I'm so sorry! My old landlady's cat was diabetic. I lived behind her, so I know her and her cats quite well. He was diagnoised two years ago I believe and had become semi paralyzed in his backlegs. I'm not sure if this is the right term, but that's how I think of it. But even still, he was fine. He also had to be on insulin and sometimes they forget to give him his shot and sometimes he'd eat food he wasn't supposed to and he was fine. My landlady did keep Kayo syrup around for him just in case and it had a syringe taped to the bottle and everyone knew that if he started slipping into a coma, we had to put some of it in his mouth. He had to be put to sleep last month b/c he had been attacked by a dog. He survived the dog attack and if he hadn't been diabetic, he'd be ok. They believe that when the dog shook him, it caused him to have a hernia and if he wasn't diabetic they could do surgery to repair it but b/c he was diabetic, he might not survive. So she didn't do the surgery. And for two months or so, she was worried to death about him b/c the hernia (do they burst? for some reason this never sat well with me but who knows maybe they do) might burst and kill him. She was going out of town last month and had a trusted friend take him to the vet while she was gone to have put to sleep. She didn't want to be there when it happened so for her, this was bet. If he had never been attacked by the dog, he would have been just fine with being a diabetic. So I think Roswell will be fine!
what a terribly sad story.
So many get well wishes for Roswell!
you have such a darling icon there. thanks for the well wishes.
Poor Ros, and you. *Hugs*
Totally get the needle in the finger. I would do that myself, no doubt.
And totally get the teeth issue. Been there, done that several times with sudden dental surgery needed.
Poundcake there thinks Roswell should get better.
(That second photo? Most adorable cat ever.)
My family had a Siamese diagnosed at two years of age.
Sindarin lived to twelve and he was pretty happy 95% of time during those years.
Stay consistent on the shot time, keep on top of the litter box cleaning (some days, it'll get swampy in there) and always make sure the water bowl's full.
Oh, the swampy box... Sophie was at least 16 or 17 when her diabetes manifested, and decided peeing in front of the box (which was in the back entry/porch area) was the way to go... almost every time.
Though when she was well-regulated, the drinking and peeing was normal. Some days, her sugar got a bit too high and she'd be a fountain...
You should talk to your vet about trying to regulate w/high protein dry food. Sophie got regulated for a few months on Innova EVO (small amount free-fed) and high protein wet food twice a day. She was elderly when she became diabetic, though, and eventually needed an annoyingly tiny dose of insulin 2x daily after a few months of food regulating.
There used to be an LJ group for owners of diabetic cats. Dunno if it still exists.
It's a lot easier to find high protein, grain-free foods for cats now than it was even 5 or 6 years ago. Both of ours are grain-free because of grain allergies/sensitivities (Hubero gets scabby places, and Smeagol has poor digestion). And I just feel better about that sort of diet, given cats are carnivores.
2011-04-30 05:27 am (UTC)
I had a diabetic cat. Fortunately, it's not a death sentence and it's very easy to treat once you get used to the needles. My cat eventually recovered from it completely after a couple of years. Best wishes to Roswell! She's going to be ok.
I hope Roswell is feeling better soon. I know she is to you how Beefcake is to me. I could show this to my boyfriend later when he gets home from work. He is just starting up his own home business doing, guess what, woodworking. (though he is doing stuff like giant pieces of furniture and what not)
The only diabetic pet story I have myself is about a sweet girl that just left the Oregon Humane Society named Mrs. Sweet Pea. She was a special needs kitty with diabetes that I was sponsoring. She finally was placed in a home back in March.
Beefcake, Mage, and I send our best vibes and wishes,
My boy cat used to weigh 17 lbs, and went down to 11 (which my vet tells me is his ideal) just by switching from dry food to wet food fed twice a day. I met with an animal nutritionist at UC Davis vet school - and was told that because dry food contains a lot more filler to keep it small and dry and crunchy its much more likely to make a cat fat. She also mentioned that the idea that dry good is better for cats teeth is a myth.
I'm not sure if the carbohydrates in dry food contribute to kitty diabetes, but I bet you could do a lot of good by getting her weight down a few lbs. Good luck Roswell!
Or, reading the comments more fully - pretty much what humglum said!
aww, poor girl. but at the same time, she's so lucky to have YOU.
All my love to Rosewell and you and Trillian :(
Thinking good mojo in Roswell's direction. Your link sent me back to re-read all that and I got the giggles all over again as you insisted they needed homes. I thought the same thing then. Dude, they are home!
In the meantime, while you wait for some lovely person to make such a craft board for you, you could use the approach I had to take with my devious kitty. Make a sign that says, "Roswell has had morning shot" on one side, and "Roswell has NOT had morning shot" on the other, and either hang it by a bit of string or use a thumb tack, and flip the sign over when she has been given her shot, then flip it back when you go to bed so it's there to remind you in the morning.
See, Lenore is very nervous about food -- having lived the first year of her life in a cage with irregular feeding times so that the arrival of food was the only interaction she ever got and she never knew when it was coming. After four years of living with her and setting alarm clocks to let her know that food is coming, we've gotten her on a schedule that seems to have calmed her down. Also, I've convinced her that if she nicely pokes me in the face with her paw instead of shredding furniture or knocking over lamps I will feed her at four in the morning instead of making her wait until six.
The problems started a few months ago when she realized she could poke me in the face just enough that I would get up and feed her without actually waking up. She then became a Zombie Master, and would use this to get me to feed her several times a night and she quickly ballooned to a very unhealthy weight. Using a flip sign that says, "Kitty HAS eated" and, "Kitty HAS NOT eated" and training my semi-awake self to check it before feeding her helped me catch her trying to get more food out of me and stopped that particular game from continuing.
All that said, Lenore and I both wish Roswell the best and hope she gets to feeling much better soon. Roswell is a very lovely kitty, and is certainly considered nobility in feline society.
april has been horrible to cats. I said, last night on IM that I wished it was over: my Ulysses almost died from poisoning, shadesong
's cat, Jack, has a massive jaw infection, tamidon
's cat, Haiku (5 claws on the front, 7 on the back) had to be put down, and wayward_va
's cat was diagnosed with lymphoma, and the time left is in weeks.
It's been harsh, harsh, harsh. And I am devastated that April got one last cruel swipe in at Roswell.
I really hope that all is well for all three of you.
Yay, a pop quiz that I know the answers to.
Believe it or not, a whole lot of vigorous play with cat toys right after feeding can do wonders for lowering blood sugar. Blood sugar rises quickly after taking in carbohydrates. The blood sugar's rising because Roswell's fat cells are ignoring the message sent by her own insulin because her fat cells have learned to love sugar (which her body makes from carbohydrates). Her body keeps sugar circulating through the bloodstream even when the pancreas is sending the message that the sugar should be stored and not ridden for a sugar high. She's probably still making insulin, just not enough to deal with her current lifestyle. (Eventually the pancreas tries too hard and burns out, but it's unlikely unless she has had diabetes for years.)
If you burn the carbs she takes in through activity, her blood sugar will stay significantly lower. It's trickier with older cats, but Roswell looks spry enough. humglum
is also spot on about going with a high protien diet. Losing weight, taking in fewer carbs, and being less sedentary are the first (and most effective) approaches for both people and cats with diabetes.
I also saw comments about the water intake. The water is the kitty's attempt to dilute and process all the excess sugar in the bloodstream. It can help within reason because almost all cats drink less water than they should but it's not that helpful in the long run because it doesn't work well enough, especially over time.
Oh, and feel free to hit me up for more info.
Poor Roswell! It's lucky she's so good about the injections. We've had to give sub-q fluids to cats, which involves a needle under the skin, and sometimes have had major fights on our hands. The trick to managing a long-term illness is to be a consistent as possible with meds and diet, without driving you or the cat crazy. Our old, late cat, Matilda had kidney failure and hyperthyroidism and had to be on fluids, meds, and a special Rx diet. She hated the kidney diet and would not eat it, not any brand, not at all, though she would eat a little of the kidney diet dry food. She insisted on her regular food mixture, or nothing. Our vet told us that the Rx food was important, but it was more important that she eat and that she feel comfortable about it. Ultimately, she refused to take her pills, as well. But the idea was to give her excellent quality of life as best we could, and our vet advised us accordingly. Matilda put up a dreadful objection about getting fluids, but those were so important for her that we won those fights. She lived to be about 21 years old, so everything worked out pretty well.
My only bit of cat advice is that all
cats need a diet of high-quality wet and
dry foods. Some cats seem to only like dry, but getting both gives them the best balance of nutrition. We actually mix up raw food every day, and though you wouldn't necessarily need to go to that extent, it's worked very well for us here at the Household for 20 years or so. We supplement this with some Wellness canned cat food and Orijen dry food, which are both excellent. We stay away from supermarket brands, which have tons of junk, fillers and preservatives, and we don't buy any of the Proctor & Gamble foods (P&G lead the world in animal torture/testing), even though they have bought up many of the health food brands we used to look for. You can check that out here: http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/breaking-news-proctor--gamble-purchases-natura-pet-products.html
Some vets do not like to see a raw food diet, but we've kept F.I.V. + cats healthy and well until well into their late teens on that diet.
I really hope that Roswell's blood sugar will get lower and stabilize so you can maintain with just diet and not have to continue with those injections. I wish you and trillian_stars
and Roswell all the best of luck with this.
We had a very elderly diabetic Maine Coon for about 2 1/2 years. In addition to insulin, we gave him vitamin B (I forget which one) in saline to keep him hydrated (the vitamin really helped him), and he could get dehydrated within a day or so, as in fur getting bristly-looking and body skin kind of loose. I don't know if this was just because he was such a great big guy, not overweight but large, 30 pounds. Those were harder injections to give than the insulin, but we had a rotating 2-person crew to make sure he got that every day, and we got good at handling the saline drip for that. You can do it, when you feel how much they want to keep fighting to live.
Arrgh, poor Roswell! I'm on insulin, too. It's not so bad--I mean, yeah, it's a life-threatening illness, but it's a treatable one. With medication and a good diet, you and she can keep it under control.
One tip I can pass along is, ask your vet to prescribe syringes with very short, thin needles. Many vets will supply you with whatever they have, which tend to be way longer than is necessary for cats, and increases the chances that you'll either poke yourself in the finger or push the needle all the way out the other side of the pinch of skin you grab to inject into, resulting in squirting the insulin dose on the outside of the cat. Short needles--I recommend BD's 31 gauge 8 mm (5/16") as a good size--will make the operation much easier on Roswell and on you guys.
My cat's BG's were super high too - she's been in remission pretty well for a few years now because we took her off dry food.
The very best thing you can do for Roswell is go to http://www.yourdiabeticcat.com/
join the forums and learn.
Its is such a treatable disease
If you want to chat, you can message me.
I've no help to offer on the diabetes side, apart from sending good wishes your way.
We can sympathise about the teeth, though: when Edgar was 18 months old, the vet gave us the "bad parent" look and told us he had the teeth of a 5-year-old.
We started feeding raw chicken necks to all the kitties, and it's kept their teeth and jaw muscles in good shape ever since.
poor little roswell! i know how scary this can be at first -- our kitty Angus was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago. once you get past the "holy crap i have to stick needles in my cat" thing, it becomes manageable. here's some lessons we learned:
1. don't give the insulin until she's had the full meal, if your schedule allows waiting that 15-20 minutes for her to finish... it'll ensure you're not giving her too much insulin (if she were to stop eating a few bites in and you've already given her a full dose).
2. if the diabetes continues and her sugars are all over the place, ask your vet to order you a home glucose monitor. i don't know how we managed before it! after angus eats we prick his ear with a little lancet (he doesn't feel it at all) and test the teeny drop of blood, then we can adjust his insulin according to what the reading is.
3. wet food, wet food, wet food. this was the biggest A-HA moment for us. we had angus on a diabetes-specific diet (Purina DM), but his sugars continued to be in the 500-700 range after months of insulin... the moment we switched him to DM *canned*, the sugars stabilized. if roswell still has high numbers in a few weeks, try switching her to cans and see if that helps. every cat is different, and it's all about finding the combo that works for her.
4. schedule-wise, jack and i worked it out so i'm the morning feeder/shot-giver and he's the evening one. every once in a while we have to fill in for the other due to our schedules, but making a standard person and time for the feeding and shots has left us with no worries about whether angus got stabbity-stabs.
best of luck to you guys and roswell, she has awesome parents. :)
ETA: aha, missed that she's already on wet food! your vet's one step ahead. love it!
Edited at 2011-04-30 09:34 am (UTC)
If you can (and if she likes it) switch her to a raw diet, at least part of the time. The high protein and fat does marvels for blood sugar (much like in humans) and she might even get to the point where she doesn't need insulin any more. There's an even crazier cat-lady (http://www.catinfo.org
) that does consults for exact formulations of raw diets for special needs--you basically tell your vet to send her Roswell's medical record and she'll do a telephone consult for you.
Also seconding the home glucose testing. Cats are notorious for not following the rule book, and it's better to be safe than sorry.
Hope this helps, and hope Roswell gets better!
Danu, Morgan, Mugsy, Sita, Kali, Pucca & Nuit send cat love.
Best wishes for Roswell. The good news is diabetes in cats is very manageable.
Make sure they ran her kidney values as well. If they didn't, take her back and have them check those. We recently lost both of our treasured cats to kidney disease. One had been been diagnosed and managed for a year and a half, but the other was surprise. One day his values were OK, and then we lost him three weeks later. (Two weeks after his sister)