We have a 13 year old pug who developed diabetes earlier this year. I have been giving her injections twice a day (in increasing amounts with the vet’s recommendations) for the last five or six months. She eats a lot but is getting thinner and bonier. She is nearly blind with cataracts and is starting to run into things. She sleeps most of the day, but is still fairly perky in the mornings. The biggest problem we are having is that she is very incontinent and will suddenly pee copious amounts without any warning to us, or even to herself I suspect. We have her on Proin, but it’s not working. She is ashamed and we are frustrated she just peed on our couch today (after urinating on another couch earlier in the year) and our carpet is shot. She drank five bowls of water this morning and it all came out. She used to be a mostly indoor dog, but of course we are having to have her outside most of the time now, including sleeping outside instead of in our room because of her incontinence (she has soaked through her bed). She seems confused at the changes. We keep taking her to the vet and upping her medicines (insulin and Proin) she usually has a plateau period of a few weeks and then goes back to drinking a lot and peeing a lot. We are now thinking maybe the time has come to put her down. We have two children who love her dearly we are thinking maybe it makes sense to do it now before school starts, and before the cold and rainy weather sets in. Leaving her out in the garage all day seems cruel. But because she is not totally comatose in her behavior, we are unsure. The vet won’t advice yes or no. He just keeps upping her medicines and telling us what our options are (cataract surgery etc) while at the same time telling us she only has about a year left and how her life will deteriorate.
Hi and thank you for your question.
There is no cure as such for diabetes on dogs. The signs shown by your dog are typical of diabetes but can be managed with exercise, correct diet and insulin therapy.
By correct diet, I mean a diet low in fat and sugars, high in carbohydrates and high in fibre. Feeding several smaller meals in the day will help.
Neutering her would also be beneficial, if she has not already been spayed. Progesterone has a negative effect on insulin production. Spaying removes progesterone production and helps normalize insulin requirements.
The urination problem is common in diabetic dogs. At 13 years and blind, I would not lock any dog away in the garage. Do you have a room with a hard floor which you can cover in newspapers and absorbent pads, the sort used on a child’s bed for night time “accidents”. You will, however be better restricting her to the hard floor area, rather than allowing her up on your couch, bed or carpets. Do not punish her or shout at her when she has an accident. It is something she does not have control over. Just change her papers / pads, wipe with de-odouriser and disinfectant and put fresh papers / pads down.
The decision about euthanasia is yours and yours alone. In the mean time, keep her happy and well loved.