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Panting after insulin.

Species: Dog
Breed: mixed beagle
Age: 5-8 years
My 6 year old dog was Diagnosed with diabetes 5 months ago. Having some trouble getting regulated. Is it normal for him to be very sleepy and panting alot after meal and insulin injection? (without exercise) also some rapid shallow breathing. I can’t find any info about these symptoms. What does it mean?
I have tried changing food type and amounts. Changing insulin amounts. Make sure he is in comfortable climate, (not hot). Have had several glucose curves done with mixed results. Last one, his 1st draw showed fairly high, then after food and insulin 2nd draw showed a little higher, (then it went down), but all numbers were higher than normal. I have been increasing insulin very slowly from 18 units, now up to 23 units and he still has diabetes symptoms, high urine tests. Panting and sleepiness started as I started increasing dose. Food: Dogswell Nutrisca Chicken & Chickpea (Lowest Glycemic index food)


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi and thanks for your question. The symptoms that you have described have me concerned. A well regulated diabetic dog should not have any odd symptoms after an insulin injection.

When you are changing the insulin amounts, are you doing this with the help of a veterinarian? Sometimes when a dog is having high glucose levels at certain times of the day despite being on high levels of insulin it can mean that something called the Somogyi effect. Continuing to increase the insulin levels could actually be more harmful. Dogs with Somogyi do have dangerously low insulin levels at some point in the day and then high levels at other points. In either case there could be significant panting.

It's also possible that Scruff needs a different brand of insulin. I have had some dogs that respond well to one type and some to another. It's probably a good idea to speak to your vet about trying a different type of insulin.

There are other possibilities such as an expired bottle of insulin or one that has been spoiled by being left out of the fridge for several days. I've seen other cases where people are not giving the right amount. For example, the dose may be 4 IU and the clients were actually giving 0.4 IU because the syringe was difficult to read.

Sometimes if a dog is not responding to insulin properly it can be because there is something else going on with the body as well. In older dogs, Cushing's disease is a common cause for this. But this would be unlikely in a 6 year old dog. (Not impossible though.) A problem such as a pancreatic cancer could do this also but again this is uncommon, especially in a relatively young dog.

Diabetes cases can be extremely difficult and unfortunately can be very expensive. I have had some cases like this where I have had to hospitalize the patient for a few days and monitor the glucose every hour in order to find out what is happening.

I wish I had an easy answer for you but this really sounds like a complicated case. I hope things look up soon!

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.

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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.