New to the group....Type 1 diabetic cat....could use insight

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Jill Roberts, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Jill Roberts

    Jill Roberts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Hello all! I wanted to say that I have appreciated your information over the years since we got this cat almost three years ago. He was diagnosed at 7 months of age. No vet has ever seen this and no one seems to understand how to treat it. This does not work like Type 2. He is very underweight in spite of eating so much more than all the other cats. He soils outside the box. I took him to a new vet only because I needed new insulin. The vet actually told me to feed him all he would want because he's underweight. I was shaking my head. They did a curve on him and his fasting a.m. blood sugar was about 378. By 4 pm it was 40. The vet actually told me he was comfortable with a blood sugar well over 300. Can you believe that? I know that tight control is the way to go. I simply don't know what to do. I cannot keep weight on this cat. The vet I had before just said give him two units twice a day. He won't eat the DM formulas which I think is garbage anyway, and while he did great on the classic Fancy Feast he isn't doing well anymore. This is not a healthy cat. I think I am going to make his food via Dr. Pierson's advice. Does anyone know if she even does consults anymore? I would appreciate any advice you have. Thank you.
     
  2. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Hello and welcome!

    What kind of insulin are you using? Do you home test your cat's blood glucose, or are numbers only from the vet visit? If he's going from 378 to 40, that tells me that the amount of insulin may need to be adjusted, and the best way to do that safely is to test at home.

    I also actually agree with the vet about feeding an underweight cat, especially one that is a poorly-controlled diabetic. Good job ditching the DM (it's OK, but not worth the $$ in most cases). I don't have experience with homemade food, but others on here do.
     
  3. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Welcome! I also agree with feeding him as much as he wants. The AAHA guidelines say feeding four time is ideal, and free-feeding is fine for an underweight cat. I have been having success with Weruva Chicken Frick A' Zee. I do not know if you have tried things other than the Fancy Feast. I make bone broth for my girls and add a small amount to each meal. They eat more when that is added. I also make chicken breast for them. I used to give it to them a lot more than I do now; since moving to the Weruva, I have had to do less enticing to get them to eat enough.

    Catinfo.org says that Dr Pierson does phone/Skype consults. Here is the form you have to submit to request one: http://catinfo.org/contact-catinfo/#contact
     
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  4. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Jill,

    I've seen posts by one member here whose kitty, Michelangelo, was diagnosed diabetic when he was a baby and, IIRC, she faced certain unusual treatment challenges. I believe that when she changed his insulin to Levemir he did much better. Try doing a forum search for posts by member @KPassa. (It may require a lot of digging but you may find information in Kay's posts to help you and your little one.)

    It can be trickier to regulate an underweight cat because of wide swings like this because the body doesn't have the usual reserves to increase blood glucose levels if needed. The low drops can make it more difficult to find a dose that keeps the kitty regulated but which doesn't also make it drop too low. I've seen advice from some very experienced members here that low- or ultra-low-carb diets can make getting enough insulin into an underweight kitty more difficult. Member @Marje and Gracie recently suggested that feeding a diet closer to the 10% calories from carbs mark may be better for a particular underweight kitty who had similar BG swings to your little one. Member @Meya14 has also posted here that it can be easier for a kitty with a little more carbs in their diet to be able to more safely receive sufficient insulin for their needs and, due to the way that they're metabolised, the additional carbs may help a kitty to regain weight a bit faster.

    As with others above, I agree with the second vet's advice about feeding: the general recommendation is not to restrict access to food (with the exception of the 2-hour period immediately prior to each preshot BG test) if a cat is underweight and not yet well-regulated.

    Question: I see the vets performed the latest curve. Do you monitor your kitty's blood glucose levels at home at all? If yes, can you please let us know how frequently you test and when (preshot / mid-cycle tests?).

    Is there any weakness in his legs? For example: does not jump up onto things as much as before, or is hesitant about it; seems even slightly 'flat-footed'; walking on hocks (more noticeable with hind legs).

    If yes to any of the above, then diabetic neuropathy may be the issue (although inappropriate elimination may happen when a cat is just running in high numbers). Neuropathy improves with better regulation and also dietary supplementation with a diabetic-friendly B12 methylcobalamin supplement, e.g. Zobaline (available online). I've made this suggestion because we do see cats with neuropathy here who have problems with inappropriate elimination - even when neuropathy symptoms are relatively mild and hard to spot unless one is actually looking for them - but the behaviour goes away when regulation improves and the neuropathy resolves. Tip: if you're not already using them, puppy pads can be a godsend in situations like this.

    Sadly, yes. Hence FDMB.


    Mogs
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  5. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Did a wee dig for you:

    Early FDMB post by KPassa about Juvenile Diabetes

    (Based on date and content of the post it appears Kay joined FDMB in the autumn of 2012. Knowing this approximate join date might help you with your forum searches.)

    Michelangelo's Profile (complete with history prior to his Dx at just 6 months of age).

    Link to Mikey's BG Spreadsheet (BG test results dating from 2012 right the way through to 2017.)

    Mikey was originally treated with Lantus. I do recall Kay posting here that he was a much happier camper after she switched him to Levemir (can't remember the specifics).

    FYI, The links to Mikey's Profile and Spreadsheet are in the signature line that appears beneath all of KPassa's forum posts. (Note: You may need to set up a Google account in order to view these and other members' spreadsheets here on FDMB.)


    Mogs
    .
     
  6. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014

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