Tuesday, November 24, 2015

4 Invaluable Resources for Managing Feline Diabetes

Whether your cat has just been diagnosed with diabetes or you've been managing your pet's disease for years, there is always more to learn in order to improve the quality of life for both the pet AND the owner. November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month, so I figured it was the perfect time to put together a list of the most helpful resources I've found to take away some of the fear and confusion surrounding this very complicated disease.


The day Angel Tara was diagnosed with feline diabetes was one of the most overwhelmingly terrifying days of my life. Could I handle her treatment on my own? What choice did I have?

Since it was a recurring urinary tract infection that led to the diagnosis, Tara had to spend most of a weekend at the emergency vet on fluids, antibiotics, and to start an insulin regimen. I had those hours alone to let the whole situation sink in. When I picked her up Sunday night I was shown how to give insulin shots and we were sent home to our "new normal". Over the coming days, weeks, months, and ultimately two years, she was the best little patient ever and received her testing and shots like a trooper.

And you know what I discovered? It wasn't the end of the world. Managing Tara's diabetes wasn't "easy", but it was certainly do-able. My research-oriented mind immediately kicked into gear and I started seeking out everything I could get my hands on about feline diabetes.

There is a wealth of information in books and on the web; these are the resources that worked the best for me:

1) Feline Diabetes Message Board This message board was a life saver. There is always someone online there, even in the middle of the night, to help you through a difficult time. It's a true community, a reminder that you're not alone, because everyone there is going through the same thing you are.

2) Sugarbabies - A Holistic Guide to Caring for Your Diabetic Pet This ebook covers everything from understanding what the disease process involves, through the ensuing medical tests, to treatments, diet, exercise and emergency care. Most importantly, it's written in an easy to understand, user-friendly manner. I combed through this book so much that if it had been an actual print book it would have been dog-eared and falling apart at the seams!

3) YouTube video: How to Test Your Diabetic Cat's Blood Sugar at Home Learning how to give an insulin shot is one thing, testing your cat at home is another, but it's extremely important to do because stress effects blood sugar levels, and what's more stressful for your cat than a trip to the vet for a blood test? I watched this video over and over and over again before attempting it for the first time...and once again, Tara couldn't have made it any easier on me.

4) Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM Diet is one of the most important factors in regulating feline diabetes. For some cats, remission is achieved with diet change alone. A print out of these food charts had a permanent place in my purse and were pulled out at each and every visit to PetSmart. Thankfully Tara was a fantastic eater and loved trying new things, so changing her diet didn't prove to be difficult at all.

Have you ever done your own research on a pet's medical condition as a supplement to veterinary care?

Please remember that these resources are no replacement for veterinary advice and care. Diabetes is a very serious disease that must be diagnosed and managed by a veterinarian.

Photo Credit: depositphotos/ben44

17 comments:

  1. That sure is a great post about diabetes. So far I haven't had to deal with that but it sounds like you have the answers. You did a great job of explaining what has to be done and some great hints for help along the way.

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  2. I don't know if I could have coped as well as you with this, it would have us in a panic. Great to know there's good info out there.

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  3. We wish we knew about all of these resource back when the head peep did such a poor job of managing Louie's diabetes. It's great that there's so much help and support available online now!

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  4. What valuable information about feline diabetes. Fortunately, none of us suffer from this and the mom hopes she never needs these sites. She has researched other health issues on line. There's so much information and support available.

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  5. When Jewel was diagnosed with CRF, I was always trying to learn more. Thank you for sharing these resources with us!

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  6. It would be scary to find out that your kitty has diabetes. I can't blame you for having been worried. I research a lot of conditions these days, but my cats have never had any of them. Unfortunately, I didn't look into my angel Obi Wan's condition until after he had passed. Sometimes you have to learn from your mistakes. You have presented some wonderful resources for feline diabetes though!
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  7. Thankfully, we haven't had to deal with that so far, but what a helpful post for those who do!

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  8. Excellent post with information that I hope to never need. I always research medical things for the cats and for myself and family.

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  9. Have you heard of http://yourdiabeticcat.com? It's Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins's website. While I haven't dealt with diabetes with any of my own cats, it's the one I always refer people to.

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  10. Whoa! Keeping my paws crossed that TW will never have to use these resources. She researches everything online which is how she found out that she wasn’t the only one to get severe back pain after a flu shot.

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  11. Great post and so glad you're passing on the info you've learned. I had a scare with my Seren-Kitty and yes, I've done a lot of research into various kitty diseases. Relieved I've not had to deal with this personally, though.

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  13. The internet is a great tool in aiding alternative medications and diets for animals. Thank you for the useful information.

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  14. I am a compulsive researcher. And I am so thankful for online resources like these. 15 years ago, when my first dog was diagnosed with a form of cancer, I had to use human research resources to get data, and it didn't always apply. Pet research has come a loooong way since then.

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

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  15. Congratulations on doing such a great job treating Angel Tara. I too have a diabetic cat -- she's been in remission for almost three years now, thanks in large part to a raw food diet. And yes, the Feline Diabetes Message Board is a lifesaver, as is home testing. You can avoid really expensive things like diabetic ketoacidosis treatment and you can do your own BG curves if you can monitor blood glucose at home. Good luck, and if you have any other questions or need support from another fellow sugar-cat mom, just let me know.

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