Not long ago I posted about our 4 beloved fur-babies. I wanted to introduce them and talk a about how I thought they were going to handle their transition to RV living. The thought of living in an RV with dogs on a full-time basis is daunting, but our pups are chihuahuas so I wasn’t too concerned that they would feel cramped. In fact, chihuahuas tend to feel more comfortable in smaller spaces. My biggest concern was for Jack, our diabetic dog. Over the course of a year he got his diagnosis and became blind.
A Short Post
Little did I know when I posted about Ruby, Floyd, Jack and Saige that just a few weeks later we would lose Jack. Jack (aka Jackie Boy) is our diabetic dog. If you’re a dog owner and you are reading this, then I am sure you can empathize with my sadness over his untimely passing.
Jack came to us as a rescue two years ago. He was the sweetest, most loving little guy I have ever met in my life. Jack adored us, and we adored him. He was my love bug. When he came into our home for the first time, we weren’t looking for a third dog, but there was something so special about him – we knew he had a place in our home and heart for Jack.
Our kids finally had a dog who would let them do anything with him! Being the placid, laid-back doggy that he was, Jack would allow Wyatt and Reese to cuddle him, stroke him, kiss him and carry him. He loved all of the love and attention. Our family and friends instantly adored him. We could always rely on Jack for a snuggle.
We went on a family trip to Ireland in 2015, and when we came back, we noticed that Jack had lost the weight that he had gained over his first year with us. We had been gone for 3 weeks, and we got quite a shock when we saw him. Even more noticeable was how sad he seemed. Gone were the days that he loved to be snuggled. Instead, he would find a quiet spot on the cold floor and sleep. Jack was a different dog.
We first thought that he had been sad that we had left. But he didn’t ever snap out of his melancholy mood. And then, the peeing commenced. And not just a little bit. Rivers of pee, all over the house. We couldn’t understand why he had gone from an obedient, house-trained pet to a shadow of his former self.
Here are a few of the symptoms that Jack exhibited:
- Huge puddles of sticky urine
- Wanting to lay on cool floors
- Not wanting to be touched
- Excessive water drinking
- Sudden and extreme weight loss
Diagnosis & Treatment
After several trips to the vets, Jack was diagnosed with canine diabetes. He was officially a diabetic dog. It was a relief to know that it was a treatable condition and after plenty of frantic googling, I came to understand that he would have a perfectly normal quality of life. We tried him on pills, but they didn’t do anything to improve his state, so we began with insulin shots.
Jack was almost instantly back to himself. Happy, tail wagging, enjoying life and love. We were all so happy to have him back to normal. I can’t say that he looked forward to his shots each morning, but he always enjoyed his chicken treat right afterwards!
Shortly after his diagnosis, our wee diabetic dog went blind. Our vet was surprised that it happened so quickly, as Jack is a young dog. But unfortunately, he lost his sight over a matter of weeks. I went into sympathy over-drive as I could see that the process was painful for him. He would moan, whimper and rub his face. Jack couldn’t sleep or relax well; it seemed like he was in pain. During one evening, his pain was so intense that we had to give him Tramadol just so he could get relief and some sleep.
A few weeks of discomfort passed and he seemed to adjust to his new situation. He looked peaceful and although I can’t say we loved his new habit of barking like a crazy dog, I was glad to see him settled into his new norm.
That didn’t last for long though. several more months went by and ever so slowly, Jack’s other symptoms also began to re-appear. He didn’t seem to be that contented. He seemed sad. The indoor peeing started all over again. Combining all this with him knocking his head on anything and everything, and the never-ending barking – Jack was not a happy camper.
We upped his medicine and hoped that our diabetic dog would stabilize again.
Hitting The Wall
But on April 28th, Jack passed away from diabetic complications. That morning, we awoke to see that Jack had had a rough night. He had vomited and pooped through the night. And just lay in it. 🙁 He was lethargic as I gave him a bath. By the time I was ready to go to work, he was wagging his tail, so I put it down to something he had eaten.
Not even an hour later, I got a call from my employee to tell me that Jack was having a seizure. He became unable to control his body temperature, and passed away just a few short hours later. I think I’m still in shock. We expected to have our Jackie Boy around for many years to come. Saige is not too sure where her place is in society anymore; we miss his energy in our home.
We are all so sad, and we miss him so much.
Even though I am SO sad to have lost him, I’m so grateful that I got to have Jack in my life, even though it was for 2 short years. He was such a cool little guy. Jack had the biggest heart, and showed so much affection to everyone. Sharing his story here may help another family recognize some diabetic dog symptoms.
While losing a pet is an awful thing, the joy and happiness that they bring to our lives far outweighs the pain of their loss.
I took this photo of Jack just a couple of nights before he passed away. He was in his happy place; on my lap and enjoying the feeling of the breeze on his whiskers.
We miss you Jackie Boy.