his dosage. My vet has been his vet for 12 years so we're working very closely together. Hang in there :)
—Guest Amy

My Princess is on Insulin for 2 months

Princess was diagosed late Dec. 2013. It's been very difficult trying to adjust her insulin and food. She's on partial W/D commercial food and cooked meat and vegies. She gets insulin 2 times a day. She is 11 and does not want to get up early so she eats between 9-10am and it's been difficult on a 10 hour insulin schedule. She is picky and doesn't really like W/D wet or dry so I some time use Royal Canin as she likes it. My Vet started us very strict and treated us coldly after I took Princess to see a Vet across town who gave us some helpful tips about feedings. Since then my Vet of 10 yrs has not treated us friendly and he avoids talking to me after her glucose test. She is due for the Curve test which isn't cheep and it's the 3rd one she has had in 2 months. He increased her insulin 2 times from 15cc to 20 and she does not do well on 20 so I decreaded her back to 18cc and she does better. I am finally getting a handle on measuring her food and adjusting the insulin.
—Guest rsrankin


Muffins is 17 , my baby bear. Diagnosed last week. Same here, she now rebells and it is IMPOSSIBLE, For me to issue anymore shots, and being single i cant hold her down. Going to try diet, and waiting to see if we can use oral. Emtionally im guilty. Shes everything im torn. I need comfort. I found out from mass water drinking and massive amounts of urine.
—Guest lisa

6 year old Lab with Diabetes

Our 6 year old Lab was diagnosed about a year ago with diabetes. She gets14 units of insulin 2x day. We have noted recently that she sleeps more and sleeps hard! Has anyone else seen this in their pets?
—Guest kathryn Peterson


Dear Karenpc, My Bichon Frise was diagnosed at age 131/2 and has had diabetes for almost 2 years. His glucose levels are stable and fructosamine always comes back in the "good" range. My dog weighs about 15 lbs. and gets 5 1/2 units of Humulin spaced 12 hours apart. Another important factor is to keep the needle under the dogs skin for a few seconds (after injecting) so the insulin is absorbed properly. Feed your dog quality food twice daily and offer poultry and fish as snacks. An daily bone or 2 (carbohydrate friendly) is fine and always have products that contain sugar, if glucose drops.
—Guest Deb

10 year old Min pin with diabetes

I have a 10 year old min pin who was diagnosed about 6 months ago. I had trouble at first getting her to eat before I gave her the insulin. I make her 2 scrambled eggs in the morning then I give her 5 units. I leave put hard food out if she is hungry during day. At night I give her two jars of Gerber stage 2 chicken and gravy then her insulin again. She just had a curve yesterday and the Vet said her sugar came down to 172. She was so happy although I have to raise the insulin one more unit. I noticed today that she wasn't so hungry and thirsty all day which means that she is acting more like her old self again
—Guest Jodie

my dog Buddy is blind now

My 12yr old silky terri pooh was diagnosed with diabetes in July 2013 and put on 2 units of insulin twice a day with blood glucose curves done every two weeks to one month. His insulin was changed several times and last week he was at 5 units twice a day... Oh forgot to mention he was put on a prescription diet (Hills WD) Last Sunday Nov. 24, 2013 Buddy started to act strange right after his morning meal ( after eating a small amount of his food he walked away from it and started crying/yelping and limping a little) I called the vet since they are open on Sundays and took him right in. Buddy was examined by the Dr on call that day (not his normal Dr) she did a quick test and found his levels were almost 600 then told me to bring him in the morning for a BGC in the morning with his own Dr. She examined his eyes and told me he is almost completely blind, he sees shadows but it's just a matter of time before he is blind. The BGC the next day were 100 so now he's on 4 units insulin.
—Guest Connie

Cat Converted

Our cat had a blood sugar reading over 600 (AplhaTech). We gave him 1/2 unit of insulin for 3 days and placed him on a very high protein diet. We gave him no more insulin and over a two week period his blood glucose level gradually dropped to under 100. It kept going down to a range of 45 to 70 where it has stayed.
—Guest Ron

Living With The Diabetic Dog

My Angel was 10 when I took him out if a kill shelter..I had to give him shots 2x a day. I would relate med to a healthy treat, I would call him Angel meds.. He would come running by the way blind too! So I clapped and he would follow me all around. He passed 2010 in my arms kidneys failed. When Angel passed I found out 2 weeks later I was diabetic also. He taught me a lot. If not for him and learning about his illness I wouldn't have known what " crash" meant. Glucose going to low. I knew when he was weak he would lay on stomach and I could feel him tremble. We went through so much together. I bet the kill shelter didn't even know he had diabetes, thank god ,his age and that he wouldn't have lived out his last 3 years so wonderful. They would have put him down as they call it. We bought his B-Cake Valentine Day sugar free..how did those people throw him in a kill shelter at age 10 he was shaking, crying, in the cage until I came along and he stole my heart!
—Guest Donnamarie

diabetes not regulated

My 11 yr old bichon was diagnosed 11 mo. ago and is still not regulated. Our reg vet did a glucose curve and it turned out just the opposite of what it should have been. Started low, then after insulin it started to go up and went up all day. Strange. So we switched to an internist. She does not do glucose curves. Says fructosamine tests are all that are needed. He has never been regulated and he was started with 3 units of Humulin N and has increased to 8 units presently. He does not act symptomatic most of the time, but fruc test has never been below 442. Most of the time it is up around 550+. He is on Metacam and Tramadol for hip dysplasia and on doxycycline for anti-inflamm for mouth issues which are okay right now. That has been ongoing for 7 yr. I feel it all started with mouth infections. I have no idea what to do. As long as he is not having symptoms, should we just let it go as is? I worry about his eyes as cataracts are coming on. His present vet has a good rep.

Living with Diabetes

Lincoln is a Min Pin and 4 yrs old and was diaganosed last year. He gets injections twice a day of insulin and he is always happy to get his shots. We make it a happy time and he knows after he eats he has to get his medicine. It was trial and error to get his dosage correct. I am a CVT which is a certified veterinary tech, but it doesn't make it any less scary especially since he is my baby. He can live with it and his mommy will make him better.
—Guest Tanya

My chihuahua Claire

My chihuahua Claire is a rescue--she could be anywhere between 12-14. Shortly after I rescued her she was diagnosed with diabetes. I had to learn to give injections and the correct amt. of insulin. I'm learning not to panic when she doesn't want to eat---also what to do in that case. Most of all, read and ask questions, the more knowledge you have about treating diabetes--the easier it will be on you and your pet. Claire has good and bad days--it's up to me to know how to take care of her off days and not panic. Hang in there--with help from your Vet and knowledge--you can do it. Hopefully your pet will have a long and healthy life. Judy
—Guest treating my diabetic pet

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