I'd like to tell you about my very special cat, Marty.
Marty has always been a little sickly. When I found him, he was skin and bones, flea-infested, and could barely eat because his teeth hurt him so bad. After countless trips to the vet, he was diagnosed as having a massive worm infestation, the worst the vet had ever seen. Once the worms were gone, he still had digestive problems, and he was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In IBD in cats, their immune system attacks their gums at the teeth, making their mouths very sore. He had 8 teeth pulled at the time, and 2 years later had the remaining two teeth pulled, just leaving his 4 canines. He eats dry food by crushing it against the hard pallet on the roof of his mouth. He was put on a daily steroid and an antibiotic to help with his IBD and he healed and became a wonderful indoor cat.
Fast forward about 4 years. His blood sugar had come back elevated for several years in his yearly blood exam, but it wasn't until he lost about 2-3 pounds that I got worried. Last September he was officially diagnosed with diabetes and put on insulin. I was told that in cats that take the Lantus brand of insulin, the diabetes can reverse itself about half the time. The Lantus is about $20 more per month, but the thought that it could reverse is what made me choose it. It is thought that being on a long-term steroid is what caused his diabetes in the first place.
This picture is of Marty with one of my other cats, Felix.
Three weeks ago, Marty had a bad UTI. UTI's are common in diabetics. He was given an antibiotic shot and sent home, and he seemed to recover just fine. Then, last Wednesday, I noticed that he was very lethargic and he was peeing outside the box, so I thought his UTI had come back. I dropped him off at the vet Thursday morning. It turned out that it was much worse. He had crystals in his urine from the infection, and they had blocked his urethra so he couldn't pee. He had an ultrasound, and his bladder had swollen to the size of an orange. So, a catheter was put in. He spent four days at the vet, Thursday-Sunday (today). Eventually, the crystals went away, and the catheter came out on Saturday. I picked him up this morning after church. He is still on medication to bring the swelling in his urethra and bladder down, but he is much better. He has to go to the vet tomorrow to get his Fentenyl patch taken off.
On a very positive note, his diabetes may have reversed itself. He hasn't had insulin since last week Wednesday, but the vet has been checking his blood glucose every 4 hours. His glucose is a very stable 150. 120 is normal in cats, so this is just a little bit elevated. Also, he hasn't had any crashes where his blood sugar has dropped a lot. The vet said to not give him insulin this week, and they would check his blood glucose and fructosamine (A1C) at the end of the week to decide if he should still be taking insulin or not. I'm very, very hopeful. Having him on less medication is a priority, and if his diabetes does not require insulin anymore, this would be a huge relief.
I am so glad to have wonderful vets to take Marty to. They have all been amazing this last week. My final hope is that they would one day invent a drug that could reverse diabetes in humans like it can in cats.