Like a scene from ER or one of the other numerous medical dramas on television, we sat nervously waiting for the doctor to give us the verdict.
“I have some good news and some bad news”, she began.
“Oh no. Not this routine,” I thought. “There are far too many bad jokes with that beginning line.”
“Bonny does not have Cushings disease so that is good but she does have diabetes.”
Argh! Panic! Bonny our black Labrador has diabetes! A seed pod of thoughts exploded in my mind. How would we cope and how would Bonny cope? What was involved? How were we going to give a dog an injection every day, she would run away. You can hardly say’ It’s in your best interests so take your medicine’. I have generally found logic a lost cause with canines.
As with all ignorance, the worst is assumed and the negatives are multiplied. The answer was enlightenment. Basically we owed it to Bonny to provide the best life we could for her, diabetes or no diabetes. We have our friends and family, she only has us. That makes us pretty special. We would have to learn for her sake.
How did we know to get her checked out? We had our suspicions when she began to drink excessively, and obviously urinate a lot. So we went to the vet who took a urine sample.
So what then? We had to take her to the vet for a day so they could check her insulin levels regularly. That night we collected Bonny, a bottle of insulin, disposable syringes and needles, and a bill. We also had some test strips to check her urine whilst the process of finding the right dose of insulin that would control her blood glucose levels was established.
Now I am a pretty straight up guy, but if I have ever felt like a pervert, it was in following my dog around the yard trying to catch her wee in a clean Chinese takeaway container. She made me feel bad too and the walks to when she would stop and go, got longer and longer. She was toying with me, making me work for it!
Injecting her is not arduous either. There are some basic things to learn such as to keep the syringe and needle clean, ensure there are no air bubbles, get the right amount, roll the vial first to mix the contents rather than giving it a big shake. None of this is rocket science. The skin on her neck and back is pulled up in a large fold, as if you were her Mum and she was a puppy. The needle is inserted into this fold. She sits for this and it does not appear to hurt. She is waiting for a small treat afterwards anyway. The main thing is this has to be at the same time every day and eight hours later, she has her second meal.
She went back to the vet for a few more full days until the amount that kept her under control was established. We were lucky as she needs only the one injection per day. Many dogs require two. The pervert wee catcher is active now only a week or so every few months just to make sure all is well. The keys are routine and exercise. Normal stuff for a dog anyway.