Not all cats will go into a diet-controlled remission, where insulin is no longer needed. For those that don’t, the goal of Tight Regulation (TR) is to keep them well regulated in normal blood glucose (BG) numbers, where they are healthy and happy!
Below, in alphabetical order (so there are no favourites!), are some stories of cats that are in a diet-controlled remission. Some were very ill before they started TR. Others had been diabetic for a long time.
All are in their owner’s own words.
We hope that by reading them you will see how much TR can help your cat…. as it has helped these cats around the world!
DORIS (UK) : Lantus
Doris is aged about 10 and we got her and her brother Boris as kittens. She has been very ill in the past with struvite stones, urine infections and possible pancreatits or urine infections. Just as I thought things were getting better for poor Doris she was diagnosed with possible FD at the vets on 28 February 2014 – I had taken her in to the vets as she was eating and drinking more and had blood in her urine.
My local vets made me feel it was the ‘end of the world': all they kept saying was how much it would cost to treat Doris (wild numbers in the thousands of pounds a year) and how she wasn’t going to get better. I felt as though they were giving poor Doris a death sentence.
We had to leave Doris at the hospital that day as she was so ill. The first vet we saw when Doris was admitted was equally bleak and I went back home leaving her looking all forlorn with a drip in her leg crying because I was leaving her.
I spent the night surfing the internet looking for some miracle, and I found TR! And felt there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon – I’d never ever joined a forum before but signed up and thought “I have to try everything I can for my ‘little Dorritt’.
We were due back at the hospital the next day and I’d read all I could on the site. As luck would have it we saw a different vet, one who had looked after Doris before and her take was totally different. She prescribed Lantus and told us that TR was right, that we could do home testing and to use a human glucometer (no difference she said apart from cost – animal ones being more expensive). I mentioned low carb food and she gave me a list of supermarket and pet site ones – she stressed that it needed to be below 10% carbs which was just what TR advised.
From day one the welcome from everyone on the forum was wonderful – whatever stupid questions I asked there was always someone there to help and explain. Home testing was very difficult for me at first- but I had to keep reminding myself that I was doing it for Doris to make her better. With the help and support of the forum, I managed to test more and to do curves and mid tests.
We started TR on 2 April 2014. Doris started to respond, if it times she would do some wild zooms! Then, on 31 May 2014, 59 days after we started TR, I dosed her as usual…..and that was that, she hasn’t needed any insulin since! I cannot begin to tell you how overjoyed that makes me feel!
When I first started my journey, I never thought that I’d be writing this with tears in my eyes – tears of joy so different from those tears of despair I shed at the beginning!
I am so thankful for TR!
EDDY (Greece) : Lantus
Eddy is a long haired Greek Tabby cat. He is 12 years old and lives with us in a small rural village on the Greek island of Corfu.
He and his 7 siblings were found by my friend’s daughter on Easter Sunday 2003. They still had their eyes closed and where not weaned. Some “wonderful” person had dumped them beside a secondary road, leaving them to die. We took them in, I took 3, my Mum took 3, and my friend took 2. We had no formula, no syringes and all shops were closed for Easter.
My brother in law, who was visiting came up with a superb idea, condoms!
We filled them with half condensed milk, half water and punctured a tiny hole in the nipple bit with a pin. It worked beautifully; soon I had 3 tiny kittens each attached to their condom.
From the 8 we managed to get 5 through and Eddy was one of them. He was always an independent spirit and soon took over the house hold. Even Lucky my dog respected him.
When Eddy was 1 year old he got attacked by a dog, which grabbed and shook him, he survived but lost his right eye to this incident. We were not sure if he’d survive his injuries, his head was so swollen, but he did.
Sometime later he came home one day in obvious pain, we think he had been hit by a motorbike or a car and again we were worried that he would not make it. Nothing was broken but he was badly bruised and could have had internal injuries. By now he must have used up at least 3 or 4 of his 9 lives. He survived and went back to normal.
It was early in the summer of 2014 when I noticed a change in him.
His usually beautiful long coat was looking unkempt, greasy and he did not seem to be cleaning himself. He was constantly hungry and I noticed that he was drinking a lot. He did not have much energy and was just not himself. But all this happened so slowly, it took me a while to become worried.
Our vet is 40km away in Corfu town and when I saw him next I mentioned Eddy to him. He recommended blood tests. Sure enough Eddy’s BG was HIGH, 366/20.3 to be precise.
There was just one problem, my vet was going away the next day for 5 weeks and would not be around to supervise any treatment with insulin. I knew nothing about FD then, just what I knew about human diabetes and did not feel in any way confident to treat Eddy without my vet being on Corfu.
We decided to try with a diet first, he recommended Hills diabetic kibble, and suggested I monitor the BG.
After 1 week there was no change, his BG was still high and I was very worried. Eddy seemed to have got more lethargic and unwell.
I started to roam the internet and found various websites. There I started to read about wet food and homemade food. I also learned how bad kibble is for cats and that the Hill’s diet kibble was just a waste of money and doing no good at all. I managed to get some homemade food with bones etc. made up and started him on it.
All the reading about FD, Insulin etc. was beginning to freak me out. Then I joined the FD forum and our fortunes changed. I posted my situation and the help and info just flooded in.
On July 29th 2014 we started with the dose recommended by my vet: I unit every 12 hours, using the Lantus pen that only let us dose in 1u increments. Eddy’s BG started to zoom up and down and I monitored him every 2 hours for the next 10 days.
Things were not ideal, but the folks on the forum were there to help us through. I managed to get the right syringes to be able to dose him with smaller increments, and with help and instruction from all the fabulous people on the forum, we got set into a dosing schedule and the right dosing scale for him and then things seemed to happen so fast.
I had the syringes and could dose properly on August 1 …. Eddy started to balance out and I gave him his last shot at midnight on August 11th 2014 – just 10 days later!
He happily eats the home made food I prepare using the recipe off the FD website. We have invested in a Meat grinder and make 2 month supply at a time and freeze it.
The other cats have been weaned off kibble and are on tinned wet food only.
Eddy is a happy cat now; his fur is once more beautiful and long and silky and he once again deserves his nickname “Fluffy” His energy level is high, he’s started to play again and has found a complete new lease of life.
Over the last months things have mostly been nice and regular, Eddy’s BR is constantly in the 60-80/3.3-4.4 range. Only once did he give me reason to worry, I had been away and left him with a house sitter. She obviously did not stick to my instructions and when I got back after 5 days his BG was over 100/5.6 and in the following days went to 132/7.2. Thankfully with support from my online friends I did not panic too much and he sorted himself out. Since then absolutely no problems, Eddy is a happy, healthy king of the village again.
I KNOW FOR 100% THAT NONE OF THIS WOULD EVER HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT TR AND THEIR REVOLUTORY METHOD.
I am a complete convert and have spoken at length to my vet and other cat owners about TR.
I cannot express how much I appreciate and value the help, support, hugs, humor and advice I received and still receive from the members of the forum. They were always there when I was unsure, scared or lost, especially in the early days when Eddy’s BG was zooming up and down at an (to me) alarming rate.
There was always someone experienced online to talk me through my insecurities, send hugs, help and calm my panic.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
JAX (USA) : Lantus
Little Jax’s struggle started when in April of 2015 I noticed he was beginning to walk down on his honches, lose balance, was urinating a lot more than usual, drinking a lot of water, and had very dry flaky skin. When I left for a weekend and came back to completely empty water bowls and urine outside of the litter box I knew there was an issue and I suspected diabetes.
I took Jax to the vet that week, the vet drew some labs and his blood sugar came back at 438. This confirmed what I had suspected and we began the treatment of his diabetes. The vet had prescribed 4 units twice daily with blind dosing.
I followed the vet’s recommendation for about a week while researching feline diabetes when I came across the TR Protocol. I was hesitant to check his blood sugars because I wasn’t sure how he’d react or to go against the vet’s recommendation. However, I purchased a glucometer with the idea in mind that I would check it if I felt I needed to.
Well, the day after I bought the testing supplies I fed Jax in the morning, gave him his 4 units, and 10 minutes later he was throwing up and extremely lethargic. I suspected hypoglycemia and I checked his blood sugar. He had dropped to 23/1.3! I decided at that moment that I could not as a nurse and pet mom treat him so blindly. I got him stabilized and joined the forum that afternoon.
The admins on this site worked tirelessly with me running curves, adjusting scales, and looking over number after number. He was so tolerant of the blood sugar checks that he even started sitting next to me waiting for his check at feeding time, he knew it was part of the meal time process. They also recommended that I start giving Jax vitamin B-12 methylcobalamin to treat his peripheral neuropathy. Within about 4-5 months of treatment his neuropathy was completely reversed. He was running, jumping, and walking as if nothing had ever happened! I knew we were onto something here.
Throughout the year we continued to adjust dosing of insulin, I checked his blood sugar 4 times a day and had him on a strict diet of only Fancy Feast Classics fed at the same times everyday. It was a lot of work but eventually became part of our everyday routine. I even bought an automatic feeder with an ice pack in the bottom so I could set it up for him while I was at work.
Cut to February 18th, 2016. Jax had his last dose of insulin and has been under 150/8.3 BS ever since. He is 100% back to his old self, his fur is completely soft and healthy, and we only do spot checks of blood sugar about once every week or two.
I promised him the day he had his hypoglycemic episode that I was going to get him into remission and with the help of the wonderful admins on this site I was able to fulfill this promise!
LUNA (Argentina) : Levemir
Luna was diagnosed with FD at the end of March 2013, and was put on Glipizide (oral medication). It didn’t work and she started Lantus in May after having to be hospitalised as she was so dehydrated.
Ten days later we discovered TR and started the protocol.
Living in Argentina, we have a very limited choice of cat food – there are no low carb food available here. We mixed raw into the lowest carb food we have to bring the total amount of carbohydrates down as we waited for the right supplements to arrive from the US. Once they did, a month later, we were able to move her onto a 100% raw food diet.
Luna was very difficult to regulate on Lantus, and in October 2013, we decided to move to Levemir. She settled down quickly with Levemir – and had her last shot of insulin barely three months months later on 12 January 2014!
Luna’s vet lectures at the leading vet school in Buenos Aires. She was so impressed with Luna’s recovery that she now discusses Tight Regulation in her courses on Feline Diabetes….. and even invited Luna to make a personal appearance at one lecture to show just how healthy and well she is today…… Luna loved being star for the day!
If you are wondering if you should give TR a try, don’t: TR is THE chance to put your cat on the road to recovery and good health!
MLANIO (Poland) : Levemir
Early in October 2013, Mlanio, then aged 13, became a little less lively. Then I noticed that he began to drink quite a lot. He also seemed to be always hungry. The diagnosis, on 15 October 2013, was swift and we were sent home with a Lantus Solostar pen and the instruction to give Mlanio 9 units every day for a week and then to come back for another BG test. Of course there was the recommendation to put him on dry vet food for diabetic cats immediately.
When we got back home I turned on the computer and began to look around. I knew absolutely nothing about Feline Diabetes back then, but somehow I felt I needed to understand Mlanio’s condition before injecting him with what seemed to me an awful lot of a very powerful hormone. It didn’t take me very long to begin to feel that what the vet had told me wasn’t right. I wasn’t comfortable with blind dosing, I could see there were quite convincing voices against dry food, and I couldn’t find a recommendation for such a high starting dose anywhere
I started looking for a new vet. I also consulted a diabetic friend, who taught me what no vet would teach me: glucometers, lancets, ketones, urine strips, syringes, handling insulin, etc. – in short, all those practicalities I needed to know.
I did find a good young vet – one who approved of the low carb wet diet and the home testing. Mlanio was difficult to regulate, but was beginning to do just a little bit better on the 3 units I had been told to dose him, when gum disease caused his numbers to spike, and they stayed high even after the gum inflammation died down after treatment. We changed to Levemir, adjusted doses… but nothing worked.
My vet started out being reassuring, but without any improvement, eventually the dreadful words “insulin-resistant” and “nothing to be done” were uttered. I started consulting other vets again, but the result was the same. I started seeing the first neuropathy symptoms: he was no longer able to jump. He looked ill and sad. At that point I knew there was not a single vet in our (relatively large) city who could help us. I was entirely on my own and I was heart-broken.
And then one night, as I sat looking through various diabetic websites yet again, this time in languages other than my native Polish, my lucky star guided me to TR.
We started TR on 1 February 2014.
On Day 40 – 12 March 2014 – Mlanio, looking and acting as if he’d never been ill in his life, had his last shot of insulin.
It took TR just two weeks to bring Mlanio from the verge of critical condition to significant improvement, and just 40 days to take him off insulin altogether.
Mlanio is now a perfectly happy cat, whose well-being can be seen in everything he does. His eyes have the old twinkle back, his whiskers and his ears protrude defiantly, his coat is beautifully glossy and smooth, and the only thing that can ruffle his otherwise invariably excellent mood is the rain.
Meanwhile, our young vet and her colleague have become TR admirers. They have asked me to teach them what I’ve learnt, they no longer recommend high-carb dry food, and they know what to do (and what NOT to do) if another diabetic cat comes into their surgery.
Our TR saga resulted in yet another development: Mlanio and I have always been close ever since he was born under my kitchen table, but the bond that has formed as a result of my always keeping him close and testing him all the time is just incredible.
There are not many certainties in life, but this much I do know for sure: I was losing Mlanio, and losing him fast. TR has saved him. He has now enjoyed over a year of happy life, and it is nothing short of a miracle.
SAMSON (USA) : BCP U100 Bovine PZI
My kitty, Samy, who is fifteen years old, was a feral cat the first ten years of his life. During those ten years, he came to me for food, but he would never let me touch him. One day my neighbor told me that someone in the park was planning on shooting Samy, and that’s when I quickly decided that I had better bring him into my home to stay.
A year after Samy came to live with me, it was obvious that he was not feeling well at all. He would sit on the sofa and move very little, and I just knew that he was preparing to die. I knew something was terribly wrong because Samy was drinking water in unbelievable amounts. I was buying ten pounds of litter every other day trying to keep up with him, and that is when he was diagnosed with a BG of 600. My vet prescribed one unit of Glargine twice a day, and she taught me how to test him at home. After several months she advised me to stop testing and just give him the shots. She said that it wasn’t necessary to be testing all the time. Later, I started getting some bad reactions, so I tested anyway.
After four years of this procedure, I finally asked if, in her opinion, Samy would ever have a chance of going into remission. She felt that he would not since it had already been four years, and that if they are going to go into remission, they usually do so very quickly.
After that news I decided to start checking out the web to see what I could learn. Fortune changed for us that night when I found TR. We started the TR protocol on April 11, 2015, changing to BCP U100 Bovine PZI, and with the guidance we got, we saved my kitty’s life. His last shot of insulin was on June 17, 2015.
If I hadn’t found TR, I am sure that Samy would very well be gone by now. I think it is more than remarkable that in just over 2 months, he is OTJ.
Now Samy’s eyes are bright, and he is a happy kitty again. Needless to say, I am over the moon happy and deeply grateful.
SEAMUS (USA) : Lantus
When I found DCI and TR, Seamus was at the emergency vet hospital where he’d just spent 3 days – my vet didn’t think that he’d make it through the first night.
In September 2014, I had taken Seamus to the vet for sinus problems. While there, we decide to do exam and bloodwork, as he is 12 years old, and was due in October.
All of his bloodwork was fine…. Except his glucose levels which were high: 360/20.3. We rechecked in 2 days and he was at 250/13.9, and then a month later. They were 322/17.9.
We had tried him on low carb food during the month, but Seamus is a very fussy eater and it took a look of patience to get him to try it.
My vets still didn’t start him on insulin – they said his numbers were not that high.
He was acting sicker and sicker, and was diagnosed with pancreatitis mid-November.
Finally, after Seamus was very bad after Thanksgiving Weekend at the end of November, my vet started him on Vetsulin. It didn’t seem to help him though, and his numbers spiraled out of control. He was getting worse not better, and I felt there was no hope.
That is when the final vet I saw – one I hadn’t seen in the practice yet – sent us to the Emergency Hospital…..
The new vet was great. She didn’t have any experience with TR, but was willing to work with me and learn along with me. She was a little nervous about it at first, but once she saw Seamus’ test log and the comments and help I’d been getting on forum, she became comfortable with it.
Seamus had been switched to Lantus in hospital, and started TR as soon as he came home. He responded almost immediately! He was only on ¼ of the dose he’d been put on at the hospital, but he started doing long runs – 24 hours – quickly. Within two weeks he was going 36 hours between shots….
… and on Friday January 16 2015, 23 days after we started TR, Seamus had his last dose of insulin!
Best of all today is how happy Seamus is! He is like a kitten again! He purrs all the time, wants to play ALL THE TIME ….and he even keeps his 6-year junior brother Barley on his toes! We have gotten closer than ever, and Seamus just purrs through testing times.
When I first got the diagnosis, I was devastated. I now look at it as a blessing! My boy is happier than ever, and, with all the help I’ve received on DCI, I now know so much more about how to keep him healthy, in every way!
And, my vet has been so impressed with what Seamus has done, that she shared his log with one of her techs, who has an FD cat! Hopefully her kitty will benefit from the wonders of TR too!
All I can say, is TR is THE ONLY WAY TO GO! It saved my sweet boy!!!
TUVI (France) : Hypurin Bovine Protamine Zinc
Tuvi had probably been FD for at least two years when he was adopted in September 2012. He had been taken in by a rescue group in London a little over a year earlier when his owners abandoned him . They had put him up on an internet personal ad site with “Diabetic cat for £1 or will put to sleep”!
They handed him over with an empty vial of Caninsulin…..
He had to take car, ferry, train and metro to get to me in Paris – and was none too happy about leaving the Sanctuary and the person he loved very much who had been taking care of him!! Testing him was a nightmare – it took 4 hours to manage the first test (and he was used to home testing!). He did settle down well after a few days though with a bit of perserverence!
We started TR right away: His food was switched from around 16% vet food to 5% low carb wet, and he moved from the 3.6u BID (twice a day) of Caninsulin he had been getting to Hypurin Bovine Protamine Zinc and the starting scale with its 1.00u as a top dose.
He did well immediately: 15 and 18 hour runs within the first two weeks with very minor adjustments to his dosing scale…. 24 hour runs his third week of TR. 35 hour runs started happening after 6 weeks… and at the beginning of November he managed close to +120….. in January he managed 6 days…
Towards the end of March he finally went off insulin….. to have to go on it again when steroids in eye drops pushed his BGs up again a month later.
He settled down after 5 days though, and his last shot was at 4h10 on Thursday 2 May 2013.
Today (April 2015), thanks to TR, he is happy, loving and energetic…. he acts more like a 5 year old than the almost 15 year old cat that he is!
… he also, if I can’t really put this down to TR – is now 100% bilingual too… seems you can absolutely teach a cat at least new tricks!
Tuvi is proof that it is never too late… that with the right protocol and with the right food, a cat that has been FD for a good 2.5 years or longer, can go into a diet-controlled remission!
ZEKE (USA) : BCP U100 Bovine Protamine Zinc
Zeke was tested at the vet on 2.18.16 and his BG at the vet was 366. My wife and I started the TR protocol on 2.25.16 using BCP insulin.
Our vet didn’t seem to thrilled with what we were going to do and it made us a bit nervous. However after 8 days of dosing insulin on the TR scale (instead of the blind dose every 12 hours) Zeke had his last insulin shot on 3/4/16!!
Zeke is now normally in the 60-90/3,3 – 5,0 range. He is playful again, affectionate and his fur and entire body look younger. I’m very thankful for this site. I’m also thankful for the help I received from members of this site. In my opinion the ‘TR’ protocol is very logical and it is quite easy to learn. We are so thankful Zeke is off insulin. We hope we have him for many, many more years. We learned so much and our cats will never eat dry food again.
Join us on the DCI Forum to learn how you can help your cat to at least better health… and hopefully into a diet-controlled remission as is the case for Doris, Eddy, Jax, Luna, Mlanio, Samson, Seamus, Tuvi and Zeke!DCI FORUM
- Feline Diabetes Treatment
- What is Tight Regulation (TR)?
- Testing your cat’s blood glucose at home
- Insuline & Storage/Handling
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