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November 12, 2009

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Here's to continued success for Tiny and Sam.

Dear Sissy--

I can well imagine the complicated stew of emotions you are experiencing right now. My sweet Princess, now 14, was diagnosed with diabetes in the summer of 2007 in the course of being treated for an ear infection. I was heartsick and worried at first (the universal reaction, I'm told), but with the vet's reassurance as well as specific instructions about caring for her, we were eventually able to get her regulated. Some cats are difficult to regulate in terms of their insulin dosage; don't worry if Tiny takes longer than a few weeks for the vet to calculate the best insulin dosage for her.

Meanwhile, here are two websites that you might find helpful: the first is the Cornell school of veterinary medicine's set of videos on caring for a diabetic cat.

The other is a website on diabetic cat care maintained by Becton Dickinson, the company that makes those little insulin needles.

This site also has a slide show demonstrating how to inject a cat (don't feel bad about sticking yourself with the needle-- I did that too in the first few days.) FWIW, what worked best for Princess and me was for me to sit on the floor behind Princess and hold her between my legs. That way I could keep her from bolting while using one hand to lift a fold of skin along her back and the other to slip the needle in. (Your mileage may vary, of course.)

I hope these sites will give you some peace of mind as well as specific info. and tips on caring for Tiny. My vet also has a diabetic cat, and she reminds me from time to time that diabetes does not necessarily shorten a cat's life-- my Princess has been in complete remission for eight months now and is her old self. Tiny should have many good years ahead of her to enjoy clowdering with Earl Grey!

Goomp: Thanks so much for your good wishes.

Connecticut Yankee: Ask and ye shall receive. Just now viewing "How to Give an Insulin Infection" over at Cornell Veterinary. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your wonderful support and store of knowledge. Glad to hear your Princess is in the pink. : )

Bree and Daisy send their best to Tiny; may she live long and prosper!

My best wishes to Tiny for a complete remission... or, failing that, easy long-term maintenance (with the emphasis on long-term.)

Earl Grey dropped on by for a clowder
But Tiny was taking a powder:
An insulin shot
That will, like as not
Have her miaowing, before long, the louder!

Sam is progressing very well. His fur is back to its normal glorious beauty and he doesn't mind the shots at all. I give them to him in his scruff WHILE he is at breakfast - he doesn't even stop for one second.

I also have obtained a special litter box designed for diabetic cats. No more litter. The cat uses the box as normal but it is safflower seeds in there. They are non-absorbing and the urine passes through into a special receptacle so you can use test strips to check on Tiny's blood sugar levels. The advantage is that you can flush the contents of the receptacle AND whatever solids are in the upper portion of the cat box. Sam loves it. He also loves his new tent given him by a girlfriend whose grandchildren had lost interest in it. It's a spongbob squarepants tent (not that Sam cares) and he loves hanging out in there!

Wow! Poor Tiny! And poor you, with all that worry. Am so glad you have a good vet, and that you have at least found out what the problem is, and have something you can do to bring her back to more comfort and normal health.

Apples and oranges, but when our beloved golden retriever was 12 he collapsed and seemed as if he was dying. We rushed him to the vet, to discover that it was thyroid. Within a week of his meds, he was completely happy and bouncy again. Although it's a different disease, and diabetes is far trickier to treat, I think that animals often bounce back and can live life with equal zest to before, once they get on the right medicine. By contrast with nervous human narcissists, who hypochondriacally agonize over each diagnosis and second guess their MDs and surf the net looking for other dreadful things that may happen (can you tell I have been taking care of a sick relative???)

Needless to say, I am praying that she recovers speedily and completely. Perhaps your local priest (some of the Anglicans are kind to animals, the ones that have animal blessings on the Feast of St. Francis) could bless her? I am sending love and good wishes your way anyway.

On a completely different note, I have been chuckling nearly every day over this blog http://michellesmirror.blogspot.com/ which I think you might enjoy also, at least for comic relief.

My very best wishes to you and Tiny for a complete healing!

When my late cat Lady had diabetes, we treated it in two ways: daily insulin shots and special cat food for diabetic cats from Royal Canin. Also, I wasn't allowed to give her any treats at all. I remember the glucose curves, too -- they are no fun but they are necessary. As for the litter box, the vet advised me to I replace the clumping litter with torn-up newspaper. I did, and I was able to get a reading on Lady's urine once a day.

Lady died last year, but not from diabetes. She had been over it for a year by the time she passed on.

Oh my. I know I'm a bit late but I'm hoping Tiny is purring along nicely by now. She has had her share of medical problems lately - may everything settle now that you are treating the diabetes.

My in-laws had a dog with diabetes for years. They did the whole insulin shot thing too. When treated properly, animals do very well with insulin replacement. Sending some pets Tiny's way and some healing prayers too.

What wonderful parents the two of you are! Tiny is very fortunate indeed.

Toby sends Tiny the very best wishes!

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