Regulating diabetic cats with insulin can be one of the most difficult tasks you ever undertake as an owner.
Insulin is very challenging as it is has several characteristics and types, and to make this undertaking even more difficult, there is one other huge obstacle that you will face.
Cats are perhaps the hardest of any animal in trying to regulate diabetes using insulin.
Not all cats that develop diabetes will need to be treated with insulin, however, the vast majority of them will.
In fact it is estimated that over eighty percent of all cats that develop this very challenging disease will need to be treated with insulin.
There are three major goals that an owner will need to try to accomplish in undertaking this challenge.
Identify and try to resolve the signs of diabetes, maintain your cats body weight, and then finally provide them with as normal as a life style as you can.
However, this undertaking will be anything but easy and there are several things that all owners should take into consideration.
The first is the commitment that will be involved, next is realizing why it is such a difficult undertaking with cats, and third is a full understanding of insulin and insulin resistance.
Regulating diabetic cats with insulin first major obstacle for any owner to overcome is a full understanding of the commitment that will be involved.
Once your cat has been diagnosed and you make the decision to care for them, you will need to make absolutely certain one thing.
You maintain their blood glucose level in an acceptable range.
The acceptable is considered to be 100-300 mg/dL, and normal levels are between 55-160 mg/dL. The first step is the hospitalization stage.
In this stage, your cat is normally hospitalized for several days in order to develop one or more glucose profiles.
This will be expensive, and if you do not have insurance, this is the first commitment you must make, adjusting for the expense.
Initially regulating diabetic cats with insulin can take between two and eight weeks.
Insulin, in most all cases, will have to be given twice a day, which is the next commitment. However, this is not a temporary situation, as in most cases it is a lifetime series of trials and errors.
You must also learn how to properly handle the insulin as it must be refrigerated and it cannot be shaken.
You must also learn the correct way to administer and commit to following precisely the type of insulin and the type of syringes that your veterinarian has instructed you to use.
You must also make the commitment to follow not only the type of food but the amount of food that is required in this challenge.
However, the commitment is still just starting in regulating diabetic cats; as you will also need to commit to carefully monitoring your cat daily.
You must also understand when to call your veterinarian and when to have your cat rechecked as their insulin requirements will change over time and their dosages may have to be adjusted.
You will also have to commit to fully understanding and being prepared for emergency conditions.
They include low blood sugar, when this can occur, the signs it shows, and how to then manage it.
You will also need to understand in regulating diabetic cats, that if the sugar count is too high, it is just as dangerous.
And finally, in regulating diabetic cats with insulin, you will need to commit to understanding that heat has huge impacts on diabetic cats.
Because of this you cannot breed your cats as both pregnancy and lactation could have devastating effects.
Regulating diabetic cats with insulin is more difficult than any other animal; period, it is an open and shut case.
The first reason is that cats are by nature are extremely stressful and they develop what is referred to as stress hyperglycemia.
What this does is basically blows their blood glucose levels off the chart, especially when they visit your veterinarian and begin to stress.
Cats can get so nervous that the readings will be entirely different than your home readings when they are relaxed, and this makes it very difficult for your professional to get an accurate reading.
Because cats are so much smaller than other animals, they may also need smaller dosages, which make it very difficult for you to measure accurately.
of this, you will have to learn together with your veterinarian on how to properly dilute dosages when necessary.
However, again the challenges are just beginning. Cats are also very picky eaters, and the amount of food that they consume daily can vary, which also interferes with their insulin requirements.
The insulin needs of cats can also change from month to month, and they are also much more prone to develop transient diabetes than other animals.
Transient diabetes make regulating diabetic cats with insulin even more challenging.
This is a situation where it suddenly appears that your cat has been cured only to have the disease come roaring back in a few months.
Obesity, cat’s worst enemy, also makes it challenging as once their weight has been brought to normal they may have to be switched to a different type of therapy.
Cats also have extremely different responses to insulin and because of this; the dosage per pound is entirely different than in dogs, other animals, or humans.
Regulating diabetic cats with insulin has even more challenges as there are several types of insulin that may be used.
Each type will have a different duration of action, concentration, and thus a different frequency that it will be given.
What most owners do not understand is that the natural insulin of mammals differs by several amino acids depending on the mammal.
Because of this, the insulin used to treat cats may be derived from the pancreas of pigs, called pork insulin, the pancreas of cattle, called beef insulin, or a combination of both.
It can also be genetically engineered in the same way as human insulin. In most cases, beef insulin is used in cats, but even this is challenging.
Insulin is available in concentrations of 40, 100, and 500 units/ml. Because cats are so small most dosages have to be diluted, and this is a very tricky process.
You should only use diluents that are made by the same manufacture of the insulin that has been recommended by your veterinarian and then you have to follow the directions precisely.
Syringes come in the same measurements as the dosages, and if you were to a U-40 syringe that has a diluted solution, there are usually no problems.
However, if you were to use a U-100 syringe and measure it incorrectly, it could kill your cat.
Finding the right insulin, the right dosage, the correct syringe, and then adjusting is going to be anything but easy.
However, you still have to deal with what is called insulin resistance.
This is a situation that is believed to occur when the blood glucose level of a cat cannot be properly regulated.
It occurs in cats because of the lower dosages than the 2 U/pound per body weight that is often required.
There are several potential causes for this including improper administration of the insulin, inactive insulin, as well as either changes in your cats feeding habits or their world renown picky eating process.
However, there is still another possibility known as the Somogyi effect.
This is also referred to as rebound hyperglycemia, and it is very common in cats adding to your challenges.
If too much insulin is given, your cat’s glucose level goes so low that it stimulates the production of other hormones.
This in turn promote even more breakdown of glycogen where glucose is stored.
If this is the case and if can be properly identified, your cats insulin levels are reduced. However, the key cognitive is if it can be identified.
Regulating diabetic cats with insulin may be the only course of action that you have once this potential killer has been diagnosed.
As scary as the entire process sounds, there are millions of cats that do very well and survive and live near normal lives.
However, there are also millions of owners that once they understand the challenges, choose not to accept them.
It is anything but easy and is not affordable for all owners. It can be a very difficult decision.