PDlogo   A Successful Glipizide Experience


Brendan Takes His Medicine

In late September, 1998, I noticed a dramaticBrendan change in Brendan's behavior. Though this 11 year-old cat had always been very fond of water, preferring to drink it out of the filtering device by the sink, one day he jumped up to the counter for drinks at least a dozen times—and the results of his excess were soon evident in the litter box. I waited a week to be sure that this wasn't a passing feline aberration; then made an appointment with the vet.

His glucose levels were 478. Even allowing for stress (this is a cat who does not travel well), there was strong reason to suspect diabetes. A urine test confirmed this. The vet was prepared to put him on insulin right away, but I'd done considerable research on the Internet and had heard about oral medication for cats with diabetes. He was dubious, but called me back the next day to say that his own research yielded the information that cats who were overweight (we don't say obese) had a 20% success rate with glipizide, and might become diabetes-free if they lost sufficient weight.

Brendan began with 5 mg of glipizide once a day immediately. Fortunately, he was good-natured about taking the pill, but he was less amiable about being deprived of the wet food he loved. It took several days of pouring the oil from tuna fish cans over his Science Diet Feline Light dry food before he resigned himself to the dietary change.

At his next visit a month later his glucose level dropped to 278, and he lost a pound. The next month the vet ran a fructosamine test which showed that his glucose levels were still higher than they should have been. His medication was increased to two 5 mg tablets of glipizide per day.

In January I was still not satisfied with the litter box results, and researched dry cat foods. I decided to try Purina OM, and his drinking and urinating decreased substantially after a few days.

At his most recent visit his glucose levels were within normal range, and he weighed two pounds less than he had at his initial visit.

There have been other positive changes. He became interested in eating nutritional yeast, and his coat, which at the onset of diabetes, had been rough and matted, became more silky than it ever had been.

During his first few months of being diabetic he had lost a great deal of strength in his hind legs, and had become unable to jump up onto the counter for his water fix. Now he gallops up the stairs, and leaps onto the counter like a feline Olympic champion.

I feel that the oral medication route should always be considered for overweight cats who are otherwise healthy and are not showing severe signs of diabetes. It does, however, require patience. It was several months before Brendan's glucose levels fell to an acceptable level.

In his case dietary changes made a huge difference in getting him stabilized. I chose Purina OM, but the Pet Diabetes web site has a chart with nutritional comparisons among a number of dry foods. Nutritional yeast, which has a number of trace minerals which can help ease diabetes, also makes dry food more palatable. Most cats love it.

Today Brendan is slimmer, sleeker, and more active than he was a year ago. Ironically, his overall treatment for diabetes has turned him into a healthier cat.

Contributed by Connie

In January, 2000 Brendan went to the Rainbow Bridge after contracting feline infectious peritonitis.

Read educational information about glipizide and other oral diabetes medications.


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Contributed September 1999
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