Diabetic cat with arthritis(11 Posts)
I have a 15 year old cat who is diabetic. The diabetes is under control, but lately she's been showing signs of joint pain (reluctance to jump up or down, not hunting or playing anymore, spending more and more time in her bed, limping after lying down, etc). These changes have occurred gradually over the last year or so and I feel like her temperament has changed and she's not as happy or as interested in things as she used to be.
I asked the vet if she could be suffering from arthritis and the vet says this is probable, due to her age - but that the treatment for arthritis is dangerous for her and could cause liver failure, due to the diabetes. She said as long as she's still pottering about she would rather not prescribe anything for her and it's best to leave her as she is.
However, I'm really worried about her being in pain and want to do something to help her. Has anyone had this problem? Can you suggest anything? I've been googling herbal supplements but am a bit confused about all the different products and am not sure if any of them would work! She has a soft, comfy bed within easy reach of her food, water and litter. I just feel like there must be something more I can do for her.
I found Seraquin very good with my old girl. It's a nutritional supplement for joints. It seems quite palatable as she ate the tablets like treats. But please, check with your vet they are OK with her diabetes before giving her these, or anything else, as I don't know if there is e.g. malt as a flavouring, which might be a problem for her.
The overwhelming view of the top vets is that regardless of other risks we should always treat pain in cats as the are so good at hiding it. Yes there are risks though not liver problems with the most common pain meds.
I have several elderly feline patients who are well controlled diabetics on pain meds.
I agree with Lonecat
Chronic pain should be treated and liver failure is not a significant concern with usual treatments. Even if the risks were significant, it is better for your cat to experience a slightly shorter and comfortable life, than a longer painful life.
NSAIDs are the treatment of choice in osteoarthritis but gabapentin (available as a paediatric formulation) is useful in chronic pain also.
Thanks everyone. Do you think I should get a second opinion on this then? To be honest it's been my long experience that different vets say different things!
I'll look up Seraquin, Weeds, thanks!
I think I probably would. Has she been your girl's vet for a long time?
No this is a brand new vet, as we moved house about a month ago. I had mentioned it to the old vet, but she put it down to her slowing down due to the natural ageing process.
Moving house made me realise how bad it is though - firstly because she doesn't seem interested in exploring the new place (she used to be very inquisitive!), and secondly because I'm suddenly at home a lot in the daytime, so I can observe her and see how inactive she's become.
I'm thinking of ringing the old vet, or seeing a different one. Thanks everyone for the replies!
You might like to read this guidance on arthritis in cats.
I fear that I just don't know about the effects of pain relief on a diabetic condition, though. My own old boy has severe arthritis and receives significant pain medication for it - but he's a good bit older than your girl. Maybe one of the vets who post can advise?
I'd give her a good heat source right away though. In my own experience, heat seems to be a real biggie for old joints.
Sorry - I see that Lone has already posted. (She's an experienced vet who has been involved in NSAID trials.) I have to say that, from my own perspective, I'd rather know that my cat had no/less pain even if that meant a slightly shorter lifespan. Limping around and aching can't be much fun for any animal.
Thanks for the link, cozie. I've just put a hot water bottle in her bed. I agree with you and would be happier if she could have something for the pain. I'll keep you posted.
Good luck to her. My own old lad has an electric blanket for his snoozing - he can't really curl up much any more and likes to lie long - and I seem to recall that at least one poster has had good experience of a heated 'whelping pad'. A hottie seems like a good quick fix though.
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