Just diagnosed with ACRO...What to do next?

Discussion in 'Acromegaly / IAA / Cushings Cats' started by evakot, Oct 4, 2011.

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  1. evakot

    evakot Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    Hi All,

    I've been on the Lantus forum on and off for a year now, struggling with my cat's lack of response to insulin. I've been trying to convince my local vets to test him for Acro for close to a year, but they did not listen to me, because Big Kitty "doesn't have the physical traits of Acromegaly." Finally, I took my cat to a vet an hour away to South Carolina and he did send blood to MSU. I got the results today - IGF1= 405!

    So now my question is, what should I do next? What are the most important facts I need to know about acromegaly and its treatment? I feel so alone in this. My local vets have no clue about how to treat him, the vet in SC insists that we do a very costly brain scan (which from what I've gathered is not neccesary) and he insists about switching Big Kitty to W/D diet to prevent episodic pancreatitis which Big Kitty gets on the low carb diet.

    Please give me some guidance about how to go about treating Big Kitty. I will be switching to Levemir soon- at least the SC vet agreed to do this. My local vets "didn't feel comfortable."

    Thank you,

  2. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi Eva,
    Switching to levemir is the best first step.
    I sent you a pm to explain the switch %.... you will notice a much more smooth curve on Levemir, and you will be giving a lesser dose.
    Glad you got the test done.... just wondering if you got the test for IAA done as well?
  3. Punkyp

    Punkyp Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    HI Eva- Please please join the FB group specifically for ACROS.. it's very tailored info to our kitties very specific dosage requirements & issues. I have found it to be a million times more helpful than any veterinarian & literally the advice I got there today saved my cat's life & saved me hundreds of $$ in ER vet bills. Acro diabetes is totally different from regular diabetes & therefore managed differently. I'm sorry the vets were so dismissive- but at least you now have a definitive diagnosis & there is help available!

    The Facebook group is a closed group (membership by approval only) and is NOT sponsored by the website. In fact, I joined and was then "disinvited." Please don't use this website to solicit members for other websites. That is just rude.

    Thank you,
    Founder, FelineDiabetes.com & FDMB, 15 years of hard work and loyal supporters
  4. Dragonnns

    Dragonnns Member

    May 25, 2010
    Hi Eva,

    First thing to know is that your cat has a functioning pancreas. This means that it is indeed putting out insulin. However, the tumor in his brain (normally near or in the pituitary) is causing his body to put out something called Insulin Like Growth hormone. This hormone grabs on to the same receptors as insulin does. When the tumor output is higher than his pancreas, it appears as if Big Kitty has diabetes. However he doesn't (really). You will need to be more aggressive in upping his dose most likely and not allow him to go as low as a regular diabetic might.

    Next, know that whatever vet you are working with is unlikely to know much if anything about current treatments and dosing for an acro cat. If you have a good relationship with your vet and they trust you, you can help educate them. If not, you may be in a difficult situation and may need to change vets yet again. Worst case, you will need to find a vet that will get you insulin but you'll end up not consulting with him/her for anything. The word is getting out there about acromegaly but it is slow going.

    And last, know that those of us with acro kitties are dedicated to helping newly diagnosed acro cats and their moms/dads learn about the condition and become more comfortable with the decisions you'll make (that may differ greatly from what you'd do with a regular diabetic cat). Remember, you are NOT alone!
  5. Debbie and Bryce

    Debbie and Bryce Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Hi Eva -

    First, you are not alone -- you've found the right group who can absolutely help, and who understand. Things were a bit overwhelming for us at first. But after reading all the "stickey's", talking to other Acro mom's on this site, and getting great advice from Dr. Pierson (cat info.org), we have learned how to take care of our Dear Bryce. First and foremost was learning what she should be eating (low carb wet food diet), and finding the right team of vets and Specialists. We had a problem with our initial vet and had to find another one (which was a bit awkward), but there was no other choice. Sorry you had similar issues.

    Hang in there and know that there are some very caring and knowledgeable folks here who can help you. Please keep us posted on how things are going.

    Deb and Bryce
  6. Phoebe_TiggyGA_NortonGA

    Phoebe_TiggyGA_NortonGA Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    Welcome to the club that nobody wants to join, though it can be a relief to understand why your kitty doesn't fit the normal pattern.

    as far as what to do next...

    Is SRT in your budget? Stereotactic Radiation at Colorado State Univ is the best way to go if money is available. UC Davis in Calif is now doing it too.

    If not - we manage the diabetes symptoms as well as we can, treat symptoms as needed and manage pain if / when it occurs. Most acrokitties live several years after diagnosis, and the SRT is so new - the kitties are still creating the statistics and life expectancies. The first SRT study at CSU was 2-3 years ago.
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