In the midst of working with a variety of worried diabetic pet owners, I wanted to share a story with all of you about a dog named Jock. I got a call from a man who owns a 9 year old, 8 pound toy poodle, named Jock. Jock has diabetes and had been taking Vetsulin for a couple years to regulate his blood sugar, when all of the sudden, about a month ago, Jock started rapidly going down hill. In fact Jock got so bad, he had to get IV fluids and stay at the vets for 3 days. Eddie was upset. He had just come home from the vet, who handed him Jock’s latest blood work and explained that unfortunately, Jock’s condition had become even worse. Now he had liver in addition to kidney failure and there was nothing else that could be done. The vets final words were “love your dog for his last few days.” After talking for a while, I told him it was possible that the liver and kidney problems were both related to the Vetsulin. Eddie was unaware of the Vetsulin recall. I explained the Vetsulin issue and told him he would need a prescription from his vet for DNA based insulin. He would need to make a decision quickly if he was going to try to save Jock. He was going to think about it and hung up.
Later that day, our phone rang. Eddie had discussed this with the vet, and got a prescription. Pets with diabetes, need to have their sugar level checked daily and their insulin dose adjusted accordingly. Apparently Eddie had been checking Jock’s sugar levels by pricking him in the ear with a needle each day to get a drop of blood. He checked Jock’s sugar with a blood glucose monitor he bought for $165.00. He mentioned he wasn’t sure how accurate it was because the values he got never matched the vets and further more Eddie was tired of being stuck with needles.
We decided to go with the old fashioned method and use urine. Eddie went out to the drug store again and bought urine glucose test strips. After explaining how easy it would be is to regulate him this way, he felt confident and started Jock’s new insulin. A couple days later he called and said Jock was doing ok, but not great. We reviewed his blood work and decided to add fluids, which he could learn to give at home, vitamins to boost his red blood cells and a home made diet to help take the burden off his kidneys. Off he went back to the vet to discuss this again. His vet agreed it was worth a try and gave him the supplies to use at home.
That was just 3 weeks ago. Today, Jock’s blood work revealed normal kidney function, normal red blood count and no more anemia. His Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), a less sensitive indicator of kidney function, went from 78 down to 44, his Creatinine, a very specific indicator of kidney function, from 4.3 to 1.4, and his Phosphorus from 6.5 to 5.2. Now we are working together to try to reverse Jocks liver failure.
Jock is doing fabulously. He is like a new dog. He is happy, tail wagging all the time and a super hero.
His insulin as of this AM is down to 10 units and I am pleased about that. I will be doing another catch in about an hour and hope to see a little more improvement as we have altered his home-made diet.
I will search for the proper coffee tomorrow and see if we can get his enema done.
As usual, thanks for your help.
El Paso, Illinois