Glucose control for diabetic dog

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On Mar. 11, my 13-year-old female (spayed) chihuahua was diagnosed with liver problems. Hepato support was ordered and she was started on liver/kidney prescription diet (Hills) On the return visit Mar. 13, blood work indicated diabetes. Her glucose reading was very high, more than 600. She was started on 5 units of insulin. Subsequent visits saw her insulin raised incrementally to 14 units. Finally a reading of 69 from over 400 three days earlier. Insulin reduced to 13 units. Today, two weeks later, having followed our vet’s recommendations as closely as possible with no snacks or changes in diet other than the addition of a boiled egg occasionally to encourage her to eat the prescription food, her glucose reading is slightly above 500! What in the world could have caused such a tremendous change in the past 2 weeks? What could I have done wrong? (I’m afraid my vet doesn’t believe me.)

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Asked on April 13, 2020 10:25 am
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I am sorry your dog and you have to go through this experience. At the Sanctuary, we find a lot of individual variation in how much insulin a dog needs. Also, since animals have type 2 diabetes, when initially diagnosed their pancreas may actually still be working some. Then when it completely stops working the dose goes up. You will get to the proper dose quicker if you are able to test the blood glucose at home, your veterinarian or one of their technicians should be able to teach you how to do this. They can then advise how to adjust the dose for a given blood glucose reading. Our animals have individual tables showing how much insulin to give based on their blood glucose level. The variables you are dealing with are how much is eaten and how active your dog is at a given time. Adjust the dose to meet the need.

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Posted by Dr. Gaylord Brown
Answered on April 14, 2020 8:36 pm