Tag: Feline Diabetes

Cat Food Chronicles

I spent most of Friday evening and Saturday morning researching cat food. I have two cats who have two different (almost contradictory needs). Stella, with her kidney issues, needs lower protein (25-30%) and medium amounts of carbohydrates. A diabetic cat like Ambush needs high protein and low carbohydrates (ideally below 20%).

California Naturals, the kitty food they have been on, has a carbohydrate level of about 34% and a protein level of 36%. Stella also quit eating it about a week ago. She doesn’t like it now, even after she has been eating it for months.

After a lot of searching through statistics and local availability, I found a food called Felidae, which has a protein level of 31% and carbohydrates of 23%.

I have samples and a small bag. They liked the dry food sample well enough. I’m hoping that they will like it.

Ambushing the Vet

The vet visit with Ambush went very well. Laura was right: the vets at the clinic in Hillsborough are excellent.

Overall, Ambush seems to be doing pretty well. He’s lost more weight (12 pounds instead of 13.8), so that needs to be monitored. We checked his urine to make sure he wasn’t in kitosis (nope, good thing). And overall he seems to be healty kitty.

He is going to start the new insulin, Vetsulin, at 1 unit twice per day using U-40 dosing syringes. He was on 5 units twice per day on the PZI using U-100 dosing syringes. (U-100 syringe units are small quantities than the U-40.) I’m not sure what the equivalent doses would be or even how to calculate them.

Laura met us at the clinic so she finally got to meet Ambush. Having Laura as a friend has made my move so much easier. She has been a wealth of information and such a good friend with everything. I feel lucky to have a cat-fanatic friend who completely understands why issues with the cats can be so stressful.

Work’s a breeze. Dealing with kitty behavioral issues keeps me up.

Ambush is schedule to go back to the vet in two weeks.

What do you mean “no more PZI”?

Ambush is low on his insulin. He has approximately three doses of PZI left. I called the vet I visited in January and asked they said they didn’t have any more PZI. In fact, the manufacturer wasn’t producing it any more.

My friend Laura in Hillsborough has a lot of experience with cats and works closely with feral colony management and kitty rescue. She recommended a vet in Hillsborough who she has been using for years. Gotta go with people in the know. 🙂

Ambush’s new vet has recommended that he be transitioned to a different insulin called Vetsulin. Ambush has an appointment for Monday afternoon for a checkup and to pick up the new insulin.

I called my regular vet in Tennessee to let her know about PZI. She hadn’t heard about the manufacturer discontinuing it. She said that Vetsulin is a good treatment. She was glad I called so she can study how a possible shortage/unavailability of PZI might impact her own patients.

Ambush Update, Part the Third

I called the NC vet back last night to find out how severe Ambush’ murmur is. On a scale of 1-6, with six being the worst, she rates Ambush’s a five. Que scepticism. If it was a quiet murmur, I could understand maybe my vet in TN missing the murmur. But how do you miss something that is supposedly as loud as his would have to be to qualify as a 5/6?

I have never really questioned my vet’s advice in any situation. Asked lots of questions and tried to follow suggestions as best as I could. Maybe it was just going in to the vet’s office here and being asked for my social security number because this particular office has had so many people go off and not pay for their animal’s medical bills. It’s very possible that rankled me just enough to sour any experience there.

I feel like the vet in NC has treated me like a mechanic trying to suggest additional repairs for my car that are not needed. I realize that this is unfounded, but damn. It’s not like Ambush wasn’t at the vet’s office every 2-3 months for glucose level tests.

Next time I go to Tennessee, I’m bringing my poor kitty with me. He’s going to visit my regular vet and we’ll see what happens.

Update on Ambush

I called my vet in Tennessee for a second opinion on the way in to work this morning. She said it is possible that another vet could hear a murmur that she missed. She also suggested getting a second opinion: 80% of the cats she diagnoses with murmurs really don’t require much treatment because it isn’t affecting the cats. She usually suggests to the owners that they go to UT vet hospital to have an echo cardiogram (sp?) or sonogram to check into the heart murmur. (I need to ask the local vet here if she rated Ambush’s murmur.)

My TN vet said that if Ambush doesn’t appear to be having any problems from a heart murmur, then it probably isn’t severe enough to worry about. (She did recommend having it checked out, if a second opinion also finds a heart murmur.) She said to keep an eye out for Ambush being lethargic, breathing with his mouth open, or just acting odd. One thing to do is to check the capillary refill rate on his gums (should be two seconds).

So I’m definitely glad I called.

Basette update

The vet called this morning with some good news! Basette’s morning glucose was 405 (much lower then the prior day’s 500+), and her lunch-time glucose was 339. She’s edging back towards a normal glucose level finally.

The best news was that Basette was up and walking around the clinic. Not just a step or two — but the entire circumference of the back room. Her change in activity says more to me than the glucose numbers.

Truly a Little Black Wonder Cat(tm).

Clavamox, glipizide, and tuna fish, oh my!

Basette, the little black wonder cat

This past Tuesday, Basette went back to the vet for UTI test. Urine was sent off, and preliminary tests were available yesterday. No bacteria has been found so far. Further cultures will be done this weekend, and final results will be in on Monday. Apparently, sometimes insulin resistance can be caused by an infection, like a UTI. My vet and I were hoping that Basette’s insulin resistance might be caused by an infection.

Basette is still on clavamox, an antibiotic, and glipizide, one pill of each twice per day. A little bit of tuna helps everything go down! Crush each pill up in a 1/4 t. of tuna, and she licks the bowl clean.

Her water consumption is still at normal levels. She sleeps alot. Her physical and mental demeanors haven’t changed. She still acts like she doesn’t feel that great.

After she’s finished with the clavamox in about a week, Basette will go back to the vet’s for another round of glucose tests/dosing. She may also be tested for Cushings at that time.

Through all of this, the little black wonder cat has been patient, caring, and purring. Maybe because she is so very good and patient that it makes it that much more difficult when the usual treatments don’t seem to have much effect.