Posted April 14, 2019 at 03:17 AM Under "Pet Behavior & Training"
Diabetic & blind dog

Our 9 yr. young Miniature Schnauzer, Ziva was diagnosed with Diabetes 6 months ago. Ziva started drinking multiple bowls of water and lost 4.2 lbs.! (That’s a lot for a little dog!) We knew the signs - her half brother had diabetes and died from acute pancreatitis @ age 6! Through trial, error and frustration she is pretty well regulated now with her insulin dosage- 5 units twice a day. Her heart isn’t great nor her blood pressure; she’s on 2 different pills for this. She became blind 4 months ago. Total vision loss. We’ve had her at Washington State University’s Veterinary School in Pullman as well as their Ophthalmic Clinic in Spokane. There is nothing that could have been done, although she’s on 2 different eye drops. WSU and Dr. Belinda Baumel (Banfield Veterinary Hospital in Kennewick Washington) have been instrumental with their help. Dr. Baumel has been so good and patient with my husband and I.

My query to all: is there anyone we can turn to for some training advice? Everything we’ve read tells to reward with treats. She isn’t allowed food in between - just breakfast and dinner. Any ideas, help, podcasts, sage advice? HELP!!

  • Dr. Sheila Segurson   Maddie's Fund Staff  April 14, 2019 at 08:57 PM

    Hi Ziva's mom,

    Are you talking about treats for training in general, or are you attempting to teach her specific things. If you're talking in general, I would talk to you veterinarian about this... sometimes small pieces of carrots work well, other times you can use tiny pieces of high protein/low carbohydrate food. Yes, you need to minimize them for sure... so also focus on things like petting and praise and play as a reward for good behavior.


  • Joann    April 14, 2019 at 10:40 AM

    My mini schnauzer died in January 2019 of diabetes and was also blind and drinking any water she could find. She was nine also. She had angel wings! Her name was Savanna. I miss her so much.