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Diabetes

Tony,

You may remember I  posted on the phenobarbital issue briefly but that was not the problem.  Patty now has a crate that she can safely reside in when we go out and although she hates it she is protected from excited Joey if that really ever was the issue.  Now that I am fully retired we do not leave her crated more than 3 hours while we shop once a week.
Now that Patty is somewhat back to normal, Joey's problem is in the forefront.  He was diagnosed this past Feb. and I have been giving injections twice a day.  My vet says he will not live more than a year.  The Vetsulin site says he can live a happy long  life as long as he gets his meds.  Joey is about 4 yrs. old and since diagnosis he has developed cataracts to the point that he cannot see his food or treats.  I had cataracts myself and surgery and know full well how fast they can develop and also what a difference surgery can make.  I read dogs that are blind can manage quite well if their surroundings are not changed.  Do I mortgage the house for cataract surgery for Joey?  Could I have caused this somehow?  What did Joey ever do to anyone to deserve this?  Do I let my dog go blind because there is no hope for him anyway?  Help me understand!
Thanks, Tony  
7 Responses
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hello again. I speak from experience, being diabetic myself. Cataract is very common in diabetic human and dogs, the difference being that humans tend to be more careful in balancing their glucose levels. By preventing hypoglycemic lows or hyperglycemia highs, you can prevent cataract developing, but clearly this is very tricky with a dog. The possibility is that Joey has been 'becoming diabetic' for months or even years, without you or your vet necessarily being aware of it. As the diabetes developed, so secondary symptoms would have developed, including cataract.

Blind dogs can manage very well, but obviously it is better to have the cataracts removed if finance permits. Dogs blind from birth fare better than dogs that become blind later in life. You already have an understanding about not moving furniture, etc., and there are lots f things you can do to improve the quality of life for a blind dog, but ultimately they are still compromised ... and some gs deal with it better than others.

You didn't cause this to happen. It's just one of those things. I could just as easily say 'what could I ave done to prevent me becoming Type 1 diabetic?' The answer is ... nothing.

Joey did nothing to deserve this. It's just the way life is sometimes. Dogs can become ill, just the same as humans can, and it's just the luck of he draw if you don't become ill. This type of illness is often genetic, which means there may have been a diabetic in Joeys genetic history. On the other hand, it could have been a birth defect, which has only just triggered.

Considering your dog's age, surgery would be the best thing - but clearly, this can be unattainable given the cost. The problem would be if - in later life - Joey goes deaf. Losing one sense can be manageable, but when a dog loses both sight and hearing, it substantially impairs their quality of life.

I think you should perhaps do some research, find out how much surgery might cost (even doing one eye first, then the other when finance is available) and take some time to consider your options.

Hope this helps.

Tony
Avatar universal
Thank you, Tony.
You commented on each of my issues which was very kind.  You must never sleep with all of these posts to answer.  I needed a hug while I was feeling sorry for me and mostly Joey.  I will keep you posted on the progress and I appreciate your prompt and caring replies.
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hello again. You are very welcome. I get onto MedHelp several times a day, mostly running, advising and supporting the Chronic Kidney Failure in Dogs User Group - but when that is quiet, I try to reply to other canine issues appearing on the forums. I am a writer by profession, so answering questions and supporting others is a very useful distraction from working (ha). I came onto MedHelp originally because my own dog was suffering and I needed some advice and support ... since then, I have developed caring and compassionate friends for life here, which is a wonderful consequence.

I hope you are able to resolve Joey's problems and I would be very interested in how you manage to deal with them, over time. My best wishes to you and your best friend.

Tony
Avatar universal
Hi Tony,
We went to the vet today.  Joey's blood glucose level is still high (312)however it was taken at 3pm and he had his shot at 6am that morning.  It previously was very high and after the Vetsulin for several weeks went to 260.  He is on 12 IU.  We are going back on Wed. to take another blood glucose level which would be 5 hours after his morning shot.  What have you heard if anything about Vision Clarity Eye Drops? http://www.claritycarnosineeyedrops.com/index.php
They claim cataract improvement with the eye drops.  Cataract surgery is about $2000 per eye plus travel expenses round trip, they will only do one eye at a time and Joey would have to be totally blind in order for them to do surgery.  Reasoning is that a sightless dog would wake up with some sight whereas a dog that had some sight would wake up with none.  Your thoughts on this?
Thank you.
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hi. My personal opinion is the eye drops (along with all other similar antioxidant-based eye drops) are not going to help at this stage. Surgery is the very best option - and then, after surgery, you should talk to your vet about antioxidant eye-drop supplementation. Sadly, companies and individuals make some extraordinary claims about eye-drop treatments curing cataract, but if this were true, their products would be headline news all over the world. Instead, they have no evidence whatsoever to back up their claims, apart from a few testimonials, and we can't be certain if those testimonials are genuine or not.

I think as a priority, the diabetes needs to be brought under control. Once you have achieved stability, then consider more about the cataract. The point here is, the more unstable the diabetes, the more likely the vision will become even more impaired.

Hope this helps.

Tony
Avatar universal
Hello, I need some help.  My Min Pin was Dx'd with Diabetes in August 2015.  He was very sick but Vet got him stable after 3 days.  He was prescribed Humalin-N which cost me $167.  I live on a $900 SS income and when the Humalin ran out, I changed to Novolin $25 at Walmart.  He has been on it for 4 days.  Today I noticed he is drinking much more water and is urinating more.  I did a check with the test strips and it read approx. 500 in glucose andbetween 40 to 80 in ketones.  Now, I am so worried that I did wrong by changing his insulin.  I did not check with the vet because I have so little money.  His first illness cost me $1200.  Which I saved up for 9 months for his dental surgery.  He fell last November and broke some teeth out, then became infected.  I hope someone will answer.  I am so worried.  Ceah
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