Permission was obtained from the Canine Diabetes Support and Information Group Admin(s) before writing this post.
Where does one turn when they learn of their pup being diagnosed with Canine Diabetes? I’ll tell you where. You’ll want to join the Canine Diabetes Support and Information Group on Facebook. Read on to learn why.
Our Pup’s Story and How I Found the Best Canine Diabetic Support Group
Around Christmas in 2017, I began smelling a foul-sweet smell in my bedroom. When I say foul – I mean foul – it wasn’t just a fruity sweet smell as a diabetic is referenced to have. I couldn’t understand what the smell was other than one of my male cats spraying in my room from the stray cat coming around again. Though, if you’ve ever had cats that spray, you know the scent of a male cat’s spray is a putrid strong scent – nothing like what I was smelling. Regardless, my daughter and I tore apart my room – washing everything – literally everything with a product meant to rid the smell of territorial spraying. The smell went away.
Not for long. I began to smell it again. So, once again we tore my room apart, washing everything…everything, once again. The odor went away again.
Time progressed a bit and I began to smell that foul sweet smell in the living room when I laid on the sofa. Deep cleaning began in the living room. I just couldn’t understand what the deal was at this point. No one else in the house could smell what I was smelling…no one. How could this be – the smell was so raunchy. I had no choice but to let it go – I was driving people crazy asking them if they could smell a foul-sweet smell every. single. time. I smelled it – which got to be all the time.
Time went on, I noticed a change in Gracie. She looked depressed. She appeared as though she was losing weight – I could see this weight-loss despite her having a very thick furry coat. Then she began to leak urine…she was leaking it all over the floor no matter where she was lying. Not droplets. Not little puddles. Not on occasion. It was happening several times a day and there was a lot of it. I was like – time for her to go see the vets – something isn’t right.
The time comes to venture off to the vets. I get Gracie in the car and began to drive. And what do I get a whiff of? Yep. You guessed it. I smelled that foul-sweet smell for the very first time in my car. Now mind you – Gracie goes everywhere I go unless it’s too cold, or too hot, or a place where dogs aren’t allowed yet this was the very first time I could smell that raunchy smell.
We get to the vets – I tell Gracie’s story, I tell my story. Vet says, “Well, if she’s lying in her urine – she’s going to smell like it…she’s getting old, she’s probably experiencing bladder leakage. We’ll get some blood work and then go from there. Though, I don’t see anything wrong in examining her.” Then I had to ask what I had been pondering over in my mind, “could she have diabetes?” (even though, in my head, the two things that were missing from the picture for a diabetes diagnosis were 1. excessive drinking, and 2. wanting to eat more…but… I still had to ask). Vet confidently replied, “No.” So…we get the blood work over with and Gracie and I head home.
Two days later – I get a call from the vet, “Please give us a call, you were right. Gracie needs to come back right away – she has diabetes.” My heart sank. Sank in fear…how was I going to care for Gracie? Could I even do this…she can’t talk to tell me what’s bothering her if something goes array…how would I know? I knew the costs involved…I feared I wasn’t going to be able to afford to care for her, thinking insulin would be an outrageous expense as it can be for humans. I knew what diabetes does to a human – I’ve cared for diabetics in my younger day. My anxiety began to soar.
We get back to the vets the next day. I’m instructed on how to draw up insulin, where and how to inject it – was given a couple of handouts on how to adjust insulin if she doesn’t eat, and a list of acceptable foods. I was told Gracie would need to go back for “curves” – that’s when one leaves the pup at the vets for the day so they can test the blood sugar at certain intervals to make sure the pup is getting the correct dosage of insulin. Wonderful – another added expense, never mind – how was I going to get her there that early in the AM, and then home again before they close where I have a bed-bound adult child with no one to help me at those hours? I left the vets feeling so overwhelmed and scared…’cause seriously, how was I going to do this?
So many questions running through my head. Questions like – I’m not testing her like a human would test their sugar level – that wasn’t even brought to the table by the vet. I didn’t understand that – so how will I know if her sugar level drops? How will I know if it’s rising too high? The food – how expensive is that going to be? How do I introduce this new food where her immune system is so off whack? What if her tummy doesn’t do well with this new food – her tummy is so sensitive?. What’s the life expectancy of a pup with diabetes – will this now shorten her time here on earth with me? The questions in my head were never ending.
So I began to do what I do best. I started searching the internet for answers. I never just read one or two articles; therefore, my research took me quite a bit of time. Countless hours, day and night. I wasn’t sleeping anyway – I feared I would miss something if I did. Something like Gracie going hypo (low blood sugar) – a hypo that turned deadly. My heart just couldn’t handle all this; nor could my head…so I just stayed awake so I wouldn’t miss a beat (though – we all know that couldn’t go on forever).
After so much reading and researching – I found an article. An article that lead me to a Facebook Group – the Canine Diabetes Support and Information Group. I checked the group out. The group had a LOT of members – over 10,000. My train of thought was – 10,000 members – that’s a lot of people with what has to be a wealth of knowledge…so I asked to join the group.
I was accepted to the group! The acceptance into the group was one of the best days of my life!
I began reading threads. So much of what I read made SO much sense to me. A few days later, I mustered up the courage to tell Gracie’s story – our story. I was welcomed by so many. That’s not to say I still wasn’t overwhelmed – there was no denying that I still was, but – I was beginning to feel a sense of comfort. And even though I felt this sense of comfort, I was still kind of a mental case because, now, now I needed to absorb all this information I was reading. My mentalness subsided pretty fast though once I learned I had a support team behind me, though, more importantly, behind Gracie….guiding me on where to start first. I came to realize that the CDSI group is where I belonged – where we belonged. And if you have a diabetic pup – it’s where you belong, more than likely, too.
Let me introduce you to the group! Yes, I say/write this with a lot of excitement because I don’t know what I would do without this group!
Eileen is a co-founders and admin of the CDSI group (Christy Kobielsky is the other co-founder). Eileen recently posted this (below) in the group which is what led me to asking if I could write a post on the group. Because – seriously, the world needs to know that there is a Facebook group that exists for diabetic pups that is on the UP and UP – truly having many years of knowledge to share with you, that will not lead you in the wrong direction, that will have your back no matter what time of day it is or what time zone you’re located in. A group that has your pup’s best interest at heart with supporting you through this journey that you’d never thought would cross your path. A group that can save you a lot of money on vet bills, on getting questions answered about food and insulin dosage and what may be the best type of insulin for your pup and where you may find it the cheapest, on savings of home testing supplies (yes, home testing is important)…..the list goes on and on. Yes, I learned all this and more and I couldn’t be more grateful!
About the Canine Diabetes Support and Information Group (July 2019)
CDSI, Canine Diabetes Support and Information was created over 6 years ago.
We have years upon years of hands on experience with some caring for multiple diabetic dogs, even cats. I myself started back in 2004 with my first, and have been actively involved ever since, with 6 diabetics of my own. Many others within our group have similar experiences to bring to the table.
CDSI works closely with several online sources for discounts for our members. We have CDSI Helping Hands Inc, a group/board that offers help to some in need. We had an auction the end of last year, beating all time records for first time groups.
We are working on obtaining our 501c3 status.
ALL of this shows we mean business…we care about handing you and your pups the best care possible, the safest as well to give your dogs the longest, happiest and healthiest life possible being a diabetic.
Rather recently several uninformed groups have popped up, ‘led’, and I use that term loosely, by brand new diabetic dog owners. Then with also passing along VERY dangerous, and misinformation to others that sadly fall prey. They thrive on patting each other on the back and with criticizing the Groups that give solid information. Information that is required for giving life to our dogs.
PLEASE, be extremely careful that you don’t fall into these groups that want nothing more than to be a community of complacent owners, not learning, not home monitoring…just barely getting by and with their head buried in the sand.
Having the ability to care for, let alone ‘teach’ others how to properly care for their diabetics takes YEARS of one on one…years of reading, learning, discussing…and NOT simply starting a group and with saying ‘this is the best place to be’.
They are deceiving you…they don’t want to take the extra steps to properly care for their dogs so are wanting others in the same corner with them…only to make themselves feel better about their lack of care. It makes me nauseous when I hear of what is coming out of these other groups…it hurts my heart for the poor pups suffering through such craziness and lack of concern.
We at CDSI care, we devote our time and energy into helping you help your dog.
Your Co Founders, Christy Kobielsky and Myself, along with our fabulous Admin./Mod. Team
Can you feel the passion Eileen references in her writing? There literally is no denying that the members in the Canine Diabetes Support and Information group care – they care about your pup and you.
I think one of the most important messages Eileen speaks of in her post is falling prey to a Facebook group for diabetic pups that could lead you astray in caring for your pup…there are many of those on Facebook. You need a group that has been at this for a very long time – assisting pup owners of diversified breeds. No two dogs are alike…just as no two humans are alike. Treatment varies from pup to pup – just as treatment varies from human to human. The last thing you need or want is to fall into a group where there is limited experience brought to the table.
This group, the Canine Diabetic Support and Information Group will not steer you wrong. You will learn so much from those in the CDSI group. And, remember, a group that large has someone online 24/7 and that’s a huge benefit. Diabetes knows no boundaries time-wise. Trust me. I’ve had to enlist help at 2am (not a major emergency, but rather a concerning one)…and…I got the help I needed on more than one occasion.