Lack of appetite from diabetic cat

Hi there,

My cat was recently diagnosed as diabetic two weeks ago. He was prescribed insulin 2x daily and we slowly changed his diet to the wet foods after researching online with Binky's comparison chart. Our vet was pushing the dry diabetic cat foods which I resisted after reading all the information online.

The first week, he was doing very well and enjoying the wet cat food. Now, two weeks later, he has stopped eating his food and is not interested in chicken or turkey.

The first day we called the vet and were told by the vet tech not to give his dosage while the vet told us to give the insulin... after almost two days of this, we brought him back to the vet who tested his blood sugar and we were told to hold off on insulin shots because his blood sugar had dropped.

The vet has mentioned a pill or injection to stimulate his appetite.

Can you please tell me what is recommended as I have doubts about what is actually best for my cat?

Thanks

ANSWER:

When a diabetic cat stops eating for whatever reason, their glucose levels will still stay elevated because they are diabetic. The fact that your kitty's blood glucose got too low means either he got too much insulin and became hypoglycemic or he has lost his insulin requirements and is no longer diabetic (yes, this happens.)

However, since he wasn't eating, I would guess that it was the former - his insulin dosage was too high and his glucose went too low and he didn't feel well. This can be an extremely dangerous situation, even leading to death.

I think there's more at stake here than using an appetite stimulant. You need to know the underlying cause of his loss of appetite, which seems to be unstable glucose levels and that needs to be addressed.

I can't recommend strongly enough purchasing your own glucometer and testing your cat's blood glucose at home. This is the best way to treat a diabetic cat.

The glucometers are cheap and your vet can easily teach you how to get a drop of blood from the rim of your cat's ear. Cat diabetics should be treated as human diabetics: you should know the blood glucose of your cat before ever giving an insulin injection.

I have a diabetic cat myself and I wouldn't dream of blindly injecting him with a "suggested" dose of insulin without first knowing his glucose level and then referring to a chart to find out how much insulin to give based on the reading obtained.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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