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Cat off insulin - still having hypoglymcemic episodes

Airlies
April 4th, 2006, 07:59 AM
My cat Lucas went off insulin last Wednesday after experincing two hypglycemic episodes within a couple of hours. His sugar was went down to 2 so the vet put him on a sugar drip to bring him up, even though we're trying to reduce his fluids in his lungs/heart due to (what they suspect is) congestive heart failure). He's been on Lasix for about a week (not having any positive effects) and two antibiotics.

Since then he's had two more hypoglycemic episodes - a severe late Saturday night and a stange one last night (his paw was twisting and he was moving his head around to the back of him when I caught it). both times I administered corn syrup and both times it seemed to bring him out of it. The second time he ate immediately after, groomed himself then drank some water.

I don't understand why he's still having hypoglycemic seizures when he's off insulin. His sugar was testing yesterday and was in the perfect range. He's still breathing too rapidly from his CHF and his heart beat slowed to 100 rather than increased when he was agitated by the sugar check. It went back up to 160 but the vet said the low rate was because his heart isn't functioning properly. He's had an ultrasound and the vet wants to send him for another one today.

Has anyone else had a cat who went off insulin but still became hypoglycemic and had seizures? Is it possible these seizures are actually due to his heart trouble? But if so, why does the corn syrup bring him out of it?

I'm frustrated and frightened and confused. So is my vet. Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

PetFriendly
April 4th, 2006, 06:40 PM
Ok, so what I know applies more to humans that cats, but at the end of the day, diabetes is pretty much the same for all creatures.
It is possible that the corn syrup is stimulating his brain enough to 'wake it up' from what ever is going on up there. If someone is have a seizure due to extremely high blood sugar, a shot of sugar will actually bring them out of it (not for long mind you).
Its also possible that the metabolic reasons behind the cat's diabetes have reversed themselves and the cat is now hypoglycemic. Other meds that the cat is on now might have done this.

I'd check the web for info on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. I have heard of older patients no longer requiring their diabetes pills after major surgery or a change in the medication regiment.

Good luck to you.

justncase
April 6th, 2006, 12:14 AM
What happens in cases of diabetes is that the blood glucose level in the blood fluctuates , either too high, or too low. Insulin is given in order to stabilize the fluctuations. When your cat was taken off insulin, the fluctuations tended to occur in the lower range producing hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar. What you are seeing seem like seizures but they are actually the result produced by low blood sugar so that when a little honey or corn syrup is given, the blood sugar rises to more of a normal range and the pet appears to have recovered from a seizure when, in fact, what was actually happening was that the brain had become glucose starved and was unable to function properly until the blood glucose levels were brought into a more normal range. Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM, a holistic vet in New York uses goldenseal to restore blood sugar balances. He prescribes half a capsule twice a day to a diabetic cat to restore the blood sugar balance and says that the condition can stabilize for years, not to exactly a perfectly normal level but pretty close to normal and it stops the severe blood sugarimbalances that can occur when insulin is not given. Now, having said that, this is not to be given whenever a pet has diabetes. The fluctuations have to be stabilized through the use of insulin first, but sometimes it gets to the point that the blood glucose cannot stabilize for some reason and another method is needed. This is where goldenseal comes in, and it is only used once a vet determines that the cat is at a stage where insulin no longer works and goldenseal should be used. If your vet cannot stabilize the blood sugars then suggest the possibility of goldenseal. If your vet would like to contact Dr. Goldstein, contact info can be found on this link:

http://www.holisticvetlist.com/

PetFriendly
April 14th, 2006, 09:35 AM
What happens in cases of diabetes is that the blood glucose level in the blood fluctuates , either too high, or too low. Insulin is given in order to stabilize the fluctuations.

If blood sugars are too low, taking insulin is not going to help... Its only going to make the sugars even lower

What you are seeing seem like seizures but they are actually the result produced by low blood sugar so that when a little honey or corn syrup is given, the blood sugar rises to more of a normal range and the pet appears to have recovered from a seizure when, in fact, what was actually happening was that the brain had become glucose starved and was unable to function properly until the blood glucose levels were brought into a more normal range.

What you just described is called a diabetic seizure. Your brain needs sugar like it needs oxygen, if you don't get enough sugar the brain starts shutting parts of itself down to preserve what sugar it has.

Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM, a holistic vet in New York uses goldenseal to restore blood sugar balances. ... can stabilize for years, not to exactly a perfectly normal level but pretty close to normal and it stops the severe blood sugarimbalances that can occur when insulin is not given.

Nothing can replace insulin if that's what's needed.... There are meds that can help your body process insulin better, thereby potentially making more efficient use of what little insulin might be produced by the system. This would more likely be seen in humans with Type 2 diabets, not sure if cats can get type 2 though. In any event there needs to be insulin in the system for the meds to work, be it naturally produced insulin or synthetic insulin that's injected.


Now, having said that, this is not to be given whenever a pet has diabetes. The fluctuations have to be stabilized through the use of insulin first, but sometimes it gets to the point that the blood glucose cannot stabilize for some reason and another method is needed. This is where goldenseal comes in, and it is only used once a vet determines that the cat is at a stage where insulin no longer works and goldenseal should be used. If your vet cannot stabilize the blood sugars then suggest the possibility of goldenseal.

If insulin isn't working to controle the sugars then nothing else will. In humans you switch to a different type of inslulin, or maybe even switch manufacturers, but you certainly don't stop taking insulin.

What might also be happening to the cat is that if its sugars have been consistently higher than normal for a long period of time, if the body has for some reason started making insulin again its going to make enough to bring sugars back to their real 'normal' level which is lower than what the cats body is used to and may cause seizures.

Sorry about the rant, and its probably too late, but I know a young lady who died at the age of 14 because her parents had taken her to a homeopathic doctor of sorts who replaced her insulin with herbal pills and teas...