My little poodle has been diabetic for 4 years. His glucose levels are good. I have had every imaginable test run on him to find out why he can’t gain weight. Everything checks out perfectly except one time his electrolytes were off. I now put an electrolyte powder in his water. He was 10 lbs when diagnosed and is now 6 pounds. Every bone in his body sticks out. I take him to a Traditional Chinese Medicine vet, an acupunture specialist, and his regular vet. He is on Vetsulin and thyroid. I give him Caniotic probiotics, coconut oil and digestive enzymes. I have gone raw, dehydrated, bought recipes at Balance It, bought recipes from a California company that makes food based on their vet’s advice, tried Sojo’s and other “add meat” foods, dry food, canned food, etc. I have tried everything. High fat foods make him throw up. It is breaking my heart that we are heading back into winter and he’s skin and bones. Yes, he stays inside and wears shirts or sweaters all year, but he is way too skinny.
Hi Kellye P,
I am so sorry to hear about your little guy.
When you say his glucose levels are good can you tell me how often he is tested and what his numbers are please? Has he had a Hemoglobin A1c Test or a Fructosamine test, both of which will show your dog’s average blood sugar over a couple of weeks or months? High blood sugars could interfere with glucose metabolism and cause weight loss.
He is also on thyroid meds and a high thyroid level could also cause weight loss. Does he take thyroid medicine once or twice a day? He should be taking his meds twice a day not once. His thyroxine (T4) levels should be tested about 4 hours after giving him his thyroid medicine and should be high normal to about 25% over normal.
Does he just stop eating after he eats a certain amount of food? Would it be possible for you to feed him 25% more than you are feeding him now?
Please let me know these things so we can all try to figure out how to help your little guy gain some weight.
Thanks for the response. He gets the Fructosamine test every six months. He is always in the proper range. He is due to get tested again in October so I will have new numbers, but nothing has changed. He does not drink a lot of water or have any other symptoms of high glucose.
Last year I had the complete thyroid panel done – every single test. I thought maybe he was too high. He takes .1 mg of thyroxine twice a day. I was hoping that was the problem but all the tests came back normal. My vet is very particular with the timing so I’m sure she had me in the office 4 hours after he took his pill.
He is so tiny and cannot eat much at one time. I feed him exactly twelve hours apart but give him a little bit of food around noon and he gets a small snack at night. If he eats more than his usual amount, he throws up. His tiny stomach can’t hold more than half a cup.
I exercise him 30 minutes a day. He’s blind but can fetch in the house and will trot behind me on our very long driveway. The TCM vet does chiropractic adjustments and says his muscles are in pretty good shape. We walk uphill and he goes up our stairs.
A specialist in this area also treats him and consults with my vet. He suggested that we stop insulin for three days to reset him and then start up again. During the days he was not getting insulin, his glucose levels were right around 250. However, his urine test showed ketones. The specialist said that did not make sense. My vet said she probably would have taken him off insulin if he stayed at 250 without it. The ketones messed up that plan, though. Nobody has any explanation as to why he had ketones. I think that is the key to the weight problem but I have no idea what it means.
I have taken him to a vet school and many other specialists. He is a medical mystery. The good news is that he is quite content and if he knew how much time I spent trying to figure out why he won’t gain weight, he’d probably think I was crazy!
Hi Kellye P,
“During the days he was not getting insulin, his glucose levels were right around 250. However, his urine test showed ketones. The specialist said that did not make sense. My vet said she probably would have taken him off insulin if he stayed at 250 without it. The ketones messed up that plan, though. Nobody has any explanation as to why he had ketones. I think that is the key to the weight problem but I have no idea what it means.”
This is from the Merck Veterinary Manual:
“The normal fasting value for blood glucose in dogs and cats is 75–120 mg/dL”
With a blood glucose reading of 250 mg/dl I am not surprised that he had ketones in his urine and I don’t know why anybody thought that 250 could be a reason for taking him off insulin. 250 is HIGH!
Ketones are a sign that your body is starting to burn fat instead of glucose for energy. This can be a sign of poorly controlled Diabetes and I don’t think it was a mystery why your pup had ketones in his urine with a blood glucose reading of 250 mg/dl when a normal blood sugar for a dog is usually between 75 to 120 mg/dl.
Would you mind posting his last 2 or 3 Fructosamine and thyroxine (T4) test results please? Losing weight can be a symptom of poorly controlled Diabetes and/or an overactive thyroid and that’s why I would like to know the actual numbers of the tests.
Sorry for you and your pups troubles!
Hi Kellye, I’m having the same problem with Patch keeping on his weight he doesnt have Diabetes, he has Pancreatitis & IBD, I want to have him tested for diabetes Ive read that some dogs that have pancreatitis will get diabetes, I was going to have him tested for diabetes….what I do is I look for kibbles with high calories, low fat%. I found the Wellness Simple Duck & Oatmeal has 450 kcal per cup ME but then Patch started scratching his ear I looked at the ingredients again & released it has potato protein Patch cant eat Pototes so now I feed have him the Wellness Simple Lamb & Oatmeal it has 406 kcal per cup ME its less then the Duck but its higher then most kibbles that Ive found, I also feed Patch 4 meals a day, you have to work out how many calories ur boy should be getting a day & feed him a bit more, well thats what Ive been doing with Patch & he’s gain 1/2 a kilo in weight but its only been 2 weeks since I started increasing his food… I know with raw they lose weight when you first start, does he need the digestive enzymes..
I know when Patch was eating 1 cup of boiled chicken breast, boiled pumkin & 1/2 a boiled egg mixed altogether he gained all his weight back but then I found out he can’t have chicken so I changed it to tuna in spring water drained & he lost weight again, so boiled chicken breast must have more calories then Tuna does, I know pasta would put on some weight but with diabetes you have to watch their carbs but they are allowed a little bit per day…Have you tried a dog nutritionist for some recipes what he can eat with his diabetes & gain weight awell….on yahoo there’s a group call “K9Kitchen” run by Monica Segal she does recipes for illness..
USA — I am looking at the fructosamine test from March and it says the reference range is 260-358. I remember my vet saying that he was in the range that might require us to lower his insulin but she didn’t want to do that because he was doing so well. The specialist always tells me to not treat the numbers but to treat the dog. Per the explanation on the results, 260 is just above the range that might mean prolonged hypoglycemia. I am home all day so I observe his behavior. He does not drink a lot or act like he’s unhappy. He is quite content. The specialist says a happy dog is the goal so to stop worrying. (easy to say!!!) Neither vet was the least bit concerned about the 250 glucose reading when he was off insulin. They expected him to be much higher. My vet talked to the Vetsulin people and many other specialists. She calls anybody and everybody to get consultations on this little dog. He goes for his thyroid and fructosamine test in a couple weeks so I will have new numbers and will post them here. As for the thyroid, since he has been on the thyroxine, he has tested normal every time. I really hoped that was the problem but the full panel done last year showed everything was normal. In fact, the most frustrating part of this whole story is that we can’t get my dog to test positive for anything that will give us a new idea for how to treat him. He is the most abnormal “normal” dog in the world.
sue62b – I paid big bucks to two different companies that specialize in vet formulated recipes for dogs. When I saw the final results, I was a bit skeptical. The amount of food they advised was less than what I feed now and it was so amazingly healthy. Yes, that’s a good thing, but maybe not for a skinny dog??? For example, lean chicken breast – broiled, with a tiny bit of chickpeas and a dash of corn oil. It came to about .25 cup. (with a vitamin supplement added but no calories in the supplement) I don’t like corn oil due to GMOs but that’s another story.
Another recipe had lots and lots of broccoli. Does anybody have a very picky dog who would willingly eat broccoli?? And, of course, I researched every single ingredient they told me to feed him and I had a few issues with broccoli. They told me I wasn’t feeding enough to cause harm but why would I feed anything that might be dangerous? There was a study done that showed broccoli could cause problems in dogs but they told me it was not a proven fact and many dogs eat it and there are no problems at all. That’s not good enough for me. 🙂
I did try the Wellness Duck and Oatmeal. Duck is a preferred protein per my Traditional Chinese Medicine vet. Duck is “cool” so it counters the “hot” diabetes. Turkey is also “cool”. Lamb is “warm” but I may try that one too. My boy was not super crazy about the Duck and Oatmeal. It would be great if he’d eat it because there is a store that sells it right by my favorite grocery store. I am keeping Chewy.com in business with my many orders of almost every food they sell! I had good luck with ZiwiPeak canned food but only one type was considered tasty by my boy and that one became unavailable in January. It cost $5 per can, by the way. 🙂
I do use didgestive enzymes, plus coconut oil because my TCM vet said it adds calories and is another “cool” food.
He has always preferred dry kibble and right now he likes the Nulo food but he used to like Fromm and he was heavier at that time so I just ordered more Fromm. (they have a duck recipe)
Thank you for the info on K9Kitchen. I will check it out!!
Good luck with Patch. If you have access to vets who went to the Chi Institute, they have all sorts of herbal supplements that might help you. I used Liver Happy back when my boy had slightly elevated levels. His next test showed a reading of 45, as I recall, which was fantastic. Even the Chi TCM vet was amazed. Unfortunately the Chi blends for diabetes contain cinnamon and my boy will throw up cinnamon every single time. That is really a shame because that herbal remedy gets rave reviews from other parents of diabetic dogs.
Thank you both!!!!
Hi Kellye P,
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
I’ve been thinking about the Ketones in his urine and what would cause that other than high blood sugars. Ketones are a sign that his body is looking for alternate sources of energy and he is starting to use stored fat as an energy source. It points to a problem in getting energy the usual way which is through his diet. Canine Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is when the pancreas no longer produces enough digestive enzymes to break down his food into usable energy. This could be why he throws up if he eats foods high in fat or if he eats more than you are feeding him now. It could also be responsible for his weight loss.
Treatment for EPI includes replacing lost pancreatic enzymes. The types and amounts of enzymes needed would be different from the enzymes you are giving him now. I would think about trying the enzymes because it would be a pretty low risk solution if it works. I would also start slowly and get up to the full recommended dose for him over a couple of weeks to see how they are affecting him and to minimize any side effects. This is a link to a place where they sell the types of enzymes you would need without a prescription and at a decent price:
I would order a small amount of the 8X version to try out. Here is a link to an overview of how to use enzymes for EPI:
And lastly here is a link to an overview of canine EPI. There is a lot of useful info on this website:
Good luck and please keep us updated. We all are hoping for the best for you and your little guy!!!
Thank you so much! I am on my iPad so this will be brief. I talked to my vet about EPI about a year ago but she didn’t think it was the culprit because his stools are completely normal. Would it be harmful in any way to use the enzymes without a diagnosis of EPI? I will check his current enzyme blend to see if it has the same ingredients. I get them from Mercola.com — Dr. Karen Becker is connected to the brand.
I would be so happy if this worked! He looks like those “before” photos. It’s horrible.
Thank you so, so much for taking so much time and providing those links. I really appreciate it.
Hi Kellye P,
What is his name?
I would use the 6X enzymes for the little guy, NOT the 8X enzymes. I would probably buy the 50 gram size to start.
The possible dangers seem to be mouth sores and diarrhea or other gastrointestinal discomfort. The risks can be minimized by adding water or unsweetened applesauce or yogurt to better spread the enzymes in the food and to activate the enzymes. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to help avoid possible mouth sores and to activate the enzymes
Full Dose – I teaspoon 6X powder per cup of kibble. 3/4 teaspoon 6X powder per cup of canned food. You don’t have to add water to canned food but you still have to mix well and let sit for at least 20 minutes.
I would start with a quarter dose. So for your little guy that would be 1/8 teaspoon 6X powder for a half a cup of kibble and 2 oz of liquid. If he doesn’t get diarrhea or any other side effects I would stick with this dose for 1 week. Then I would go to 1/4 teaspoon of 6X powder for each 1/2 cup of kibble and 2 oz liquid. If he still is showing no negative side effects I would increase the dose to 3/8 teaspoon 6X powder per half cup of kibble. I would keep the liquid at 2 oz. 1 week later I would increase to 1/2 teaspoon 6X powder per half cup of kibble and keep the liquid to 2 oz.
1/2 teaspoon per half cup of kibble is a therapeutic dose and if he has had no side effects he should begun to show signs of improvement if he is suffering from EPI.
You should weigh him before you start and then once a week until you can determine if he is gaining any weight. Hopefully he will!!!
Remember that this should be discussed with your vet. I am not a healthcare professional. These suggestions are what I would try if I were in your situation. Remember to add the liquid to the kibble and to mix well. Let the kibble sit for at least 20 minutes before feeding. For canned foods you would just add the powder and mix well, then let stand for at least 20 minutes before feeding.
Good luck and keep us updated!
His name is Duffy.
I bought a baby scale last year and weigh him every week. I have to force myself to not obsess too much. I believe I have failed. 🙂
I have three of his siblings and they are healthy, happy, gorgeous boys. My vet says I am the most determined owner she has ever seen. I refuse to give up.
I already knew the protocol on enzymes but thank you. Believe me, I have spent thousands of hours reading up on every possible condition. I have four friends who are vets so they let me bounce ideas off them too. I will try the 6x. My current enzymes have all the same ingredients but maybe not in the same dosage.
It’s been a month since my first post so here’s an update. Duffy had his semi-annual bloodwork done. I don’t have copies of the results yet but my vet said:
Heartworm – negative
Thyroid – normal
Fructosamine – good control
CBC – no abnormal results
She sent his blood to the lab instead of using her own equipment. She wanted to make sure they tested for everything and using the lab allowed her to ask the various specialists questions. She explained that the concern is his weight.
(Sidenote: Duffy is her only underweight client!)
The specialist suggested we test for Cushing’s. I did not want to do that. We have tested him many times before and he always tests normal. However, the specialist said cortisol could play a role in his inability to gain weight. I thought too much cortisol caused weight gain, but I gave in and took him back for the test.
We did a urine culture which was negative. Nothing grew. My vet said that never happens. As I said before, Duffy is the healthiest “deathly ill” dog in the world.
Back when he was at UT Knoxville vet school for an exam, he was put on melatonin and flax lignin. He was not super skinny at that time. I asked my vet if I should go back to giving him those supplements. The idea at the time was to control non-Cushing’s cortisol, even though we could never prove that he had any problems in that area.
I don’t know if it ever worked but he was two pounds heavier.
So we’re back on melatonin and flax lignin.
I have the special enzymes too. I have not used them much since he doesn’t like wet food or kibble soaked in liquid.
Which leads me to my final update — I found a dry food that he loves. It’s made in Ohio so not far from us and it’s delivered fresh to Lexington. The company is called Pet Wants.
Duffy had gained 5 oz in the past ten days. I am beyond thrilled. My goal is 8 lbs and he is now at 6 lbs 7 oz.
Hi Kellye P,
That’s Great News!! I am so very happy for you and Duffy.
I still wonder about the ketones that had showed up in Duffy’s urine in the past. I think it could be beneficial for you to buy a vial of Keto-Diastix. They are about $25 for a hundred and they are a urine test for ketones and glucose. My thinking is that if Duffy tests positive for ketones AND glucose in his urine then this will let us know that his ketones are due to high blood sugar and you would then take a closer look at his diabetes control. If he tests positive for just glucose then again you would take a closer look at hid diabetes control.
If Duffy tests positive for just ketones then it could be that he suffers from malabsorption of nutrients due to a pancreatic issue and you would take a closer look at how to get those enzymes into his system. Finally if he tests negative for glucose and ketones then you have determined that the issue is probably NOT related to diabetes or EPI.
I would test his urine first thing in the morning, 1 hour before meals and 2 hours after meals. You can do 1 test one day and at another time on a different day. I would try for at least 3 readings in each time frame so you have multiple readings to analyze.
It’s a low cost non-invasive at home way of ruling out or confirming whether or not Duffy is having any issues with his pancreas or glucose that hasn’t shown up on previous tests.
Anyhow I have a smile on my face for you and Duffy right now and I am hoping for the best!!!
USA Dog Treats,
You are so, so kind to help Duffy and me! I really appreciate the time you put into solving the mystery of my little boy!!!
I buy Keto-Diastix by the thousands. I have a bunch ordered from Amazon right now.
I test first thing in the morning, around noon, and then at 5. He never has ketones and his glucose levels are negative or very light on the color chart.
I cannot get Duffy to test positive for anything!! My vet was so certain it was Cushing’s. I made her promise to never say that word again if he tested normal. She is now forbidden to say it!! We have gone down every road so many times. All dead ends.
However, he is squirming and kicking and playing – and gaining ounces!
If melatonin and flax lignans turn out to be what helps him, I will have my vet publish a paper just in case somebody else is dealing with a mystery dog.
It might also be the Pet Wants Buffalo/Duck recipe. He eats it with great gusto.
Thanks again. You give excellent advice. 🙂
Kellye, Duffy is one lucky dog!! Best of luck, I admire your determination.
Jakes Mom, thank you so much!! I appreciate it so much when like minded people understand my devotion to Duffy. My husband and I miss out on a lot of fun things since Duffy is on such a strict feeding schedule, then his insulin shot, and then his walk. We have to be home every day at 5:30 p.m. There are no vacations for us.
Thank you for understanding why we do it! 🙂
Yes, Kellye P, I “get it” also. As I just spent a LOT of money and missed work time to save one of my cats. Many of my friends and family don’t get it. We spend a lot of time and money to keep up our crew and miss out on some other fun things as well. Your pup is very lucky to have you.
Crazy4cats, I think we are a different breed of human and we have a kinship with animals that other people don’t have and therefore don’t understand. I truly believe it!! 🙂
Thank goodness my husband has never questioned a dime I have spent taking Duffy to specialists. Next week we go to the Traditional Chinese Medicine vet. That is 3 hours of driving — not a problem!
I hope your kitty made a full recovery. You are one of the Good Guys.
I could not live with myself if I didn’t go down fighting with my furry family. You are undoubtedly exactly the same.
We had three tornadoes near us a couple weeks ago. I refused to go to our neighbor’s basement because I had seven dogs and three cats looking to me for comfort. I was going down with the ship!! Luckily, we escaped with no damage.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Kellye P.
I weighed Duffy again. He went on his walk and did his business so it was an accurate reading. The scale read 6:10.9 — so just a whisker shy of 6 lbs 11 oz!!
How can I put his photo in my profile? I’m on an iPad and it won’t give me a prompt to add a photo. I get “open” or “copy” — that’s it.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Kellye P.
Hi Kellye, go to http://www.Gravatar.com/profiles if that doesnt work scoll down to “contact us” on ur right click then just follow the links….
Thanks, Susan! As you can see, I added Duffy in his Doggles. Since he is blind, I worry that he’ll look at the sun or get poked in the eye. His ophthalmologist said I was actually right — about the poked in the eye concern.
This is when he was 8+ pounds.
He’s been 6.1 pounds since last year so his recent weight gain is really amazing. Fingers crossed!!!!!
Very cute pic! Fingers crossed ☺️
Hi Kellye, I like his Doggles, he looks real cool…
Thanks! His attitude has kept him going. If he wasn’t so tough, he never would have made it this far.
Kellye, I haven’t gone through quite as much as you have with Duffy but I’ve had my share of pet issues! Cats with urinary tract issues, dog with diabetes, another dog with hypothyroid and seizure disorder, a dog with heart disease, cat with hyperthyroidism…a few years ago I was juggling 11 meds between 3 pets. It was pretty much get out of bed, feed and give meds, go to work, come straight home, feed and give meds! What we do for our furry kids, huh? Glad to hear things seem to be improving, he’s adorable.
Jakes Mom, you must be very organized. You have had some very tough medical issues to handle. We had a little dog with heart issues that lasted a year before we had him put to sleep. He was on human meds that I got at CVS. They were $$$$.
Juggling meds is a chore! You had it extra tough with both hypo and hyper conditions. Can’t get them confused! Not to mention the fact that I have very little luck medicating our cats. If a Pill Pocket doesn’t work, I’m out of luck.
I am VERY lucky with my hyper-t cat, he comes when I call him and all I have to do is open his mouth and put pill in. I put it in as far back on his tongue as possible and he swallows. Then gets a yummy treat, both for reward and to make sure pill gets all the way down. The dogs with medical issues are at the Bridge now but my hyper-t cat, Dustin, is 19 and still going strong.
My Casper kitty, that had the blocked urinary tract is taking his medicine very well also. He doesn’t fight it one bit. Not the stereotypical cat at all. My hyper-t kitty’s meds are mixed in her canned food and she usually eats them right up. Very lucky, so far. If either of the other two cats had to take meds, I’d be one big scratch from head to toe! 😀
My cats know how to get the claws of all 4 feet into you if you have to pill them. Fortunately, my 1 cat that has to have meds every day will eat it in her food, because she is the worst one to pill. Man, did she mess me up one day!! I think that’s a thing with rescue cats. They know how to defend themselves.weezerweeksMember
BC nut I have 8 rescue cats and I have no trouble giving 4 medicine but the other 4 forget it. My vet has to give them the antibiotic shot when they need them because I can not do it. I don’t think I haven’t had a scratch on me since May. Oh well I love my babies!!
LOL! I think it took me from May til now to heal from the last time I had to give my cat meds. I’ve had rescues that were really mellow and you could do anything with them, but my current 3 cats are more like feral cats.
We live in the country so cats find us. We had one named Hissy who could swallow a mouse like a snake. She just swallowed the entire thing. Duffy was the size of a mouse when we got him. I told Hissy that if she even thought about looking at him as a meal, she’d be so, so sorry. She understood and didn’t bother him.
He got to try Holistic canned food tonight. (Duck recipe)
He liked it. I always feel relieved when I know there is another food he will eat. There is so much extra pressure with a super picky dog who has to eat exactly the same amount of food twice a day at approximately the same time. I have a pantry that looks like a pet food store! Sometimes I have to try four different foods before he will decide to eat.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Kellye P.
You should see Sandy’s pantry, and her dogs aren’t picky. I think she gets canned food by the pallet. We are a BUNCH of dog food hoarders here. I usually have about 200 lbs of raw in my freezer and 150 lbs of kibble in the house.
Ha!! Glad to know there are so many crazy pet parents out there. I must have a bit of hoarder DNA because I get nervous if I don’t have at least one extra of everything medical — eyedrops and pill prescriptions — and lots of extra food and treats.
If we are stuck here for a month, the dogs will be fine. Hubby and I will starve, but the dogs will be fine. 🙂
Help!! I need moral support. I * might* have gotten a bit cranky at my vet this morning. Okay… I definitely did. She gave me a couple cans of Royal Canin canned Diabetic formula to try on Duffy. (Picky Eater!). I looked at the ingredients and saw, in order, water sufficient for processing, pork by-products, wheat gluten, something about corn…
That’s when I handed the cans back to her and said no thanks. I said I am suspicious of by-products and Duffy is too picky anyway. She said Royal Canin by-products are the heart, liver, and other nutritious organs. I said some variation of, “Poppycock!” and she seemed to be a bit hurt by my tone. No bad language or raised voice but I was very stubborn.
Is that a decent food???Linda PMember
Kellye P ~ I just stumbled across this site when I was looking for help. It was though you were writing about my Kismet! Thank you everyone for all the wonderful info. I was just wondering though, how is dear Duffy?
Hi Linda P,
Thank you for asking about Duffy. He ended up making amazing progress. He topped 7 pounds and grew the most glorious coat of dark black curly hair. It was unbelievable! You can see from his photo that he had gone gray. The new hair was jet black. He was doing better than I could have ever hoped, but then he had a crash of hypoglycemia. He stayed in the specialist’s 24 hour hospital for 5 days. They did a glucose curve the entire time and he was all over the chart. He soared up to 600 and then 1 unit of insulin sent him to 30 and he stayed around 50 for many hours. They watched him very closely and he seemed fine so they let everything work itself out. He came home with instructions to get .5 unit once a day. He crashed again a couple months later. Where do you go from there? I had to try to feed him several times a day, which he did not like. He had his first seizure in December 2015. We tried all the drugs and did everything we could but the seizures started to come in waves, one after another, so we had to say goodbye this past February. It absolutely broke our hearts. I fought so hard and never gave up on him, but as soon as I realized the seizures couldn’t be controlled, I ended it very quickly. I didn’t hesitate. No suffering for Duffy. 💜💜💜💜
Good luck with Kismet. Solid Gold canned food Hund-N-Flocken became a favorite and it is the highest calorie that I have found at 580 per can. Duffy loved it. I sliced it and baked it into crunchy treats so he ate it all day.Linda PMember
Thanks so much for your reply. I was sorry to hear about Duffy. It’s all about “quality of life” – not ours, but our baby. Duffy couldn’t have had a more loving mommy, who did everything in her power & beyond, to give him that quality. When we have pets with medical issues, we end up becoming almost experts about the illness….we become a sponge of information. Yet, even with all that information, things don’t go right. It doesn’t make sense, it becomes frustrating & we hit that wall. Diabetes is an UGLY disease that doesn’t play by the rules, even when you follow the rules completely. So, we just do our best & rejoice with our successful attempts & feel defeated with our failures. What a conundrum!
Kizzy is 13.5 yrs old. Same problems as Duffy. Diabetic 2.5 yrs & now hard to regulate. Treating Cushings with Melatonin & Flax Lignan. Seems ok. Thyroid meds. Feeding Royal Canin Glycobalance. I know how you feel about this food. =) Loss of hearing & nearly blind but he sure can find me in the house. Ordered Ketone test strips – learned a lot from your blog! Takes walks with his housemates & is happy. Dislocated his hip 2 wks ago & had FHO surgery 1 wk ago. Still recovering but made it through the surgery ok. Just getting back to normal after having high temp for several days. Lots of Nurse Mommy care BUT I would do it all again to help him. We all learn to avoid the term “Gads! What else could go wrong?” Baring a brain transplant, I’ll do just about anything to help him. Face it, we’re goners but it can’t compare to the love & joy they give us. I know Kizzy probably isn’t going to be with me too much longer but I’ll do what I have to do in the meantime. As long as there’s a twinkle in his little eyes, he’s ok. It’s all about quality.
It was a pleasure to meet another passionate & dedicated mommy. You’re amazing! Enjoy all your babies, present & who are yet to come. Take care.
PS Tell me more about the Solid Gold food. Sounds good for weight gain but is it for diabetics?
Thank you so much for your kind words. I held the little paw print that came with Duffy’s ashes and cried a bit. 😢
The one thing I did that made the biggest positive impact was finding the Chi Institute herbalist. It’s a real shame that Duffy was so allergic to cinnamon because the formula for diabetics gets rave reviews but it’s full of various forms of cinnamon. However, the Chi Institute vet had other herbal formulas that helped a lot with keeping him content in other ways. Duffy was drug free except for insulin and he never had any problems with stiffness or liver or bladder or anything except the dad-blasted glucose!!!
I highly recommend finding a local Chi Institute herbalist because Kismet can probably handle cinnamon just fine and the formula will help.
The Solid Gold food isn’t necessarily for diabetics but since Duffy would eat it, he got it every day and he thrived on it. My vet wanted him to get at least 300 calories a day, which meant over half a can. With any other food, that would have been impossible, but I could get 1/3 cup in Duffy twice a day and then little bonus bits as baked treats. The food is very thick so I could slice it and bake it as crunchy treats as well as feed it straight from the can.
Also, a trick I thought of that seemed to work —
I took Acana duck kibble (“cool” for diabetes), put it in the food processor, and chopped it to a fine powder. I added 1/8 cup of the powder to the canned food for added calories.
It didn’t add much bulk and Duffy didn’t notice the extra food.
He was so hard to keep alive. Even as a puppy, he refused to eat. He never saw food as a reward. He never begged for treats. I always had to force him to eat but it wasn’t a big deal until he became diabetic. That when he HAD to eat twice a day, and had to eat the same amount of food.
What breed is Kismet? Do you use the super short needle syringes? I had my pharmacy special order them. Duffy was like a baby bird so he needed everything very small. I ordered the glucose/ketone test strips from Amazon. They had the two test pads on each strip. I used an electrolyte supplement in his water. It was an unsweetened brand made for dogs. It’s also sold on Amazon.
Let me know how things go for Kismet. Best wishes!!Kristen RMember
Hi Kellye P,
I just want to say thank you for all of your input. I am going through something very similar with my black lab Layla, right down to the strange weight loss and the Vet handing me crappy food (in this case corn-laden science diet). I feel Layla Orijen, so to me the suggestion of Hills was like being smacked in the face. Anyway, I was so sorry to read about Duffy. Have you ever thought of writing a book about your experience? There’s so much conflicting and limited info out there about diabetic dogs–and I have a feeling your story has helped quite a few people to know they are not alone. Hope all is well. Duffy was a lucky pup to have you by his side.
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comment. It means the world to me to know that all my struggles with Duffy might be helping other dog parents.
You are so right, there is very limited and conflicting information available to us.
I have had multiple requests to write a book, and I really need to get busy. It wouldn’t be only about Duffy, though. My experiences out here on our little Kentucky farm have taught me a lot.
Stick to your guns with Layla. If nothing else, you know that you are not making decisions based on what company is actively marketing you as a client. Just say no. I am 100% certain that you are right on this subject!!
Don’t be afraid to try the Chi Institute supplements if you have a holistic vet in your area. I found them to be very effective.
I know how hard this is. It’s the worst. Not all protocols work for every dog so don’t feel trapped by what “they” say. Duffy was the exception to every single rule. Opinions on how much insulin to give him varied from 20 units a day to 0 units a day. I was supposed to make sense of all the conflicting data and various theories.
All you can do is educate yourself and go with your own gut feeling. Not easy!!!
I have the same story as Kelly: 6 lb Parti Pom with collapsing trachea (taking Lomotil), hypothyroid (.1mg bid), seizures (Keppra 0.6 TID), knee issues, hair issues and she is diabetic getting 0.5U of N TID. She is on raw diet of meat, I mix in blender: 2 eggs with crushed shell, 1 can of green beans, 1 can pumpkin, 1 can of spinach, 1 banana, 10 blueberries, 1 tsp concentrated OJ, 1/2 Quinoa (Just added for fiber/protein). Garlic And anything else I have like broccoli/low cal high fiber, little or no sugar foods. Once a smoothe, she eats anything mixed in her meat. Her Frutosamines have been low and she went from 2U N to 0.5u but she still went into DKA with over 10000.00 ICU bill. We are not looking at frutosamine any more. I check her urine daily and if she has ketones, I add o.5u to her regimen. She is on it now after high ketone and high glucose reads last week. Her curve was done and she was in the 300s dropping to below 200 at noon and then back up to almost 400 at 5p. Her norm goal is to be under 250. We started her on the extra 0.5u and she is now maintaining 250-500 glucose and no ketones. I am told that she will always have 250 glucose but I get her to negative a lot. The good thing is that we avoided the ICU, the bad thing is that she has lost from 6lbs to 5.2lbs. I try and keep her just under 6lbs. Today she is 5.5lbs. She had been in the 8-9lb area when I started looking at her reasons and found all the above. (her seizures are from a fall down 22 steps, running out the door when a friend opened it to leave). I now feed her 1/4 raw (duck, rabbit, venison, quail-she is allergic to beef) at 6-7 am with insulin (her choice, definitely not mine), either goat milk (a tablespoon) or cottage cheese (a dab) with insulin at 1-2pm since she falls low then and again at 6-7 1/4 cup raw and at 9pm another snack and 0.5U of insulin…so today she is 250 glucose and no ketone urine dip. and has been relatively there for 3 days. I came here to see if there is anything else I can do for this little angel of 10.5 years. I think I will give her pumpkin for snacks, she is on a probiotic, 1/2 canine health and 1/4 tsp mangosteen as well as a small amount of milk thistle. She gets no rabies and her titer is high coverage (that is a total vet racket and kills off their internal organs and give seizures) and no other shots. I have pet protector which seems like voodoo but no one has had fleas the last 3 years so it works, I stopped fostering because she has become so protective of me, I can not work with the dogs in a healthy manner, she has a yorkie sibling that is on thyroid meds and stopped seizures after I fostered him and stopped all the shots/flea stuff. Any suggestions you have for weight gain (and anything else) I would be thankful,
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by Jean R.
I am so sorry that you are going through this with Duffy. He is very lucky to have such a dedicated person looking out for his well-being. Dr. Dobias has written an article on the topic which I hope will be helpful for your beloved boy;
Wishing you and Duffy many years of happiness together!
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