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Diabetic cat - goes missing for long periods of time

(8 Posts)
LetUsPrey Sun 21-Apr-13 13:09:28

Very worried about our cat. He's 14.5 years old and was diagnosed as diabetic two to three weeks ago. Seemed to doing okay with doing his jabs twice a day roughly 12 hours apart and his appetite really picked up.

However, in the last week and a bit he's missed a few of his morning jabs because he's not at home by the time I have to leave for school and then work. He's going missing from home for increasingly longer periods of time and his appetite has dwindled. He looks so thin sad.

Phoned the vet yesterday afternoon and they said to bring him in before end of surgery at 3, if not to bring him this morning whilst they're open between 11 and 11.30. He didn't come home yesterday until 5, had a bit of food and went out again. I haven't seen him since, although he's been home sometime in the middle of the night as the rest of his food has gone.

I've now locked the catflap so he can get in but then can't get out again. We've got his tray out again (he's always done the toilet outside) so hopefully he'll use that.

I am so so worried and feel I'm waiting for a phone call to say someone's found him. sad

Aiee Sun 21-Apr-13 13:50:37

Hi

I’m sorry your poor cat has developed diabetes, I hope he turns up soon! It’s very stressful I know, especially when you can’t find them and you fear the worst. We had a diabetic cat and it took quite a while to regulate the problem. It could be that the amount of insulin he’s getting is either too high, or two low and he is spending many hours of the day with his blood sugar outside the ‘optimal range’ i.e. very high, or dipping down too low – and either of these might make him lethargic and want to go and hide somewhere. Or maybe an underlying health problem (as was the case with our cat).

In the end I bought a blood sugar monitor from boots to test his blood sugar over intervals to see what the ‘curves’ were like – there are YouTube and ehow tutorials on how best to do this – for some reason vets don’t encourage/suggest this – possibly as it’s quite an undertaking, and not so much fun for the cat, but it’s extremely difficult in my experience too regulate diabetes if you don’t know what the cats blood sugar is doing after a shot of insulin (and before) and whether you need to subsequently up or reduce the insulin.

If he’s very thin of course, he may not need a huge amount. and his needs can also change over time depending on the cat's weight, and amount of food he's eating. Our cat would get desperately hungry about a couple of hours after his jab – and eat huge amounts –my instinct was that he was getting too much insulin – despite the vet disagreeing -and when I tested his blood sugar it was the case that it was dipping down too low after a shot, making him lethargic, wobbly and ravenous – though when it was dangerously low – he’d need to be encourage to eat – as he was becoming lethargic - which is very dangerous as hypoglycaemia can lead to coma and death.

However, high blood sugar over a period of hours each day can also lead to nerve damage and other serious problems, so it’s important to try to get the right amount of insulin into your cat. Sorry for the essay! V happy to give you any more info – about our experiences and advice from that…

LetUsPrey Sun 21-Apr-13 14:10:56

Thanks Aiee. He had his bloods re-done after being on the insulin for just under a week and all was going well. It seems the problems have started after his missed doses over the course of a few days - some days only getting one, some getting two. His quiet space used to be hiding in the overgrown garden of the empty house next door, but obviously I could find him there to bring him in for a jab. It's as if he associates coming home with getting a jab. So he's not been in his usual spot for over a week now and has found another quiet place where I can't find him.

Thanks for all the information.

LetUsPrey Sun 21-Apr-13 15:38:27

Cat is home! I think he was waiting for the car to be gone before coming back hmm. He's already not happy about staying in and we're going to have to block the catflap as last time we locked it, he broke it to get out.

Will try to keep things updated (if anyone's interested).

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 16:45:25

Oh that's good news indeed. Let us know how he gets on with his new rules.

smile

Aiee Sun 21-Apr-13 17:24:41

Hi again. That's great news he's back! and also good to hear your vet is keeping an eye on how he's responding to the insulin from the start..Our vet was not so very helpful, hence having to try to sort out the issue ourselves. Yes, they get very canny about finding places to hide when it's time for the jab! v sensible to keep him in overnight so you can keep an eye on him an give the evening/morning jab regularly. I don't know about you, but I did find that once we became more confident and less anxious about giving the jab, the cat also seemed less peturbed about having it.. a small treat or being made a fuss of post jab also seemed to make the job less of an ordeal :-)

Do keep us posted/updated -will keep an eye on the thread. Good luck ..

LetUsPrey Wed 24-Apr-13 19:43:28

Just to update following the kind comments and suggestions.

Very sadly our beautiful boy had to be PTS last night sad. His appetite tailed off completely and he was hardly eating or drinking. DH took him to the vet last night and he diagnosed a tumour in his tummy which had grown sufficiently to more or less stop his eating. His condition would not have improved and so the difficult decision was made.

He would have been 15 this July. We'd had him since he was seven weeks old.

DS1 was very upset. DS2 is only six and doesn't fully understand what's happened.

We're going to look into sponsoring a cat in a rescue centre.

I miss him a lot but I have nearly 15 years of happy memories.

cozietoesie Wed 24-Apr-13 19:55:37

So sorry. It's very hard when you love an animal so.

sad

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