Kamiko the Tibetan Terrier

November is Pet Diabetes Month so we have chosen Kamiko as our patient of the month.

Kamiko is an 8 year old Tibetan terrier who was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus in February 2015.   He had lost weight and his owner had noticed him urinating in the kitchen overnight having been house trained as a puppy.  He was diagnosed initially using a urine dipstick test which showed positive for glucose and we went on to do some blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Kamiko was started on twice daily insulin injections which is the usual protocol for a diabetic animal.   We provide full training and support for our owners of diabetic pets and Kamiko’s owner was soon very competent at both injecting and monitoring him at home.   Kamiko has since gone about his daily routine as normal, still enjoys his walks in the park and has managed to gain some weight, (weight loss, despite a ravenous appetite, being one of the symptoms of diabetes).
An unfortunate consequence of diabetes in dogs, despite management with insulin, is that they develop cataracts which will eventually lead to blindness.  These cataracts are non-painful for the dog and most cope very well being blind, especially if very elderly as their sight may already be deteriorating.   Kamiko was only 8 years old when diagnosed and it was 4 months before his vision was severely affected.  We therefore felt cataract surgery was appropriate and discussed referral to a specialist as there was no reason why Kamiko shouldn’t live a long and happy life with his diabetes. 

The surgery was done at Davies Veterinary Specialists in August this year, when his diabetes was relatively well controlled.  The surgery was done under general anaesthetic and both eyes were operated on at the same time.  The surgery involved the cataracts being dissolved by phacoemulsification and artificial lenses implanted.  He was discharged on several eye drops and some pain relief but has been weaned off all medications and his vision has returned to how it was before his diabetes.  He is now a much happier dog although he has recently suffered a urine infection, again, a common side effect of diabetes and remedied with antibiotics.