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Old 12-11-2010, 03:11 PM   #1
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Default Diabetic Kitty

I have two cats, Meagan has always been a big kitty, but in the last year we stopped feeding both cats kitty treats, and the weight came off. Recently she's been going through a lot of water, so my mom took her to the vet. Turns out she's severely diabetic, and will have to have insulin injections twice a day for the rest of her life. I'm several hundred miles away at the moment, visiting/spending christmas with my fiance and his family. I'm so worried about my kitty though. I know she's ok, and my mom and dad will take good care of her while I'm gone. I just wanted to know if anyone else here has an insulin dependent animal. These cats are like my children.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:34 PM   #2
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I had an insulin-dependent cat. She lived a relatively long and very happy life, and getting a little needle-stick twice a day for ten years didn't bother her in the least. She lived to be fourteen, and in the end it wasn't diabetes that took her away, but cancer. Please don't fear that a diagnosis of diabetes is a terrible thing for your kitty; it's serious, yes, but not a tragedy.

As for the injections, my Holly often didn't even notice them. More than a few times, she'd be sleeping at the foot of the bed when it was shot time and she didn't even wake when stuck. Believe me, you get expert at delivering a shot of insulin in a very short time.

Insulin and needles aren't cheap, but please don't re-use needles if you can afford not to. A fresh needle is super-sharp, but after even one use, they are blunted a little and can cause pain. Also, there's a risk of introducing infection. If finances are an issue, your vet might be able to work something out with you on prices since you'll be a long-term buyer of the products.

Give Meagan a lot of extra petting and love. While the shots don't seem to hurt them, cats who have a lot of medical procedures done to them can get kind of standoffish about being touched. It's understandable, and I think I'd feel the same way if I had to have a lot of tests run. Snuggle her often to remind her that people-touches can be friendly too.

My kitty felt SO much better SO quickly after getting her on regular insulin, it was amazing. I think you'll find the same true for your girl once she gets on a regular schedule of shots. All my best to you and your kitty!
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:45 PM   #3
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Thanks, Nola. That's made me feel a lot better. Don't worry about the needles, she'll be getting a fresh one each time. I understand what my friend is going through now, though her animal's sickness is on a much larger scale. Her dog got diagnosed last year with Addison's Disease. He is the sweetest dog, and she's in a lot of debt because of his food/injections/pills, but as she says she'll happily stay in debt to keep him around.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:58 PM   #4
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I work for a veterinarian. Your kitty will be fine as long as you keep up with her meds and get her glucose checked on a regular basis.

One hint, you can buy insulin without a script in most places so shop around and find it at the least expensive place. We buy ours from Wal-mart and then mark it up and resell it.

As far as the syringes go, do some shopping around, they really aren't that expensive,(wholesale) but you might have to do some hard bargaining, and make an offer to buy them in bulk.

When you get home, be sure to keep an eye on her, and watch for changes in eating, urination, etc. If you don't do 2 litter boxes, you should and try to keep them separate, so you can keep an eye on the diabetic kitty's litter box. If that does not work, if the litter box has an unusual amount of urine in it, you need to get the glucose checked, asap.

Diabetes in animals is not that difficult to manage, but it does take some extra observation on the owners part, along with giving the insulin on a consistent basis, and diet management.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:21 PM   #5
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I call my Mom every day to check on the status of Meagan, and she's doing much better. The injections don't upset her, she gets lots of cuddle time, she's got a toy that is off of my bed (so she can smell her "Mommy").
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:48 PM   #6
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I don't think you can buy insulin without a script up here in Canada but it's a good idea.

I used to have a diabetic dog when I was a girl, he lived until he was 13 which was a really long life at that time.

I think the best thing we did was not to make a big deal out of the shots and then to feed him right after. We stuck to a simple routine and he would actually come to us and put his head down (we gave him shots in the back of the neck). He used to get so excited right after his shot because he knew it was meal time.

I'm really glad to hear your kitty is doing better, it sounds like your parents have gotten this off to a great start!
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:35 PM   #7
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I'm delighted to hear she's feeling better! Your parents are awesome for taking such good care of her--and so are you.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunty Jam View Post
I don't think you can buy insulin without a script up here in Canada but it's a good idea.
I don't think you can buy insulin intended for humans without a script either in the USA, but many drugs that are prescription for people, are available without a prescription if it's marketed for animals.

I was shocked as a kid to discover that all sorts of prescription drugs like antibiotics and insulin were available in the pet and lifestock area of some stores like Farm and Fleet. I remember asking my dad what prevented people from buying the drugs and using them, and my father said "some people do."

As an adult I actually ran across a book that advised people without medical insurance to do just that in order to save money on prescription drugs and avoid having to go to the doctor. I'm glad I've never been that desperate.
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:01 PM   #9
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^ That's interesting... actually now that you say that I do know of a place in my town that might sell stuff like that for animals.
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