Wayback Wednesday: Is Your Pet Psychic?

Yet another trip through time here at the ‘Mine today.  Back in 2005, I was marveling at people who care for pets with diabetes.  Still am. Always will.


Is Your Pet Psychic?

(I’ve always loved that line.) But seriously, here’s something that blew my mind: my friend has a diabetic cat. She tests its glucose levels once a day with a standard-issue BG meter, and she gives it insulin injections twice a day. She says she can tell when it’s having a low because its paws splay out and it stands there looking idiotic, like a steer with Mad Cow Disease. She also says the hardest part is getting enough blood for testing through that thick hide. She has to poke the poor cat’s ear, which requires a vigorous chase and wrestle. (The cat’s name is also “Chaos,” but that was pre-diagnosis.) Can you imagine caring for a diabetic pet?
Apparently a whole heck of a lot of people do. In fact, I must have had my head in the sand not to have noticed this; Google coughs up 1.3 Million hits for “diabetic pets”! I had no idea. Lots of sites give step-by-step instructions on how to care for your little diabetic.

I even found support group sites for harried pet owners. One of my favorites states:

“Diabetic Pets Around the World: Unite In a Common Goal to let the World Know that Diabetes in Pets is Treatable!” What passion! Where there’s a cause, people will rally, ay?

But then it gets eerily familiar…

A support group called Muffin Pet Diabetes Group states:
“At first you are going to be faced with frustration, anger, exhaustion, sadness, fear, and guilt — these are all part and parcel of caring for a pet with a chronic health condition. As frustrating as it may be, the time will come when you will be able to cope with the restrictions, the pills, the new diet, the exercise regime, and all the other things that you are now faced with.”

And FelineDiabetes.com says: “The initial shock and fear you feel when the vet tells you that your pet has diabetes can be overwhelming. Yet diabetes is a treatable condition and your pet can live a normal, happy, healthy life. Diabetes is NOT a death sentence!”

As noted here, we human diabetics tend to be pretty self-absorbed… If you’re in the market for a companion that truly UNDERSTANDS your plight, you can adopt a diabetic pet at petdiabetes.org.

And no worries about health insurance! The California-based Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., the first and largest outfit offering pet insurance, is prepared: in the last two years, the company says, claims for diabetic pets rose by 17 percent.



BONUS UPDATE for 2009:

Read all about Feline Hypoglycemia here.



13 Responses

  1. Bill Halper
    Bill Halper July 15, 2009 at 7:04 am | | Reply

    I have a friend with a diabetic cat. The vet had her using Lantus.
    I gave her my left-over supply when I switched to a pump late last year.

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  3. Megan
    Megan July 15, 2009 at 9:21 am | | Reply

    My cat Kip was diagnosed with diabetes when I was pregnant with my son. I remember crying in the vet’s office, wondering how I would ever manage to give my cat two shots a day. Fast forward 3 years, and Kip died (not from diabetes, but from old age). A month later, my then 3 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Because of Kip, I knew to ask for the smallest insulin needles, and was not afraid to give him his first shot. I’m not usually one that believes in such things, but I honestly feel like Kip was sent to me for a reason, and once he had taught me what he could, he moved on, as he knew I’d have a lot on my plate once my son was diagnosed.

    On a related note, someone should probably look into what I am doing to destroy pancreatic function in my house! ;)

  4. Doug
    Doug July 15, 2009 at 9:47 am | | Reply

    We had a Bouvier who became diabetic (me – totally oblivious to the lethargy, polyuria, thirst increasing, etc. which, as a diabetic, I should have caught). My wife likes to remind me that on one injection a day, the dog was better controlled than I ever have been. Even on a pump!

    She was a great dog.

  5. Michelle
    Michelle July 15, 2009 at 9:49 am | | Reply

    Ironically, my cat’s diabetes led to me diagnosing my diabetes – the vet was having trouble determing whether her blood sugar was controlled on visits there, so we got a glucometer to use on her…and as I was figuring out how to use it, I tested my blood sugar, which was 365. I had been having some symptoms before that but must have been ignoring them. I was lucky to diagnose myself before I got really sick. On a funny note, when the cat was diagnosed, the vet asked “does she have any family history of diabetes?”. she came from the pound!

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  7. kokernutz
    kokernutz July 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm | | Reply

    I’ve got a diabetic cat. I think he’s jealous and just wants an insulin pump like mine.

    He’s 12 and has had it for a year now. I switched him to wet food (less carbs!) and give him 6 units of Lantus in the morning. I test through his ear. He typically runs around 200. If I give him another unit, he hovers around 60.

    The best of all: I put everything through my insurance. HA!

  8. Dan 2
    Dan 2 July 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm | | Reply

    Hi Amy,
    A good article about feline diabetics. There is a similar number of diabetic dogs. The stats are similar. Approximaely 1 in 7 dogs and cats will be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and require insulin shots. My Maggie was diagnosed before her tenth birthday. We are both motoring along. After Maggie was a diabetic for over 18 months, the blood work came back and the Vet, without thinking said … ‘I guess you do know what to do”. She had an A1c of 5.9. As always have a great day.

    Dan 2

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  10. T1 in Boston
    T1 in Boston July 15, 2009 at 10:05 pm | | Reply

    Wow Megan & Michelle – amazing stories!

  11. pking
    pking July 15, 2009 at 10:52 pm | | Reply

    At first I thought this post was going to be about the folks at Dogs4Diabetics (http://www.dogs4diabetics.com/) – they train dogs to recognize the symptoms of diabetes and provide assistance (bark bark!)

    Interesting stories about diabetic pets with diabetic owners, especially love the bit about insurance!

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