Sometimes, even with the proper treatment the reality is a dog can die from diabetes. This was just the case for a 7-year-old miniature pincher named Hannah. Hannah initially was dropped off at a veterinary clinic by her past owners becasue they did not want to care for her anymore. She was then adopted by the Zebley family who loved and cared for her until her death. Wendy Zebley, the daughter of Hannah's owner, said the veterinarians believed Hannah acquired diabetes from a long-term dose of a medication. She classified the medication as a steriod but is not being named because of liability purposes.
To manage Hannah's diabetes, Zebley said her father would give Hannah two injections of insulin per day. She said Hannah would fight with her mom and therefore it was strictly her dad's job. "It was a struggle keeping up with her glucose levels," Zebley said.
Aside from the struggle of giving Hannah the injections, Zebley said "I think the most difficult part of it all was the fact that Hannah was constantly having accidents in the house because she drank so much water, and her glucose levels were constantly dropping so we had to make sure she had enough sugar in her system." Zebley said Hannah went from one bowl of water a day to eight bowls because she was always thirsty, which is a side effect of the diabetes. She said Hannah also suffered from pancreatitis a few months prior to her death.
Rod and Debbie Warner are the proud parents of Lulu, a 9-year-old Yorkshire terrier. She was just recently diagnosed with diabetes in September. Debbie Warner said she could tell something was wrong with Lulu from the way she was acting. Warner said Lulu was always thirsty and incoherent at times. She said she took the dog to their local veterinary hospital where a series of tests were ran and discovered Lulu's glucose level was between 500 and 600. A normal dog and person's blood glucose level should be between 80 and 120.
Ever since the day they found out her glucose levels were so high, she has been on insulin. Warner said Lulu receives four units of insulin twice daily. She is also on a strict k9 diet that they buy from the veterinarian. Lulu does not get anymore "nibbles of table food," she said.
Because Lulu is newly diagnosed with diabetes, she has to see her veterinarian regularly so they can monitor how much insulin she receives and if it is not enough or too much. Warner said in the beginning Lulu started out with one and a half units per day but has now increased four units. She said at there next appointment bllod tests and a urine sample will be run again to see if four units is what Lulu will remain on.
Other than learning about diabetes for the sake of Lulu, Warner also said one thing people with diabetic dogs need to do is not be afraid. She said she knows it is hard to inject insulin into your loved animal but without the insulin the animal could die. She also said to never repeat a dose if you are not sure if the insulin went into the skin. "Too much can kill," she said.