|Male DSH - black and white|
Regulated between 60 and 150
A species appropriate diet with limited carbs is KEY in managing feline diabetes!
Back in May-June of this year, I had noticed a change in Trixter. Since in August 2005 he had been constipated so badly that he had to get 2 enemas and fluid therapy (aka a system clean out to say the least), we had changed his food slowly to Friskies dry (from another dry friskies food) with little milk bits that supposedly aid in digestion. I hoped this would help keep him being able to relieve himself, without getting constipated again. He had begun to gain back weight, and then very slowly over the course of the year he was losing again. He had been very overweight for probably 6 years before the constipation, but he got lots of excersize and was a happy, healthy kitty. As time went on, he was losing weight very slowly, and he was still at a good weight, but suddenly he acted panicy about food and was at the water bowl SO much. He was starting to constantly have a drip of water on his chin, yet his mouth felt dry and his hair was starting to look dull with lots of dandruff. He was laying around all the time. He had no energy and he was starting to walk a little funny and slide when he'd jump onto furniture. He looked so sad and miserable. I am a college student, and was recieving financial aid, but I had just been cut off from it in May and I was supposed to be graduating (I realized I only needed a couple more classes to get a second associates degree that I wanted, so I decided to stick it out without financial aid, as the school said they'd help with books, and a program called BOG would continue to pay my tuition). I started to panic. I knew something was wrong, but I did not want to believe he was so sick that he would die and I did not have the money to even take him in to the vet for a check up. I was so scared and worried out of my mind. I started looking online for info about his symptoms and he fit FD to a tee. I posted on another site about his symptoms, and I was still in a kind of denial. I found myself making excuses for the weight loss, excessive appitite, drinking and urinating. I blamed it on the constipation and diet change, and of course the heat. I even was so upset that I argued with people on the cat forum, and was very easily offended, etc. I knew in my heart that it was something more, but I felt so hopeless. When my birthday (july 1st) came around, Trixter was so sick, I was sure he was going to die. I recieved birthday money from distant family and took him in to the vet as soon as I could. July 11, I was told my Trixter had diabetes, would maybe last 3 weeks, and would be needing a shot 2 times a day, of about 15 units of insulin! (That is enough for a horse!) The insulin would cost $94 per vial and would only last us 13 days. I was in complete shock. There was no way I could afford this. I was told my only other choice was to put him down. My heart was breaking x100. I love my Trixter. He is my child, my pride and joy, my best friend. He has been with me since I was 16-17 years old. We became adults together, and I absolutely cherish him.
I was sent home that day sobbing, feeling like I was going to have to wait it out, until I had the money and the strength to take him in to be put to sleep. I was up all night just sobbing, getting sick, and feeling like my world was crashing down. My eyes were so puffy and red. The next day, i remembered something someone had said on the cat forum I was reading, about help when you can't afford a vet. I found the site again, and found a link to IMOM.org. Crying, but feeling a little hopeful, I read everything on that site at least 5 times. I read and read, sent questions, and called my vet the next day asking if he would be willing to work with this organization if they would accept my case. Finally, after lots of bugging and having him send off info, I filled out my application and was accepted VERY quickly. God bless all the IMOM angels.
I never thought in my life that I would ever be able to give ANYONE a shot. Especially my Trixter. I am SO needle phobic, and he can be such a stubborn little boy, and pretty darn fiesty, too. He has never taken crap from anyone (except me lol). I can hold him like a baby and kiss his face, put clothes on him, etc, but the minute i try to wipe his face, clean his teeth, anything that requires him to stay still and have something forced on him, he becomes a brat, and bites and wriggles away. I was so scared about the shots and my vet told me I would not have to hometest. (my vet story is long and drawn out) At first I was relieved, but then I read more and more and saw lots of posts here and knew it was something I had to do to treat my Trixter as well as possible, without hurting him and making things worse. A wonderful friend here, Jennifer, was soo kind to send me a freestyle flash meter and some testing strips and lancets! Many others were SO kind and helpful, too! ( I love you ALL!) I was so scared as I was sure he would HATE me for this. The first few days on insulin, I did not have a meter yet and was supposed to shoot the 2 units blindly. I was so scared, I stayed up all night giving him food the first night. The 2nd day, I gave him 2u in the morning, and then lowered to 1.5 in the evening. A few days after having him home, I got my meter and began testing.
From the first shot on, Trixter was SUCH a good boy. I would explain to him that this was going to help him, and that he was going to feel better soon. He would just lay there like an angel (yes, my big, bratty, manly and dominant King Kitty, Trixter), and let me do what I needed to do. Within 2 weeks of testing and lowering his dose (he kept needing less and less insulin with the diet change to low carb canned friskies varieties) his numbers kept getting better and better. I watched as the "14 day average" on the meter started to get lower and lower and I lowered his dose down to less than half a unit. His last shot was on the 14th day of insulin. His pancreas was now detoxicated and working in full force. It has now been 11 days and he is still holding normal numbers!
I know that not all sugar kitties are as lucky as Trixter, and that a lot of times, cats will be difficult to regulate and need insulin for a longer period of time, or even their entire lives, but I want my story to inpire others and show them that even with the most stubborn, dominant of kitties, diabetes is a VERY treatable disease. Shots and pokes and daily feedings are NOT things that should hold anyone who loves their furkids back from treating them, and neither is Cattitude! Our furkids depend on us, and sometimes we have to reach out as far as we can for help and for someone who understands and is compassionate that will reach right back and hold our hands. That is exactly what I found in IMOM and this site. I thank God every day. Without IMOM and the FDMB, and all the wonderful, loving, caring, compassionate, beautiful angels who frequent both of those places, I would have lost my Trixter; my best friend.
I know this is long already, but I wanted to say that Trixter now feels like a 2 year old, even though he was so close to death less than a month ago. Within a week of treatment he was feeling SO much better. The difference is absolutely amazing. He is full of energy and loving life again. He has reclaimed his throne! Being pro-active, and not giving up on our cats not only saves precious little lives, but it also gives cats the credit they deserve, as so many vets look at cats almost like they would a wild rodent. Cats deserve respect, and with all of us standing up for the fair treatment of our furkids, we can make a difference in the treatment furkids get when it comes to their care. Cats are amazing, special animals, and its about time our vets start to see how dear they are in the hearts of so many and give them the appropriate consideration and treatment they deserve! There is a reason they were once seen as Gods! Trixter and Smeagol (my non-diabetic) still think they are!
With lots of love and kitty snuggles,
~ Bobbi ~ *And Trixter and Smeagol, of course*