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Cat just diagnosed with diabetes - what to do next?

(36 Posts)
JadedAngel Tue 20-Jan-15 09:45:55

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cozietoesie Tue 20-Jan-15 10:07:33

I'm probably the wrong person to comment because I had an acquaintance with an older Siamese who was seriously diabetic and her issue was not so much the injections etc but the constant trials in getting her to eat properly. She was a bit fussy at the best of times and while she was a pretty complaisant animal, if they won't eat on schedule ........well, it's difficult. (She used to follow the cat around with tempting morsels trying to persuade her.)

As a result, I know that serious diabetes is one of my great fears for one of my cats. Other posters have more personal experience though and will likely comment.

JadedAngel Tue 20-Jan-15 10:21:13

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Vida Tue 20-Jan-15 11:17:34

I would say give the injections a try and see for a little while. But gosh, what a difficult decision. PTS would be totally understandable too - you know your cat. And it's about quality of life too, for both of you.

My (dearly departed) cat had diabetes aged 16-19.5. Like you, we couldn't imagine what giving him the injections was going to be like, we didn't think he would accept it. He was a big, strong, wilful cat.

Just to be honest though, your cat does sound less compliant - mine would mostly behave at the vets etc. Only the odd vet left bleeding wink

However, it was easier than we thought. Now, I don't claim to be an expert, or that all of the below will be true for your cat, but mine is a positive story. A few points about it:

- The key to giving the injections was always 'quick as lightening, show no fear or hesitation' while he slept. This requires some practice - the vet will obviously show you how. But we did get there. He accepted it more over time, and it did make him feel better. We didn't feel having the injections worsened his quality of life overall.

- My cat only occasionally 'felt' the injection - it didn't hurt him most of the time.

- The occasional missed injection didn't matter if he was playing up. Nor did getting him to eat at exactly the right times.

- Does your cat definitely need two a day? And monthly blood tests?

I can't remember the exact details, but the vet wanted my cat to have two a day, but we said no, we felt it would impact his quality of life. He was given a special type of insulin only used in humans normally, which meant one a day was fine. Do ask about this.

We also refused regular blood tests, only having one maybe every 6-9 months after the initial period of getting the insulin level right, as long as he seemed healthy and happy.

He had a happy life almost right up until the end (on Friday sad) when he died aged 19.5 of kidney failure.

Dare I say, we always felt that vets' advice had to be taken with a pinch of salt, with considerable input from us, the people who knew the cat, what he could handle and what was going to affect his quality of life. In the nicest possible way (I'm not slagging off vets at all!) do question what they say, and do come to your own decisions.

- If you don't have one already, get a massive cat box, not one of those tiny standard sized ones. There was no struggle with the one we had latterly because you just lowered him in the top and it was so big there was nowhere to cling to. And my cat was HUGE.

Sorry you're going through this x

cozietoesie Tue 20-Jan-15 11:26:09

I'd thoroughly agree with getting a large carrier. I see umpty cats at the vet who are full sized beasts yet stuffed into tiny carriers. I suspect that many owners acquire small carriers for kittens - in the first flush of new ownership - and then never upgrade when the cat grows.

I had to buy a largeish carrier when one of my boys was travelling by air. (Any of you who have had to satisfy airline requirements for H&S will know the issues.) I never have any trouble getting Seniorboy into it.

JadedAngel Tue 20-Jan-15 11:47:44

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JadedAngel Tue 20-Jan-15 11:49:04

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JadedAngel Tue 20-Jan-15 12:10:34

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Vida Tue 20-Jan-15 12:42:42

Thanks Jaded. It's been a very hard couple of days indeed sad. He was just the most special cat. Millie is beautiful too.

We did it in same spot, more or less (scruff of neck). Never seemed to be a problem (I did wonder about that).

I think those symptoms would improve, but not sure. My cat's only symptom to begin with was drinking loads - that's why I took him to the vet initially.

I will get the name of the insulin when I'm home this evening and let you know.

You are NOT letting her down. It's clear from your posts how much you love her. You are trying to choose the best thing from the most difficult of options. It's a horrible, horrible place to be. Cut yourself some slack. Life is bloody awful sometimes x

Vida Tue 20-Jan-15 12:43:27

Oh sorry, insulin was prescribed and supplied by our vet.

cozietoesie Tue 20-Jan-15 12:58:23

Yes - cut yourself some slack indeed, Jaded. You know her best, including how she'll likely react in view of the prognosis and what sort of quality of life she'll have.

It's a bad place to be for you but many of us will have been in similar circumstances and will understand.

JadedAngel Tue 20-Jan-15 15:17:08

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cozietoesie Tue 20-Jan-15 15:21:21

Take care.

Ruhrpott Tue 20-Jan-15 15:32:06

You can learn quite easily to do the blood tests yourself too. You can buy a machine from the chemist for about �10 (can even get them in bigger Tescos and Sainsburys etc). You need more sticks though, they can be bought from Amazon. It's not a special one for cats. There are you tube videos on how to do it. Its usually done on the edge of the ear.

Ruhrpott Tue 20-Jan-15 15:40:11

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zE12-4fVn8

JadedAngel Tue 20-Jan-15 17:44:08

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Vida Tue 20-Jan-15 21:03:12

Hello again Jaded. Brand name of insulin is Lantus.

Hope you and Millie are OK - do keep us updated, and here if you have any more questions/just want to talk. Enjoy your time with her x

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 20-Jan-15 23:20:20

I was going to suggest home blood testing from the ear tip, though I would suggest using the acute do machine that is specially calibrated for cats and dogs mainly because it only requires a third of the amount of blood that the human machines need literally the smallest drop.
The new Vetpen that you dial and fire ( press a button and it auto injects) makes administering the insulin much easier.

JadedAngel Thu 22-Jan-15 09:00:44

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Lonecatwithkitten Thu 22-Jan-15 12:02:37

Jaded they may say it's fiddly it is for those of us who draw up injections all day everyday. For you an owner it is much much easier.

JadedAngel Thu 22-Jan-15 13:49:30

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JadedAngel Fri 30-Jan-15 08:21:26

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cozietoesie Fri 30-Jan-15 09:30:26

Oh well done! smile How is she?

JadedAngel Fri 30-Jan-15 10:06:04

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cozietoesie Fri 30-Jan-15 11:55:44

smile

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