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Theresa, A Voice for Your Pet
Category: Dog
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Experience:  19+ years experience in small animal medicine
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My dog is diabetic. What do I do if he throws up after I give

Customer Question

My dog is diabetic. What do I do if he throws up after I give him insulin?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Theresa replied 8 years ago.
Do you know where his numbers normally stand?

How long was the food in his stomach before he vomited?

Has he been ill?

How is he acting now?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The problem is, there are no normal numbers. His pre-food glucose has been as low as 54 and as high as 258 and we're still working on regulating him. He started throwing up Sunday 5pm, ate again at 9pm ,threw up 930 pm. Monday am glucose was 54, no shot, ate at 9am threw up 1/2 hour after eating, and again at 4 pm, (glucose was 370) ate at 9 pm (glucose 149 before food) and was ok overnight. Yesterday his glucose was 87 in the morning before food, so I didn't give him a shot. He threw up just a little food an hour after eating. Six hours later his glucose was 370, I didn't test him before the night feeding because he doesn't get a shot at night. This morning his glucose was 112 and I fed him,and gave the insulin, but given that he has been throwing up, I was wondering what I do if he throws up again with the insulin in him?
He seems ok right now,(two hours after food and shot) a little low energy but alert.
Expert:  Theresa replied 8 years ago.
Since you can't move backwards I would suggest giving him a pepcid and then trying to feed him some boiled chicken and white rice about 1 hour later. Make sure you always have karo syrup on hand in case he starts to show symptoms of hypoglycemia which include extreme lethargy, weakness, staggering, glazed eyes, and excessive drooling. If these start to occur then rub some karo syrup on his gums. Since he is ill I really would feel more comfortable that he visit the vet. His pre insulin glucose was actually pretty normal so if he does vomit he is at risk of hypoglycemia. This all depends on the timing though. If it has already been a few hours I am not too concerned. The bigger issue here is that he has been sick for a few days now and it is risky business to give insulin to a dog who is ill. His numbers being this low in the mornings might even indicate a need for a decrease in the amount of insulin given as well.

I believe it is time for an exam from your vet.

Theresa and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Unfortunately I live on an island in Alaska and our vet only comes here every other month- not due back until September. I've been testing every morning because sometimes he doesn't need a shot and sometimes he does. I was told to give the insulin if his AM glucose was over 90. It's been two hours since his food/shot and at the moment he's alert but a little low energy. I plan to test again in an hour (noon) to see where he is, then test again six hours after the insulin. If he's going low I'll give more food, if really low, then karo. The trouble is he's only on half a unit once a day now and it's hard to measure less, but I will ask my vet about it when he comes back to town. I was just worried about what to do if he threw up again.
Thank you so much for your advice.
Expert:  Theresa replied 8 years ago.
I am concerned about him being ill though and do suggest the pepcid and getting him started on a bland diet for the time being.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK, I've got pepcid and he really like the bland diet so he'll be a happy dog.. thanks again for your help

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