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Spotty has diabetes

3154 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Mom of 4
Just got the word today. Just wondering if anyone on the forum has had any success treating their diabetic cat. The vet made it sound pretty grim. Did some online research and see that more than a few cats have gone into remission after being on insulin for different periods of time. Is that possible? We are in a mild state of shock, and don't know if either of us are up to giving Spotty injections twice a day. Would like to get some advice from any of you that have gone through this. Many thanks, Milton.
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My brother's cat is dabetic and has been living with it for about two years now. He seems to do well with his insulin. May I ask what the cats diet is, just out of curiosity?
and don't know if either of us are up to giving Spotty injections twice a day.
If that's the best course of action as per your vet, what are your other options? If you gotta do it, ya gotta do it.
My son's cat was diagnosed as diabetic. The classic weight-loss was the reason we took her in.
I took over and started her on high quality, high protein/low carb wet food. The vet let us try that for 2 weeks, then rechecked her. I don't remember her numbers, but it wasn't too bad when we caught it. At the two week check, her numbers had dropped to high normal. Two weeks later, she was solidly in the normal range. She has maintained that for 3 years. My son did switch her to EVO dry and it is also working for her.

Work with your vet before changing the diet.
Insulin is a breeze to give - I have taught elementary students to give it to themselves. Practice with a syringe, some water and an orange (don't eat it), which has a "give" like skin.
Getting a BS on a cat is more difficult, usually you prick the ear. They get used to it.
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Thanks for the replies. Marsha, what kind of canned wet food did you give to your son's cat? I certainly would like to try it. Spotty has been eating regular store bought canned food, Friskies, 9 Lives, Whiskas, and he likes Purina One dry. Spotty's high number I believe was 400. Thanks again
Cats can and do often go into remission from diabetes, esp. if they are fed a proper (canned) diet and NO kibble. There is an excellent website with lifesaving information written by a vet who specializes in treating diabetic cats. I strongly recommend you read it ASAP. Then reread it until it all sinks in: - Helping and Preventing Feline Diabetes

Here is a link to another website dedicated to feline diabetes with a great deal of helpful information:

Feline Diabetes —Diabetes in Cats — Treatment and Diabetic Cat Info — FDMB

Just so you know, diabetes needles are very tiny. With a little practice, you'll be able to give insulin injections that Spotty may not even notice.

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A friend of the family had a cat with Diabetes; Moon lived years with it. Kevin gave him injections and he was fine - fully functioning.
About 11 years ago I had a cat diagnosed with diabetes and I had to give her insulin. If you can treat your cat with a diet change that would be great. But if you have to give Spotty insulin it is not hard. It is a big commitment to do it every 12 or 24 hours but if you can make that commitment then Spotty can live a fairly normal life. There were only a few times that my cat got stressed about the injections and that was because I was stressed. Once I learned to get it ready and then calmly hold her while I gave her the injection she didn't seem to mind. I have no medical background and medical issues make me anxious. So if I could do it, I know anybody can. Good luck. the green sidebar on the right, under feline health, diabetes is the second one down.

that's a part of the site i haven't read because i don't have any cats with diabetes, but it looks like the woman who wrote it (lisa pierson is a vet) had a diabetic cat. it's an awesome site. she talks a LOT about diet and recommends foods and also says why certain foods should be avoided.
I've never had a diabetic cat but I have a friend that has had several (she tends to adopt older cats and inherits the problems they come with). She says the biggest challenge for her is the timing restrictions...shots need to be given twice a day, 12 hours apart. The process of actually giving the shot is no big deal according to her. She has two diabetic cats right now and she says they know they're going to get a treat when it's done, so when they see the equipment come out they jump right up on the table and sit nicely for her to do the shot.
Thank you all for your help, it's much appreciated. Cinderflower, the site you suggested looks very promising, and thanks for the link. We are going to try the diet change first (if our vet will go along with it), and hope it gets some results. Spotty will be going to the vet Monday to spend 3 days while they try to determine levels. I am going to start him on Purina DM today.
you're more than welcome.

i have no idea how severe spotty's diabetes is, but i know in humans it can be reversed (sometimes) with the proper diet, so i don't know but i'd hope it might be similar in cats. if you had to spend a little more on food but could avoid the needles, that would be cool, wouldn't it?

i did notice what she said about the hill's prescription food that a lot of vets insist is great. it's extremely high in carbs and not good for a diabetic cat. you'd think they wouldn't keep pushing it, but in my lifetime, i'd think a lot of things that should be so but aren't. :)

good luck!
Thank you all for your help, it's much appreciated. Cinderflower, the site you suggested looks very promising, and thanks for the link. We are going to try the diet change first (if our vet will go along with it), and hope it gets some results. Spotty will be going to the vet Monday to spend 3 days while they try to determine levels. I am going to start him on Purina DM today.
p.s. i didn't read the entire part about diabetes but i did remember some of the foods advised against:

As noted above, I do not use any of the prescription diets - even in the canned form - since there are healthier - and often less-expensive - choices in the over-the-counter (non-prescription) market. Please understand that there is nothing 'magical' about the prescription diabetes-management diets. Several of them, such as Hill's m/d and w/d (dry and canned), Purina DM dry, and Royal Canin DS (dry) are all too high in carbohydrates. Purina DM canned is sufficiently low in carbohydrates (~7%) but it is expensive and it is predominantly liver which should not make up the bulk of a cat's diet. The prescription diets also contain species-inappropriate, hyperallergenic ingredients such as corn, wheat, and soy.

what she says about the diet not being "magical" is very true. you have to mix and match diet with insulin plus blood sugar levels to make sure you don't harm the cat.

i'm not a vet and don't even play one on the internet, i just believe in educating myself on certain conditions and working with my vet OR my medical doctors. they're human beings, they don't also know and need for the patient to do some of the footwork. (they won't tell you this, but it's true lol) i have had to problem solve a lot of things for myself to stay off as many prescription medications as possible.
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I'm sorry to hear about Scotty and sorry to hear that your vet is sounding very grim. Our family cat was diagnosed at the age of 12 with diabetes, he lived 2 more years and ultimately I don't think his death necessarily had to do with his diabetes, we found out that he was actually in extreme pain near the end of his life due to some neurological/spinal issues and we had to have him pts. Did your vet mention that it's actually possible with feline diabetes for them to go into complete remission? Our boy went in and out of remission, which isn't common.

It wasn't an easy 2 years, it was a lot of patience and dedication, not to mention a lot of big vet bills, but we had 2 beautiful, quality years with him and it was worth it. I think we could have had even more with him if it weren't for the fact that he was already an older kitty, and the fact that we struggled for most of his life with his obesity.

It is more than possible for a kitty with diabetes to live a quality, happy life with the help of insulin and a good diet. Our vet said that sadly most people have their kitty pts when they are diagnosed with diabetes but that it is, for the majority of the time, unnecessary.

If you need anyone to talk to, vent to or have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]. I know how scary it can be, esp at first...
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You have to trust your vet - if I didn't, I would be finding a new one.

400 is high (higher than Captain's) but it can be brought down some, if not to a normal level. The ultimate goal is a blood sugar of 100, though 100-200 is usually considered good.

There are some great sites out there for information - just watch the sources. I tended to follow the info on the sites that were similar to what we do in humans.
I used Dr Lisa Pierson for guidance on my choice of diets. Note that it is critical to NOT change the diet while the cat is on insulin unless the vet agrees. You don't want to kill your cat.

Goggle Janet and Binky's food charts. The goal is 10% carbs or less. That's why we went with canned Evo. Though I did try Captain on DM, she hated it (very picky).
And you have to consider the total calories. Depending on the activity level of your cat, you will need 15 -25 kcal per pound of weight per day. So a lazy 10 lb cat would get around 150 kcal per day. A very active 10 lb cat would need 250 kcal per day. Note that these are averages.

And all of the above needs to be done with you vets approval. I am not a vet.
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