I have a young male Labby - under 2 - who was diagnosed with diabetes 4 months ago. He is receiving insulin injections 2x daily - 20 units morning, 21 units at night. I have had him on Wellness Venison and Brown Rice (simple solutions) for about 5 months. Put him on that due to some stomach problems and vomiting. He is doing well on it (not counting some room-clearing farts). But since he has this condition, I am open to changing to something better for him long term - including doing home cooked or raw.
Also - anyone else ever hear of such a young dog developing diabetes? He is a rescue and I have no pedigree or breeder info. Is this a bad gene issue or could vaccinations have ruined his pancreas?
Personally if he is doing well on the food and you are controlling the diabetes I would NOT screw around with any dietary changes. Wellness is a good food.
I honestly think you can do more damage to your dog by playing around with home cooking or feeding raw at this point. Do something wrong and you could trigger a diabetic episode.
If you have a good, well respected holistic vet around you I would seek their advice. Putting him on any kind of homecooked/raw diet would need to be done with direct veterinary supervision for a dog with his health implications.. I think it could have some benefits for him, but as the above poster indicated, the margin of error is very very large. :-\
I know of a girl on here with an older diabetic dog, hopefully she'll see this.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Hi, Kate, Baloo's mom just pm'd me to take a look at your thread.
I think it is quite unusual for such a young dog to contract diabetes, when Jonah, my boy got it last year he was 10, he wasn't overweight which apparently is a big trigger, but his age was thought to be the cause. He has gone on to lose quite a bit of weight since and it would seem he is sadly beginning to lose his sight now, both of which are affiliated to the condition.
It took me quite a while to sort Jonah's diet out, so that he was as healthy as i could get him for his age and condition.
He used to be on a dry complete food before he got ill, but i found that he severely lost his appetite and we went through a stage when i was literally spoon feeding him, which obviuosly wasn't ideal for either of us.
I live in England and there is a brand name of tinned dog meat called "Butchers", i don't think it is one of the best you can buy, but having tried a few mixed with ordinary biscuit meal, I found it to be the only one that Jonah would wolf down and enjoy.
He has been on it since about September, he has half a can for breakfast mixed with biscuit meal and a whole can in the evening again with a couple of handfuls of meal.
I feed almost exactly 12 hours apart and give the shot immeadiately after he has eaten.
Touch wood he seems very healthy at the moment, except for the cataracts, if you are thinking about changing your boy's diet i would, as others have suggested, consult with your vet, i am no expert on the condition, but i do know that any major changes can result in diabetic episodes.
Good luck, if you come up with anything good, let me know, it's handy to share ideas.
"some days you are the dog, some days you are the tree!"
Kate mom to Jed Jasmine and Joelly
I have heard reports that dogs and cats with diabetes have been helped with a raw food diet depending on the severity of the pancreas damage.
Cutting out the carbs will reduce the glucose roller coaster ride and allow better control if insulin is necessary. Dogs just aren't designed to ingest many carbs. The venison part of the Wellness kibble your feeding is good but the brown rice is a concern since it is a carb and probably the main ingredient.
Many owners find that the insulin dosage needs to be reduced after the switch to raw. I would switch to raw but pay careful attention to the glucose numbers. Do not rely solely on glucose curves done by the vet - they should also routinely be done at home. As others have mentioned, it's also very beneficial to work with a holistic vet who supports feeding raw as part of a long term treatment plan.
Why don't you contact the following holistic vet (http://yourdiabeticcat.com/diet.html) who uses a raw meat diet as a cornerstone of a successful diabetes treatment program for cats? Since she's a vet, I'm sure she has either come up with a similar treatment program for dogs or can refer you to another vet who has expertise in this area. Let us know what you find out.
"Feline diabetes is not the natural fate of hundreds of thousands of pet cats world-wide. It is, rather, a human-created disease that is reaching epidemic proportions because of the highly artificial foods that we have been feeding our feline companions for the past few decades. Without the constant feeding of highly processed, high carbohydrate dry foods, better suited to cattle than cats, adult-onset feline diabetes would be a rare disease, if it occured at all."
Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM, JD
Thanks for your great responses.
A little more about my boy. He is normal weight for his size and age - he is on the tall side and is 85#. He lost weight during the rather nasty episode that led to his diagnosis but is pretty robust now. He is a good eater - not at all picky and never leaves a morsel behind. He is fed 2x a day about 2 cups per meal - 12 hours apart and gets his shots with his meals.
I don't have the bag that the food comes in as I store in food bins, but will check with the next bag. The food is pretty simple - 1 protein and 1 carb. He gets special treats for diabetic dogs (and not many of those). Nothing else between meals.
We have always been quite careful with our dogs weight so neither of them is at all overweight - the Shepherd is borderline skinny. He is active (daily walks, lots of play with our other dog) and otherwise pretty healthy so far.
I know that Wellness is much better than average and that if it ain't broke I should not try to fix it. I am just thinking long range. The diabetes will likely shorten his life span and I would like to do whatever makes sense to prolong it as much as possible. He may be aging quickly - is getting rather gray on his muzzle already and had a spontaneous patch of white spring up on his tail (weird, huh?).
How do vets go about assessing the degree of pancreatic damage? Ultrasound, I would assume? He has not had anything more than blood work and glucose testing so far.
I will try a Holistic vet and see what they have to say. Thanks for the link to the vet with the diabetic cat info. That would be a good place to start!
I agree 100% with Cinderbaylabs... Wellness is a good food and if you no other issues I'd stay on it. As Kate2jays mentioned the timing of the shots and feeding times is critical to keep sugar levels consistant. BTW you should always keep the bad your food came in, even of you store in a different container. If there ever was a recall you'd know what lot you were feeding.
<br /><br />"in moments of joy, all of us wish we possessed a tail we could wag."<br />w.h. auden<br /><br />"This is worse than a divorce... I've lost half of my net worth and I still have my wife"
Like others have mentioned, I would be ill-inclined to switch foods on a dog who has had previous diabetic and stomach/GI problems and is doing well on a current food. Wellness is a quality food, and I would not take the greying of the muzzle as any indicator of health Diabetic episodes and leveling a whacky BG curve can really suck for a dog for lack of a better term, I'd rather not put a dog through that when they're already happy and healthy with a high-quality kibble. JMHO of course, good luck with him and thanks for rescuing!
Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy
Many diabetic animals do very well on a raw diet. It's certainly something to consider for the future. Before I started on a raw diet I would develope a routine for home testing. The meters are generally very cheap or free from Walgreens or hocks.com Test, test some more, do your own glucose curve. Arm yourself with knoledge. For my own diabetic I found diet was a very big part of the story, and the less carbs the better. Some animals are more carb sensitive than others. For mine I had to cut out all carbs (to his great displeasure) This board is primarily for cats, but they are a fantastic bunch of people always willing to help out a newbie. It's a good place to ask questions and get real honest answers
Hey, thanks! This is good stuff. Yes - the carb reduction/elimination is one reason I am considering change.Originally Posted by Cinder4evr
To clarify on the stomach problems he had - he would gulp water - a whole lot of water and then throw up his entire meal - even food from several hours earlier. I thought it was about the food but clearly it was about his craving water due to the diabetes - mightly obvious in retrospect. Now that we have that part straightened out he is not throwing up anymore. He could probably be on a different food and not repeat the vomitting problem.
Anyway - I am not making any sudden changes in my management of his condition - just looking for ideas. We will be dealing with this (barring complications) for 8 years or longer so just want to get it right for him.