Diabetes and Blind Pets

A Diabetic Road to Blindness

A little over 5 years ago I adopted my beautiful miniature black poodle, Gracie. She has become more than just a pet, she is a member of our family and is very loved.

I would do anything for her to make sure she is always safe and is never in pain.I am sharing my story because I myself missed so many signs that if  I had known, would have helped her much sooner.

If my story helps just one little life out there , then I will be very pleased. Last summer, my little Gracie started losing a little weight and was not so active as she usually was. She lost her appetite and was not eating very much either.

I spoke to a few neighbors that assured me that their pets were doing the same and it was probably due to the unusually hot summer.

After about 2 months of this and seeing that it was just getting worse, I took her to the animal hospital. When I arrived there, I was told she was on the verge of going into a diabetic coma.

Gracie had to stay in the ICU for 3 days to stabilize her insulin levels so that she does not fall into a coma. I was completely devastated and didn’t understand how the vet had missed the signs as I was taking her in annually for a full work up and full blood test.

When I picked her up from the animal hospital after 3 days in ICU, the vet told me that all her past blood work had been normal and they were not sure either how it was missed.

I had to learn how to give her insulin injections, as I was to start giving her insulin twice a day. The vet also told me that because her diabetes was not detected until it was far too gone, that she would eventually go completely blind as she had already developed cataracts as a result.

Gracie went completely blind within 2 months. It was a very difficult time for all of us. She did not know what was happening to her and I was just learning about diabetes and how to care for a diabetic pet. We were all going through growing pains during this process.

The following are a list of signs that you should be aware of that could be the signs that your pet is diabetic.

1. Excessive water drinking.

2. Excessive urination or uncontrollable bladder leakage and accidents

2. Excessively dry skin

3. over weight

4. unnatural vomiting

5. diarrhea or constant loose stools

Gracie had all of these signs and symptoms from the first day I adopted her and they were diagnosed separately as different disorders. My advice is if your pet has any or all of these symptoms, insist that your vet do a glucose analysis to check for diabetes on a regular basis and have your pets eyes examined for signs of cataracts or glaucoma regularly as  well.

Something to keep in mind is that a pet with normal and healthy eyes will always show up with red eye in a picture. If your pet’s picture shows up with eyes that are gray or white in anyway, take them to the vet and have your pet’s eyes checked.

Gracie is still completely blind but has adapted very well to her blindness. She has completely memorized our house and can get around perfectly without bumping into anything. She is a very happy little poodle and is very much loved.

This article is dedicated to my precious little Gracie and to all the pets out there that will benefit from our experience.

I will continue to write about our continuous struggle with diabetes. Please keep posted and see how cataracts has affected Gracie and you will also learn more about how to care for a pet with diabetes or cataracts.


Accidental Poisoning

Basic Poisoning Prevention

It’s hard to know everything we should do to protect our pets from poison. We do our best, but we may not think about everything that could be hazardous to a pet.

Anything we drop, spill or knock over could potentially be poisonous to an animal. Cleaning up spills and searching for anything we drop and misplace becomes crucial when we have curious pets to watch out for.

Keep medications away from your pet, and make sure you pick up dropped pills. Although one dropped Tylenol® may not seem a big deal, it could kill your cat if swallowed, and an extra-strength ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers in a ten pound dog.

Chocolate is very appealing to dogs and cats, but can cause very serious health problems, and can even be fatal in large quantities. Make sure you don’t leave chocolate out where your pet can easily reach it. Like humans, dogs and cats have a hard time resisting chocolate.

Top ten toxic foods for dogs and cats:

1. Nuts.Are hard to ingest and have a history of causing illness.

2. Grapes and raisins. Dogs and cats can experience kidney failure and there are cases where animals have died.

3.   Chocolate.   Contains caffeine and theobromine which are both toxic and adversely affect the central nervous and cardiovascular systems in dogs and cats which could ultimately lead to death.

4.  Onions and Garlic.  Onions can destroy red blood cells in dogs and cats causing anemia. Garlic over a long period of time can also cause serious illness to your pet.

5. Cooked bones.  Raw bones are fine.  Cooked bones become brittle and can shatter and cause severe injury to the lining of the digestive track.  Pieces can get lodged in the intestines causing blockage, this requires surgery to correct.

6.  Alcohol. Causes intoxication just like in people but in an animal that weighs a fraction of a person’s weight, causes liver failure, seizures, coma and even death. Hops are toxic to dogs, so beer is extremely toxic and should never be given to your pet.

7.  Avocado.  Causes significant vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats and will result in dehydration.

8. Liver.  Large amounts of liver can cause vitamin A toxicity.  Liver, in organ meat form, is best avoided, but  as a flavoring or in processed/prepared dog foods is safe.

9. Coffee and Tea.  Again caffeine is the issue here and causes rapid heart rates, excessive urination and irritability.

10.  Milk and Dairy Products.  As many as 50% of dogs and cats are lactose intolerant and will lead to  severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

The best thing you can do is  think of your pet as as a small child and always be cautious as to what is given or left behind where it can be reached. Also, getting in the habit of never giving your pet table food, will result in less accidental poisoning.

Use your instincts with your pet as you would do for your own child and everything should be fine.

Snake vs Dog


The pets most vulnerable to venomous snake bites are dogs, but much of the information here will work equally well if another pet is bitten by a snake.

If your pet is bitten by a snake, do not cut X marks over the bite with a knife and try to suck out the venom.

That will not work, and also delays your pet’s arrival at the vet. You need to get your pet to the veterinary as quickly as possible. Do not attack the snake in anger.

Try to get your pet and yourself as far away from the snake as possible, after you’ve gotten a good look at the snake so you can identify it.

If you have a camera phone handy, snap a picture. You can help your vet by knowing if it has a rattle, how big it is, and what kind of pattern it has, as well as the color of that pattern.

Any information you can provide about where you were and the kind of habitat—brush, grass, water—will also help the vet identify the type of snake that bit your pet.

Check your pet for bites; there may be more than one. If you don’t see a bite, but you’re sure your pet was bitten, you must take him to the vet. If the bite is on your pet’s leg, wrap a piece of cloth around the leg above the bite, tightly but not so tight it will hurt.

This will help stop the venom from spreading. To protect your dog  from snake bites, take some precautions on walks. Keep your dog on a leash, and don’t let him poke his nose in holes in the ground or under flat rocks or logs.

Always use your instincts, and keep your dog away from any suspicious overgrown areas. Try to walk on open paths, where you’re not as likely to encounter snakes.  Walk during the day whenever possible.  If you’re hiking off the trail with a dog, you are as likely to be bitten as your dog, so be very cautious.

If you hear a rattle, call your dog to your side and stand still while you locate the snake, then move away slowly. If your dog sees or hears something in the grass and wants to explore, keep your dog away until you find out what it is that he is curious about.

Avoiding snakes altogether is obviously the best strategy.  Keep in mind that if your pet is bitten, getting to the vet as quickly as possible is your priority. There is nothing you can do on site to help your pet. Call ahead to let the vet know you’re coming, and get there as quickly as you can.

So What Do You Want From Me???

Communicating With Your Pet

People and dogs don’t speak the same language. I wonder what we would hear from them if they actually could speak our language?

They do not understand the meaning of words, but they learn to associate (and they are champions at this) with the appropriate word to your behavior.

For example, “down” means that you should lie down, but turning to the dog with the words “lie down now” the dog does not  associated the command your behavior.

You can achieve the desired effect by being consistent with your commands and actions. The shorter and clearer the commands are issued to the dog, the easier it is for the dog to associate and remember them.

It is very important to use specific tones when giving commands (not speaking in a mono toned voice) Issuing commands in a  steady tone will lead your pet to ignore them over time.

When using visual commands (such as hand gestures), you must be very careful to not confuse the dog with unclear gestures or commands.

Making an unclear gesture or command will setback the training process of your dog and therefore result in large amount of wasted time and effort.

To avoid this mistake remember to always be aware of your actions and intentions. Planning ahead will save you a lot of frustration and result in a joyful outcome!


Choosing Your Pet

What Pet is Right for You & Your Family?

While making the decision to buy a puppy many people wonder about the choice of race and gender, but really very few people have a thorough knowledge of the character and aptitudes of individual races.


Books represent the majority of them as a quiet, child-friendly, uncluttered and dog breeders showing their race as the best in the world. The truth is that each race is different and has different abilities and rarely suitable for everyone.

If we have any doubts when choosing a dog, we must decide how much time during the day that we dedicate to him, and what type of housing accommodations we have available for him.

We must also keep in mind what type and size of dog is appropriate for the age of our children and whether we want a dog to be an “athlete” or rather ” couch potato “.

In a situation when we can not decide, or have any doubts, you can ask for help from someone who knows his stuff, trained dogs and can tell us more about the nature of different races.

If we want our pet to act nicely , easy to get along, to know how to behave at home, not pull on the leash during a walk and come back, we can think about the training.

With the appropriate commitment on our part, consistency and patience in working with the dog, we have a good chance to spend many happy years with our pet.

Save Me…I Don’t Want to Die

The Day I Should Never Forget

I will never forget this…deep beautiful eyes of the sweetest creation under the stars. Little puppy Lab looked at me…it was the Houston’s animal shelter. “Friends of Barc “.

This moment was totally unbelievable. I was taking  pictures but one photo was captured without using a camera…this one was captured  by my heart.

That moment seemed like eternity…I’m not exactly sure how to describe that feeling I was experiencing. I guess it was a mixture of sadness and hope. All these animals were so excited to see people coming, they were hoping that this was the day.

The day of adoption. They don’t need much but they have a lot to offer. Animals love unconditionally. How many people do we know that are as loyal as pets can be?

Over 56% of all animals in shelters are euthanized.  Some of them have disabilities such as missing legs, they are over or under weight, developed cataracts or other health issues.

There are also other reasons why people are not adopting pets such as older aged or shyness and fear of people due to their history of cruel treatment and neglect. These are all just excuses for people not to adopt these precious animals that will eventually be euthanized otherwise.

All they need is a little love,  attention and commitment that they have never experienced before and they will become the best companion and best friend to you and your family. Take a chance and save a life!



Can Nature Kill Your Pet…???

Poisonous Plants for Dogs & Cats

Did you know that over 700 plants have been found poisonous for companion animals? You can find a complete list at the Human Society of the United States website.

Some of the varieties you need to know about include dieffenbachia, azaleas, lilies, geraniums, mistletoe, and philodendron.

If you have plants in your home or yard, or if your pet can get into your garden, make sure you check out the poisonous plants and limit your pet’s access to them.

If you have plants in your yard and you don’t know what they are, take a picture and send it to your local Extension Service office.

They can probably identify it for you, and they can tell you if it’s poisonous to animals. A Master Gardener club in your area may also help you identify plants.


Here you can see the list of the top most common poisonous plants for Dogs and Cats 


Marijuana – Animals who attempt to snack on this plant can suffer serious consequences such as diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, drooling, in-coordination, and even possibly seizures and coma.

Sago Palm – While the seeds and nuts of this plant are most poisonous, the entire plant is toxic.  Animals ingesting parts of this plant may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Lilies – Plants of the lily variety are very poisonous to cats.  Even very small amounts of this plant could cause serious kidney damage.

Tulips – The toxic portion of this plant is the actual bulb, which can cause drooling, central nervous system depression, gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac issues and convulsions.

Azalea – The toxins in azalea plants can be very severe and potentially cause drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, central nervous system weakening and depression, and in some cases possibly coma or death.

Oleander – All portions of this plant are poisonous and can cause gastrointestinal irritation, hypothermia, heart problems and possibly death.

Castor Bean – Poisoning as a result of this plant can cause abdominal pain, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting increased thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.  More serious cases could also lead to dehydration, tremors, seizures, twitching muscles, coma and possibly death.

Cyclamen – The most poisonous portion of this plant is located in the root.  Ingestion of the plant can cause severe vomiting and gastrointestinal irritation.  In some cases death has been reported as a result.

Kalanchoe – Ingestion of this plant can cause gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac rhythm and rate problems.

Yew – Poisoning as a result of the yew plant can affect the nervous system and cause in-coordination, trembling and breathing difficulties.  It may also result in gastrointestinal irritation, cardiac failure and could possibly lead to death.

The list above represents only the tip of the iceberg, there are many more plants and fruits that you should be cautious about when comes to your pets. Always remember to keep your pets away from plants and flowers that you are not sure about. Dogs and Cats are  extremely sensitive, they are not designed like humans and they can suffer by our ignorance.

We personally believe that you do your best to take care of you sweet animal. Inside you there is a silent voice called human instinct, don’t be afraid to follow it and you can’t go wrong.



Is Your Home Healthy & Safe for Your Pet?

Household Dangers You May Not Know About

 Just like you, we want to make our pets lives better and happier. Often looking after our animals can be as challenging as taking care of a new born child, don’t you agree?

As pet owners, we worry about our pet’s health and safety. We know that our friends need us to take care of them and protect them from hazards. 

You already know that there are many substances in your house that can harm your pet, even though they’re safe for humans under certain circumstances.

Rat and mouse poisons and insecticides are responsible for most cases of poisoning in pets. If you have an insect service, make sure that they use products that won’t harm your pets. If you have rodents, find a way to trap or poison them that isn’t also dangerous to your pets.

You probably already know that antifreeze if poisonous and that it has a sweet taste that appeals to animals. If your pets have access to the area where you park, make sure you use pet-safe antifreeze so your pets won’t lap up leaked antifreeze.

Only one teaspoon can kill a seven-pound cat, so be very careful with this deadly poison. Chocolate, which many of us have around our homes regularly, can be poisonous to cats, dogs and ferrets, and should be kept away from all pets.

You should be careful to keep all household chemicals and lawn products, including cocoa mulch and any insecticides, away from your pets, of course; you may not know, however, that the over-the-counter flea and tick preparations may be hazardous to some pets, so it’s better to go with prescription products.

One more note on household dangers—always keep medications, including tubes and bottles of creams or sprays, away from your pets. If you drop a pill, take the time to find and dispose of it properly before your pet finds it and disposes of it for you.

To keep our animals safe all we need to do is to use our imagination. Lets never forget that they see the world different than humans!

You know what to do and you will be great doing this every single day. Your pet loves unconditionally and will NEVER STOP 😉