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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Diabetic cats

Does anyone have or have had a cat with diabetes? What did you do for treatment?

~Amy~ Mom to Lucy
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 09:51 PM
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any suggestions at all?

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RIP Patches. You were the sweetest hamster I've ever known. There will never be another like you.
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RIP sweet little Bugsy. We didn't know you long, but we loved more than you could have known. Sleep sweet little one.
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RIP little Sammy. Thanks for 2 and a half wonderful years! You had a long happy life and we miss you more than you know. Play hard, sweetie...
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:42 AM
 
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The treatments are hard if you have more then one cat but your best bet is to buy a certain type of food which is I believe is CD then give insulant on a regualr basis.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 01:28 AM
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My sister has a diabetic cat. The maintenance is similar to humans, however, the commonly used insulin for cats is synthetic and some cats don't respond well to it.

Make sure your cat eats properly and he/she gets the insulin every day at a regular time. My sister gives him his shot (a very fine needle) while he eats his favorite food and he never notices the shot. She got off schedule on his insulin once and he got ill quickly. With timely shots he is doing fine and as cuddly as ever.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for responding! Lucky has started his insulin shots and seems to be feeling better. He takes Humulin twice a day.

~Amy~ Mom to Lucy
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~and last but not least, my bunbun Roger~
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 07:52 PM
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Hi. My now 18 year old cat has been diabetic since 2007. He's been on and off insulin since then. He was more of a borderline diabetic when he was diagnosed, and a diet change was the most important thing for him. Diabetic cats should not be getting any dry food. Only wet food with less than 10% carbs. My cat was getting both wet and dry before he became diabetic, and I just cut out the dry. You don't need to buy a special food at the vet. I feed my guy certain kinds of Fancy Feasts, the ones that are less than 10% carbs and don't have wheat gluten in it, like Turkey and Giblets for example. As soon as I did this, I noticed a drastic change in his blood glucose numbers. I was giving him an insulin called Lantus, a little expensive but so worth it. It has a high remission rate in cats, and it proved true for my cat, although I can't say if it will work for all cats that way. In any case, Lantus is a very good insulin because it's gentle and slow acting. The combination of this insulin and the diet change (probably mostly the diet change) had my kitty in remission in less than a week after being diagnosed. He didn't need anymore insulin for over a year. Then I changed his food which messed everything up. But I got him back into remission with Lantus and changing back to his old food about 2 months later and so far so good!

If you don't already have a glucometer, I suggest getting one and learning to home test. You do this by pricking kitty's ear. Some cats will cooperate better than others. I was lucky with mine. It's very convenient and just way more safe to home test, especially if you're trying to get your cat into remission. It will also save you tons of money in vet bills since you can do your own BG curves. You should always test before giving insulin anyway to prevent a hyperglycemia attack.

I hope your kitty will feel better soon! Luckily diabetes does not affect lifespan if treated, and most cats don't show any diabetic symptoms until their BG is about 14.0 (around 255 in American conversion), and nothing happens to their eyes when they get hypoglycemic. Plus a lot of cats do go into remission. So basically it's not the worst disease they can get! Good luck with your kitty!

P.S. This board was made for caretakers of diabetic cats and the people there can answer all the questions you have about feline diabetes. http://www.felinediabetes.com/phorum5/list.php?8
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 10:06 PM
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Wow! Hakari - great information. My mom has a diabetic kitty. I am going to print this up for her. I think she is currently giving him dry food - I will be sure to call her tomorrow and read this off to her as well. Thanks again!

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 10:16 PM
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Hakari--Very informative!! Thanks so much for sharing this info!!!

Mandy
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Happily owned by:
Baby--female calico kitty
Dale-- male black lab
Coco--male hamster
Rascal--male hamster
Mr. Squeakers--male guinea pig
Phineas--male guinea pig



RIP Patches. You were the sweetest hamster I've ever known. There will never be another like you.
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RIP sweet little Bugsy. We didn't know you long, but we loved more than you could have known. Sleep sweet little one.
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RIP little Sammy. Thanks for 2 and a half wonderful years! You had a long happy life and we miss you more than you know. Play hard, sweetie...
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 10:23 PM
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I better take notes in case anything like this happens to my kitties, great information!


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, that was very informative. I researched foods on the web and found a brand (EVO) that is 95% protein; more like their natural diet. Had to get it at a PetSmart and it was pretty expensive. I, also, have heard on several occasions for years that the dry food is not good for them. It's also more fattening. My vet didn't seem to agree, so I dropped the discussion with her. Oh, and I also printed a list of the flavors of Fancy Feast that have no wheat gluten. The EVO site said to be very cautious when changing to their food because their insulin will probably have to be reduced. I also looked up how to check their blood sugar in their ear, but I just can't imagine Lucky putting up with that. I don't want him to run every time he sees me coming! I am diabetic myself, so I understand the disease and how to treat it very well. But the cost can really be scary! I am on Lantus and it's ridiculous WITH insurance; I couldn't possibly afford it WITHOUT! The Humulin he's on isn't too bad. But with the syringes also, it was over $60. I guess I'll learn more as time goes by. In the meantime, Lucky is definately feeling better. He had lost 4 lbs. but he was a pretty big boy anyway, so the vet really didnt want him to put all 4 lbs. back on. He's still drinking and peeing alot. But thanks for all the posts; it was good reading!

~Amy~ Mom to Lucy
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Mina, Psyche, Puff, Bootsy, Tommy, Sooner, Quinnie, and Lucky.

~and last but not least, my bunbun Roger~
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 09:56 AM
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No problem. Glad to help. I wish I had known about dry food causing diabetes before my cat got diabetes. I could have prevented it. Here's a good page to read up on about how most dry foods are bad for cats, especially diabetic cats: http://www.catinfo.org/felinediabetes.htm There's a list of safe wet and dry food on this page. http://www.felinediabetes.com/diabetic-cat-diets.htm And here's one about wheat gluten: http://www.felinediabetes.com/glutenfree.htm
I got all my information by studying these web pages, and from the people on the board that I posted above. I recommend any caretakers of diabetic cats to post on that board because people there are really knowledgeable about diabetes, more so than most vets.

Tommycat, I know the idea of pricking your kitty's ear is not an appealing one. I felt the same way before I started home testing, but the people on the board encouraged and guided me through it. Believe me, it's for the best. Not only is it safer since you can prevent hyperglycemia attacks, but it will save you so much money in vet bills. You can just use your own glucometer, although some glucometers are more accurate than others. I use Freestyle Freedom since it's the closest accuracy to the one my vet uses, and needs just a tiny bit of blood. The strips are expensive, though. The cat actually doesn't feel much on the outside of the ear. Here's a very informative video on how to home test: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zE12-4fVn8 I find it easier to use a lancet device. If you're worried about your cat running away from you because of the tests, try to make it more pleasant for him. Give him a treat before and after the test. There's a list of safe treats on that page I linked above. I've heard a lot of success stories with using treats, and how the cat will run up to his/her caretaker when it's test time. If you make it into a routine it's a good bet that kitty will be used to it in no time.

As for Lantus, I got lucky and only had to pay $20 a month. My local vet clinic sold it in small amounts, and since my guy didn't get more than 1 unit, it would last way over a month. Maybe your vet can sell it to you in small amounts as well so it won't cost so much. There's also a cheaper insulin a lot of people like using called PZI which is made especially for cats. If you're in the US, it's easy to get. But it's no longer available in Canada. I prefer Lantus anyway.

Hope your kitty continues to feel better!

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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WOW! That is alot of information. Some of it I've already read, but the others were very interesting and helpful. The thing that's frustrating me is that my vet just seems to want to take the easy way: not change their diet, not have us do home testings, etc. Most of it is because Lucky gets very aggressive at the vets. He's ripped me to shreds on more than one occasion, too, but he behaves much better for my husband. Maybe he can handle the home testing. I already have been buying lower carb foods and I worry about him having a low. I don't think I'm up for making their own food yet! I did that for Tommy (R.I.P.) when he had kidney failure, but he didn't have to have ground up bones! Lucky is not liking the EVO at all. He does like the Fancy Feast, though. Anyway, thanks again for all the info.

~Amy~ Mom to Lucy
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Forever in our hearts...
Mina, Psyche, Puff, Bootsy, Tommy, Sooner, Quinnie, and Lucky.

~and last but not least, my bunbun Roger~
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 09:45 AM
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Your vet sounds like my vet when my kitty was first diagnosed, except she wanted me to buy special food there. Unfortunately most vets are just looking for the best way to make money. If you don't home test, that will force you to bring your cat to the vet every couple of weeks for a glucose curve where the cat has to stay at the vet all day while they take his BG every few hours so they can see what the insulin is doing. This costs a fortune, and the cat is stressed out at the vet, so they don't even get accurate numbers. Home testing is great because even if your cat does get hypo, you can test him to see where he's at, and intervene before the attack gets serious. It's saved my cat from getting really sick, or even death on quite a few occasions. When you change a cat's diet to a wet, low carb one it's a good bet their BG will drop pretty fast, so you especially need to keep an eye out. There were days when my cat didn't even need an insulin shot because he was in normal range thanks to diet change.

If Lucky behaves better for your husband, then it's probably a good idea to let him handle the testing. A lot of people on the board I mentioned also had problems with aggressive cats. They can tell you how they overcame that problem.

For some reason, a lot of vets are just not good with dealing with feline diabetes. If they discourage home testing and cutting out dry food, then I suggest finding a new vet. I had to because of this reason. Really, you can handle this disease better at home than at a vet clinic. If you're unsure, there's always people on that feline diabetes board around to guide you through it. Good luck!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 01:16 PM
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That sounds like an awesome board! Maybe you should check it out, Mom!!

Mandy
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Happily owned by:
Baby--female calico kitty
Dale-- male black lab
Coco--male hamster
Rascal--male hamster
Mr. Squeakers--male guinea pig
Phineas--male guinea pig



RIP Patches. You were the sweetest hamster I've ever known. There will never be another like you.
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RIP sweet little Bugsy. We didn't know you long, but we loved more than you could have known. Sleep sweet little one.
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RIP little Sammy. Thanks for 2 and a half wonderful years! You had a long happy life and we miss you more than you know. Play hard, sweetie...
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 10:39 AM
 
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I thought only humans has diabetes. Why don't you control their diet?
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