Friday, July 6, 2012
Thought I would start this little blog to help give out info on sick kitties and to get feedback from anyone going through the same thing.
I have two cats... Pippin who is on the left and Merry who is on the right. About 3 months ago I took them in to get their teeth cleaned. Right before I asked them to check Merry for diabetes since he is my larger cat. Well they checked his urine and determined that he did have diabetes. So he had to go back for a blood check. Which he hates. The would take his blood from his leg which was awful for him. It was a cheaper vet.. $15 per glucose check. We started him on 1/2 unit of prozinc . Which is $100 per vial. Not cheap stuff. And we learned the hard way that when you accidentally leave it out of the fridge it is no good (we had only had it four days) and had to spend another $100 right away. Anyways... we kept taking Merry back to this place. And eventually got him up to 4 units twice a day. Oh and we were told that if he goes into diabetic shock to put honey in a syringe which we later found out (good point for you to know) the honey must be watered down with water (50/50) and then rubbed on the gums.
Then my other cat Pippin... starting acting acting odd two weeks ago. Very lethargic, slow, not really active. Plus I noticed I could start to feel his bones (by the way my cats were very over weight. Pippin weighing 23 lbs and Merry about 25 lbs two months ago). I looked at my husband and said that I thought he was acting odd, he agrees and we made an appointment. When he went to the appointment he only weighed 14lbs. He lost a ton of weight in a short period of time. So the did a blood panel on him. Which came back with high enzymes in the liver, high blood sugar, and his numbers for his pancreas was off too. He also had yellow skin which was an indication something was wrong with his liver. So they called the next day with this news... saying we could try two things. 1. Give him insulin and see if that fixes all the problems, or 2. see if maybe there was a tumor on his liver with an ultra sound. I went the ultra sound route because I didn't want him to live with a tumor if he had one. The ultra sound did come back with no abnormalities. So we went with the insulin route.
This vet started Pippin off at 4 units twice a day and gave him a liver drug called SAMe. And we were told to force feed him because he had become anorexic from being ill. This vet though did not tell us how much food to make Pippin eat. And really didn't tell us how to force feed a cat. So we went home and just gave him a little tuna and shoved it in his mouth and made him chew it. Ughhh poor guy. Well when he did chew the food his jaw would make loud grinding noises, and popping sounds. Which we went back to the vet right away on Thurs to make sure this wasn't something bad. This vet said it was nothing just the chirping noises they make when talking to birds. I even had it on film. So I took him home.
Well we are going out of town so I need a place to kennel him since my friend doesn't mind giving Merry a shot but wasn't sure about force feeding a cat. I called the vet he had been going to but they weren't a hospital and don't have anyone come in on the weekend to check on cats. So I called this vet/hospital just for cats who said of course they could kennel him. I wanted to go by there and see what it looked like so on Friday I headed over there. While looking at the kennels I spoke to a vet tech... who was listening to the story about Pippin. While talking to her she asked me if the first vet had given me nausea pills because when cats have liver problems they get nausea!! I said no I hadn't even heard that yet. Then she asked if they had given any appetite enhancer pills... I said no again! Then she asked me if I had a syringe for force feeding. I said I just had the little one they gave me for giving honey if they had a seizure. Then she gave me these pills and this large syringe (which was a life saver when force feeding). She also told me that he should be eating a can of food per day to get his calories back up... we had no idea he should be eating that much!! They gave us some cans of prescription diet a/d which is also a life savor when force feeding a cat.
So while there I went ahead and obviously made an appointment for a second opinion at this new vet. After giving Pippin the pills and making him eat that much food over the weekend he was walking around the house again. On Monday we went to his appointment. Where I learned he has a tooth that looked infected which may be why his jaw is making noise when he eats. But we can't fix the tooth until we get his liver straightened out. So he received pain meds for that. They I found out he has high blood pressure so he got meds for that. She moved his insulin down to 3 units once a day. Kept him on his liver meds, nausea meds, and appetite meds. I had Pippin and Merry's teeth cleaned at the first vet 3 months ago. So she asked me if they did xrays and to be honest I don't know. I thought it was a little cheap when I had it done but just assumed that they had xrays. Lesson learned. We probably could've found out about his tooth sooner if I hadn't listened to my friend about a cheaper vet.
Tuesday I took Merry to the 2nd vet. This vet is really good about diabetes. They have an actual glucose reader where they just prick the cat's ear and get a reading. At the other vet they would pull blood from the vein and it was so much drama. They taught me about a glucose curve. Which is very effective in figuring out units of insulin to give. They wanted to do the glucose curve at the vet but it was $30 each time and they wanted to do it 5 times. Well if I left Merry there to do that it would've just paid for the glucose reader. So I went ahead and bought it and just did the test at home. You have to poke the ear on the outside where you can see the vein that goes outside the ear. At first it was a little hard... I was afraid to poke straight through the ear. But finally I did it. And then sent the results to the vet. Who then moved Merry up to 5 units twice a day. He gets A LOT of insulin.
Of course then the past two days Pippin is sneezing so I took him back to the vet because I thought when cats get colds they don't go away on their own. I swear I heard that somewhere. But when I went today they said to let it go away on it's own. BUT I did learn even MORE about the insulin! You learn something new every time you go to the vet so be ready. I learned that I probably was just about to KILL Pippin!! So it turns out he has a really low insulin. And that when we went in there the first time (on Monday) his glucose was 70 something!!! And then today 90 something!! If a cat's insulin goes under 50 they could die!! And when you give them a shot it drops like 50 points!! WHAT!!!!!!!!!! So now.... they want him to be on 2 units every morning and then on Sunday we check his glucose morning, noon, night and call the vet to see if we need to changed insulin again... and Monday get his blood pressure checked again. Poor babies... I have been stressed to the max and will try to keep the blog updated with info for those out there looking for help with their diabetic kitties!!