It has been a long and discouraging five months of seemingly endless bad news. First with a series of hot spots that would not heal that was soon explained by the rapid onset of clear cut diabetic symptoms and eventual diagnosis of diabetes. Yet when we walked out of the vet’s office there was a great deal of relief because we had a treatment, and it would not be long before Happy would soon be back to his boundless, energetic, and mischievous self.
Nearly five long months later I look back and almost wonder at our foolishness for believing it would be so simple. Every time Happy had a good day, it was immediately followed with a serious decline. We were faithful fighting with Happy for up to an hour at a time to give him his insulin, yet it was as if we were giving him water. Multiple times they adjusted his insulin amounts and yet his glucose remained steadfast at 650 plus, at times being to high for the glucose monitor to even read.
The unforgivingly high glucose quickly took its toll on Happy’s little body and it was not long before our hearts were wrenched when we were told that his liver and kidneys were starting to have issues. Within weeks of the diagnosis Happy had begun to stumble around and struggled to figure out where he was. Less than three months from his diagnosis, Happy was basically blind. But the cruel work of diabetes did not stop there as his hair began to thin and he went from a chubby 28 pounds down to a bony 15.8 pound in under 4 months.
It is hard to put in words the agony that we felt. It had not even been six months since we lost my father, and now we were watching our little Happy slowly melt away. Day and night our prayers would rise up to God pleading for healing or mercy for our frailest family member. Pleading with God to help us figure out what to do for Happy.
The first step in answering that prayer came when I remembered a story I heard from a couple talking about country living and how their dog had been bitten by a rattle snake. Fearing for the dog’s life they rushed their pet to the vet and was told that they would have to remove the leg. The wife said no way and took the dog home and wrapped the swollen leg with an activated charcoal poultice. After about a week the leg was much better.
I thought, well if a charcoal poultice helped their dog survive a snake bite it might help Happy. So we ordered some activated charcoal and got some cheese clothe and blended some oatmeal to hold the moisture mixed it with water, covered the poultice with some plastic wrap and wrapped that in some old cloth to protect Happy from the plastic. Since his liver was affected we deiced to place the poultice on the side of the liver and then we said a prayer and waited to see what would happen. To our surprise, considering that we had no clue what we were doing and were following some instructions we found on the internet, within a few minutes Happy had stretched himself out and was actually looking a bit relaxed. After a bit more research we decided to add Calcium Bentonite Clay for Pets to the poultice.
I cannot speak to the medical effectiveness of the poultice, but I can say that Happy really enjoys it. Because if it come time that we normally put it on and we forget, he will bark and bark until we remember. And once that poultice touches his side it is a race to see if we can finish wrapping it up before Happy lays down, usually right on top of the poultice.
That was the first break through as shortly after starting that treatment we noticed that Happy started sleeping a little bit more. We were actually getting a night here or there where we slept a whole five hours which was a I big relief as most nights we were getting 2 hours or even none at all.
The next major break through was when the new vet, seeing that Happy’s glucose was stubbornly high, decided that it was time to change his insulin. She said that before she checked him for the worst case scenarios like cancer, it might be a good idea to change the insulin since it was possible that for some reason his body and the insulin did not get along. So she switched him to Novlin N. Within a week of starting the new insulin Happy’s weight had inched up close to a pound. We were so excited.
That was until overnight Happy lost the entire weight gain and a bit more. And worse yet, he had his first accident in months and it was slightly pink colored. We immediately rushed him to the vet.
The bad news is Happy has a urinary track and an eye infection. But the good new is that even with the weight loss he is still a pound heavier than his lowest weight of 5.8 pounds. And best of all, with two infections his sugar had dropped from 680 down to 350! The first real victory since Happy was diagnosed.
The vet gave us some antibiotics and told us to come back in a week to recheck Happy. If all goes well, it will just be a matter of tweaking Happy’s insulin to get the dosage right.
But thank the Lord for the first time there is some real reason to hope that Happy will be back to his mischief loving, and auntie pestering self.
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