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Just diagnosed as Diabetic, please help!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Cat diagnosed as Diabetic today, need help!

Sorry this is long.

Hi,
We took both our Cat's to the Vets today for their yearly check and also to mention a few changes in our little Girl Cleo, such as her drinking more, the Vet weighed her and noted that she had lost some weight since our last visit and because she is drinking more he did took a urine sample and tested it and it showed up that she has Diabetes, so he took a blood test to check hoe her general health is, we later got the results back and everything is look fine, we have an appointment on Thursday morning to discuss what to do and so that the vet can show us how to inject her, she will be getting two injections of innsulin a day, I think this is a start off dose to see how things go.

I haven't a clue what to do, I'm still in shock and I'm scared!.

I've been reading some threads on her about Diabetes and I found a link to
http://www.yourdiabeticcat.com which talks about changing the diet to a low carb wet diet, Cleo is currently fed on Royal Canin Indoor Mature and Oral Sensitive and they have 1 tray of Almo Organic Bio Pate between the two of them a day.

Does any one have any advice on any good quality food that I could may be change them too (available in the UK)?.
Is anyone on here from the UK have a Diabetic Cat?, what kind of diet do you follow?.


I would appreciate any advice, at the moment I'm so worried and unsure about it all.


Butterfleye.
post #2 of 9
OK, first things first: it's going to be OK.

Repeat after me: it's going to be OK.

Our cat Simon was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago after we noticed that he was having trouble jumping up on things. That turned out to be polyneuropathy, which human diabetics also experience, and feels like pins and needles. It's caused by increased sugar levels in the blood that begin to damage nerve cells over time. (I was told recently that neuropathy never really goes away, but it hasn't been a problem for Simon for years.)

Just like for humans, diabetes is not a death sentence when managed properly, and in fact, most diabetics can eventually go off insulin injections. This isn't something you can look forward to right away; it will take time. Simon's injections were 2 cc's BID (twice a day) for several years. However, it's been about two years since his last injection, and he's still doing great on that front.

Is Cleo, shall we say, a rather "portly" puddie? I know that you mentioned that Cleo's lost some weight recently, due to water loss. Simon definitely was a hefty gentleman at one time, and the key to controlling diabetes in both humans and cats is diet. You want to provide adequate nutrition without spiking his blood sugar. In other words, whether she likes it or not, only very little dry food, if at all. What this basically does is put your cat on the Atkins/South Beach/"Catkins" Diet to get the excess fat off and get the insulin under control.

Giving insulin injections can be scary at first for both you and Cleo. However, you'll both get used to it in no time. Ideally, we'd give Simon injections twelve hours apart at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and you should aim for a similar schedule. Later, we found that we had a little window in there, up to two hours either way, and Simon was fine. I would say that if you miss that window, just skip that injection, but try to be on time, if possible, for the next one. There are several different kinds of insulin out there--you're probably on the Humulin-N, which is what Simon was on, and is probably what most diabetic cats take. FYI: insulin, at least here in Illinois, is over-the-counter, so you can just ask the pharmacist for it. One or two packs of syringes are also OTC, but you need a prescription for a box.

Oh, and despite what the vet may tell you, use a fresh syringe each time. They don't cost that much, and if you get a biohazard sharps container, your vet can recycle the whole thing when it's full.

If you're looking for a good forum on feline diabetes, try http://www.felinediabetes.com/. I found it very helpful and everyone was very nice. The site itself also has some good articles.

Very important: do you know what to do in an insulin emergency, a.k.a. hypoglycemia? Discuss this with your vet, but keep a bottle of Karo syrup in the pantry. Read this page on the FD site: http://www.felinediabetes.com/hypogly.htm.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things, because eventually all this became second nature to Simon, Kyle, and me, but you're both going to be fine. Trust me on this. And you have doubts, just remember what I said: it's going to be OK. If I think of anything else, I'll post it.

You can do this!
post #3 of 9
One more thing: when Simon was first diagnosed with diabetes, the vet recommended the Ketosticks (or something like that) to test his insulin levels from his urine. Other people with diabetic cats also do home blood testing in the same way that human diabetics do.

We never actually did either of these home testing things, but that's something you should check with the vet about, I suppose. For us, it was enough to get his fructosamine levels checked every so often, to ensure that he was still on the right insulin dosage.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your reply, just the fact that someone answered helps, I think at the moment I'm still shocked and it all just seems so scary.
Cleo isn't large, two years ago she had an over active thyroid and was really tiny but once she had the thyroid gland removed she put on a good amount of weight and was just about right and even now she has lost a little weight she looks about the right size for her frame.

How old was Simon when he first got diagnosed with Diabetes?, what wet food do you feed him?.

The wet food I feed my two at the moment is just pure meat which would mean that it isn't a complete food, so I don't know whether I should up the wet food and slightly lower the dry until I can find a good quality complete wet food.

Knowing that you and Simon have come through this has is a great help and thank you so much for your reply you don't know how much I needed that right now.


Butterfleye.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfleye View Post
Thank you so much for your reply, just the fact that someone answered helps, I think at the moment I'm still shocked and it all just seems so scary.
Cleo isn't large, two years ago she had an over active thyroid and was really tiny but once she had the thyroid gland removed she put on a good amount of weight and was just about right and even now she has lost a little weight she looks about the right size for her frame.
Hmmm...I don't know about the thyroid issue and how it may interact with the diabetes. Definitely a question for the vet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfleye
How old was Simon when he first got diagnosed with Diabetes?, what wet food do you feed him?.
I would say he was probably twelve thirteen or so, since it's been a few years (five or six maybe) now. So he wasn't a kitten by any means at the time, but he handled everything really well.

He prefers the "grilled" variety of Fancy Feast, but I don't know whether this is available in the UK, or even if it's the "healthiest." He'd almost rather go hungry than eat anything else. Maybe the brand Authors (? something like that) in the UK would be the closest? I don't really know, to be honest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfleye
The wet food I feed my two at the moment is just pure meat which would mean that it isn't a complete food, so I don't know whether I should up the wet food and slightly lower the dry until I can find a good quality complete wet food.
I'm not so sure. While it's true that cats sometimes eat grass or other plants, and certainly dry food, cats are carnivores, and raw meat is what they--especially their stomachs--evolved to eat. I would, again, check with the vet, but I would say that for cats, the closer to raw meat the better.

(As a slight aside, there are a lot of misconceptions about food and "nutrition," especially in Western countries like the US and UK. Read "What to Eat" by Marion Nestle and/or "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan. Human diets should be mostly, if not completely vegetarian, for optimum health. For carnivores, I would imagine the exact opposite is true.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfleye
Knowing that you and Simon have come through this has is a great help and thank you so much for your reply you don't know how much I needed that right now.
You're absolutely welcome--don't hesitate to ask me anything. Hopefully, I can answer, or at least point you in the right direction.

Just keep repeating what I told you!!!!!
post #6 of 9
post #7 of 9
Just wanted to add my experience with this.

My cat Gudrun was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 11. She had her injections twice a day for 5 1/2 years, and became so used to it she would come out of her regular sleeping place at the time of her injections - (cats and routine, you know. ).

She lived to be 16 1/2 and was always just a normal kitty. She did have some of those hypoglycemic episodes, but they were easy to spot, and my vet, as well, recommended the Karo syrup on her gums.

I can't remember what I fed her, it was back in the 90's. But she got along just fine!
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
dlestarjette.

How much and how often do you feed Simon?.
Did you do any Home Testing on Simon?.


Butterfleye.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfleye View Post
dlestarjette.

How much and how often do you feed Simon?.
Did you do any Home Testing on Simon?.


Butterfleye.
I feed both cats one 3 ounce (85 gram) can of wet cat food as often as they want it. I only put out about 1/2 to 2/3 cup (60 - 75 grams) of dry food a day, depending on how much our other cat, Gryffin, is whining for it--I hate whining, and I usually/eventually give in.

No home testing, and he was fine. I guess it depends on how much insulin the vet has prescribed. Simon only had two CCs twice a day, but I've heard of some cats getting a much higher dose.

I'm off to work, but I'll check back in tonight when I get home.
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