Rocco the rockstar!

My baby puppy (actually 10 years old) was diagnosed with Diabetes.  The first thought that ran through my mind was ‘oh good, at least it’s not a fatal kidney failure.’  For about a week, he had started being unable to make it through the night without peeing.  At first, he’d wake me up almost at the time I normally get up, prompting me to take him outside.  Then it got worse to the point where he’d just pee in his bed, most likely while sleeping.  He’d come in after peeing and gulp up more than the recommended amount of water and then need to go again a mere few hours later.  I even counted 49 seconds during one of the fountains that were released while he stood on one leg diligently.

One trip to the vet, some bloodwork and phone call later and I’m now giving him twice daily injections of insulin, after meals.  I was terrified that doing this would result in him becoming comatose or causing him undue pain.  I’m thankful these fears were unfounded.  He’s doing well so far.

Our routine
6:45 – Ian gets up.
7:00 – He takes Rocco outside to pee.

7:45 – He wakes me up.
8:00AM – Rocco and I eat our breakfasts.
8:20 – I take Rocco out to pee;  Ian goes to work.
8:30 – I wash Rocco’s paws. I put him on the island on a special towel we picked out just for injections.  I follow the injections procedure (see below).
8:37 – Rocco runs to his bed to eat a post-injection treat.
12:00 – I take Rocco out to pee again.
8:00PM – We feed Rocco.
8:20 – We give Rocco another injection and another treat.
12:00 – I take Rocco out to pee for the last time in the evening.

Injection Procedure

  1. Hold the insulin bottle and move it back and forth to mix up the fluid.
  2. Put the need in the end of the bottle while holding it upside down.
  3. Pull the plunger to fill the needle with fluid.  Push the plunger until it’s back to 2 units.
  4. Tap the needle to get rid of any air pockets.
  5. With your two fingers, pull Rocco’s neck up.  With a third finger, make a triangle shape with Rocco’s neck skin.
  6. Put the needle into Rocco’s neck softly.
  7. Pull the plunger back until about 10.  If there’s blood, pull the needle out and start again with a new needle at Step #1.
  8. If there’s no blood, push the end of the plunger in a little.  Let the plunger return to 2 by itself.  If it doesn’t, gently push the plunger back to 2.
  9. Push the plunger in slowly until all the insulin is inside Rocco.
  10. Pull out the needle and rub Rocco’s neck gently.  Make sure it’s not wet  (if it’s wet, then you went through the skin too far;  if that happens, DON’T DO THESE STEPS AGAIN)
  11. Hug and kiss Rocco.  Give him baby treats to make him feel better.

Praise for Rocco
So far, Rocco’s been a rockstar.  When I put him on the special towel, he lies down on his tummy so that I can give the injection easily.  He doesn’t resist.  He doesn’t bark.  And only once has he bitten me (though he didn’t actually break skin or anything, just a lot of kerfuffle).  And has he become catatonic or lethargic?  No.  He sleeps a lot but that’s usual.  Otherwise, he is as chipper as he should be.


About seburnt

I own 4C and teach at University of Toronto. View all posts by seburnt

2 responses to “Rocco the rockstar!

  • Mom

    good boy Rocco and good man daddy! Sounds like you have everything under control. Rocco will be much happier now that he doesn’t have to deal with this all by himself and couldn’t tell anyone. You are such a good puppy my granddog!

    • kfbunny

      I’m really impressed at his level of compliance. Of course, I’ve tried to help him not be scared of it. The special towel is his only and he knows what it is. He lies down perfectly when I put him on it. He gets lots of hugs and kisses after it’s done and a bigger treat. I’m sure he realizes it’s necessary, but also that he gets good things after it.

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