Asthmatic/Diabetic Cat Health Help!
After plumbing the depths of the interwebs in search of answers regarding feline health, I found this site and am hoping that someone out there could give me some insight into my baby's diagnoses.
A little background info on my cat: Kismet is a healthy, active 3 year old short hair I found when he was 2 months old. He is an only pet and lives exclusively indoors.
In Late July, I took him to the emergency vet when I spotted a little bit of bright red blood in his vomit. Earlier that day, he'd had a serious coughing fit, what I'd thought was a hairball.He was acting normal, but thought I should get him checked out. The vet gave him a thorough physical exam, but didn't take any blood or do any x-rays because she didn't think it was necessary and was trying to spare me the exorbitant costs of such services. She said the blood was most likely the result of an irritated esophagus or stomach from hairballs. She prescribed Kismet Laxatone and sent him on his way.
I did a little bit of research on hairballs, and decided to switch him from science diet dry food to Wellness brand wet food. His retching episodes increased to between 3-4 xs a day and he wasn't producing any hairballs, but was eating and defecating normally. I was dosing him with Laxatone after every episode, up to 4xs a day. He started drinking excessive amounts of water and urinating a lot as well.
Fast forward to August. Alarmed at the amount of fluid input and output, I stopped giving him Laxatone since it wasn't reducing what I thought were attempts to expel hariballs, and was concerned that the high amounts of corn syrup was making him diabetic. His thirst and urination returned to normal. He continued to cough at unprecedented rates.
After a few weeks elapsed and I did some more independent research, it occurred to me that he was perhaps having asthma attacks. I read that asthma could be the result of allergies. The only thing different in his lifestyle was his food. I discontinued feeding him wellness right away and switched him back to his old food and scheduled an appt with the vet the next day.
They did an x-ray and couldn't find any evidence of severe asthma.
At any rate, they prescribed a nebulizer with a mixture, oral prednizone, 50 mg of theophylline 1x a day, and an antibiotic to give to him. His asthma attacks didn't decrease at all and additionally, he started drinking and urinating a lot and became withdrawn and very scared of me. He hated taking his meds almost as much as I hated giving them to him.
The next week when they got his lab results back, they told me he was diabetic and needed to stop taking the prednizone right away. (Goes to explain the frequent urination.) He now gets an injection of 3 units of insulin 2x a day and was prescribed flovent 220mcg 1x120. We stopped all other treatments since they were so traumatic for him. We haven't received the Flovent yet as it was ordered from Canada and will take a few weeks to arrive. The vet instructed me to give the bronchiodilator pills if needed, but they haven't made any difference and only make his life (and mine) miserable.
I am hoping that both his asthma and diabetes are situational. I'm very suspicious that his glucose levels were high as a result of the Laxatone. I mentioned this to the vet and she told me it was unlikely that he developed diabetes in a month, but it was her group that prescribed the Laxatone and she may just be trying to cover her a**. Kismet is a big cat, but not obese according to his docs. He is a tall, long cat and weighs in at around 15 lbs.
I've read a lot of conflicting information on what to feed cats, especially diabetic/asthmatic ones. My vet insists organic, canned wet foods are just a fad, and says that he should stay on the Hills w/d dry. I will not be going back to Wellness since I suspect that may be what triggered the allergic asthma attacks, but was wondering if perhaps there is a better alternative out there. Should I stay with Hills? I read that dry foods are bad for diabetic cats because they are rich in carbohydrates, even those that claim to be low-fat, low-carb. As far as treating his asthma, I've switched his litter to Feline Pine (a low dust, all natural litter.)
Overall, he seems to be doing much better now, more energetic and cuddly. He is still having asthma attacks, though. We go back in 4 weeks for a check up. This is another thing that concerns me. She told us we don't need to do at home glucose testing, but some of the literature I've read recommends ear pricks. What should I do?
Does anyone have any tips or suggestions regarding Kismet's specific situation and/or treating asthmatic/diabetic cats in general? I love my cat as though he were my child and would do anything for him. I want to give him the best treatment possible. I am especially concerned because he is so young and Ivwant to ensure that he lives a long, healthy life.
Thanks for any insight any of you can share,
Last edited by pennydreadful; September 13th, 2012 at 08:48 PM.