Anubis – The Diabetic Greyhound Pup

Anubis was not his name when he arrived at Town & Country Animal Hospital. In fact, he had no name. He was a 3 month-old male brindle greyhound who was failing to thrive. He weighed 18 lbs., was pot-bellied and was decidedly not feeling well. Diagnostics revealed a blood glucose (BG) of greater than 700mg/dl, with normal values being 70-120mg/dl. Anubis has Diabetes Mellitus. However, he was happy, lovable, and never met man nor beast he didn’t like and wouldn’t kiss. My staff named him Anubis after an Egyptian god. He immediately took a liking to having a name.

We started treatment for his diabetes by giving him insulin twice daily. That failed to control his BG levels which were fluctuating from 45 to over 700. We then started giving insulin every 8 hours. Poor baby – getting stuck for BG levels 3 times daily plus getting insulin injections each time – not a happy life for such a happy puppy.

We contacted the Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine and found out that Anubis qualified for a program that was studying the use of pancreatic cell implants to treat diabetes. However, to fully qualify for the program Anubis had to have a “forever home.” That’s where I come in. I had fallen head over heels in love with him. Maybe it’s because he was so young and so sick, or maybe I have “Greyhound Fever”. That’s a sickness where having one greyhound leads to another greyhound which leads to another, and so on.

Further consultation with OSU led us to change the type of insulin we were using from Novalin N to Levemir (a long-acting insulin). The good news – Anubis was back to twice daily BG levels and 2 insulin injections daily. The bad news – even the Levemir didn’t control his diabetes. His BG levels still wildly fluctuated from 49 to 700. So, we continued increasing his dose.

Diabetes is an insidious disease that currently has no cure. We talk about managing diabetes, controlling blood glucose, and monitoring the course of the disease. We hope the pancreatic cell implants may change all that. Currently, the cells we need are maturing in pigs in MN, the doctor who will do the implants is in CA, the surgery will take place in Columbus, OH (at OSU), and Anubis was born and is being raised in Wheeling, WV. Surely, a transcontinental journey to healing.

We’ll keep you posted.

James E. Radcliffe, DVM

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