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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26928
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog is diabetic. Has been very sick - will not eat and

Customer Question

Customer: Hi. My dog is diabetic. Has been very sick for days - will not eat and vomits up the water she drinks. I had her treated for two days at vet and actually came home worse. Apparently her pancreas is inflammed. She is drinking Pedialyte and this helps her. Although she is still very weak. Her sugar level has been high but I fear giving her insulin when she is not eating. If she is drinking Pedialyte, does this give her enough of what she needs to give the Insulin - or do I need to wait until she consumes food? ***** *****
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: She has mammary gland tumors and there is a chance the cancer has spread to pancreas. The vet did not know if pancreas was inflammed due to infection or cancer. She did get some antibiotics. And while there at vet, she got insulin, although her sugar level seemed to remain high.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your dog. Ideally, such a patient should remain hospitalized under critical care. It's very difficult to regulate a diabetic suffering from pancreatitis and often requires repeated blood glucose measurements throughout a 24-hour period in order to know just how much - if any - insulin should be given. In general, one missed meal doesn't indicate a change in the insulin dose, two consecutive missed meals indicates halving the dose, and three consecutive missed meals indicates stopping insulin administration.

To answer you directly, Pedialyte replaces dextrose (sugar), fluids, and electrolytes. There aren't enough calories in Pedialyte to satisfy your dog's daily requirement, however. If it's been more than 3 days since she has eaten, testing her blood glucose at this time will be helpful in determining if insulin should be given. It would likely to be at a reduced dose but even a smaller than usual dose can be helpful. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.