|Female Birman Siamese, gray and white|
Regulated between and
|Insulin||Insulin not appropriate|
Mari’s synopsis - 5 months of veterinary hell before finding Dr. H., YDC and Shelby of Felines Pride
Noticed Mari peeing a lot and drinking a lot of water the week of Christmas, December, 2005.
Brought her to the Vet 1st week of January, 2006, since they were closed for the holidays.
Diagnoses Jan 2006
I was totally dismayed. How could my cat have become diabetic?
“Genetics,” I was assured by Vet #1.
Vet #1 had me wait 1 week to start giving insulin
She also had an infection, so she was on antibiotics for a week.
Started her on Caninsulin 0.5 units 1 x a day
Vet #1’s treatment plan included MediCal mature dry (with a few cans of the same product wet, if you so desired) a food packed full of corn and other carbs. He was both very insistent on this food and yet "unsure" she should be on it because he also said she had renal problems.
Vet #1’s insulin protocols were from Dr. Doreen Houston, the Director of Research at MediCal pet food company in Guelph, who spends lots of time travelling the world doing presentations and consultations to vets (ie pushing dry cat food products). A vet with only 4 years of experience in veterinary practice, she now is an active consultant to vets all across Canada and internationally.
(MediCal has just recently been bought by the Royal Canin Company of the UK -- the one that is putting out all those "specialized" dry food kibbles for different species of cats -- and that is absolute garbage junk food for any cat.)
Vet #1 never mentioned hometesting to me at all during any of the consultations Jan-May, 2006 until I brought up the subject. Discouraged me from hometesting by saying that his glucometer was better calibrated than human glucometers.
Monthly visits to Vet #1 consisted of 10 minutes in his clinic, where he would have his staff do a BG test on her, tell me “she’s off the scale” and then shove me out the door after handing me a bill for $300.
She suffered through 2 more urinary tract infections and two more rounds of antibiotics. I was very upset about all these infections, their recurrences and the constant antibiotics, which I knew were serving to weaken her immune system.
In March, my father died of cancer and I couldn’t afford to go to the vet.
In April, Mari developed peripheral neuropathy and couldn’t walk. Went back to Vet #1. He told me to increase the Caninsulin to 3.5 units 2x a day. Yelled at me that "you didn't keep your appointments for your BG curves. Now it will be much more expensive for you."
Found FDMB board and YDC board approximately mid May, 2006. Learned to hometest.
Started reading and printing things out. So many numbers and what did they all mean? What number should Mari be to be healthy?
May 31 Mari had a crisis. She was lying on her side, not moving. I rushed her to the emergency vet where her BG level tested 33, despite Vet #1 telling me that the Caninsulin was working and that she was “18” now so it was an improvement.
Emergency Vet (Vet #2) told me insulin dosage was wrong. Wanted us on Lantus (glargine). Gave us a can of DM wet food and said she should be on that food. Left the catheter in her from the fluids which forced me to return to “our” vet to get it removed.
I requested a script for PZI. He said I had to get it from "my" vet. Talked about the Lantus again.
Went back to Vet #1. Had him remove the catheter. Asked him about PZI. He had never used it but said if I wanted to try Lantus they would “experiment” on her for 4 days in the hospital. I had no confidence in his abilities since she had developed all these complications under his care and refused.
Mari still couldn’t walk well. He told me that I would just have to leave food and water for her under the bed and that she wouldn’t be walking until December until she was “regulated”.
My intuition was screaming at me that the way he was telling me to give the insulin and his so called "treatment plan" would ensure that my cat would remain diabetic.
I am not a vet and knew nothing about FD but I had this strong strong feeling that I knew I had to act on to save my kitty.
I was appalled by his insensitivity and bad advice and took Mari home.
We tried Vet #3 for a script for PZI. Gave him all the research and said why I wanted it.
He refused to let me take notes during the session. Wanted me to do daily urine testing for her. Wanted to do full body x-rays on her without giving me a valid reason why. Refused to give us a script for PZI. Told me that if I didn't have money for vet bills (of which I had given no such indication) that I should give her up for research. We left.
While all this madness was going on, Shelby of Felines Pride sent us 2 2.5 packages of raw cat food. www.felinespride.com
I started transitioning my kitty while getting together the supplements to make my own from www.catnutrition.org
She loved the raw food. But the vets were vehemently opposed to me feeding a cat her natural diet. Why? Was it just ignorance or their profit margins -- or both?
Went to Vet #4. He couldn’t advise us on correct insulin dosage either, told me to just keep giving her 2 fixed dosages of 3.5 units of Caninsulin 2x a day.
Opened her mouth and said he thought she had cancer.
Asked to do a biopsy, which I did.
While she was sedated called me and asked to do x-rays. Biopsy revealed a metaplastic gingival bone formation (a deformity) which he could not tell me how she got or what to do about it, other than it was benign and not bothering her.
All Vet #4 could tell me was that he was “surprised” that it wasn’t cancer. (and, I might add, seemed di$appointed) ie: $$$$$
Said he didn’t use hometesting in his practice anymore. Said the only reason for using it was to give insulin or not, not to be adjusting dosages. Aggressively told me not to feed her any raw food citing some University of Guelph bacteriological study.
Told me he didn’t believe it was possible to get cats into remission. Refused to give us a script for PZI. Said I was getting "some" good numbers and that "we" would not be changing her insulin.
Told me that if I changed her insulin she could have a reaction and need antihistamines and he could lose his licence if that happened.
Told me that if I changed the insulin on my own he would not treat her for anything else.
I learned he has a diabetic kitty himself who suffers from daily seizures.
In desperation, I started using BSS with Caninsulin from June-July.
Obtained a contraband bottle of PZI from a woman in Quebec and started using it in July.
Got Mari’s numbers down from seriously unregulated to around the 7 (126) level many days and some days entirely off insulin.
Switched to Idexx PZI in October, 2006. Another contraband bottle since no vets would give it to us after calling 20 vets.
Kept hometesting 2-3 times a day and giving insulin as needed. Mari’s need for insulin decreased, skipping shots and duration kept increasing, going off insulin for days at a time.
Finally found a vet that would prescribe BCP PZI.
In December, she had a dental. I figured this was the last thing standing between her and total remission.
By December 24, 2006, my little Mari was off insulin completely. She did not need the final bottle of BCP PZI I had (finally) obtained from a vet.
Happy, healthy and lost all the bad carb weight from the poisonous dry vet MediCal cat “food”.
Her coat returned to a beautiful shade of beige from the dark dark brown she had been while eating the bad dry food.
I can only highly recommend TR, PZI, Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, Shelby of Felines Pride and all the caring, compassionate cat lovers on YDC for our success.
No vet could tell us how to get my cat healthy and off insulin. Dr. H is truly the only feline diabetes expert in the world on this subject and without her, my kitty would be dead by now!
Instead I have a healthy, happy kitty and I have become empowered in my knowledge of how to best care for any cat -- by never, ever feeding any dry food again -- and to let every cat owner I meet know this and get them to ditch the dry as well!
Mari's numbers: http://www.yourdiabeticcat.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=563 Carol and Mari 10 year old Birman Siamese (abandoned stray) Diagnosed: January 2006 Food: Raw chicken pate with raw treats (organic organ meats) Insulin: BCP PZI (as of July 30.06); Idexx PZI (as of October 9, 2006); OTJ - December 24, 2006!