My cat is a medical mystery - anyone else have a cat like this?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by shannonthecatlady, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. shannonthecatlady

    shannonthecatlady New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Hi, I'm Shannon and I have a cat named Dobby (named after the character from the tv series "Peep Show", not Harry Potter, everyone always asks lol). According to my vet, Dobby is a bit of a medical mystery, and I'm really curious if anyone has heard about anything like this.

    I adopted Dobby when she was 4 months old. She seemed like a very normal, healthy kitten, even on track to be a very large cat according to her first vet. I did notice from day 1 she had a ravenous appetite, but I hadn't had a kitten since childhood and I didn't remember what was normal for a kitten to eat - I just figured it was because she was growing. Then when she was closer to a year old I noticed her drinking increased drastically - I'd put down a bowl of water and it would be gone in a matter of hours - and with that her urination increased. Then her weight plummetted. I took her to the vet, and when I mentioned concern about diabetes (my family dog had been diagnosed with diabetes a few years before so I knew the symptoms) he basically shrugged it off and said she was too young. She kept getting sicker over the next few weeks, so I took her to a second vet. That vet tested her blood sugar - boom, we had a diabetes diagnosis. Due to her age and the fact she was so skinny, I was told it was type 1.

    So with that she was put on insulin, and things continued on pretty normally from there. Her weight bounced back quickly, her energy levels got back to normal, everything seemed good. She did end up needing nearly all her teeth pulled a few years ago, which the vet said was likely due to her diabetes, but otherwise she was a happy, normal cat.

    Then last year, right before she turned 7, I was getting ready to go on a day trip and was just getting ready to feed Dobby before heading out. Normally when she hears me walk toward the kitchen in the morning she darts after me, but this time she was nowhere to be found. I looked around for her, and found her huddled under her cat tree, in the far corner of the room, just looking absolutely terrified and disoriented. Nothing had happened, she'd been fine 5 minutes before. So I cancelled my plans, called the vet and they told me to bring her in right away.

    The first thing he did of course was check her blood sugar. Now keep in mind I hadn't given her insulin in about 15 hours at that point, so if anything it should have been high, but it was low, VERY low. Otherwise she was fine, no issues with her organs and her bloodwork came back normal. My vet told me to keep her off insulin for 3 days and I'd bring her back in that 3rd day for a checkup.

    After 3 days her blood sugar was completely normal. So he told me to keep her off insulin unless I noticed major issues. Its been 9 months since then, she just had a vet appointment the other day, and her blood sugar is still in the normal range. She's in remission.

    That was when the vet told me how bizarre her whole case was. He said he's actually mentioned it to a few other vet friends and they find it equally as weird. Type 1 diabetics aren't supposed to go into remission. Everything about her case screams type 1 diabetes, except for the fact that she just decided not to be diabetic anymore.

    Does anyone have a cat like this? I know my cat is weird, I just didn't realize she was a medical marvel. :p
     
  2. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Either Dobby went HYPO which doesn't make any sense or it was something neurological but then there should have been lasting symptoms. Could she have fallen or bonked her head that day? Anything else in the house like a dog or other cats?
     
  3. shannonthecatlady

    shannonthecatlady New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    It's not impossible that she bonked her head, but I live in a very small apartment so I feel like I would have seen or heard her if she did that. No other animals in the apartment, it's just me and her. The only thing weird about that day was that I was up earlier than normal and it was clear to her I was getting ready to leave - she has a bit of separation anxiety, so at first I figured that was what it was. Normally when she can tell I'm heading out though she gets really clingy, she won't run away. It definitely seemed like something medically was up with her, I don't think she was just upset.
     
  4. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    So we can rule out all the things that happen here, falling off stair rails and tipping over things in the basement. We had a dog with severe separation anxiety and it didn't look like what you described. She also freaked at loud noises, thunder and fireworks but bad enough we gave her Valium.
    Anything else from me is just a guess. You'll get more replies through the day and after people get home tonight.
     
  5. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    My best guess is that Dobby always had type 2 diabetes. Vets don't really do tests to decide which type a cat has. Since Dobby was so young, they assumed it was type 1. But Dobby's pancreas obviously healed, and that doesn't happen with type 1. Consider humans for a moment. It used to be when a child got diabetes, it was always type one. That was such a big thing that they used to call type 1 "child onset diabetes." Now, there are very young children who get type 2, and doctors have learned not to make assumptions based on age. The thing with vets is that some types of tests are just so cost prohibited, they end up making a diagnosis based on their best guess considering what information they do have to work with. It's not a perfect system, but it's the best they can do.
     
  6. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Sometimes pragmatism rules. Regardless of the why, you have a cat that's in remission. It didn't sound like you were home testing, so there's no way to know if Dobby had a symptomatic hypoglycemic episode. For some cats, hypoglycemic can kick start their pancreas.

    My words of advice to you are to make sure you're feeding your kitty a low carb (below 10% and preferably much lower) diet. A diabetic cat once in remission is still diabetic -- the cat is now a diet controlled diabetic. (See the link to the food charts at the top of the board.)
     
    jt and trouble (GA) likes this.

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