Polish Lowland Sheepdog - pon the dog






Czeki ( SKC Ch Elzbieta's Czekolada ShagPon) July 29, 1989--April 12, 2003, owned by Loana Shields, New York






PONS and Diabetes - an interview with Loana Shields


PON Digest editor:
 Which symptoms did you first notice which lead you to think Czeki had Diabetes??  

"At first I did not suspect my Pon, Czeki( SKC Ch Elzbieta's Czekolada ShagPon) had diabetes because I had never had experience with it.   She slept more than usual, had lost some weight, but she was ten and I thought well she is just getting older and was basically suffering from her age. When she started  having trouble keeping food down and was urinating very frequently...often having accidents in the house,  I made an appointment  to take her to the vets. But the night before her appointment she went outdoors and she literally fell over and could not stand up . I took her in immediately as an emergency  expecting she would not live because she was so weak.    The vet had me leave her, apparently suspected at some point diabetes,  and about an hour and one half later I got a call telling me her sugar level was close to 600.  She had been given insulin, but we did not know whether she'd make it or not because of her inability and lack of desire to eat.  The vet kept her, put her on IV's , but she still would not eat.    I ended up going in to hand feed her;  she ate a little which made us hopeful.  However, the food would not stay down.  We then gave her some kind of med to help with this and within three or four days she was eating and ready to come home...me facing insulin shots daily forever, and me needle phobic.   I have since learned many of the signs of diabetes which I did not know then...increased thirst,increased volume and frequency of urination, weight loss in spite of increased appetite,  depression, vomiting, and diarrhea.   Any of these particularly in connection with one another may be a clue, but a blood test can very quickly verify if the sugar is too high or too low."

PON Digest editor:


  Can you tell us about veterinary treatment and veterinary approved diet for Diabetes?

 " Czeki was given a special Hill's prescription diet for diabetics. She was to eat a very specific measured amount at the same time each day, 12 hours apart.    The hardest thing was getting her insulin adjusted, and me adjusted to giving the shots.  Initially she got one shot a day in the morning , but as time went on she required two exactly 12 hours apart...keeping this schedule around her was no easy feat, but I have never regretted it.    There was to be no junk food...I did cheat a little and gave her half a puppy cookie once in a while.  Initially she went to the vets every few days, where they did a curve. To determine the curve,  I would feed her, give her a shot , and head for the vets where they would have her for 12 hours, checking her sugar levels every two hours.  This showed them her highs and lows. Because her meals were 12 hours apart it was easier to determine how low and how high her sugar went in a regular pattern , thus making the correct amount of insulin more determinable.   In Czeki's case it took some time to get the insulin levels adjusted and at first we did not know why.  But it turned out that in connecting with Cornell we learned that we should also check her thyroid.  Often times unless the thyroid is functioning properly , it is hard to adjust the insulin.  So was the case with Czeki.  After putting her on thyroid medicine for hypothyroidism her insulin requirements were quickly determined. At that point, her appointments could be 3-4 weeks apart unless I noticed any real changes.  I was told to keep Karo corn syrup in the fridge and rub it on her gums if she ever crashed, but she never did.  Dropping too low in the short term can be more dangerous than too high.    I have heard of vets who require the owners to use litmus and more recently even blood glucose monitors.  However, the curve works very well and as I understand it is sometimes also now used in determining human needs.  Fortunately for me, my vet had both great experience and also a direct connection with the Cornell Veterinary College." 


 PON Digest editor:
  Did you hear of any other PONS in your PON's background (lines) with Diabetes ?

" I personally know of no other PONS in her line that had diabetes.  I do know that at the time she seemed to develop it she had been taking another med that I since learned from my pharmacist friend can cause adrenal problems as well as others.  I suspect she was pre and it just tripped her over the edge.   Lesson:  know the side effects of any med you give."


PON Digest editor:

We are trying to establish genetics info on how dominant this condition is among PONS.

  "I am not sure who we is, but I only know of one other PON that had diabetes...and that PON is now deceased.  I have heard there have been a few other cases out there, but I am personally not aware of who or what."

PON Digest editor:


  Which advice do you have for PON owners who have recently diagnosed PONS with Diabetes ?

  "Do your homework and be willing to make the time to help the PON who has been so devoted to you.  Czeki lived four more years after her diagnosis and those were years of a good quality of life and lots of love.  Near the end , even though she did go blind (probably from the diabetes), and partially deaf, she still loved to play frisbee.  I would throw it to where she was, she'd sniff it out, and sniff her way back to me.   Winters made it tougher and I sometimes had to go rescue her as the cold temps apparently interfered with her ability to track scents and she'd head off in the opposite direction.  She was always so loving and grateful, it never mattered.  She brings joy to me to this day when I think of her, and I was able to care for her in a way I never thought I would be able to do."


PON Digest editor:

Loana, thank you for granting this interview.






Research information on Diabetes:


Canine's with Diabetes Mellitus - Frequently Asked Questions

Canine Diabetes and Pet Diabetes FAQ Frequently Asked Questions. ... I think my pet may be diabetic, what are the symptoms? ...
www.petdiabetes.com/cdfaq.html - 23k

Canine Diabetes

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Ask Dr. Greco: Canine Diabetes FAQ

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Advice Health Pets Canine Diabetes; is Your Dog at Risk ...

Advice Health Pets Articles from LORI ANTON - The classic early warning signs of diabetes were all present when I brought my canine companion of twelve ...
www.amazines.com/Pets_and_Livestock/ article_detail.cfm/98267?articleid=98267 - 66k -

Canine diabetes symptoms

Symptoms, diagnostic tests and treatments of diabetes in dogs.
papa.essortment.com/caninediabetes_rkvf.htm - 14k - Cached - Similar pages






Canine DLA diversity: 3. Disease studies.

Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. Lorna.Kennedy@manchester.ac.uk

There are many millions of dogs worldwide, and these dogs have many different functions. The most obvious use is providing companionship, but there are also many working dogs, including guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs, guard dogs and farm dogs, to mention a few. The health and welfare of these dogs is of great concern to dog owners, dog breeders and to those who use dogs in their work. Dogs spontaneously develop many diseases that are very similar to their human counterparts. Dogs may, therefore, provide exceptional animal models for such diseases. Identifying genetic markers in the dog may be easier than in humans, and may then provide useful information about genes that can be transferred to humans. This study looked for associations between DLA and two autoimmune diseases of the dog, diabetes and hypothyroidism. DLA associations were found for both of these diseases.

PMID: 17445220 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]