Lilly, owned by Dawnmarie and Tim DesJardins, is a cat that Dr. Smith diagnosed with diabetes last year. Over the last year Lilly has been on two different insulin types with several dose increases, but didn’t respond to treatment as well as expected.
A complicating factor in Lilly’s treatment is that she prefers to be in her own home. Despite the fact that the staff at Bothell Pet Hospital tried to make her feel as comfortable as possible while she was with us, Lilly was still a little anxious in the hospital environment. Interestingly, a cat’s blood glucose level can quickly and easily increase with stress! This prompted Dr. Hsu to suggest blood glucose monitoring at home. The DesJardins were willing to give it a try. They purchased a monitor and came in for lessons on glucose testing. Fortunately, this was the answer for Lilly and her diabetes is now under control!
Oliver is another feline diabetic with yet another unique story. Oliver’s owners, Dean and Brenda Bixler, brought him in to see Dr. Smith last fall because they noticed classic signs of diabetes including increased water consumption and urination. Oliver was also a bit portly, which is a risk factor for diabetes. After being diagnosed with diabetes the Bixler’s began feeding a prescription canned food designed for diabetic cats while they prepared to learn how to give insulin injections. Amazingly, once he began eating the special diet, Oliver’s signs of diabetes began to diminish. When Dean and Brenda brought him back in to have his glucose level tested we found it to be normal!
Oliver is one of the lucky felines that went into diabetic remission. This phenomenon occurs in cats and results partly from early diagnosis and treatment. The right diet plays a very important role, as well. With the right care and a little bit of luck, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, that have lost their function in a diabetic cat, can sometimes regain their function. This is just what happened with Oliver. Ten months after his diagnosis, Oliver remains in diabetic remission!