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  1. #1
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    Default Our cat has diabetes

    One of our cats, Scout, has diabetes...we just found out today

    She's almost 14. Has always been quite healthy until the last 6 months or so. Anyway, we recently noticed that she was drinking huge amounts of water, was filling the litterbox with pee. Her eyes and coat were looking duller. Then seemed to be losing weight. We took her in and they did bloodwork. I fully expected it was her kidneys, so I was really surprised to hear diabetes today.

    Has anyone had a diabetic cat? Was it well-managed with treatment?

    We'll have to give her insulin and check her sugar levels regularly at home.

    I guess I'm worried that we're imposing a lot of interventions on her and wondering if this is something that she'll continue to experience suffering with? Or would she be quite a bit healthier once the sugars are managed? (this is what it sounded like from the Vet's explanation)

    I worry a bit that at age 14, this is the beginning of declining health and how do we know when it's the right time to let her go peacefully?
    "My mind is going a mile an hour."

  2. #2
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    Aw. So sorry to hear it! That's not great news about your beloved cat.

    We had a very overweight, borderline diabetic cat. Some symptoms showed themselves, like the copious amount of water drank, and the peeing everywhere (outside of the box, mostly!) We never got the full blood work done, but what we ended up doing was treating him as though he was diabetic and we started with his diet. That helped a LOT.

    We took him off dry food completely. Put him on wet food only and he lost about 3 to 4 pounds in a very short time. Which is huge for a cat! He stopped peeing everywhere, and he gained his “youthfulness“ back -- playing, running, etc.

    We still keep an eye on him and there are times like when we go away, that he gets dry food. But we can tell the difference almost immediately; and at this point, he often refuses to eat it entirely. As if he knows what its doing to his body.
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

  3. #3
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    Here's a blurb I found about diet:

    Because improper diet is the cause of type II diabetes mellitus in the cat, diet must be the foundation of the management of this disease. Although the veterinary profession has been conditioned to believe that high fiber dry diets are capable of assisting in the management of feline diabetes, the reality is that this disease has historically been extremely difficult to deal with BECAUSE of this mistaken belief. The practice of using dry form, high fiber diets for our diabetic patients is utterly in error. In fact, high fiber dry foods have two massive flaws. The first is the high amount of carbohydrate in them (no, they are not immune from the requirement of extruded foods for high cereal content) which promotes high blood glucose notwithstanding the fiber contained in them. These diets are usually “low fat“ as well as high fiber and because of thus, much of the usual fat in the formula has been replaced with even more digestible carbohydrate than is present in regular formulas (in the highly mistaken belief that it is dietary fat that makes cats fat).

    The second serious flaw is the high fiber itself. As an obligatory carnivore, the cat's GI tract is short compared with that of the dog or humans. During evolution, the cat's gastrointestinal tract adapted to the intake of calorie-dense, vegetation-poor foods by reducing its length and ability to undertake prolonged digestion of fibrous foods. High fiber foods ignore this fact, providing an unnatural burden on the feline GI tract that results in excessive system bulk and reduced nutrient absorption.

    Therefore, to manage feline type II diabetes, the patient MUST be provided a diet that is high in protein, moderate-to-high in fat and ultra low in carbohydrate, especially carbohydrate from extruded cereals and those with high glycemic indices, like corn.

    No feline diabetic should eat any type or brand of dry food. This includes Purina DM dry (a high carbohydrate, corn-containing formula with no relationship whatsoever to the canned version of this food) and Hills m/d dry (not only does this food contain corn carbohydrate, it also has increased fiber). Allowable foods include canned DM, FancyFeast, and a number of other brands. For a comprehensive list of canned cat foods and their nutrient levels, see the following listing of most major canned foods:FelineDiabetes.com: Canned Cat Food Nutritional Content . Look for foods with low % of calories from carbohydrate.

    Not only will a low carbohydrate canned food reduce the wide blood glucose swings seen in feline diabetics, it will also reduce the pathologic overeating seen in cats consuming dry foods that provide little or no sense of satiety.
    Last edited by dressage mom; 11-05-2010 at 06:40 PM.
    "Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are." -- Old English Saying

  4. #4
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    It is so hard to watch your pet age and I have no answers, just wanted to send some hugs!

  5. #5
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!

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    Our overweight cat was diabetic. He got an insulin shot in his back, daily. It was well managed, with the insulin. He was diagnosed when he was about 12 and lived to a ripe old age of 18. During the 6 years that he lived with diabetes, I can remember maybe two-three times that he had an issue and needed to have a second shot.
    "Anything is better than lies and deceit". Leo Tolstoy

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    Sorry to hear about your cat.
    I also had a 12 year old diagnosed diabetic. He was well managed with insulin, didn't fuss at all, almost knew the inj made him feel better.
    He passed away about 6-7 months later...ended up with cancer :“(

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    I am a diabetic so pm me if you need any help or advice, I also have a med plan so if your cat is on the same drugs I am then I can donate some insulin as I have more then I need, Good news is that with the treatment she can live a longer happy life.

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