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Diabetes

Discussion in 'Cat Discussion' started by Jamielvsaustin, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Jamielvsaustin

    Jamielvsaustin Good Dog

    Hoping this gets a couple hits-we just found out today that one of our cats (Charlie) has diabetes. He lost a lot of weight, we thought the other cat (Gus) was bullying him out of food so we started separating them to eat...and even alone he wouldn't eat all of his food.

    So then we thought it was the kinda food we were feeding, we stayed with the same brand just a different flavor. It got to the point where when you pet him you could feel his ribs. Last time we took him in he weighed about 11.5 lbs. today he was done to 10.2. (He's been as high as 14 before, years ago before we got Gus)

    So this morning we took him in and they did blood work. He had some back in March for his yearly and it was fine. This blood work indicated the diabetes. I don't know what the numbers should be, but his number (that the vet kept referencing) was over 500.

    They're going to be giving us some information on where to buy insulin and how to administer it, but she also recommended giving him a food with a higher protein and a lower carbohydrate. Is there an equivalent of dogfoodadvisory.com for cats?

    What should I be reading in regards to this? Dos and don'ts? Any recommendations that other owners have experienced over time? What should I look out for? I don't even know where to start to be honest, so I did a little poking around on webMD, it was useful but not what I'm looking for.

    Charlie will be ten next month. We guess that he is Siamese based on his looks but have no proof. He was neutered at 1ish. He's chipped. His behavior hasn't changed but we did start to notice a lot more urine in the litter box, along with it getting stuck to the bottom of his feet.

    I'm happy to answer any questions to help figure all of this out, and I really appreciate any help/guidance.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  2. Beki

    Beki Good Dog Premium Member

  3. Jamielvsaustin

    Jamielvsaustin Good Dog

    We haven't started anything yet. We've talked about getting a second opinion....how is the blood work fine in March and then seven months later it's out of control? Is that really how diabetes works?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  4. Beki

    Beki Good Dog Premium Member

    It is possible, yes.
    Keep in mind , pets age faster. I think anything dogs at age 7 are now considered seniors.
     
  5. CrazyK9

    CrazyK9 Good Dog

    Yes, before you start insulin, get a second opinion and do blood work again. Blood glucose can rise in cats during times of stress and maybe its something else going on causing stress and weight loss.

    Id really recommend having his thyroid checked. That was about the age that Lucky developed hyper-t and I lost him 4 years later.

    Wat food are you feeding and are you feeding dry? Regardless of the medical condition, switching to wet food is the best thing for cats health. If you want food suggestions, let me know. I had a long list of stuff I tried with Lucky that was grain free and minimal carb.
     
  6. Jamielvsaustin

    Jamielvsaustin Good Dog

    We did thyroid too, but that takes a couple days to come back-latest should be Wednesday. They're about half way through a bag of TOTW Rocky mountain formula. The bag before that, I can't remember which but, it was the tan bag. We also give each cat about a tablespoon of canned food a night. I'm not sure of the brand (in bed right now) but I'll check in the morning. It can't be too great, I get it at the grocery store. :(
     
  7. adk26rn

    adk26rn Little Dog

    Try asking about a fasting blood glucose test or a HgA1c. Im not sure if this applies to animals, but in humans, this is the best way to do a test for determining diabetes. If i eat a pizza then have my glucose check it will be high. It wont be over 500.........but it also wont be as accurate due to having a meal prior to the test. A HgA1c is a blood test that determines over a span of few months how long your glucose has been running high.

    But like i said, i dont know if this refers to animals. Im a registered nurse, so this is just from personal experience and knowledge
     
  8. CrazyK9

    CrazyK9 Good Dog

    Did you get th t4 back? Any updates?
     
  9. Jamielvsaustin

    Jamielvsaustin Good Dog

    No results from the thyroid test yet. I actually just called, because I saw your post. They're now expecting them on Monday.

    The first vet we talked to...I like her, but she's all over the place. We really didn't get any info from her other than he had diabetes and I should order the medicine through her website because it'll be cheaper (which it wasn't).

    It's been a whirlwind of a week. I used the link above that Beki gave, and another one my friend suggested on FB. All of which lead me to a forum for diabetic cats. If anyone is interested, it's here: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/

    And my post (long) is here: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=127242

    I was encouraged to get a glucometer, ketone strips, a smaller vial of insulin than my doctor wanted to original prescribe and believe it or not Friskies pat* canned food. Here, we talk about TOTW, or BB or Orijen like they're the best thing since sliced bread. But over there, friskies is the shit. I never would have thought about it like that...after buying my dog food from Ace Hardware and avoiding the grocery store brands at all costs...it was just really surprising. So the goal is a food that has 8% or less carbohydrates (10% is okay, but you should shoot for 8%). The kind that we bought (a variety pack) is between 8% and 8.5%. There is a shit ton of information on that board...different insulin subforums, they ask you to keep a spreadsheet of when you test, when you give insulin, how much, etc etc etc. It was overwhelming at first, but I'm starting to find it to be really helpful.

    We went back on Tuesday (a different vet saw us) and she went over how to administer the insulin. We all practiced with saline. (1st the vet, then me, then the husband) I'd done a shit ton of research, and all of the resources and suggestions she had (videos, links, webpages full of resources) were places I was familiar with or had been to already-so that felt really really good....like I was getting actual real information. The FDMB (feline diabetes message board) warned that my vet wouldn't want me to test everyday but that it was still important to do so. They were right. She didn't see the big deal. it seemed like her idea was, he needs the medicine so it doesn't matter. And I get that, but I want to keep an eye on it. I want to know ahead of time if I should lower or up his amount. AND, some cats can go into "remission" with diabetes. So I'd hate to be giving him insulin he didn't need because his body can do it now on it's own. The vet we saw on Tuesday I really like. She's always honest with us. She told us if we wanted to-to test-but she wasn't going to "require it".

    So yesterday was the first day of giving the medicine. And it went really well. I SUUUUUUCK at testing him, I have to prick him multiple times and he's starting to recognize what I'm doing and he wants to get away :( And this morning wasn't great. I fed him chicken while testing and I could see him contemplating if it was worth it or not.

    We're going out of town this weekend (and next) and when I realized it-I freaked. What about his medicine. Maybe I won't go. Could we bring him with us? Blah. Anyhow I have a friend that's going to come to the house and give it to him-she has experience with sugarkitties (what they call diabetic cats, lol).
     
  10. GoingPostal

    GoingPostal Good Dog

    Most vets don't go for the idea of "treating" diabetes, they sell you special food and meds and your cat stays fat and sick and continues bringing in money until it finally dies. I have a coworker who has had two diabetic cats in a row and still can't grasp it's because they feed the cats garbage and tons of it. Friskies canned is probably only suggested because it's cheap, easy to find, well accepted, realistically almost any canned foods short of maybe Science Diet would be good to feed since kibble just has far too many carbs and often is what caused the diabetes to begin with.

    In ferrets the carbs in kibble cause a similar-ish disease, insulinoma, their blood sugar drops too low and they need steroids instead of insulin but same deal, low-no carb diet, raw is ideal, glucose meter so you can home test and regular scheduled meds if needed. Unfortunately in ferrets there is no getting better only worse since it's tumors but cats seem to live pretty well and long with diabetes and even longer with improved care. You are educating yourself so that is great. You will get the hang of testing him too.
     
  11. Jamielvsaustin

    Jamielvsaustin Good Dog

    Yeah, Dr. O (the one I really like) she's never been like that to us (push unnecessary things to up the cost)...and really Dr. B (the one who diagnosed him) wasn't previously like that either. But she has her own practice now and only comes to our clinic once or twice a week...so maybe it's different now. Dr. O is always giving us outside information. Always telling us where we can get scripts cheaper...she's really great.

    Tonight we had to prick him 3 times. It KILLS me. I hate it so much. I did it to myself twice to see what it was like and it hurts. Only for a second, but he doesn't know what's coming until it happens. So far he's still affectionate with me, seeks me out when I get home and in the morning when he first wakes up so hopefully it stays that way. I do have to say I'm super lucky that he enjoys the wet food, there are people on that forum who are fighting with their cats about it. There cats are addicted to dry food. They just keep trying, the.thought is any canned is better than dry.
     
  12. Tiffseagles

    Tiffseagles GRCH Dog Premium Member

    We used Friskies to control the diabetes and get several cats off of insulin (3/5 that I know of). However, you only need to remember two things:
    1) Pick a low carb food
    2) Consistency - don't switch brands

    I don't think I have ever seen a wet food that was higher in carbs than regular food or even the prescription diets. Friskies is relatively cheap and compared to some other wet foods, still in the low-end of carb content which is why I think it is often recommend. Of course you always have the option of PMR feeding which would nearly eliminate all carb intake.
     
  13. kayla baxter

    kayla baxter Big Dog

    Check out the food comparison chart on catinfo.org, it breaks everything down on a dry matter basis. Some wet foods are surprisingly high in carbs. Natural balance, most of the chunks and gravy types, some Wellness, etc. Weruva has some super low carb options. I'd probably try and go raw if possible. I don't feed any dry at all, but if you absolutely have to then Evo and Go! fit and free are probably some of the lowest carb options.
     

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