Dexter has Pancreatitis and Diabetes

This is a special place for pups to share their love and support for each other during difficult times; it's a place to light candles, give the "Power of the Paw," and let everyfur know they are never ever alone.


Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 6:59am PST 
Ugh! Dexter, my 8 year old Blue Heeler has been losing weight and drinking water excessively lately. I took him to the vet last week suspecting that he had become diabetic and not only were my worst fears confirmed but we also found out tha the has acute pancreatitis. According to the vet, Dexters pancreatic and liver enzymes were "off the chart" but she was amazed that he was not at all symptomatic for the pancreatitis. (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain). In addition, his blood sugar was over 500!
So, now we are on the first pahse of getting his blood sugar regualted. We give him 15 units of insulin 2x a day and sub-q fluids (lactated ringers soln) to rehydrate him and keep his kidneys strong as he was drinking and peeing excessively. He tolerates the fluid injections fine but we're having a lot of difficulty with the insulin shots...he really doesn't like them for some reason and the needle is even smaller than the one used for the IV. Other than that, he's tolerating the insulin very well and he is more of himself lately.
I love my dog - actually, both my Blue Heelers - and am not going to give up on him but his is scary because between the medication and the special food, as well as the recent vet bills and the upcoming glucose tolerance test, we have spent an entire house payment!
to add insult to injury, we had to pay 30.00 a bag for the fluids - something I found out from the hospital I work at, cost $1.28 each!
Any thoughts, prayers, words of wisdom, encouragement is much appreciated.


Dackers, Dacker- Slacks
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 3:12pm PST 
Hi there Dex! This is Dakota, your furry friend who also has diabetes. Sooo much has happened in my house since our human Mom had her hip surgery- it seems that everything had gotten crazy here with Dad at home caring for us all. May even go further back.. yeah February around the 17th they tell me when the head of the pack here, our Bud Spader, after his long 18 human years he has been Moms lap dog had gone to the Rainbow Bridge. We were told it was just "normal aging" - whatever that means. OK, so Moms having surgery from her Human Vet, and all of a sudden my younger sister, Kona, got so ill very quickly. She had all the same stuff Dexter had for his symptoms. She was sooo very sick, and no answer why. ( and we have 3 Vets that put their heads together) No answer, and Kona was now in Intensive care under the Pet Hospitals watchful eyes. Even tho they gave her the plastic bottle with special water, so she would get her strength back, going into her left leg. She wasn't hungry for anything and barely wanted water, even tho her mouth was so very dry. ( Mom just said click on her picture on the first page of this forum to get the details of all they did to help our Sis) Dad even took Mom out of the hospital for a few hours so they could decide if she needed to go after our previous Pack Leader, Spader, because the Vet said she may be ready to go. Very Happily, she perked up that morning and had been drinking water and eating their food. ( she said Hospital food tastes horrible!) Mom said to Dad that Kona didn't look like our Spader was before he left us. Mom came home from her hospital the next day, and we got a call from our Vet that morning saying Kona was much better and might come home on the day after. blue dog Boy, we were all so happy! When Mom came home that next day, she said to Dad that I looked very thin, and he said I was drinking a lot of water now! Mom told Dad to bring me in and WOW- now I* was sick, too! My blood sugar was around 500. The Vet said that I had diabetes, and started me on Vetsulin 12 Units the Vet said. I was to come back in in a few days for a special test to see how my diabetes was. It took 3 long hours, but I was a good girl, I kept my teeth to myself. That same day my Sis, Kona was already in the hospital as they finally found out that she had something called "Addisons Disease". About 2 weeks later, I overheard Mom telling someone on that metal thing (that rings like the doorbell, and they pick it up and she says "Hello"? ) that I wasn't looking so good again, and I knew I was very tired again. Dad then said "OK Dakota, lets get into the Van" Wow, another ride! How can I be so lucky! Sadly, there I was back at the Vet, and he told Dad to increase my Vetsulin to 15 units. After that, I felt better. Now I was a lucky dog, too, like Dexter was. Even tho we don't like the Vet, we went anyway. Now I am better and my sister, Kona is getting better but slower than me. I lost a lot of weight, which I needed to, they said. I looked like that round thing that bounces and they chase, that Kona and Roxy play with outside every evening. ( ball?) Kona needs a special shot that is very expensive every 26 human days or so. She just barked at me and said "Percorten". She has to get that shoteek I get mine after my small early feed, and now I am not very happy about it, but Daddy treats me great, gives me lots of hugs and love, too. My people are sooo happy that Kona and I are getting better after our terrible times that happened all at once! Dads worried about what he calls money, cuz he's not going to "work" everyday now since they took down the Christmas stuff, and thats when they bring in that green tree for us. ( we actually thought it was for us so if we were tired, we didn't need to go outside.) Guess thats not what it was for. Oh Well, I've barked enuff for now. Tell Dexter we hope he gets back up and running fast. Kona said her appetite was gone and after Dad made a chicken slurry for us for the early meal, we got better very fast then. We still drink lots of water, but we both feel a lot better, and now are eating our normal meals.
If you have any questions, from a doggy in the know, now, let me know. Kona said she would help to, but she has Addisons Disease, different but almost the same symptoms.
Dakota with Kona, Roxy and Cody with Spader at the Rainbow Bridge

Princess and the- Pea
Barked: Tue Jun 23, '09 4:09pm PST 
If you are having to keep up with the subQs then get a script for the lines, needles and bags and get fluids by the case from Costco or Walmart special order. Needles and lines can be ordered with a prescription from Thrivingpets or Brico. Sassy goes through a whole bag daily and it is great to be using $2 fluids and $1.90 lines! That extra fluid makes her life good again.

Keep fussing about the insulin, you DESERVE those cookies!

♥- DarlaMae - ♥

I Am- Iron Nose- !
Barked: Wed Jun 24, '09 4:37pm PST 
Paws crossed for you Dexter.hughughug No exp here but using Costco/Walmart for supply sounds the best. Thanks for that info as never would have thought of that.way to go

Barked: Fri Jun 26, '09 6:18pm PST 
We got some good news today! Dexters blood sugar is almost controlled on the 15 units of insulin 2x day. He went for his insulin curve test today and peaked at 300. We have to increase one of his doses to 16 units and do another curve in about a month. We're still having difficulty getting used to the shots and as all you Blue Heeler owners know, htese are some smart dogs and he has figured out how to out think us every time when it comes to giving him his shot. He will even stand beside me while I'm getting it ready, go lay daown when we tell him to, but the moment I get ready to give the dhot, he bucks like a raging bronco or runs and hides.
We tried the peanut butter on the plate trick and he will lap up as much as he can as quick as he can adn then runs. We're working on it though. Everyone tells me that he will get used to it.

The best news though is that his pancreatitis was an acute case, not a chronic one. His enzymes have dropped from over 5000 to just over 1000 in one week! While still high, the special ($$$) diet and exercise, as well as the antibiotics, really made a difference. The vet feels that within a month all his liver function and pancreatic enzymes should return to normal. However, he will be diabetic for the rest of his life...which according to the vet should be a normal long life for him.


Beauty and- Brains
Barked: Mon Jun 29, '09 7:03am PST 
Dexter and David,

Happy news! I don't know much about diabetes, but I am thrilled that the news doesn't sound so grim.

Best of luck to you both.
way to go

ruf, dogRuby

Princess and the- Pea
Barked: Mon Jun 29, '09 1:42pm PST 
I have bad news for you. Sassy isn't 'used' to getting her fluids and she has been getting subQs for 8 months. The better she feels the worse she acts. Her lastest trick it the gator roll so I cannot stick her. She also puts her back close to the window so an 'accidental' movement pulls out the needle. She gets all offended if I try to reposition her. So far holding her head keeps the rest of her still though. I am sure she will figure out how to wiggle away even with her head held soon.

What about a leash? Perhaps a co-conspirator to hold the leash and present the bribe at the moment of the stick?

Great that the pancreatitis is going to be better soon!
Lady Sophie- of the Great- Hunt

The Baby!
Barked: Thu Jul 2, '09 8:57am PST 
Good luck Dexter.hug

Benjamin Button- of dogs
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 7:06pm PST 
poor guy. The first thing I would do would be to get him on a good grain-free dog food like Wellness CORE to keep that blood sugar stable.

I also answer to- 'Pretty Girl'
Barked: Thu Jul 9, '09 1:37pm PST 
wave Hope Dexter is feeling much better. We are just now seeing this and just wanted to wish you good thoughts. Sophie has chronic pancreatitis and I feel your pain about the vet visits. I spent more than my rent on that initial illness. Good news is that once you have everything stablilized, the long term care is much more reasonable. way to go