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Diabetic Dog

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  • Diabetic Dog

    For the past 6 years my parents have cared for a pomeranian I brought home from college. He was the best dog ever for the better part of those 6 years and not at all obnoxious and yippy like most little dogs. However, in the past 2 years or so he's struggled with weight gain, lethargy and lack of bladder control. I've reprimanded said parents for the past 2 years as they both treat him like a baby and indulge him in anything he wants, letting him lick anything from table dishes to the ends of ice cream containers, also not taking him on enough walks, and in general feeding him tons of things that doggies should not be eating. She kept insisting his inflated balloon look was maybe "a lot of hair" but an 18 pound pomeranian is not normal.

    After getting fed up with the damage to hardwood floors, they finally had him tested, and it turns out he's diabetic. A diabetic dog. This makes me furious considering I feel like it was preventable for many years with signs of it coming, and the fact that I brought him home makes me feel somewhat guilty for the consequences. Anyways, now he gets insulin shots 2 times a day and they have him on a special diabetic dog food. World of difference, apparently he's back to his normal self, better with not peeing in the house, and down to 13 pounds. (5 pounds overweight on a dog that size? He lost over a 4th of his body weight). I've been trying to convince them to start making dog food at home, but they haven't yet (although have talked about trying it in the future). My dad is very open to the idea of primal, agrees with me on a lot of stuff, while my mother touts her catch-phrase of "everything in moderation." Today I spoke with her on the phone and she told me that the contents of his dog food was mostly meat but some rice and oats, and when I protested she said "the veterinarian told me grains are getting a bad rep and having some is good for you." Now the veterinarians are doing it too! I can understand someone offering that advice for an incredibly active and otherwise well fed athlete who needs the extra carbs, but for a dog? Really?

    So here's my plea for advice. Now, not having ever had diabetes I don't know much about what should be done to treat it (mostly have learned what measures to take to try to avoid it) so I'm wondering if anyone has advice for what doggie should be eating/avoiding. I will be back home for a bit in 5 months and plan on upping his exercise regime, but in the mean time, any suggestions for trying to curb diabetes? Any chance of reversing it or is he going to have to take insulin shots twice a day forever?

    Much thanks in advance

  • #2
    Diabetes in dogs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Your dog has the canine equivalent of Type 1 Diabetes, so no, you won't be able to stop the insulin shots, or he'll die. However I would still recommend looking into a more biologically appropriate diet (I don't have a dog but maybe other pet owners can advise you). Most pet food is total crap, and grains are probably even less biologically appropriate for canines than they are for us.
    In the meantime, though, if the dog is losing weight and doing well on his new diet, I wouldn't panic or anything. It's great that he's losing the weight- the way most people allow their animals to become obese is disgusting and I think it borders on abusive treatment.


    • #3
      We adopted a senior greyhound that came to us severely underweight. She had been found as a stray...the adoption folks had been feeding her marshmellows, mcdonalds, dog food, basically anything she would eat. I'm honestly not sure how she was still alive when we brought her home. The first thing we did was take her to our vet and a quick test found she was diabetic (an EXTREMELY rare condition in greyhounds). She got insulin twice a day after meals until she passed away. There's a lot of good info online and, basically, as mentioned before, you won't be able to stop giving her insulin shots no matter what diet you feed her.

      We feed our crew a raw diet and Quilty's blood sugar was pretty easy to regulate right up until the end. Dogs don't need carbohydrate from grains. It wouldn't be in their natural diet and they don't need it at all to thrive....though they can do just fine with it. A diabetic dog needs them even less though...but, if your parents are providing the care then I'm not sure there's much you can do.
      Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!


      • #4
        Thanks for the info, to both of you! I have been trying to preach (i think that's my issue, I've gotten really preachy about diet) to my mom that dogs aren't meant to eat grains, but she keeps reciting the vet's "grains are getting an undeserved bad rep" mantra. Will keep trying, and good to know it at least wasn't entirely their fault. I still have a sneaky suspicion the diet they provided may have caused it to manifest, but that could be me just blaming the parents.

        So, basically, just focus on feeding him what dogs are supposed to be eating. Same as humans. Seems simple enough.

        Again, thanks for the input to both of you!

        edit: didn't mean that dogs should be eating the same as humans, just same theory as dogs should eat what they're meant to eat and humans should eat what they're meant to eat.


        • #5
          I had a diabetic black lab. She basically had the same story as your pom, complete with twice daily insulin shots. I researched lots, and while I believe that raw (aka BARF) is probably optimal for dogs, I simply did not have the desire to go there. I fed her Innova EVO instead, which is a totally grain-free kibble, and she did well most of the time. She still ran away sometimes to eat garbage, yuck! I wouldn't necessarily suggest feeding her "what people eat" because dogs have issues with a lot of things that we dont' (onion, for example).

          Best of luck.

          Link to Innova


          • #6
            It won't be a popular opinion, but I suggest you put him down.

            It makes no sense to drain resources from you, resources which could be used towards value adding endeavors, and it makes even less sense to keep the animal suffering through a debilitating condition.