As you may have seen over at @mummyconstant on Insta, we found out our Cockerspaniel, Snoopy, has dog diabetes this year? I have learnt so much about this over the last 6 months that I thought I would share this with my readers, as I really didn’t think it was a thing! There’s some tips and information on what the signs are and also how we have to deal with it to keep Snoopy happy and healthy.
What are the signs?
For us it looked like Snoopy was in pain and discomfort. He spent the best part of 24 hours not getting comfortable, looking disorientated and generally uneasy. He would tremble, just lying down and he really wanted to be sat outside and would curl up on the patio. Which was very odd behaviour. He whined a lot and was trying to tell us that something was wrong. We spoke to the vet, this was a Sunday, who said some painkillers would help. They didn’t. So we took him in for an assessment on the Tuesday morning. This, on reflection, was a hyperglycemic episode.
What did we do?
The assessment from the vets flagged the deficiency of insulin in his blood, there is a marker they look for that shows this. They also saw a mass on an ultrasound that was around his liver. The vets prescribed insulin and so twice a day I have to inject Snoopy with his dosage. We did this despite her not being 100% certain, as she thought the mass might be causing some issues with his insulin temporarily. He was sent to the animal hospital for a full assessment which is where they confirmed it was diabetes and to carry on with the insulin and that there is a large mass around his liver and pancreas. They believe this mass has caused the blockage so that his body stops recieving the insulin.
With dogs they can only get type 2 diabetes, where the body stops producing insulin. This means it can only be helped by giving him insulin injections.
How do we treat him?
Every 12 hours we have to give him 0.6m; of insulin with his dinner. He is not allowed treats or snacks during the day and he has a good balanced diet. Since his diagnosis he has lost all of his muscle which means he is skin and bones. This is because when your body lacks insulin it eats the fat in the body to get the energy it needs. It is really sad watching him deteriorate but his tail still wags!
A new routine
It is definitely a change in routine having to feed him every 12 hours, give him his medications and make sure he doesnt eat inbetween. He is a very food oriented dog and so food is everything to him. We do sneak him the new vegan dental sticks from Forthglade at night – that is his bedtime routine. But we give him half a stick now. That is the only “treat” he has outside of his meals. He doesn’t get walked very much anymore, due to his lack of muscle and skinny body he cannot manage very far. So we take him for a short walk here and there, when he has the energy. He seems happy and that’s the main thing.
He has not been a lucky Cockerspaniel. He had endless ear infections until he was about 9 years old and then he had his ear canals removed. A year later he started going blind and now this. I feel really sorry for him. But he is still a happy and loving dog, he is an inspiration to us all.
If you have any tips or information about dog diabetes I would love to know in the comments below or on social media: @mummyconstant. Here’s hoping Snoopy will be back to his old self very soon!