Cat Diabetes One Year On

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A blog writer gives us his view on cat diabetes one year on. It is interesting to note that initially the owners vet was almost suggesting euthanasia! Shame on him, especially when many people are able to cope quite easily and their cat is able to live an almost normal life. I’m glad to hear that the owner has now changed vets. The article emphasizes the importance of home blood sugar testing. We believe it is not enough to only visit your vet once a week or fortnight to get blood sugar tested.

“One year ago today, my cat, Guiness, was diagnosed with diabetes. I remember being freaked out and yet relieved at the same time. Feline diabetes, if caught early, is a chronic, manageable disease. It could have been something much worse.

During the two days of testing and waiting for results, my veterinarian (now my former veterinarian) kept drilling into me how difficult and expensive it was to treat a diabetic cat. He wouldn’t think bad of me, he informed me, if I came back later and said I couldn’t do it anymore.

His advice was completely opposite much of what I found on the internet. I found several cat owners whose diabetic cats had lived several years and who tolerated the shots well. Their stories encouraged me.

I’ve written articles for owners of newly diagnosed diabetic cats on other sites, but now that Guiness is a one-year survivor, I’d thought I’d share some of what they can expect down the road.

First of all, Guiness is happy, and so am I. He feels good. He doesn’t act like a cat who is about sixteen years old.

He not only tolerates insulin shots and ear pricks, he comes willingly for them and purrs through them. I’ve never had to hunt him down or chase him at shot time. Whenever I sit down on the couch where we do the shots, even if it’s just to write out my grocery list, he comes to me, expecting his treat. Sometimes, he’s the one who reminds me when it’s time.

It’s not difficult. Even learning to check a cat’s blood sugar by pricking his ear is easy, and you can find lots of how-to videos on the internet. It only takes a minute twice a day to give shots. He needs a little extra watching during the midpoint between his shots when his sugar is the lowest. Other than that, he lives a normal life for a cat.

Most of the cost of feline diabetes is in the initial diagnosis and early management. Guiness is on a very reasonably-priced human insulin. Since his glucose level has been under control, I’ve had to cut his dosage in half to keep his sugar from going too low. Insulin needles don’t cost that much. I chose a reasonably-priced insulin testing kit that uses fairly inexpensive test strips. I only need to test his sugar occasionally just to make sure he’s on track, or if I suspect it is too low.

The medical expense is offset by about a 75% reduction in what I used to spend on cat litter.

Guiness is doing well on a quality affordable brand of canned food that costs about a fourth of the prescription diet.

Did I mention he’s happy, and so am I?

Do I have any regrets about not giving up on him or committing to treating him?

Not in the least.

Is it worth it?

Absolutely.

Guiness is doing well, and I have no reason at this time not to expect him not to live farther into kitty old age.

If you have a cat that was recently diagnosed with diabetes, I encourage you to hang in there. Be diligent in getting his blood glucose under control. Don’t give up on him. Seek out success stories and advice from other cat owners. Do your research. Maintain a healthy high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

And tell your cat Guiness says hello.”

I feel a little disappointed that the diabetes in this case has not fully reversed. In many cases by managing the disease with insulin and changing the diet to a very low carbohydrate and high protein, we find that the need for insulin diminishes and in the end disappears altogether. But Guiness appears to be on the road to recovery. The quality of food may obviously be an issue as cheap canned foods, even though they may be high in protein don’t tend to have the best ingredients. But overall Guinessa nd his cat diabetes on year on are doing very well.

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