Saturday, November 1, 2008

My big kitty, the diabetic

Yesterday was Jasper's big day at the vet. I've mentioned previously that he has had problems with high blood sugar, so when we took Lola in for her checkup and shots last week, we took him along to have his blood tested again. Sure enough, it was high--over 400. So not good. The tests they ran this time determined that he is definitely diabetic--that the sugar in his blood stays high over extended periods of time, and is not due to anxiety as we previously thought (extreme stress can cause cats' levels to shoot up). So yesterday we took him back to have his first insulin injection and stay there for the day to be monitored and determine dosages.

I dropped him off in the morning, and we both went back in the evening to meet with our awesome vet to discuss the results and have a lesson in giving the insulin injections and testing his blood glucose level. It turns out that they are both super easy, and while I still feel slightly squeamish about the needles, so far I've been able to put my personal phobias aside to give him his twice-daily injections (on the other hand, I'm still putting off going to the hospital lab to get my own bloodwork done). It's just a quick prick in the scruff between his shoulder blades--most cats can't even feel it. We have a box of 100 tiny syringes in the kitchen cupboard and a tiny bottle of insulin (human grade, thank you) in the refrigerator.

We also got him some prescription food, which he'll actually eat--a suprise to me, because Jasper is notoriously picky about food. We switched brands after the recalls last year (the brand we used had certain products, though not the ones we used, pulled), and finding new, safe, foods that both Jacob and Jasper would eat was a challenge (we didn't have Lola then). Jasper wouldn't eat more than a couple bites at a time of Newman's Own dry food, and Jacob would only eat it begrudgingly after determining that a different kind wasn't going to appear. Then we used PetGuard dry food, which they liked enough to eat, but we had to drive an hour round trip to get it at Whole Foods. We finally struck gold when we found a little, family-owned specialty pet food store in Dracut. Now we keep all three cats fat and happy with Wysong Vitality dry food and Artemis Chicken and Evanger's Whole Mackerel canned foods. And by fat, I mean healthy. Jasper's weight problem is much more under control now--he's actually cat-shaped instead of blob-shaped! He weighed 25.9 pounds in February, and now he's down to 20.2 pounds--still a heavy cat, but a much more reasonable weight for his kitty height. Comparably, Lola weighs exactly eight pounds now and Jacob weighed 18.5 pounds at his last checkup in February. Jacob and Jasper are just incredibly large-bodied cats.

Between Jasper's supplies and my various prescription bottles and cut-up pills (I can't help it that they don't come in my dosage!) lying around in the kitchen and bathroom, I feel like I'm running a crack house.

P.S. I know you love the picture of two of my favorite men lounging on the ugly couch. Jason rocks the Xbox 360 headset.

P.P.S. I don't literally have pills lying around. I'm not THAT careless.


TC said...

He's a cutie :) Glad you've got him on something that will work :)

April said...

Oh your poor kitty! SO glad things are being taken care of now!!!