this is the last post i am going to start with an apology. here goes, i’m sorry i haven’t delivered anything i promised in my earlier posts; therefore i am not making any promises moving forward, however i am going to make a conscious effort to post weekly and let ya’ll in on whats going on in our household.
the beginning of our life with feline diabetes
this week was all about my cat, Palmer. he’s generally a very healthy cat, save the occasional hair ball. his problems started at the end of may when he began peeing on the floor in our basement. knowing how finicky cats can be i thought the problem was all behavioral. we had just moved him from our rental house to our new house and he was still getting used to his knew surroundings. or acting out in spite of us. i took him to the vet. the poor little shit gets horribly car-sick so the urine sample he was to provide was nicely distributed in his pet carrier upon our arrival (i told them locking him in the bathroom all day without access to the litter box wasn’t going to work).
we left the vet with a ton of changes to make around the house. a few more litter boxes, etc. i did as i was told but was skeptical as we were about to leave on vacation to Sudbury and Palmer was going to spend two weeks at my parents house in wisconsin. while at my parents house Palmer had no potty issues and my parents reported that he seemed perfectly fine otherwise. when i made the trip to wisconsin to bring him home we were eating dinner, and noticed that Palmer was chugging his water (as much as a cat can chug). i didn’t think too much about it, he was just thirsty. the next morning his water dish was almost empty. just thirsty, i told myself. i drugged him up for the ride and we hit the road.
when we got home i we went down to 2 litter boxes (from 3) and everything seemed to be going well BUT i started to notice that there was still pee on the floor near the littler box. turns out he was overshooting the box, little shit. after about a week this stopped and i thought we were in the clear, everything was going back to normal.
about a week ago i started to realize that he wasn’t eating all of his food like he used to, but was still begging for it in the morning and in the evening as usual. then, last sunday i noticed that he was looking a little skinny, i told Jesse (my husband) and he confirmed. Palmer loves canned food, and usually only gets it as a treat. on sunday evening i yelled “TREAT” and he came running, as eager to eat as ever. he gobbled it up.
at this point i thought maybe his bagged food had gone rancid. on monday i bought him a new bag of food. he would crunch on a few kibbles then walk away, come back, sniff, maybe eat a kibble, sniff and walk away again. i watched him do this until tuesday when i knew i had to do something. i called the vet and thankfully we were able to get him in that night.
Palmer is a big cat, he was a barn kitten, and is every bit a big tom cat. at one point he was 15 or 16 lbs so he had been put on a diet. when I initially brought Palmer in at the end of may, he was 14.4 lbs. i thought i had been doing a good job at regulating his diet and maybe he was a little more active in our new house, almost 2x larger than our rental.
when he was weighed on tuesday he was weighing in at 12.2 lbs. something was very wrong. the vet ran blood tests and we were lucky enough to get the results immediately. he had elevated ALT and glucose levels. the dr. recommended an ultrasound to be done the next day.
i won’t go into the annoying circumstances that landed me at the University of Minnesota Vet Clinic on Tuesday night, but i will (later) go into how happy i am that i “ended up” there.
the internists at the U ran another blood test and confirmed that palmer has feline diabetes and had gone into ketoasidosis. i don’t know how to explain it so click the link to get the low down.
since the feline diabetes diagnosis i have put all of the symptoms together and feel bad for not seeing it all and getting him treatment earlier, but i also know its not all on me.
so far, this story has a happy ending in nearly every way possible (except for my bank account, this literally cost me all of the money). Palmer has been in the pet hospital since wednesday night and he will be coming home tonight and our new routine will begin. twice a day insulin shots and feedings, more frequent vet visits and hopefully a healthier happier kitty. i’m seriously so excited, this house isn’t a home without Palmer in it.
does your cat have feline diabetes? i’d love to hear about your experiences and how your life has changed since the diagnosis.
until next time!