? Diabetic cat will not put on weight.

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Brulee, Feb 8, 2018.

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  1. Brulee

    Brulee New Member

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    Feb 8, 2018
    I wanted to thank everyone who takes the time to read this post and gives any advice/info.

    Out 9 year old Male Neutered Cat, Brulee, was diagnosed with diabetes around 2 years ago. He has lived with it managed well, but had a hypoglycemic incident while the caretaker gave him insulin after he had vomited. We have tried adding food to his diet, but he is just skin and bones at this point and have heard multiple diagnosis from multiple vets.

    We had a T4 test taken that showed his thyroid levels were a little low. We thought that was strange because low thyroid levels normally lead to weight gain rather than loss, but is showing all other clinical signs of hypothyroidism.

    After this, we went to a separate vet for a second opinion who though the problem may have been Endocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. After another panel of blood work, the test came back that he was not experiencing anything out of the ordinary with his pancreas (other than diabetes). We placed him on some B12 vitamins and a digestive enzyme to possibly help with malabsorption, but he does not seem to be putting on any weight for as much as we feed him. He is also quite ravenous. He will begin to meow an hour before we feed him and eat all of his food within a matter of minutes.

    we have done home testing and his glucose drops to a low of about 240 before beginining to climb back up before eating again.
     
  2. Brulee

    Brulee New Member

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    Feb 8, 2018
    We feed him 1 can of Purina DM wet food with digestive enzymes and 1/4 cup of Glycobalance dry food twice per day. While also giving him his B12 vitamins once at night.

    Does anyone have any suggestions to help him gain weight?
     
  3. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Is this with a human meter? That is pretty high to be the lowest number during a cycle. Could it be that his glucose just needs to be more controlled?

    Has he had a recent urinalysis and was there glucose in it?
     
  4. Sylvie

    Sylvie Member

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    Sep 26, 2017
    my cat didn't start gaining his weight back steadily until after he was under 200 all the time.
    am no expert but, sounds like your cat needs a tad bit more insulin to me to get him under 200.
     
  5. Brulee

    Brulee New Member

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    Feb 8, 2018
    We have not had a urinalysis done. Would upping his insulin by 1 unit per feeding help to control his glucose?
     
  6. Sylvie

    Sylvie Member

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    Sep 26, 2017
    what insulin are you using?? and no it is not adviced that we up by 1 unit, best to up by 1/4-1/2 unit (.25 / .50) only and after 7 days if low BG is still over 200, up another 1/4 if needed..
     
  7. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    What kind of insulin and what dose is he currently getting? You may want to set up a signature with that type of info so you do not get asked repeatedly. The best way to determine the appropriate dose is with home testing data. You mentioned that you do home testing. It would be helpful if you set up a spreadsheet with your testing results. For anyone here to be able to offer any dosing input, there would need to be data. Ideally, you should test before each shot (withhold food for two hours before this test) and get mid-cycle tests as you can. When there are dosing increases, they normally should not be as much as a whole unit.

    You said he has lived with it 'managed well' for two years. May I ask how that has been determined/monitored? Have you done ongoing home testing or have you taken him to the vet for curves or fructosamines?
     
  8. Brulee

    Brulee New Member

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    Feb 8, 2018
    We are currently using Vetsulin 40U/mL.

    We have been doing home testing and have taken him to the Vet for curves during his boarding. His levels seemed high, but I was unsure if this would be a reason that he would not be gaining weight.
     
  9. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    What is the dose? I do not think you meant 40u as the dose.

    Uncontrolled diabetes will absolutely cause weight loss. Their bodies cannot properly use glucose, so they are basically starving.
     
  10. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

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    Dec 12, 2016
    I wouldn't limit his access to food. He needs extra calories to put on weight.

    What is the carb content of those foods?
     
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  11. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Purina DM wet is not too bad; it's 6% carbs. I think the Glycobalance is pretty high.. as in maybe a carb percentage in the upper 20s.
     
  12. Brulee

    Brulee New Member

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    Feb 8, 2018
    His dose is 3 Units twice per day.
     
  13. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

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    Dec 12, 2016
    That may be the reason that his numbers are keeping above the 200 range. Have you thought of getting Young Again or Dr. Elsey dry food - they are lower carb.

    Again I would give him as much food as he wants to eat. Maybe incorporate some higher protein food with same higher calorie kick - amazingly enough Fancy Feast is quite good for that, Wellness is another one, Rawz if you can find it.
     
  14. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 26, 2015
    I would not suggest raising his insulin dose just yet. I would drop the Glycobalance from his diet (it's 30-plus % carbs!), feed only canned food under 10% carbs, and monitor very closely (watch for hypoglycemia). I would feed him as much as he wants; since his body cannot properly utilize the nutrients from his food, he is basically starving and will be hungry all the time. Once his diabetes is better-regulated, he will put on weight and stop being hungry all the time, barring other complications.

    There is a very basic formula for determining how many calories a cat needs, based on weight (or desired weight):

    (current weight [or desired weight] x 13.5) + 70 = number of calories needed

    Thisis really just a rough estimate and needs tro be adjusted for each cat, but it gives you a starting point, at least.

    It helps to feed small meals several times a day, rather than one or two larger meals each day; easier for the tummy and the pancreas to handle, and a good way to get some extra calories in! :) :cat:

    ETA: 3U of Vetsulin twice daily is a pretty high dose, so please do monitor very closely if you take him off the high-carb foods. You may actually need to make a dose reduction, depending on how the lower-carb diet affects his glucose levels.

    I would also suggest checking his urine for ketones, until he is better-regulated. Always a good idea to keep a watch on ketones! :) :cat: :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  15. Brulee

    Brulee New Member

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    Feb 8, 2018
    Thank you for all of the replies and suggestions!

    We have stopped his Glycobalance and will only be going with cans from here on out and taking his glucose readings over the weekend.
     
    Tracey&Jones likes this.
  16. StephG

    StephG Well-Known Member

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    Sep 8, 2016
    My cat took 7 months to gain 2 pounds. Young again mature zero really helped him put on weight. We were feeding him 2 5.5oz cans a day plus another oz of fancy feast for a snack and 2 tablespoons of young again, sometimes 4 tablespoons... He was 9 pounds when we started insulin and is now maintaining 12.5 pounds on 2 5.5oz cans plus 1oz ff a day. (1 year 5 months on insulin).
     
    Kris & Teasel likes this.
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