If your cat is a diabetic, there are a few very important aspects of his/her care that could make a big difference in how their disease progresses.
One - most diabetics need to be on a CANNED food. Diabetes incidence in cats parallels the success of dry cat foods in the pet food market. Dry foods are easy to use, don't smell and even make the cats' stool less smelly. BUT to make a dry food, you have to add a carbohydrate. If you are going to make a cookie, you add a carb. Diabetics need very low carbs to successfully manage their disease and many (but not all) canned foods provide this.
Two - If fed a canned food low in carbs, and given a long acting insulin like glargine (Lantus) many cats can, and will, go into remission. While the cost of this insulin is higher than others, if remission is achieved and the patient doesn't need insulin injections at all, the initial cost becomes irrelevant.
We can also offer cost saving tips to our patients at local pharmacies that can help affordability.
Three - at home monitoring with pet glucometers is easy and valuable to clients and their veterinarians. While we rarely recommend adjusting your cats insulin dose daily like people often do, this can add to other information such as patient weight, drinking and urinating frequency to allow for tighter regulation for many cats thus increasing chance for remission.
It's amazing to us, the number of second opinions (after googling their pets condition) that don't have these three basics covered. The first published use of glargine in cats dates to 2004!! There is no way every condition in dogs and cats can be "cutting edge" in every practice everywhere, especially given that some newly proposed changes turn out to be inaccurate or misguided. But this is now accepted dogma for feline diabetes - seeking a second opinion or having a serious discussion with your veterinarian is warranted if these basics haven't been explored for your cat.
Kim Downes, DVM
Animal Hospital of Rowlett Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital of Heath
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