El Grande Chico Perro...
The big little dog describes Chico in sooo many ways!
The very day after Snoopy passed away.
His parents Lil Bit & Peanut lived next door.
My neighbors were trying to sell the litter of pups, but unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for us, Chico was too big for his breed.
It seems, Chico's daddy, Peanut, was a little 4 pound pedigree Chihuahua who had a gene that came from his much larger ancestral breeds. Because of this larger dog gene, all the puppies he fathered were larger than officially acceptable by Chihuahua standards.
And so, my neighbors, having trouble selling the round little burrito of a pup with the Dino bark, brought the little fella here. A secondary benefit was they could watch him grow up.
Chico has very long legs and stands about a foot or more tall. His heaviest weight, and a little overweight unfortunately, was 29 pounds. When he became sick with diabetes, he dropped to as low as 16 pounds. He has yo-yo'd back and forth between 16 & 19 pounds since being diagnosed, but lately has evened out at a very round 19-20 pounds. His heftiness from birth has lead to the nicknames 'Chub Chub' and 'Chico Burrito'.
As for that Dino bark... well, think back to the Flinstones cartoon and Dino their dinosaur 'dog'. He barks just like him; so, he has also earned the nickname... Dino!
In August of 2007, Chico began showing symptoms of diabetes; however, due to the summer heat, we believed he was drinking more because of the hot, humid Texas summer. Because he was drinking more, he also was beginning to ask to go outside to urinate more. We again just attributed it to him drinking more because it was so hot. After all, it was August in Texas.
By the end of August, the excessive drinking & urinating really caught our attention. Chico was brought in to see his vet. He was officially diabetic.
He was started on Vetsulin. He was to begin getting injections, 'shots', of insulin 2x per day.
At first, he didn't fair to well. Later in the evening, after the first injection, which had been administered by his vet, he began vomiting, and lost his appetite and began showing other signs of ketoacidosis.
He was rushed to the emergency vet clinic some many miles away. They immediately checked his sugar/glucose levels and ran some other tests. The verdict: ketoacidosis. He began an IV of insulin to get his sugar/glucose levels under control. He spent the rest of the night at the emergency vet clinic. When Chico's vet reopened the next morning, he was rushed from the emergency vet clinic to his usual vet, who allowed Chico to come home.
Chico's vet admitted he only had one other diabetic patient, who was controlled. Chico's diabetes was extremely difficult to control leaving him dumbfounded as to how to handle it. The vet recommended we take Chico to a specialist. The specialist was, like the emergency vet clinic, some many miles away.
We took Chico to the specialist vet, who kept Chico for a day and night. Chico was fed, his sugar/glucose levels were monitored and he was given insulin during the day. After being brought somewhat under control, Chico was allowed to go home.
These first few months were quite daunting. We were sure Chico would not live through the next year. We were all but told that by our regular vet. We were told his sugar/glucose levels were never going to be under control because some dogs are difficult that way, and Chico was going to be one of the difficult ones.
By the time Chico's sugar/glucose levels again became a problem, we had switched vets. Chico's new vet, Dr Wendy Rhoads, seemed to have more experience with diabetic dogs, as she herself had a diabetic dog. In her eyes, Chico's diabetes should be under control. Dr. Rhoads worked at getting Chico's diabetes under control.
It has now been 3 years since Chico's diagnosis.
He has lost some of his hair, which has led to his need for a sweater on chilly nights when he goes outside.
His vision isn't what it used to be. He has difficulty seeing in the house when he just comes in from a bright outside. In the past several weeks, he has become a little more nervous outside at night leading him to go outside and just bark at whatever he hears.
All in all, we are very grateful to be enjoying his friendship 3 years into a diabetes diagnosis, in addition to, on December 5th of this year, his turning 12 years old.