Sunday, November 8, 2009


Time for a nap after making a little mess.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Giving Away Paychecks!

Get your red hot paychecks while they last! I'm giving away paychecks! Come and get 'em!

Well I gave away one the weekend before last. Or at least it seems that way to me and my bank account. Hopefully I can stop doing that for at least a while.

The story starts on Friday night. Amber's blood sugar is high (about 420), and she is completely out of it. When she's high (350+), she wants to go out to pee about every two hours - the alternative way to process sugar is to remove the excess from the body via urine (and lots of water). This time she showed little interest in going out, was slow, and appeared to forget where she was and what she was doing. I managed to get her out to the front yard, and while she was still aware of where she was, she did her business. After that, she took half a stride and stopped. Frozen mid step, like a statue. It looked almost funny sans the knowledge that she obviously wasn't feeling well. I waited patiently for her to gather her strength and continue, but she just shut down and went to sleep standing up. I woke her up and tried to guide her back in the house, but it looked like it was too much for her, so I carried her. I gave her a couple of extra units of insulin to try to help her bounce back.

The next morning was no better. Her blood sugar had gone up a little, to 430, and she didn't have the energy to stand up, much less walk to the yard to pee. And she wasn't interested in that four letter word. Food. Time to call the vet. The good news continued to roll in. The vet was concerned about diabetic ketoacidosis. Basically the body isn't getting energy it needs from the sugar, so it starts to get energy from the fat and protein in the body. It's extremely bad, and if not corrected is fatal. So, we loaded the puppy into the FJ and spent the day at the emergency vet.

The first real good news was that the blood tests didn't indicate that she had ketoacidosis. Good news... But what does she have? An infection of the pancreas? No, probably not. Other blood tests showed that was not likely. Several more hundred dollar tests were discussed, but we didn't see the point in performing test to rule out whether or not she was a horse, for instance. We did leave her there overnight, where she got an IV for fluids, and the techs gave her quick acting insulin every 4 hours through the night, to try to get her numbers down.

Sunday morning we got a call that she was doing a little better. She was a bit more interested in food, would wag her tail a little, and had just enough energy to go pee. Her blood sugar was down a bit, but still high. The Dr. prescribed 2 antibiotics (over $100 each), and indicated that we could take her home and monitor her. Though, they would be happy to continue the same treatment there that they had done through the night.

We promptly hopped in the car to go pick her up, where we exchanged said paycheck for now priceless puppy.

While waiting for them to retrieve our broken retriever, I looked over the bill. They broke it down into individual sub items. So that no one charge of $1000 would give anyone a myocardial infarction. The charge for the insulin was the same amount as a full bottle of insulin. Even though less than 1% of a bottle was administered. And that was for each time (every four hours) she got an insulin injection. But wait. That charge was just for the insulin. There was a separate charge for giving it to her. Kinda like charging $500 for an airplane ride, then another $500 to be allowed to disembark. The hourly charge to have a puppy stay there seemed quite reasonable, until you added in the extra charge to monitor her while she was there. It is America though. Land of the the opportunity to pay gratuitous and superfluous extra added charges.

That, being almost 2 weeks ago, I can at least give some resolution to the story and Amber's condition. No, we don't know what caused her to decline in such a way, but in the next 2 to 3 days she recovered to her normal blind diabetic self, happily running into walls and doors, wagging her tail all the while.

I have a good picture of her while she was recovering. I just need to upload it. Look for that soon.

(Comments welcome)