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Moma Kitty




Owner's descriptions of the health & lifestyle of their diabetic pets. 

My Moma Kitty will turn 18 in August of 2001. She has been a huge part of my life for almost as long as I remember. She purrs me to sleep at night and kisses me awake every morning. In July 2000, Moma Kitty starting losing weight. My husband and I thought it was her age but the weight loss was becoming dramatic despite normal eating habits. She was also urinating out of the litter box. Literally, she would get in the box and urinate out the door onto the floor. We made an appointment at the Vet and her arriving blood glucose was a very high 580. We were blessed and within three days, she was stabilized on 3 units twice a day. After a month of regaining the weight she had lost, my husband and I noticed some real differences in her behavior. We would hear a cat land on the kitchen counter and immediately yell at our other (and much younger) cat. Only to have him respond with a half asleep meow from nowhere near the kitchen. Further investigation revealed a very happy Moma Kitty finishing off someone's breakfast milk. She had not been on a kitchen counter in at least ten years!!!! That's only the beginning. My husband picked his belt up off the bed only to have Moma Kitty attack it from across the room. Before her diagnosis, she would sleep and, when awake, just hang out for attention. Now she plays and runs and dances and climbs into your lap with a passion and fervor that we have not seen in years. So, to all the owners of newly diagnosed pets, take heart!!! The diagnosis and treatment of diabetes can give your pet a new leash on life and new vigor to live that life. The time, expense and energy involved in treating Moma Kitty's diabetes is worth very bit of the effort for the life and joy it has brought to her and to our family.
Contributed by Jennifer Schilling


Our dog, Jayda, is a Lhasa Apso who was diagnosed as a diabetic when she was 11 yrs old. She was in the midst of acute pancreatitis and spent Christmas 1997 and New Years 1998 in the hospital. She was left with diabetes and we entered the world of 2 insulin shots per day and regularly scheduled feedings. Her blood sugar stabilized fairly quickly after one severe insulin reaction and she has been on 7 units of insulin twice daily for almost 3 years. Our largest problem has been getting her to eat consistently. So much so that we give her "pinch" after she eats so we can see how much food she actually consumed. She has been eating Innova dry food mixed with canned plus chicken or scrambled eggs or peas or other veggies just to make it taste better. She has actually done very well. 

She is pretty much completely blind from cataracts which had begun before she became a diabetic. She is quite comfortable in surroundings she knows and if she is on her leash, is very comfortable being guided by her "seeing eye person". She has recently begun suffering from a chronic conjunctivitis in one eye and an ear infection. She is also struggling with recovery from a dental cleaning this time so this does mark a bit of a decline for her.

She travels with us with her insulin in an ice chest and wears a medic alert tag just in case she might wander off.  She will be 14 next month so, in spite of her medical condition, she is probably doing quite well for her age. The positive aspect of her condition has been the the willingness of her Dad to become involved in her care. He gives her shots more efficiently than I do although at the beginning he said that was something he would never be able to do. It has been a real godsend not to have the responsibility of her care by myself. -- Contributed by Barb


Duke (better known as lou-lou) is a 7 year old min-pin. He has had diabetes for 2 years. It took about 4 months and many trips to the vet, but he was finally regulated with 2 shots a day of humulin N insulin. He received 6 units each time. For 9 months Lou did well, he seemed healthy and playful. I am very careful to keep his daily routine very regular, I think this plays a big part in regulating a diabetic. He then developed cataracts and although not totally blind, he could not see well. I took him to get surgery done (he was 5 at the time and seemed to young to be blind!) but the stress of being at the vet and away from his normal routine caused his blood glucose to rise so high that they could not do the surgery. They put him up to 11 units of insulin during his short stay there. Upon bringing him home it took 6 months to regulate him again, but he finally was regulated at 10 1/2 units. He has remained regulated now and although he can't see much at all, he seems happy and playful. He gets around the house so well that I don't realize how blind he is until I take him for a walk outside or to another house and he runs into things or appears lost. I pretty much keep him home and he runs free in a fenced in yard. He seems comforted by the jingle of the tags on my other min-pins collar. I don't think diabetes will affect his life in a negative way, he is truly happy. He is worth the extra effort it takes to keep his life the same each day. He is only 7 (young for a small dog) and I think he will live a long happy life. I have met wonderful, caring people at the vet's office who, although Duke doesn't care for them, have been great friends to both me and him. Taking care of him is so routine now that it's almost like he is not sick. As long as he seems to enjoy his life, I am happy. -- Contributed by Karyn


Brittany is "the" perfect Bichon. She is 12 years old, has traveled extensively, and has a wide vocabulary and can even spell. She has a mixed breed sister which she tolerates. It was devastating during Thanksgiving of 2000, that my baby was so sick and diagnosed as being "in ketosis" and "a very sick dog ". My vet, with all of the empathy he could, tried to tell me she may not make it. I lost him at hello. I could not imagine losing her. I am an OR Nurse, doesn't matter, I still lost him at hello. My point is, no one has an advantage. They are your constant friend, through thick and thin, and she was thin, how did I miss that? I just thought she was thirsty from Grandma feeding her! I'm obviously not a good mom, and what kind of nurse am I? Yes, I had guilt and blame. After a week and hoping she was at least "alive" I was able to pick her up. Not before being told she is diabetic, 4 units of insulin in the morning and evening. Oh by the way, no treats, just "her special food". Ok, I said, and off we went. The bill was a little over a thousand dollars, she is worth it of course. She was my Christmas Angle by then. Insulin shots to a dog, ok. Where? I guess he figured I was a nurse and knew. Guess what, dogs have no thighs, no backs of their arms, and you try sticking a needle in their "pink belly". Of course, I said, in the back of the neck. Who knew!!! Not me, No instructions in the Nurses Drug Handbook. either.  A lot to say I know, but I wanted everyone to know, because you are a health care professional, you don't know!!! Animals are different....much. So, we are at 17 pounds now, insulin twice a day and she still is a good dog. She truly has more energy. Her quality of life has changed due to a cataract in her left eye. The vet doesn't seem to think she can see too well out of her other eye, but you would not know. She runs, on her walk, she is back to dancing before dinner, and she is watched. She seems to be handling this well. No more can we leave her for long periods, some one has to be home at the magic hour. We monitor her water, her glucose in her urine, etc. If we are almost two hours late with the insulin, she is lethargic. She does bounce back. I can only hope she remains my "good dog" a lot longer. Life is manageable, she still goes for weigh-ins every two weeks, and we watch, meticulously, her insulin and food schedule. I think that is the key. We also show her we love her. She is not fragile because she is diabetic, and we are not really that scared, concerned, but not scared. I know she knows we are there for her, unconditionally, just like she is always there for us. Mcpup2@aol.com

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Updated January 2001
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