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Saturday, November 07, 2009

And If I Fall Asleep, The Dog Dies?

I don't know if anyone can help.

Since I woke up from an afternoon nap at about 4:00, I've been going through this. RD's last regular insulin was at 11:00 AM, and his total morning dosage was about 12 units lower than normal (35) because his blood sugars have been running lower.

At 4:00 the dogs wanted to go out. I took them out. Rescue Dog (RD) was running around, then looked shaky, then started going in circles. I dashed in the house for honey, and by the time I made it back out he was in major seizures.

Honey, honey, honey. After about 15 minutes he looked to be stabilizing. I got him in the house - two more doses of honey, then I took his blood sugar. 246? He started to go again (head bent to the side, his eyes rolled up, shaking). It had been too short a time for the honey I had given him (close to three tsps) to have really shown up on this meter that much, so I gave him two units of insulin. He went again. And again. And again. Deciding that was a mistake, honey, honey, honey. After about 25 minutes he appeared to be stabilizing. After about an hour he claimed he felt fine, went out, took a pee and took a dump. Less than 5 minutes, we headed back in, then he started to go again. I dragged him through the door as he was starting to convulse and administered honey, honey, honey. His blood sugar low measured during that sequence was about 180.

In a desperate series of maneuvers, since that time I have given him a total of about 7 ounces of honey, a cup of meat, about two cups total of dried dog food, and five dog biscuits which I usually used to adjust his blood sugar when it's too low. After two hours of honey administration, he stabilized somewhat, then I fed him some dinner in small quantities for an hour, then he showed up in the kitchen wanting dinner. He started to seize there, more honey. He ate dinner. He looked cheerful and wanted to go out. He just made it out the door and seized again, the worst yet, I couldn't even get near him for about five minutes. It took me 45 minutes out there and about 3 ounces of honey before I could get him on his feet and in again. I tested him out there, and his low was 130 but during that 45 minutes his blood sugar oscillated from 273 to 130 (he was 273 right after eating and before he walked out the door, about 20 minutes into it he hit 130, and no, I hadn't given him any insulin.)

His blood sugar for the last 30 minutes has average about 349, but he keeps beginning to go. Only the honey is stopping it. I tried to give 2.5 units of insulin, which has not yet lowered his blood sugar, but since that time I have to give him about 1/2 tsp of honey every 8 minutes to keep him from seizing again. (It's easy to tell - his neck always starts to arch and then his eyes roll up.)

I don't think the insulin is helping. Earlier his low after the 246 was 130, but it would oscillate wildly by approximately 100 points in less than 10 minutes.

No vet is open. If I stop giving him the honey he'll definitely die. Anybody got a clue? His body must be secreting some insulin on its own, because if it weren't his blood sugar would be well into the 600s by now. It seems to be punching it out about every 5 minutes. I suspect he's having some sort of brain seizures which are causing the adrenal gland to fire wildly, and the rest of it is his body trying to cope.

The minute he starts to go to sleep he seems to go again.

This is atypical; he has had similar (although much less dire) occurences but not since I put him on ciprofloxin months ago. Since then his blood sugar has mostly stabilized and he has been pretty chipper.

Note: while writing this post I gave him four doses of honey and a handful of dried dog food. Just after I posted I gave him more honey and some more food. Then he wanted to go out, he did, and he took another dump. In between incidents he appears almost entirely normal, aside from some stiffness (which is definitely due to the seizures). Right after coming in he wanted more, so I gave him another dog biscuit. But that wasn't enough - I then had to resort to the honey again.

What a drama!!! I am so sorry for this difficult situation. I hope your dog will make it through the weekend so he can be seen by a vet.
Oh s**t! This happened to me once. Ciprofoxacin slightly lowers the body's resistance to seizure, at least in humans (it's one of the listed side effects). Not to be gross, but after a large meal of Szechuan Chinese food, I managed to hiccup real hard and tweaked a nerve--which happens occasionally, no big deal--but this time I had a seizure.

Docs checked me out five ways from Sunday and couldn't find anything, pieced together the vagel nerve and lowered resistance to seizure thing.

It's a data point, anyway.
I guess I'm asking--is it possible you mistook a seizure due to glycemic shock (or hypo-clycemic, whatever) for just a little seizure, and he's now on a roller-coaster ride from the honey and insulin?
Neil - no. His eyes run when he is getting low, and every time I give him insulin he goes again. I haven't had much problem with him - he has never seized from sugar before - or from low, but I know the signs and don't let him get low.

He looked okayish, and finally started drinking. So I tried 1.5 U plus 1.5 U over the last hour and a half, and now I am down to giving him a small bit of honey every 5-7 minutes.

His blood sugar now reads high, but he cannot tolerate insulin.

Since by now all of the insulin I gave him this morning is out of his system, he should need some.

However I have tried doses as low as 1 tonight, and it is consistently popping him out. It's really awesome to see. His neck bends and twists, and then his eyes start to roll up. If I don't give him honey, convulsions.

My theory was that he didn't have enough insulin in him to effectively transport the sugar, but I can't seem to get any more in him without making things worse.
Like Viola, I also hope your dog can hang on long enough to be seen by a vet.
He's still alive this morning. His eyes started looking better around 4 AM. We were in and out about three times.

At 5 AM I tried one unit of insulin, and he didn't go. (Right after giving him a little honey.)

At 6 AM I tried 2 units, and he didn't go. We both slept between about 6:15 - 7:30 AM.

At 7:45 AM after a walk and a pee, I gave him two more units, and he didn't go out.

At 8:15 AM I fed him a bit, then he went out, had a big drink and took another dump.

So we are still working on it. I do not think this can end well, but he looks surprisingly functional. Blood sugars are still reading HI.
I hope your dog is now stable?
My best wishes for a quick recovery.
Nope. He cannot live - after another 2 units of insulin he started to seize again, and only massive amounts of honey (given in small doses about 10 mins apart) stops it. As soon as I can get help I am taking him to an emergency care place I found to put him down. There is no sense in just torturing him.
I think he had a small stroke, and that is what initiated this slide into disaster. But from here on it is going to be pure misery for him.

This is the hardest time yet...you - and your dog - are in my thoughts and prayers (yes, even your dog).
MoM--so sorry to hear about this. It's really miserable to have to make the decision to put down a loved pet. I hope the pain from your loss of RD fades relatively soon and you're left with the good memories.

Thanks guys. It was the only thing to do, and I am glad he is not suffering any longer.

He was a great, great dog. Even while he was seizing he was still trying to cooperate. That's the worst of it - he was conscious right to the end when I had him sedated.

My other dog is not sure she'll live - she realized last night he wasn't going to make it, but she still was looking for him after we got back.
Oh, MoM, I am so, SO, sorry for your loss.

I've been through the death of several beloved pets, and have agonized afterwards "I should have done more and tried harder", followed by "I kept him alive too long and should have let him go sooner". I still cry over my wonderful buddies, sometimes.

God bless you.
Goodness, I wasn't expecting to read the dramatic and poignant saga that followed your post title. I thought you were being wonderfully clever about something financial. Instead, it was literally life and death and you were such a caring owner throughout it all. Having to make that necessary decision about a beloved pet is so hard. Please accept my sincere sympathy.
My condolences and best wishes. You guys have sure had more than your share of burdens in the last couple of months. Thank you for all you do, despite the hard times.
Thanks again. I am sorrowful, but Friday's atrocity certainly has put our troubles into perspective.

Saturday morning I found a list of some of the victims. A lot of people, dead for no good reason. What an agony.
I'm truly sorry that the pet couldn't recover.
My condolences.
I am very sorry for your loss. And I'm utterly amazed at your heroic efforts to save him.
Sorry for your loss too. Lost my old lab a couple of weeks ago--I suspect pnuemonia. But really, it was a broken heart. He couldn't take the loss of my husband and the old rottweiler. So I'm left with the crazy pup that never was part of the pack. Even with dogs, it hits hard when they are gone.
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