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Katy Did It

A vet tech, her dog, & an emo-cational experience.

Katy Did It

my poor special girl

September 7th, 2013 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

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A bit of upsetting news:  Katy has been diagnosed with diabetes, and is blind due to rapid cataract formation (we’re talking overnight).  She’s actually in the hospital as I write this, she’s been there over 24 hours now and I am as anxious as a mama can get.  They’re doing a blood glucose curve, where they draw her blood every couple hours and see what her blood sugar level is.  I of course have been in contact with the vets several times (it’s a big hospital, at least 3 vets have seen her so far) and they just can’t seem to get her regulated, they’re now doubling her insulin dose to see if that works.  Best estimate, she’ll be home this evening.  Worst case, tomorrow morning.

I’m really just in shock.  I feel like a terrible vet tech and an awful mama.  How on earth did I not see this?  Her blood glucose right now is crazy high, like 400s-500s; how is it I didn’t notice any symptoms?  I took her in about a month ago because she had blood in her urine; they did a urinalysis and found glucose and ketones, neither of which is good and both of which can indicate diabetes.  So they did bloodwork and her blood glucose was very high, in the 400s as I recall.  But the vet we saw was not convinced it was diabetes.  He knew I was a tech, so he sent us home with antibiotics for the UTI and subq fluids to give for a few days to see if that would bring her glucose down.  He said he would call to check on her in a couple days, never did.  I should have called him, I know, should have brought her back in for repeat bloodwork.  If I had things would probably be under control now and she wouldn’t be blind.  (The vet did see some cloudiness in her eyes at that time, but he said it was just from aging.  He gave no indication it was cataracts.)  But I suppose I shouldn’t second-guess myself, what’s done is done and now we need to deal with it.

One of the hard things is how expensive this is getting so fast.  Between the vet visit and hospitalization, all the meds, the insulin, it sure ain’t cheap.  And unless I get my own glucometer and do curves at home, Katy will be going back like once a week.  Sheesh!  My husband is not real pleased, he knows Katy means the world to me, but he’s the only one working right now and we do have bills to pay.  She’s turning out to be a very pricy pup, for certain.  The vets know we’re not made of money, that we want to get Katy home as soon as we can, we just can’t help feeling like they’re milking us for as much as they can get.  It’s just exhausting and emotionally chaotic.

It sounds odd, I know, but the easy part for me will be taking care of her once she’s home.  It just comes naturally to me, I was very hands-on caring for her before, during, and after her amputation.  I don’t like leaving her in the care of other people, I like doing as much as I can for her myself (and being a vet tech, that’s a fair bit).  Not to mention it’s cheaper 🙂  Planning my schedule around her, when she needs to eat and have her insulin, pfft, it’s nothing.  She’s my girl, y’know?  I used to take this dog to school with me just so I could keep an eye on her while she was healing, so she wouldn’t be home alone and run the risk of hurting herself.  I’m her mama, it’s my job to take care of her, simple as that.

Prayers and advice and support would be much appreciated, for Katy and myself.  It’s a new chapter in the exciting “tail” of her life, one I’ve certainly never read before, and we’re both hoping for a happy ending.  🙂


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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Michelle

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. I know Nova (Great Dane) ended up blind and did really well as a Tripawd. She did have a couple of other dogs that did help guide her. It was glaucoma that made her blind.

    I haven’t ever had a dog that had diabetes. I hope they get everything figured out for you

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  • Dakota Dawg

    Well Katy is certainly having a rough patch, but she’s got caring people all around her. The diabetes is being difficult at the moment but I do believe you’ll get it figured out. What about the cataracts, though? Is there any way of reversing that or removing them?

    As for thinking you should have seen it because you are a vet tech…I am not a vet tech. I wouldn’t have seen it. I would depend on my dog’s vet to see it. I don’t think you should judge yourself any differently than the rest of us. To do otherwise would then allow vets to be sloppy with others in the veterinary field, and that makes no sense. If I were a people doctor, I’d still expect my kid’s doc to be able to diagnose their diabetes!

    Keep us posted on how things shake out. And if you have more info on the cataracts, let us know. They remove them in people all the time; can they do the same for dogs?


  • katydid

    Just wanted to update you, Katy’s home now, very happy to be back among familiar smells and sounds. She did run into a few things, tripped in the water bowl and made a little mess, but had no issue hopping up on the couch and falling asleep. 🙂 She is to get 11 units of insulin twice a day after meals, with a recheck planned in 2 weeks; I intend to get a glucometer before then so I can monitor her here at home. She’s also getting antiinflammatory eyedrops as her eyes are very irritated due to the fluid buildup.

    And yes, Dakota, dogs can have surgery to remove cataracts. It’s done almost exactly like human cataract surgery, just a couple parts are different. It is pricy though, and Katy is not a good candidate because of her age and her diabetes is not under control just yet. So she’ll be blind the rest of her days, and I have the honor of being her seeing-eye human. 🙂

  • jerry

    Oh my gosh I’m so sorry to hear about this, I can’t imagine how upsetting the whole situation is for all of you. But boy am I glad that she’s doing better and is home. She is VERY lucky to have you as a Momma (and no you are not a bad one!), only you know her better than anyone else and can help her adapt, which I know she will.

    If you ever want to talk about coping with the blindness, our friend Sue Von Rosen Zieske, Nova’s Mom, also dealt with it when Nova went blind as a Tripawd. PM me and I will pass along her contact info to you if you’d like.

    Give Katy a big hug from us, we are thinking of you both and sending all our love.

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