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Old 11-26-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
12,475 posts, read 30,811,815 times
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I went out of town for 2 days and when I returned, my cat had eaten EVERY BIT of the food and drank every drop of the water that I left down for her. I went online and thought she might be diabetic so I took her to the vet and sure enough, she is diabetic.

I am currently giving her some type of dry food for diabetic cats and giving her 2 insulin shots per day. She doesn't even notice when I give her the shots but it means I can't leave her when I go out of town and that is a big deal as we travel quite a bit.

I have read numerous threads about putting your cat on a canned food diet and that seems to curb the diabetes but she won't eat canned food.

I haven't asked the vet about this yet as I'm still dealing with all that I now have to do.

Actually, this is my 3rd vet as I had other issues with my other cat so now I'm taking both cats to a cat only vet. I'm still annoyed that they seem to push to put them to sleep to clean their teeth. And I do mean they PUSH it. All 3 of the vets did it. Not sure I want to do all that to them.

So...is anyone else dealing with these issues and have any tips for me?
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:45 AM
 
11,526 posts, read 13,560,280 times
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I had a diabetic cat for 4 1/2 years. And, his Blood sugars were hard to control. I used PZI insulin. Wish I had started with it. The NPH (think it was that--long time ago) and Lente weren't good for him. Sugars would drop and be up again in a few hours.

With the PZI, he would stay down for hours and regulated fast on it. I gave him an injection 6 am ish and 6 pm ish. It was $100/bottle. Well worth it because he had DKA before that from uncontrolled sugars.

If you give them too much Insulin, they can rebound, have higher blood sugars. Sgymori (spelling?) effect it's called. You see a higher blood sugar and think they need more so you give more. But, they need less. SO, it can be confusing. but the main thing is you have to start out lower, say 1 unit twice/day or so and work up slowly, change dose only after 3-4 days or so. And, I changed dose in 1/4 unit increments--teeny tiny amount. Then to 1/2 unit. They're so small and my cat felt every change I made so I was careful and slow about it all. The dose the vet gives you might not work at home (They run higher when they do curves at vets--stress makes their SUgars higher). It's only a guideline really.

I put him on all meats canned food with no grain. His sugars did drop on that food. I couldn't leave dry out, he'd pig out and his sugars would go sky high. I was home, but if you're not maybe some dry or better yet canned to leave out. The dry does elevate them for sure--even DM dry did.If you're not home, you have to leave something out, in case he gets hypo, mine did and almost died a few times from low sugar. Low sugar is immediately dangerous. High sugar is dangerous longer term, but not immediately.

I gave him injections in his belly because the insulin gets distributed better there. He didn't mind.

I used the Bayer Ascencia Meter and got strips on E-Bay. Tested him 2/day when he was not stable, then dropped it to 1/day. I wouldn't rely soley on vets--do your own testing. I pinpricked his ear and he just didn't like the sound of it. Never hurt him. This meter is very user friendly and I found it pretty equal to what the vets got.

Watch for infections. Any infection can raise Blood sugars and make them unstable/unregulated again. Treat all infections.

It can take a while to regulate a cat--depends on cat. You have to have patience.

Last edited by Nanny Goat; 11-26-2011 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:48 AM
 
Location: In a cat house! ;)
1,756 posts, read 5,147,553 times
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Op,
Start here:
Feline Diabetes by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: cat diabetes, cat sugar diabetes

The above website is written by a vet. She provides a TON of info and links.

Diabetes is just one, of many diseases and medical issues, most often brought on by dry kibble.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 13,866,476 times
Reputation: 5432
Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiR View Post
I went out of town for 2 days and when I returned, my cat had eaten EVERY BIT of the food and drank every drop of the water that I left down for her. I went online and thought she might be diabetic so I took her to the vet and sure enough, she is diabetic.
Which is becoming more and more common in cats fed dry kibble, an unnatural diet for cats. There's too much starch/sugars/carbohydrates in kibble.

Quote:
I am currently giving her some type of dry food for diabetic cats and giving her 2 insulin shots per day. She doesn't even notice when I give her the shots but it means I can't leave her when I go out of town and that is a big deal as we travel quite a bit.
Who cares for her while you're gone? You don't leave them alone for days at a time do you?

Quote:
I have read numerous threads about putting your cat on a canned food diet and that seems to curb the diabetes but she won't eat canned food.
Yes she will, there are many sources online explaining how to switch cats to canned and or raw food.

Quote:
I haven't asked the vet about this yet as I'm still dealing with all that I now have to do.

Actually, this is my 3rd vet as I had other issues with my other cat so now I'm taking both cats to a cat only vet. I'm still annoyed that they seem to push to put them to sleep to clean their teeth.
They can't clean the teeth while the cat is awake. It's not possible. Your cats teeth may be in dire need of cleaning. Best to get it done before a smelly painful gum disease sets in.

Quote:
And I do mean they PUSH it. All 3 of the vets did it. Not sure I want to do all that to them.
All what? Even people get their teeth cleaned yearly, or should. It's no big deal and if all the vets told you it needs to be done - then it must really NEED to be done.

Quote:
So...is anyone else dealing with these issues and have any tips for me?
My cats eat primarily canned food. Dry kibble is only a treat for them. When my vet says they need their teeth cleaned, they'll get their teeth cleaned. Have YOU ever had a toothache or painful stinking infected gums? Believe me, you don't want your cats to suffer from that.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:36 PM
 
1,073 posts, read 1,849,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lola4 View Post
Op,
Start here:
Feline Diabetes by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: cat diabetes, cat sugar diabetes

The above website is written by a vet. She provides a TON of info and links.

Diabetes is just one, of many diseases and medical issues, most often brought on by dry kibble.
I'll second that web site. Invaluable source of info for owners of diabetic cats.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
12,475 posts, read 30,811,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by =^..^= View Post
Which is becoming more and more common in cats fed dry kibble, an unnatural diet for cats. There's too much starch/sugars/carbohydrates in kibble.

Who cares for her while you're gone? You don't leave them alone for days at a time do you?

Yes she will, there are many sources online explaining how to switch cats to canned and or raw food.

They can't clean the teeth while the cat is awake. It's not possible. Your cats teeth may be in dire need of cleaning. Best to get it done before a smelly painful gum disease sets in.

All what? Even people get their teeth cleaned yearly, or should. It's no big deal and if all the vets told you it needs to be done - then it must really NEED to be done.

My cats eat primarily canned food. Dry kibble is only a treat for them. When my vet says they need their teeth cleaned, they'll get their teeth cleaned. Have YOU ever had a toothache or painful stinking infected gums? Believe me, you don't want your cats to suffer from that.
I'm concerned because she had a UTI also, at the time the vet tested her. Seems that it came on so quickly.

When we go out of town for the weekend, I leave extra food and water and the cats do fine.

When we go out of town for a week, I have daughter's friend come over twice a day to take care of them but I don't feel that I can have a teenager administer the shots.

When I get my teeth cleaned, they don't put me to sleep!

What type of canned food do you use?
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Monadnock region
3,712 posts, read 10,522,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiR View Post
When I get my teeth cleaned, they don't put me to sleep!
you also understand exactly what's going on and hold your head still! your cat doesn't, and doesn't want to keep its mouth open and certainly doesn't want someone in there scraping around their gum line with sharp poky bits! that's why. safety for all involved.

ok, I'll tell you what I've been learning as my cat just went diabetic around the end of Sept. first, many cats are extremely difficult to regulate and get their sugar levels right. some never do., some do fairly quickly, some take a little while and then (like people) can be diet-managed.

There are 2 main types of vet food for diabetic cats: Hills Science d/M and Purina M/D (or I might have that reversed, but it's Hills & Purina and it's the same 2 letters in opposite order). comes in both canned and dry. I use the Hills, my friend (who is 'cat-goddess' around here) uses Purina. The main thing is that you need a low grain or grain free diet, that is high protein. a little grain can be ok - they seem to like brewers rice and last I knew rice was still a grain. but it doesn't seem to be a problem in this house at least.
those foods are very expensive though. What you can do, many have done, and the folks on the feline diabetic board recommend is to feed Fancy Feast Classic Pate. Personally I believe you still need to check the labels as not all the pate's are equal. Some have byproducts as the first ingredient, some don't. I save the labels for the ones that don't and the cats like (saves time when shopping again, I don't have to keep checking the labels!). Also, if you go with a designer food, avoid foods with peas in them because peas are a high sugar vegetable and not good for them. I also check some of the other brands, looking for no/low grain, and low/no byproducts; that's also affordable. There's probably a Royal Canin version that's even more expensive. - oh: the vets will likely not approve of the Fancy Feast diet. They have been taught that ONLY d/M or M/D will work and nothing else is good enough. funny, I have friends whose cats are/were just fine, as long as you keep away from grains and keep real meat in the top ingredients.

Chances are you are using Lantus insulin? that seems to be the most common right now. There were others that worked better a while back, but they have been pulled from the market. You will want to learn to check your cat's blood sugar. You can use a human meter - however, human meters lie (on purpose) with the lower numbers, so they are not as accurate as the pet meters which are also coded specifically for cats or dogs. There is the favored one that costs around $200, and then there's iPet which costs around $40. That one seems to be working fine for me. You will need to buy test strips - I found Hocks.comto have the cheapest for iPet combined with shipping -- you get 50 strips.
In order to test them, you need a spot of blood. some people have been fine with using a lancet device, and one comes with the iPet kit. I didn't get one (but then my vet gave me the meter for free as it was a spare they didn't use) and my techs don't like using lancet devices because you can't see where the pin is hitting if you're going to try to get that teeny thread of a vein in the ear! but many people do. your choice. I buy the needle-sticks from my vet that look like the ends of the insulin needles - it's longer and I can see what I'm doing (just wish I was better at sticking him!). Do not buy the lancet refills to try and just use those to stick with, the pin is too short and the plastic too long, I can't get good control and the plastic 'handle' gets in the way so I can't stick his ear. Now I've got a box that I can't use! Once you have a drop or two of blood, the test strip usually sucks it right up and the meter reads it out to you. It's really pretty easy.

Perfect levels are in the 100s. good levels are 200-300. They don't necessarily need any insulin unless they go above 300 (YMMV, keep an eye on your cat), but low is bad! low numbers down in the 40s and especially 30s means your cat may be going to crash (again, YMMV, Magnus was 41 and did not have the 'staggers' at all and was fine). Crashing is badbadbad. Crashing can kill your cat. high blood sugar left too long can cause kidney failure which can also kill your cat, but that is in the long run and can be caught and worked with, crashing kills in the short run and you don't want that! keep a jar of honey or Karo syrup around just in case. If your cat crashes (seizures, walks like a drunk...) wipe a finger of honey/syrup inside their mouth and take them to the emergency vet. Thankfully, Magnus has never crashed.

Once you start on the insulin, your vet will want to 'curve' the cat. that means they want to see how the insulin is being used over time. They will check probably at 9am, noon, 3pm and 6pm. yes the cat can eat & drink, yes they should have their insulin. The vet also wants to see how the dosage levels overlap. If you have your own meter, you can curve your cat at home and not have to pay the expense of the vet or stress your cat by spending the day at the vet. YMMV, depends how your cat is. Magnus has White Coat Syndrome, and while he showed no outward signs of distress, his BS was in the 500s all day long in spite of 3 units that morning, he wouldn't eat or drink the entire time. The next week or so when I learned to test him, he was 47. yeah, he loves being at the vet's. depends on your cat.

Diabetic cats can not have any commercial treats - unless they are the super expensive ones that are freeze-dried shrimps or dried chicken breast. all the others are flavored starch junk. What I've been doing is to take some of the dry d/M and keep it in an old treat pouch, so he can have treats at combing time just like everyone else. And boy, he loves that super protein, low carb food! Once we switch him to entirely canned food, we will buy a bag of dry simply to use for treats (well, they'll last quite a while!). They're certainly better than the pounce/whiskas!

Unfortunately, you can no longer go anywhere without someone who can give an insulin shot twice a day and/or meter test periodically - or board the cat. That is, not unless you can get the cat diet controlled and off the insulin. Then try to find someone who can take a meter reading if you're going to be gone for a week or more.

I personally know a number of people who have had diet-managed cats on just canned food. I do not personally know anyone who has had a diet-managed cat on diabetic dry food. maybe they can be, but from my personal circle of friends... I'm switching him to the wet, although he seems to be diet-managed with using a mix of wet & dry.

Good luck, feel free to ask questions, even better, browse out the diabetic board -lots of experience (and Dr Lisa) there.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:26 PM
 
11,867 posts, read 16,183,761 times
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My calico has diabetes and she was put under for a dental (with extractions) last summer. No problems. There's always a risk, but it's not quite as scary as you might think. I was a vet tech for multiple years when I was younger and we never lost a patient under anesthesia.

Renal pouches are good for diabetics. Unfortunately, my cat vomits with any wet food, so I have to keep her on the dry. If you can do wet, try it out.

Your vet probably has techs that will make house calls to give injections while you travel. I find that preferable to boarding my calico because the stress of being kenneled always results in a UTI. My suggestion (a very strong suggestion) is that you pre-draw the syringes instead of leaving that up to the person filling in for you.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:50 PM
 
380 posts, read 766,502 times
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If the goal is to get the cat into remission which many people succeed in doing every day, read Dr Lisa Pierson's site provided above Feline Diabetes by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: cat diabetes, cat sugar diabetes

[quote]
Quote:
Feeding a diabetic cat a high carbohydrate diet is analogous to pouring gasoline on a fire and wondering why you can't put the fire out.

This rationale also applies to any of the prescription dry diabetes diets such as Purina DM, Hill's Prescription w/d and m/d, and Royal Canin DS. These diets are not only poor quality diets, they are still too high in carbohydrates and contain several species-inappropriate, hyperallergenic ingredients such as corn, wheat, and soy
.[quote]


Dr Elizabeth Hodgkins discovered the protocol for getting them into remission and earlier in her career formulated Purina WET d/m and has the patent (although her strict specifications were not followed accordingly by the Co.)

Protocol | Tight Regulation Protocol

[quote]
Quote:
Because improper diet is the cause of type II diabetes mellitus in the cat, diet must be the foundation of the management of this disease. Although the veterinary profession has been conditioned to believe that high-fiber dry diets are capable of assisting in the management of feline diabetes, the reality is that this disease has historically been extremely difficult to deal with because of this mistaken belief. The practice of using dry form, high-fiber diets for our diabetic patients is utterly in error. In fact, high-fiber dry foods have two massive flaws. The first is the high amount of carbohydrate in them...

Therefore, to manage feline type II diabetes, the patient must be provided a diet that is high in protein, moderate in fat, and ultra low in carbohydrate, especially carbohydrate from extruded cereals and those with high glycaemic indices, like corn and potato. No feline diabetic should eat any type or brand of dry food. This includes all of the dry formulas labeled as “for the management of diabetes.” Allowable foods include low-fiber canned foods designated “for the management of diabetes,” and a number of other brands of canned or pouched foods with low carbohydrate content. Raw meat can also make an excellent diet for cats, diabetic and non-diabetic alike.
[quote]


Here's another forum, not too well known yet as it's pretty new Home | Diabetic Cat Care Created by original, loooongtime members from the site Dr H used to be involved with -- where REMISSION is a very realistic goal for their Diabetic cat owners (see some success stories on the main page.)

Last edited by Pamina333; 11-26-2011 at 11:16 PM.. Reason: too much quote
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
12,475 posts, read 30,811,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinx View Post
My calico has diabetes and she was put under for a dental (with extractions) last summer. No problems. There's always a risk, but it's not quite as scary as you might think. I was a vet tech for multiple years when I was younger and we never lost a patient under anesthesia.

Renal pouches are good for diabetics. Unfortunately, my cat vomits with any wet food, so I have to keep her on the dry. If you can do wet, try it out.

Your vet probably has techs that will make house calls to give injections while you travel. I find that preferable to boarding my calico because the stress of being kenneled always results in a UTI. My suggestion (a very strong suggestion) is that you pre-draw the syringes instead of leaving that up to the person filling in for you.

Thanks for that info. I am concerned about having her put under but you have made me feel that it isn't as bad as I thought.

Vicki
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