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[IP] Dogs with Diabetes

Hi, Kathy!

I have worked as a veterinary technician (nurse) for several years 
now.  The symptoms you're describing can be a lot of different 
things.  Diabetes is possible, but the thing I would be most 
concerned with at her age is kidney failure.  You should get her to 
your vet as soon as possible and have them run some bloodwork (a full 
body panel here in Atlanta is about $72) and possibly a urinalysis. 
Dogs (like people) can live years quite happily with both these 
conditions if its caught early and treated.  The only way to know is 
to do the bloodwork.

As to your other questions, dogs and cats take the same types of 
insulin as humans.  Usually a cat is on ultralente and dogs are on 
NPH with injections given 1 to 2 times daily.  The meter you use to 
check your own bloodsugar is appropriate to check your dog's and the 
numbers are pretty much the same.  Vets tend to keep diabetic animals 
bloodsugars a little high since they can't tell us when they feel 
hypo.  If your dog is very tolerant and you feel comfortable, you can 
use an extra finger lance on her ear (you should be able to see the 
veins along the inside) and test a drop of blood...This isn't exactly 
standard procedure but it does work and will give you a quick answer. 
Just DON'T GET BITTEN!  One other thing, roughly speaking, cats 
behave as if they are type 2 and dogs are type 1.

It's most likely that your problem is kidneys rather than diabetes, 
but the only way to know is to do the bloodwork.  Let me know how she 
does and if you want I can get you connected to people and websites 
on diabetic animals or those dealing with chronic renal failure.

Who diagnosed herself with diabetes and lived in denial as long as she could...
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