cjsmith: (Default)
[personal profile] cjsmith
What an afternoon with Duchess yesterday! She started acting weird, so I took her blood glucose and found it was

21

The number range for cats is similar to that for humans. 100 is a fine number, less than 70 is hypoglycemia, and 40 is a medical emergency.

Went right to the vet and spent the next nearly five hours there. Fed her, squirted sugar gel in her mouth, fed her again... her sugars went up a little but came down again, and eventually they put her on IV dextrose.

At 21 she should have been in a coma or seizing -- near death. The fact she was still moving says frightening things about her adaptation to this level of blood sugar. As it is, she was panting and stumbling. She was ravenous and would eat like crazy if something were offered right next to her nose, but when a bowl was in front of her she couldn't find the food in it even by smell. She would growl and hiss when she was touched. She was also completely blind, probably because her brain was starving and couldn't process data. She had a strong tendency to walk right through a water dish or a food bowl, then keep going until her nose was planted in the corner of two walls of her cage, and then stay there, probably too disoriented to know what to do next. Poor girl!

She finally achieved a glucose reading of 113 shortly before closing. (My wallet thanks you, Duchess - I sure didn't want to transfer you over to the emergency clinic.) She became her normal affectionate and aware self in a surprisingly rapid transition. As we guessed and hoped it would, her vision did come back.

She's off insulin now. I'm sure she'll need to get back on it (by 9:30PM her blood sugar was 214), but she'll certainly have a lower dose.

She's lying near me now, stretched out and purring. *sigh* Poor sweetie.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sharya.livejournal.com
Aww poor Duchess!

I'm glad she's better though. Amazing ability to adapt that's for sure!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
Thanks! Yes, it's incredible, isn't it? In fact, the more I study biology, the more amazed I am at how adaptable life is -- from the amazing diversity on this planet down to how well single individuals can cope with different conditions. It blows my mind.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hnybny.livejournal.com
Aww, sweetie. I'm so glad she rebounded, but how stressful for you both.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad too. I've had a blind cat before, and in this house it wouldn't be so bad because she really wouldn't need stairs. But I'm glad it doesn't have to be that way right now. And Little Girl (my newest kitty) would never have understood if Duchess, her Best Friend Forever, hadn't come home.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyan-blue.livejournal.com
Sending her, and you, best wishes...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
Thanks! She's had a rough time with this diabetes thing. Some cats just never do settle down to a controlled state with a steady dose of meds, and it's clear Duchess is one who will fluctuate until it eventually does her in. For now, I'm glad we're out of the woods, and I'm content to do the routine of constant checking to keep her dose in line with her needs.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] airporter.livejournal.com
I'm very glad Duchess has her vision back after all of that. I'll keep things crossed that she's okay for a long-ish time, and that your stress is minimized. What a day for you. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad she has both her vision and her life. That was awful. I hope I wasn't too much of a stress-case in front of everyone else at the vet clinic: I hadn't had lunch myself (she started to wig out while my lunch was in the microwave, and there it stayed until I got back home at six) and I had been planning to use that afternoon to study (two exams coming up). Plus, y'know, worry for her! I hope I was at least decent to everyone around me.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] airporter.livejournal.com
I'm certain you were fine. You've the experience of dealing with Duchess for a while now, and that of watching other pet parents at your clinic. I'm sure some of their behaviour is way beyond the pale.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
I hope I was fine. I'm not at all sure I'm immune just from having watched. :) But thank you! (And at least I get the chance to go in to work and apologize.)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 09:20 pm (UTC)
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] nosrednayduj
Woo! The lowest Mottle recorded was 33. Glad she's recovering.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
Thanks. 33's not too pretty either, huh? How was Mottle acting at 33?

This disease is no fun.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 12:27 am (UTC)
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] nosrednayduj
She was VERY floppy, and had lost bladder control. (On my bed. Ew.) I didn't actually measure it til I'd smeared some honey all over her gums.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
Ugg. Floppy is pretty bad. Muscle tone all gone is pretty consistent with the loss of bladder control too, now that I think of it. (This is me totally making stuff up. But it sounds about right.)

I measured as soon as Duchess started bumping into things and sniffing everything obsessively (in hindsight, I bet that means she's blind at the time). Then I squeeze a tube of cake decorating gel into her. (Lesson learned: now I choose the kind without dye. Dye is hard to get out of carpet, and it WILL spill.)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladycelia.livejournal.com
Gad, how frightening! Very glad to hear that she's doing better.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
Thanks! It sure was scary. (I don't want to see the vet bill, either, but I can run a tab over there -- I suppose they know they can always take it out of my paycheck!)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-02 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wooddragon.livejournal.com
Poor girl! I'm glad things are back in control.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
Thanks! She's now coasting without the brakes on, which may do her some damage long term but at least she won't suddenly up and DIE on me one fine afternoon. Dang, my poor cat.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] portia.livejournal.com
Poor Duchess. My heart goes out to you both. It sure has been up and down with her and her diabetes.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
She's been on the roller coaster, that's for sure. I wish there were something I could do to make it all work out better, but honestly, besides doing glucose curves more often to tweak her meds, there really isn't. I can't cure it. At least she's (best I can tell) not in pain. My heart breaks for people who know their pets are in pain.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] recordersmith.livejournal.com
Wow. Just...Wow. *hugs*

My kitties are pushing 14 years old (how on earth did that happen??) and I'm starting to fear the future. So far, they are in fabulous health...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
They're senior, but hey, some cats stay healthy for ages. Princess didn't have the slightest health difficulty until age 18 (o'course, she did compensate by starting with some big ones). If it's any consolation, all of mine are 16 or over, and of the three, Duchess is the only one who's high maintenance.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rampling.livejournal.com
Ohhhh! Glad to hear she's out of the woods, with your help. *hugs* to you and e-*pets* to Duchess!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
She gratefully accepts the pets and scritches now that she is herself again! :-) It's a great relief that 99% of the time she has no clue she's sick.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rampling.livejournal.com
That's great that most of the time she's blissfully unaware of this sickness. Ahhhh, cats!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 04:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
I should amend that: she is VERY aware that twice a day, in front of the fridge*, I put down some kitty treats and then do something or other with the fur on the back of her neck. She loves those kitty treats and comes running for them.

* insulin's in the fridge :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 04:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rampling.livejournal.com
Ahhh, that's true. At least she hasn't associated that weird back-of-the-neck thing with kitty treats, and still comes running. That's great!

I usually admire Mira's mellowness and relaxedness, but then I remember her excited eagerness when she decides it's dinnertime. Her patience isn't too huge when *she* Needs Food Now.

I'd been afraid of bribing Mira with treats before clipping her claws, fearing she'd learn to not come running for the treats. But, maybe she'd be like Duchess.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
To be honest, I'm not sure Duchess minds the needle at all. Occasionally she gives a twitch of the skin to let me know she felt it, but often there's absolutely no reaction. Whether that means she feels nothing or she's just too absorbed in treats, I can't tell! :-) Claw-clipping might be a more difficult thing to trade for treats. It lasts longer and is more restrictive (in terms of her ability to move while you do it).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 06:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jupiter29.livejournal.com
Aww, the poor thing. I'm glad she is so much better now. (*hugs*)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
Thanks! She's a trooper, that Duchess. As soon as her brain was back on line, she treated us all with courtesy and didn't hold any of our actions against us. Even though she had a weird plastic thing taped to her arm. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsjafo.livejournal.com
I'm glad she's better now.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-03 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cjsmith.livejournal.com
Thanks! Me too. What a relief. She gave me a good scare this time.