New Member 1/14/20 - Diabetic Cat Not Gaining Weight

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by OldBlackCat, Jan 14, 2020 at 11:02 PM.

  1. OldBlackCat

    OldBlackCat New Member

    Joined:
    Tuesday
    Hey everyone, I just found this site today and am hoping I can get some better help/guidance than what my vet is doing. To try and keep this from becoming a wall of text, I'll just put some bullet points of background info that might be useful information:

    -15-year-old cat grew up chubby but lost a lot of weight after disappearing for a month; couldn't get him to gain weight. He looks like a walking skeleton and it kills me to see him in this state...
    -Vet diagnosed him with diabetes some months ago and put him on Vetsulin. He was on 3 units for a while, but the vet recently upped his dosage
    -He's on Hills W/D dry food. He doesn't care for wet food and usually licks up the gravy and won't touch the food itself unless it's his only option.
    -Other than making sure he eats when he's given his injection, his food is just placed out for him to eat as he pleases
    -Despite getting him a cat water fountain that he really seems to like, the vet is still saying he's dehydrated
    -I'm a college student living away from home and can't bring my cat with me, so he's being cared for by my busy family members. They're doing what they can, but that unfortunately does not include monitoring his glucose levels from home.

    At this point, I'm convinced we need to get him on some kind of high-calorie wet food diet, but the vet seems to think the Hills W/D dry food is enough. Should I ask for the wet food version of the Hills W/D, get non-prescription wet food, or use a home-made food recipe? Additionally, should I consider getting him a weight gain supplement like Doc Roy's Forti Cal? He doesn't chew his food anymore, and one of his fangs fell out the other day, so I'm thinking he's going to need food that's very soft/liquid. Suggestions?
     
  2. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    W/D food is generally given to fat cats that need to lose weight, it's full name is digestive/weight management. It's not a food even designed for diabetes. Diabetics should get low carb wet or raw food. If he has to eat dry food, there are lower carb dry foods out there. However, and this is the big one, i would not change his diet until he is being home tested. Changing to lower carb food can hugely impact the size of dose needed. We have had many cats go into remission when changed to low carb wet or raw from dry food.

    Cats aren't great water drinkers, they are originally desert animals. You might want to read Dr. Lisa Pierson's website on feline nutrition. The blue is a link. Wet food ia one way of getting more water into him.

    Sounds like you kitty might need a dental if he had a tooth fall out. Infections or inflammation in the mouth can make it hard to get a cat regulated. And he'll have an easier time eating with a healthy mouth.
     
  3. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Any chance you can get your family to join this site?

    Please have them try other wet foods. Most here feed fancy feast classic or Friskies pate foods. No gravy. What they need are foods under 10 percent carb. The w/d food is 25%carb and not intended for diabetics or cats trying to gain weight. The vet does not know what he's doing. I strongly suggest your family seek out a different vet. But as stated above the dose is going to need to be lowered when switching to a diabetic appropriate diet.
     
  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Any chance you could get your family to join us here?
     
  5. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    The W/d canned food is 25-26% carbs. The W/d dry food is 37% carbs.
     
    JanetNJ likes this.
  6. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi and welcome to the message board. Would you introduce yourself and your cat please?

    My name is Deb and my diabetic cat was Wink.

    The 3 basics of feline diabetic treatment are 1. cat appropriate insulin 2. low carb food <12% with adequate protein 3. home testing.

    With your vet putting your cat on a food for weight loss, it's no surprise he can't gain any weight.

    The Doc Roy's Forti Cal you mentioned has glucose as the 4th ingredient. Not a good choice for a diabetic cat who already has too much blood glucose.

    Without home testing, it can be very dangerous to change the food, because the lower calorie food could cause hypoglycemia. Catch-22. A conundrum. Not sure how you would do the food change without getting your family on board to do the testing.

    Dry food is only 10% water content. Even with the water fountain, he's not drinking enough. Dehydration can have serious side effects in a cat. Diabetic cats are usually very thirsty, because the excess glucose is filtered out of the blood, dumped in the urine and they pee a lot. Pee puddles in the litter box the size of a large fist.

    Is your cat getting sub-q fluids for the dehydration?
     
  7. OldBlackCat

    OldBlackCat New Member

    Joined:
    Tuesday
    Hi everyone! Thank you for all of your responses, I've talked with my family and we're getting ready to make readjustments. I'm ordering a glucose monitor for him and will get some sample flavors of the Fancy Feast and Friskies to try out for him once we get home testing implemented. We've found a few potential options for new vets, so hopefully we'll get someone better to help us with his food transition/potential dental problems. I've also given my family the links to this site and Dr. Lisa's site so we're all on the same page on what to do.

    To answer your questions Deb, the vet did give him sub-q fluids. I'm not too keen on giving my name out online, but my cat is oh-so-cleverly named Kitty! (7-year-old me was awful at naming animals...)
     
  8. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Good the vet gave him some sub-q fluids for the dehydration. Easy to learn how to do at home if needed.

    No worries. You can go by the nom de plume of your user name. I simply like having a first name to call you by. OldBlackCat it is.
     
  9. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Huzzah for your family getting on board! It can seem overwhelming at first, but one quickly gets into a routine when helping a diabetic kitty. You've already got great advice from the board. I couldn't believe your vet put an underweight cat on diet cat food. Unfortunately, like many people doctors, many vets are not nutritionists. I'm so glad you found your way to this site! My Billy was diagnosed Jan 28th, and I would have lost him on day five if it wasn't for the awesome folks and information here. Now it's day 17, and Billy is feeling good and doing great. You can get your Kitty feeling better too.

    I wanted to give you some advice about the canned food, since Kitty needs to gain weight. The Fancy Feast Naturals look good to owners of diabetic cats, but a can only has around 45 calories, so not a great choice for Kitty. Now, the FF classic pates run around 90 calories (depending on the flavor) And the FF flaked varieties run 80-100 calories (depending on flavor.) Those might be a good place to start. And Wendy is right about waiting to change the diet until you are home testing. This is the advice that saved Billy's life. If I hadn't been home testing, I would have given Bill 2 units of insulin when his BGL was only 52. The low carb wet food diet can make a huge difference for diabetic cats and give them a good chance at remission. But you have to make changes slowly and keep an eye on those blood glucose levels.

    There's also a supplement called Carnivore Care. High protein, easy to digest, mostly made of eggs I think. It's meant for cats who are having trouble eating. It has a big bunch of calories in a small amount of stuff. You might look into it. You could add a spoonful to Kitty's food, and a little water, to increase the calorie content. There's no sugar and no carbs in it, so it should be all right for a diabetic cat. I used it when I had a sick ferret that needed to be force fed until it felt better, and it really helped.

    There's also a great document on how to transition a kibble addict to wet food here. It might help you get Kitty to kick the dry food habit. That will help with her dehydration and her diabetes.

    And last but not least, you are awesome for taking such good care of Kitty, and your family is awesome for stepping up to help.
     
  10. Panic

    Panic Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Just want to throw out there since it hasn't been mentioned but you're not going to be seeing weight gain until Kitty is on a proper insulin dose. Right now his blood sugar is out of wack and food isn't being processed correctly due to the inadequate amount of insulin. I know it's everyone's initial focus to put the pounds back on before working towards regulating blood sugar but it's going to happen the other way around. Obviously get some extra calories in him but don't neglect the blood sugar numbers! :)
     
    Juls and Billy likes this.

Share This Page