Sunday, March 19, 2006

diabetic frustrations (ok, and pet food too)

Ok, so Em has been a diabetic cat for what.. almost 7 years now.. She started losing weight at the very end of 2005, and continued to do so through 2006. She is on herbs, and cosequin, and Vitamin E. I noticed her sugars were a bit low, so I started reducing the insulin.. from 7 units down to none (which was too little)

One day when giving her the pills, we didn't feed her right after, and the pills stuck in her esophagus, and caused her to start vomiting. She didn't stop for a week. Blood tests and vet visits proved this was her only problem. Her fructosamine showed she had high blood sugars, but I knew that going in, cause I realized that no insulin was not working.

Due to her previous weight loss - we think from the other cats eating her meals while she gets distracted - we switched her to canned and fed her separated out. This decreased her need for insulin. However the vomiting and what not increased it, so we were at 3 units.

Kept an eye on her. Decided that three feeding stations for the cats (due to Jack and Eli being on urinary food) was very frustrating, so I looked into alternatives. Decided that a raw diet was going to be the best option.

Started raw about three weeks ago. Not the huge hit I would expect, but no one has lost weight. Everyone is perky and has lots of energy. Eli's face is looking so very good.. Em's sugars were even lower.

Em started to fill out. She got down to like 13lbs 2 oz, and was back up to 13lbs 13 1/2 or so. Was this the raw, or the canned we were shoving down her throat when she wasn't eating, I'm not sure at this point.

But soon Em decided she wasn't eating raw. Fought it every step of the way. I did a 12 hour fast and she still wasn't going for it. Switched over to Evo canned for her alone. Starting to mix in bits of raw to get her back on it

Last night her BG was 181 before eating (normal pre-shot is in the mid 300s). I was ecstatic. Well, we forgot to give insulin, and four hours later she was in the 300s. This morning she was in the 300s and when I weighed her she was back down to 13 lbs. I can't figure out why she's losing weight. She LOOKS great. looks like she is up to 14, but nooooo.. grrrr.

Raw is going well for everyone. I'm grinding my own. No veggies.. So I'm starting to think I need to put some in.. why? well cause Jack started chewing the rabbit's timothy hay, and Ollie sampled Bri's lettuce. Or maybe I should just give up and go to Evo for everyone. There is so much negativity regarding raw in the vet community. I can't find anyone who has used it having an issue with raw online. I've only started to look, but all the negative press I find is from people / vets who say the bacteria would be a problem. Negativity from people who have never done it, no studies to back it up.. nothing! Only naysayers who have no proof.

What ticks me off the most about these naysayers is that they want you to feed a good quality cat food. Well frankly, to find one that doesn't contain garlic (harmful to cats - though the pet food industry says that isn't proven, *rolls eyes*, at least not in the quantities they put in.. well why on earth do they put it in at all??) and is low in carbohydrates - things that apparently cats can't utilize well at all, and frankly seem to be just cheap fillers so they can make more money - is next to impossible. Even Innova Evo - which seems to be the best at the moment - has tomato flakes in it. Tomatoes are from the nightshade family - and cats who have ingested tomatoes have died. (my cats are known to clean off my tomato sauce from my dinner plate with no problems - so I'm not going to worry - just cheezes me off that they would put it in)

So what is a cat owner to do? I want to feed them the best I can so I don't have to deal with health issues in the future. Not to say there won't be any, but the consensus is starting to be that dry food is a huge culprit in a lot of medical issues. Being unemployed and having all day to search around for information only makes things worse I think. Only 'good' info I can find are from people who feed raw, and who haven't studied nutrition. Only 'bad' info I can find are from people who have supposedly studied it, but apparently not in depth, and honestly have no experience with it at all.

I started on this journey thanks to the message board, and the input of Dr. Lisa, a regular member of the board. She runs and has used the recipe I'm using for years with her cats. I still feel like I'm doing the right thing, but it is hard when the professionals out there are against it.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:11 AM

    well it sounds like your cats are doing fine, except maybe for emmmy and we know she has had health issues right along...not to mention that she is older, and older cats don't like change. So maybe you should continue on with what you are doing, and see how it goes. Give it a total of 6 weeks, maybe. Anyway, hope they are all doing well, and I hope Emmy stays well.


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