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Onset of Diabetes type one

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by cliffatthesolent, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. cliffatthesolent

    cliffatthesolent New Member

    Jan 23, 2012
    My 11 year old became seriously ill after having sickness and Diarrhea and became a type 1 diabetic at the age of 9.5. At this time he was in close contact with 13 puppy's urine and faeces, which may have caused his sickness. Last week my 13.5 year old son became a type 1 diabetic. He had no symptoms of any previous illness except he was drinking and urinating a lot. He has also been in very close contact with litters of puppies and their urine and faeces over the past few weeks.

    We spoke to another lady at my son's school today who stated that her daughter became a type one diabetic at the age of 11 and at the time they had a puppy and that her daughter was in close contact with the puppy's urine and faeces.

    The question i wish to ask is:
    What age did your child become a type one diabetic and was your child in close contact with puppies, kittens, adult dogs and or cats at the time they were diagnosed with type one diabetes or within 6 months prior their diagnosis ?????
  2. mistyz

    mistyz Approved members

    Nov 23, 2011
    He became a Type 1 at age 7, just a couple months ago. We are nowhere near any animals.
  3. selketine

    selketine Approved members

    Jan 4, 2006
    We have 2 cats (and had 2 different cats when he was dx'd who have since passed away). However the last thing he would be near is their urine and feces.

    Almost everyone I know with kids has a dog, cat, hamster, or something and their kids don't have type 1. Asking if a person was in close contact with animals before diagnosis would probably lead to a lot of "yes" answers but so would other seemingly innocuous activities that people might do within 6 months of diagnosis lead to yes answers but have nothing to do with the disease - like asking if they drank milk or rode in a car or went on vacation or played outside.

    It does seem true that many kids who were already "getting type 1" but not full blown yet will be diagnosed after getting sick. The illness seems tip the person over into having the typical type 1 symptoms. The illness could be a flu or virus - but I've not heard of anyone having an illness caused by animal feces.
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    Hello and welcome. This is a great site for information and support.

    As much as we all would like to determine the cause of our child's diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, no one can say for sure what causes it. There are no scientific studies or literature that I am aware of that link Type 1 to exposure to animal urine or feces.

    My suggestion would be to keep learning as much as you can about how best to manage this disease rather than spend time hypothesizing as to the cause. I know that is harder said than done, especially in the early days after dx. However, I think you and your children will benefit much more from good management than guessing why this happened.

    I am not sure why a 9 and 13 year old would be in such close contact with animal urine and feces without proper protection, but you may want to look into why that was happening.

    Anyway, here is a list of books you may find helpful:

    Understanding Diabetes (aka The Pink Panther book)
    by Dr. Peter Chase of the Barbara Davis Center at the University of Colorado.

    Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin
    by Gary Scheiner, Barry Goldstein

    Sweet Kids: How to Balance Diabetes Control & Good Nutrition with Family Peace
    by Betty Page Brackenridge, MS, RD, CDE & Richard R. Rubin, PhD, CDE. Published by the American Diabetes Association, 2002. 250 pages. Softcover.

    Type 1 Diabetes: A Guide for Children, Adolescents and Young Adults -- and Their Caregivers
    by Ragnar Hanas, M.D. Published by Marlowe & Company, New York,

    And here is a link to a thread I started that you may find helpful:


    Finally, in addition to the forums there is a chat room here where you can talk to other parents in "real time".

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  5. liasmommy2000

    liasmommy2000 Approved members

    Oct 31, 2006
    DD was 5.5 and no close contact with puppies any time in recent years. Just my parents elderly dog but pretty sure she never came in contact with any of his waste!
  6. Charliesmom

    Charliesmom Approved members

    Jan 8, 2009
    Nope, no contact
  7. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    Your children were diagnosed - sadly - due to autoimmune issues. There is no known cause but many triggers to the autoimmune reaction. I think you are just seeing a coincidence between a puppy litter and your children being diagnosed.
  8. JaxDad

    JaxDad Approved members

    May 24, 2010
    Age 4, no contact.

    ps I agree with Christopher's post
  9. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    Age 4, contact with cats, but they would have had no contact with the litter box.

    I agree with all the others, it is autoimmune and just and unfortunate coincidence.
  10. thebestnest5

    thebestnest5 Approved members

    Aug 16, 2006
    I am sorry that your son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I wish we did know definitively what caused Type 1 Diabetes. The scientific term "correlation does not imply causation" is something to consider.
  11. McKenna'smom

    McKenna'smom Approved members

    Jan 5, 2010
    Age 9, no exposure to puppies or animals.
  12. Jilleighn

    Jilleighn Approved members

    Jan 25, 2009
    My daughter was 18months at the time and had ZERO contact with any animals at the time. not even a fish!
  13. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
    You are not going to find useful information on a poll here, I'm afraid. There is just too much contact with animals in the general population for the stats here to be in any way informative. It's one thing if we found out that everyone on CWD happened to have had West Nile virus in the week before diagnosis, that might mean something, but anecdotal evidence is going to be less than useless in the case of an environmental trigger that almost everyone has contact with.

    That said, a season before Selah was diagnosed, a neighbor picked up a stray cat. It never stopped eating, and got skinnier and skinnier. They let it wander our neighborhood even though it was clearly sick, and it pooped in everyone's yards, which concerned me because the kids liked to go barefoot. Before we could resolve the issue, the at died in our window well. I've always been upset with our neighbor for this, if you take in a cat you take it to the vet when it's sick, or you put it down, you don't leave it to die of starvation. But I was also upset that she may have exposed our kids or pets to a parasite. I'll always wonder if there was a viral or parasitic factor there that triggered Selah's diabetes and another health condition. Of course, as far as I know the other kids in the neighborhood developed no conditions, but of course mine might have had the genetic predisposition theirs did not have.

    But even just for my family, I don't consider it likely this was the problem. We were exposed to many, many of the potential triggers in the months before diagnosis. Personally, I believe the trigger is a common viral infection only causes diabetes in those with a genetic predisposition to read the virus incorrectly.

    I'm curious about the trigger, but given the rise of diabetes I don't think we can prevent Type 1 by identifying and eliminating the trigger. Whatever it is (or they are) they are apparently all over the place. I think we have to work on prevention and cure from the angle of repairing the immune response defect. So while I'm always interested in ideas about triggers, I think it's important not to let myself worry about it too much since figuring it out isn't going to change anything for my child or probably for other children. Curiousity is fun, though. :cwds:
  14. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    Interesting theory. The only study I'm aware of on the topic suggests that pet ownership is associated with DECREASED risk of diabetes, not increased. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15317611

    This was probably not a causative factor, just an association, although who knows? Maybe it was a preventative factor. Just cause the blurb may be hard to understand- what they are calling "risk factors" is anything that was associated with a higher OR lower risk of being in the diabetes vs the control group. The control group was almost twice as likely to have regular contact with animals.
  15. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
    One of the first things I read after dx was a theory that there isn't at much Type 1 outside Western Europe and North America because in other parts of the world there is a greater incidence of chronic parasitic infection. Apparently some kinds of worm parasites survive by dampening parts of the immune system, and the theory was that by cutting that part of the immune system down the immune response that killed the pancreatic beta cells didn't happen. So many of the theories and ideas I find really fascinating.
  16. minniem

    minniem Approved members

    Apr 25, 2011
    Age 8, no animal contact at all.
  17. thebestnest5

    thebestnest5 Approved members

    Aug 16, 2006

    It is fascinating.
  18. Mommy For Life

    Mommy For Life Approved members

    Aug 29, 2011
    Fascinating for sure! Don't tell my MIL but my hubby SWEARS Olivia got diabetes from swimming at the lake at his mom's house. :rolleyes: Of course when she came home after the 2 week summer visit she was sick...a month later we in the hospital...full blown DKA :(
  19. valerie-k

    valerie-k Approved members

    Jan 5, 2012
    matt was diagnosed at almost 8 years old, altho we have cats, he would have been the last to get near the back end of one.

    matt did have mono when he was younger, I would hazzard, that would have a greater factor in this mix if I were to believe something caused this besides it being the card that was drawn.
  20. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    No sense blaming the puppies - it wasn't them that caused the diabetes. But there's lots of other illnesses which can be picked up in that way.

    I'm hoping that this exposure route has been eliminated.. :cwds:

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