Talk to me about feline diabetes--now hyperthyroidism!

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texsuze
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Talk to me about feline diabetes--now hyperthyroidism!

Postby texsuze » Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:42 am

We suspect our 11 y.o. kitty might have developed diabetes. Significant weight loss over the last few months, increased thirst, increased appetite. He is also scratching his neck and ears quite a bit, despite getting the all clear for ear mites. He'll go this week for blood work to look for diabetes and thyroid issues. He is otherwise his usual cheeky, spunky self.

For those managing kitties with diabetes, what advice or info can you offer, presuming this ends up being his diagnosis. Is there anything we should be sure to ask our vet about? Any other suggestions or input, especially about these symptoms? Thanks in advance for help.
Last edited by texsuze on Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Josette
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Re: Talk to me about feline diabetes

Postby Josette » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:38 pm

http://www.yourdiabeticcat.com/diet.html

I know someone with an older diabetic cat who has gotten daily insulin injections for several years now. Glucose monitored very much like a person with a blood check - done with with a ear prick and glucometer reading. Once cat had lost much weight and insulin was not adjusted down correctly and cat was accidently overdosed in a coma-like state. I think you need to rub gums with something sweet -- need to look up or maybe a vet tech here can reply. Diet was adjusted as well for a quality cat food best for diabetic cats. Like any other chronic condition it requires daily maintenance and monitoring but can be done for many animals.

texsuze
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Re: Talk to me about feline diabetes

Postby texsuze » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:52 pm

Thanks for info. Kitty has vet appt tomorrow, so we'll go from there. In the meantime, I am researching canned cat foods, since our 4 indoor cats have been on an rx diet, which I have always felt was just trash. Kicking myself thinking that our 11 y.o. kitty's problems might stem from his nutrition. Big changes in store, I think.

angela9823
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Re: Talk to me about feline diabetes

Postby angela9823 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:43 pm

I always fed my cat Iams dry food. It was the only one he'd consistently eat and I knew I was taking a gamble. At 13 years old, he was given a diagnosis of diabetes. That was November 2014. I changed his diet drastically to a very high protein canned cat food and Purina Diabetic Management dry food from vet. He still chooses the dry food much more consistently than the canned food though he's gotten pretty fussy about both. But when we changed his diet, he got to where he was going into a comma no matter how small the dose of insulin. So we took him back off insulin January 2015. He was wonderful until April 2015. He then went backwards and was much worse than originally diagnosed in November. He was put back on insulin and then went in weekly trying to adjust for how much to give. We were on Prozinc insulin for animals. Please ask your vet for the better Lansin (people insulin) if your cat is diabetic! Cats respond much better on it. We've been fighting with Prozinc insulin and fine tuning how much to give until December 2015. Finally a friend told me about Lansin and how much better cats are responding to it so I asked for a change. The vet agreed. Problem here is that it must be bought at a drug store versus issued through vet and drug stores will tell you it is only good for 30 days and will then fuss about the fact that it will be okay for 3-4 months (depending on amount of units).

Struggling on Prozinc with my cat was horrible. He got to where I was about to put him down because of him not being able to hold his urine anymore. Now, he's much more controlled, starting to gain weight again (after a seven pound loss and he's a smaller cat!) and is overall improving in his health. He is still on the canned cat food (Blue Buffalo and Nature's Variety - loves the rabbit version) and the DM. He also gets as much raw or cooked meat products as he'll eat (mostly chicken or turkey cause he's super picky! but occasionally different fishes as well). I try to keep the protein levels really high.

texsuze
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Re: Talk to me about feline diabetes--now hyperthyroidism!

Postby texsuze » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:54 pm

Oh, angela, it pains me to hear of your trials with your kitty. Trying to find correct diet, rx, etc. is so exasperating! Thanks for sharing.

We are now looking at feline hyperthyroidism with our kitty--not diabetes as originally suspected! Vet could palpate his thyroid yesterday, and blood panel was performed in vet's office. The T4 levels were only mildly elevated, but that, plus kitty's weight loss and increased water intake point to hyperthyroid. We've started the oral meds, but I'm reading that radioactive I-131 treatment, while stressful, might be the most definitive way to go. Wading through all the data now.

So, anyone out there who has managed/treated feline hyperthyroidism? Thanks again.

Larbear
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Re: Talk to me about feline diabetes--now hyperthyroidism!

Postby Larbear » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:27 am

My old kitty-man (Eggie) had hyperthyroid. Unlike most cats with hyperthyroid, Eggie's appetite absolutely tanked, that was so stressful. My advice would be to try the methimazole and see how the kidneys are (BUN and creatinine). Once the T4 is in the normal range, if the kidneys seem ok then I would go for the radioactive iodine (I-131). The I-131 addresses the underlying cause of the disease (tumour), the methimazole does not.

If kitty becomes lethargic on methimazole, the dosage might be too high. When I first put Eggie on the methimazole, his initial dosage was too high. Also, if pilling becomes problematic, you can use it as a transdermal gel (can get this made up at a compounding pharmacy) and put it on the inside of the ear flap.

This site has some good information:
http://www.catinfo.org/?link=felinehyperthyroidism

Hope this helps!

texsuze
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Re: Talk to me about feline diabetes--now hyperthyroidism!

Postby texsuze » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:45 pm

Thanks for feedback, Larbear. Is your kitty still with you? Did you continue methimazole or did Eggie have the
I-131 treatment?

Right now, our kitty is on the 2.5mg methimazole b.i.d. I was wondering if he should've started on just 2.5mg daily, then increasing dosage if necessary. Pilling, thankfully, is going ok. I do believe he is a bit less active right now. Protocol is to re-check CBC in about a month, and also check blood pressure. Unfortunately, the hyperthyroidism can be a focus for other organ system issues and that is what I worry about, too.

I would definitely consider the I-131 treatment, but DH is strongly opposed. Our kitty literally comes apart at both ends when being transported anywhere. He has never been boarded and is a sensitive guy. In addition, the post-treatment safety issues that we've read about would be difficult, although not impossible, to implement.

Stressing out a bit.....

Larbear
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Re: Talk to me about feline diabetes--now hyperthyroidism!

Postby Larbear » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:42 am

Unfortunately no, kidneys took him :(
Last edited by Larbear on Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

angela9823
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Re: Talk to me about feline diabetes--now hyperthyroidism!

Postby angela9823 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:52 pm

Wanted to give a small update. Since reading Josette's post and the accompanying link, I decided to order raw from www.mypetspride.com. My cat has now been on the raw food ONLY (no dry, no canned) for a week. He has had a DRASTIC improvement in a week and I hope we continue to see this. His sugar levels are dropping, he's acting young again and has gained two pounds in a week. But it looks like the weight is across the top line where no matter how much the scale went up, the topline was not improving before. Now the topline looks wonderful. AND he's eating the food completely and licking the bowl clean. The website says a normal cat will eat 4-5 ounces daily but this guy is begging for more at that bit. So happy that it is working out! He is in love with the rabbit - of course because it is double the cost. But he likes the chicken too. I got some of the turkey but haven't tried it yet because he hasn't completed those two yet.

texsuze
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Re: Feline diabetes--actually hyperthyroidism! UPDATE

Postby texsuze » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:51 pm

Two months now since our big boy was diagnosed hyperthyroid. He's been on the 2.5 mg methimazole b.i.d. and recent blood check shows him in the 'low normal' range. His appetite is good, not raging, not gone. His weight is much lower than I'd like, although DH thinks he looks good (he prefers skinny). Last night, while kitty was sitting in my lap, we took his BP with a veterinary/small animal BP monitor attached to his tail! He was purring the entire time, so we got 3 good readings, which averaged normal--yippee! Pilling is easy, so we'll see how things continue. Fingers crossed this will all work out.

fergusnc
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Re: Talk to me about feline diabetes--now hyperthyroidism!

Postby fergusnc » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:09 pm

Probably 11 years ago my 12 year old seemingly healthy cat was diagnosed hyperthyroid during a wellness visit. She was a chunk, lol, so no signs at all. We tried pills. No luck, but back then anyway you had to start there before you did the injection...don't know if it was protocol or rule or info gathering....can't remember. My vet actually was only 1 of 2 places in NC at the time that had a facility for this, so that was nice....the long term relationship and trust. There was a stay at vet until the radioactivity was ok to go home. I had special rules about disposing of litter for a designated amount of time (how I handled it and now I disposed of it...laws about throwing out radioactive stuff that was no joke apparently) but it's been so long I forget the specifics. It was not a big deal, that I remember....very doable. Kitty seemed totally normal when she came home. And never had an issue again. She lived until 18.5 years old when we put her down for a possible stroke or brain tumor...no need to do tests to know for sure at ER, no doubt it was time.

From what I remember from our "group orientation" (owners from other states came to my vet for procedure and certain weeks of the month were devoted to the protocol due to all the rules and time about going in/out of special building, designated folks only to care for them afterwards, etc)....many cats had other issues as well...diabetes, heart murmur, organ failure...and for many of them, those issues were related to the thyroid dis function and when that was cured, the other stuff disappeared.

I was actually disappointed to learn recently that my last remaining kitty does not have a thyroid issue at 17 years old...she actually has true kidney failure...which is just a management issue, no way to cure.


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