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What All Cat Parents Need to Know About Diabetes

Dr. Ruth MacPete is our guest today!

Dr. Ruth MacPete

Dr. Ruth MacPete

I am honored to introduce you to  Dr. Ruth MacPete.  Dr. Ruth, “the Pet Vet”, has appeared on TV shows like “The Doctors” and on the TV news programs throughout the country educating pet parents about important pet issues.  She has also written numerous articles for Cat Fancy, Bark, and Kittens USA.

Dr. Ruth always wanted to be a veterinarian. Her love of animals was evident from the time she was a baby. One of her first words was cat, not surprising since she seemed to always be surrounded by them. This is our kind of Doctor!

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Many of you know that I have diabetes and  that my parents take good care of me with glucose checks and making sure I get my ProZinc insulin twice a day.  But  we wondered if cat parents are knowledgeable  about feline diabetes.  Dr. Ruth was super nice and offered to talk to us about what all cat parents need to know about diabetes.

Guest Post by Dr. Ruth MacPete

DIABETES AFFECTS CATS?

Diabetes affects 1:200 cats nationwide and its prevalence is increasing at an alarming rate. Diabetes is a multi-factorial disease caused by different risk factors including: age, genetic predispositions, diet, and obesity. Unfortunately obesity is also on the rise in both people and pets. It is estimated that 58% of cats in the US are overweight. That means more than half of cats in the Unites States are at risk for developing diabetes. 

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Diabetes mellitus occurs when the body is unable to regulate the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Diabetes is classified as type-1 or type 2-diabetes. Type-1 diabetes occurs when the body fails to produce the hormone insulin, which is responsible for controlling blood sugar levels. Insulin resistant or type-2 diabetes develops when the body becomes less responsive to the effects of insulin. Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in both cats and people. Both type-1 and type-2 diabetes result in chronically elevated levels of sugar in the blood. Left untreated diabetes can lead to nerve damage, kidney failure and even death.

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Feline Diabetes: The Importance of Home Blood Glucose Testing

Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger

I want you to know how important home glucose testing is for the health of your cat living with diabetes

Last fall, I started showing symptoms of feline diabetes. I was getting super thirsty and began to drink a lot more water. And even though I was hungry and eating more, I was getting thinner. I was making more trips to my little box too.  My parents scooped me up and put me in my cat carrier and we went to see my doctors at the Morris Veterinary Clinic. My diabetes had returned. This time, my doctors didn’t think it was going to be transient like it was after suffering from pancreatitis the previous year.

Hearing that your pet has developed a health condition can be a scary time for pet parents.  But feline diabetes is treatable and your cat can resume a normal, happy healthy life once the diabetes is under control.

One of the best ways to help aid in regulating insulin levels is for your parents to learn how to use a blood glucose meter and plot a glucose curve at home. Now at first, you might think this will be too difficult, and it can be intimidating, but with some practice and patience, you will be able to get this testing down to a routine.

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The Tiniest Tiger’s Helicopter Parents

Friends, I am super happy to be home.  My stay at the Morris Veterinary Clinic was pleasant enough but there is no place like home.  My parents love me a lot and I love them right back.   I know and understand that they worry about me, and I worry about them too.

BUT,

Now that I am back from my glucose curve and am in need of some insulin to help me out my parents have turned into helicopter parents!  Honest they have.  And don’t tell my dad I said this, but he already hovered over me quite a bit.  Sometimes, he  runs around the house calling me “Gracey, Gracey Lou”  and I  am sleeping, I mean thinking, right out in the open in my living room bed!  Now, I know this is not his fault, because when I want to, I can become nearly invisible like a tiger, completely indiscernible from my surroundings.   Sometimes, my mom will be working in the office and my dad will run in and ask her if she knows where I am. I will hear my mom, say “No, not right at this moment.”  Then I hear a sigh and she joins my dad in the hunt for me.   hahahahahha. Usually I just stay in place, but sometimes I feel sorry for my dad and run behind the sofa and hide so it seems like I really was difficult to locate.


That being said, when I am feeling my inner tiger, I need a little quiet time.  We tigers are solitary creatures and we need our marked territory.  So I am putting down my paw.

The sun room is my territory for the entire afternoon!  I am marking my territory with this threshold line.  Only Lazy Leopard, Liz-ard and I are allowed to soak up the sunshine and watch Bossy Backyard Blue Jay from here.

I am asking not to hear the whirling blades of my hovering parents for just a few hours.

No entrance allowed to parents…unless they come bearing roasted chicken, and even then they can lower it down to us in a basket.  I need to get back into my old routine.

Won’t you please join me in telling my parents that I am doing just fine?  Thank you everyone.  Meow for Now!

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