Sunday, 3 August 2014

Magical Update

Mainly very good news from Thursday's vet visit at the Glasgow University Vet School's Small Animal Hospital with Magic. This place literally has been a lifeline for my girlie. The staff are wonderful and really know their stuff as well as genuinely relating to their animal patients which is so reassuring.
The weekend before I'd done another glucose curve which showed a lovely stable blood sugar profile in the range of 5-8mmols with no seriously low hypo readings that made me want to wet myself. I was again humbled by how accommodating she was in allowing me to repeatedly stab her ears to check her readings. I was grateful she worked with me but sad to see the little haematoma I had caused on her ear with the repeated testing. The twice daily routine tests I do have allowed me to pinpoint which varieties of food have the least or most impact on her blood sugar which is useful info for the future.
In herself, Magic has become more playful and although I thought she was bright enough she has been doing a little more like raiding the toy box for something to play with and giving Red some decent hisses. Luckily the hissing is the usual 'wind and water' that doesn't even scare my wussie boy-cat!  

As usual at her appointment she was a little star and did her usual potter round the reception desk afterwards to say hello to the lovely receptionists. She came home with a leg bandage which displeased her greatly and I was struggling to loosen or cut it off until I realised I could just slide it off. Note the little poodle-style sock haircut on her leg from her time in ITU. Note also we do NOT mention it, point at it or worse laugh at it.....!
The offending bandage...
Her blood sugar levels have been going well on the 1unit of insulin and following a very positive lab sugar and fructosamine test she has been reduced to half a unit of insulin twice daily. Although its only been a day and a half she has been stable on this which I am delighted about.

Her vet was most cheeky when I asked if she thought a remission might be on the horizon. She said she was hopeful we were going in the right direction as "1unit for a cat of her weight was almost too low a dose to be controlling diabetes".....huh, my girl a chubby puss...I'm outraged...well, ok, maybe 5.4kg is on the voluptuous side, but we never speak of a lady's weightEmoji I've been cautioned against being too hopeful that she is achieving remission but each step is very positive.

On Friday the vet called with the latest blood results. She still has some results which are outwith normal but most have been heading in the right direction and they are very pleased with how things are progressing. However one dark cloud is looming as her creatinine has come back as elevated and is raising concerns that her kidneys may be developing signs of a degree of failure. We've come through so much recently and I am just hoping that perhaps it is maybe a reaction to the traumatic insult her body has had to handle as I can't really face up to another problem right now.

The vet was adamant that I didn't feed her the high protein diabetic food if her kidneys are in trouble but, as Magic has absolutely no intention of even looking at that stuff, there is not much chance of this being an issue. Trust her to develop a condition that stops her getting onto a diabetes control regime!

On Tuesday, after she allowed me to cut her nails, I removed her soft collar that was protecting the healing oesophageal tube site. It is looking a little tattered as she is a bit of a neck scratcher. My sewing skills are not up to much but I definitely think this is prettier than her exploded bandage look!
As a little side issue, since her collar came off she has developed a 'necklace' of bumpy spots around her neck. I'd initially thought the first two at either side were from the failed central line placement during her surgery but they were soon joined by half a dozen more.
I found it quite hard to get a look at them as, if I wasn't helping her scratch them, she was not interested in wasting time raising her neck. The vet thinks they are just from clipper rash and has prescribed a once daily antibiotic which is clearing them up beautifully.

Since she came home during her tube feeds and essential diabetes care I have signalled that we are in serious care mode by putting a towel down on the sofa and telling her what is happening. At all other times when the towel is gone she is quite safe from any treatment interventions and happily sleeps there or comes up for cuddles. As I needed to give her the oral antibiotic directly and with the nail trimming I chose to do this elsewhere so that I did not confuse her, or worse lose her compliance. And what hell both of them have been. This little girl who allows me to stab her with lancets and needles turns into a ninja octopus when it comes to giving her half a tablet or a mani-pedi. So I was right keeping the two strands of her care apart and it proves cats are a law unto themselves.


  1. Been down the kidney failure route too...*sigh*..if it's not one thing with's another.
    Kisses all round.
    Jane x

  2. Paws up for all the progress - and how great that Magic is feeling so much better!

  3. We're delighted that Magic is getting on better and is eating well. She is a little star putting up with all the different treatments she has to endure.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  4. We're happy to hear Magic is doing better. Continued purrs that she continues to do well...and the kidneys don't become an issue.

  5. Sending purrs for Magic, you have really been through it little girl, with this but it sounds like things are turning around a bit and it's good progress. Diabetes in cats can be utterly confounding and it can take a while to get to that magical moment of things being stable or even going into remission.. I think you are doing brilliantly. Magic is very lucky to have you to care for her.

    I know the kidney curveball has now been thrown into the mix, but the palatable food issue is a hard one. In the UK, we just don't have enough to choose from. My ape found a brand called "Bozita" which has no soya, no grains at all, it smells good, comes in about a million flavours and has been eaten by all the cats who have lived here over the years. It smells ok to humans too. You can buy it online in the UK, I used to use a supplier called "Seapets" The wet food is the very low carb one, the dry has higher carbs.

    It's a little known secret that one of the cheaper brands of tinned wet food "Butchers" is soya and grain free too. Very low carbohydrate, smells ok compared to most wet foods and cats do seem to like it.

    Might be worth asking your vet about these foods (be prepared to be told only the most expensive diabetic prescription food is the only thing you must use, even if Magic won't eat it) But it might be worth a go.

    Bozita have a website, and their customer relations people will get back to you with info and advice if you ask. I think they are based in Denmark.

    Your vets (Glasgow! you are so lucky to be near the vet school!) have an excellent reputation, it sound like they are really on the case

    Sending you big purrs Magic!


  6. What a thoughtful update. I'm new here, so I had to read back to get the full story on Magic's health. You two are so very blessed to have each other. Peace to all of you,

  7. first off, you do not dose a cat on weight.. you dose by glucose. I've had 15-17lb cat on 1 unit before, and yes, it did help.

    second protein is not damaging to the kidneys, it is the QUALITY of the protein that is the problem.. The harder a cat's kidneys have to work it is the issue. In humans kidneys work a little harder with protein, but cats being obligate carnivores means they are designed to digest protein and do it well.

    Both comments from your vet are old school thinking..

    I am very happy to read that Magic is doing so well.. and yes, remission is very possible with a low carb diet.. I've gotten many cats off insulin.


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