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What is the treatment for feline diabetes?

mebits
April 9th, 2009, 10:30 AM
And is it worth putting a loved pet through?

Thanks.

sugarcatmom
April 9th, 2009, 11:00 AM
The treatment is a diet change to low-carb wet food combined with twice daily insulin injections. Some cats often stop needing the exogenous insulin after a short period and do fine with just the diet change.

Yes, it is absolutely worth treating. Diabetes isn't a death sentence, and with some small adjustments to your schedule, your cat can live a long healthy and happy life. My cat has been diabetic for over 6 years now and is doing great.

What does your cat currently eat? Has it ever been treated with steroids?

Some info for you:
http://www.catinfo.org/felinediabetes.htm
http://www.felinediabetes.com/diabetes-info.htm
http://www.felinediabetes.com/faq.htm

mebits
April 9th, 2009, 11:07 AM
That's good news. I've avoided getting my cat diagnosed, but I have to know if there's something I can do. My husband thinks it's diabetes, so I'm doing research. My male cat is a Himalayan, about 13 years old, eats a lot, drinks a lot, urinates a lot, and is losing weight. Other than that, happy and mobile. No previous odd diagnostics or steroid treatments.

I've read that you can use a human glucosmeter to test at home-- is this true? How would you determine a base level?

Thanks for your reply.

BMDLuver
April 9th, 2009, 11:35 AM
Take the cat to the vet. It could also be kidney failure, cancer etc..... weight loss is not a common side effect of diabetes

mebits
April 9th, 2009, 11:39 AM
Yes, this seem inevitable. My cat will go to the vet. I'm just trying to prepare for what may or may not come of it.

I had my cat tested for kidney failure years ago with negative results after two of his siblings - two from 2 different litters both died early from kidney failure - via damned unethical immoral breeder scum. Pure bred 'prize winning' Himalayan.

I had him neutered.

BMDLuver
April 9th, 2009, 11:41 AM
Well, don't wait too long as the quicker you nip something in the bud, the faster or more likely the recovery. :thumbs up

sugarcatmom
April 9th, 2009, 12:30 PM
My male cat is a Himalayan, about 13 years old, eats a lot, drinks a lot, urinates a lot, and is losing weight.

Definitely take your kitty to the vet as soon as possible. There are other conditions that have similar symptoms, like hyperthyroid, renal insufficiency and, as BMDluver said, cancer. The longer these go untreated, the more difficult (and expensive) the treatment will be.

I've read that you can use a human glucosmeter to test at home-- is this true? How would you determine a base level?

Yup, testing your cat's blood glucose levels with a human glucometer is the best way to manage feline diabetes.

It could also be kidney failure, cancer etc..... weight loss is not a common side effect of diabetes

Weight loss is actually a very common side effect of untreated diabetes, as the cells aren't able to utilize glucose. Diabetics become ravenously hungry in an attempt to make up for the lack of useable calories, but will continue to lose weight and may even develop ketoacidosis (a deadly by-product of their own fat metabolism).

kiara
April 9th, 2009, 12:38 PM
Could also be hyperthyroidism? You can also check a website on Himalayans, if they are prone to certain diseases?

mebits
April 9th, 2009, 01:09 PM
I'm making the appointment today.
Thanks for all of your input. I really appreciate it.

mebits
April 10th, 2009, 11:26 AM
OK, had an open appointment with my vet on Thursday afternoon and told myself not to put it off any longer. Went to my local vet (Cincinnati, OH) who's treated my cat before (www.HydeParkVets.com (http://www.HydeParkVets.com)) and he checked out my cat, said one of his kidneys was enlarged, and that due to the water consumption and diet, and especially the weight loss, he definitely needed some blood work.

He took some blood and then he told us to go home and that he's call us the next day with the results.

Well, the results are in.

Looks like he's ok for thyroid and glucose, but his kidneys are weakened, but still not off the chart. I was told a reading of 10-30 for the kidneys was normal and that 200 was not good. My cat (Lestat) came in at 65, so there's a problem, but Dr. Sieber thinks it can be managed mostly by diet.

We'll be moving Lestat away from higher ash food with higher fiber content. There's a catfood called k/d or m/d and it looks like that's gonna be a staple around here. Unfortunately, it's not an over the counter thing, so we're headed back to the vet to pick some up this afternoon.

Also, I've been giving my cat a lot of treats lately as I've been training him a lot to do a few tricks. So far he can do a 360* circle and scratch on his post by voice command and then there's this little one that I think we've been working on just for today. :thumbs up

I hope this video works...

http://hydeparkvets.com/high5.mov

Anyway, it also looks like we've got to cut out the treats. They're just not good for him with weakened kidneys... so I'm on to the next quest.... How do I make treats for my cats at home.

Is there a recipe for this kind of stuff??

Thanks everyone. I got good news today. I'm very happy.

sugarcatmom
April 10th, 2009, 04:35 PM
Can you get the actual lab report from the vet, with reference ranges for each category? Did they also do a urinalysis? The urine specific gravity (USG) is one of the important values for determining the degree of renal insufficiency, along with creatinine, BUN, phosphorus, potassium and calcium from the blood work.


We'll be moving Lestat away from higher ash food with higher fiber content. There's a catfood called k/d or m/d and it looks like that's gonna be a staple around here. Unfortunately, it's not an over the counter thing, so we're headed back to the vet to pick some up this afternoon.

For food, there really is no need to get the prescription stuff from the vet. It's actually very poor quality and the premise of feeding CRF cats a low protein diet is outdated. What you really want is to feed a lower phosphorus, grain-free wet food, something like Wellness turkey or chicken, or Innova Evo 95% venison or beef. Stay away from fish flavours, as they tend to be higher in phosphorus. Wet food is the key! No more kibble, which can actually be a contributing factor to cats developing CRF. Here are some links for you to check out:
http://felineoutreach.org/EducationDetail.asp?cat=KidneyDisease
http://www.felinecrf.org/index.htm
http://www.felinecrf.com/what0.htm


Anyway, it also looks like we've got to cut out the treats. They're just not good for him with weakened kidneys... so I'm on to the next quest.... How do I make treats for my cats at home.


How about some plain raw chicken or turkey breast cut into little cubes (you can freeze a bunch on a cookie sheet and them dump them into a freezer bag, taking a few pieces out as needed)? Some excellent treats that you can buy are freeze-dried meat chunks such as Halo Liv-a-Littles (http://shop.halopets.com/Natural-Treats) or Real Food Toppers (http://www.realfoodtoppers.com/shopping/index.php?view=category&path=15).

mebits
April 10th, 2009, 04:54 PM
Yes, I could get the lab report, but I wouldn't know what it meant. My vet actually read the results to me over the phone, but not knowing what any of it meant, I just asked for generalizations from a man who's been a vet and surgeon 45+ years, i.e. I trust him.

We went there today and he gave me eight cans of wet food, 2 package of Science Diet cat treats and sent us on our way. He said to check back in a week and we'll see how things go from there. Lestat has all but abandoned kibble on his own.

As far as Lestat's kidneys, one of his kidney's was slightly larger than the other and his blood test results were within the upper range of normal for a 13 year old cat, and the blood test showed a high range (whatever the test is, I couldn't tell you what it was.) No urinalysis test was performed that I am aware of.

OK: treats: I was thinking more of something more in the lines of a cat-cookie recipe. My cat is very well fed on fresh pork, veal, fish, shrimp, lobster, smoked gouda..... whatever we happen to be having we are more than happy to share. Anything to put some weight on him, you know?

sugarcatmom
April 10th, 2009, 06:03 PM
Yes, I could get the lab report, but I wouldn't know what it meant.

There are some people on this forum who could help you with that (growler comes to mind, she has a CRF kitty herself that is doing awesome). Here is a thread she started on the subject that has lots of good info: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=45017&highlight=crf and a summary post if you don't have time to read it all: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=748618&highlight=chemistry+conversions#post748618

We went there today and he gave me eight cans of wet food, 2 package of Science Diet cat treats and sent us on our way.

Which wet food did you get? The vast majority of vets have surprisingly little knowledge about what cats should be eating, and it's largely influenced by big pet food companies (who provide the minimal amount of nutrition education they receive at school). If you don't believe me, read this: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=59134&highlight=nutrition and this: http://naturalcathealth.blogspot.com/2007/08/for-many-years-like-majority-of-pet.html

No urinalysis test was performed that I am aware of.

On your next vet visit, it would be a really good idea to get a urinalysis done. It's great that you have trust in your vet, but I have to point out that vets are not gods. It's always a good idea to take a proactive interest in any health condition your pets may have. Nothing wrong with doing your own research. See, there is no way that every vet can keep completely up-to-date on every single issue. Some may be uber knowledgeable about Cushing's disease in dogs, while their info on feline diabetes is severely lacking. When you consider how much they have to know about so many disorders in several different species, it's really not surprising. So I urge you to read the CRF links I gave you above in order to familiarize yourself with the terminology and treatment options.

OK: treats: I was thinking more of something more in the lines of a cat-cookie recipe. My cat is very well fed on fresh pork, veal, fish, shrimp, lobster, smoked gouda..... whatever we happen to be having we are more than happy to share. Anything to put some weight on him, you know?

There aren't any cat-cookie recipes that I would recommend for a cat with kidney issues. They all contain some sort of flour or starch in order to keep their shape. Freeze-dried meat treats are really a fabulous option. And again, it's a good idea to eliminate fish.

growler~GateKeeper
April 11th, 2009, 12:10 AM
his kidneys are weakened, but still not off the chart. I was told a reading of 10-30 for the kidneys was normal and that 200 was not good. My cat (Lestat) came in at 65, so there's a problem, but Dr. Sieber thinks it can be managed mostly by diet.

That number is the BUN aka Urea value, true it is not extremely high but definately one you want to try to keep as low as possible.

There really should've been a urinalysis done at that last appointment considering the increase in water consumption. Is it possible the vet just told you about the blood numbers and didn't mention it?

If you can get a copy of the lab report & post the BUN/Urea, creatinine, phosphorus, calcium and the USG or urine specific gravity from the urinalysis I can help you understand those numbers and what they mean to your cat.

As for diet please do read the links provided above by Sugarcatmom, the theory of low protein is outdated and can be harmful to the cat since the lower the protein the less taste a food has, and one of the most important aspects of caring for a kidney failure cat is getting them to eat. In the summary mentioned above I have high quality canned foods listed that are lower in phosphorus and tasty according to my CRF cat :D My girl has been eating rawfood since shortly after her diagnosis and is doing wonderfully on it, her blood numbers have been dropping towards normal partly due to the food as well as other treatments. That goes to show the low protein theory is just outdated thinking ;)

As for treats you can bake your own chicken treats:
Found here: http://www.dogtopics.com/136/dont-risk-your-dogs-health-make-your-own-chicken-jerky/

It says for dogs but is purrfectly fine for cats too :cat:

Homemade Chicken Treats for Your Dog

Slice chicken breasts into thin strips;
Place the strips on a non-stick or greased cookie sheet;
If you don't have a dehydrator (who owns one of these?), bake in the oven at 180 degrees overnight or for several hours during the day - it will be like jerky when done;
Let the chicken cool before placing in plastic bags; and
Jerky strips can be frozen for use later if desired.

mebits
July 9th, 2009, 11:07 AM
Unfortunately, although diabetes was not the cause, my fuzzy baby took a turn for the worse.

We were feeding him k/d can food, and after seeing a friend's cat turn from a lump of immovable fat into a happy, active older cat, we started Lestat on a daily regimen of glucosamine.

It made a huge difference in his happiness and his mobility, but it just wasn't enough.

He stopped eating and started hiding in the garden.

We took him to the vet for the last time a week ago. :rip:

So now I have 19 cans of k/d can catfood and 13 unopened blisterpacks of glucosamine for cats (cosequin). I'm assuming someone here could find a use for them cheap.

Let me know if anyone's interested. It pains me to no end to see them here, knowing he's gone.

growler~GateKeeper
July 11th, 2009, 02:23 AM
mebits :sad: I'm so sorry you've lost Lestat :grouphug:

:rip: sweet :angel2: Lestat :candle: He is playing at the Rainbow Bridge (http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html) with those who've gone before :candle:


As for the food & supplements I think your local shelter would be very appreciative of such a gift.

hazelrunpack
July 11th, 2009, 09:22 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss of little Lestat, mebits. :grouphug:

:candle: Lestat