To start, I want to say, stop, take a deep breath. Now, let me say, canine diabetes is not usually a death sentence for a dog. In most cases, diabetic dogs will live a full and healthy life with proper management. My dog, Bender, was diagnosed with Diabetes back in 2007. You would never know he is diabetic.
What is Canine Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a condition that affects the concentration of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Diabetes is the result of when a dog’s body makes too little insulin or doesn’t process insulin properly.
When a dog eats, their digestive system breaks food down into various components, including glucose. The glucose is carried into the dog’s cells by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. When a dog does not produce insulin, does not produce enough insulin, or cannot utilize it normally, their blood sugar levels elevate. The result is hyperglycemia, an excess of glucose in the bloodstream.
Without insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream. Prolonged, elevated levels of glucose will cause damage to the organs, eventually leading to death.
Is Canine Diabetes Treatable?
At this point there is no cure for canine diabetes. Insulin must be provided through an injection after every meal. The good news is canine diabetes is manageable.
How to Manage Canine Diabetes?
The key to successful diabetes management is quality food, exercise and to get on a schedule that works for you and your dog. Although it is recommend to feed and give a shot afterwards every twelve hours. Some times life just doesn’t work that way. For example I feed Bender at 8:00am, shot right after, we go for a 3-4 mile run at 5:00pm. Then dinner at 6:00-6:30pm. This schedule works for us. You might find that you need to go for a walk at 6:00am, food and shot at 7:00am. Then a walk at 7:00pm, dinner at 7:30pm.
The point is having a schedule will help you regulate your dog. After all this time, I know that Bender’s glucose levels should be at 80-100 at 8:00am. He will spike up to 180-250 around 1:00pm. After our run at 6:00pm he should be back down to 80-100. Being on this schedule, I can spot check his glucose and know if something isn’t right. If at 1:00pm his glucose is 300. I know I will need to adjust his insulin. Same if it is low. Since I’m on a schedule and have taken time to develop a history for his glucose, I can better manage it.
Although I still can manage Bender’s diabetes if we aren’t on a schedule. It would mean I would have to check his glucose levels more often.
The amount of insulin your dog will require will change. Sometimes daily. So it is best to buy supplies that will allow you to test at home. But no matter what your dog will require a shot of insulin after every meal. There are several different brands/types of insulin out there. I use Walmart/Sam’s Club ReliOn N (Novolin N), it is $25/bottle. There is also Vetsulin, Humilin N, and Novolin N. Consult your Vet on which they recommend.
Insulin requirements are usually based on several factors.
- Food intake
- Outside Factors – stress, other diseases, medication
Diabetes management is about cause and affect. Every action has a reaction. So keeping to a schedule is very important when it comes to food and exercise.
Food: The food your dog eats directly affects glucose level. It is important to look at ingredients and understand which ingredients will convert to glucose. I suggest finding a dog food that is high in protein, grain free, low in fat, little to no fillers (corn, white rice), little to no non natural preservatives.
Here is a list of dog foods you might consider:
- Wellness CORE Grain Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Natural Dry Dog Food, 26-Pound Bag
- Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food, Hi Prairie Canine Formula with Roasted Bison & Venison, 30-Pound Bag
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dog Chicken Formula – Grain Free 24 lb
- Blue Buffalo BLUE Adult Dog Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice 30 lb
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Salmon Recipe, 24-Pound Bag
- Merrick Grain Free Real Buffalo and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food, 25-Pound
- Acana Regionals Meadowland for Dogs
Non diabetic friendly food will make it difficult, if not impossible to regulate your dog’s diabetes. Everything your dog eats will have a direct impact on their glucose level and insulin needs. No table scraps! Limit treats or find diabetic friendly treats. Quality food will cost more but it will reduce insulin needs and will help keep your dog healthy.
Your Vet might want to change your dog’s food to a prescription food such as Hill’s Science Diet W/D or Royal Canine. I highly recommend careful consideration and not switching. Although these foods are good, they might not be diabetic friendly.
Exercise: Exercise will help keep your dog healthy by: keeping their mind sharp, help control weight, improves mood, relieves stress, will help with behavior, and will help with glucose levels and insulin needs. I recommend daily structured exercise. For example:
- A 1 miles walk twice a day
- A 3 miles run once a day.
- A walk around the block twice a day
The amount and type of exercise will depend on your dog and you should consult your Vet to figure out what is recommended for your dog. But the important part is daily exercise.
Outside Factors: Diabetes can also come with other issues that can affect glucose levels and insulin effectiveness. It is important to understand that anything can affect your dog’s diabetes. Your stress can cause your dog stress which can affect their diabetes. Or maybe your dog has to go on some medication for a few weeks. The medication can causes changes to insulin needs.
Cost & Supplies
Having a diabetic dog means you will have extra costs. Better food, insulin, needles, glucose testing supplies, extra Vet visits. Click Here for list of common supplies you will need.
A quick note: I have found that sometimes insulin supplies that are for dogs/cats cost more. A good example are syringes/needles. A u100 syringe with a 29g needle is the same whether for a dog or a human. Yet you might find that buying “Canine u100 syringes/needles” cost more.
Do some research and you might find ways to save money.
At Home Glucose Testing
I would highly recommend purchasing Advocate’s PetTest glucose meter or the AlphaTrak II glucose meter. It will save you money in the long run versus going to the Vet to get a glucose check and most importantly allow you to check your dog’s glucose levels at home.
Low Blood Sugar/Crashing
From time to time your dog will have low blood sugar. I call it crashing. It can be scary at first but with some quick action your dog will be back to normal in no time. For Bender when he crashes, it is very obvious. The best way to describe it is he acts drunk. He stumbles around, falls down, shakes, runs into walls and doors, he doesn’t pay attention (won’t respond to his name very well), he can’t see very well, he tries to find food or what he thinks is food. His blood sugar is low.
To raise it, I give him some honey (you can also use corn syrup or any other high sugar syrup) followed up with some of his food. How much honey and food you should give depends on your dog. In extreme cases you might have to rub the honey or corn syrup on their gums/lips.
Usually within a few minutes Bender will be back to normal.
What else do I need to know?
Living with a diabetic dog is challenging. There is a lot of information I can’t cover in just one post. So please read through the rest of my blog and comments. Feel free to comment or contact me.
Just remember, since your dog can’t tell you what’s wrong, you have to be strict with managing their diabetes. You have to be strong and have the will power for your dog. It can be the matter of you dog living a full life or passing within 6 months. It also has to be a family effort. I know it is hard to say “no” to those puppy dog eyes but do it from your dog.
Just wanted to add a food to consider. We have been using Dogswell Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea with great results. This food is certified as a low glycemic food.
Crude Fat ((Min) 18.00%) is a bit high but it does look to be a diabetic friendly food. Thanks for the suggestion.
My 11 year old yellow lab Buddy got diagnosed with diabetes about 2 weeks ago. I have been following instructions of the vet and I am not happy with the results. I have transitioned him to Hills W/D. He was 103 lbs and overweight so I have been cutting back his food. He is down to 97 lbs in the last 2 weeks, but his last curve was still between a high of 530 and a low of 245. I am giving him 2 1/2 cups of W/D with a few spoonfuls of low sodium chicken broth to wet it. After complaining to the vet she said stay with this routine for another week and then do a curve again on Sunday and see if his levels are lower. I plan to do that but if they don’t come down I need to make a change. Buddy is miserable and suffering. With your years of experience with your dog perhaps you can offer some suggestions or advice? thanks.
I am not a Vet so always consult your Vet before making changes. With that said, a few thoughts, I am not a fan of W/D. It just isn’t diabetic friendly and most people do not see good results on it. I saw similar numbers when Bender was on W/D. I could never get him regulated.
I would definitely switch foods to a high quality food like one of the ones I’ve listed in this post. Just a change in food should help Buddy’s numbers to some thing a bit more stable. I would also suggest some light exercise to help Buddy get down to a healthy weight, like a walk around the block twice a day if you aren’t doing that now. Talk with your Vet to see what they recommend.
I would get a meter so you can test at home: http://www.diabeticdogblog.com/canine-diabetic-supplies/
This way, you can adjust Buddy’s insulin needs as he gets down to a healthy weight. Plus over time your dog’s insulin needs will change.
The two main concerns are getting your dog down to a healthy weight and getting him on a good food. It will take some time but coordinate with your Vet. If they are unwilling to help or unwilling to try different things, find a Vet who will.
Thanks for your reply. I have seen a lot of posts about W/D not being a good choice for diabetic dogs. I will keep him on it till his next curve in about a week at the advice of my vet. But if the numbers don’t come down I will tell her that I need to change to something else. I was surprised at the ingredients in W/D. Lots of corn, rice and fillers. He has not had anything but meat and high quality foods in the past.
Yes he is getting 3 or 4 short walks a day so I am exercising him as much as he has energy for but he is lethargic and weak in his hind legs. I started out with a Relion BG test from Walmart and it was terribly inaccurate. I just got an AlphaTRAK2 and it is the best one for home monitoring as far as I can tell so that is what I am using. He started out at 105 lbs but he is down close to 96 now and his target weight for his size is about 80 lbs so I am working on his weight.
I see your list of good foods but they are all the dry kibble and Buddy likes wet stew meat types of food. If I could I would feed him Wellness 95% beef cans and he would be in heaven but straight beef like that is not balanced enough. Is there a list of wet canned foods that you would recommend to mix with the dry? Again thanks for your advice. Poor Buddy really needs to get well.
Thank you so much for this blog. My name is Amanda and my 9 year old Shihtzu Bailey was just diagnosed with Diabetes and what we believe to also be Cushings. She is a once a day eater so in order to get her to eat in the morning as well the evening I have been cooking chicken (plain with either stock to cook it in or just plain water) and a vegetable…sweet potatoes, broccoli, squash, etc. I want to switch her back to her hard food (Blue Buffalo Grain Free Chicken or Lamb) but it will be a process because of the two meals a day thing. She is on insulin (Novolin N – I get it from Walmart as well) and have purchased the Alpha Trak meter so I am on track to be able to have her under control…BUT…She has severe dry eye…no tear production so her eyes are so red and look horribly painful. Her vet has had her on three different ointments for tear production and dry eye as well as something for mending her cornea (she had a surface scratch)…BUT they are not working at all. I just stopped doing them all today to let her eyes have a break and i put a little saline in them and she is actually opening them. She has been keeping then mostly closed. Here is one of my questions…do you or does ANYONE have anything I can do that has worked to help with this problem. I am desperate. Also, we live in Houston and it is hot and muggy…and she has had major back surgery so she doesn’t get much if any exercise. When she was first diagnosed she had (within one month) lost 4lbs…she is 15.2 and is not overweight. Also one more thing so you just have an idea of everything we are dealing with…we are not treating cushings at all right now or even worrying about it because we both feel we need to get the insulin in control. Here two curves she had her blood sugar was in the 460 range and only came down to 412 during the day. That was in the very beginning of the diagnosis and we had started her at 5 units (which has now been increased slowly to 7 twice a day)…Sorry this is so long…I just feel desperate. I adore this dog as I am sure most people do and I want to do anything and everything I can to help her .
Thank you very much for all the useful information. I am looking for information on switching dog food brands. My dog is currently on Purina Dual Fiber Control. Besides it being expensive he continueds to lose weight on this food. I have been supplementing with boiled chicken and brown rice but he is still starving after each meal. I have been looking into switching to the Blue Buffalo brand but was wondering if I should try the healthy weight or possibly one of the other types to get him to gain weight. His blood sugar level was in the 300 range (I’m trying to put my hands on the test results) the last time it was tested. After reading your blog I am going to invest in my own testing kit. Thank you
Bender was on Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight a long time ago. At the time, it was a good food. You might want to look into Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat or something similar.
Hi I have a Siberian husky 10 years old and been seeing many vets in the last five months with no good results. He is on humilin n 18 units twice daily. His sugar looks reasonable only for 6 hours then it goes back to 400. I am feeding him .5 cup of taste of the wild and 1 can of turkey and pea from Costco. I am wondering if wet food is worse on sugar even though it has limited ingredients. I am at a loss of wether to switch insulin at this point or his diet. All the vets have been telling me about high fiber food and wd. I don’t want the wd as the first two ingredients are very bad. I get inconsistent blood sugar results with the same amount of food so not sure what is going on. Should I check his sugar level each time before giving insulin shots?
I did try taste of the wild prairie not sure if it made a big difference I am also trying Orijen senior food. How long on a a given food before figuring out what works?
Thank you for this site
Which Taste of the Wild type are you giving your dog? Which level of costco canned food are you feeding? I am pretty sure they have two levels of dog food. One grain free and one that isn’t.
Can you give me your dog’s schedule and some numbers?
7am, breakfast, glucose level: 120
11am glucose level: 250
2pm glucose level: 180
4pm glucose level: 400
Do you exercise your dog daily?
Doing blood sugar should u do prior to a walk the feed and give insulin or walk blood sugar then insulin
I would do: Walk, check glucose levels, feed. So you will know exactly how much insulin to give. Then check glucose levels again after 2-3 hours, and again after 4-5 hours to make sure level are good.
My Simba was diagnosed w. Diabetes in August. We have slowly progressed up to 7 units humulin n twice daily, developing diabetic cataracts and going blind in the meantime. He has undergone surgery and the cataracts were successfully removed and vision has thankfully been restored. BG levels range from 170 to low 400s as per BG curve. He needs to be on specialized food for history of bladder stones – Urinary SO. Vet hesitant to change it. Is there a fiber supplement to add with meals to your knowledge to help me better regulate his Sugars? He is a almost 10y old shih tzu, yorkie mix. Loves his exercise and his symptoms of excessive thirst and urinating have significantly improved, but concerned about BG readings. I purchased alpha track monitor and will be trained as to how to check sugar levels on my own. Any advice would be much appreciated.
I don’t have any experience or knowledge about bladder stones. But reading up about it, it seems like food can really help or cause major problems.
What type of bladder stones is your dog getting? It seems like different prescription foods will help depending on the type of stone. Which is why your Vet prescribed Urinary S/O.
I would ask your Vet, what about the Urinary S/O is helpful to reduce bladder stones, what foods will cause bladder stones, and then I would look into foods that are diabetic friendly. It might take some searching but there has to be something out there.
I’ve been taking my dog in for diabetic curves for the past month and 1/2 and her insulin has increased from 3 to 6 on Novolin.
Her #’s have gone down a little and her low is now at 115 between 4-6 hours after her insulin shot. but her #’s always start at about 500 in the morning and at night before her meal.
7:30 am eats and shot 6 novolin given
7pm 500 eats and 6 novolin given
shouldn’t those fasting #’s be down? Is her #’s always going to be that high and only come down once insulin is given?
My vet doesn’t seem to understand my question.
I’m thinking like in humans, glucose levels are down until you eat and then given insulin to keep glucose down. Shouldn’t dogs glucose levels be the same? Why is her fasting glucose levels going up all the time?
she is on a low fat, low carb home made food.
She’s a 10 year old min pin that’s 15 pounds.
I hope you understand what I’m asking….thank you.
What food is your dog eating exactly? Some foods digest faster than others.
Something else to consider would be to take your dog for a walk around 6am and 5-6pm. If your Vet says its ok. Doesn’t have to be a long walk, just something to help get your dog’s glucose levels down.
This has been very helpful. Our dog was having wild blood sugar swings with all of the canned diabetic dog foods we tried (an we tried them all). So, with the help of our vet, we came up with a recipe that works for him. I make the food in batches for 3 days (6 meals). Essentially it baked skinless chicken breasts (4 whole breasts) that I put in the food processor. I add a can of 100% pure pumpkin (which then makes a pate), 2 tbsp brown rice, half can of salt free peas, 4 boiled carrots (diced) and I add 2 stalks of celery for the fiber content (he tends to get a little constipated). It keeps his blood sugar relatively stable and we almost NEVER have “crashes” anymore. If you buy the breasts at Walmart ($1.99 per lb), it actually works out to be about the same (maybe a little less) than the special diabetic dog food we got from our vet.
Our dog has had diabetes for 3.5 years now, she is 10 years old now. Over the past 6 months we have been working with out vet to get her glucose regulated again. It was crazy high (400-600) all day long. We were inn novolin N and switched to Humulin N. We finally got her regulated just recently but during the last 6 months her cataracts have gotten extremely worse, she is also about 95% deaf.
She just seems to be extremely depressed lately. Her normal routine is to eat breakfast at 6am, shot shortly afterwards then she likes to go lay down. Same routine in the evening at 530pm.
Normally during the day when we are gone she lays on our bed, but I have just started noticing that she isn’t jumping up to our high bed anymore and in fact is sleeping downstairs all day. This is not Normal behavior for her!
I was taking her on short walks but she really doesn’t seem to enjoy them anymore, her tail is in between her legs and she almost seems more stressed. She also does not like them around feeding time which leaves during the day which of course can’t happen Monday thru Friday and not during the heat of the day.
Does anyone have this issue?
My 9 year old Setter has had diabetes for a year. He’s insulin resistant so gets 50 units of insulin twice a day plus or minus a few units depending on his numbers. He eats twice a day, Acana grain free. His blood glucose readings are taken before each meal and at bedtime. His daily readings average: 08/03/17–176; 08/04/17–112; 08/05/17–169; 08/06/17–136.
Question: is 50 units 2xday extremely unusual? Is it hurtful?
Jeff, I switched my dog to Purina Beyond white chicken and egg because I have had. As experience with science diet in the past. Do you have any experience with this food?
I just found out my 10 year old corgi mix has diabetes. My ex was insulin dependent so I have some experience, but how often will I need to check his sugar? The vet didn’t say anything about testing, just giving shots so far. Thank you!
If your dog is insulin resistant, you will have to use more insulin. Plus I’m guessing your dog is at least 60lbs, so he will use more insulin because of his size. Food looks good.
I don’t have any experience with Purina Beyond white chicken and egg. But looks like a decent food, grain free. If your dog does ok on it, keep feeding.
It depends on you and your dog. I check Bender every couple of weeks because from past experience he doesn’t fluctuate much. But other commenters on here say they check before every meal, while others check weekly or every few days.
With Bender when I was trying to get him regulated, I would check him daily until I got him regulated, then back off to every few days, then weekly, then every few weeks.
Hi Jeff, Thank you for this helpful information. Our Déjàh has diabetes for 3.5 yrs now. Her levels always seemed to be at 400 give or take . She’s a 60 lb Staffy. I feed her Osopure grain free, organic, chickpea, bison/salmon. Déjàh had a hypoglycemic seizure on me the other day. Quite a scare. I remembered to give her honey and it worked until I could get her to the vets. I was told to feed her 3 x a day. But I’m thinking won’t that make her sugar rise? I also give her a little raw lamb with her food. I may just give her broccoli in the afternoon as opposed to another meal. She does get walks. And I’ve found dried cod skin blocks are a nice treat. Is it ok to walk her after she eats and gets her insulin? Or should that be done before? Once in a while I give her a raw marrow bone to gnaw on for 15 mins. Then I usually take it away. Can you tell me what the fat % should be in her food? Thank you again for helping save my doggies live! Best regards, Tina
PS we do the Alpha Tracker too… but she hates it! Poor girl!
One of our 2 sheltie, littermates, was diagnosed 10 days ago. Vet thinks we were early in catching it. Water consumption had only spiked a few days before taking him in. He was at the vets office for 7 days. That was hard even with it only being 6 blocks from home. I could grumble a bit about some aspects. No daily updates, some missing info on the insulin curve. Ollie is home. I’m curious about a few things. He’s 7 1/2 years and he was around 41 lbs the day he was diagnosed and dropped to 35lbs while at the vets. I’m guessing some of that was stress induced weight loss. There seems to be a lot of consensus these days that trying to stabilize your dog at home is a very good thing, but
not everyone is up for it.
How much water should they have. He was always a water drinker
But now, he’d drink a 10gal wash tub dry I think if I let him. How often are people testing once stable. His ears are looking a little pin cushiony. I think the staff at the vets office was having the same difficulty I had to begin. I used a lancet at first and was disappointed, went to 22ga hypodermic. Tried that until I went all the way through and into my finger. I bleed, he didn’t. I have found that the lancet works best when the skin is held tight and is 3/16” to 1/4” from the edge. Getting pretty good result on the first or second prick.
The vet was giving 2U the first 36hours, 3 times a day. He was all over the place including 4
Tests where it was off the scale for the Alphatrack II meter. Lowest at the vet was 161. Lowest since coming home was this evening at 9PM, 260 down from 486 at 7AM, after upping to 8U of Humilin N, that was $167 for 10ml at Costco. What are others paying? I have heard it is about a 1/6 the cost in Canada. Do you have to have a prescription in the US?
About the Alphatrack II. I came across a recent review on Amazon where someone bought the Alphatrack but noticed it looked suspiciously similar to the Freestyle Freedom lite meter. He bought one of those. Said it appears identical, packaging and carry case, and same manufacturer. Said the test results are virtually the same. Biggest difference the human version can be found on Amazon for as little as $15 and the test trips for it are about half the price. I hope this might take some sticker shock out of having a diabetic furkid.
@Tina van Gils,
Glucose levels are a direct affect from food. So either you are no giving enough insulin or feeding too much food. Osopure grain free looks like a pretty good food. Don’t think your dog needs raw lamb on top of her kibble.
Feeding three times a day can help even out glucose levels. Let’s say your dog should get 6 cups of food a day. If you feed twice a day that is 3 cups per meal. Maybe this is causing sugar spikes after a few hours. Switching to three times a day would be 2 cups per meal. Which in theory not cause sugar spikes.
But feeding three times a day means 3 insulin shots. And being available to feed three times a day.
I would talk with your Vet about the amount of food you are feeding vs the weight of your dog plus insulin, and see what he/she says.
Your dog will probably drink lots of water until you get him regulated. They drink water to get rid of excess sugar. It really sounds like your dog is not getting enough insulin. Also food will really affect glucose levels and insulin needs. Find a food that is high in protein, grain free, low fat, little to no fillers (corn, rice).
I test at home because it is less stressful for Bender. Going to the Vet is exciting (or scary for some dogs) and can cause numbers to be off. Plus, after 2-3 times you can buy a kit and test at home for what you will have spent.
I poke Bender with a lancet on the inside of his lip. Much easier than his ear but you have to make sure you hold his lip back and that he doesn’t lick the blood before you get your sample.
I get insulin at Walmart, they have a ReliOn brand where they rebrand Novolin N for $25 a bottle.
The freestyle meter and alphatrak meter are made by the same company. While they will give you similar results, the results in my experience will be off. They will be off enough that I didn’t feel it was reliable. Plus our blood vs canine blood is different.
My Vet says meter testing isn’t necessary if I use the Keto-Diastix to test the first urine in the morning. See no mention of that method on your blog. Is there a reason you don’t use the reagent strips?
I’ve always had a meter so that is what I use. If the Keto-Diastix strips give you accurate results, then use them.
Has anyone used the FastaCare meter? I can’t find any reviews, but the cost is better than the AlphaTrak.
I just googled diabetic dog blog and came across yours. My dog just passed away Sunday and my heart is broken!!! I don’t know why I have never thought about looking at a blog about diabetic dogs until now, I guess because our Maggie (miniature poodle) lived a very normal life as a diabetic since 2010!!! When I found out she was a diabetic she was only 6 about to be 7 and I was devastated but I followed the doctors orders and did what I was told! She dropped almost 1/2 of her body weight and went from 22lbs to 12lbs and maintained this weight until she passed. Of course over the years the amount of her insulin dosages changed but it’s fair to say most of the years she was 5 units in morning and 5 at night. She ate science diet for diabetic dogs and was on humiln n.
I could read her like a book! I knew when her insulin was high and I knew when it was low! I also have 2 boys. My 17 yr old was 3 when we got Maggie and my 11 wasn’t born yet. I will say this my children were never on a strict schedule and with that being said well Maggie Lou wasn’t either! She got her insulin 2 times a day but I did make sure they were always at least 9 hours a part at least. I also have a full time job as a real estate agent. I guess what I’m trying to say is a dog with diabetes is very easy to have! The key is consistency and dedication! I didn’t treat it like an illness everyday, I gave Maggie her shot just like I gave her food and water! Yes I was scared to death at first because I’m far from a nurse but I knew what had to be done if I wanted to continue having her as my fur baby and in 2010 I wasn’t ready to give her up, we still had to many more memories to make, I was determined me and my pup were going to win and we did!!!!
This past year her health started to decline. She was blind and deaf. We were now on liver meds and seizure meds to control her seizures. She was also diagnosed with chronic bronchitis 6 months ago. So I bought her an inhaler and she took cough medicine. But she was not sickly and you would have never known she was blind and deaf! Friday night she had a seizure and after that one she was very confused and wasn’t herself, I knew in my heart that this was probably not going to be good. She stayed at the vet sat and rested and got fluids before they did blood work. Sunday morning I got the call I never wanted to get!!! Maggie was in kidney failure! The only word I heard that came out of his mouth was suffering, I told myself I would never let her suffer!!! Me, my 6’4 250lb husband, 6’1 190lb 17 son, and my 120lb 11year old son loaded up and went to say our goodbyes to our 12 lb poodle girl! We cried all the way there and all the way home and I still can’t stop! Was it dedication? Yes! Would I do it again? Absolutely!!! Our little 12lb poodle girl brought me and my family so much joy, I would have taken care of my diabetic baby for the rest of my life if God would have left her with me for that long!!!!
I’m lost without her but I’m thankful for all the memories and joy she brought me! We definitely had a special human/pet bond!
I am having a hard finding food with no chicken, chicken fat or chicken meal. Leo has a food allergery to chicken. Have you come across food that doesn’t have anything chicken that is ok. I found Merrick backcountry raw infused big game. It has lamb, bison and venison.
I have not heard about the meter until you mentioned it. The FastaCare: http://amzn.to/2qwXLei looks very similar to the EverPaw: http://amzn.to/2AuKXog
I do know the AlphaTrak: http://amzn.to/2F0R47r works very well. And the Advocate PetTest: http://amzn.to/2CHzHtO meter works for me but seems others have had issues.
We had good results on CostCo’s Dog Food:
I switched Bender to it after he got a bad bag of food of Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat (which can happen and Wellness refunded me for). After a few bags I switched him back.
Have 2 diabetic dogs, on vetsulin. Were feeding the WD science diet dry and can. Very hard to regulate. Switched to nutrisca chicken and chickpea. Doing much better. But that is only sold in one store in Denver. Can get it online. Thinking of trying to switch to one of the Blue buffalo types. Found the WD very boring for them. They love the veggies and fruit in the nutrisca.
I’m so glad I found this blog! My dog Lucy was just diagnosed last week and it feels overwhelming. She’s 11 years old and I think it was brief course of Temaril that either caused her diabetes or exacerbated it to the point that her symptoms were apparent. The vet said it was such a low dose and short time she was on that he doesn’t think it caused it, but it just seems too coincidental.
My vet doesn’t want to change her food yet but Im wondering if you have any thoughts on Fromm’s. She does the grain free beef fritatta. Maybe he thinks it would be too much for her system to change her food now? Right now we’re just doing insulin, her food with boiled chicken added so she’ll eat it all and I’m only giving her homemade pumpkin or dried chicken treats.
I’m curious about your feeding schedule. My vet told me feed/dose 12 hrs apart and I’m really struggling with that. I’ve been doing 7a/7p and the 7p feeding feels late for her… but I can’t do earlier than 7a in the AM due to my own schedule. I’d love to do a 7:30 or 8a and 6p feeding, but I thought the 12 hr btwn was non negotiable. I feel like I’m not getting great info from my vet : ( Would appreciate your thoughts/experience.
Our Emily was diagnosed with diabetes two weeks ago. Her weight is 7.3 kg. She is on 3 units of Caninsulin every 12 hours. Will be going for a glucose curve next week. I have a couple of questions, that with your experience with this condition, you may be able to provide some insight.
Food: Emily is allergic to chicken. I did some research and found that Wellness Core Ocean was a good choice, but it did have some chicken. I found a Canadian product (I live in Canada) called Nutrience. They have product called SubZero which is grain free. There is Canadian Pacific which as the name suggests fish and Prairie Red which is beef, pork, lamb, boar and bison, neither have chicken. Which would be better the fish or the other?
Peeing: This all started when Emily started peeing everywhere. We noticed that she was drinking a lot. Since being on insulin both peeing and drinking has gone down, but not to the point where is has stopped the uncontrolled peeing. She used to sleep on her dog bed, but now we have set up a puppy playpen and she sleeps in there (with her brother, Emmett). But she is also peeing in the playpen which makes for an uncomfortable sleeping area when she pees at night. Have you or anyone else experienced this? When will/or will this go away? I am thinking that maybe the insulin dosage needs to be adjusted.
Finally. Last night forgot to make sure their water bowl was full. When Emily came upstairs she drank almost the entire bowl of water. She then didn’t want to eat her breakfast. I know that she must eat when she has insulin, so I gave her a boiled egg, then her injection. Today she is very quiet. I am wondering if the egg was not enough, but our vet has not discussed adjusting the dosage to the amount of food she has consumed. I also do not have a glucose meter.
Thank you for your site and suggestions for other sites to investigate.
Deb & Doug
My pup has SARDS and needs to avoid certain ingredients. Orijen Fit and Trim is something I found that fits those needs, but is also low in fat and carbs and high in protein. Orijen Senior is good too. A few people in a diabetic dog FB group also feed it with success. These are newer foods so wanted to let you know about them.
I have a 9 lb doxie diagnosed with KDA, they prescribed W/D canned. He does not like it. He is alittle under weight, and eats like he is starving. A friend recommened merrick grain free limited ingredient chicken stew without potatoe. He gets 1.5 units of insulin 2xdaily. He won’t eat dry, not alot of teeth. He is 10 yrs old. I can’t believe the ingredients in the prescription diets. I’m afraid of changing, but the I don’t have faith in the prescription diet.
My 25 lb jack russell is very hard to regulate. My vet says I must give her very low protein food because diabetes messes with the kidneys. Is the low protein diet the reason I cannot get her regulated on insulin? 6-7 hours after feedin, when the insulin is peaking, my dog starts to crash and wants to eat so I give her about 1/4 cup of food until dinner time. When Jeff says he feeds his dog at 8am and then 6 pm (10 hours instead of 12) does he also give the shot 2 hours early? I thought shots needed to be 12 hours apart?
Fromm’s Beef Fritatta looks like a good food for a diabetic dog. If it works for your dog and she is regulated. I would say go for it but as always consult your Vet before making any changes.
As far as the 12hr apart feeding schedule. It is the optimal way to feed because it is same amount of food and insulin 12hrs apart. But if it doesn’t work for your schedule, then do what works for both you and your dog.
Food: I can’t recommend one over the other because each dog is different. I would try one and see how your dog does on it.
Peeing: Dogs drink lots of wanter to try to get rid of the extra glucose. So either you need to up the insulin dosage or there is something else wrong which I would talk to your Vet about.
I would get a meter: AlphaTrak: http://amzn.to/2F0R47r Or Advocate PetTest: http://amzn.to/2CHzHtO That way you can test at home. While each dog is different and you should test before giving insulin. If your dog eats 1/2 their food. Give 1/2 the insulin. Eats 3/4, give 3/4 the insulin. DON’T EVER give a full dose if your dog hasn’t eaten any food.
The boiled Egg might have upset your dog. You should instead find a food topper that will get your dog excited about eating. We use a wet food. Bender get 1/2 table spoon. It also is used to hide his pill. He eats his food no problem.
Thanks for sharing.
I don’t recommend W/D. It isn’t diabetic friendly. Too much corn.
Diabetes can cause kidney issues. But it is also important to feed diabetic friendly food. Clearly what ever food you are feeding your dog isn’t working. What food are you feeding your dog?
When ever your dog eats a meal, example at 7am, you should also give your dog insulin. So if you feed at 7am, you would give your dog insulin if they eat/after they eat. Then if you feed them at 6pm. You would give them insulin, just like you do in the morning.
The 12hr apart feeding schedule is the optimal way to feed because it is same amount of food and insulin 12hrs apart. But if it doesn’t work for your schedule, then do what works for both you and your dog.
Hi..can you please tell me if blue buffalo senior small breed chicken & brown rice dry food is good for a diabetic dig?
Hi Jeff, I miss talking with you regularly. Just found out that Yagi is Diabetic. Your blog on “getting started” was very helpful.
Is a food with lamb and sweet potato ingredients okay for a diabetic dog?
I have a Snorkie. Half Schnauzer half Yorkie. He was diagnosed with diabetes at only age 3. I stay so upset all the time because number one he is so young and number two the COST OF DIABETES FOR HIM IS PUTTING EXTREME STRESS ON MY HEALTH PROBLEMS. I have alot on my credit card for his supplies such as his Vetsulin Insulin,Royal Canine Wet and Dry dog foods and his needles. The Vet has me to give him a little wet before each insulin shot. He has to have 2 shots daily. Does anyone PLEASE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO HELP ME IN MY SUPPLIES COST AREA FOR MY TOBY. I LOVE HIM VERY MUCH, BUT CAN’T AFFORD TO KEEP PACKING MONEY ON MY CREDIT CARD. IT’S GETTING UNAFFORDABLE FOR ME. I STAY SO WORRIED AND UPSET ALL THE TIME. Thank You.
We get my dogs insulin from Walmart. It’s only $28 for Novolin N. We order his needles from Total Diabetes Supply and it’s $10.95 for a box of 100 needles. We found this much cheaper than ordering through a pharmacy. I think it was $140 for needles and insulin from Rite Aid.
My dog just got diagnosed with Diabetes. She is a lab/newfoundland mix. She weighed at 120 lbs and started to not have control of her bladder, excessive drinking, not herself at all and lost about 27 lbs! Her levels were in the 400s. My vet put her on hill W/D food and Novolin R-30 units twice a day at feeding(she gets fed in the morning and night). It did a 180 on her and she is back to her crazy self. Only problem is, Novolin R is $219 for 10 ML and last a little over 2 weeks, I cannot afford that. So I am switching her to novolin N (walmart brand) and sticking her to 30 units for now- as my vet said. My question is, how do you know how to adjust her insulin based on her glucose level? Is there a chart to follow? I need to get a glucose test, do they carry those at Walmart? Also, do you feed your dog before, after or during the shot? Thanks in advance for your help!
I was wondering if it is bet to exercise before or after the food and shot. (6am and 6pm) Also, I use the urine strips per my vets advice. I only test in the morning. Should I be testing in the morning AND the afternoon? And last but not least, my walks were random. I see now they should be scheduled too. Should walks happen before the food/shot or after food/shot. and I assume that should be happening twice a day too?
Thanx so much for your time an info,my 8yr old female malamute tiny bit of wolf was just diagnosed with diabetes only found out cause she went blind over the weekend she’s lil over 120 lbs,she’s been on Walmart novolin n 21ccs for a week seems fine other then not knowing why she can’t see an still drinks alot of wtr. but not as much as before,changed her food to Merrick grainfree healthy weight,Dixie cup full twice day 7 an 7 only been at this a week so really appreciate the help gettin the glucose tester an some drops for her eyes Monday, I have her son also,hes about 140 lbs but seems fine so far lil overweight but just big boy working on gettin his weight down some but not like he waddles or anything gets lots of exercise we live on 2 acres thanx again
Was wondering bout treats,I have some alpo dental sticks,plus been given them frozen chunks of raw pigs ft.both dogs blood work came back all good except for Stormys glucose was still high 440 down to 525 after one week they raised her insulin from 21ccs to 25ccs thanx again for your vigilance for pets
Has anyone had any experience with feeding Orijen to diabetic dog? The ingredients seems quite good but yet the vet is pushing for royal canin diabetic or hills w/d etc. https://www.orijen.ca/us/foods/dog-food/dry-dog-food/regional-red/
Thank you in advance.
Stormys glucose was 89 before dinner usually in 200s do I give her the normal shot wait awhile an check it again there’s been no changes im confused don’t want her to crash, help!this is all new to me
Why can’t I get a handle on my dog glucose?we do the same thing everyday,feed at 6 am an pm shot at 630am an pm,walks after in morn before at nite(before dark)but her glucose is all over the place then the other nite her glucose was 80 at 545 before feed an before shot im confused please help