by Theresa Roy
(Saint John, N.B. Canada)
My cat was an indoor cat. She had all needles (injections) required. She was taken to vet almost yearly. She had her in for a normal routine check up the year before (2009).
I felt a lump on her right side. She was drinking more than usual and was vomiting up her food. She had the same food for years, Whiskas dry with no problems.
The vet told me she was fine and only had a heart murmur which she said was normal because her cat had one too.
She was 11 and a half yrs old. I took her back to the same vet in 2010 but a different veterinarian there told me a murmur was NOT normal.
She stayed at the vet overnight to take blood and urine tests and was called back the next day to tell me my beautiful cat had severe diabetes and would need special food and medicine with two insulin shots a day.
The vet advised me if it were her cat she would have it put down and was I able to handle all the work involved?
But I am sick myself and also had another younger cat at home and the vet said I shouldn’t feel guilty about putting her to sleep.
So my whole family went the same day to say goodbye to her. We all cried but it was the best thing for her to not suffer anymore. I’ve had cats all my life and they were always looked after very well. I am 68 yrs old and couldn’t handle this and I’ve never owned a cat that turned out to have this disease.
I keep a picture of her at my bedside. She died on Sept. 14th last year.
What did I do wrong if anything? Why didn’t the vet who worked at the same veterinary hospital find the problem the year before? I believe she could have been saved. I am still very disappointed that I can’t get information on what causes this disease.
Could you somehow help me find out why this happened to my cat. I would appreciate any help to be informed. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for any help,
Sincerely Theresa Roy
Hi Teresa.. thanks for sharing and I am sorry to hear about the upset that you have gone through.
You did not do anything wrong. Many vets recommend dry food for cats on a full-time basis although it seems that there is a gradual awakening to the fact that the high carbohydrate content of dry cat food (kibble) either contributes to or causes feline diabetes. Elisabeth Hodgkins DVM as you know in her book, Your Cat, is strongly against dry cat food and blames it for the increase in feline diabetes.
Feline diabetes is a commonly diagnosed disease in cats. 1 in 400 cats develop it1.
Feline diabetes is caused by the inadequate production of insulin resulting in the body being unable to use glucose. This leads to elevated sugar levels. Excess glucose is eliminated in urine resulting in increased drinking.
Dry food apart, feline pancreatitis, feline hyperthyroidism, some medications (megestrol acetate – Megac) and some corticosteroids “have the potential to cause of mimic diabetes in a cat”1. If your vet did not specify the cause, or there was no specific cause that for me would point to diet being a factor.
Dietary management is recommended and that means a high protein low carbohydrate diet (e.g. Science Diet m/d).
Some vets advise adding meat to the cat’s diet and some advise to “avoid dry foods”. Dietary management alone can cure diabetes1.
Well there you are Theresa. A vet could have advised dietary management it appears but it may been too advanced. I don’t know.
I also don’t know if diet was the cause. Obesity is a contributing factor.
A balanced diet is best: a mixture of some dry for grazing, wet food and some treats including perhaps some raw food (more care required to avoid bacterial contamination).
Hope this helps and please don’t beat yourself up. Best of luck.