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Diabetes and cushings.

Species: Dog
Breed: Heinz 57 23 lbs
Age: 11-15 years
Doc, I need an objective viewpoint. My 14 yr 3mo old dog Buddy has been diagnosed 3 days ago with diabetes and Cushings. My vet says the treatment is expensive and snsure to regulate his blood sugar. Also has an infection, treating with Orabax.We cant seem to decide to try the insulin or not, as he will not eat ANYTHING. I know about insulin and trilostane, but he will not eat at all,not a bite, nothing, no a bite for 4 days not even homecooked best-of-his-faves. Drinks all the time, wobbly, no energy, still pees outside.I adore him, but he seems to have no quality of lie and he is 98 in human years. he does not seem to be in pain, but he is going blind and has no joyful activities. I am afraid, without eating, if I start him on insulin I will kill him with it.I want to make a compassionate choice but my spouse is leaving it up to me. I hold him, pet him, rock him all he does on his own is lay oI know dos can go without eating fr up to a week, my vet says, and he was overweight b4. Now he just lays on his bed. I think he is in ketoacidisis. Do I force feed him a liquid syringe food?then do insulin? I have to leave town in a week and I must be responsible, if he is going to die I dont want to leave him to suffer or have him stay at the vet for a week to die while I am gone. My spouse is worried about the $ and says he is really old anyway, let him go, but then he changes his mind. OF course he would not be giving him injections or meds. If it was just diabetes, maybe, but with cushings too? Looks too uncertain and too much $$ for us. Help!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm so sorry to hear about this situation. From what you described, if this were my case I would be giving you only two options:

Option 1: Intense hospitalization on IV fluids with the hospital staff regularly checking his glucose level and giving him insulin as appropriate until we get him to the point where he is eating properly and has a stable glucose level. However, dogs who have Cushing's disease AND diabetes can be very difficult to regulate as far as insulin is concerned. If you chose this option I would tell you that there is a chance that even if we did all this I may not be able to get him back to health again. I would also suggest that we start treatment for Cushing's but as you know this is very expensive.

Option 2: Euthanasia. I do not think it is an option for Buddy to keep existing the way that he is now. If he is not eating and is potentially in ketoacidosis then he feels horrible. You do not want him to go into a diabetic coma and potentially have diabetic seizures.

Even if you had a lot of money to spend on Buddy I would likely be leaning towards Option #2.

I'm so sorry. I know this is a hard decision to make but it sounds to me like you have done everything that you can short of intensive hospitalization and it sounds like he is really not doing well.

I hope this has helped with your decision making but please let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks for your help. Yes, this is very hard. I'd probably be willing to spend the money, but my spouse is not. He says if Buddy were 9 it would e different so here is my last question: Is 14 really an old, long life for a (was, but now 22 or so) 25 lb dog? If he were healthy,or if we got him that way, how much more time would he have had anyway?Thanks again.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome. I would say that 14 is quite old for any size of dog.



Customer reply:


Thank you for your help, Dr. Marie. I made the compassionate decision and Buddy went to sleep in my arms last night. It was so peaceful and I held, petted, snuggled and talked to him for an hour beforehand, in a special very comfy room at the vet hospital, just for last moments. He went in my very arms, looking into my eyes, as I scratched his ears and neck as he liked it done. He was so peaceful and out of pain. It was so the right thing to do, not for me, but for HIM. I wouldn't have had the guilt-free guts to do it without you. Thanks again.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thank you for letting me know. It's very sad, but I think you did the best thing for him.

Dr. Marie



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.