PDlogo   Patches' Story


My cat is Patches, an 18 year old female gray and white spayed domestic cat. She was diagnosed shortly before her 10th birthday. So she has survived with this illness the for 8+ years with only 1 serious episode - the one that occurred New Year's Eve 1995 and almost cost her life.

Patches in the window
Patches in the window.

I was returning home from Christmas vacation.  I realized something was not right. I new she was having the "Hypoglycemic" condition I heard about and had seen only in minor states. I had a 2-1/2 hour drive ahead of me and didn't know what to do. I stopped at a convenience store to purchase syrup but she laid in my arms as if dead. Being New Year's Eve night I called the local emergency animal hospital and they told me to bring her in immediately.  When I got there they were waiting with a stretcher and the whole works.  They quickly revived her and later that night the Vet called and said she was in renal failure and there seemed to be little hope of a good prognosis.

I then took her to my Vet and he said we had one chance to get her BUN levels back to normal and that was to give her subcutaneous fluids at home.  I learned to administer fluids at home so she didn't have to go to the vet's and wouldn't be as stressed.  I also had to force feed her as she typically became anorexic.  One night I thought she had died in my arms.  I started to give up and wonder if what I was doing was fair to her.  So when I left for work one morning I told her it was OK....that day when I returned home from work, she was waiting at the door for me.  I witnessed a true miracle. Her levels began to show unbelievable improvement - the Vet could not believe it!  And that was 4+ years ago!!!!

She currently takes 6 units twice a day of Ilentin I NPH (my concern now is that this insulin has been discontinued).  This was the original type insulin and has worked rather successfully. The dose has altered between 5 to 7 units. In the beginning I was able to do one injection a day, but the twice a day worked better and reduced her chance of a hypoglycemic attack. I monitor mostly by watching her water intake and her behavior - if she was depressed or weak, if she was cleaning herself (I found this to be a positive sign!), and her litterbox habits.  Her diet is Hills prescription AD, KD and WD for variety.  Her weight is good at about 10-11 lbs. and her activity level due to her age is limited.

Patches in her house
Patches in her house.

Her hind legs have appeared to be a little weaker but she still gets around pretty good.   Her nails have started to become effected but the Vet assured me it's more of a fungus and not serious as in human diabetic. In the past she did get sores around her gums and under her chin but that has been kept under good control and she doesn't have any now.

Of course her traveling days ended after the 1995 episode and she gets minor hypoglycemic attacks more often.  She seems to know how to keep her blood glucose up by going directly to the food bowl and eating.  When I'm there I give her the Karo which works well.

I have had her since I was 18 and know the end is sooner rather than later.  My own personal opinion: the best medicine is unconditional love and attention you give the pet..I believe it is what has sustained Patches life.  I think my Vet will agree...he is amazed by her story.

Contributed by Linda

Patches passed away from cancer on August 24, 1999.  You can visit Linda's tribute to Patches.  


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Contributed June 1999
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