Barnaby is a 9yr old DSH MN kitty that has been coming to our hospital for the past year. He is strictly indoor and shares his home with two other cats. When we examined him a year ago, Barnaby was overweight at 17.2lbs. The owner changed his diet to a high quality, grain free, weight management dry food to try to get the excess weight off of him. He had been doing well until he recently came in for lameness. On physical exam, it was found that Barnaby had lost a significant amount of weight and his “lameness” was actually a change in his gait and stance. He was walking on his ankles or hocks which can be a sign of diabetes. Blood work was immediately performed and he had a severely elevated blood glucose of 548 (normal range is 64-120). He also had a large amount of glucose in his urine.
Diabetes affects about 2% of our indoor cats and the culprit is DRY FOOD. Even high quality, grain free dry food contains too many carbohydrates and not enough protein for our cats. Feeding strictly canned, freeze dried, or raw diets to cats will prevent any possibility of your cat developing insulin dependent diabetes. There are plenty of diets made specifically to treat diabetes but those diets can be expensive and typically are lower quality than other high end commercial canned food. We also love freeze dried and raw diets for our cats.
We decided to not start insulin on Barnaby since he was still feeling okay and he was not in diabetic ketoacidosis (he was a stable diabetic when he was brought in). Barnaby was started on Nature’s Variety INSTINCT canned food and all dry food/treats were removed from his life. The owner was told that a food change does not cure all cats and he may need insulin injections, so he was brought back in 4 days to have his blood sugar checked. His blood sugar was 194 four days after starting canned food and 95 eleven days after stopping all dry food. We cured Barnaby’s diabetes with a simple diet change in 11 days!!
We use nutrition to fix many of our pet’s health ailments! It is so great that Barnaby does not need twice daily insulin injections for the rest of his life. He and his owner couldn’t be happier!