Food choices with diabetes, pancreatitis and IBD

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Victoria123, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. Victoria123

    Victoria123 New Member

    Dec 30, 2020
    Hi everyone

    I’m new to the forum so apologies if this question is in the wrong place.

    My cat has had pancreatitis for nearly two years. If I’m being honest, I don’t think it’s been well controlled. He has had a few courses of anti biotics and steroids but it’s never really improved anything. I went to a specialist vet who has recommended a new medication which we are hoping to start soon. My cat also has inflammatory bowel disease. During the visit to the specialist vets, they recommended insulin as fasting blood glucose was 19, although fructosamine was normal. So we are getting him regulated on insulin now.

    So my question is about his diet. My vet has recommended Virbac food specifically for issues linked to his pancreatitis and IBD. However, it’s a biscuit with a 17.5% carb content. We have also found some high protein, low carb wet food (true instinct) and are feeling him a combination of the two. He’s getting around 60% of his calories from the wet food and 40% from the dry food. My question is what to do for the best with his food? He needs as much help as possible for his pancreatitis and IBD, but also with newly diagnosed diabetes, it kind of complicates things! Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

    thank you!
  2. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to FDMB!!

    It's quite curious that your cat's fructosamine was normal and the vet diagnosed diabetes. Cat's can experience "vet stress" -- their blood glucose levels become elevated at the vet's office. I'd strongly encourage you to home test your cat's blood glucose. If numbers are actually normal at home, giving insulin could cause your cat to become hypoglycemic. I'm guessing you're in Canada (?) given the test numbers. There's a thread from yesterday that discusses test materials in Canada that may be helpful.

    There really aren't any diets that are specific for pancreatitis. This is a link to our Primer on Pancreatitis that you might find helpful. The bigger issue may be the IBD. Most cats with IBD do best if fed a rotation of novel proteins. There are a number of canned foods that include novel protein and it's also best if you can avoid foods that contain any gums or carrageenan. Many of us with IBD cats feed a raw diet -- I make mine at home and use a pre-mix for all of the supplements so that it's a nutritionally balanced diet. If you are, in fact, in Canada, I don't know if the same food options are available. Let us know and we can tag some of our Canadian members who will know what is or isn't available.

    There's some information that would be helpful for us to know -- what insulin you're using is a big question. You may also want to look at this post on helping us to help you. It provides information on what to include in your signature (so we don't plague you with the same questions repeatedly) as well as how to set up a spreadsheet so. you can keep track of your cat's blood glucose test results.

    Please let us know how we can help.
    Critter Mom likes this.
  3. Victoria123

    Victoria123 New Member

    Dec 30, 2020
    Thanks for your reply. I’m from the U.K. so I know it may be that different foods aren’t available here as they are in the states or Canada.

    My cat is in Caninsulin. His urine glucose was 1000 and his blood glucose at the vets was 19. A couple of weeks later when we did a glucose curve at home, the first reading was 21, nadir was 12.9 and last reading (12 hours after first) was 26. Since increasing his insulin from one to two units twice a day, his nadir is 8.5. He’s only been in 2 units for a few days so it’s too early for a curve yet. He’s drinking around 600ml-700ml per day so I don’t think there is any question about him having diabetes.

    I want to try to make sure I’m feeding him the right food. I feel torn with my vet giving me digestive support biscuits, which may be right for his IBD and pancreatitis but obviously they aren’t right for his diabetes. I’m grateful of any advice with regards to diet considering we are trying to balance three conditions. Thanks.
  4. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Victoria,

    Welcome to you and your little fella. I'm sorry to hear he has pancreatitis and IBD. :( What's his name?

    Here's a helpful thread for where to source supplies in the UK. It also has a link to the UK low carb food list.

    I sincerely hope you'll be able to find something that agrees with your little one - it's such a difficult challenge with pancreatitis/IBD. :(

    Also, just in case you've not already come across it, has a lot of helpful info. I think they may also have a support group.

    Is it the Virbac 'Gastro' Digestive Support kibble?

    I'd really like to hear more about this when you have more details. Pancreatitis is an awful affliction and I very much welcome any chance to learn about anything that might help with it.

  5. Victoria123

    Victoria123 New Member

    Dec 30, 2020
    Hi Mogs

    Thanks for your reply. My little cat is called Ralphy.

    “Is it the Virbac 'Gastro' Digestive Support kibble?”

    yes, this is the one he has been told to have.

    “I'd really like to hear more about this when you have more details. Pancreatitis is an awful affliction and I very much welcome any chance to learn about anything that might help with it.”

    I’m not quite sure where to start with this. We first noticed an issue with him putting weight on and his fur looking tatty. He has always been a grader with food but we noticed he was just eating everything. His appetite has continued to be too good! He had some bloods done and the fur still hasn’t grown back (from June 2018). He doesn’t molt in the summer and hasn’t for two summers now. His fur is now very tatty and greasy as he hardly washes these days. He has had quite a lot of diarrhoea but these were the main issues early on. Over the past few months he’s started losing weight (he’s usually around 4.8kg, had gone up to 5.5kg and it took ages for us to try to get his weight down but he was around 4.6kg this summer which was fine but has now dropped to around 4.1kg despite us feeding him more than he should have). He has also been getting grumpier with us in terms of not wanting attention. His blood glucose was normal this summer. In September it was 11, but that seemed ok as it was taken at the vets. In November it was 15 and 19 at two different vets visits and urine glucose was 1000. Since starting on insulin he hasn’t been quite as hungry. He isn’t waking us at 6am for food and although he generally eats breakfast all in one go, he is now grazing on his afternoon meal and eats most of his evening meal in one go, but sometimes leaves a little until a bit later. This is certainly an improvement. He is very bloated at the moment and I really feel his pancreatitis/IBD are flairing up again. We saw an internal medicines specialist who recommended Atopica but due to getting him started on insulin, we haven’t started the Atopica yet. I’m seeing my vet at the weekend and plan on asking to start that. I understand why it’s important to treat the diabetes but he’s very uncomfortable now due to his stomach and I feel we also need to get that under control.

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