Pet Diabetes Presents Stories from Around the World!
Of Owners and Their Pets with Diabetes Mellitus


My story of Missy is kind of long (sorry). We are all from Toronto, Ontario and Missy was six 
years old when our story began. She is not a very big cat - 9lbs is the max weight for her - any 
more and she is getting on the fat side. She is a brown tabby with an all white underside & socks. 

She has had allergies all her life - to what we don't know. From 1996 to 1998 we brought her in 
on average every 2 to 3 months for a depo-medrol steroid injection for the allergy symptoms. 
The symptoms run the whole gamut - eosinophilac granuloma complex, miliary dermatitis,
itching etc. After moving to a new apt. in late 1998 - her symptoms stopped. Two years later 
in August 2000 she broke out again - off we went for another depo shot. 

Approximately 36 hours later Missy was throwing up, no energy to move and we rushed her
to the ER (it was a holiday of course!). After a battery of tests, 6 hours later a tentative 
diagnosis was diabetes with ketosis and suspected pancreatitis. Missy spent the night & they 
treated her with insulin etc. The next day we went to the regular vet. She didn't understand how
the ER hospital correlated diabetes with the test results she was looking at. So, she tried every 
other diagnosis possible to no avail, suddenly more detailed tests appeared from the ER to 
which she announced that umm, eeer, the ER diagnosis was probably right by this time
Missy had developed fatty liver syndrome also. A consult from the University of Guelph 
Small Animal Hospital confirmed that it was all a side effect from the depo but at this point 
(3 days later) she was so sick & would never survive without 24 hour critical care.  We drove 
her off to the University Hospital an hour away with an IV hanging from the car rear view mirror.
 After tests and examinations, 3 hours later they advised she was hanging on by a 
thread with severe ketoacidosis, pancretitis and fatty liver syndrome. She spent 14 days
in their ICU, only after day 10 however was there a distinct possibility she would survive. 
When I took her home finally she still had a feeding tube in her abdomen.

At home Missy was started on a Humulin L, 2 units, b.i.d.and feeding her Eukaneuba Low 
residue combined with water 4 times per day through the feeding tube.

She developed slight ketones again after coming home so we upped her dose to 
3 units Humulin L and we began trying to regulate her diabetes. Over the course of 4 weeks
her dose was upped further to 5 units.  Although, it is such a blur now I do remember
Missy's bg's were all over the place in the first month, however it is very possible this had 
to do with the long acting steroid in her system causing insulin resistance. 

By late September (a month and a half since dx) Missy looked & acted a million times better. 
Then we began to concentrate on getting her off the feeding tube. 

I was only testing her urine at this point. We began to cut back tubed food to get her to eat 
on her own & hit 10 weeks from the steroid injection. After the glucose curve results from 
the vet and the urine testing we reduced the dose back down to 3 unit's of insulin bid.

After searching the internet I discovered many helpful sites which described home testing with 
a human glucometer.  As of  late October 2000 I taught myself how to do this and we began 
doing our own curves in the comfort of our own home! My first curve on L, 3 units bid showed 
a pre-shot of 18 (324) and a peak of 3.2 (58). Then a week later curved again and this time 
got a peak of 1.7 (31)!  We moved her to 2 units bid now, and over the course of the next
week her bg's were all over the place -- but mostly low.

We then we moved to Humulin Ultralente 1 unit sid & she did really well on this dose - nice flat
curves with preshots always in the 12 (216) to 14 (252) area and peaks of 7 (126) to 9 (162).
There we sat for 4 weeks until her dental surgery. In the meantime Missy had began to eat all on 
her own, but we left the tube in as we knew her dental surgery was coming up and in the event 
she didn't eat after the surgery the tube would just make it easier.

As of mid-December we got on a trial with Purina DM (In Canada Purina was not available 
except on trial). We mixed it in slowly but she was being a little funny about eating after her
dental so we tried to just get her to eat what she would.   Over the next 10 days she gave us 
a few low pre-shots and we skipped a few injections. 

On Christmas Eve I packed up both cats and went to my sisters where both cats decided to 
get so freaked that they would not eat. Got Missy eating chicken baby food but her pre-shots 
were never over 9 (162) so no insulin.  I was at my sister's for 5 days and no insulin shots 
were administered.  We then had her fully on Purina DM as in my desperation to get her to 
eat I tried it alone and not mixed with her other food - she liked it. 

At last we took out her feeding tube as she was eating fine on her own again after coming home. 

As of the morning of December 24th that was the last insulin shot Missy has ever received. 
We believe it is both the low carbohydrate diet and the steroid finally being gone which
contributed to our current situation. We still contend with her allergies and have tried
2 antihistamines - Benadryl and Chlor-trimton. As of today though we have her on Wellness food
with a fatty acid supplement to assist with her allergies.  It has not eliminated them but we do okay.

That is our long and convoluted story of Missy
We call her, the Six Million Dollar cat -- rebuilt!
Denise & Missy 

 Read about Missy & Feeding Tubes

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