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  • FIRST POST
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 24th Mar 18, 1:18 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    Diabetic dog food recommendations
    • #1
    • 24th Mar 18, 1:18 PM
    Diabetic dog food recommendations 24th Mar 18 at 1:18 PM
    My 12 year old dog has just been diagnosed today and is starting on insulin. The vet recommended the Royal Canin diabetic food but it is very expensive and the treatment is not going to be cheap!

    Just wondered if anybody with a diabetic dog uses a different high protein food that is not so pricey? Raw isn't an option.
Page 1
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 24th Mar 18, 5:11 PM
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    Fosterdog
    • #2
    • 24th Mar 18, 5:11 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Mar 18, 5:11 PM
    I would avoid royal canin like the plague, it is such a poor quality food.

    You say raw isn't an option, that is a shame because realistically it is the best diet at all for any dog even without diabetes.

    How about one of the dehydrated or freeze dried brands? It's almost as good but comes with more convenience, it is more expensive than raw feeding but probably cheaper than feeding some dry brands. There are new manufacturers and suppliers coming up all the time as they realise more people are trying to get as natural a diet as possible for their dogs.
    • janeys
    • By janeys 25th Mar 18, 7:33 AM
    • 415 Posts
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    janeys
    • #3
    • 25th Mar 18, 7:33 AM
    • #3
    • 25th Mar 18, 7:33 AM
    Hi, we feed our diabetic dog chappie dry dog food. This was recommended to us by our vet. We started using this with our first diabetic dog and have had no problems with either of our diabetic dogs on this food. It is sometimes on offer in pets at home or you can buy it cheaper online here
    Last edited by janeys; 25-03-2018 at 7:42 AM. Reason: added link
    • AnnS
    • By AnnS 25th Mar 18, 7:44 PM
    • 12 Posts
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    AnnS
    • #4
    • 25th Mar 18, 7:44 PM
    • #4
    • 25th Mar 18, 7:44 PM
    We use Burns weight control for diabetic dogs. Not sure if you are insured or not but we order vetuk syringes for Holly instead of the caninsulin ones.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 26th Mar 18, 5:28 PM
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    teddysmum
    • #5
    • 26th Mar 18, 5:28 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Mar 18, 5:28 PM
    Check the ingredients of Fish4Dogs. It's
    expensive but often on special offer.


    A lot of the products marketed for people who have diabetes is actually worse for them than 'normal' food.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 27th Mar 18, 8:12 AM
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #6
    • 27th Mar 18, 8:12 AM
    • #6
    • 27th Mar 18, 8:12 AM
    Thanks, will have a look at these.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 27th Mar 18, 1:58 PM
    • 924 Posts
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    crv1963
    • #7
    • 27th Mar 18, 1:58 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Mar 18, 1:58 PM
    A little word of caution, it is a bit of a steep learning curve when your dog is first diagnosed with diabetes. We started on Royal Canin on our vets recommendation, have tried to change to cheaper alternatives but these have caused problems with Blood Glucose levels, so we have returned to and will be sticking with Royal Canin. We use Animed web site to order it and other supplies such as syringes, needles, insulin and testing kit supplies.


    I would strongly advocate home BG testing- it seems lots of things influence glucose levels and they are not always observable, the weather, who visits, what the dog manages to pinch or is given as a treat, level of activity etc. I did post a reply (along with others) to a question by pennypincher2013 in this forum in Dec 2017. His/ her specific points are in italics as below:-






    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pennypincher2013
    My CKCS has just been diagnosed as diabetic. I have spoken to two different vets at my surgery and have been given conflicting information. One said do not give ANY food in between morning and evening meals. Another has said carrots, green beans and apples are fine as treats throughout the day. Which is it?

    How do you inject your dog who will not let you do it?

    How long after diagnosis did your dog get back to their normal selves? Is life any different?





    Hi Pennypincher


    We have a diabetic Border Collie aged 4 years. It is very daunting at first. As you gain experience your confidence will build. The main key is routine. Dogs adapt and love routine.


    How do you inject your dog who will not let you do it?


    We test her blood glucose before every meal- twice a day. We have a routine where I test her she's learnt to jump onto the sofa next to me, roll over and give me her paw, I then get a drop of blood from her Carpel Pad onto the test strip. Then I feed her (we use Royal Cannin Diabetic Dog Food- dried) she gets the same amount breakfast and teatime. Then I put a soft muzzle on her, give her 1cm of soft cheese (we use Primula light in a tube as it's lower fat and fat can affect blood sugar levels) inject insulin and repeat giving soft cheese, off with the muzzle then out she goes into the garden so she can't steal our older slower dogs meal! Tube of cheese has her name on it in the fridge!


    To build our confidence and train her to accept being tested we ran a few sugar curves, we did reward (beans are fine) after each test so 6 treats over the 12 hour day.


    Another has said carrots, green beans and apples are fine as treats throughout the day. Which is it?


    We are really careful about treats, very rarely given and only as reward for behaviours. We do sometimes add veg to her dinner especially if she is off her food. We do occasionally add a little (Tablespoonful) of Bisto low salt chicken gravy to her meals. Treats are more our need than hers!


    Stick with things that are low natural sugars so we don't give apple but do give green beans (frozen just defrost a few at a time), carrots and use a few pieces of dried food.


    How long after diagnosis did your dog get back to their normal selves?


    Once you get a routine you can vary it a little, while we were learning we were very rigid about meal times, weighed the dry food (for consistency) gave no treats at all and made sure that everyone was told (firmly for some) absolutely no treats but from us.


    I'd say it took a week for her to get used to us measuring her blood glucose levels, we use alphatrak- you can buy a testing kit at supermarkets and every pharmacy, expensive but so much better to know what it is, that way you can also do your own sugar curve at home so be more accurate than one done at the vets where stress can give false high readings, so too much insulin at home.


    It took a couple of months to get used to giving the insulin, and muzzling was the only way as she would go for it with us (and may still be the case- not willing to test out if she would do without it). Id say overall it took me about 3-4 months to get used to it and comfortable with the new fixed routine and planning of simple activities.


    There is life after diagnosis but it is much more fixed, doing anything that impacts on mealtimes needs careful planning for instance we had a weekend away and Mrs CRV never stopped checking with her sister glucose levels, treats and feeds in the end swearing we would never go away together again without the dogs!


    We test before exercise and while we were training her to herd/ drive sheep tested during breaks. We had to stop agility as she became very reactive towards other dogs (always was wary) and her sugar levels dropped very fast.


    Walks need planning- best to exercise before meal times otherwise she burns the sugar up and the insulin still lowers what's left so risk of hypo.


    If her blood sugar level drops very low we give Honey- to boost instantly the level, followed by cream cracker with peanut butter on- the carbs keep the levels even until the next mealtime.


    If work commitments mean her meal time has to vary we move it over a few days prior - you must have at least 11 hours between insulin doses but can stretch it to 13 hours apart at a push.


    Nights out need planning- I now always have to be up by 6 am and we roughly give insulin 07:00 and 19:00 hours, we keep a record of blood sugar level and time of dose so we each know she has had it and the vet can look over it. We do vary dose at times for instance if the reading is below 10 mmols we retest after 45 mins and if on its' way up give the insulin if not we may reduce the dose. Similarly if she runs at a high level for a few days we may slightly increase it.


    My wife has joined two Facebook groups- Canine Diabetes Support and Information an American group and some members can be a bit harsh and opinionated in my view and UK Diabetic Dogs which she finds a bit better.


    Sorry for the long post but I know how worrying it can be so wanted to give you as much info as I can. If I can help/ share info please just ask, I'm sure that there are more knowledgeable people who will be along later.


    Good luck, with testing and routine you'll manage it well. It's more training humans than dogs!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 28th Mar 18, 7:48 AM
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #8
    • 28th Mar 18, 7:48 AM
    • #8
    • 28th Mar 18, 7:48 AM
    crv1963, thank you so much for that detailed reply.

    I'm lucky in a way in that I'm a nurse so I'm comfortable injecting and I'm also used to looking after diabetic humans. My dog is also incredibly placid and doesn't bat an eyelid at anything you do to him!

    My main worry was how to spot a hypo in a dog, they aren't going to get irritable and pale like a human! From research it looks like the things to watch out for are shaking and staggering and disorientation, does that tie in with your experience?

    I have ordered the alphatrak glucometer, just waiting for it to arrive. I will have a look at those facebook groups, thanks.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 28th Mar 18, 12:22 PM
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    crv1963
    • #9
    • 28th Mar 18, 12:22 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Mar 18, 12:22 PM
    crv1963, thank you so much for that detailed reply.

    I'm lucky in a way in that I'm a nurse so I'm comfortable injecting and I'm also used to looking after diabetic humans. My dog is also incredibly placid and doesn't bat an eyelid at anything you do to him!

    My main worry was how to spot a hypo in a dog, they aren't going to get irritable and pale like a human! From research it looks like the things to watch out for are shaking and staggering and disorientation, does that tie in with your experience?

    I have ordered the alphatrak glucometer, just waiting for it to arrive. I will have a look at those facebook groups, thanks.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel



    That's great news, you have a head start re: monitoring and injecting, we're both nurses too and our vet likes that we started from a point of already having an understanding of the illness and the importance of monitoring. He is really pleased that we'll home test daily before food, are able to be confident enough to adjust insulin dose and can manage to anticipate when low BG levels are likely.


    You're right the shaking, staggering and disorientation are the key signs, but they are for us right at the point of falling over. Prior to this she either gets really hyperactive/ dominant/ aggressive towards our other dog or the complete opposite and hides away curled up in another room. She has twice needed rushing to the vets (300 yards for us) for Glucogel both times on my wife at the start of our journey. My wife has a better understanding of diabetes than me but our dog shows no symptoms until the BG is really low. When they start to get low she does let us rub honey on her gums and then licks it off of a teaspoon.


    How we manage is really simple, with regular curves we know roughly what level she should be at during the day, if we're going to walk her/ train with her then we anticipate by keeping feed at the same level but reducing insulin. Then we test while out, occasionally I use her ear- I wouldn't dare use her lips! If it's dropped we give her honey/ cracker+peanut butter and/or some of her dried dog food. I always test when we get back to the car and take the appropriate action.


    When out if anyone ever snatched our bag they'd have a shock!- Glucometer and test strips, lancets, crackers, one meals worth of dried dog food, honey (we use those little packs that you get at Cafe's, B+Bs), a bit of peanut butter in a Tupperware pot, and doggy bags! We keep every thing in a dedicated bag hung with her lead (as a reminder to take it), the bag is a gym shoe bag- 1 main pocket, 1 little pocket- from a charity shop.


    We have a couple of different Glucometers but they all give different readings so find one and stick to that is my advice- we stick to the Alphatrack as that's what our vet uses. Initially we did weekly curves, but now it's monthly unless we see a change- our dog levels dropped in the cold weather so we ran a few curves, and will do again when it gets hotter weather.


    We took our dog to an ophthalmologist- our vet referred us after we got to a stable/ regular insulin level, sadly a lot of diabetic dogs go blind, but ours hasn't in part because we will vary insulin and home test but she does have the start of cataracts and has 6 monthly screening now.


    I try to exercise before meals, when the BG should be higher, but test before and after if just local. The hardest bit for me is the inability to do random walks- can't just decide we'll go to the beach now it's sunny or just randomly think I'm at a loose end I know I'll take the dogs out.


    Good luck you'll find the dog adapts faster than you, then again they always do.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 28th Mar 18, 12:52 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    Thanks again, really helpful! Sadly my dog started getting cataracts young anyway and has already been blind for a couple of years. He isn't particularly bothered about it though and manages fine, smell and hearing are so much more important.
  • archived user
    My sisters do0g is on Butchers and is doing ok.
    • Malling12
    • By Malling12 28th May 19, 3:51 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Malling12
    Hello there
    I've just joined this site due to my beloved border collie being diagnosed with Diabetes today. I'm at a total loss where to start with the correct dog food to provide a low carb diet. Any advice would be gratefully received. x
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 29th May 19, 5:33 AM
    • 924 Posts
    • 2,075 Thanks
    crv1963
    Hello there
    I've just joined this site due to my beloved border collie being diagnosed with Diabetes today. I'm at a total loss where to start with the correct dog food to provide a low carb diet. Any advice would be gratefully received. x
    Originally posted by Malling12
    Hi Malling,

    First don't panic, it is daunting to start with. I suggest read my previous posts above for a bit of general advice.

    Correct dog food can be a subjective view. We stick with the Royal Cannine dried Diabetic Dog Food. We give our border collie 125g twice a day.

    You feed to the desired weight of the dog. I would suggest that you ask your vet- which food and how much. I would also really strongly suggest the UK diabetic dogs group on FB. There is usually someone on FB 24/7 so you can get instant advice, support and discuss concerns.

    Good luck

    CRV
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • Vet
    • By Vet 30th May 19, 9:41 AM
    • 104 Posts
    • 74 Thanks
    Vet
    I would avoid royal canin like the plague, it is such a poor quality food.

    You say raw isn't an option, that is a shame because realistically it is the best diet at all for any dog even without diabetes.

    How about one of the dehydrated or freeze dried brands? It's almost as good but comes with more convenience, it is more expensive than raw feeding but probably cheaper than feeding some dry brands. There are new manufacturers and suppliers coming up all the time as they realise more people are trying to get as natural a diet as possible for their dogs.
    Originally posted by Fosterdog
    Royal Canin is not a poor quality food, it's nutritionally complete and the diabetic food is tailored to be lower in carbohydrates/uses low GI carbs.
    I'm not a big advocate of raw feeding as since it's popularity increased over the past few years i've seen many more cases of salmonella and campylobacter GI infections. The zoonotic potential of feeding raw is also very evident. However, it's not up to me to lecture you on raw feeding - just be aware it's not the holy grail it's made out online to be.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 30th May 19, 3:28 PM
    • 924 Posts
    • 2,075 Thanks
    crv1963
    Royal Canin is not a poor quality food, it's nutritionally complete and the diabetic food is tailored to be lower in carbohydrates/uses low GI carbs.
    I'm not a big advocate of raw feeding as since it's popularity increased over the past few years i've seen many more cases of salmonella and campylobacter GI infections. The zoonotic potential of feeding raw is also very evident. However, it's not up to me to lecture you on raw feeding - just be aware it's not the holy grail it's made out online to be.
    Originally posted by Vet
    I agree with Vet.

    Our diabetic dog has managed to remain healthy, active and well managed on Royal Canin Diabetic Dried. The advantages over raw- apart from infection risks- for us are ease of use, consistent known calorie/ nutritional intake, it can be weighed and bagged up in advance in case someone else needs to feed, can be used for the odd treat, when training a small portion can be kept back for rewarding - if a dog is food driven. It doesn't smell either. Not worrying about the feed is another bonus, when we changed to a different feed we had to run more frequent curves.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
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