Sometimes it just isn’t pretty

Recently, the Little Dog was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease.  We put him on his meds and he began to show signs of improvement.

Then he lost 2.5 lbs in about two weeks, which is a massive drop when you only weigh 15 lbs.   He was listless and his energy had taken a nose dive.  We thought he was dying.  I made an appointment with his Vet and we discussed his symptoms.

These were:  A return to drinking gallons of water and having to pee A LOT,  also, lethargy, massive weight loss, and this was very weird ~ his breath smelled like contact cement or nail polish remover.  (No he didn’t have access to any such thing!!!)

The Vet grabbed a test strip put a drop of urine on it and we watched it almost instantly turn brown.

Diagnosis?  Diabetes.  Apparently, this is also brought about by his Cushing’s disease.  His blood sugar was in the 600 range!

He has only been on insulin for two days now, but he has begun to want to play and interact with us again.  😀

That said, it is a bit hard to stick my little dog with a needle two times a day, but then, I guess we’ll both get used to it in time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven with a party glass to try to take the ugly off, well, diabetes is just not pretty, now is it?

45 thoughts on “Sometimes it just isn’t pretty

  1. evilsquirrel13 says:

    My Dad was a diabetic who needed several insulin injections a day, and along with my sisters we all shared in the pleasure of preparing and giving these shots to our father. Those daily injections were finally replaced with an insulin pump about 10 years ago. I’m not sure if there is a canine version of this medical miracle, though…

    • Lynda says:

      You and your sisters were good care givers. Not a fun job, but definitely the loving care he needed.

      Unfortunately, there is not a canine insulin pump. If there were, I am certain that Tucker would manage to pull it off and CHEW IT UP! He is very naughty that way… 😉

  2. Mary Strong-Spaid says:

    Well…at least now that its been determined what it is that’s causing the problem, he’s on the right track to feeling better. Sorry the little one has to go through all of this (and you too). I can tell you love him a lot.

    • Lynda says:

      It is hard to see them sick! You feel so powerless when they are so low. Thank you for sharing with me. It helps to know that Tucker will be better so long as I keep his treatments going.

  3. Littlesundog says:

    Oh no!! Poor Tucker. Another routine to add to an already busy life! At least it can be treated, and Tucker will be a lot more comfortable. Poor fella can’t get a break, can he?

    • Lynda says:

      Lori, sharing the routine makes it easier! Bob gives the “Cheese Treats” and I give the shots. I think Bob’s part of the routine is more fun, don’t you? That Buddy is a panic! He hears Bob getting out the cheese and immediately comes running to sit at attention. If Bob isn’t quick enough, and he almost never is, then the Big Dog starts up his mumble barking. A cross between whining and barking that sounds a bit like a high pitched “Mrwar-war-war-war-war!” 😉

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Kathee, Bob and I are learning as we go with his treatments. Sad but true, dogs can get Diabetes and so can cats! However, in Tucker’s case it was brought about because of his Cushing’s. 😦

      • julie@sowsewso says:

        You are a great pet parent for learning to do all of the stuff necessary. Dogs are amazingly resilient. Our Guinness has a parasympathetic nervous system issue that doesn’t let him pee on his own. He needs meds daily and an occasional catheterization. My husband and I both know how to do it and Guinness is amazingly cooperative. You will be great at this!

    • Lynda says:

      Lisa, he is such a trooper! When I realized it was diabetes we were dealing with this time, I really understood how he was feeling. Getting that for down the rabbit-hole is terrifying! It doesn’t hurt, it just lays you out flat and messes with your comprehension and memory. I haven’t talked about it, but I do have practice in giving the insulin shots. I give them to myself once a day. Funny how easy it is for me to stick myself, but it hurts me to stick the Little Dog.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Chantal. We are both active in administering his treatments. Bob gives Tucker his pills encased in cheese, and then gives a cheese ball to the Big Dog so everything is perceived as fair. Because of Bob’s cheese ball treats, when I call the Little dog into the kitchen for his shot Buddy thinks it is time for another cheese ball! He is so funny! 😉

  4. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hi Lynda, Started reading your (Tucker’s) list of symptoms and a little bell went off in the back of my head… First *acetone*, then *diabetes* and then I could “see” the list written in my Ski Patrol First Aid Manual from 30+ years ago: “… frequent urination, excessive thirst, breath has the scent of dried apples or acetone (nail polish remover)… Diabetic Emergency…”
    These are the classic symptoms of Diabetes, not just for dogs, but for people, or any mammal…
    Glad you’ve got him diagnosed and are getting him back on track! (again): Good catch and “good on ya” for putting his story out there. SUCH important information!

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you Annie, and it already is! I am looking forward to his continued return to health. Yesterday, for the first time in about *three weeks, he actually wanted to go exploring on the Mountain Farmlet with me. Previously, he would try, and then just lay down and give up. Just last Sunday, he didn’t even try.

      *Yes, the symptoms came on that sudden, and that devastating, though I am certain that the condition was building up prior to our noticing.

  5. Marie Anne says:

    What a thing to find out, on top of Cushing’s disease! Poor puppy. Glad he’s feeling better, though. I had a vet teach me how to sedate my horse (in the muscle only) for occasions when he needed farrier or dental work and a vet couldn’t be present. He was old, in pain, and difficult, at times. It’s nerve-wracking sticking a needle in an animal, especially the first few times!

    • Lynda says:

      Marie Anne, apparently the two conditions are connected. For his shots I have to aim for the loose skin above the shoulders. I stretch it out a bit and then insert the needle to avoid hitting muscle or veins. The insulin must be absorbed slowly into his system.

        • Lynda says:

          Thanks, we are trying very hard to get it right.

          I need to clarify: Dogs with Cushing’s have the potential to develop diabetes. However, this doesn’t mean they will become diabetic. It has to do with the the malfunctioning of the adrenal glands.

  6. LB says:

    As I was reading, I just knew what was coming …sorry about yet another diagnosis, but insulin is lifesaving!! Here’s to better health soon!

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, LB. He is feeling/acting a bit more like his old self, but healing of course will take much longer.

      I know he feels better because he has a little bit of spring returning to his feet, and that little stinger is wagging at half furious. (When it is full furious the white tip becomes a blur!) 😉

  7. shoreacres says:

    It really is a bad news/good news story, over and over, isn’t it. The wonderful thing is that we keep landing on “good news” in the end. I’m so glad he’s been diagnosed, and treatment is helping. I have a couple of friends with diabetes, and though they aren’t having to mess with the shots and such, it requires such effort on their part – watching diets, testing and all that.

    Best wishes to both of you! You deserve a little stretch of good health, now. Like maybe a couple of decades? 😉

  8. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches. says:

    Hi – I found your blog via pleacelovegreatcountrymusic. You had commented on fixing so many things on your own and thought – hey I need to be able to do those things also. We adopted a shih tzu that developed Cushings (according to the vet and after expensive blood test) and treated him with ever increasing in price pills, the medication required to hopefully keep it under control. After much searching, we found a vet that has practiced many years and he said he would be happy to run the $300 blood test but he could tell by looking that our little dog did not have Cushings. He had a rare form of vitamin deficiency that keeps his bones from absorbing everything he needs. Now that we cook organic for him and he gets no wheat, corn or soy products he’s doing well at age 14.

    • Lynda says:

      Hello, Sheri! Tucker, the Little Dog is already on a diet free of corn, soy, and wheat due to allergies. We keep him on a pretty strict diet because the wrong foods will bind him right up! 😛

      It isn’t hard to fix your own appliances! You just need determination, Youtube and your own toolbox! 😉

  9. cecilia says:

    Merciful heaven. What a thing to have to do every day. So glad that he is making such a dramatic improvement though. He must be very patient to let you do that. My dogs would hear the fridge open and run for cover i am sure. Have you tried the sweet potato treats we were talking about yesterday in the farmy pages? The postmistress makes them for her sister’s dog who is allergic to just about everything. So many dogs have had their systems upset by the bad dog food before we all realised it was THAT BAD!. Look after yourself too you know! and pop a little appe cider vinegar in the dogs water to help his tummy. Mine all have it. c

    • Lynda says:

      Thanks, Celi! You know that little guy is just such a trooper! I call him into the kitchen and (now with medication) he comes prancing in with his little stinger just flashing. (little stinger = his white tipped tail that moves so fast it becomes a little white blurr!) Anyway, I put him in “the chair” and he just sits there and takes his shots. I have not tried them yet, but I intend to. Need to get the recipe printed, and get some vinegar in that dog water pronto! 😀

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