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My Jack Russell died suddenly after diabetes diagnosed

Can anyone help please? I am in shock and agonising over the reasons why I lost my lovely little Jack Russell, Penny, last week .  She was 11 years old and although chubby, enjoyed playing with her squeaky toys until a couple of weeks ago. About 3 months ago, I noticed her snoring loudly so she was put on low dose orally steroids which eased it. We have had some unusually hot weather here in the UK so she was panting heavily and drinking a lot of water. I had her trimmed and sprinkled cool water on her. She was more lively in the cooler evenings so I took her on some short walks but often ended up carrying her back! Her legs were shaky but she's had arthritis for years. She'd stopped eating for 2/3 days which wasn't unusual(she would fast then eat like a horse! She was permanently hungry!) But then she was sick white gooey stuff after drinking water on a small walk and had to come home. I took her to our longstanding, trusted vet the next day. She ran blood tests and told me that Penny had diabetes and I'd have to inject insulin. I didn't mind. But they kept her in that day on an intravenous drip to get her glucose levels right and she had ketones in her blood and was lacking potassium. I picked her up that night and took her back every morning for monitoring and to go on the drip for the next 2 days. On the 2nd day, a need vet told me that her glucose had come down to 16.5 but spiked up a little while after the insulin which was unusual. He said that her kidney results were fine but that her liver function and presence of ketones were not quite right. She went back on the 3rd day to be dripped and came home Friday night lively, wagging her tail and desperate for food ( which I had to restrict due to the diabetes) I was so happy!The vets were happy with her response. I thought we had turned a corner. Saturday morning I returned with her to the vets to check her glucose and to be shown how to inject the insulin. Her reading seemed high before the injection at 33 but the nurse was not worried. I took her home for the weekend and she seemed happy, wagging her tail and going for a little walk. Her stools were solid for the first time in years as they'do always been quite loose. By Sunday morning she was quite lethargic, moving spots to try to get comfy. Her breathing became quite rapid throughout the day but it was hot. She kept going to lay down outside which was unusual and by the night did not want to eat so I couldn't give the insulin. I stayed up with her most of the night and her eyes were smaller and she kept moving spots again, often sleeping with her legs stretched behind her. Her breathing was rapid so I slept on the floor with her smoothing her. I had the first appointment at the vets on Monday but she was now very quiet and weak. I took her early and the vet said her gums were pale and that they'do put her on the drip again. I came home and the vet phoned at lunchtime to say she was deteriorating and it may be best to euthanise. I raced down only to find she'did passed 10 minutes before I got there. I am horrified that she died without me there and cannot understand what happened. Can anyone dog die of diabetes?! I returned to the vet yesterday to pick up her ashes and the vet was willing to talk things over with me. She said it was pancreatitis possibly cancer of the pancreas. She had passed bloody diarrhoea once the night before and that her organs were shutting down as the pancreas was digesting itself. I've done loads of research to try to find answers. Did I not spot the signs earlier? Did I not give the insulin properly? I'm confused, heartbroken and guilty. And miss her terribly. I feel I've let her down. What went wrong? But the fact is, she's not here anymore and I really thought she had a good few more years left. Can anyone help please? Thanks you
1 Responses
675347 tn?1365464245
COMMUNITY LEADER
I am so sorry about the loss of your dear little Penny girl.

It's awful when they have to leave -I know. It's heartbreaking and a terrible shock. And when there are unanswered questions it makes grieving worse.

It sounds very much to me as if the diabetes may have been "secondary" to what the vet strongly suspected was late stage pancreatic cancer. Of course the vet would treat the diabetes originally presented as "primary" because she couldn't know without further evidence or testing, what was going on in the background.

It does not sound as if you did anything wrong re: the insulin or anything else.

Dogs can have cancer sometimes and we don't know, and even the vet is not sure. Dogs can even keep going quite steadily with a cancer and we aren't sure what's wrong with them. Then everything seems to happen suddenly and all at once.

Guilt is often a part of grieving and guilt of one kind or another seems to be present with every single person whose loved one has passed away. We examine in fine detail, every second of what we did or did not do, especially in the last days/weeks etc.
But often what happened is not related to anything we did "wrong" at all.
It sounds like you did your very best for Penny.

God bless her Soul.
My deepest condolences.
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675347 tn?1365464245
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