It’s roughly seven months since Gryff was diagnosed with diabetes and – despite some encouraging progress towards the end of last year – we’re not a whole lot further forward in terms of managing the condition. To say things have been frustrating is a fairly massive understatement.
In January we had a huge set back when for the second time he developed ketoacidosis, a life threatening complication of diabetes. As things stand, we’re not entirely sure what caused this dramatic downturn in his fortunes although we have managed to rule out pancreatitis, a brain tumour, and hyper-thyroidism. One of the few advantages of having a diabetic cat is that you get to know exactly what isn’t the matter with them, even though you’re still not entirely sure what actually is the matter with them.
Until recently we were using Caninsulin, the market leader in insulin treatment for pets, and for a time we had some reasonable results. At 11 units a day we got a reasonable glucose curve but the concern remained that the nadir was too low and the peak too high. Unfortunately at 12 units a day we got a fairly flat curve with some eye wateringly high numbers. In other words, somewhere between the 11 and 12 units, Gryff’s body started doing something unusual, and pretty unhelpful, with the Caninsulin.
We discussed the situation at length with our vet – who, by the way, is absolutely fantastic. The options were to stick at the 11 units a day, and accept the risks associated with the high peak or to move to ProZinc, a newly released product designed specifically for cats. In clinical trials ProZinc does pretty well for cats like Gryff but the downside is going back to a fairly low dose at first while we figure out what the optimum dose looks like. In some ways, changing his insulin is like going all the way back to square one which is not without risks of it’s own.
In the end our decision was made on the basis that we felt ProZinc had to be worth a shot – we’d come this far and if we couldn’t get him any further along on the Caninsulin we owed it to him to see where we could get him to with ProZinc.
He’s been on the new insulin for a week now. The dose is so low that we’re already beginning to see a return of the outward symptoms of his diabetes – weight loss, thirst, and a remarkable volume of pee. We were expecting this and know it should be temporary until we can start getting towards a more realistic dose but it’s hard to see and even more hard not to panic….
Gryff is a special cat and we love him dearly. He makes us laugh – and swear – on a daily basis, he keeps us company, wakes us up for work (even at the weekends) and makes sure we never have enough money to spend on a rock n roll lifestyle. In short, Gryff makes our lives better and in return we’re doing what we can to make his better too.
Upwards and onwards!
Lots of love from WeeGee and Gryff xoxox