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Question
Posted by: June | 2007/07/27

Husky Diabetes

Please give me an honest answer! For the last year my 5 year old male husky would have a vomiting spell that lasted about 24 hours. This would happen every 6 weeks or so and he'd be fine after the spell. Even so, I took him to the vet for about half of these occasions, (including several to the after hours clinic), and he was usually treated for nausea and not much else. Three months ago they eventually did a full on scan at a medical centre and he was diagnosed as having pancreatitis. He was put on antibiotics (which fixed him in 3 days) and told to go on a diet of Hills w/d and nothing else. Since he was spoilt for the last 5 years, he didn't take too well to the new diet and lost a lot of weight (35 kg to 25 kg). Despite occasional low fat chicken dinners he became so bony and he drank loads of water and peed in the house, which he never did before. My vet said it's good that he's losing weight and he's just being naughty by peeing in the house. Last Wednesday I took him back to the vet because I just KNEW he wasn't the way he should be and bottom line he ended up at the medical centre and was diagnosed with diabetes. I now have to inject him with 19 units of insulin twice a day and feed him chicken breast and Eukanuba Glucose Control Formula pellets. The most important thing is that it's like he's been reborn, he's happier and healthier than he's been in a year and I'm so incredibly grateful and happy and relieved. But I REALLY REALLY need to know if I did this to him... Until he got sick, for the first 4 years of his life I fed him everything I thought would make him happy. He got chicken & rice for dinner, but also steak, biltong, cheese, smoked pork bones, smoked turkey, P&P barbeque chicken, omelettes, sausages, milk, Pronutro, everything. And VERY occasionally, rusks, Kit Kats, ice cream and Smarties. My question is, and I really need to know this - did I give him pancreatitis and did I give him diabetes by feeding him human food? I can't bear the thought that I did this to my baby but everyone says I did. As much as I want you to say it's not my fault, I'd rather beat myself up and get it over with than keep wondering. Please tell me the truth! THANK YOU.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

It is very difficult to tell what caused it. It is possible for an animal to develop diabetes following pancreatitis. Dogs should preferably be fed dog food that is formulated for them. Chocolate can be toxic to them and so must not be fed. Sweets can cause caries (dental decay) just as in man. I am glad he has respoonded so well to the new diet and treatment.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: june | 2007/08/01

Chill,

Thanks for your reply, I appreciate your positive input. I'm sorry I'm only responding now but, frankly, I've been too scared to check the answer to my question and cybervet hasn't really answered it, though you've given me SOME hope that it wasn't ENTIRELY my fault!

It's amazing, must be the blonde thing, but I've never actually related it to humans. Duh, of course too many snacks = bad! Needless to say, I'm not a salad person either, but I'm trying to limit the bad stuff and I owe my dogs the same.

Re the chocolate, I remember the Oreo ad with the kid saying to the dog "mom says chocolate's not good for you, but you can have the rest of my milk". So I occasionally gave him chocolate but gave him lots of milk. I never knew chocolate was toxic... (I've never had dogs before - we had chihuahuas when I was a kid, but I don't think they count!) And I often bake brownies for my clients and Boo (said Husky) has often stolen them off the table while I left them to cool...

I guess what's done is done, whatever my part in it was. Hopefully my R20k odd bill proves I love him and would never have done anything to hurt him if only I knew better!

Thanks for the kind words.
June

Reply to june
Posted by: Chill | 2007/07/27

Interesting question! And good for you, being analytical - it's how one grows in life - figure things out and learn from them.

I'm going to be interested in what the vet has to say - meantime, here are some observations:

Giving a dog only 'lekker' things is not really the way to go, just as you yourself would not enjoy optimal health if you only ever ate the stuff you really fancied (unless of course you're a salad and grilled fish freak...!) Certainly it seems your dog was overweight, and that's not healthy, in the same way it's not healthy for humans to be overweight.

The trick really is to feed dogs (and yourself) responsibly - but OF COURSE it's ok to have a treat now and then - for BOTH of you! It's just that your whole diet can't consist of wall to wall 'treat'!

I see you gave the dog KitKat and Smarties - you do know that chocolate is actually toxic to dogs, don't you?

Anyway - I guess overindulgence would have had some effect on your dog's health - but I also guess it's going to be impossible to pinpoint whether without it, he'd be in any different state now. I've had two incidents of pancreatitis in dogs of mine - one got an abscess (really nasty, but she did pull through) and the other had a more chronic form, which cleared up after reducing protein for a while. Dogs and cats do get diabetes, too, and of course this is connected to the insulin which is secreted by the pancreas... so it's at least possible that your dog's diet wasn't the cause of his health issues.

I'm glad you persisted until you found out what was wrong, and also that your dog's doing so much better. And I'm sure you can stll give him a little piece of droewors every now and then, too!

Reply to Chill

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