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Help!! My Cat has Diabetes!

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Momma Kitty gets her daily insulin injection

Help!! My Cat Has Diabetes!

Posted 02/07/15 by Holly Jarrett

As owner and operator of Lil’ Buddies Pet Sitters and former veterinary technician, I am familiar with the distress a diagnosis of feline diabetes can produce. I too have personally experienced this disease in my cat.

As I looked back, I began to piece the puzzle together. Was Momma Kitty sitting at her water bowl several times last week? Was the litter box especially wet? Was she looking thin? Maybe it wasn’t just her usual shedding of a summer pound. Often times, it’s not until the kitty stops eating that we question if something is wrong. So, when Momma refused her food and situated herself in front of her water bowl, we were off to her veterinarian.

Based on the history, bloodwork was performed and it revealed a glucose level significantly outside the range of normal. Her veterinarian explained that she had type II diabetes mellitus, a common disease among cats. As we discussed treatment and prognosis, it became apparent that this would not be an easy fix.

Note, there is no substitute for a close working relationship with a veterinarian knowledgeable about feline diabetes. It is a very complex disease and not all vets stand equal in this regard. In addition, it is imperative that you do your own research into the illness and possess a basic understanding of causes, treatment, long-term management, as well as prognosis. A good resource is www.mycathasdiabetes.com.  Another is www.felinediabetes.com.

The initial course of treatment can be quite stressful. Your cat’s diabetes will have to be regulated. This will involve obtaining glucose levels, closely monitoring food intake (diet will be changed to a low ash moist food), as well as daily insulin injections. Your kitty’s prognosis will be dependent on a number of factors, including such as age, physical condition, and even temperament (yours and hers).

Owning a diabetic cat will change your life. Be prepared to arrange your schedule around her feeding and injections. It is imperative that a strict schedule be maintained and behavior and other clinical clues be monitored. Fortunately, statistics run in the 70% range for those cat that will go into remission. Their glucose levels will normalize and they will no longer require injections. They should remain on the moist food and closely watched for any symptoms of the diabetes long term, however.

Momma did go into remission approximately four months after commencement of treatment. Unfortunately, several months later she would relapse and now with two years of insulin dependence, we anticipate the diabetes to be lifelong. Thankfully, Momma is a cooperative patient and we have all settled into a routine. Her veterinarian is thrilled with her weight and shiny coat, commenting often that she does not have the appearance of a diabetic cat.

So, take heart. Hang in there. Partner with a diabetes savvy veterinarian and educate yourself. Change your other cats’ diets to ward off diabetes in their future (considered one of the main culprits in development of the disease). Momma Kitty is a living testament to the quality of life a well-regulated diabetic cat can live. She is a beloved member of her family and worth every early morning or dinner out cut short.

Lil’ Buddies pet sitters and dog walkers service Matthews and Charlotte, North Carolina. Ballantyne, Cotswald, Arboretum, Weddington, and Southpark are just of a few of our service areas. Call today for a free consultation to see how we might meet your pet-related needs. Holly Jarrett @ (704) 779-7256.