Showing Diabetic Symptoms

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Lauren Maenle, Aug 11, 2018.

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  1. Lauren Maenle

    Lauren Maenle New Member

    Aug 11, 2018
    Hello, my name is Lauren and this is my first post here.

    My female cat named Charlie is about 8 years old and has been showing diabetic symptoms for over a year. Losing a significant amount of weight, drinking constantly, peeing excessively, and possible stiffness in her hind legs as she stretches them out after laying down for a while. I believe she weighs around 7-8 pounds.

    I have not been able to take her to the vet because my parents say we can't afford it and that they'll just tell us what we already know, that we'll have to put her down. We have ignored it for so long because she has shown no signs of discomfort. I feel helpless because I'm not able to drive yet and haven't saved up enough money to pay for a vet visit and blood work. I was just wondering if anyone would have any suggestions as where to ever start. I don't want to make her subject to suffering just because I don't want to lose her. Anything would be helpful. Thank you.
  2. Lillie

    Lillie Member

    Mar 10, 2017
    Without seeing a vet or actually testing your cat for diabetes it would be hard to give advice. Only thing I can think of is trying a low carb canned food to see if it somehow makes any difference in her health. These symptoms could also be a thyroid issue and possibly kidney problems but would be hard to make a conjecture without any testing. Are there any vets in your area that would take a payment plan?
  3. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2017
    Hi, Lauren. High-protein, low-carb wet food is best for her even is she is not diabetic. So, if that is not what you are feeding her already, you could start. She really needs to be taken to a vet to find out what is wrong with her. You do not have to put a cat down just because they have diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Both can be treated, and they can go on to live long, happy lives. If there is no way to get her to a vet (even with a payment plan or Care Credit), could you get a cheap human glucose meter at Wal-Mart and test her glucose at home? If you could do some tests at home, you could see if her glucose is really high or not.

    It is sweet that you are reaching out to try and figure out how to help her even though your parents say you cannot take her to the vet. Please know though that if she really does have diabetes and is not given the needed treatment, it will mean a painful decline for her. So, if there is any way you can find out for sure and get her on insulin, if she needs it, it would be the best thing for her.
  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    So sorry your parents are not being responsible pretty owners. Diabetes is not a Death sentence and cats can live long healthy lives with it when treated. :(. Some things you can do.

    1. Stop all dry food. Feed only pate... No gravy. Friskies makes inexpensive cans. Add extra water to the food.

    2. Get a meter and test at home. If you know a diabetic then ask to borrow a meter. Our you can get one at Walmart.

    Go to Walmart and get
    1. Relion micro or confirm meter ($16)
    2. Extra test strips ($36 for 100 $20 for 50)
    3. Box of 100 26 or 28 gauge lancets ( $3)

    If you test at home at least you will know if it's high blood sugar. Normal on a human meter is 50-120. I have a video in my signature showing how I test my cat CC at home.

    While the initial vet visit for the diagnosis of diabetes is expensive, and laying out money for the supplies adds up, if your do the testing at home it eliminates the need to go to the vet for additional tests. Some insulins are inexpensive. Vetsulin is about $50 but a vial could last 4 months. Syringes you get online $14 for 100 of them. That lasts 50 days. You won't run out of everything at once.

    In addition, if your family is low income and qualifies for assistance, the DCIN (DIABETIC CATS IN NEED) organization may be able to help financially.
    Tanya and Ducia and JeanW like this.
  5. JeanW

    JeanW Member

    Jul 24, 2017
    Hi Lauren - I am so sorry your parents aren't willing to help properly care for Charlie. You've gotten good advice and suggestions here.

    Another thing you might check into - many humane societies offer low/no cost clinic visits and maybe that's something you could do so that Charlie can be tested to find out for sure if it is diabetes - and, if so, to get a prescription for insulin. As @FurBabiesMama said, if she does have diabetes and is not treated, it will be a really painful time for her.

    Here is the link - DCIN - @Chris & China may be able to help you make connection with them.

    Keep us posted on how you do.
  6. Butterball

    Butterball Member

    Feb 2, 2018
    There is absolutely no reason to put down a diabetic cat. Diabetes is not a death sentence.

    The symptoms you describe are signs of either diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is more common in older cats and usually shows up at 13 years. Both of them can only be diagnosed with a blood test. While you can check the cat’s BG with human meters, only the vet and a lab can do a proper hyperthyroidism test. So you need to get your cat to the vet any way you can. Try asking other family members or friends for help and call all your local vets to see which one has the best price for a blood screening

    In the meantime I agree with the suggestions to get your cat on s wet canned diet with the fewest carbs possible. If he’s diabetic this should help is blood glucose levels (some cats can go into remission-normal BG levels- with a diet change alone). No matter what is wrong with him, wet food will help him stay hydrated after his frequent urination and probably give him more protein than dry food will.
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