Friday, May 1, 2009

One Face of Diabetes

Mardi, diabetes survivor

Diabetes is a disease that touches not just people but often strikes our beloved animal companions. Mardi, our 11-year-old toy poodle, was diagnosed with diabetes in January 2008, but thanks to caring veterinarians and an online Yahoo group called "diabeticritters," he’s doing well.

Just like people, with a little practice, owners can test a pet’s blood sugar and regulate insulin dosages accordingly. Mardi is on a special high-fiber diet, receives two insulin injections a day, and has his blood sugar tested at least twice a day. He's a happy little guy who brings great joy to everyone he meets.

So if you have a pet that’s been diagnosed with this disease, remember, in many cases, it's treatable.


Ellen said...

Hi Ann!
I just saw your post and had to zip over---I'm so glad I did :) What an adorable little furbaby Mardi is!!! I'm so glad to hear his sugar is under control. Give the little cutie a hug from me :)

Ann Whitaker said...

Thanks so much for dropping by, Ellen. I think he's cute, but then, I'm his mom. I'll give him a hug, and I'm sure to get a kiss!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ann,
I didn't realize dogs could get Diabetes. The poor little thing.

Kim said...

Hi Ann! Ann and I met through a Yahoo group for diabetic pets. My baby, Nikki, who is an 11 1/2 pound 12 year old Miniature Pinscher was diagnosed 04/29/08 so we've had our first sugarversary. We have been together since 12/24/96. I read where 1 in every 500 dogs and 1 in every 200 cats will be diagnosed with diabetes. The insulin is administered through injections and the blood testing is done the same way as with humans. Adjustments to the insulin are made according to the test readings so blood testing is the most important thing you can do to control their sugar. Nikki has lost her sight due to the disease but we are both adjusting well. I am her eyes and she follows my voice. I would urge anyone who notices their pet drinking more water than normal and urinating more than normal to have them tested by a vet and start the insulin as soon as possible. With knowledge and dedication you and your baby will have many more years together.

Ann Whitaker said...

Hi, Margaret,
Thanks for stopping by. To tell you the truth, I never thought about dogs getting diabetes either until it happened to us. And ten years ago when our vet said Mardi needed his tonsils out my reaction was: "Dogs have TONSILS?" Indeed they do.

The best part--Mardi doesn't KNOW he's got diabetes. Other than one horrible hypoglycemic incident that put him in the doggy hospital for four days--we thought we'd lost him--on most days he has more energy than I do!

Ann Whitaker said...

Kim, thanks so much for posting and leaving that invaluable information. I'd never read the statistics regarding dogs and cats before. I have read that the disease is more common in toy poodles, but from judging from our diabeticritter group, it can strike any breed.

Lynn Reynolds said...

That is just such a cute picture of Mardi! I'm glad you he's doing so well.

Ann Whitaker said...

Thanks, Lynn. With these kiddos (that's what our vet calls them) it's one day at a time. But so far, so good. Some of the little critters get it early in life, so I guess we were lucky in that regard.