Friday, January 28, 2011

A Heads Up For Dog Lovers

'"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." ~ Roger Caras

See that little brown dog over there on the right?  Jack (dog of one hundred or more nicknames) is amongst the best things in my life.  He's a smart, lively, funny and loveable little guy who sleeps curled up in my bed with me every night.  And as of today, he's a  diabetic.  Did you know that dogs can get diabetes?  I didn't.  But I'm finding out a lot more than I ever wanted to know. You know what's even worse?  I may have contributed to it. He was overweight.  I definitely contributed to that. Most domesticated dogs don't feed themselves.  The symptoms?  Well, oddly enough, he started losing weight.  Quickly.  He lost 4 1/2 pounds in a month.  That's a lot for a 16 pound dog.  Then I noticed he was drinking a lot of water, and not suprisingly, peeing a lot.  I took him to the vet for tests.  Lots of tests later, I got the diagnosis today. So life will be a little different for us from here on out.  Insulin shots twice a day, every day, and watching everything he eats for the rest of his life.  I'm pretty sure eating people food made life worth living for Jack.  He would eat anything.  Seriously.  Anything.  Grapes, lettuce, bananas, oranges, ketchup, raw onions or garlic...anything that fell on the floor. I never saw him not eat something.  And boy does he love bread! None of that, anymore.  But I try to remind myself that it could be worse.  The vet tells me that most dogs with diabetes go on to live relatively normal, and normal length, lives.  So I'll have to be careful, and I won't be able to leave him alone for more than a few hours from here on out, but he should be okay.  So, knowing how many of you out there that have dogs that you love - a heads up.  There are half a dozen breeds that are more inclined to become diabetic.  While I do know that Miniature Pinschers (which is what Jack is) are one of those breeds, I honestly don't remember what the others are.  I stopped listening to the veterinarian at some point.  If your dog ever starts losing weight for no reason, drinking a large amount of water and then urinating large amounts, get his or her little butt off to the vet.  You just might be catching diabetes in your beloved furbaby early.

Jack and I spent most of the afternoon at the vet's office today. This is how he looked by the time we got home.  I pretty much feel the same way...

He is one tired out little guy.  I haven't told him yet, but he has to go back tomorrow.


  1. Ohhh, poor Jack. And poor you because I know how much we all worry about our pets. I've known people that also had cats or dogs that were diabetic and had to do injections. I think it becomes a new normal after awhile. I hope he does well with his new treatments.

  2. What a face. Poor little guy. It's as stressful as learning a loved human is sick. Maybe more so because you can't use words.

    Give him a nice butt scratch from me. Hope you all get some needed rest tonight.

    xo Jane

  3. Awww, that poor little Punkin. My mother has had two diabetic dogs (because she feeds them tons of human food) and they both lived as long as was natural for their breeds.

    CrackerJackakins will be just fine with such a caring Mom.

  4. That sweet sweet face! Thinking about you

  5. hi karin,

    first of all i'd like to acknowledge the superior name your chose for little jack.

    our dog had diabetes too. it wasn't b/c he was overweight though, he just developed it later in life. 2 insulin shots a day and at the same time we had a cat that had seizures so she got phenobarbital 2x a day. with 3 boys, i felt like i was running a zoo for a while there. jack with be fine, prob depressed b/c he'll be wondering what that stuff is in his food bowl, but he'll be feeling a lot better in a few days.

    have a great weekend.


  6. I'm so glad to hear that so many of you have had experience with this! I'm going back to the vet today, where Jack has been all day, getting his insulin program set up. I will be learning how to do two shots a day, but from what I hear he may not even notice it. He will be sad about not getting the food he so dearly loves, but I'm hoping he'll get used to it and as Steve said, this will be our new normal. My warmest thanks to all for your kind words and thoughts. And Janet - I can't take credit for his awesome name. My daughter (he was SUPPOSED to be her dog - you know how that goes)named him Jackson Browne Dog after...well you know. So that is his actual name. We once also had a dog whose full name was Michael Jackson, courtesy of the other daughter. I refused to call him that so he quickly became Mikey.