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Old 23.08.2014, 21:11
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diabetes in elderly dachsund

We've had to adopt our daughter's 14 year old dachshund in January. He has terribly bowed legs but had been so enjoying his new life in the mountains with lots of space and 2 people who have lots of time for him. Recently we've had a few (weeing) accidents in the house, and he has started to drink lots and lots + pee very often in in large amounts + he has lost weight too- so I think the diagnosis is likely to be diabetes. We are off to the Vet's on Monday to get wee and blood tests done, to exclude a urinary infection or kidney problems.... and then we will have to see what comes next.

In the meantime, I would be very grateful to hear about others with a dog with diabetes, and what kind of treatment was given, tablets, insulin, etc. Thanks. I'd like to give Slinky a good last year or two of his life if at all possible.
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Old 23.08.2014, 21:25
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

My elderly dog suffered from diabetes. She had to be monitored very closely and had frequent testings.
Diet and exercise is very important and your Vet will probably want to know what Slinky's diet is, as small and often food high in fibre feeding was recommended. He will have to be tested at regular intervals to keep the insulin levels stable.
Hope Slinky feels better soon.


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Old 23.08.2014, 21:29
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

Did he have to have insulin injection?

Will take list of ingredients for both dry and wet food with us.
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Old 23.08.2014, 21:40
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

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Did he have to have insulin injection?

Will take list of ingredients for both dry and wet food with us.
I am not sure if she had them as she had a lot of issues and was over 15 years old with cataracts and a host of other problems - she had a good quality of life though and one day just went into her bed and went to sleep.

I do remember that her diet was closely monitored and all her meds and food had to be strictly given to her at the same time each day so her levels would not fall.
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Old 23.08.2014, 22:10
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

No experience at all with a dog with diabetes but we did have a cat who had it.
As far as I can remember it was controlled initially by diet but progressed to twice daily insulin injections later.
I remember he had to have small regular meals and it was quite tricky initially as we had another cat too but my mum managed to find a solution eventually.
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Old 23.08.2014, 23:03
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

When I was a child, we had a dog who developed diabetes in the latter part of his life, and due to this and other underlying and ongoing problems, euthanasia was deemed to be the best option.

However, this decision was obviously taken (not lightly) by my parents; - if I, now, had to make a similar one, it could well have a different outcome.

My 13 yr. old Cocker also drinks a lot, likes to continually cock his leg, and is prone to the occasional indoor dribble when he's excited.

Never put it down to diabetes, though - just old age.
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Old 24.08.2014, 00:13
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

I’m sorry to hear about your little guy, Odile.

(How is his appetite, by the way? Eating more or less than normal, showing either uncharacteristic hunger or lack of appetite?)

Polydipsia and polyuria can have many different causes - so it’s likely the vet will want to test for several conditions. A full blood panel, urinalysis, urine culture are the usual initial tests.

Sometimes the vet will want to run tests straight away, sometimes it might be preferable to confirm PD/PU first.

If the latter, the first step is to confirm that he is indeed drinking an excessive amount. To do this, you’ll want to measure his water daily intake. Some dogs make frequent trips to the water bowl but don’t actually drink much, giving an impression of PD. (This can be a behavioral thing in some older dogs.)

Do both your dogs have access to the same bowls? If not, it’s easy - simply put out a measured bowl in the morning and measure what is left at night. But if both drink out of the same bowl, measuring one’s intake is a bit of a pain. When I’ve had to do this I put out a measured amount in the water bowls, watched when each dog went for a drink, and measured how much each drank each time. A 24 hour test should be sufficient. The vet will likely want to know how many millileters he is drinking to confirm PD.

As for the polyuria:. How often does he ask to go out? Does he empty a full bladder each time, or is it more dribbling? Is he still able to control his bladder? If not, is he aware that he has released his bladder? Any difference mornings, evenings, while sleeping? Any observations will be helpful to the vet. (If you could actually collect and measure the output that would be great… but very difficult I know. Especially with a low-rider like a dachshund. Owner observations are usually sufficient.)

But in the case of an elderly dog, going straight to the non-invasive tests (blood panel, urinalysis) is the usual course of action if the owner agrees. If those tests come back normal you might have to go back a step and measure to confirm PD/PU.

You will likely want to bring a urine sample to the vet - first morning urine is often best.

—-

And, as for living with a dog with diabetes:

My only experience was with MIL’s cairn terrier, who lived with me for several months. She was stable on her meds when she came to live with me, so all I had to do was ‘maintenance’. The important thing was to keep to a routine - injections at the same time every day, meals at the same time, calorie content stable. Your vet will discuss a nutrition plan, it is important to stick to it. A consistent healthy diet is important. To monitor Missy, I collected a urine sample every morning, tested it using urine glucose strips. This was a good 15 years ago, though - I *think* I remember reading that blood glucose meters can be used with dogs now.

Now… prior to Missy coming to stay with me, I had never given a dog an injection. I was a tad nervous, to say the least. MIL showed me how to do it, made me practice with her (MIL was a nurse, so she was a dab hand at it.) As fumble-fingered and squeamish as I was - really, it’s easy to do once you get the hang of it. (Your OH is a doctor, isn’t he? You’ve got an expert in the house then.)

All in all, caring for Missy was easy once the routine was established. The most difficult thing was that the routine had to be kept to - you might have to adjust household schedules to accommodate.

Despite the diabetes, Missy lived a long and happy life. She was diagnosed at around 6 or 7 IIRC, and made it to almost 16. So a good 10 years as a diabetic - and I do mean 10 good years. With appropriate care, once you have them stable most diabetic dogs do well for a long time.

As above, this was a long time ago - I would guess that there have been advances in canine diabetic care in the intervening years. Your vet will present all the options to you. Key to care is a good partnership with the vet.

—-
But we are jumping the gun - PD/PU can have many causes. It will be important to test for the ‘usual suspects’, and then look into the less common conditions if necessary.

—-

Paws crossed and thumbs pressed for your doglet. But whatever it turns out to be - he’s one lucky guy to be with you and your family.

Last edited by meloncollie; 24.08.2014 at 00:40.
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Old 24.08.2014, 11:16
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

He does drink huge amounts, and pees much more... no dribbling! Still has an excellent appetite- we feed him twice a day and 1 midday schmacko treat- never anything else. Anyhow, going to the vet tomorrow, and will update then.. Thank you so much for all your replies, and of course for Meloncollie's super expert post. Let's hope that if he has to go on insulin, we can use a pen rather than injections.
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Old 24.08.2014, 15:40
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

I don't have a dog story, but we did have a 10 yr old cat that I noticed was drinking a peeing a lot more than usual. I think it went on about 1 month before I really decided it was him (we had 2 cats using the same water and litter box). He was slightly overweight but not rotund. I took him to the vet and the blood test did confirm diabetes. He was a big, strong cat with all his claws and a mean streak and I would have put him down before risking my skin trying to drug him. Yikes, and ouch!!! I figured we had caught it early so a diet change was worth a try. I immediately cut his (and his sister's) food back and put him on a low carb high protein diet. A couple months later another blood test came back normal and he was fine from then on. Lived a few more years on his modified diet.
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Old 24.08.2014, 17:16
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

i definitely notice a difference with drinking and peeing depending on food, higher protein usually fixes it, it affects one of my dogs and not really the other. has slinkys food brand changed lately? it may be something easily tweekable.

ps i found one food brand untweekable, so you may need to change food brand altogether if its that

Last edited by CathHarmony; 24.08.2014 at 17:19. Reason: ps
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Old 24.08.2014, 17:28
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

He's had the same food ever since he arrived here from Spain last October. Senior dry dog food with half a sachet of Pedigree, twice a day.

Will take a sachet and bag of dry food with us tomorrow to show ingredients to the vet and see if we need to cut carbs and up protein, but as he is lsong weight and was never big in the first place, not sure what he will say.

Last edited by Odile; 24.08.2014 at 17:40.
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Old 24.08.2014, 19:04
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

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He's had the same food ever since he arrived here from Spain last October. Senior dry dog food with half a sachet of Pedigree, twice a day.

Will take a sachet and bag of dry food with us tomorrow to show ingredients to the vet and see if we need to cut carbs and up protein, but as he is lsong weight and was never big in the first place, not sure what he will say.
i suspect they don't have to keep the ingredients the same, they may have changed it?

i recently (a month ago?) bought a bag of pedigree after i don't know 12? years of not buying it (having had a bad experience with my previous dog) and immediately the sensitive one to this started drinking loads more water, though i haven't noticed lots and lots of pee.

maybe they changed their formula?

ps, its the pedigree that i have found to be untweekable, if i put more protein in it she still drinks.

Last edited by CathHarmony; 24.08.2014 at 19:07. Reason: ps
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Old 25.08.2014, 13:17
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

Oh dear- diagnosis confirmed- his fasting sugar was sky high at 5.5 (normal about 1.5)- other liver and renal function tests ok- so hopefully we've caught it on time. Now on special Royal Canin diabetic food, and will be re-tested in 2 weeks to see if we start insulin and how much. He has eaten the new food without fuss- so at least that will help. Everything crossed that he will have another good year or two to enjoy his retirement in the mountains.
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Old 13.09.2014, 00:17
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

How is Slinky doing, Odile?
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Old 14.09.2014, 20:56
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Re: diabetes in elerly dachsund

Sorry Meloncollie, only just seen this post. Arrived back this afternoon after a 2 week visit to Tuscany. He took a turn for the worse after our arrival there- and we thought it was just the long journey. He got worse rapidly, drinking loads, peeing as much or more and totally lost his appetite and also more weight. We made an appointment with a vet who turned out to be young and inexperienced and it was so frustrating. The owner of the Agriturismo where we were phoned the Head Vet and explained the situation and made an app with him (she's known him all her life and owns many dogs and horses- as her place is a centre for equestrian training)- and we returned to see him. Urine and blood tests confirmed his sugar was sky high- and he put him on insulin immediately. He was very surprised our vet in France (who happens to be Italian...) had not put him on insulin immediately due to his age and high glucose result. He immediately began to pick up- and we got some fish to help his diabetic pellets go down. We had friends (from the UK) staying wiht us the second week- we cancelled the overnight stay near Pisa airport the night before picking them up, and OH got up very early to go and get them. Fortunately great animal lovers too- and we made local visits only to all the nearby hill towns- and the dog pram was a real boon and hit. Slinky is now posted all over FaceBook in Germany, the US, Danemark, and more. Best 35 Euros I've ever spent.

He continued to pick up during the week- and made the journey back home without problems, with an overnight stop near Aosta. His proper 'mom' (our youngest daughter) has booked a flight from the UK to come and see him next week. We truly didn't think he'd make it back. At 14, we don't expect miracles, but if we can give him a few more months or even year of quality life- I'm glad we can help him. Good news is, he has at last conquered the heart of his reluctant 'grandad'. Crashed out on the settee next to me, with Gatsby at my feet after her happy stay with my great neighbours.

Thanks for asking.
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Old 14.09.2014, 23:28
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Re: diabetes in elderly dachsund

Wow, what a rollercoaster ride! So glad that Slinky is getting the treatment he needs now. Here's hoping that he continues to do well for a long time yet. Paws crossed and thumbs pressed for the little guy.


(And glad to hear that he's won his Grandad's heart... )
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Old 24.12.2014, 21:53
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Re: diabetes in elderly dachsund

Sadly, Slinky has become blind very very quickly over past 10 days. He is so enjoying his 'auntie's' company (5 year old grand-daughter) and his real 'mommy' is arriving here in a little while. We've upped his insulin, and he is quite well in himself. We had to warn her, as he keeps bumping into things and won't go for a walk anymore, as the big outdoor scares him now he can't see where he is going. So he will be spoilt rotten over the next 10 days by all, and then, we will have to make a big decision.
He's had a wonderful life, and a really spoilt last year here with us, and at 15+, we can't really ask for more.
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Old 24.12.2014, 22:50
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Re: diabetes in elderly dachsund

Wow, they've had an amazing reunion- and he was so happy and excited to 'see' her- well, hear and smell her So it will be a brilliant Christmas and New Year with her and all the family.

Last edited by Odile; 24.12.2014 at 23:08.
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Old 25.12.2014, 00:14
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Re: diabetes in elderly dachsund

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Wow, they've had an amazing reunion- and he was so happy and excited to 'see' her- well, hear and smell her So it will be a brilliant Christmas and New Year with her and all the family.
Poor Slinky - so happy that he is with his "Mummy"tonight and was overjoyed to see her although he loves his Grandma loads- Enjoy your Christmas with all the family being together xxx
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Old 25.12.2014, 12:42
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Re: diabetes in elderly dachsund

I'm sorry to hear that Slinky has lost his sight - but so pleased to hear of his happy reunion.

Here's wishing Slinky all the very best, keeping our paws crossed and thumbs pressed for him.
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