Originally Posted by sharper16
My 14 year old boy Toby has just been diagnosed with diabetes. The vet wants me to bring him in for a few days so that can treat him and bring the sugar levels down.
I have no idea what do think regarding this and I'm wondering who here has gone through it or is going through it now. Can you please help. I need some guidance.
THe vet said I will have to change his diet, but to what yet, I don't know. Does anyone have an idea of costs, etc. Any information would greatly help.
Awwww, poor Toby ... I am so sorry to hear of this, but am so happy that you came around to ask about it. I successfully treated and maintained a diabetic cat for 6 years and so learned a lot in the process, hopefully some of the stuff I learned may assist you and others here with an interest.
It isn't at all unusual for the vet to have wanted to keep your boy a few days ... the vet will administer IV fluids and other medications and be able to perform a glucose curve to see how his food intake works with the insulin administration. It will be very helpful info to you for when Toby comes home, you will be better equipped to treat him intelligently.
Once they determine the appropriate food/insulin times and amounts, the vet will show you how to give the insulin at home. Please ... if you are at all squeamish about needles, get over it now. If not, then you are a step ahead of the game.
The vet will also recommend a food suitable for Toby, but I had a lot of success with Purina's D/M Diabetic Maintenance formula with my own cat. If your vet doesn't already stock it, have him order it in - it really does work.
As for costs, I can't tell you it is inexpensive to treat and maintain a diabetic cat. It isn't. But, once you get over the initial diagnosis and early testing stage, the amount you are spending does decrease somewhat. It wouldn't at all surprise me to see the initial vet charges well into the hundreds of dollars. But after you get Toby to a point where he is maintaining well, you can reasonable anticipate about $50 - $75 a month, give or take.
I think it should be said that the emotional cost is pricey. You really do bond with a diabetic cat on a level that you haven't before. I began seeing every little thing and wondering if this was the day ... but your mileage may vary - I tend to see the cup as half-empty, you may be a half-full sort.
I am happy to go into much, much deeper detail if you like. Ask specific questions and I can try to answer them for you. But every cat is different and what worked for me may not always work for you.
Sending some much-needed hugs your way - Toby has a very special person to take care of him the way you do. Know that he is in the best of hands right now and that they are there to help him. And above all else, remember to breathe. It might be a whirlwind of emotions and really unfamiliar territory, but you have a place to come when things get hairy.
Yours from the heart,