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Feline Diabetes: Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels
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ninjakitty86 posted:
One of my cats, Anna, was recently diagnosed with feline diabetes. She's the first cat I've ever had who's developed diabetes. I was wondering, is it a good idea to monitor blood glucose levels at home? My vet says that when her diabetes is under control and she's at the right insulin dose, her water consumption will drop to half of what it has been (she's been drinking water like crazy which is one of the signs that clued me into realizing she needed vet care). This seems like a very fast and loose way to determine if my cat's getting the right amount of insulin. My vet has started her out at 1 unit of insulin twice daily and wants to check her again in a week, so he's not completely relying on her water consumption to determine if her diabetes is under control, but I'm still not sure about his methods. I'm not new to diabetes, as it runs in my family, but I am new to feline diabetes. I just want to make sure Anna is getting the right amount of insulin, not too little and certainly not too much.
I would appreciate any insight and/or resources you want to share with me.
Thanks in advance!
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
Hi,

It sounds like your veterinarian is following a fairly standard protocol for monitoring diabetes. Sometimes we like to give that first dose, and 1 unit twice a day is generally where we start in cats, and check a few blood sugars during the day in the clinic before sending the patient home. We usually don't lilke to change insulin doses until the patient has been on the same dose a week and then we do monitor them as your veterinarian suggested. Sometimes cats get a bit excited in the clinic and their blood sugars can run higher than they would be at home, making assessment of diabetic control a bit more difficult, and we do rely on your history, ie. is kitty eating well, drinking less, etc. We have a blood test called fructosamine that can look at how regulated a patient is on their dose of insulin over the past two weeks.
But since you asked, we do have owners buy glucometers and check their cats, and dogs, glucose at home, recording the values so they can discuss the results with their veterinarian and who them would make any dosage adjustments. You might ask your veterinarian about this if it is something you want to do. We do not adjust insulin dosages on a daily basic based on the blood sugar testing in cats and dogs like is done in man.Can lead to trouble.
Also, we are starting cats on higher protein diets with the insulin as in many cases, the cat may not require insulin long term. Sounds like you have a good grasp of diabetes, so hope this gives you some information to ask your veterinarian and make you a good diabetic team for your kitty. Dr. Sandy
 
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ninjakitty86 replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Thanks so much for your advice, Dr. Sandy. I really appreciate it. Right now Anna is at the vet because her blood sugar dropped dangerously low yesterday. I'm glad to hear that my vet is doing everything right. I trust him completely.
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM replied to ninjakitty86's response:
Thank you for writing back. Excellent. Diabetes can be tricky so glad you are working closely with your veterinarian. Maybe you will be able to control Anna's diabetes with diet alone. Dr. Sandy


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