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25 Responses

  1. Tim Steinert
    Tim Steinert February 22, 2013 at 8:54 am | | Reply

    Kay Passa, seriously? If that is really her name that is the coolest name ever. If not, that is the funniest made up name ever. Just sayin’!

    1. Kay Passa
      Kay Passa March 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm | | Reply

      I’m real :)

  2. KAT
    KAT February 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm | | Reply

    To whoever is in charge of this site: You need to remove the bag of Purina D/M (dry only) from the picture at the bottom of this page. ANY dry food is a contributing cause of Feline Diabetes, including all the “prescription” varieties. There is absolutely no reason for any cats to eat any brand of dry food, ever. Period.

    1. Mary Dexter
      Mary Dexter February 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm | | Reply

      Dry food is better for their teeth and easier than trying to get my cat to floss and not eat the floss.

      1. Kay Passa
        Kay Passa March 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm | | Reply

        There have been numerous studies disproving the “dry food is good for teeth” myth, but to sum up: cats generally swallow and do not chew their food so there isn’t any way for dry food to be hitting the teeth in the first place to make it better for them, especially since tartar and plaque build up at the gum line and not anywhere dry food might accidentally hit a tooth’s surface.

        Either way, I’d choose dental issues over kidney failure any day of the week.

    2. Morgan the Pirate Gato
      Morgan the Pirate Gato February 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm | | Reply

      DM is Diabetes Management Food – sold by prescription at the vet only. It is MADE specifically for Diabetic Cats.

    3. Kay Passa
      Kay Passa March 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm | | Reply

      One unique thing about diabetic cats is that they CAN go into remission, unlike other species, and the biggest piece to remission is getting them on a species-appropriate diet.

      Dry food has a lot to do with causing diabetes in cats in the first place: too high of carbs being fed to an obligate carnivore. Normally, cats naturally consume ~12% carbs or less (it’s recommended for diabetic cats to have even less than that!). So when cats are consuming more carbs than what their bodies are naturally designed to handle, their pancreas is working overtime and they end up in a similar situation to Type 2 human diabetics.

      There are only a couple of dry foods out there (and NONE of them are the “prescription” ones) that contain less than 20% carbs, but even feeding those “lower carb” dry foods still leaves a cat chronically dehydrated because they get most of their water from food and are unable to unnaturally consume enough water from a bowl to make up for the lack of water in dry food.

      Vets are normally NOT trained on nutrition and what little training they may receive is taught by the pet food companies, so it’s simply through ignorance and misplaced trust that they believe the “prescription diabetic” food they’re being pushed to sell their clients is any good for diabetics. Here’s a look at them:

      The only Royal Canin food even remotely acceptable carbwise for a diabetic cat is their Recovery RS at 7% carbs. All other varieties are well over that 12% with the Dry DD being a whopping 38% carbs.

      Purina dry is 31% carbs. Purina DM wet is excellent at 3% carbs, HOWEVER, it is much more expensive and higher in fat than cheaper options you can find in your grocery store or local pet store (like Fancy Feast or Friskies). As for the Purina DM Savory Select, it has 10% carbs, which is still pretty high up there for a diabetic cat to be eating.

      Hills m/d WET (my vet originally sold me the dry version, which always has even more carbs than the wet versions) has 14% carbs, still too much for cats in general, much less diabetic cats. The closest any of their prescription foods comes is 12% carbs for their a/d, which isn’t even for diabetic cats in the first place.

      Since I test my cat, I can vouch for how much carbs impact his BG numbers and the lower the carbs, the better and more stable his BG numbers are and the lower his insulin dose.

      1. Kay Passa
        Kay Passa March 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm | | Reply

        *Note: NEVER change your diabetic cat from dry to wet food without home-testing since diet change alone has been known to decrease cats’ BG by over 100 points or more. Because of this, if you’re not home-testing, your cat can end up with an insulin overdose! This huge drop is why diet change is such an effective tool in managing feline diabetes and getting a cat regulated and even into remission (not needing insulin).

      2. Morgan the Pirate Gato
        Morgan the Pirate Gato March 6, 2013 at 5:20 am | | Reply

        Evo Turkey and Chicken dry food is also extremely low carb, and is safe for a diabetic cat. Morgan has been on it for two years now, and it did not change his levels.

        One plus is NO ingredients from China.

        Having a cat BORN with Diabetes, and having a cat DEVELOP Diabetes is different.

        Many cats who become diabetic can go into remission.

        A cat born with diabetes will have it all of his life.

        A cat born with Diabetes will also have unique medical issues that may not always make sense – even to their Vet.

        I have NEVER tested Morgan’s levels – and have no plans to.

        He’s now 8 years old and it;s obvious that how we’ve handled everything works.

        Diabetes is stressful enough.

        It’s even worse when you have a growing kitten – but after a while it becomes a routine.

        The stress is a lot less, you know them so well that you know if anything is even slightly off.

        1. Kay Passa
          Kay Passa March 6, 2013 at 9:46 am |

          Yes, Evo is another great low carb food for diabetics. I didn’t know about there not being any ingredients from China; that makes me like their food even more. :)

          Morgan is very luck to have a vet so knowledgeable in diabetes in your area. I had to start testing Mikey’s levels because there was no other way without home testing to keep up on his dosing changes as he grew. I have noticed over the last month since he’s not really needed any dose adjustments that it’s become much more routine for us as well. :)

          One thing I hope you’re wrong about is that a cat born with diabetes will have it for life. As my vet told me, Type 1 feline diabetics are so rare that it’s unknown if they can eventually go into remission like Type 2 cats (but most likely, it’s not possible). I don’t hold out hope that Mikey will ever go into remission, but I also don’t discount the possibility, especially since he has at least the next 20 years for science to catch up. :)

        2. Kay Passa
          Kay Passa March 6, 2013 at 9:51 am |

          I’m also very lucky that Mikey has no other issues besides the diabetes. The only time he’s been to the vet besides shots and neuter was for the initial UTI that led to his diabetes diagnosis and a few follow-ups after that. He hasn’t even been back to the vet’s since the end of October.

        3. Morgan the Pirate Gato
          Morgan the Pirate Gato March 6, 2013 at 11:15 am |

          Kay,

          While the last thing I want to do is discourage you – I also would hate to see you get false hope with Mikey ever not needing insulin.

          When I got Morgan, I did tons of research and contacted every vet I could find with experience (I went worldwide based on Vet Journal write ups) with kitten diabetics. Not one of them had their kittens survive it. And they all wanted more information on how Morgan was doing.

          Three vets I was friends with looked at all his tests and told me he would never be normal, more than likely would not survive and that I should consider putting him to sleep.

          I was very lucky to find a vet who felt he deserved a chance, and thought he could help him. It was very rough first year getting his levels stable, and he was also a peanut. He stayed 6 pounds for forever, and when he hit 7 he was finally tough enough for his neutering.

          Six months later at 1 1/2 years old he had double cataract surgery at Cornell in Ithaca.

          Although on the whole he is healthy – he gets unexplained low grade fevers. With a “normal” cat you would never know. They knock him off his feet – and he needs antibiotics as soon as he shows signs.

          He had some problems last year and needed a sonogram – it told us nothing. Blood work – tells us nothing. So Morgan is treated most times by the symptoms.

          For years he ate 7 meals a day – he’s finally now down to 4 meals.

          It’s always a challenge – but I think we’re both very very lucky that our boys have families that Believe in them – and that they deserve every possible chance.

        4. Kay Passa
          Kay Passa March 13, 2013 at 9:36 am |

          I know only too well to not get my hopes up that Mikey might ever go into remission, but I like to entertain the possibility of it simply because of the rarity of diabetes in cats so young. If adult cats can go into remission with Type 2, then perhaps young cats might have the potential to go into remission with Type 1? ;-)

          With my vet, he referred to specialists as well and he said the prognosis was either that it was transient and he would quickly recover in a couple of weeks (didn’t happen) or he was a juvenile feline diabetic, which, just as you found out, was not good odds for survival.

          I was lucky enough to find online support and tools for managing his diabetes and his dosing levels and have the support of my vet to do whatever is necessary to keep him healthy. I was also very glad that my vet never once recommended putting him to sleep, especially since he had never developed any of the nasty side-effects that occur from chronic hyperglycemia and simply had elevated glucose levels.

          Michelangelo is 11 months old today and the first 4 months of his treatment (from 6 months old to ~9 1/2 months), it was quite a lot of work on my part with frequent testing and dosage adjustments to keep up with his growth spurts. The better his numbers were, the more he grew. The more he grew, the worse his numbers would get, so it was quite a challenging balancing act to not overdose him with insulin and also make sure he was getting enough insulin to keep him under the renal threshold! This past month or so, his growing has slowed down significantly and I finally feel like I have a chance to breathe again.

          You are absolutely right: our cats are very blessed to have people who care about their well-being and are willing to put in the extra effort needed to keep them healthy and happy. For me, I’m lucky that at this point in Michelangelo’s life, that this effort is fairly minimal (just testing and dosage adjustments), but even if he had more complications, he is definitely worth it. :-)

  3. Morgan the Pirate Gato
    Morgan the Pirate Gato February 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm | | Reply

    I was born with diabetes, and I was diagnosed when I was 12 weeks old. My Doctor does not want me tested every day – since my insulin needs time to adjust any time it changes. My parents know me so well that if I am off even a little in personality – I go to the Kitty Spa.

    Usually what happens is I have a low grade fever and I have to go on antibiotics. I have always had unusual medical issues – and I always will. One thing is my pancreas is not perfect.

    I eat 2 1/2 cans of Purina One every day, 1/8 cup of Evo Cat & Kitten food, and I get PROZyme in all of my food. I am on ProZinc insulin twice a day which is made for kitties.

    I hope Mucky is as lucky as I am – I will be 9 years old in September.

    1. Morgan the Pirate Gato
      Morgan the Pirate Gato February 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm | | Reply

      DM is Diabetes Management Dry food and sold by prescription only for DIABETIC Cats.

  4. David
    David February 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm | | Reply

    A vet told me dogs only get T2, not T1. I wonder if same is true of cats?

    1. Morgan the Pirate Gato
      Morgan the Pirate Gato February 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm | | Reply

      There are rare instances when an animal is born with diabetes – like Morgan and Mikey.

      In those cases they are usually type 1. Most don’t survive kittenhood, and it’s tough to regulate a growing kitten.

      I know Morgan has unique issues that are always a challenge to his Doctor.

    2. Kay Passa
      Kay Passa March 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm | | Reply

      There’s no way to test for T1 vs. T2 in cats, which is why Mikey is considered by the vet to be differentially diagnosed as T1 since he was so young at diagnosis, had no pre-existing conditions or infections or other issues, and did not go into remission within a few days to a few weeks after starting insulin (which is what usually happens with younger cats).

      And I can vouch for how tough it is getting a kitten regulated! He’s now almost 11 months old and it’s getting a bit easier, but when he was growing more, I had to test him quite often throughout the day because he needed dosage increases on at least a weekly basis and his weight fluctuations would frequently cause him to go unexpectedly low on a good dose.

  5. Heather
    Heather February 23, 2013 at 10:12 am | | Reply

    My childhood best friend, Maxie Malone, was a Husky/Springer Spaniel mix. At the time we were not aware that animals could have diabetes. She was 6yrs old when she became sick, and it only took one week to come to the point of no return. She couldn’t eat, drink, or walk. It was the most difficult goodbye knowing that simple awareness and earlier detection could have saved her life.

    1. Morgan the Pirate Gato
      Morgan the Pirate Gato February 23, 2013 at 11:14 am | | Reply

      I am sad to hear about your friend Maxie.

      Thank heavens veterinary medicine has come so far. Many pets passed away because of lack of knowledge or wrong information.

      I found out recently that the treatment we did for our first cat with chronic cystitis years ago actually created an even deadlier bacteria.

      I am glad we have better vets, and much better knowledge

  6. Kay Passa
    Kay Passa March 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm | | Reply

    I’m not sure if Dr. Widmeyer is talking about canines specifically, because felines *often* experience neuropathy and kidney problems along with their diabetes diagnosis.

    For those cats that *DO* experience neuropathy, ask your vet about using Zobaline as it’s been known to completely reverse it in cats.

  7. Morgan the Pirate Gato
    Morgan the Pirate Gato March 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm | | Reply

    Kay,

    Soon the whole thing will become just another day. I’t s funny saying that 8 years later – because the first two years with Morgan were such a roller coaster.

    It will be easier when Mikey stops growing in a few months. I also looked at the chart you keep – great job. Mikey runs a lot lower than Morgan which is a plus.

    I remember in the beginning there were a few times when Morgan was so high the Doc’s glucose meter couldn’t read him. The last time he stayed he went up in the 400′s again.

    Because of his history – even if he refuses dinner – he still gets his ProZinc – just a lower dose.

    I’m not sure if I ever explained how the Doc checks him. In the beginning he was there twice a week at different times for blood. Now if he changes him – he’ll go back in a week at one time, the following week another time, the week after a totally different time.

    He has a curve system and it works. And he’s got 8 years of Morgan’s.

    I am glad our little guys are both poster cats for Kittens Born with Diabetes.

    1. Kay Passa
      Kay Passa March 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm | | Reply

      I opted for home testing because I didn’t have the money for curves at the vet, nor would the partially-feral Michelangelo be able to tolerate that all too well (he has *really* high stress-related BG numbers when at the vet vs. at home, which would have skewed his numbers anyway). Besides, I didn’t want to be away from cute and adorable little Mikey for that long. :)

      “I am glad our little guys are both poster cats for Kittens Born with Diabetes.”

      Same here! I feel that unfortunately, too many people choose to put to sleep their young ones when getting a diabetes diagnosis when *most* of the time, it’s simply transient and caused by something else (i.e. infections, steroids). If turns out to be lifelong, like in Morgan the Pirate Gato’s and Mikey’s cases, after the growing slows down it definitely gets easier. And thanks for letting me know that it’ll get even easier for me after the next year as well. :)

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