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untreated feline diabetes

(15 Posts)
CanadianJohn Tue 20-Mar-18 12:50:06

Our indoor cat, about 12 years old, has diabetes. I'm 99% sure.

The cat is quite hard to handle, and my wife (and I, to a degree) don't think we would be able to manage blood tests and insulin injections. In addition, changing her diet from dry food would be difficult for the cat. To make matters worse, the vet is hugely expensive.

So, we are thinking of not treating her. My question is, is the cat suffering? She doesn't seem to be, she hangs around, sleeps, purrs, etc. And will she suffer as the disease progresses?

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Tue 20-Mar-18 12:53:34

Well yes. Of course.
If your cat is unwell you need to seek veterinary advice. Vets are expensive. If you don't have insurance that's just tough. It's part of owning a pet. You can leave it to slowly waste away.
Purring isn't always a sign of happiness and sleeping doesn't equal a good quality of life. confused

Wolfiefan Tue 20-Mar-18 12:54:06

you CAN'T leave it to slowly die. Bloody phone.

viccat Tue 20-Mar-18 13:01:12

First of all, you don't know it's diabetes before blood and urine tests at the vet's. Many other illnesses have similar symptoms (namely hyperthyroidism and kidney disease, both common in senior cats).

Secondly, if it is diabetes, then the symptoms are much the same as in humans when it is left untreated. She will feel very unwell indeed and gradually get worse. This is NOT a situation any caring cat owner should allow.

CanadianJohn Tue 20-Mar-18 13:02:52

Thanks for your comment. It is my thought to have the cat put to sleep sooner than later, if we are not going to treat the disease. Unfortunately, my wife wants to wait (until the cat is obviously suffering?). It seems to me that in the last 30 years or so vets have priced themselves out of business - their prices are very high.

OP’s posts: |
viccat Tue 20-Mar-18 13:05:30

Well that's why pet insurance is recommended...

What are the symptoms that make you think it's diabetes? If it turns out to be hyperthyroidism instead, a simple daily pill (given inside a treat etc.) to treat it could give her another several years of good quality of life.

Wolfiefan Tue 20-Mar-18 13:05:46

FFS. If you can't avoid vet fees you get insurance or don't have a pet.
You don't know the cat has a bloody disease. Get the cat to a vet for a proper diagnosis.

Haleeloo Tue 20-Mar-18 13:10:39

If you have financial difficulties, you can try the PDSA or Blue Cross.

I don’t know if a reputable vet would euthanise an animal for a treatable condition, as I said if you have financial issues than there we’ll be help.

It would be cruel to let your cat suffer, something I’m sure you wouldn’t be willing to do as a responsible owner.

I have had a diabetic cat, I got used to taking him for blood tests & giving his shots. Anything is possible.

Haleeloo Tue 20-Mar-18 13:12:37

Yes, absolutely agreeing, purring is not automatically a sign of contentment, Cats purr when they are in pain as well.

Vinorosso74 Tue 20-Mar-18 13:32:59

Well yes you should have thought about vet costs and got insurance but it's a bit late for that. To leave diabetes untreated would lead to an awful death.
Medicines are expensive as are the overheads running a practise-bills, salaries for properly trained staff etc. I think having the NHS we aren't fully aware of the costs. Insulin can be bought online a lot cheaper but you would need a prescription from the vet. Administering insulin is way easier than tablets.
However you have clearly decided not to treat your poor cat. I hope you don't get any more animals. Our old girl was diabetic (along with many other issues) and yes it was tying but it was fine. Our upstairs neighbour managed with his cat and he is needle phobic.

gamerchick Tue 20-Mar-18 13:38:38

That animal needs a vet. You can’t just ignore it, poor little bugger.

Vet fees are part and parcel of having pets, please don’t get anymore animals.

Also as has been said, cats purr when they’re distressed also so don’t hang your hat on that.

Els1e Fri 23-Mar-18 19:58:52

My vet phobic cat (marked on system as aggressive) has just been diagnosed with diabetes but things are going ok. He is getting use to the injections and isn’t taking much notice. He grumbles at the vet but they are use to handling tricky animals. It is expensive but luckily I had insurance. I would get your cat checked by vet, so you know exactly what the situation is and take it from there for decision making. Things maybe not as bad as you think. There are schemes to help with vets bills. Cats are very good at disguising pain.

thecatneuterer Fri 23-Mar-18 20:04:35

It could be all sorts of things. Of course you have to take her to a vet. When you have a diagnosis then you can have a discussion with the vet about how to proceed.

CanadianJohn Fri 15-Jun-18 16:30:15

Thanks for all your comments; I thought I would give you an update:

Cost: well, apart from being cheap, I didn't know I was going to be "downsized" into an early and impoverished retirement. The vet seems expensive... does a blood and urine test really have to cost $360... and that was just the diagnosis.

The cat DOES have diabetes. She has to have insulin twice a day, as well as a pill every day. The cat does not like this at all... she is quite hard to handle. The first day wasn't bad, the injection only takes a few seconds. but the cat quickly learned that being picked up and stroked and told she is beautiful is a precursor to being stuck by a needle. It's got to the point that if I say "where's the cat" the poor beast runs and hides behind the couch.

Will she get used to twice-daily injections? I doubt it. And before giving her a pill it's best to have paramedics on speed-dial.

Fortunately, she has taken well to the special diet.

OP’s posts: |
Els1e Fri 15-Jun-18 19:16:39

Thanks for the update John. I think cats do get use to the injections. When it’s time my cat now sits outside the fridge, has his injection and this is followed by a bit of chicken or something equally tasty from the fridge. The tablets though would be a different story. Apparently once managed some cats reverse their diabetes and can manage with diet alone.

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