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My Diabetic Cat

Howdy Ags! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas break! I know I did, and I definitely enjoyed not having to study for a few weeks. This was my first break from school since last Christmas because I took classes last summer. But now, it's back to studying and I still can't believe that we are already into the second week of the spring semester. It seems like time is flying by. Anyways, I would like to share a story with you about one of my pets, Lucy.

Lucy is an 8 year old tabby cat I found in the front bushes of my house back at home. She was 4 weeks old when I found her and since I have such a love for animals, she instantly became my cat (well, after I convinced my Dad to let me keep her). I bottle fed her several times a day and constantly played with her. As she grew up she became very attached to me. She would sleep in my bed with me every night, follow me around the house, and even meow at the top of the stairs for me until I would respond to her. Currently, Lucy is living with me in my apartment here in College Station. She never misses a meal and she even gets ice cubes in her water bowl. Yes I know my cat is spoiled.

Nevertheless, last March I had noticed that Lucy was gaining weight. I thought the weight gain could have been from feeding her too much or from feeding her human food. She liked to eat chicken off of my chicken sandwich that I would get from jack in the box, and she would also like to eat lays potato chips. I know I'm a bad pet owner for giving her human food. So I stopped giving her human food and I cut the amount of dry food I was giving her, down to ¼ cup twice a day. A month went by and she still seemed to be gaining weight.

So I went home one weekend in April and brought Lucy with me so I could bring her to our veterinarian. My veterinarian recommended doing a blood test called a total body function and T4, just to check everything going on in her body as well as her thyroid. My veterinarian and I were both expecting to find something wrong with her thyroid, but her thyroid levels came back great. However, her blood sugar (glucose) level was not so great. Her glucose was around almost 400, which was not good because normal range for cats is around 200. So it was determined that Lucy was diabetic. We didn't put her on insulin right away; instead we put her on a dry food for diabetic pets to see if maybe we could control her glucose with food. Unfortunately, we checked her glucose level 2 weeks later and it had not changed very much. After about a month of doing numerous glucose curves to figure out how much insulin she needed, we finally determined that Lucy needed to be on 3 units of insulin twice a day and she needed to continue eating her diabetic food.

So when I was home this past Christmas, I took Lucy in to see the veterinarian to check her glucose. To our surprise, her glucose level was in the 80's which was too low. So we decided to taper her off of insulin over the 4 weeks that I was home. The week before I left to come back to College Station she was off of insulin completely. We checked her glucose the day I left for College Station and her glucose level was 99. After 8 months and much money spent, Lucy had finally reverted back and she is not diabetic anymore. This is very uncommon for cats to do, but it does happen and I am so happy that it happened to her. She is still on diabetic food and I don't give her anything but that, but she's doing great!

Even though we do not know why she became diabetic and why she reverted, this should be a lesson for everybody, including me. Do not feed your pets human food. As cute as they are and as much as they beg, you must resist or else you could end up spending a lot of money treating a diabetic pet or even treating for pancreatitis, which animals can get from eating too much greasy food. So make it yours and your pet's new year's resolution to stay healthy and exercise!