Monday, February 12, 2018

Life with a Diabetic Dog

At home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area

Skruffy in her (Marcia's) Chair

It has been 18 months since we nearly lost little Skruffy and found out she was a Diabetic Dog.  A “LOT” has happened in this past 18 months, all for the good, thank goodness.  Of course, it has not all been “REAL GOOD”, but considering what others have gone and are going through, it has been good.


Hill's Diet Diabetic Food

Skruffy eats twice per day, with little to no treats in between.meals.  Well, ok, she gets a little bite of bacon, or other meat when we eat at Breakfast or at Dinner, but when I say little, it is less than an ounce per day.  At Sandy and Arny’s house, she gets Pork Treats, where I have fried up some pork strips, freeze for future treats, refrigerate for the next few days treats.  Arny gives her one in the morning, Sandy gives her one at 4 pm.  Since she gets WAY MORE exercise in their backyard than she does her in the condo or on the road, it compensates for these protein treats.  Both breakfast and Dinner, now at 8:30 am and 8:30 pm, she gets 3.5 ounces of food.  1.5 ounces of the dry, WD Hill’s Diet (bag in middle above), and then 2 ounces of a mixture of canned WD Chicken Stew and ID Chicken Stew.  Right now it is 2 parts WD stew to 1 part ID stew.  The canned food is placed over the dry food, mixed together, and then she eats.  And when this girl eats, she eats as if there is no tomorrow…she gobbles…she devours….she is not a lady when she eats.  When finished, she will come back to me…looks at me, then go back to her dish and lick it clean again.

Syringes and Insulin

With each meal, she gets her insulin shot.  Currently she gets 4 units at breakfast, and 3.5 units at dinner.  About once or twice per week I test her blood sugar.  She has been in the 80-160 range most of the time…rarely she is under 50, less rarely she is just over 200.  I will adjust her insulin just a half of a unit when that happens, either cutting breakfast down to 3.5, or increasing dinner up to 4, then after a few days go back to the 4 units in the morning, 3.5 in the afternoon.  There is no saying WHY it fluxuates…perhaps she ate a bug out in the lawn….perhaps she laid around too much during the day.  I have given up guessing.  But for the most part, she is between 80 and 140, which seems to work for her.

Where to Buy

PetSmart and Walmart

The dog food is purchased mainly at PetSmart….the insulin and needles mainly at Walmart.  Lately, I have run into glitches with both.  PetSmart will only have the diabetic food only if it has a Banfield inside it.  The first time I got the food, I had to show the doctor’s prescription, the one I got in Alaska, in order to get the food.  They made a Banfield card that I now show at the register…it says, “Discard by 2/7/20”, and worked fine…until the last time I got the food in Sacramento.  The gal says, “Your card does not say the right expiration date on it.”   I said, “Yes it does, it says it is good until the 2020.”  “NO”, she says, “It should say all four numbers of the expiration year on it…you need to go talk to the Banfield people.”  I guess it is only good for 6 months, so for half a year, I was using an expired card….the last two digits were inadvertently cut off of the card. But to me, it sure looked like it was good until 2020 since it is written as “2/7/20”   They said that the next time I see the vet (in March) to ask them to write a prescription which is indefinitely.  I said, “You know, Diabetes does not just “VANISH”, I don’t understand….”  “Yes”, she says, ‘it is just the rules…sorry.”  GRRRRRR   Well today I go into Walmart to get some more needles.  I always try to keep two bottles of the Novolin on hand, and one bottle lasts two months…even longer except I toss out the rest after two months.  I have one full bottle, plus the one I draw from…so all I needed was the needles.  That box you see above is empty…I only had four or five needles left.  I don’t like being that low.  Anyway, I go into Walmart and the lady says, “You need to have proof that you bought the Novolin here at Walmart.”  WHAT?  I have NEVER had a problem getting the Novolin or the Needles…what am I to do?  The prescription that I got in Alaska is back in the RV, 10+ miles from this Walmart.  Thank goodness the Pharmacist came and let me have the box “this time”.  In March we go back to the vet, and I will have written proof that Skruffy is a Diabetic Dog, and that the Diabetes will not go away.  GRRRRRRR.   And I JUST DON'T GET IT...why does she need a prescription to get Diabetic Dog Food anyway?  After all, this stuff is NOT CHEAP!  Why anyone would want to feed their dog this unless it was sick is beyond me...BUT, they require a prescription in order to have the great honor of spending lots of money for this food???   And then there is the new needle rule at Walmart....

Mapl of Syring Needle Exchange, 2014 from 

...above is a map of FREE NEEDLE EXCHANGE cities in the USA where druggies can get free needles to allow them to put their Heroin or whatever into their veins.  Yet I am jumping through hoops to put Insulin into my dog to keep her healthy.  Go figure.... 


Skruffy on her (Marcia's) Chair

There are two signs you want to watch for…..If she drinks and pees a lot, then her blood sugar is high.  If she is lazy, lethargic, she is low.  The problem is the latter…as she gets older, she is more lazy, more lethargic due to her age.  NORMALLY, she will jump up onto this chair, even with the pillows on it.  Sometimes, she want so to be helped up on it. 

Skruffy's bed and Skruffy's (Marcia's) Chair

“IF” she does not want to jump up, she with either get into her little bed between the chairs (I am sitting in a chair in the foreground outside of the lens of the camera above), “OR” she will simply just lay down in the bed, with or without the blanket there.  (The blanket is used more by me than by her, and was given to Marcia by mom a few years ago…and a new blanket was given to Marcia this year so I get to use this one.)  For the past two nights, she was asleep in this bed, and when I went to bed she was hard to wake up to go to bed too…so we thought that perhaps her blood sugar was low…but today it was just over 200, so it was not low.  Go figure…..

Arny and Sandy's

I think she was just dreaming of better times…when she anticipated getting up every morning so that she could BARK, RUN AROUND THE YARD, and JUST be a DOG…


  1. It's really ridiculous the hoops you have to jump through. Maybe you should just go to one of the druggy places and get FREE needles!! I get the GRRRRR!!! I had to give Cooper some special food for awhile and it required a prescription. Really? For DOG FOOD?? What, you think I'M going to eat it? I'm sure glad she's doing better!!

  2. It's bad enough for a person who can speak to deal with Diabetes let alone a pet that really can't tell you how they are feeling other then by their actions. You need a Crystal Ball.
    Like you said they make it harder for people that have justifiable reasons then they do for Dopers. The Dog Food Prescription is just insane.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. The needles I can kinda understand...the special food I just have a hard time who "wants" to spend three times more for food unless their dog or cat is really sick? I was told, "Well, it is 'our way' of being sure the pet is under a Vet's care." I'm like, who would pay this price for food and NOT see a Vet regularly???


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