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Old 03-27-2010, 10:37 AM
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MericoX MericoX is offline
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Default Cats and Diabetes

My grandmothers cat (Goldie) was just diagnosed with diabetes. I'm not sure of all the specifics as my grandmother tends to not remember everything, but the vet said something about daily injections. I'm assuming its some type of insulin mix.

Is there much that can be tried before going to injections? They said BS level was around 400. What's the quality of life? Goldie is about 17lbs, only around 8 or so. She's got arthritis in her hips (probably from being so large) and just starting to take Cosequin. I've given my grandmother another diet plan for her (she was free feeding dry food, and giving her a can of tuna a day). We have her at 3/4 cup of food a day, and one can on Meow Mix wet food.

As it is, I'll probably be going over once a day to give her a shot, but I'll have to wait and see if she's getting any meds for her today, or waiting until Monday. I may just have them transfer everything to my vet (the vet my grandmother goes to are douches) and see what my awesome vet says.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:49 AM
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What i've seen work in my client cats is a high protein, grain free, mostly wet food diet. Also a slow weight loss might be good as well, but it must be slow so the body can adjust. Wet food seems to be the best possible option in most cases, raw is another option but i don't expect your grandmother to do that. Wellness has a wide variety of flavours that are grain free or low grain, as does merricks.
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:41 PM
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I don't know what is high or low as far as blood sugar, if the problem is severe then she'll have to do the insulin PLUS diet change and then monitor closely so that insulin can be adjusted as the sugar levels change with the new diet.

In any case, my recommendations would be switching to an all wet food diet. Preferably grain free and low in carbs (that includes veggies) so something like EVO 95% meat, or the grain free wellness formulas (They have a chicken one, turkey, CORE, maybe a few others with fish in them) would be good. Merrick can be good, or less good depending on the formula, read the ingredients and find the ones with less carbs.

What stinks is that it is expensive, but not sure what the insulin shots cost so if feeding this way prevents the cat from needing insulin it might work out. Make sure to monitor the cat's weight loss though, loosing too fast is not healthy. Wet food will drop the pounds though, dry food is loaded with carbs (which not only make kitty fat but turn to sugar, overwhelm the system, and cause diabetes). Good wet foods don't have that problem, the system has little sugar to deal with.

I would read this book: Amazon.com: Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life (9780312358013): Elizabeth M. Hodgkins D.V.M. Esq.: Books

She has MANY patients with diabetes who were "cured" (by this I mean they need no special treatment beyond a good wet food diet) simply by changing to the type of diet I described.

Here are some links you can look at:
YourDiabeticCat.com - Helping and Preventing Feline Diabetes (read the case examples as well)
Feline Diabetes (take time to look through her whole site)
Feline Obesity (from the same site as above)

Diabetic cats can live perfectly long, normal life spans so long as their condition is treated properly. Just remember that if the diet change happens while she is also being injected to be VERY careful that she is not given a insulin overdose. Monitor VERY, VERY closely with the help of a vet.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:07 PM
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I kept a diabetic cat going for 2+ years. I had to give him shots twice daily at roughly the same time, but the needle is so thin that most of the time he didn't even feel it. He just loved being cuddled.

It took a lot of fiddling to find the "right" insulin for him. And several expensive crises. But the insulin didn't cost all that much, considering how small a dose he got, and the needles weren't budget-breakers either.

By the way, a blood sugar level of 400 is VERY high. Normal is, I seem to recall, around 100; at 400, the cat is in real danger.

How I wish I'd known about diet options then! Nobody mentioned a thing about nutrition, not my own vet, not one of the emergency vets, not one of the specialists who worked with him. I knew nothing about the subject. (And hey, 12 years ago, the Internet was not the magic tool it is today.)

My Kama developed kidney problems, so in addition to the insulin, I had to administer subcutaneous fluids. That was NOT fun. If he hadn't been the world's mellowest cat, it would have been impossible.

Eventually, everything that helped with the kidney failure was very bad for the diabetes, and vice versa. I had to let him go. He was the first animal I had ever owned, and he graced my life for more than 14 years. It was nowhere long enough.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:35 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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400 is extremely high for blood sugar.

Diabetes in cats is different than in dog. Dogs are ALWAYS insulin dependent. Cats are not. Typically, you start a cat newly diagnosed on a diabetes-friendly diet and insulin, and after a while if they're doing well you fade out the insulin shots. If they maintain with just the diabetes diet, then they no longer need insulin. If they get worse, then they're put back on insulin injections. Some cats ARE insulin dependent, but a lot of them can be taken off of insulin eventually. At 8 years old, that cat sill has a good 4-8+ years left.

Generally insulin is twice a day. Sometimes, if the cat can't go without insulin completely, it can at least be dropped to once a day.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:02 AM
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:11 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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I have the dogs because when there is dogs in that home then it will not be possible for blessings of Go
Dang, GO, why don't you be nice to people?
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