So your cat's a diabetic...

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Red'sMomHeather, Jan 12, 2015.

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  1. Red'sMomHeather

    Red'sMomHeather Member

    Jan 10, 2015
    Hi everyone. My name's Heather, 31 y/o living in Sarnia Ontario with my 8.5 y/o male orange tabby named Red who currently weighs 19.0 lbs (down from 23.7 lbs at the beginning of October {changed to a "diet food" but also from the diabetes??}). Red was diagnosed as a diabetic one week ago after being lethargic and anorexic for a couple of days. Ashamed to say I didn't notice his skin was jaundiced. He was also quite dehydrated. According to the vet the jaundice/liver problems are probably, though not necessarily just secondary to the diabetes and will resolve once his blood glucose stabilizes.
    He was in the vets for three days on IV fluids, eating on his own but not much. His glucose came down from 25 to below 15 to 11 when I brought him home 3 days ago. I believe they started at 1 unit caninsulin 2x a day but eventually increased to 3 units 2x a day.
    Since being home he has barely eaten on his own but is drinking and looking much more vibrant than when I first brought him home.
    This evening I brought him back to the vets to test his blood glucose and it was 3.9. The vet thought that was ok but that he needed to eat. He told me 6-10 was ideal.
    The food I was given by the vet is medi-cal diabetic dry, some royal canin diabetic morsels in gravy, and purina DM pate (so far he's really only eating the pate). I've been mixing it with water and feeding it to him through a syringe. I've been feeding him (taking roughly 15 min for 1/4 of a can) then going him the injection.
    He's also on medication for his liver. I'm giving him one tablet of Zentonil every morning on an empty stomach.
    I've gone to school for vet tech but have yet to work as a tech and have no experience and only rudimentary knowledge (aka no real working knowledge) of diabetes in cats so while some of this is not as overwhelming as it might be for others ( injections are a breeze, thankfully!) I'm still very overwhelmed about this new situation and worried for his overall health. The newest worry was today when the vet mentioned something about a possible pancreatic tumor (OK, that came out of nowhere. Are we testing for this??) I was confused for a moment thinking he meant liver and therefore didn't ask what he meant by that and now I think I'll wait until I bring him in again in 4 days to ask the other vet who seems a little easier to talk to.
    I realize that may have been a bit much information (or perhaps not enough...) but thank you in advance for any help and support!!
  2. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB, the best place you never wanted to be.

    We strongly advocate home glucose testing, as the levels may increase 5.5 - 10 mmol (100-180 mg/dL ) from vet stress alone.
    You'll want to pick up an inexpensive, human glucometer (the pet meters are pricey and the test strips will ruin your budget!) that doesn't have 'Free' in the name (they seem not to work as well in cats) and use the reference numbers in my signature link Glucometer Notes to help you interpret what they may mean.

    We find that low carb, over the counter canned food is perfectly suitable for feeding diabetic cats. See Cat Info for a veterinarian's perspective on what we feed our obligate carnivores.

    For insulin, ProZinc and BCP PZI are non-depot insulins which can work well in cats, and Lantus and Levemir are depot insulins which can work very well at controlling the glucose levels due to their slight overlap effects between doses.
  3. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    From the Merck Veterinary Manual " In cats, recent evidence has supported the use of high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets." and " In newly diagnosed cats, insulin glargine is the insulin of choice." and "NPH, lente, or PZI insulins may also be used in cats, with starting dosages ranging from 1 to 3 units, bid. However, these insulins are not associated with high rates of diabetic remission."

    AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats
  4. Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2015
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