Originally Posted by KTLynn
Maggie is my neighbor's 11 year old cat. My neighbor has two main concerns right now:
1) Food - the vet told my neighbor the ONLY food Maggie could have was Purina One and it was only available from him (the vet, that is). He also said she needs a low sugar, low protein food. BTW, Maggie had been on Science Diet Hairball formula for quite awhile - apparently, it's high in sugar.
2) Medical supplies - can anyone recommend a company for obtaining syringes and insulin? Maggie needs shots twice per day.
Any other advice/suggestions from members who have experience with this condition is much appreciated!
I know it can be frightening to face a disease like diabetes. I have diabetes, and one of my cats also developed diabetes and lived with it for 3 years. We both used the same brand of insulin and syringes:-).
I would concur that the BD Ultrafine II short needles 3/10 cc is the best choice - in fact, that is the same one I use for myself. The shot will be given into the scruff of the neck under the skin. Please reassure your neighbour that this will not be painful for their cat - it goes under the skin, not into the muscle or anythin like that.
The vet must decide what insulin and what dosage to provide. The insulin will probably be Humelin N or something similiar - which is a medium length acting insulin. Humelin is a manufactured human insulin using recombinant DNA technology. Insulin comes in several formulas that effect its rate of absorption from a very rapid analog insulin to a very long lasting insulin that can last up to 24 hours.
These can be purchased at any pharmacy. Pharmacists will also be very knowledgeable so have your neighbours talk to their pharmacist and I am sure they will find them very helpful.
Personally, I do use my insulin for more than the 28 days that is recommended and have not noticed a drop in its efficiency. If it is kept refrigerated you can use it for a longer time period, although the manufactueres do say it is only good for 28 days. If money is the cost, you can reuse syringes, although each use makes them more blunt, and more painful. There is virtually no difference, however, in the sensitivity of the needle if it is used twice - and I used to use the same syringe in the am and in the pm then disposed of it.
The diabetic diet is one of controlled carbohydrates and fats. Carbohydrates all break down into glucose by the body - and lack of insulin or effectiveness of insulin means that the glucose can't be absorbed into the cells for energy. Fat and protein do not break down into glucose and in fact slow down the metabolism of carbohydrates so a higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet is much better for controlling diabetes. High fibre is also useful as it too slows down the metabolism of digesting carbohydrates.
One suggestion - there are many 'free' instructional meetings offered by health units and diabetes societes across the country. Diabetes is the same disease in cats as it is in people and affects the body the same way. Your friend can get in touch with the local diabetes centre and ask them about any upcoming informational meetings on the basics of diabetes and then attend.