My Dachshund has diabetes! Now what?

Canine diabetes may be a scary thing but if you love your weiner dog it'll be no big deal. You'll have to keep an eye on it especially if your dachshund also has cushings (like my Max). You may have to learn to test sugar levels and give insulin but you'll learn how strong your dachshund really is!

If you have not yet had a diagnosis of diabetes but are leaning towards it here are some of the
symptoms I noticed in my dachshund:

» Your dachshund may seem to be drinking more, waking up during the night to drink a full bowl of water or drink from puddles on walks.
» With so much drinking your weiner dog may be urinating more, or "dribbling" if they have to wait to go out. You may notice your doxie wanting to go out every hour or so!
» Your hungry dachshund may be even hungrier!! (is that possible-yes!) and although your piggy doxie may be wanting more food, begging for dinner, or returning to their bowl often - you may notice they seem to be LOSING weight!
» My dachshund had sudden cataract formation. It was very rapid (unfortunately my Max also had cushings so regulating sugar levels is more difficult!)

If diabetes remains uncontrolled just like people your doxie may become ketotic or go into a coma. If your dachshund seems depressed, woo-zy or weak, vomits, or begins to pant HURRY TO THE VET!

Diabetes Supplies

Testing sugar levels and giving Insulin to your dachshund

If your dachshund does have diabetes you may have to learn how to manage sugar levels, test sugar levels and administer insulin.

Testing sugar levels: You can make vet appointments to test sugar levels but that can end up being expensive. You can also learn how to test levels yourself using a "human" test kit (see picture). Your vet (if they are a good one) will teach you how but it really is easy. In a test kit you get everything you need (except the test strips) to manage your doxie dogs diabetes. You will need to learn how to "prick" your weiner dogs ear or lip to draw a drop of blood for the test strip (try a fresh test on yourself - it's really not painful). Then the meter will let you know if the sugar is high (or low). Normal sugar levels are 5-7 mmls.

Administering Insulin: Once you and your vet determine your pets sugar levels they will help you with the correct insulin dose. They will also teach you the proper way to administer it. Usually you pinch a fold around the back of your dogs neck or back, clean the area and then administer the shot. Again it will seem very scary the first few times you do it, but each time gets easier. I use to give my Max a treat after every shot (of course he loved celery) so he grew to enjoy the time knowing he got his favorite treat. The vet may tell you that you can use the same needle more then once. I do NOT recommend this as each use dulls the needle as well as may have old insulin in the tip. Needles can be bought cheap so why not use a new one each time? Insulin needs to be kept cool and since your dachshund will not use much - to keep it fresh keep it in the fridge (be careful though - too cold will kill the insulin making it ineffective). We use to bring a cooler with us on trips for the insulin and wrapped it in towels so it did not get too cold.

Maintaining sugar levels: Diet diet diet!! Watching what your doxie eats has never been more important. Find treats (such as celery) that will satisfy your pooch but keep his blood levels constant. Certain diet dog foods are specialized for diabetics. Stay clear of even veggies with a high sugar content such as carrots. Learn to say "no" when others try to give your weiner dog a treat. It may feel "mean" but it's tough love. You'll keep your dachshund healthy, happy, and around longer if you do! Ask your vet the best time to take blood levels too, I usually did my test and hour after my doxie ate. I also spread out the daily food so he ate some in the morning and some in the late afternoon to try to keep his levels constant throughout the day.

More topics coming soon...

dachshund back problems
Canine diabetes
Canine cushings
* Dog Glaucoma

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