Alayne took that photo of blind Sophie sharing a bed with Widget on January 2nd, the day after we found out Sophie is diabetic. Yes, I spent a good part of New Year's Day at the emergency vet clinic in Littleton, trying to figure out what was going on with her.
A couple of days before the holiday, Sophie had started peeing in the house ... sometimes even while walking, leaving a trail of urine behind her. Figuring she had a urinary tract infection, we started her on antibiotics. But on New Year's Day morning, she came into the house, hustled over to the water bowl, and started guzzling water like crazy. She had her fill, turned around and threw it all up. Then she went back to the water bowl, started drinking again ... and threw it up. Uh oh.
Soon I was on my way to the clinic. Dr. Christine Nau, who had spent hours trying to save Bentley for us last June, was on duty that day. A blood panel and urinalysis soon gave us the answer: diabetes. We've been down this road before, though our last two diabetes cases were real heartbreakers -- Sammy in 2006 and Teddy in 2009. Both had come to us late in life, after suffering from long untreated diabetes. At least with Sophie, we were catching it early, and because of our previous experience, we knew what to expect: daily glucose monitoring, insulin injections, urine strips, and the ongoing challenge of trying to regulate the diabetes to keep glucose levels in the safe zone.
I left Sophie at the clinic so Dr. Nau could start her on insulin that evening and monitor her overnight. When I got back to the farm, I emailed our internal medicine specialist, Dr. Marielle Goossens, Sophie's bloodwork and the initial diagnosis by Dr. Nau for her review. In the morning, when I picked Sophie up, Dr. Christopher Burwell was on duty (he had been there when we lost Pip in 2012). Sophie had not responded to the insulin as they expected -- her glucose had come down faster and farther than it should have, given the dose, and thus Dr. Burwell decided not to give her a morning insulin injection. He recommended we take her to our specialists at Peak Veterinary Referral Center in Burlington. It turned out Dr. Burwell had worked with Marielle several years ago, and I called her from the emergency clinic so he could brief her on Sophie's status. By then she had already seen Sophie's bloodwork, too.
After getting the rundown from Dr. Burwell, Marielle told me her treatment plan for Sophie. Dr. Burwell gave me a prescription for insulin so I could pick it up at our local pharmacy on the way home. Every day since then, we've run multiple glucose curves on Sophie with the glucose monitor, check her urine for ketones and glucose, and administer insulin injections. I call Marielle twice a day, just before Sophie's insulin injections at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., to report the glucose levels, and she adjusts the insulin dosage accordingly. We are still at that stage of finding the right dose to keep Sophie regulated, a process that just takes time, but she is doing a lot better.
Meanwhile, Sophie is wondering why we keep pricking her ears to get blood samples throughout the day. She says, "You know, I like extra attention but this isn't the kind of attention I was counting on."