Feline Diabetes

  1. My poor 10 year old cat was diagnosed with diabetes today. He has had thyroid problems all his life too.

    Does anyone have experience with feline diabetes? He's going to the hospital on Wednesday for two or three days so they can begin his insulin treatment and monitor him. Thereafter I will need to give him daily insulin injections myself.

    I am so very sad for him. He is so affectionate, but doesn't seem to be quite himself. He seems despondent. I've felt for a little while that something wasn't right with him.

    If anyone has any experience with this disease in cats I would appreciate your comments and thoughts.
  2. I have a 10 year old with Diabetes. It is a VERY treatable disease. I was scared to death of needles until I was forced to learn how to give my cat Insulin shots. I also noticed a huge improvement in just a couple of weeks on the Insulin. You can do this. Please check out this chat board. It was a huge help to me when my cat was first diagnosed.

  3. Cindi, thank you so much for your reply. It is a comfort to know that it is possible to successfully treat my cat. I appreciate the link too. I bookmarked it, as I'm sure I'll be referring back to their information frequently.

    Do you mind if I ask a you a couple of questions?

    Does your cat get injections once or twice a day and do you do the urine monitoring or the ear-stick glucose monitoring? My vet said I'd need to do one or the other and as I have two cats I think it would be really difficult to capture the diabetic cat's urine exclusively. I saw on the link to the website that you gave me that they sell kits for the ear-stick method and I'm curious about your experience. .

    Did your cat have symptoms before he was diagnosed? Did I miss something noticeable? His illness was discovered when I took him in for his annual exam. The vet said my cat also has something wrong with his liver values and she wants to investigate that situation more. I feel just awful that he is so sick. I'd give anything to have well again. He's going into the hospital tomorrow.

    I really appreciate your insight. I am glad your cat is doing so well and is enjoying a healthy life. Thanks for helping me!:flowers:
  4. I know it is overwhelming in the beginning. The best thing you can do is read as much as possible about it and ask tons of questions. Malcolm gets 2 shots per day and I use the ear stick method to check his blood sugar. I adopted Malcolm knowing he was a Diabetic so I don't know how his symptoms presented before that. He is my second Diabetic cat. I adopted him after I lost my first Diabetic cat ,Elliott. Testing is very easy although it does take a little while to get it down. The shots are also easy and this is me working with a 10 year old cat that I had just adopted so we didn't have a bond at all. Now he is my sweet sugar boy. Diabetes presents with excessive drinking, peeing and weight loss. If he hadn't started to lose weight you probably wouldn't have noticed the symptoms unless you were looking for them. Don't beat yourself up. You will learn how to treat your baby and it will be just another part of your daily routine. It takes less than 2 minutes to test and shoot Malcolm 2 times per day. I will PM you with my phone number. If you need any help or have any questions please call me. One thing to know about having the vet test your cat's blood sugar, it will be much higher in the vet's office as it goes up when the cat is stressed. Go to the website today and read all you can. There are a lot of VERY knowledgeable people there that can answer any question. Most Diabetic cats do not die from Diabetes once it is being treated. Your boy is going to be his old self again, don't worry.

    Sorry, it won't let me send you a PM. If you want my phone number feel free to contact me.
  5. Leelee, I totally agree with Cindi, you should read up as much as you can about feline diabetes on your own as well because you may hear different things from different vets. There has been lots of different theories in how to best treat this disease and IMO, lots of vets are still not up to date in this area... I think now that most good feline vets are up to speed. Cats are not small dogs, and you may find out your vet may not be aware what is the best treatment out there. I can attest to this by working for vets (I am a RVT).
    I HIGHLY recommend the link Cindi put. It is one of the best out there regards to feline diabetes. This is another highly recommended website http://www.yourdiabeticcat.com/ Join their Forum if you can. The ladies are really helpful and I really highly respect Dr. Hodgkins in regards to treating feline diabetes. She is very active on this Forum, too. Also Cornell has a great site that I love and this is the link to a video about Caring for Your Diabetic Cat http://www.felinevideos.vet.cornell.edu/diabetes/index.shtml Yes, it is bit biased since it was supported by Purina so I wouldn't 100% agree... One of the first things I was told to do is to switch your cat's diet to ALL CANNED food if you have not been told about that. Research these areas by visiting those two sites. I still think NO DRY FOOD is best for all cats, period, especially diabetic cat.
    Working with your veterinarian, there are ways that you can control your cat's diabetes and some has successfully come off the 'juice' (insulin) as they call it.
    I know this is an overwhelming news, but with a good vet and good knowledge about the disease, you can help your kitty to feel better! Guard yourself and your kitty with knowledge and don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. You need to trust your vet.
    Let me know if there is anything I can help you and your kitty, too. And please don't blame yourself. You take your cat for an annual exam, and not many people do that. Cats are masters at hiding diseases and that is why we promote annual/biannual exams. From knowing your comments on this forum, I know you take good care of your animals. Isn't your kitty the one with hyPOthyroidism? Please keep us updated on his progress!
  6. Thank you so much for your kind words Cindi and tiramisu! Your information has been invaluable. And the links you both gave me provide a wealth of additional knowledge. Poor little guy! I am so anxious for him to be under the vet's care tomorrow and to begin treatment. Fortunately, I'm not at all squeamish about testing him or giving him injections. I had no idea that there was a possibility he may not always need insulin. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

    tiramisu, you are so sweet to remember me and my cat! Yes, he is the guy with hypothyroidism. I think I may have mentioned (but I can't remember for sure) that he developed it after receiving radiation treatment for hyperthyroidism. It's the craziest thing. His sister who is from the same litter has never had any medical problems at all!

    Cindi, I'm not sure why my PM doesn't work. It's probably something I inadvertently did on my computer eons ago by accident. I appreciate your attempt to reach me and if you don't mind, I may PM you as I begin this healing process with my kitty.

    Best wishes to both of you and your pets!
  7. Hi LeeLee, It says you have chosen not to receive PMs so I guess you will have to change that setting if you do want them. I hope everything goes well with his treatment. It does help that you are not squeamish about the tests and shots. Cats pick up on your mood and if you are scared they will be too. As Tiramisu said a diet of only wet food is the best for Diabetics if you can get your cats to eat it. My Diabetic of course is one of the few that LOVES his dry food and won't touch the wet no matter how many different kinds I try. Because the dry causes his blood sugar to be higher he will probably never be off the juice. Hopefully your boy will love the wet food and the treatment will set his pancreas working again. Fingers crossed for you. Contact me any time.

  8. Yes, Leelee, I remember about your kitty being hypothyroid after the I-131 treatment... Radiocat, right? I used to work for a specialty hospital that did I-131 and I have heard their method can make the cat to be hypothyroid... Anyway, I won't go any futher, I am sure it is a bad memory for you...
    Cindi, I know, my boys were carb addicts and it was tough getting them off the dry food!!! Some cats will probably never be off dry food no matter how hard you try, and what is important is for them to eat, so we just have to adjust to the cat's needs. I read from one of those websites about how to get your cat to eat canned only and had to take all dry food out of the house. It took me a while, like a month, for them to finally get them love the canned food!!! I feed them Fancy Feast with Flavors that has less than 10% carbs. It was hard watching them sniff canned food and turn their heads away. Towards the end of the journey, I still had to put like 4 kibbles on the canned food. They ended up eating the canned food anyway, so I didn't know why they needed the kibbles to 'start' :p...

    I hope your kitty gets well soon~~~:heart:
  9. Hi Leelee, sorry to hear that your cat has diabetes, but the good news is it is very treatable. Diabetes in cats is different to that in dogs so have your vet explain the difference.

    In the beginning there is a lot of testing to be done and your cat has to be hospitalised for daily blood glucose curves (which is where they test his blood glucose every few hours regularly to work out what dose of insulin he should get, and at what times, according to his body clock)

    After that he can go home with his daily insulin shots (either once or twice daily depending on what his vets worked out for him) and they are very simple to give. Your vet should ask you in and show you how to give them upon discharge, and some vets will make you practice with saline and an actual needle/syringe to show them you're doing it correctly. The needles on insulin syringes are very very fine and don't cause much pain. One thing is you have to store the insulin carefully and also handle carefully which your vet should explain.

    As the other ladies have mentioned, it is important to feed the correct diet - one low in carbohydrate and high in protein. Also important to maintain a healthy weight. There is a specific feline diabetic diet made by some prescription companies.

    Finally some cats have transient diabetes meaning they may "self-cure" over time (weeks to months). Not all will. Your cat will require constant testing by the vet to be sure.

    Finally, don't increase the dose of insulin you're giving him based on signs (ie drinking heaps, eating heaps, urinating heaps). Always consult your vet first if not sure.

    Hope this helps! Good luck!
  10. That is great information. I only have to disagree on one point. You do not need your vet to do glucose curves. You can do them at home and they will be MUCH more accurate. I do one about every 3 months. I just test the cat's BG pre shot, then every 2 hours for 12 hours. It is a pain but easy to do and saves money besides being more accurate because the cat is not stressed at the vet's office. How is he doing today?

  11. tiramisu, jo_ee, and tiramisu, it is such a great comfort to correspond with you about my cat's diabetes. Once the shock wore off of his diagnosis, I became so sad and frightened for him. Your expertise and experiences have been invaluable. I am now confident that I can help him and looking forward to giving even more attention than I already do (if that's possible, LOL!).

    I took Cedello to the vet's office today and he'll be there for two or three days. I'm looking forward to having him home and healthier again. I wish it were me going through this instead of him. I can't bear to have him uncomfortable or upset.

    I was very encouraged to learn from all of you that canned food is preferred for diabetic cats. He actually likes canned food so we won't need to re-adjust his taste buds in that respect!

    Thanks again. You all are the best!
  12. Hey Leelee, I am sure Cedello will be coming home soon~~~ I don't remember his picture for sure, but is he an orange tabby? For some reason that kitty pops in my mind. Keep in touch with the veterinary staff during his stay no matter how much they call you a crazy cat lady:p.

    In terms of blood glucose testing, I agree with Cindi, at home can be done, and is probably the best for the cats. Cats are less stressed and there are great How-To videos which some of the Cat Moms have posted on the web. I am telling you, feline diabetes has one of the best communities on the web IMO. These ladies are so dedicated in research and gathering facts that regular veterinarians are impressed and often referr information to. Each sites mention as links to other feline diabetes sites, so the vast information is there. I really like the ones that they looked up all the US canned commercial ingredients and broke down the nutritial information. Binky's Page is pretty well put, too. Lots of passionate vets like Dr. Hodgkins and Dr. Pierson are actively on these forum, too. (Check out Dr. Pierson's Feline Nutrition site if you are interested http://www.catinfo.org/) Of course you take every information with a caution, but most of us here are well educated to make the decernment, right?;)

    More related websites to brouse through:
    Binky's Page http://www.geocities.com/jmpeerson/index.html
    How to Test Your Pet's Blood Gluocse at Home http://www.sugarcats.net/sites/harry/bgtest.html
    Testing for Blood Glucose - The Movie http://tlb.best.vwh.net/bg_punkin/test_bg.html

    By the way, Cindi and jo_ee, which type of insulin do your kitties use? PZI? Humilin? Just curious...
  13. Malcolm uses PZI Vet U40. He has been on it for many years with good response. My first Diabetic used Lantus U100. It was a bit tough for a beginner but I eventually, through a lot of home testing, got the dosage right.
  14. I have to echo the others who say feline diabetes is totally treatable. My Tippy was diagnosed at age 12. She lived to 19 with treatment. She was even in the insulin club at the drugstore, and she would get a free bottle now and then. One thing we found was that when her dosage needed to be adjusted, she would have UTIs. The sugar would crystallize in the bladder since cats concentrate it so. This would irritate her and when we saw her go urgently or see a drop of blood show up, we knew what was going on. Of course we got her routinely tested for blood sugar level, but things can sometimes happen quickly. If you can test the glucose at home, that would be best.

    Here's Tippy! (from 1996)

  15. ^^SO cute! Is she sticking her tongue out??? WOW, 19 years old! Wonderful lady!
    It is sooo encouraging to meet other feline moms who are dedicated in caring for their kitties:flowers: