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

Responses: 36


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.

Share your story

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

Giving Insulin shot

Make sure you have the proper syringe. I use a 31 gauge, since my dog is only 25 pounds. Also, I muzzle him. I then have a treat in hand. I have no problems.

Classical conditioning

My dog Cookie was diagnosed 3 years ago. She gets 2 shots a day of humilin N. We used a little PSYCH 101 and employed a classical conditioning technique. When we first started she was allowed a very small amount of her favourite treat just before she gets her injection. We then started to delay giving the treat and now three years later when she sees the insulin vial she comes right to you and sits down waiting for her treat which she gets immediately after her injection. We made sure not to give her her treat at any other time so that she associates the treat with the injection.
—Guest Cookie's Mommy

To the People on the Board

I see everyone going through a bad situation, I know that pain. My dog is a Pomeranian and developed diabetes after using a medication for arthritis. So he developed pancreatitis that led to diabetes. Now fast forwward 6 months and he's blind, sugar is so so but I"m told at 230 it's OK. He's not as active but he's happy. He is still having eye issues. Food - People should make their own food, try using turkey meat, boiling veggies gently then mashing, then using brown rice, blend it all and watch them eat. It works. The owners who stop using injections, giving up too soon, stop that. This is not going to be easy and if you are not willing to help your dog through his suffering you should look for an owner who will. If the dog is lethargic, it's probably too high a dose. The dog needs to be fed a regular balanced meal, then the insulin. For the dogs who are having an issue with the needle. First pull scruff up, pinch, angle the needle 45 degrees, then quickly inject. Works
—Guest Maria

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