I have some distressing news to report. I have recently been diagnosed with diabetes. I feel OK. The only thing is that I began getting very thirsty, drinking a lot of water and urinating a lot. Daddy used to keep my doggie door closed during the night and open to the side yard during the day. I was able to hold my water during the night, but all of a sudden I could not hold it, and I peed on the laundry room (my bedroom) floor. So I was taken to the vet for an exam, and sure enough I have diabetes. My blood sugar was in the 500 range. At first Daddy and Mommy kind of freaked out. It meant a real change not just for me, but for the whole family. I have to get insulin shots 2 times a day. Not too much and not too little. Too little would not control my diabetes enough. Too much would give me hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which in the short run is more dangerous than too much. Hypoglycemia could make me drowsy, or even put me into a coma. I now eat only special diabetic low fat dog food. That’s not bad. It actually tastes better than the supposedly good for you tasteless stuff that we used to get from the local pet store.
Having an illness is expensive. Doctor bills for the initial work up are like people costs. Daddy and Mommy have been paying into a pet health insurance plan, but now when the chips are down it turns out there are limits to what the plan will pay per illness which doesn’t really cover everything. Mommy and Daddy have insurance with a good HMO, but unfortunately that doesn’t apply to pets. If only Obamacare applied to pets as well as humans. Fortunately Daddy is a people physician. As a dermatologist, the care of diabetes is not his focus, but at least he has some knowledge of it. There are differences between dogs and humans, but Daddy has been reading up on it enough so that he can keep the cost down by doing as much as possible on his own.
Then there is the issue of what to do about traveling. I love to travel. When Mommy and Daddy go on short trips, they board me at the vet. So that won’t change. The problem is now that Daddy is semi-retired, we go back to Chicago for a month each year. I travel in my little carrier under the seat. I love the motion of the airplane, and I don’t bark. Besides it is an opportunity for me to be with the family. But I have to go for almost a whole day without food or water the day of the plane ride. That might be a problem now that I have diabetes.
Things are settling down. Daddy has gotten the hang of giving me my insulin injections. Two times a day, he feeds me 1 cup of diabetic dog food. He draws up 3 units of insulin in the syringe, picks me up and places me on the washing machine (a high surface), holds me down with his right elbow, pulls up a fold of skin on my upper back with his left hand, and plunges the insulin syringe at about a 45 degree angle into the fold. It’s a very small needle and does not really hurt. After 1 week, I went back to the vet to be tested and my sugars were almost back to normal, and my drinking and peeing were just about back to normal. Daddy bought a glucose meter and he's figuring out how to use it to test my blood. He tried getting blood from my ear yesterday, but did not get enough out. We’ll try again later. If one puts one’s mind to something, eventually it can be figured out.
As for airplane traveling, everyone has a different idea of what to do, but after exploring all the options, it turns out I will be going to Chicago with the family this year as always. There are just no good alternatives. Missing a meal and going light on the water for a day is not ideal, but life is not ideal for humans or for dogs. We’ll just make the best of it and I will get to be with Mommy and Daddy, not somewhere else for a month.They say dogs with diabetes can have a normal life span with proper care. We’ll see. Anyway, I’ll keep on blogging for things I believe in like proper gun control. So look out NRA, Chloe is still around.