BABY (UK): Canninsulin
Twenty five days to remission !
I started TR on the 31st December 2016 and Baby had his last Insulin shot on the 24th January 2017, for anyone reading this, you will notice the hardest part of TR is NOT practising it.
Baby is a 6 year old male who was diagnosed with Feline Diabetes on the 5th October 2016; he was not what you would call ill when I took him to vets (at this point I had no idea that cats could even be diabetic), so didn’t pick up on the signs. He was however, unknown to me displaying all the classic symptoms of FD, so my first approach was to call in to the vets for advice. I didn’t take him in straight away as he is a very nervous cat outside his own environment and goes in to a complete meltdown. I was told to just keep an eye on him and if I wasn’t happy to bring him in; a few days later I really started to notice he wasn’t right in himself so I booked him in for an appointment that night.
The evening I took him to the vets, the vet checked him over and took his bloods; she said given the list of symptoms I had described she said felt it was very likely he was FD, however she would call me with the results of his blood test in an hour – that hour passed, then I received the call I was dreading, she told me his BG levels where in the 500’s so she had no doubt he was diabetic. I was then advised to bring him back in to the surgery for a discussion on how he was going to be treated or not.
That night I searched online in a blind panic. I think I was probably in denial that this could be the correct diagnosis; he had never been ill in his life and I had only given my cat the best of everything as advised by a vet. All the searches linked with FD kept coming up with TR protocol and dry food being associated with the condition – which made me feel even worse, as I then realised it was my lack of understanding of felines had contributed to his diagnosis. I kept turning over all the symptoms in my mind, it all started to piece together the changes in him, he always slept upstairs on my bed, that stopped – the rational for that was the amount of times he spent on the litter tray during the night & day – he would always playfully attack me when I left the house, that stopped, guess he was just feeling too drained to be bothered with me – the guilt I felt was tremendous.
His second trip to the vets, is somewhat of a blur, she gave me so much information, I couldn’t take it all in, she advised me the only thing I needed to do was buy the prescription FD dry food and Insulin – give him a shot every 12 hours every day with the vetpen – even at this point I knew this wasn’t right as I had read a little on TR so I told her that I would not be buying any food from them, but I would give him the insulin shots.
I asked them if there was any chance he could go in to remission, they told me it was very unlikely, so to accept I would be giving him the shots for life.
I found the DCI Facebook page, which I joined straight away; they messaged me instantly with words of support and gave me the link for the DCI forum. I asked so many questions so I could get this all straight in my head and read every success story on DCI.
Over the next month I went in to the vets at least a couple of times a week getting his blood tested and every time he was in the 500’s so they kept increasing his Insulin dose, in this time I was gaining information from DCI so I was persistent challenging them on the blind dosing and remission possibilities, every time I was told it would not happen the best I could hope for is regulation.
I finally got the courage to try home testing, this did not start well for us at all, he fought me every step of the way. I watched videos and took advice but as much as I tried I couldn’t do it, so I paid a registered vet nurse to come to my home to do testing for curves and show me the technique, however the vet nurse had trouble testing him too, she didn’t always manage to get blood when she tried. This was a real low point for me, I was really stressed and was starting to lose hope as I knew this testing was essential to be able to start him on TR, and more importantly for me to be able to stop blinding dosing as the vet had instructed, (which would have also avoided the hypos he suffered later on). I kept on trying and trying, it was hard but without getting this mastered I knew the outlook did not look good for Baby – DCI kept on supporting me and told me not give up on testing him. After a couple months of trying and not giving up I finally managed to get a few readings, but was still struggling.
I was then out of the country for a couple of weeks and on my return Baby started to decline very quickly, we had episodes of him being ill and needed to be taken to the emergency vets. He then had a combination of choking while in a hypoglycemic state – horrendously I was watching him die in front of me, sheer blind panic. I grabbed hold of him and pushed his stomach, luckily the meat came out of his throat, he was taken in for observation and his blood monitoring.
Leaving him in the vets without knowing he would pull through was the hardest thing I ever had to do. This was down to blind dosing, but from this point I swore I would never give him another Insulin shot without knowing his BG reading first – this could have been avoided.
This pushed me in to doing more and more tests, the more I did it the easier it became, some days better than others but I still kept going, then it just clicked and became no problem at all for us, our deal was the cat got some nice cooked chicken breast – while he was eating I got the tiny blood drop I needed, most of the time he never even noticed, then he just didn’t care – the chicken was too good to resist.
On the 30th December, a few days later, I was discussing Baby on the DCI forum, they asked me when I was going to start him on TR, I said in a few days’ time.. they asked me what I was waiting for. The truth was I was scared, I didn’t want to start it and fail. They made me realise I just had to get it done, so I said I would start it the next day, new year’s eve.
The morning we started, I was nervous but DCI was there every step of the way for me. Over the following 10 days and after adjustments to his scale he started to get better numbers, then on the 9th January he got his first “DD” number, they then kept on coming more and more frequently, the 18th January he started to stretch out his dosing time, going longer and longer until we got to 10:30 on the 24th January when he had his last shot.
Baby is now the cat he used to be, full of energy and life, charging round chasing shadows and toys, sleeping on my bed again, singing in the night, attacking me when I leave the house – I wouldn’t have him any other way.
I took in Baby’s TR log to the vet after he was in remission, he was busy so I left it with the receptionist and told her he could call me if he had any questions.
The vet rang me 2 hours later and said “I am amazed”! He congratulated me, and said he had never known anyone who had done TR before, let alone succeeded. He asked me if he could share Baby’s notes & log with all his colleagues locally and specialists in the area… how could I refuse!
DCI have given me more than just support they have given me and my cat the chance to spend a lot more years together, living a normal life – I will be forever grateful to them both for that!