January 31, 2014

No Feline Diabetes Here


We had a bit of a scare with Lily recently. She’s getting up their in age (She’ll be ten this summer) and was having some digestive issues this past year. We’ve switched her to a senior cat food which seemed to fix the tummy troubles. With all that had been going on this past year, I forgot about them. That is, until she threw up in the vet’s office during her annual exam. No food, just bile. The vet chalked it up to the stress of being at the veterinary office, but a lump started to form in my throat.

When the vet was taking her history I began to get really nervous. Yes, she was drinking a little more water and using the litter box a little more these days. Since it had been two years since her last blood workup we decided to do another one.

Her blood glucose reading was 221 mg/dl. The normal range is 64-170 mg/dL. How bad is 221? The graph on the diagnostics sheet didn’t even have a spot for 221. She was not just outside the normal range, she was literally “off the chart”. Lily’s creatinine, a marker of kidney disease, was also on the high end of normal and she showed some signs of a possible thyroid issue.

The vet thought the blood glucose and creatinine could also be due to stress of the blood draw, but I was extremely skeptical. If 221 mg/dl could be a typical reading due to stress (and presumably most blood draws are done in a veterinary clinic and thus on animals under similar duress) it didn’t make sense for the scale to end before 221. I was convinced she at least had pre-diabetes.

The next step was a urinary analysis, but Lily was too big for them to extract a sample. Instead we had to wait for her to produce it, and she has all the stubbornness of a senior cat. So we booked another appointment (and then another when that one failed to produce anything.) The second time was the charm, and the results of the urinalysis revealed she was in the clear.

Domingo and I decided to treat this as a wake up call to get her weight in check. Lily had previously been eating a combination of kibble and canned food. From what I read, canned food tends to have more protein and kibble tends to have more carbs, so we’re thinking of switching her to just cans. Perhaps more importantly, no more kibble means no more “free feeding,” something our last vet recommended more than once.

Tonight will be the first night for Lily without 24 access to the food bowl. Wish us luck.

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