What it’s like having a dog with diabetes | TeamDogs

What it’s like having a dog with diabetes

Having a dog with diabetes can be tough, Jayne Gotting talks about her experience with her 12-year-old dog Bella

Nia Dalton

Posted 36d ago

By Emily Sleight

It’s always a worrying time when your dog becomes unwell, especially when you can’t quite work out what’s actually wrong with them. 

This is what happened to Jayne and Bradley Gotting, Harrogate, who became increasingly concerned about their dog Bella’s behaviour.

“She was very lethargic, she just wasn’t herself and looked generally under the weather, she’d also gained some weight without us increasing food.

“We took her to the vet and they couldn’t find anything wrong with her, she didn’t get better so we took her back for blood tests.”

It was at this point that the vet told Jayne and Bradley that Bella, their 12-year-old mixed-breed Cavajack, had developed diabetes.

Generally, the PDSA says that symptoms to look out for are increased thirst, increased hunger and low energy. Bella had all of these symptoms.

When it comes to treatment for diabetes, it’s no walk in the park, they were offered two different types of treatment, a syringe pen treatment and an empty syringe.

Jayne continued: “The syringe pen treatment was what you injected, like with humans, but it was a particularly expensive option and we didn’t have insurance for her so we went for the cheaper option which was an empty syringe which we do ourselves.”

The empty syringe needs to be injected two times a day, exactly 12 hours apart, and it took a lot of monitoring to work out the dosage for Bella.

“Initially, when she was first diagnosed, she went in a couple of times for ‘diabetes days’ where we injected her and they monitored her to work out the correct dosage.

“They then sent us away after the first day, monitored her for a week and then adjusted accordingly.”

READ MORE: Diabetic alert dog makes miraculous recovery from suspected Covid

It took three attempts to get to the right levels before Jayne and Bradley could relax slightly, and begin to get into the swing of things.

“We inject her in the nape of the neck where the mum carries the pup as she has very little feeling.”

With diabetes comes a change in routine, and it’s safe to say that their routine has changed quite a bit since Bella was diagnosed with diabetes.

“We have to regulate her food, her walks, and you can’t really have much change in your routine as we have to be careful her levels of sugar aren’t affected.

Sometimes there are bumps in the road, like three weeks ago, when Jayne and Bradley had a fright as Bella’s blood sugar levels had dropped.

Jayne said: “It was a very hot day and she’d got herself a bit worked up, it affected her sugar levels, she almost looked like she was drunk!

“She couldn’t put two feet in front of the other so I rang the vet and she said to rub some honey on the inside of her gums, within two minutes she was back to normal.”

Thankfully for Bella, Jayne and Bradley have made it part of their routine to take treats out on walks to bring her sugar levels up and stabilise her, which she definitely enjoys!

Despite the challenges they have faced with Bella, they know that it’s the best thing to keep their dog healthy and happy.

Jayne concluded: “”She can definitely be a handful sometimes, and that was before the diabetes! But as long as people know that it’s a big commitment, and that they need to watch out for the signs.

“But it’s so worth it.”

Since her diagnosis, Bella has gone back to her usual self and loves fetching the ball (and not always giving it back!)

You can find out more information on the Blue Cross website, and if you’re concerned about your dog's change in behaviour, contact your vet ASAP.

READ MORE: Clever pup alerts diabetic mum when her blood sugar levels are dangerously low

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