Sunday, November 11, 2007

Feline Diabetes Mellitus

Kodak, my Russian Blue, is my "old man. He was the first cat in my household and the most amazing stoic creature-but stubborn! Last week I noticed he was racing to any tap I turned on. Having known people that have had diabetic cats, including my mom and my aunt, I had a sneaking suspicion that he was diabetic! Let me first give you some of the symptoms of feline diabetes:
1. Increased water consumption and urination
2. Increased appetite
3. Weight Loss
4. weakness

Diabetes Mellitus is a disease caused by a deficiency of insulin or a reduced ability of the body's cells to respond to insulin. Without insulin, sugar cannot enter the cells of the body and it builds up in the blood and eventually passes into the urine. This causes increased urine production and thirst. Hunger increases because the body cannot use the sugar in the blood and the body tries to cope by digesting it's own muscle for energy. Diabetes is diagnosed by detecting high sugar levels on blood and urine tests. It's not curable but can be controlled with proper insulin, oral hypoglycemic and diet.

I was hoping he wasn't diabetic but at 11 years old it had to be something. And since he was racing for any running water I turned and he had lost weight..well the signs were there. So I took him in for a blood test and a urine test. I received the results this week-of course Murphy's Law I was out of town working! So here I was trying to deal with a newly diagnosed diabetic cat and work in an area without cell reception! It was horrible! I so wanted to come home but luckily I have the BEST petsitter in the universe and an amazing dad!! They were able to hold down the "kitty fort" until I came home and could throw myself full force into treating my stubborn diabetic cat!

Kodak's glucose levels were 433. The normal range is 70-150 and he had glucose in his urine....he is diabetic! So off we go!

He went to the vet last wednesday and received his first insulin injection. He's getting 1 unit( 1cc which equivalent to 1ml) every 12 hours of PZI Insulin-which was rather expensive at $109.57. ( I'll be looking in to see if I can find the insulin any cheaper elsewhere!) His Insulin syringes are U-40-1/2CC which were bought in a bulk of 100 for $20. But at 1 unit every 12 hours the Insulin will last quite awhile.

On saturday November 10th I took him in for my first "diabetic" appt. I was given pamphlets and instructed on how to inject the insulin. The first thing one must do is mix the contents of the insulin-DO NOT SHAKE the bottle, gently roll the bottle in your hand. My vet said for about a minute. Also remember, insulin loses it's effectiveness in sunlight and heat so it must be stored in a refrigerator. Also the needle is directional-it's has a little hole which should be pointing up so that when the needle is injected it causes as little pain to the cat as possible. I was also shown what areas were best-the fatty areas around the shoulder etc. My Kodak has a few of those areas so he really isn't too bothered by the injections yet!

As for food...well here comes the fun part! Yes my boy is very picky about his food! And if he doesn't like the smell-well he wont eat it! My vet told me to really try to get him to eat the canned diabetic food because he has seen cats go into remission by eating the canned diabetic food- so I bought both canned Purina DM and Hills M/D to try out-and luckily my petsitter bought Dry Purina DM....for my stubborn Russian is not a big fan of canned food! Well as you guessed-he will not eat the canned food! Turns his nose up at it. And I'm not going to force feed canned food! So Purina dry DM is where we are in the food world-at least he seems to tolerate that so far!

We go back in 5 days, this thursday, to have his blood glucose levels checked again. They've started him off on a low level of insulin just to see how he's responding and if it's even making a dent in his glucose levels......might have to up it after our vet visit on thursday. I have pet insurance on Kodak and 3 Perf so i'm going to check to see if any of these expenses are covered. I don't have insurance on Winton because he was diagnosed with CRF 4 years ago and they wouldn't cover him.....

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