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Of Owners and Their Pets with Diabetes Mellitus

Missy with a feeding tube

Denise Ethier a Member of the Rainbow Pet Diabetes Email Lists discusses Feeding Tubes.

Feeding tubes can be inserted 3 different ways -- through the
flank area of the cat into the stomach, through the nasal passage and
into the stomach, or into the esophagus and down to the stomach. 

Missy had the flank/abdominal inserted tube which is also known as a PEG
tube (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube).  Barb and Herman on the
other hand have the tube inserted into the  esophagus via the side of the neck.

The PEG tube had a little nozzle on the end which had a switch to open
and close the tube.  We had to feed Missy in the beginning 4 times a day
with canned food & water blended together.  I would then load the food
into big syringes with little tips at the end which would fit into the little nozzle. 
We'd squeeze the food in a little at a time.  It usually took about 1/2 hour 
or 40 minutes to complete the whole thing.  When you're done you then flush
the tube out with water inserting the same way as the food.

Every day I had to clean around the insertion point as well.  Initially it was
all a little tough to deal with, but we got used to it and Missy got to
the point where she LOVED feeding time -- imagine doing nothing and 
your belly gets all full with nice warm food :)  She would literally fall asleep 
while I was feeding her -- sometimes rolling over and showing her 
belly and purring louder than I'd ever heard her -- it was quite a site.

Missy tube stayed in for 5 months which was much longer than most cats.
But at the time she became VERY sick -- she was diagnosed with diabetes
and subsequently developed DKA, pancreatitis and fatty liver
simultaneously... That she made it out alive of all these illnesses is
nothing short of a miracle.  She came home with the tube and it took us
some time to get her diabetes regulated.  She started eating on her own
a bit at a time about 10-12 weeks later and then about 15 weeks later
she was fully eating on her own and we no longer fed through the tube.
We left the tube in however for another 5 weeks after that as she was
scheduled for a dental and we wanted to make sure -- dealing with her
diabetes -- that she would eat afterwards so we left it in just in case.
As it turns out she ate fine, vet pulled the tube out and two weeks
later she began a "h*n*ym**n" that is still going on -- December 25th
will be two years to the day.  She became diabetic DKA due to steroids
and once they left the system her bg's levelled out on their own.

 Read about Missy and Diabetes here
Here are some helpful links on feeding tubes:









:) Cheers
Denise & Missy (dc)

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