|Seamus and his Daddy doing a little bonding|
|Stoker Welcomes Seamus to the Family|
|Ruby Jean on her favourite perch: |
the roof of the house
Which takes me to another topic. Am I the only one who has noticed the change in pet foods, certainly over the last 30 years but conspicuously over the last 10? Am I the only one who remembers going to get groceries and finding a half-dozen options on the shelf to choose from? Clearly, pet food has become a multi-million dollar industry with options that include lamb, duck and rabbit; gluten free; high protein/low carb; sweet potato; holistic; organic; and the list goes on. I mean, really, who is this marketing directed at? My cats are pretty darn smart but I’m pretty sure none of them read and, if they did, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess, it wouldn’t be for the purpose of reading labels. But I am a label reader and it should come as no surprise that, if we have spent this much money on a cat, I would be interested in what we were feeding them. It’s really quite amazing what comes out of those cans. While the first ingredient might be meat (or water), it is quickly followed by a myriad of fillers such as corn, wheat, peas rice, sweet potato. . . in fact, without feeding a ‘raw diet’ (and that’s an entirely different pursuit altogether) we are, in essence, feeding our pets pretty much the same thing we are eating ourselves. . . and isn’t that exactly what we have always been advised NOT to do? Cats are carnivores, where as we are omnivores. The fact that we need different diets should come as no surprise. But I get ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.
Day 1: May 23th 4.52kg After spending the day running back and forth to the vet, attending a 10-minute ‘diabetes clinic’ with a technician, and armed with prescription cat food, I am off to the pharmacy to collect a bottle of Glargine Insulin (brand name Lantus) and syringes. This is a first for me; I have always collected medications from my vet. After hitting 3 pharmacies without success of finding a vial of insulin, with a sick cat waiting in the car, (thankfully, it's a cold and blustery day) I bite the bullet and purchase the much more costly loaded insulin pens and a box of 100 needles. I am unconvinced the DM food is necessary but, if you’re going to drop $1,000, what is the point of quibbling over the price of a few cans of cat food? After his first shot, Seamus has noticeably perked up but whether that is due to the insulin or the fact that he was stressed from being in a crate, travelling back and forth to the vet, and is finally home, in familiar surroundings, who knows. In fact, he did much better with his first shot than I did. The ‘ultra fine’ needles recommended by the pharmacy are problematic. They are not only very short, they bend. It doesn’t help that I am not adept at administering but we do, after a fashion, get it done. I’m really hoping Seamus has nothing that can be transmitted to me; I managed to poke myself as many times as I poke him. I admit, he is not ecstatic about the pricey DM food. The plan is to regulate his food and start him at a very low insulin dose, after which he will be given a glucose curve test to help determine dosage.
|the fan belt incident|
June 5, 2014 This morning, Seamus was ‘not a pig’ which means he ate an entire can of DM plus his 2 tbsp of deer meet but did so over a half-hour time period without completely gorging himself. He is extremely bored so on occasion, I let him out for a spell. Alternatively, I let his brother in for a bit of companionship; his sister lacks indoor manners and is not the least bit interested in acquiring them. The first thing Seamus does is walk over and bite poor Stoker in the butt. Haven’t seen that in awhile. We take that to mean he is happy to see him. We have resigned ourselves that he will eventually be a housecat. Try as we might to keep him off our bed, we have also resigned ourselves that he is most content sleeping with us ON the bed rather than BESIDE the bed. Hope the other cats don’t find out.
The other thing Eric and I were talking about last night was Seamus' sleeping position. While most cats curl up to sleep, Seamus is now stretched right out. This might be as simple as finding the increased warmth of the outdoor-to-indoor transition. . . I know I certainly find it much warmer now that we have an extra sheet on the bed to keep the copious amount of cat hair off the duvet cover! It might mean that this is the most comfortable position which begs the question 'why?' I have a lot of 'whys'. There are some areas where his blood work is slightly but consistently off, including liver and pancreas. Now that I have gone through Seamus' chart, why is his blood levels no more regulated than when he was diagnosed and not on insulin? Why did his glucose curve test results vary so dramatically from my own? I have never hit less than a double digit number except that one day when it was too low.
|A final sunbathe|
Seamus is no longer interested in the DM prescription food. . . perhaps it doesn't agree with him as he seems lethargic within half an hour or so but was ready to go back outside around 2pm. Supper consisted primarily of large chunks of moose meat that he pick out of the Authority and DM mixed with it. He was excited to get the venison treat for bednight lunch too.
Last night was a difficult night for all of us. I am not a crier for the most part but last evening I just couldn't stop. I have seen enough dying animals in my time to know where we are headed. I am really at a loss as I can think of nothing else I can do for our poor little guy. I know we are losing him.
I spend considerable time going back through all of his records and all that I can consistently see is that levels to do with liver, blood glucose and pancreas(?) are consistently slightly off. . . not enough to raise a concern. . . just off. We have known something was 'off' with this little guy from the get go. Almost every vet who has seen him has agreed there appears to be some unknown underlying symptom to his health 'weirdisms'. We thought it was his cardiomyopathy. Perhaps we are wrong. Even though his blood work is less than a month old, I think we need to start from scratch. . . if it isn't too late. I fear there may be no going back.