Living with a Cairn Terrier with Diabetes February 13, 2020 15:47 4 Comments
Our friend Shari Black has had to learn about Diabetes in dogs. Please note that neither we nor Shari are talking here as veterinary professionals. Always consult your vet if you suspect illness in your dog. Here is Shari's story...
We are the proud owners of two Cairn Terriers. Charger is our almost 14-year-old male and Jaide is our almost 12-year-old female. Our four children were raised side by side with them as they fit right into our family always giving us endless amounts of love. We believe that somehow, we are the luckiest people in the world to have the two best dogs in the world.
Three years ago, one month before Jaide’s 9th birthday, she began to exhibit symptoms of increased thirst, frequent urination and weight loss. I made an appointment at our vet and during the examination the vet never mentioned the word “diabetes”. I, however, had already googled her symptoms and had an idea it may be that. Blood work was done at that appointment and my vet said she would call in a few days with the results. Over the next two days I convinced myself that I could handle anything Jaide had, except diabetes. How would we ever manage that? I had four children to take care of. How could I give a shot to our dog every 12 hours? I had no medical background and had never even held a needle in my life.
Finally, our vet called and almost nonchalantly gave me the news, yes, indeed, Jaide had diabetes. Dr. Kraft was almost relieved as she explained how treatable it was. She said she would call in an order for insulin and I could pick that up and head to her office for my supply of needles and a quick lesson on how to administer a shot. I never cried so hard in my life. I called my husband, my children, my mom, my sister and my sister-in-law to tell them what I had feared the most. I was now the owner and caretaker of an 8-year-old diabetic dog.
The first time I was to give the shot, I couldn’t. I called the office and asked if I could come by the next day for another lesson. They showed me again and I knew I had to give her the injection by myself that night. The strength I had to finally give Jaide the shot came from seeing how much better she felt when she received her insulin.
My older son was home from college that first night and he stayed with me while I tented her extra skin and injected her with the small unit of insulin. I cried as I gave it to her, but, in the end, I had done it, and was now ready to give her what she needed every 12 hours for the rest of her life. The first few months were not without struggles and tears.
One week after her diagnosis, she went blind. We have had two episodes of stomach issues that almost took her life, but she always persevered. We currently have been managing her diabetes with a strict routine of her same food, a shot every 12 hours and no food in between. We work very closely with our vet and other vet techs as Jaide has periodic spot checks, bloodwork and curves.
Our family takes care of Jaide with passion and compassion and although caring for a blind and diabetic dog is not easy, we would not change a thing. She is a bossy, happy, energetic dog and her life has impacted more people than we could ever have imagined possible. If you find yourself in this situation, I would be happy to offer any care or support. A diagnosis of diabetes is not a death sentence for your dog. It is actually a manageable disease that can bring treasured blessings to you and the world around you! This is Jaide after 3 years with the disease:
Shari Black, February 2020