My 9 year old female miniature schnauzer was diagnosed with diabetes recently however she did not present with the typical symptoms of drinking and urinating all the time. Anyway, I am giving her insulin every morning (filling it to 5 on the syringe) and the vet has her on Hill’s W/D.. They absolutely swear that it is the best thing for her. I think it’s garbage. I have done a lot of research online and found your website. I ordered GlucoEnsure by PetAlive and started giving that to her in her food about 3 days ago. I know it will take 3 to 6 weeks before we see any results. Anyway, the reason I am writing is because I’m just totally confused on what food to feed her now. The holisticpetinfo website states that a diabetic dog should be getting high protein, moderate fat, and low carbs. Do you agree and if so would you please explain why? I have found Wellness, “Core” variety that seems to fit that description in their can food.
The Hill’s W/D has 17.9 protein When I mentioned the ingredients to the vet they said they are good carbs and the mix was just right for diabetic dogs.
The ingredients start with water, egg product, ground whole grain corn, chicken, cracked pearled barley, pork liver, etc..no fruit no veggies. While it is high in protein it must be coming from the egg whites because chicken is 4 on the list of ingredients!
The Wellness “Core” is a grain-free, protein focused nutrition with 12% protein, 8% crude fat, and doesn’t list carbs. The ingredients start with Chicken, turkey, chicken liver, chicken broth, chicken meal, turkey liver, sweet potatoes, then all the veggies, etc.
When I talk to my vet about the high carbs in W/D they continue to justify why she needs that. So, I am truly torn and just want to feed my baby girl good food and the right food to help with her diabetes.
For now the vet has me giving her one shot per day for 7 days and then I have to take her and leave her all day for then to run blood glucose all thru the day to see if they need to put her on 2 shots per day. For now, she has been doing really well and I truly hope she will not need 2 shots a day. I’m also hoping that in 3 to 6 weeks the GlucoEnsure will help reduce her dose as well.
Please advise on what mix she needs and help me decide what food is best to feed her!!
Thank you for your inquiry to Holistic Pet Info. Please do not get hung up on the protein % issue, the primary issue is a good quality protein. A whole protein that does not contain by-products or preservatives is the main idea. Two of the first three ingredients should be a complete protein and preferably the diet should be grain free. If there are carbohydrates they should ideally be vegetables and fruits or a slow digestible grain such as barley or brown rice.
Ingredients such as corn and powdered cellulose have no nutritional value. Additionally corn gluten meal is used as a vegetable protein source when dogs should be receiving an animal protein source. Fiber is also an important issue that can be addressed with canned pumpkin and raw vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, green peppers, etc.
Offering the Wellness Core is a much healthier alternative than W/D for the diabetic dog as well as diets such as EVO or Horizon Legacy. There is an excellent web site that reviews dog diets, explains the nutritional content and rates each diet. This should also give you a good choice of several high quality diets. www.dogfoodanalysis.com.
GlucoEnsure should help with regulating the glucose and with an excellent diet also improve the sensitivity to insulin. Best of luck.
Colleen Smith DVM, CVA
Follow up Question
Thank you so much for your advice. I am now feeding Dooley Wellness Core as well as making homemade food for her. She is doing well and only on 5 units of insulin on the morning only.
I have read where diabetic dogs have low tolerance for heat, but she seems exceptionally intolerant. She only sleeps on the floor at night and on the tile floor in the hall and entry during the day. I keep the house cool but she doesn’t sleep on the back of the sofa as usual and will not sleep with me on the bed at night. I have ceiling fans going all the time and keep the house around 70 – 72 degrees but she still starts panting and wants on the floor. Is this normal? Even when she rides with us in the car, unless the fans are blowing on her constantly, she pants. We are freezing and she is just panting away!
Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but her habits have definitely changed and I guess I thought once she starting feeling better then she would go back to her old ways of sleeping? Should I be alarmed?
Thanks so much!!
Glad to hear Dooley is doing well. There are several reasons she could be panting unrelated to the diabetes. Panting could be due to pain, anxiety or another medical issue such as hypothyroidism. Have you had Dooley’s thyroid levels checked?
In traditional Chinese veterinary medicine she has an imbalance and excess yang energy.
You may want to have a thyroid panel checked and consider speaking with a holistic/acupuncture veterinarian. They can place her on herbs to address the panting issue that can be given along with the insulin.
Evaluating and treating for arthritis may also be a simple and effective route of alleviating her panting, if it’s due to pain.
Best of luck.
Colleen Smith DVM, CVA