|Quality of Life Stories|
|Owner's descriptions of the
health & lifestyle of their diabetic pets.
is a shorthaired brown tabby. She was diagnosed in June 1999 when she was 11
years old. I was a nervous wreck when Shadow was diagnosed with diabetes! On
the one hand, I was glad she had something treatable, but I worried that she
would be miserable, that I couldn't take care of her properly, and that she
wouldn't allow the shots. She acted so sick and exhausted, and her blood
glucose was over 600.
On his 13th birthday, our Maine
Coon type cat Ben had lost
one pound so we took him to the vet for a check up. In the past, he had a hyperthyroid
which was treated by radiation. He also had two episodes of feline
urologic syndrome (FUS) where he must eat a prescription food from the
vet. In April 2000, the vet found that Ben was a diabetic.
Max has always been my favorite. First I suspected he was urinating more frequently, but didn't pursue it because I had 3 other cats and didn't truly know which one it was. Then, one Saturday morning, I picked him up and he felt lighter to me. That was it - I called the vet immediately and brought him in later that same morning. My vet did a urine test and told me Max's blood sugar was 488. I remember my reaction was, "So? Is that bad?" Little did I know!! So began our journey. We started on Glipizide, but Max was too smart for me and used to wait until I walked away and then spit out the pills. Needless to say, he blood sugar was not reduced significantly, so we started the insulin injections. Back then, the vet put him on Iletin Lente, which is no longer available. He regulated pretty quickly, but two months later, I moved to Colorado from New Jersey. Max was terribly stressed and at one point, his sugar level was over 600! He also dropped from his normal weight of 20 pounds to 10 pounds. I was really panicking at that point, but was lucky enough to find the outstanding folks at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, who literally saved his life. We've had a lot of ups and downs over the years, but Max has hung in there just fine and this past May, he celebrated his 15th birthday. I never thought we'd see this milestone. He has been insulin dependent for almost 8 years. I've never heard of another cat who has lived this long with diabetes. We are both incredibly lucky! Actually, I attribute it to love. Max has been completely and thoroughly loved his entire life and I think that gives him incentive to find all the colds, infections and just plain discomforts of diabetes and now, old age, tolerable. (Max was diagnosed in Feb. 1995 when he was 7-1/2 years old)
I was not shocked when my Mini Pincsher Zartantion (ZAR) was diagnosed. with diabetes. I sort of knew with the bed wetting, constant thirst and acting like he never ate before. (I have a 40-year old diabetic daughter). He was diagnosed in June 2002 at 5-1/2 years old. He was put on several different amounts of insulin and we have settled in at 7 units per shot twice a day. He eats Hills WD prescription canned food but wants something mixed with it or he just won't eat it. I mix in cooked chicken, egg, or sometimes meat juice. Now I noticed he can not see very well, bumps into things etc. so we are going to the vet this week and I already know he will be blind (my daughter is also blind) so I do not have a problem with that. I walk him and he goes in the fenced pen but I must make sure he doesn't bump into the fence and get hurt. I am thinking of another dog for a companion for him (we always had 2). I guess he will do ok, as my daughter did. And I sure know how it works by now. -- Contributed by Kathy Nov. 2002
Updated December 2002