Skip to comments.Elderly Viking Kitty with Diabetes
Posted on 01/04/2010 5:16:56 PM PST by Battle Axe
Miss Peach has been a Viking Kitty since I have been on Free Republic, but tonight she is in the hospital with severe diabetes.
Is there anyone else how has come across this problem?
What did you do and what was the outcome?
The sugar reading was 417. She will be 15 years old in 7 weeks.
Prayers up. 417 is way high...
I gave one of my cats (from 8 thru 10 years old.) a shot a day of insulin for 2 years. Have to kind of guess at dosage, unfortunately.
If the blood sugar can be stabilized, she can be ok. Still, not a good prognosis
(cat didn’t like that needle, for sure)
Some friends had a kitty with diabetes and one was a nurse. She was able to do the insulin shots right before meals to keep Colonel Kitty fairly happy. The shot is really very simple and he did not have a problem with it, especially when he knew he was getting the good food, right after.
It is a very small needle, and I even did it when I was cat sitting, so it really was easy. I can email more if you like but it was very simple.
I don’t know about cats, but we have a diabetic Gordon Setter dog, and has been for 4 years. Cats get it more than dogs. Our baby has lived a full life, it’s just a pain in the butt for us. We check her with a human monitor 4 times a day, we’re lucky I can come home for lunch break. Carefully monitor what she eats and she gets 2 shots a day, one at 7 am and 1 at 6 pm, that’s about it.
I’ve had two cats and a dog with diabetes. The cats were getting insulin injections twice a day. We found out that if we split the dose, it was easier to control the blood sugar. Both cats and the dog lived to an old age and amazed the vet.
My husband is really good at giving shots and he would grab the back of the neck and give the shot there.
Diabetes seems to be fairly common in older cats.
I think it is kinder to put a cat down than give it shots every day.
I know, y’all get attached to a particular special friend. I am not trying to be cruel or insensitive.
You can get a doomed cat from the pound for far less money in honor of your late friend, and do a lot more good that way, I believe.
RULE #1 -— DON’T PANIC!!! Your cat has been diabetic for a while already, acting perfectly normal except for the increased water intake and the wet cat litter. Now you know, so you can do something about it.
I’m sorry to hear about your kitty. Second, really listen to your Vet -— this is important, and ask for handouts or further explanation if you have any questions. There are things that can be done and sometimes work very well.
Changing to an all meat canned cat food can’t hurt. Actually, it does seem to help more than you might expect for many cases of diabetes in cats. Discuss this with your Vet and see what they think:
Insulin injections are probably in your kitty’s future as well. Most cats tolerate these tiny injections quite well. A few cats even recover well enough to get off insulin.
I wish you the best. And 15 isn’t too old, my brother’s cat is a feeble 23 years old, but she’s still chugging along.
I do not think the shots will be a happy thing. Testing today and set nailed me real good on three fingers.
I don't heal real well anymore.
There are some crystals that you can put in the litter box that will give a range of readings. Has anyone used that?
The vet said that she had used up a lot of her lives when she swallowed all that string TEN YEARS AGO and had to have a huge operation on her intestines. But she survived that!!
hang in there & also have your vet check her kidneys & urine . prayers up here for your kitty
I gave a good ol’ cat with kidney failure subcutaneous saline for about a year. He was a good cat, and was worth the trouble. He didn’t much like the needle, either.
I had a cat with diabetes and she went on well for 3+ years after being diagnosed. The shots are a snap (just be sure to vary the injection sites), and the cat doesn’t even notice. Best of luck to you and Miss Peach.
My sister used standard diabetic strips to test the litterbox urine with one of her rescue cats. I don’t know how well that worked. Cats can’t tell ya they haven’t eaten lately or ate just 5 minutes ago. ( the cat I had died of insulin shock finally.)
Ping for kitty advice.
Thank you all so very much for the kind words of support. It is most comforting to know that you are out there.
Once again I am reminded why I have no pets and refuse to be overcome by those cute little kitties and puppies.
It is extremely rare for someone to be what is called a brittle diabetic...that is one who's body cannot use the insulin that is injected or the pill...
In my years nursing I had only seen 1 brittle diabetic and his blood/sugar would sometimes go over 1000....it did much damage to his body, but there was nothing at the time that could be done for such people...
I am just guessing but I think at 15 it will probably be insulin...the injections are what is called sub Q, and are not painful. Not like getting a shot of penicillin with those big needles...
2 of my 4 sons has mature onset of diabetes, they both take pills, but if they lost some weight, it might help...diet is important in a diabetic. Your family will need lots of teaching on the subject. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If she is in the hospital, she will probably be seen by a dietitian and specialist in endocrinology..
hope this helps. Diabetes is not cured, its controlled..
I found this site years after we had a diabetic cat, who we cared for, for about three years before he was diagnosed with cancer.
We found that giving him his shot when he was eating worked great; just gently pick up the scruff of his neck, skin and fur, and inject there.
I look back and wish I had known about catkins, but I don’t know if it was around back then.
Here is a link at the feline diabetes site that has a list of gluten free cat food by Fancy Feast. I now feed my two maine coons this food. http://www.felinediabetes.com/glutenfree.htm
I can usually get it at PetCo for about .50 a can on sale. In fact, it is on sale from Sunday until Jan 13th I think.
It seems really scary at first, but it can be done.
Prayers and well wishes.
My mother has an aging cat with diabetes. She loves the cat very much. She gives the cat shots everyday, twice a day I think. She would never stop doing this for her cat. It could go on for years and the cat is not very mobile anymore.
Neither of them seems very happy. I have a feeling it would be better to let the cat slip away humanely but my mother will not even consider it for a moment. She says she would be very lonely, in addition to not being willing to put the cat down for other obvious reasons.
You will have to decide for yourself whether you are more like me or my mom, I’m afraid.
goat granny is senile, she though you were talking about a 15 year old person, after reading replies, I gather its a 15 year old cat....don’t know anything about cat diabetes...Signed silly goat granny
Our own Viking Kitty developed diabetes as well. He made it about a year on twice daily insulin. Last fall he had turn for the worse and couldn’t be balanced enough to recover.
We do miss him.
He stayed at the vet for a few days in the beginning, we did have to rush him back a few weeks later...too much vetsulin, he had a seizure...then we kept Karo syrup on hand but it didn't happen again, thankfully, still something to have on hand in case.
He's his old self and is enjoying his kitty life, it's hard to go away though, we have to get a pet sitter, that can give needles.
Believe it or not, it's really simple to give a cat or dog an injection. The reaction of the pet depends on the animal's pain tolerance and personality - each animal is individual in this regard. My favorite cat had renal failure for the last couple years of his life. I gave him fluid injections under his skin and also Pepcid injections for his nausea. He tolerated all of it very well and it greatly improved his health.
You might want to read the replies. Pets are rarely put down for diabetes. The treatmant is rountine. Just as there are many dogs that require meds for seizure, older pets that need arthritis drugs, even neurotic pets that need sedatives. Most pets will eventually need something, it does not necessarily mean they are suffering. As to not liking the injection, cats dislike most things that are good for them and delight in that which they don’t need like thread with a needle attached to it, hot chicken in a skillet and the icicles on a Christmas tree.
SAA — I don’t know if you still do the kittypings, but if you do, you may want to ping the list — FReeper kitty needs help.
Cat bites are very dangerous. I’ve seen someone lose a finger over a cat bit. I’ve also seen dozens of people admitted to the hospital for antibiotics and have multiple surgeries to recover from what looked like a minor bite.
You would do well to get your bites looked after. Now as opposed to later, they can turn south in less than 24 hours. In addition, you need to not put yourself in the position of being bitten again.
Like I tell people all the time at the store..."when is the last time you had to chase cats out of your corn field?"
Corn syrup in human food = diabetes; corn meal in pet food = diabetes. Simple as that.
I don't believe there is one brand of dry cat or dog food sold in stores that I would feed to any of my pets. They are ALL crap.
Sometimes, as with our 18 year old cat, Ivan, if they are being treated with steroids, like the Depo shot the vet gives for various problems, it can throw them into diabetes. 25Ivan had some really bad skin conditions and each year he would get Depo shots. After several in a row, he was diagnosed with diabetes. I had no idea that could happen. We went to a different vet after we started on the insulin shot regimen, She told us that sometimes it will resolve itself after the steroid works out of the system, usually about a month. Well, after a little over a month, and day long blood level tests, he cas declared back to normal. Thank God! It is a pain but can be managed. You can also watch blood sugar with a urine test (yes it can be done)! Prayers for you and your furbaby!
Miss Peach did bite a man who needed to have surgery on his hand. It was because he had diabetes himself and it was untreated. He had to have a hand surgeon to operate. Fortunately, my orthopedic surgeon is certified in hands. That Dr. told him that the cat had saved his life by forcing him to treat his diabetes. Otherwise he would have fallen into a diabetic coma while driving his new motor home to Canada. so they did not sue me, but have sent Christmas cards to Miss Peach.
Believe me the hydration makes them feel SO much better. Don’t even worry about the little stick of the needle. I don’t understand why people think it is cruel.
see my post #39. Most older kitties at some point have kidney failure.
Dehydration makes them feel absolutely miserable and the fluids give immediate relief.
We had a dog with diabetes who survived several years after diagnosis, and many live much longer and do very well. He had a severe case of pancreatitis that led to the diabetes, and lesson learned is never give a dog meat with fat (rib bones), it led to a a health crisis disaster. He had insulin shots twice a day and it was quite manageable. He enjoyed the remainder of his life until the very end when he didn’t respond well to insulin any longer.
The vet told me that cats with diabetes are more easily managed, as a rule, and do quite well, often better than dogs. I wouldn’t worry about giving the shots, the needle is fine gauge and they don’t seem to mind it.
I have a cat I am taking to the vet this week, and I suspect she may have diabetes. She is 12 years old, quite snippy by nature, and will complain if she has to have shots, but should do well. I wouldn’t put an animal down, as some suggest, for having to have shots. They handle many medical problems far better than people do.
our vet wanted us to put our elderly diabetic viking kitty (Ben) in the hospital over night when he had become listless and could not control his muscles well enough to even walk to the water bowl. I brought Ben home with a bag of IV fluids and he was better the next day. Then about a month later he had a check up and the vet almost didn’t recognize him he was doing so much better. The vet had predicted our kitty would not have lasted the night. The vet sent me home with another IV bag ‘just in case’ we ever needed it again.
Ben gave up his fight this past September, more than a year after diagnosis.
MY cat, Ben actually developed a pavlovian reaction to the needle because he knew that after each shot, he got a yummy treat. He adored the canned food the vet prescribed.
It is pretty easy to treat. The best source of info (if no one has pointed you n this direction yet) is Feline Diabetes.com. they have a message board with so many wonderful, helpful people.
I would suggest that the first thing you do when your baby is home is to learn how to test his blood glucose levels yourself. it's not hard and you can use a human glucometer (do not believe your vet when they say otherwise. The human ones are less expensive and all you need do is test it against your vet's meter for accuracy).
The second thing I'd do is get rid of all dry food (if that is what you feed). It is loaded with carbs, which is deadly to a diabetic. It is very important that once diet has been changed, you test blood glucose levels before giving insulin as just the change in diet alone can reduce the levels and the insulin dose should be adjusted to the new levels
I'm sorry to throw so much info at you. It's a little scary at first, but it is so easy once you get used to it. If I can help in any way, please feel free to PM me.
Have had an older cat with diabetes. Had to do her sugars and give her shots but ya know she hung around enjoying all the attention for four more years
I recently switched all my animals (cats and dogs) to Blue Buffalo. It is a little more pricey than other brands, but it has helped out all my kitties with their varying health issues with 1 food. My 2 kittens were getting urinary tract infections on a regular basis and my adult cat has a sensitive stomach. The ingredients in blue buffalo are a lot better than other, cheaper brands. They don’t have fillers and by-products. www.bluebuff.com
Yeah, I feel the same way about human children.
My advice is read the contents label and then ask yourself: if my cat were wild and living off the land, would he/she be eating cornmeal gluten, wheat gluten or sugar? No. And they wouldn’t be consuming all the sugar and salt added to semi-soft food, either. That stuff is horrible for cats or dogs.
Yes, I had a kitty who came down with severe diabetes very suddenly when he was 19. He’d always been slim and it was definitely not the standard overweight-related diabetes. Please freepmail me and I’d be happy to discuss in detail. The regular home nursing care your kitty will need will seem quite overwhelming at first, but becomes very manageable once you learn the ropes and get into a routine.
Please don’t guess at insulin doses — get a simple inexpensive glucose meter and test at least twice a day before giving insulin. At first you’ll be clumsy at this and kitty will get annoyed, but soon you’ll both take it in stride. Get the tiniest insuling needles, 29 gauge, and kitty will barely notice the shots. Mine would get his shot right after I put down a fresh bowl of food for him and he would even stop eating for a second when I gave him the shot.
Your kitty will probably need subcutaneous fluids at home on a regular basis, as diabetes promotes dehydration. You can get the fluids and other supplies very inexpensively from Brico Medical Supplies. Do not purchase any more than your first bag of fluid from your vet or you’ll be pouring huge amounts of money down the drain.
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