Diabetes in Pets
Female Spaniel/Setter mix?


Born Apr-1996
Dx Nov-2004
Oral meds L thyroxine .4 mg. twice/day:(working fine)
Regulated Mar-2005

Regulated between 60 and 250

Remission not-yet
Insulin Humulin N(basal)
Humulin R(bolus)

Spotty was diagnosed with diabetes and hypothyroidism November 15, 2004 at the age of 8 1/2. She weighed 90 pounds. She was started on 20 units of Lente twice a day. Over the period of 6 weeks the insulin was increased to 40 units twice a day to bring her BG to between 100 and 200. We don’t know why she was apparently insulin resistant at first.

Then she began to have hypoglycemic events on a regular basis. Her insulin dose was lowered over an 8 week period down to 16 units twice a day. She stayed on 16 units for 10 weeks and has gradually come down to between 11 and 13 units for the last year and a half. I believe it was rapid weight loss and improved thyroid function that triggered the need for less insulin.

It was dealing with all those hypos that got me to home test. I learned how to test after discovering the Pets with Diabetes Forum. The site has been invaluable to me in the management of Spotty’s diabetes. I have not consulted a vet about insulin adjustments in over a year. I use the vet for thyroid tests and other blood and urine tests but manage the diabetes on my own with the help from experts with years of experience on the Pets with Diabetes Forum.

I was very lucky that Spotty never minded the injections as long as I inject her on the one side only. She whines if I do it on other side. She is also good about BG testing, but only because she gets a sausage treat every time. She does get weary if I have to test her a lot, but fortunately, I’ve only had to do that on occasion.

On diagnosis, Spotty acted like she had one foot in the grave already. Getting her on the correct dosage of thyroid medication (L-thyroxine) had an immediate and dramatic effect. She grew a new coat of fur and began to lose weight steadily. At 90 pounds she was 30-35 pounds overweight. She slowly became more active. It took 4-5 months for her to get back to her former happy self and she has continued to improve after that. She was well regulated for a year on L and then N insulin.

When Lente insulin was going to be discontinued, I switched her to N with no problem in September 2006. However, in April 2006 she went into rebound and after bringing her out of that her BG curves showed a steep post prandial rise that hadn’t been a problem before. Rather than change her food to match the N insulin , since she is picky about food, I opted to supplement the N with R insulin. She was well regulated by June 2006 on 8.5 u N mixed with 2-2.5 u R twice a day. She currently weighs 61 pounds and feels great. She has cataracts but retains decent vision. She has only had 1 UTI and 2 mild bouts of diarrhea since dx.

Spotty eats Royal Canin Sensible Choice kibbles. She started with the puppy food and now eats the reduced calorie version of chicken with rice. She has never had GI problems on this food. She also gets lots of vegetable snacks and a few sausage snacks daily to prevent her from a hypo when the N is peaking.

I will say that after feeling totally overwhelmed and helpless at dx, I now feel completely confident that I can manage Spotty’s diabetes. I began to feel confident 6 months after dx and now its hard to remember a time when I knew nothing and worried a lot. Also I have really enjoyed the special bond you form with your diabetic pet. Watching her with eagle eyes for anything out of the ordinary has added a precious new dimension to our relationship.

I can never thank the people on the Pets with Diabetes Forum[1] enough for all the resources and support they’ve made available to me. I couldn’t do this without them.