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My Cat Has Diabetes Can I Put Her To Sleep

Why Does My Diabetic Cat Seem So Tired After A Shot Of Insulin?

Why Does My Diabetic Cat Seem So Tired After A Shot Of Insulin?

Sponsored Safesound Personal Alarm Police Say Women & Children Need To Carry This Safety Device Safety experts say this tiny device (not pepper spray) is the most effective way to protect yourself against an attacker. Learn More Report ad More Questions on Medicine Why has my vet prescribed Famotidine for my cat that has lymphoma but has not started chemotherapy yet? He is due for his 1st treatment on Thursday 1 week after his biopsy as he is 18 yrs old. She has prescribed 1/8 of 20mg tablet for his salivating during tube feeding. I am taking my cat on a 10 hour trip. He rode well up until about 4 yrs. of age...he is now 16yrs and in excellent health. He does not want to go in a car anymore. I have a cat carrier. Is there a mild, low-dose tranquilizer I could give him? I have read that very low doses of benedryl being safe. Thank you, Mike i used exodex on Persiancat and know he is extemely zoned out, he is just staring into space! what do i do? Cat and exodex i have a kitten that is 8 months old and has developed owrms. can you give valbazen and ivomec to kittens that age? and if so how much? Thanks for your help I have a 17 year old cat with daily vomiting & weight loss. Other drugs tried. Most recently prescribed is Prednisone? Told that trans dermal causes bone softening more than oral forms. Is this so? If so, over what period of time? i have my cat vectra feline, and it lost the hair in the area that i applied it? what should i do? we got vectra feline and put it on my cat. now it has a bald spot where i applied vectra. what should i do, or do differently next time. My cat started vomiting 2 weeks ago. It took 2 shots of meds and a prednisone shot to make him stop..he had not eaten in those 4 days he was vomiting. He was fine up until that night xrays..2 sets ..in Continue reading >>

How To Say Goodbye

How To Say Goodbye

Just last week, while I was performing euthanasia for a critically ill patient, the pet’s owner looked at me and said, “I bet this is the hardest part of your job.” That gave me pause. For me, putting animals to sleep is not one of the hardest parts of being a veterinarian. That’s because euthanasia is often a blessing and gift to a suffering animal. In my experience, the hardest part of being a veterinarian is telling owners that their beloved pet has a terminal illness and will soon be leaving this world. The emotions that pass across their faces, even if they have suspected the worst for some time, are heart-wrenching. It’s Never Easy I still remember the first person I had to share this terrible news with. He was a nice, middle-aged man with two small children and an 8-year-old Rottweiler named Stone. Stone was a member of the family, and when he started to limp, his owner brought him straight in to be checked out. Stone was a wonderful dog at home, but he was not a fan of the veterinary clinic. My best dog treats did nothing to warm his heart, and when I manipulated his painful left shoulder, well… that ended our chances of being best friends. Even though Stone was not an admirer of mine, I liked him, and I really liked his owner. That made it so much harder to discuss his diagnosis: osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma is a painful bone tumor that responds poorly to treatment. In some cases, treatments involving limb amputation and/or radiation therapy can be beneficial. In Stone’s case, these options were not feasible. Together, Stone’s owner and I decided to provide him with the best palliative care we could, and we promised each other that we would not let Stone suffer. When the time came, we would do the right — if tough — thing and put him to sleep Continue reading >>

How We Came To Euthanize Our Diabetic Cat Pica

How We Came To Euthanize Our Diabetic Cat Pica

The hardest decision any cat lover ever has to make is to euthanize a pet. It’s even harder when your cat is not showing obvious signs of stress and discomfort, it makes you feel like a murderer, even though the medical proof is right in front of your eyes. Our cat Pica was still purring for treats, begging for his brush and responding to our touch. I spent more time crying before taking him to the vet for euthanization than at the time he peacefully went to sleep. Some days, just out of the blue, tears popped out of my eyes whenever I thought of Pica or talked about him. My eyes leaked late at night. He had begun to lose even more weight on wet cat food, so we switched his diet to Blue Buffalo. This is a high protein, low carb and grain-free premium dry cat food. His weight improved but his two other diseases related to diabetes mellitus worsened. Inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis. Three weeks ago, the latest diagnosis bordered on ketoacidosis. Life threatening. The first sign he was heading into a tailspin was when he urinated on our rug. Increased his prozac; followed up with the pain reliever, buprenophine. Immediately we tapered prenisolone, which makes it extremely difficult to manage diabetes. Changed his medication to budesodine, compounded at the Parkside Pharmacy in Land Park over on Del Rio. Tried to sequester him in a 4 x 4 dog kennel in the evenings, but on his second night, Tessa, our female ocicat, showed him how to escape. Still a mystery. Cerenia was a god-send, too; offering inflammatory relief as well as vomit prevention. Almost two years passed since the vet diagnosed Pica with feline diabetes. We’ve been vigilant with his diet and medications ever since, hoping to give Pica a long and happy life with twice-a-day insulin injections. Nev Continue reading >>

Are You Considering Euthanasia For Your Diabetic Cat?

Are You Considering Euthanasia For Your Diabetic Cat?

Are you considering euthanasia for your diabetic cat? This is something that I would only consider if the pain and suffering got to a level were the most humane thing was euthanasia. However with a proper treatment plan there is no reason why cats should not be able to lead a normal a life as possible for many years. But I can understand why many owners might feel daunted by the prospect of looking after a diabetic cat and consider euthanasia as a first choice. Author Sarah Ettritch in her latest blog post which this month is about her personal experience with feline diabetes states:- “The number one cause of death in diabetic cats isn’t diabetes, or the hypoglycemia that can occur when cats are receiving insulin. It’s euthanasia. Caring for a diabetic cat requires a serious commitment. Your life pretty much revolves around the shot schedule, and going away on vacation (or even a weekend) is problematic.” The fact that euthanasia may be the number one cause of death amongst cats with feline diabetes really is an eye opener and if true, that is really sad. Yet you can understand that looking after a diabetic cat may not be straightforward and every one’s cup of tea. So are you considering euthanasia for your diabetic cat? What I believe is that once you get over the initial teething problems, looking after a diabetic cat can become straightforward but of course you do need to keep an extra eye out as you would for a sick loved one. Blood sugar checking and the insulin shots again should not be too time consuming and again once the teething problems have been resolved they should become routine. If you have more than one responsible member in the family make sure that you all are able to do these tasks and share them out. But I can understand that this may be al Continue reading >>

Many Cats With Diabetes Can Achieve Remission

Many Cats With Diabetes Can Achieve Remission

If your cat seems to be thirstier than usual, is urinating frequently, is hungry all the time but also losing weight, you should have him checked by your veterinarian for feline diabetes. Other signs to watch for include urinating outside the litter box, sweet-smelling breath, lethargy, dehydration, poor coat condition, and urinary tract infections. Left untreated, diabetes can cause your kitty to lose his appetite and a significant amount of weight, and develop muscle weakness. Uncontrolled, the disease can ultimately result in diabetic neuropathy, a condition in which there is profound rear limb weakness and a plantigrade walk, meaning the ankles are actually on the ground as the cat walks. Feline Diabetes Mellitus Diabetes mellitus is a common disease in older cats, and is especially prevalent in kitties fed dry food diets. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery concluded that high-protein, low-carb diets are as or more effective than insulin at causing remission of diabetes in cats. The pancreas produces insulin based on the level of glucose in the blood. Insulin is necessary in order for glucose to enter the cells of the body. When glucose levels are high (which normally occurs after a meal), insulin is released. When there is not enough insulin being released from the pancreas, or there is an abnormal release of insulin coupled with an inadequate response of the body’s cells to the insulin, diabetes mellitus is the result. Sugar in the bloodstream cannot get into the cells of the body, so the body starts breaking down fat and protein stores to use as energy. As a result, no matter how much the cat eats, she loses weight. In addition, the glucose builds up in the bloodstream and is eliminated through urination. This leads to exce Continue reading >>

The Complications Of Having A Cat With Diabetes – By Rosalind Anderson

The Complications Of Having A Cat With Diabetes – By Rosalind Anderson

Around one in 200 cats get diabetes according to research carried out by Danielle Gunn-More, Professor of Feline Medicine, and Head of Companion Animal Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Cats are slightly more prone to diabetes than dogs, she says. Fatter, older male cats that don’t have much exercise are generally at higher risk than other cats. Here, Rosalind talks about a typical day looking after her cat Jasper, aged 10, who has diabetes. I knew Jasper wasn’t quite himself. He’d lost some weight and had started sleeping against the wall behind the armchair – usually he’s on the settee or on my husband’s chair. He was also eating an awful lot. I’d looked up his symptoms and I was pretty sure it was diabetes – although I was surprised. I tend to know what’s wrong with one of the cats before I take them to the vet. (Last time I went to the vet with one of our other cats, I said ‘he’s got a haematoma in his ear’ and the vet had a look and said ‘so he has’.) The vet did blood tests and rang the next day and confirmed that Jasper had diabetes and had lost about a kilogramme in weight – which is quite a lot in a cat. His blood sugar was very high so he needed insulin to bring it down. I was worried as I’d got to inject him and had never done anything like that before. I thought he wouldn’t like it – and it would put him off me. I spent half an hour with the nurse at the vet. She showed me how to do the injections at the back of his neck (we injected water). Jasper was stoical but he wasn’t terribly pleased – he doesn’t like the vets anyway. I took the insulin home and started the injections. He wasn’t too keen but then I found some really nice dried chicken bits which he absolutely loves. Now when it’s time for his inject Continue reading >>

Convenience Euthanasia And Uncomfortable Questions

Convenience Euthanasia And Uncomfortable Questions

You probably don’t want to read this post. It’s not warm and fuzzy. Fair warning. There are a few topics that routinely rattle around my brain, day in and day out, because I’m not just punching the clock here, I’m trying to change the world for the better. Financing veterinary care is one of them, euthanasia is another. Both topics plague me daily because they speak to the core of what veterinarians do. We received a phone call recently, a “new client” who had inherited a cat. Realizing I could not get both sides of this story, and will only ever know the client’s viewpoint, this is what we were told: The client had taken this cat to another local veterinary clinic because it was peeing all over her house. The other clinic failed to get blood and urine samples from the cat, because it was too aggressive to handle. That was fine with the client, though, because she didn’t have the money to pay for tests and treatments anyway. She asked the other clinic to euthanize the cat, and they refused on the grounds of a self-made policy that prohibited “convenience euthanasia”. Where do we draw the line on “convenience”? Some animal lovers insist you don’t truly “love” pets unless you’re willing to accept a certain level of discomfort. If you don’t like cat pee, you shouldn’t be allowed to get a cat in the first place, because some day, the cat may pee on your stuff, and if it does, you’d darn well be willing to suffer through it. If the cat is peeing because he’s developed diabetes, you darn well be willing to pay to treat him, give him shots twice a day, force syringe feed him if he stops eating, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. If you can’t immediately afford treatment for your pets, you must be willing to rack up any available form of credit Continue reading >>

When Is It

When Is It "time" To Euthanize?

Here's today's tough question [edited]: I have a cat, Zoe, who is 15. She is diabetic. Even when her diabetes is stabilized, she's so skinny! She has gone from a big 12 pound Maine Coon to a weeny 5 pound Maine Coon. She looks and feel bony. We know she has some arthritis (she gets chondroitin); the vet thinks she may have a tumor of some sort, possibly even/as well as a brain tumor. She definitely has dental problems. Zoe's quality of life seems to me to be poor - she will accept petting but is not the affectionate lapcat she used to be; she has always lived in a multicat household but now HATES the other cats; and she's occasionally incontinent. Mealtimes get her excited but that's it; the rest of the time she spends asleep. How do we know when it's time? We keep taking her back to the vet every 3 months for an assessment to see if she's in much pain and they never seem to think she is. I don't want to euthanize her just because she is no longer a charming little kitten or because she has health problems - she has definitely earned her retirement, but I also don't want her to suffer through a terrible existence because we haven't got the guts to make a decision. My Answer: Well... no pressure, huh? The decision to provide euthanasia is often a difficult one. In fact, it is almost always a difficult decision, even when the situation is pretty clear-cut (as in the dog caught in a combine harvester header who had all four of his legs cut off: the owner wanted me to "fix him". Holy cow!) "Quality of life" and "quality of life issues" are the buzz-words. They are more than just buzz-words, though. If one is sure that a patient is in constant pain which is NOT going to get better, then the decision is pretty clear. But what about the patient who just never feels good? You d Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Cats Part 2 – Things You Should Know About Diagnosis & Treatment

Diabetes In Cats Part 2 – Things You Should Know About Diagnosis & Treatment

3 53 Remember Stephen? Stephen is having a cat nap. So I guess it’s up to me to tell you all a little bit more about diabetes in cats. In my previous article – What Does a Cat With Diabetes Look Like? I talked about what diabetes mellitus actually is, what I think about people who taste urine to check for its sweetness, and gave some pointers on signs to watch out for that might indicate your cat has this disease. Now it’s time to have a quick look at how diabetes in cats is diagnosed and most importantly, what the heck we can do about it. How Can My Veterinarian Tell if My Cat has Diabetes? There are two main test results required for a vet to be able to diagnose diabetes in a symptomatic cat: A high fasting blood glucose (i.e. loads of glucose floating around in their blood even when they haven’t eaten recently) Testing these parameters is a piece of cake! See what I did there? But here’s where it gets tricky. Cats can get enormously stressed out by a visit to the vet (kind of like I feel about sitting in the dentist’s chair), and a really important effect of this stress can be a transient elevation in their blood glucose, which can even be significant enough to see glucose spilling over into the urine. What this means is that cats who do not have diabetes may have a high blood glucose reading, and even occasionally glucose in their urine. These tests aren’t always diagnostic on their own. It is best to run a full blood profile rather than just checking the glucose alone. This assists us with detecting any other illnesses that may either be the sole cause of your cat’s problems or could just be lurking around complicating the situation. If there is any doubt about the diagnosis of diabetes, a good test to do next is a plasma fructosamine level. This te Continue reading >>

You Just Learned Your Pet Has Diabetes

You Just Learned Your Pet Has Diabetes

The first day Commitment, patience & education Expenses Your emotions People think you're crazy Your social life The bottom line I wrote this essay to help people whose pet has recently (or not so recently) been diagnosed with diabetes. Many of the things discussed below will probably go through your thoughts. Hopefully this will help you understand your new situation and you won't feel so overwhelmed. The First Day The initial shock and fear you feel when the vet tells you that your pet has diabetes can be overwhelming. Diabetes is a treatable condition and your pet can live a normal, happy, healthy life. Diabetes is not a death sentence for your pet. A question that is often asked is “My pet is older, should I put him to sleep”. This is a very complicated issue and depends on the overall health of your pet. Age alone should not be the deciding factor in determining whether to treat your diabetic pet or whether to euthanize it. Many older pets have been diagnosed with diabetes and with commitment and loving care, they have lived many more years. Our cat was diagnosed at age 14, and after almost three years with diabetes he is very healthy and happy. There are diabetic cats and dogs that are quite elderly (18 years old or more) and are in very good health. You may want to read some of the Quality of Life stories that are on this site. Commitment, Patience and Education Caring for a diabetic pet takes a very strong commitment from both the owner / caregiver and the vet. You must provide a very high level of care for your pet on a daily basis. Gone are the days of putting out food and water, giving a quick pat on the head, and hurrying out the door. Every day you will have to give your pet medication, feed a proper diet, and watch his behavior. But don’t get the imp Continue reading >>

Euthanasia - Gentle Death, Painful Decision

Euthanasia - Gentle Death, Painful Decision

Copyright 1993, 2000 Sarah Hartwell This article was the original euthanasia article which was later expanded into Time to Let Go. It contains some information which was edited out of the Cats Protection version of Time to Let Go. I have kept the original information, but made one or two updates and additions. The decision to end a life is hard and can feel like a betrayal of trust. One friend said she felt she had murdered her terminally ill cat. Another, in a similar situation felt guilty at not making the decision sooner. Though I have had years of experience with elderly cats which sometimes required a helping hand at the end, in 1999 I had to follow my own advice for an 11 year old cat who had been with me since the age of 5 months. THE MANY REASONS FOR EUTHANASIA There are good reasons and bad reasons for choosing euthanasia. Good reasons put the cat's wellbeing first - wellbeing meaning the cessation of a now painful existence. Bad reasons are those chosen purely for the owner's convenience with no regard for the cat. Organ failure; when internal organs fail, toxins build up in the cat's body, killing it slowly. The cat has become vicious, dangerous or unmanageable; if it cannot be rehomed there may be no alternative but euthanasia. Progressive illness have made it so weak that it cannot reach its litter-box or food bowl. Recurrent infection or condition responding less and less to treatment or occurring more and more often. Your circumstances have changed so that you can't keep your cat, but feline overpopulation means it stands no chance of finding a new home - it will either be destroyed by a shelter when its time is up or live long-term in a cage. You liked your cat when it was young and active, but have become bored of it now it is old. You don't wish to spe Continue reading >>

Euthanasia: A Vet’s Perspective

Euthanasia: A Vet’s Perspective

The software we use in my practices will color code appointments by “reason for visit.” The one for euthanasia is, as one would expect, a very dark color. A few weeks ago, I came to work. As usual, I looked at the schedule before rounds to see any issues that needed to be covered before we convened. My heart sank. The first two appointments of the day were euthanasias. While in many respects, I think of euthanasia as a privilege to perform when suffering is the alternative, nevertheless, it is always hard on me. Not as hard as it is for clients who don’t want to give up, but emotionally trying. I watched my Dad suffer to death for 3 months in an ICU so I know how important it is to assist in ending suffering. “We veterinarians think of ourselves as healers.” We veterinarians think of ourselves as healers, capable of diagnosing, curing or managing illness and injury. When we can no longer do so, our role in the pet’s and family’s life changes. We are not allies in the fight any longer. We must advise the course to prevent suffering; sometimes that means death. In that same week, my brother called from 3000 miles away to talk to me about his 11 year old Clumber Spaniel, Hattie, who was in the hospital. He needed me to help him make decisions. She was very sick and it was Friday afternoon. One plan was to stabilize her through the weekend and perform surgery on Monday, a course that may or may not have improved her condition. I reviewed the diagnostics with her doctor. We had a long conversation about likely outcomes. Her odds of getting better were poor but not impossible. I told my brother that he should take it one day at a time. Give the doctors permission to provide all the supportive care she needed, including a blood transfusion and see how she was the Continue reading >>

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: Deciding When To Euthanize

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: Deciding When To Euthanize

FIV is known by several different names: Feline HIV, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Cat FIV, Feline Aids, and Cat Aids. It is a contagious feline virus, one of several that can threaten your cat's health, even his life. {C} When many of my veterinary clients first learn of the feline immunodeficiency virus, their immediate concern is often the fear that this cat version of the virus could be contagious to humans. Fortunately, it is not and your cat does not catch FIV from people. Part of this concern, no doubt, comes from some of those names FIV has been given. Calling this feline virus by the names of Feline HIV, Feline Aids, and Cat Aids leads people to believe there is a connection between HIV and FIV. While there are many similarities in the method of transmission and problems it causes for the infected cat, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is species specific. FIV is transmitted from cat to cat primarily through bites and is one of the main reasons I started letting my cats outside only in outdoor cat enclosures several years ago. The following question and answer illustrate some of the problems that result from a cat being infected by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and addresses the issue of deciding when a cat's poor quality of life necessitates a consideration of euthanasia. QUESTION: My 14 yr. old cat developed FIV 13 yrs. ago and 6 yrs. ago developed diabetes. Also, he has calcium deposits on his lower spine. 3 months ago, he developed hyperthyroidism and is on medication now. He also has a hemotoma of the ear. In the last month, he was prescribedamoxicillin for a urinary infection. 3 days ago, he started drinking a lot more water and urinating a lot more. His vet had to up his insulin from 2 units to 3 units of PZI, yet he still is drinking more water. When h Continue reading >>

Older Cat With Diabetes - What Would You Do?

Older Cat With Diabetes - What Would You Do?

If you had a 15 year old cat who you had adopted when he was 1, and he was recently diagnosed with diabetes, what would you do? The long term prognoses is not good, but not horrible either. With diet modifications and medicine, he could live another couple of years. But he also might not respond to the medicine and die within a few months. The diet modification is no more dry food. Only wet food, and it needs to be a prescription diabetic food - probably about $50/month. Then there's figuring out what doseage of insulin he needs. That will take probably three days of hospitalization and blood tests. Average cost is about $600. And the medicine is twice daily insulin injections. Cost $100/month. Can't miss a day or he might get sick, so someone would need to stay in the house if you went on vacation or away for the weekend. Other than the newly diagnosed diabetes, he's healthy and friendly. Sleeps a lot and no longer plays, but he's old so that's to be expected. So... would you pay $600 upfront and $150/month and give twice daily injections? Or would you put him to sleep? Would you do the new diet and medicine for a period of time to see if it worked and then reevaluate? I've already made my decision, just wondering if it's the same one other people would make. Continue reading >>

Feline Diabetes Or Living With A Diabetic Cat

Feline Diabetes Or Living With A Diabetic Cat

About a week and a half ago, I noticed that Barnes (one of our two older cats) was thinner than he used to be--so much so that I felt his bones when I gave him the sort of back scratching that he loves so much. Both he and his brother (Noble) are about 10 years old and have nearly always been on the heavy site. And, of course, don't get to a vet regularly because they utterly detest cat trips. Last Thursday we realized that it wasn't getting any better and took him over to the vet (Kirkwood Animal Hospital and Dr. Ueno) to see what was going on. Some on-line reading led me to believe that it was likely a case of Hyperthyroidism, which I'd heard of and thought was somewhat common in aging cats. However, the doctor called back on Friday morning to tell me that Barnes was diabetic. :-( Not only did that mean another trip to the vet and a 6-8 hour stay for glucose testing, it also likely meant insulin shots for the rest of his hopefully long life. It wasn't long before I found the FelineDiabetes.com web site and began reading about what this was likely to mean: dietary changes, closer monitoring, daily shots, and so on. To make a long story short, Barnes is doing better now. He and the other three cats are adjusting to eating a low-carb cat food (Purina DM). I have an appointment for his brother Noble to get checked out next week. If he's headed down the same path, a distinct possibility given the role that genetics can play, we'd like to catch it ASAP. The food is more expensive and the insulin shots aren't nearly as bad as I expected. But I really wish this hadn't happened. Diabetes puts him at risk for other complications down the road--just like in humans. What you need to know... If you're a cat owner, here are a few suggestions from our experience: Feed your cats a go Continue reading >>

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