• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.


1 of 2 < >

Event Announcements now available FREE to all registered users

We just reconfigured the Event Announcements forum to be available as a free service for all registered forum users. See the thread stuck at the top of that forum for more information.
2 of 2 < >

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Anyone with a diabetic cat?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Anyone with a diabetic cat?

    So, my old guy was just diagnosed with diabetes. Does anyone else have a diabetic kitty?

    So far, I've gotten the diabetic prescription diet for him and hoping he will eat it! He's generally not picky, though, so I don't see a problem; he'll get his first feeding of it tonight.

    And what kinds of insulin do you use? My vet says there's only one kind that is currently recommended for cats, but it costs $110 for a 10 ML vial. I can't afford that. I'm basically unemployed, and my freelancing isn't paying the bills right now. As it is, the RX food was half my grocery budget for this week and it's only a 5 lb bag. Don't get me wrong, I can eat Ramen and mac and cheese and that's fine, better than my cats or my horse going without, but I'm really hoping there's another type of insulin out there that I can afford to get him; I know the possibility of the food alone working to help him is slim to none.

    Is there anything else you have tried and found to be helpful, especially while we work to get him regulated and happy? He has a great appetite and is very active, acting totally normal; he's just so skinny from the diabetes. I'm glad we know what it is now, but not sure where to go next.

  • #2
    We just talked about some of this right here


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for the link. Maybe it's because I'm tired and stressed out right now, but I don't understand most of the studies etc. in the other thread. Anyone care to put it in plain English?

      Or anyone have any experiences to share? How long did it take to get your cats regulated? How often do you have to test their sugar levels once they are stabilized? Any info that anyone can provide would be so appreciated.

      I feel so low right now. I let my baby down and I don't even feel like I deserve to live.


      • #4
        There is absolutley different types of insulins. You wont find insulin expensive...one bottle will last a cat pretty much forever. Usually, our vets prefer Humulin N for most cats (they are internal medicine specialists). However, we often get cats in that are referred, and they are already on something like caninsulin, lantus etc. I dont know what insulin your guy is on. But typically diabetes is one of the financially friendliest diseases a cat can get $110 bottle of insulin may last you until the bottle expires!

        As far as regulation - well,to be honest that can be very quick, or take a while. You MUST have a good vet that is confident with diabetic patients. Most of the time after one or two fructosamine tests and glucose curves you will get a fairly regulated cat that you can monitor at home (urine glucose strips). Because I work at a referral hospital, we usually see theones that arent well regulated to get them regulated. This requires a 24 to 48 hour hourly glucose curve. This usually runs $200 or so, but generally only needs to be done once then a routinecheckup to get them regulated.

        You may be lucky enough to have a cat that can come off insulin. It can happen, but not always. Purina DM seems to work magic in getting cats off insulin. Hills MD and WD are often prescribed to the overweight diabetic patients. You will probably hear a lot about feeding grain free and raw diets - and if you want to go ahead, but let your vet know as different foods cause different spikes in sugar levels. This is something they really need to know about (as well as meal times)for accurate glucose curves.


        • Original Poster

          How long does a bottle typically last before it expires? One type (I think it was the Humulin) said in the ad that you can only keep it for 28 days once you use it. If that's true, that's a LOT of money every month, though the Humulin is cheaper than the other kinds online.

          I can't remember what kind she prescribed-I think it started with a C? or maybe a G? I didn't fill it yet because it cost so much. She said that the Humulin and one other kind aren't recommended for cats anymore and that since that's the case, she won't prescribe them, so I'm stuck with the one she prescribed, which, according to the pharmacist, is about the most expensive kind you can get.

          And then there are the insulin curve tests he has to have at $80 a pop for goodness knows how long. The vet said she will teach me how to do them myself, but they want to do the first few. And I worry about leaving my cat at the office that long. He had a stroke when he was young and has neuro symptoms when he's stressed.

          After reading the label on the RX food (Royal Canin, not SD), there are grain ingredients. Does anyone have experience using a grain-free food instead, like Blue Wilderness? Is that even an option?

          I just don't know what to do. I hate myself for not being able to afford much. God knows I don't want to put him to sleep, but I feel so overwhelmed with everything.


          • #6
            If you want to grain free run down for diabetes management in plain english, this is really not a bad place to start. There are people who have successfully managed diabetic cats on the wheat free varieties of Fancy Feast, so it really doesn't have to cost a fortune.


            • #7
              Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post

              I can't remember what kind she prescribed-I think it started with a C? or maybe a G? I didn't fill it yet because it cost so much. She said that the Humulin and one other kind aren't recommended for cats anymore and that since that's the case, she won't prescribe them, so I'm stuck with the one she prescribed, which, according to the pharmacist, is about the most expensive kind you can get.

              And then there are the insulin curve tests he has to have at $80 a pop for goodness knows how long.
              If it starts with a "G" it's probably insulin glargine, trade name is Lantus. I have a 17 year old diabetic cat that has been on 6 units 2x/day of Lantus for years. When we first found out he was diabetic I treated him with pork Lente which worked OK but it was discontinued in 2005 so we switched to PZI but the results were poor at best.

              Shortly after the PZI failure I read some anecdotal information about cats and lantus insulin, got the vet to prescribe it, and never looked back. Mr. Zorro may have been her first feline patient on Lantus.

              To be honest I never did any of the glucose tests. What I did do was purchase a bottle of urine dip sticks. I started him on 2 units twice a day and stuck the dipstick under his urine stream or into a fresh "pee bomb" in his box. I gradually increased the amount of insulin he got until he was consistently in the just above negative range (slightly green on the dipstick) at 6 units twice a day. He's been stable on this dose for at least 5 years now.

              A 10mL vial will last for at least 3 months in the fridge after opening. The stuff isn't like Cinderella's carriage, it doesn't go bad overnight. I never noticed any issues with efficacy and just use the bottles until they're empty. 10mLs lasts us about 3 months. Just don't let it freeze or get too hot.

              I usually give Zorro his shots at 6:30 a.m. when I leave for work and around 8:30 p.m. when I get home from the barn. I think his body has adjusted to the schedule and it works for him. He's getting pretty old but he still seems comfortable and happy, not bad for a 17 yr. old cat that has been diabetic for about 7 years. It's been so long now I can't even remember exactly when he was diagnosed.
              Last edited by mswillie; Nov. 20, 2011, 03:50 AM.
              "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer


              • #8
                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                If you want to grain free run down for diabetes management in plain english, this is really not a bad place to start. There are people who have successfully managed diabetic cats on the wheat free varieties of Fancy Feast, so it really doesn't have to cost a fortune.
                Agree w/Simkie. I successfully managed my diabetic kitty simply by switching him over to the gluten-free varieties of Fancy Feast. No insulin was ever needed. My vet was amazed.

                Another source of info I found very helpful was this Yahoo group:

                Good luck with your kitty. Diabetes can sneak up on any cat; it doesn't have to be fat or lazy. Mine was diagnosed when I noticed he was NQR and took him to the vet. He was a sleek, active "perpetual kitten" at 15 years of age when the diabetes hit.
                Equus Keepus Brokus


                • #9
                  Grain free is fine, but let your vet know. A diet higher in protein/fat is going to change a glucose curve compared to a "diabetic management"food. Its not necessarily a bad thing (Im really a believer in feed whatever makes you feel good), just dont "hide" it. It may mean insulin needs to be given at a different time. Depending on the food, nothing may change.

                  Glargine/Lantus and Humulin N (NPH)are good insulin choices for most cats. We constantly have uncontrolled diabetics come into our hospital on caninsulin that we switch over to NPH. Lantus (Glargine) is more expensive, but cats can do well on this too.


                  • #10
                    I had a diabetic cat who lived a long happy life.

                    No special diet required - just his daily insulin shot. And both the insulin (type meant for humans) & the needles were uber cheap (I think the needles were a box of 100+ for around $10). Insulin lasted in the fridge until the bottle was empty. $110/bottle is way out of line & unnecessary. I'd get a 2nd opinion from a different vet if your current vet is insistent on this.

                    Only special instructions from my vet were to give kitty a meal right after his injection, so I stocked up on those little individual-serving cans of cat food & he got a special snack every day. A big perk to that was that it had him come running for his shot as soon as he saw me with a needle & the insulin bottle!


                    • Original Poster

                      That makes me feel better- I can afford the $110 every three months if I'm careful, and the Humulin is more like $80; if it lasts longer than the 28 days the advertisement said, it's doable. Beyond that, the vet will just have to teach me to do the insulin curves myself and live with that. I'm going to do more research on the foods; the RX food has corn gluten in it, which it seems would be counterproductive. I've spent years avoiding those kinds of foods for my pets (only to have two of them on RX foods for various issues). I will look at the Fancy feast cans as well. I don't typically feed cans because this particular cat bolts canned food and often throws it up, which would be dangerous if he's getting insulin. Anyone know a cure for that?


                      • #12
                        Keep an eye on the litter box. If the pee spots get large, you may want to take the cat in to get tested. I managed my old cat's diabetes quite well for over 10 years (he died at age 22) without constantly taking him for testing. If his pee spots would get large, or I noticed him drinking more water, it was time to make an adjustment in the amount of daily insulin and off to the vet we'd go.

                        I gave two shots a day...some people only give one shot a day?


                        • #13
                          Yeah - luckily my cat was a once-a-day shot kitty.


                          • Original Poster

                            Following the pee spots is definitely going to be an issue...I have three cats sharing the boxes and isolating one of them isn't really an option (he'd have to be shut in the bathroom all day, every day, cruel IMO).

                            I bought a glucometer thjat was recommended in the article linked above (thanks, Simkie, that was really helpful!) and am doing some tracking before his vet visit Wednesday. I have not started the insulin yet (the vet said a few more days wouldn't hurt) because I want to bring in the articles and discuss foods with her. She's pretty insistent on using the RX food, but I'm not sold on it with its corn, rice, and barley ingredients as well as corn gluten as a major protein source...after reading the label, I wouldn't feed it to a healthy cat, let alone a diabetic one! However, the insulin doasge could be different with a low-carb diet than with the RX and I don't want to A) overdose him if I go with the low-carb or B) make food changes while he's regulated.

                            My plan before his appointment is to test him before and after a couple of meals of the RX food and then before and after a couple with the low-carb grain-free food and take those results with me. I want to treat him in the best way possible from the start to give him the best chance at gaining back some weight and living a normal life.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
                              Following the pee spots is definitely going to be an issue...I have three cats sharing the boxes and isolating one of them isn't really an option (he'd have to be shut in the bathroom all day, every day, cruel IMO).
                              I had two cats at the time. Trust me, you'll notice, unless the other cat is diabetic, too.


                              • #16
                                Everything Bacardi1 says is the same for me. One shot a day whilst he wolfed down his canned food, and he got 6 more GOOD years till cancer.
                                Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                                • #17
                                  Glad to hear some cats lived a long time after diagnosis and daily insulin shots. I've had two diabetic cats over the years, with both of them dying about two years after receiving daily insulin. My vet told me this was not unusual. A friend of mine also had a diabetic cat who lasted about two years. All of these cats were elderly at diagnosis, so that may have had something to do with it.


                                  • #18
                                    My cat was a young adult of unknown specific age, & he lived into his teens after being diagnosed. My neighbor had a diabetic cat she raised from a kitten that lived into its early 20's!!! I guess it depends on the individual animal.