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My diabetic cat is called Winnie. I adopted her from my local cat protection society in May of 2002. They estimated her age as being 8 years, and she was diagnosed with diabetes while being at the shelter. She is female and neutered. It took me some months to stabilise her. Her first blood test showed a reading of 29.6 mmol/L (about 540 mg/dl). As a result the vet recommended two insulin injections of 4 units each day. Over a period of 3 months the reading was down to about 9 mmol/L (160mg/dl). However, lately Winnie has had 3 hypos which I have found very distressing. I am sure she has as well. The seem to occur about 10pm at night. The vet has reduced her insulin to 3 units in the morning and 2 units at night. However, since the last hypo she has been off her food which is not normal for her.

As far as giving her the insulin injections goes, she is the model patient. I have no trouble with her at all. She is really is terrific and makes my job a lot easier.

I have not fed her on any special diet for diabetes. I have 3 other elderly cats and they all have the same diet of Senior cat food. Mainly Iams senior or pouches (Whiskas).

Initially when I first adopted her I tried home testing with urine strips. I found this very difficult, firstly collecting the urine, but also collecting it at the right time. Basically I gave up. I now rely on blood tests at the vet. I know its expensive but I know its a good result. I always have the blood test at 3pm, so its the lowest point for her glucose level.

At the moment the we are not suffering any other side effects from the diabetes. The vet has told me to expect cataracts but at present we are ok.

Winnie is a cat who has a great character. I am afraid she is not the prettiest cat in the world, and sadly before I adopted her she lost her tail due to a broken pelvis. When she is feeling well she is quite loving, but when ill gets very grumpy. She is the first cat that I have had that growls!

I must say that giving the insulin is the easy part of looking after a diabetic cat. The hardest is dealing with the responsibility of knowing what to do, especially during a hypo. I only hope I am doing the best for her.

-- Contributed by Janet

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Contributed November 2002
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