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Help for my beloved Atticus

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We are the proud pet humans of a wonderful cat named Atticus . He is a large, Maine Coon and has been with us for almost 9 years. Recently, he was diagnosed with Diabetes. He is somewhat overweight (about 18 lbs.). However, as I understand it, these cats are supposed to get pretty large. He is not disproportionately obese either; he is stodgy and very muscular.

He is taking medication for the Diabetes and we are monitoring his caloric intake. However, lately, he winces when we pick him up; he has never really liked being held, but now he winces as if he is in pain.

Also, he is consuming more water; we expect this with the Diabetes, however, when he urinates, it's almost as if he continues to "leak" after he is done. Is this incontinence a result of the Diabetes or could he have a secondary UTI (urinary tract infection) that is causing this. His stench is fairly strong, but it does not smell like anything other than urine.

When we take him to our Vet, which tests should we have him do? We trust our Vet to a point, but he is in business and has no incentive to help educate us. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to do our homework. We think he has been diagnosed in time; we don't think it is renal failure since he has not lost his appetite nor has he lost weight. We are not observing blood in his stools or urine.

Any help you all can provide is most appreciated. We thank you in advance of your replies.

God Bless
post #2 of 11
Welcome to TCS!!! I also have a Maine Coon that I love dearly, KittenKiya and he is 18 pounds or so. They do have a tendency to be BIG cats, so I don't think Atticus would be overweight by much.

What is the medication the vet is giving, please? By the way, how do you test for blood sugar? That can't be fun. Most humans, when they have diabetes, also drink a lot of water. So long as he is urinating, at least kidney problmes are not a worry right now.

One of the mods should be along soon to give you some links to help you with your education and while you are waiting, you can use your address bar and type in Feline Diabetes and follow some of the links there. You can also use the medication name in your address bar to get more information on the medication, it's usage and side effects if any. You can also search for tests to help with the complete diagnosis.

I am assuming that the vet will run blood tests and urine tests, but I am not knowledgible in the diabetes area. I personally think that you will get more information on the web.

You will find this site, TCS, most helpful along with many willing ears and shoulders if you need them. Welcoming headbuts and we'll fiind a way to help you licks from KittenKiya's Clan.
post #3 of 11
I haven't had experience with diabetes in cats but I think like with humans when they are first diagnosed it could take time to get the medication right. To be on the safe side I would have him checked for a UTI. I don't think 18 pounds is especially large for a Maine Coon and the build you described is normal for the breed. I work with someone who has a 19 year old cat with diabetes. They have managed it in him for a number of years.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi there:

Thanks for your informative reply. The medication he is currently taking is Glipizide. The Vet informed us that while on the medication, it was best to see how he would do without the special Diabetic Cat Food formula (he urged us not to combine it with the medicine at first). Instead, we limit his feedings throughout the day.

He seems fine, but as I said previously, he is leaking urine on our bed. We have since bought a waterproof mattress cover and we are making necessary adjustments (cleaning more often, etc.).

Would a UTI cause this leaking? He's not spraying and I can tell that he is almost embarrassed when he does leak b/c he knows it smells bad. He goes under the bed and if I try to pet him he growls and turns away. After a while, he comes out and is back to his old self again. It's amazing how very sentient he is.

Is there anything that can be done about his incontinence? He's not marking; I don't think it is a behavioral issue. Is there something OTC we can give him prior to taking him to see the Vet? We just washed the sheets yesterday and returned from errands today to find that he'd been up there and stained them yet again.

thanks in advance of your reply
post #5 of 11
Yes UTI s can cause leaking and or peeing outside of the box...

PLEASE take kitty to the VET ASAP.... UTI s can be very dangerous and I wouldnt take any chances with a already immune suppressed kitty
post #6 of 11
Yep, you need to talk to your vet. I would be very concerned not only with the urine staining but the reaction that you mentioned.....growling and hiding. In my opinion, that smacks of something hurting. Best to check it out.

Let us know how he does.....we are all caring kitty people here.

Hey, you may also want to check with your vet....that stuff that he is taking can cause polyuria ( a large amount of urine passed at one time) or dysuria (problems in urination). I'm not sure your baby is tolerating that stuff.
post #7 of 11
Definately take him for regular check ups, although (check this with your vet also) I think it is quite common for diabetic cats to become incontinent. The tests which he will need done is a fructosamine test. If the result comes back as lower than 400 than this indicates that the diabetes is under control. This can often take some months on medication first to stabilise it though and it could be somewhere in the region on 600 or so at the moment. Another test you can do is a blood glucose which is very quick, but also needs to be done at the vets. This indicates how much glucose is in the blood. Are you giving tablets or insulin injections? If you are giving injections, always give it after your cat has eaten, as if you give the injection and the cat hasn't eaten, he can go hypoglycaemic. I'm not sure if the same applies for tablets so it is very important that you check that with your vet. Signs of hypoglycaemia is if he goes all wobbly and uncoordinated. Diabetes can also cause muscle wastage so if you notice his back legs going a bit funny, this is most likely related to the diabetes.

If the vet has recommended that he loses weight, best to try and shift some weight as diabetes seems to affect overweight cats. On a positive note, cats can actually stop being diabetic once it is controlled, not always though. So don't lose hope.
post #8 of 11
I've never dealt with diabetes in animals, but being a type 1 myself I would tend to think that his blood sugar may still be running high. High blood sugar with sometimes result in incontinence and also neuropathy. The neuropathy can exhibit as anything from a numbness to a hypersensitive feeling which would cause the wincing when yuo pick him up.

High blood sugars can also cause UTI's. So you should see the vet about all these posibilities. I'm sure you will have him sorted out with all of you able to relax a big again soon.
post #9 of 11
I agree with taking him in to your vet and having both his blood sugar status tested as well as having him checked for a UTI.

Re diet - I am not sure I understand why your vet would not have wanted changes to be made. Diabetic cats are surely, if no others, candidates for a low carb, high protein diet (speaking as a pre-diabetic who tests her own blood sugars and has adjusted my diet).

Here is my *favorite* site on feline diabetes with great links including to JM Peerson's canned/dry food lists that give you the stats on protein, fat, sodium content and more.

post #10 of 11
How is Atticus doing? Hopefully he is feeling better?
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so very much for your good advice and well wishes! Atticus is fine. We are taking him to the Vet today; my Vet's office was closed this weekend.

If we had thought that Atticus was in too much pain over the weekend, we would have taken him to an emergency clinic here in Houston. Thankfully, the old boy seemed to do quite well over the Holiday.

He has been lounging around (mostly on his back, spread-eagle and making cute meows, squeaks and yips) getting tons of attention; a total Ham like his Da'! He has been hungry and we have spent time playing; something he hasn't done for a while.

Well, we will definitely ask our Vet about the polyuria and the possibility that he is not handling the medication well. Regarding the med / special food combo: The Vet says he has seen blood glucose drop too much in cats who are taking the Glipizide AND eating the Diabetic Cat Food Formula. He first wanted to see how Atticus would handle the medication.

I suppose this is prudent as Atticus has not been on this regimen for very long. We are keeping a close eye on our Buddy, and we will let you all know how he is doing very soon. Thanks again for all of your great replies; so very glad to be a part of this forum. Our very best to you and yours!

so very gratefully yours,

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