HOMECARE NOTES: DIABETES


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Your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus.

Usually this means that not enough insulin is being produced to let glucose (Ďblood sugarí) into cells around the body for energy.

Without providing insulin, the glucose is left in the bloodstream, where it builds up to very high levels. If this remains untreated, a diabetic cat will lose weight and eventually starve to death even if eating more than usual.

Some of this excess glucose is extracted from the blood by the kidneys and excreted in the urine. This excess glucose in the urine draws lots of water with it, which will cause increased urination. To compensate for this loss, the uncontrolled diabetic must drink more water.

You will need to give insulin injections to your cat twice a day.  Many people initially feel uneasy about needles but ALL of our clients with diabetic cats agree that giving injections is easier than giving tablets!

To regulate the insulin and blood sugar levels, insulin and food must be provided at strict intervals and in strict amounts.

After an initial day or several days in hospital, your cat will be initially stabilised.  A routine will be established for the medication and feeding.

You will choose times that you will be able to consistently medicate and feed your cat.  For example, 7AM and 7PM or 6:30AM and 6:30PM.

Itís important to re-assess cats after 3 days, a further week after that, then a month later then three monthly.  The rechecks are important since insulin requirements can vary.  Sometimes extra rechecks are indicated.

REMEMBER:

* Keep the insulin in the fridge

* Shake the bottle gently before use

* Inject just under a pinch of skin (ie subcutaneously)

IMPORTANT:

If you are unsure whether you gave the insulin injection correctly DO NOT RE-ADMINISTER IT. Donít worry, just feed your cat as normal.

If you forget to give the insulin injection, donít worry. Just miss that injection and re-administer as usual 12 hours later.

Call us immediately if your cat shows any of the following signs: weakness, depression, seizures, stops eating, or increases drinking and urination. This may mean that your catís blood sugar may be too low or too high.

Of course, call us about any other concerns you may have.

Please note, used needles should be returned to Paddington Cat Hospital for appropriate disposal.

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