Diabetic but otherwise healthy

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Ashley A Catlover, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. Ashley A Catlover

    Ashley A Catlover New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    My cat was diagnosed last week. He has never been obese and he's only five years old. This seems to have came on pretty quickly. Over the past couple months I noticed he was drinking enormous amounts of water and leaving enormous clumps of urine in his litter box. I took him to get checked out. He had lost about 2 pounds since May, from 11 pounds to 9, according to his vet chart. His levels were around 360, which the vet said is high; normal is 170. He was also dehydrated, so for three days, I gave him fluids subcutaneously. He also has a bad tooth, for which he is being given antibiotics. I am hoping to be able to treat the diabetes with diet alone, but all the information I am finding is for treating an older, obese cat. Since I have switched him to all can/wet food (fancy feast classic pate plus the Purina DM the vet gave me) he is not drinking water like he was, and the urine clumps are back to their normal size. Is it possible, with youth and leanness on his side, that diet will restore him to pre-diagnoses? Is it possible the tooth could have influenced his levels and he has been misdiagnosed? Where can I find information to learn more? Thanks!!
     
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    did the vet do a fructosemine test? That would tell you his average bg over the past 2-3 weeks. yes infection and vet stress can raise bg values. what was his reading at time of diagnosis?
     
  3. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    the best way to find out what your cat's bg is is to get a blood glucose meter at the pharmacy or walmart and test it at home. track and see what difference the food is making, and if it's not enough start him on insulin. many here use the relion confirm from walmart. I have a video in my signature showing how I test my cat's bg at home.
     
    Ashley A Catlover likes this.
  4. Ashley A Catlover

    Ashley A Catlover New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Thank you for your reply. As I understand it, they did an complete panel. This complete panel tested for everything. Everything was in normal range except his sugar.
     
  5. Ashley A Catlover

    Ashley A Catlover New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Thank you! I will check into that. After the $330 vet visit last week, I am watching my funds.
     
  6. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I understand. See if your vet can email you a copy of the labs.

    Testing at home isn't too expensive.

    1. Relion micro or confirm meter $18
    2. Box of 100 extra test strips $36
    3. Box of 100 26-28 gauge lancets $3
    4 cosmetic cotton rounds $3
     
    Ashley A Catlover likes this.
  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Ashley,

    Welcome to you and Lahomay.

    Yes, the infected tooth will be playing into elevated numbers and, as Janet notes above, vet stress can also falsely elevate BG levels very temporarily hence the benefit/necessity of including fructosamine test as part of the initial diagnostic work up. Dehydration can also result in 'falsely' elevated numbers (BG needs to be checked again after cat is properly hydrated). For initial diagnosis the vet should not rely on a one-off blood test to make a Dx of feline diabetes. Normally a urine test should be done to see whether the cat has been passing glucose into its urine in the previous few hours (this will not be affected by vet stress) and, as mentioned above, a fructosamine test is run to check whether or not BG levels have been abnormally high over the previous two weeks or so.

    However blood and urine tests aren't the whole story; all history and clinical signs need to be considered alongside the results when making a diagnosis. With the history of months of excessive peeing and drinking (polyuria/polydipsia - PU/PD) plus the weight loss it does point to a longer-term problem. PU/PD can be symptomatic of other cat health problems, not just diabetes. For general info, here are some other clinical signs untreated/unregulated diabetics may present with:

    * increased appetite - may range from pestering for food to insatiable hunger (polyphagia).

    * Poor body condition (see chart) - unexplained weight loss is frequently noted (often in spite of increased appetite).

    * Poor hair coat condition (possibly dull/greasy, much dander).

    * Low mood/depression.

    * Less inclined to jump up to higher surfaces, e.g. bed, windowsill (possible mild neuropathy)

    * 'Flat-footed' stance or walking on hocks (again neuropathy -may be very slight, may be severe)

    * Nausea / loss of appetite / fruity breath (possible ketosis/diabetic ketoacodosis - a medical emergency needing immediate veterinary treatment)

    In a few cases a switch to a low carb, wet, species-appropriate diet alone may bring about remission in some cats but more typically newly-diagnosed cats need at least some insulin therapy alongside the dietary change in order to allow the pancreas to rest and recover some beta cell function before achieving remission (i.e. becoming a diet-controlled diabetic). Treating any underlying illnesses and infections (dental issues being a common problem) can also help move a kitty back to better numbers. Some cats never achieve remission but can go on to live full and happy lives for many, many years as an insulin-dependent diabetic.

    According to one scientific study, the best remission rates are achieved by cats who, within 6 months of initial diagnosis, are treated with the longer-acting insulins, Lantus or Levemir, following the Tight Regulation Protocol. See the attached document below for further information. Prozinc is another long-lasting insulin used to treat feline diabetes but according to the study remission rates, while good, are not as high as for the 'L' insulins.

    As Janet recommends above, learning to home test your cat's BG will help you learn more about what's really going on with his blood sugar levels and it is the best way of keeping him safe and improving his regulation should he need insulin treatment.

    While there is the slightest suspicion that your cat is diabetic (and there is!) note that although your diet change trial is producing a reduction in PU/PD symptoms there is the possibility that his BG levels are still too high (home BG testing will tell you more) and he may actually need some insulin. During this time it is especially important that you regularly monitor your kitty's urine for the presence of ketones (using Ketostix, for example). Ketones can be produced when there is insufficient insulin in the body to support the proper use of glucose to provide energy for normal cell metabolic functions. If ketones show as anything higher than 'trace' it is a medical emergency and the cat needs to be taken to a vet straight away for treatment. If your cat shows any sign of nausea or poor appetite, check for ketones straight away (at home or at vets). Here are some helpful forum 'sticky' posts with further information:

    Are you testing your cat for ketones?

    Tips for collecting urine samples

    There is a wealth of Feline Diabetes educational material on this site (the main forum FAQ section is a good place to start reading) and we have cats here of all ages, shapes and sizes with all manner of backgrounds.

    In addition to the reading materials, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience in our member community. Any questions you have or any other help you need, just shout and we'll do all we can to help. :)


    Mogs
    .
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    Ashley A Catlover likes this.
  8. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Complete blood panels don't check fructosamine levels.....it's a special blood test that has to be ordered separately

    It probably included a glucose test, but that only tells you the level at the time the blood was drawn, which can be influenced by stress (up to 200 points!) as well as infection, pain, inflammation.

    The fructosamine test will tell you what the average blood glucose over the past 2-3 weeks has been....when he's been at home, not under a lot of vet stress and (hopefully) without the infection
     
  9. Ashley A Catlover

    Ashley A Catlover New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Thank you all for the very informative responses and links! I must report that as of today, Lahomay seems back to normal. Not drinking enormous amounts of water and not leaving enormous amounts of urine. He usually begs to go outside as soon as it gets dark (he knows) and lately he really shows no desire to go outside but it its also 18 degrees here, so that may be why. I totally understand that! I was concerned for a minute because two days went by and I only found urine clumps in his litter, no poop. The Vet said it was ok to mix a small amount of powdered laxative for humans in his food, but last night when I went to clean his box, there was poop. So no need for that. He acts hungry all the time, but that could be because ever since I have had him (from birth) I have only fed him wet food as a treat. Now that that is all I am giving him, he thinks he is getting treats all the time. I have read where some cats are dry food addicted. Not him. I do still plan on following up, however. I am just not able to financially until next week. I am keeping a close eye on him though and logging everything!
     
    Critter Mom and Chris & China like this.
  10. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Diet makes a big difference! Glad he's doing better.
     

Share This Page