Thoughtful Pearl

Born Jul-1996
Dx Oct-2005
Oral meds :
Regulated Aug-2006

Regulated between 60 and 300

In Aug/Sep of 2006 reg. was between 70 and 230 but got off recently

Remission Not-yet
Insulin Lantus

Pearl came to me as a 6 y.o. cat my brother had to give up. Older with a gimpy leg, I didn't think she'd have much chance at adoption. I noticed she had a lot of non-productive hairballs. Seemed to throw up after eating, but not throw up food. I took her in for a check up and while the doctor xrayed her for signs of IBD, didn't see that but saw bad arthritis in her knee. Overall, other than that and the coughing (which seemed to go away at times). Then my boy Grant died and within a month of that Pearl had several coughing fits in one day. I took her the ER vet who diagnosed asthma and put her on prednisone. The next day I took the xrays to my regular vets. They felt there was something going on with her heart. We did an ultrasound that afternoon and she was diagnosed with mitral insufficiency, but she also did have asthma. Well, she seemed ok with the heart meds, but whenever it was time for the pred she seemed soooo lethargic. I'd try weaning her off it, but the coughing would come back.

Finally I took her in and they tested her blood and felt that her blood sugar was really high (300). We took her off the pred and I got an Aerokat and began flovent (which works great). I tried controlling it with diet, got a meter (Advantage Accuchek - comfort curve strips) to monitor. She was usually between 249 and 297 with occasional jumps up to 350. However, after months of trying just diet, the numbers started going up. So, because she has never been on insulin and they have had several cats resolve in that situation we have gone on Lantus. One vet would start her at 2 units and the other more conservative at 1. I chose that route (being terrified of a hypo incident).

Even though I had been testing since her diagnosis in October of 05, we finally started insulin when I saw her numbers go to the 400's in April of '06. I tried to do a curve after the first week, but suddenly became the woman who could not get blood from a cat. Preshot numbers were still high though, so I went up to 1.5 units. I've seen improvement this week in behaviour part of the time. She menaces my other cat, Sugar (how ironic is that?) as a "feel good passtime". Also her fur seems better on some days (I think she grooms more when she feels better). Other days she's perkier part of the day and then gets lethargic at night.

Oh, and she gets diarreha, sometimes badly. This has been since i've had her so I don't think it is related to the diabetes. Update on this: No diarreha since getting more regulated, so she may have been predisposed to diabetes or perhaps it is the food change.

Mostly, I feed FF Gourmet chicken and I put down just a scant handful of dry m/d for the two of them at night. (I know, evil, evil, but it is better than other dry and if I don't Sugar will NOT let me sleep past 3:30 a.m.) Update: Pearl has been totally canned since July. She finds the ocassional kibble but overall wet. The usual schedule is 6 am 1+ ounce wet food, 12 pm 1+ ounce wet food, 6 pm 1+ ounce wet food, 9-10 pm ounce wet food. I may give a plain boiled chicken treat around 8 if Pearl comes and puts her paw on my mouth. This is quite clockwork and has been for months.

She has done very well on Lantus since April. Our dosage fluctuates but I can generally keep her under 300 at least and often better. Her behaviour is enormously changed. She is playful and energetic. Her fur is lovely now. No diarreha. Great appetite.

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