Sunday, January 10, 2016

Drastic Glucose Drop in Cats

Everything is going well right now with Merry and Pippin.  Though... back in July I was out late one night.  When I got up in the morning Pippin was acting really strange. Pacing, strange meows, and his tongue hanging out.  The only time I have really seen a cat have their tongues hanging out is when they are really hot and panting (they have no sweat glands so they have to pant).  Pippin was not panting just had his little tongue hanging out.  If you have had your cat for a long time.. you should recognize when something is off and I knew it right then and there.  I called the vet office.. luckily I have a really good relationship with them and so when the vet tech answered the phone and I described to her how Pippin was acting she told me to bring him in right away to make sure he was stable.

I dropped him off and came home impatiently waiting for the phone call.  I thought for sure he was going to die.  When I dropped him off I told the vet to be sure to call me because I didn't want him to die alone.  The vet wasn't worried one bit though so that made me feel better.  I got home and they called me to tell me that Pippin's glucose was at 54.  This is SERIOUSLY low.  Coma low.  I don't even know how or why that happened.  The vet told me that this can happen at any time really.  A cat could be going along with their insulin regulated (Pippin's had been regulated over a year by now) and then just drop out of no where. I was so worried.  He stayed there all day but of course he refused to eat for them.  So they gave him an emergency sugar kit.  Eventually when I picked him up at the end of the day he was at 176.  My vet tech sent me home with an emergency kit (be sure to ask your vet for one if you have a diabetic cat, I'm surprised I didn't have one in the house prior to this).  The product is similar to this one:

That night Pippin still didn't seem to be doing well.  He was straight moaning under the bed.  Moaning.  I have never heard a cat do this before in my life.  He looked confused... jumping on the bed.. jumping off.. in the bathtub, every where.  Restless.  I knew he was in pain.  If you have read previous posts, you know Pippin not only has diabetes but pancreatitis too. I called my sister and told her how worried I was and that I wanted to get some blood work done.  She finally told me "he's your cat, you're paying for it so just bring him back."  That made total sense.  So the next day I set my alarm for as soon as they opened and called and requested some blood work done.  Pancreas blood work is a different panel then the general blood work a vet normally does on a cat.  So I had them do both.  I went back up to the vet office and they did the blood work.  The vet said he was glad I came back and what I was describing did sound like Pippin was in immense pain.  He also said... "it's lucky this cat is still alive.  If it weren't for us keeping up with his health he would surely not be around."  That made me feel better... to know I really do what I can to keep Pippin and Merry alive.

Pippin came home and seemed to be feeling a little better on the narcotic. Most likely after all that happened with his glucose his pancreas acted up again.  Which is supposed to be very painful.  He did take a few days to get back to eating. So I had to force feed him a few days.  Eventually he was back to normal.  It was surely an adventure.  I am so glad though I was able to see the signs of low glucose.  We moved Pippin's insulin from 7 units of Prozinc, 1 steroid, 1 glipizide, 1/2 cerenia to 4 units of Prozinc, and 1 steroid.  The vet did recommend taking Pippin off the steroid but that seems to help the most with his pancreas I was really reluctant to take him off that. So he's still on it 5 months later.

Hope this might help those of you with diabetic cats who might have a drop in glucose.  It's really important to have some insta-glucose at home!