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Mishka is a 13 year old Seal Point Siamese with Diabetes.

Diabetes in Cats - A Diary of a Cat Suffering from Diabetes

Wed. March 10 1999diabetic cat

Tonight I noticed that Mishka wasn't looking too good. She was sitting out on the mat outside and didn't come in for dinner when I called her. I then realised that she hadn't pestered me for food all day. Normally she is ravenously hungry which is one of the effects that diabetes has on her.

She was also very unsteady on her feet. She didn't eat that night but she drank some water but vomited it up 5 minutes later. We also noticed some dried up vomit outside.

She looked very ill, and felt cold to touch.

I gave her normal evening dose of insulin of 3 units.


Thursday March 11

Took her to the vet. Her blood sugar level was 18.5. She was dehydrated and her temperature was 36.

She was put on the drip and given 1 litre of Hartmans over a period of about 7 hours.

I brought her home about 4pm and she did a wee then. I have to carry her to her usual wee spot in the garden as she has never used a litter tray since she was 8 weeks old.   I think she finds it embarrassing.

She still was very ill and would not eat.

I gave her half her normal dose of insulin. About one and a half units.


Friday March 12

Went to the vet at 8am and she was given 100ml of fluid under the skin. He added some potassium.

She was very flat and couldn't walk at all.

Her blood glucose was 10.2

Temperature below 35. The vet recommended euthanasia. He said cats just don't live when their temperature gets that low. I said I would wait until tomorrow to put her to sleep because my husband would want to say goodbye to her and he wouldn't be home from work for some hours.

I gave her half her insulin morning dose. She needed to eat if she was going to keep having insulin.

She didn't eat or drink all day. She finally did a wee at about 8pm. I tested it with a multistick. Her glucose was high and her ketones were extremely high.

I changed my mind about euthansia that night.. I read all I could about diabetes and ketoacidosis and decided that although the vet had given up on her I wasn't going to. If she lives until morning I am going to do all I can to help her.


Saturday March 13

She is alive this morning. She staggered outside and lay in a puddle on the cold concrete in spite of her cold temperature

I spoke to a doctor friend of mine and he told me that once blood sugar levels were reduced then she should be given glucose and her insulin.

I gave her half her insulin shot and decided to force Lucozade down her throat to give her the glucose and electrolytes she needed. It is all guess work. I'm just doing what I feel is right, she will certainly die if I don't do anything.

Bob (my husband) started the regime of Lucozade 5ml every half hour by syringing it down her throat.

I gave her half her insulin at about 5.15

She did a wee later. Sugar high, ketones medium.

That night I gave her a full dose of insulin and at the same time Lucozade with added sugar.

Still very sick. Laying flat out most of the day.

We borrowed mum's glucometer to test her sugar levels but was unable to get any blood. She is so dehydrated I can't find a vein to get the blood from.

I wonder if she will be alive in the morning. I'm too scared to ever check. Bob has to do it.


Sunday March 14

Still alive. Bob has been up three times during the night to check her.

She did a wee in the morning. It's a good sign when she does a wee, it means her kidneys are still working. It tested negative for ketones, but leukocytes were slightly up, that means she has an infection.

Started her today on baby food instead of the Lucozade. We also gave her ten mls of water every hour. Both food and water have to be syringed down her throat, it's an awful thing to do. She hates it.

I spread out her insulin dose throughout the day giving her one and two units at a time.

She didn't seem too bad in the morning, managing to walk (stagger) a few paces at a time, but by the afternoon she was very ill again.

By the evening she was almost comatose.  She won't be alive in the morning.


Monday March 15,

She looked much chirpier this morning. She lifted her head in response to her name. She was able to take a few steps. Lapped a little water.

We kept up the baby food and water regime, but by the afternoon she was looking pretty flat.

Took her to the vet. Blood sugar 13.4 but now her temperature was above normal. When he took her temperature there was a lot of blood on the thermometer. He gave her 150 mls of normal saline under the skin.

Started her on antibiotics. Gave her one more feed of baby food and a 1unit insulin dose.

Later in evening gave her more antibiotics and another small insulin dose.

She is very flat. Not attempting to walk or move at all.

Did a wee at 10.30pm

Tuesday March 16,

Again this morning she looked chirpier. She held her head up and took an interest in what was going on around her.

I later spoke to another vet who recommended feeding her Hill's AD diet. I started her on this at about 11am and also gave her 2 units of insulin. She seems to be getting more strength and now really puts up a fight when trying to feed her. A friend helped me to put 100mls of fluid under her skin. This is not a pleasant thing to do.We have to stick a huge fat needle in her side and have to squeeze the bag of fluid to get it into her. We also gave her 10mls of water by mouth as her mouth was very dry.

She resisted quite strongly to the force feeding and actually got up and almost ran into her cat scratcher house.

She has looked pretty good all day. She did a wee at about 3.30pm.

I got out her brush, which she used to love and her eyes brightened. She walked (staggered) over to me and I brushed her. Just to test her I then began brushing the dog and once again she came over to me to be brushed. (She always hated it when I brushed the dog instead of her)

4pm gave her more food and 2 units of insulin.

She made several attempts to lap water. She didn't actually lap much but at least she is trying.

More force feeding in the evening and later an small insulin dose. Antibiotics morning and night. I'm feeling really optimistic now and for the first time I don't think I will find her dead in the morning.

Wednesday March 17

Today started off really well. This morning started with her breakfast of Hills AD prescription diet, insulin and  antibiotics. She did a wee straight after brekky, and looked quite good and was staggering around quite a bit. At one stage she managed to get up four steps and into the pool area where she plonked herself down for a bit of sunbaking.

She spent the rest of the day inside on her rug and often attempted to lap water and was quite successful at it. I offered her food but she was not the slightest bit interested.

By 5pm she wasn't looking so good. No interest in her brush, no lapping water, no response to her name. 

More force feeding. This time we managed to get 50mls down her throat without too much resistance. More insulin and antibiotics.

8pm she took herself off to bed. She sleeps inside the cat scratcher. It is a square carpeted box with a little opening to the inside. We have made it nice and snug inside and this is where she always goes when she wants to retreat from the world.

Thursday March 18

This morning she didn't look crash hot..  I became a little disheartened this morning because there was no improvement, in fact it seemed she was getting worse. She did a wee first thing. Seems she does one wee a day (I wonder when she will do a  number two.)

I always do a test on her urine with a multistix, but have accidentally found a novel way to determine whether her blood sugar is high without the use of  modern technology.   When she does a wee I stick a large serving spoon under her bottom to catch it. Then I rest the spoon on the garden while I go inside to get the test strips.  It only takes a short time to get the strips but by the time I get back the spoon is covered with ants if her sugar level is high, and no ants if it is low.

We continued the usual regime of force feeding, antibiotics and insulin and by lunchtime she seemed to pick up a bit.

Later this afternoon, while I was at work, my niece, Sarah found Mishka in her bedroom on a chair!!!  I can't believe she jumped up on a chair. Later Sarah found her up in the pool area again which means she got down from the chair and walked up the steps to the pool.  Wow, there is still life in the old girl.

I haven't forcefully given her any water today as she seems to be lapping quite a bit. I wish I could say the same about food, but she hates the sight of it.I put a plate of food in front of her today and she couldn't get into her bed fast enough to escape it.

Friday March 19

Today she is drinking water well, and plenty of it. I have cut back the force feeding to just twice a day, hopefully this will encourage her to eat by herself.

She has developed conjunctivitis, it's really quite awful with yuk coming out of her eyes. I started putting eye ointment in and I'm sure we'll soon have that under control.

You should see her paraphernalia lined up at feed time. Three syringes of food, one antibiotic tablet, one insulin injection and now one tube of eye ointment.

Tonight we had fish and chips for tea. Her most favourite dinner in the whole world. When she was well she always sat patiently waiting for us to save her a bit of fish with some lemon on the side. We followed the old routine and she was really interested, but although she put her mouth to the food she was unable to eat it. Oh well, back to the syringe.

Later I gave her a brushing and I am sure I heard a little purr emit from her. Another encouraging sign later, she hopped up on our bed and settled down for the night.

Saturday March 20

This morning she actually ate a few morsels of food. Not enough to keep her going but at least things seem to heading in the right direction now. She is walking quite well and can now manage to walk outside on to the patio without falling over once. She also began sitting up like a normal cat today and twice she meowed in greeting when I called her name.

Later she showed more interest in food although she didn't eat anything.  She is weeing quite well now and actually tried to dig a hole today and to bury it when she had finished.

Sunday March 21

Every day a little improvement.  Poor Mish is so skinny, you can count her bones.   Today she ate a little.... not enough to keep a cockroach alive but at least she ate.  And guess what????  She did a poo! 

Her eyes look a lot better.

Anyway, it's the same regime, feeding, antibiotics and insulin.

Monday March 22

Big improvement!  Today she ate a little again. And then she did two things she hasn't done in a long time. She groomed herself and sharpened her claws on the cat scratcher. Wow!  Soon we shall have the old Mish back.

Tuesday March 23

She is eating quite well. Today she even attempted to eat a few cat biscuits.

She is doing an odd thing. Although she can lick her food from the bowl she likes it when I suck it up the syringe and slowly squirt it out as she licks the end of the syringe. Has she forgotten what real eating is all about and thinks that she gets the best feed from a syringe? Who knows what goes on in their little minds.

I hate giving her the insulin injections. Her skin seems to be so tough I have problems getting the needle in. Often the needle bends and just won't go in.  The other problem I have is making sure the needle really is in the skin. I have on several occasions depressed the plunger only to find a wet spot on her fur indicating that the needle wasn't really far enough in. Once, I picked up a fold of skin and jabbed the needle in and it came out the other side right into my finger!!!  Ouch.  I ate a couple of spoonfuls of sugar just in case the insulin had some effect on me.

Saturday March 27

Sorry I have been so slack updating this diary.

Mishka is almost back to normal. The only problem she seems to have now is that she doesn't walk as well as she should. Perhaps that is because her muscles need building up again after her couple of weeks of inactivity.

She is now eating, (although not as much as I would like her to eat.) drinking, weeing, pooing, jumping, sleeping on the bed, barging in the toilet when there is someone in there, purring, grooming herself, jumping on our laps, following me in the kitchen every time I go in there and generally being a normal Mish.

 This will be the last entry in the diary. 

Added September 25th 1999:   Mishka died today. Rest in Peace Mishy.

View Mishka's Baby Photos

  Diabetic Cat Baby Photo


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