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 1999
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Added September 25th 1999: Mishka died today. Rest
in Peace Mishy.
View Mishka's Baby Photos