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Can Change Of Food Give A Cat High Blood Sugar Levels? Please Read!

heep80

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Hi,

One of my cats started drinking water constantly a few weeks ago causing him to pee a lot. I thought it might be his kidneys since he is after all 12 ½ years old.
I took him to the vet and she ran several tests on him such as kidneys, liver, blood sugar, thyroid gland, etc. Turns out the kidneys were healthy, but the blood sugar was very high.
The vet said the cat might be suffering from diabetes, but then she told me sometimes cats get stressed out in certain situations and the blood sugar temporarily goes up.
So I paid for another test which I don't know what it's called in English. "Long term blood sugar" in my language. It also showed a high blood sugar level, so she concluded my cat has diabetes.
This cat has been treated for other conditions in the past and due to that the cat also has a number of other serious health problems that may or may not be treatable, the vet said she thought it would be best for the cat to finally be euthanized. :bawling:
This is scheduled to be done tomorrow, but for some reason the cat has not been drinking a lot of water and peeing today. I don't understand why, because he has been doing it for over 3 weeks every day, A LOT of pee. Why would he stop all of a sudden? :confused2:
I did change the brand of food to a cheaper kind a few weeks ago. Is it possible that this somehow raised his blood sugar level? Including this other "long term blood sugar" level, whatever it's called in English? Maybe this is a crazy question, but please I have to know.
Note that another cat from the same litter who also lives here and eats the same food is not suffering from the same health issues!
Or could it simply be that his body is shutting down and he stopped drinking because he is feeling too sick???
I think the "long term blood sugar" might be what is called Glycosylated Hemoglobin in English. It reflects the average blood sugar level for the past 6–8 weeks, in particular the most recent 3–4 weeks.
Would it do any good to have another blood sugar level test done tomorrow before they go ahead with the euthanization or is it unlikely he is suddenly better?
 
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FeebysOwner

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Hi. Yes, I believe it is possible that a cheaper food could have a lot more carbohydrates in them and raise blood sugar levels over time. High-protein, low-carbohydrate, low-fat, and high fiber diet is often recommended for cats thought to have diabetes. Can you go back to what you were feeding him before?

I am not sure what 'long term blood sugar' means. Maybe it is because the blood sugar was high for more than one test, and that makes it long term.

I also don't know what other health issues your cat has that is affecting his overall health. Not knowing this makes it hard for me to suggest anything tangible. But, 12 1/2 yo doesn't necessarily have to be considered too old to help work through some health issues. Why didn't the vet want to treat his possible diabetes?

How is he doing otherwise? If he is doing fairly well, I wouldn't be able to give up on him just yet - but, then again, I don't know what other issues are going on that would put your vet to the point of suggesting euthanasia. You do need to pay close attention to what else is going on with him that would explain why he now is drinking less and peeing less. Is he eating OK? Did you change his food again to something with more protein and less carbohydrates?

Note: Just because one cat reacts a certain way to food changes doesn't necessarily mean all other cats will too - especially when there are other medical issues involved.
 
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heep80

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Hi! Thanks for answering!
Besides that he has been drinking and peeing a lot, he has also been acting very tired like just laying around all the time. He is still doing this today, even though he is not drinking very much today or peeing.
He has for several months been throwing up occasionally although I believe that is due to him eating too fast, when we make him take breaks he doesn't throw up.
For the past 2 weeks he has also been eating a lot less though like he hasn't had much of an appetite.
I am not sure about the contents of the new food brand (a wet food), but he also has his hard food which is supposed to be a good kind (Hill's Prescription Diet).
The other major health issue with him is FORL which he has been treated for twice before. Many teeth has been extracted. Now the FORL has attacked the few teeth he has left and the vet said if we decide to try to treat the diabetes then the FORL needs to be deal with too ASAP before it starts hurting him.
Of course this costs a lot of money. I have no pet insurance and I am self pay for all these expenses. I also have two other cats, which has had numerous health issues in the past (but are currently healthy). Anyway the vet said he may need insulin shots if medication turns out not to work. I don't want to put him under the stress of daily insulin shots. And even if I would try with medication, he would need to go on regular health checkups to make sure the levels are stabile. I think it's too much stress for a cat to go through all this, then the FORL problem on top of it having to pull his last teeth.
However, I don't want to go through with the euthanization if the blood sugar level was inaccurate and it's back to normal. That is why I wrote this post here to ask if there is any point in requesting a new blood sugar level reading tomorrow, before the planned euthanization. If he is ok now with the blood sugar, I want to treat his FORL and give him a chance to live. But not if we also have to go down the route with medications, injections etc.
 

LTS3

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So I paid for another test which I don't know what it's called in English. "Long term blood sugar" in my language. It also showed a high blood sugar level, so she concluded my cat has diabetes.
Most likely a fructosamine test, very similar to the AC1 test for Human diabetics.

Stress can elevate blood glucose levels but not to the point where it induces diabetes.

Did you change the diet after the vet concluded your cat has diabetes? A diet change from high carb to low carb can lower blood glucose levels and symptoms may improve.

The correct diet for a diabetic cat (any cat, really) is one that is low in carbs. "Kitty Atkins" diet. Canned foods are preferred over dry food. Prescription foods are not needed at all and do not help the diabetes at all despite what vets say.

Many cats will need both diet and insulin to get the blood glucose levels under control at first and some cats go into remission after a short time on insulin and are controlled by diet only.

You can join the FelineDiabetes.com message board for additional help and info on managing a diabetic cat: Feline Diabetes Message Board - FDMB
 

FeebysOwner

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Echo LTS3 LTS3 !

As far as daily insulin shots, I have a neighbor who has a cat that is about 15 yo that has been receiving daily insulin shots for maybe 8 years. Admittedly, he has had to stay on the shots; but, once you get the hang of it, it is no big deal - at least not for my neighbor's cat anyway. It's part of his life. And, I do know once the right dosage has been determined, the check ups become less often.
 
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heep80

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Most likely a fructosamine test, very similar to the AC1 test for Human diabetics.
All his life he has been eating standard Whiskas wet food. At several points I've tried to change his feed to both more expensive and cheaper brands, but he hasn't liked them very well.
Then I switched to this other cheaper brand about a month ago which he seemed to like at first but after a week or so he got tired of it and started eating mostly dry food. It was around the time I changed the food the problems (drinking / peeing) seemed to start but it could also be a total coincidence I suppose.
I have looked the the nutritional declaration on the cans and Whiskas doesn't mention how much carbs it contains. It just says Protein 10%, Fat 4%, "Raw ash" 2% (looked it up and it says it's the term for the non-nutritional substances such as trace elements and minerals), Crude fiber 0.3, Water 81. The % are the amount of percentages of the 400 g (14 oz) can.
The food I changed to says Protein 6%, Fat 4,5%, Raw ash 2%, Crude fiber 0,5%, Water 81%.
So as far as I can see, the two products are made out of relatively similar contents.
I changed back to Whiskas a couple days ago and it seemed like he drank less water / peed less, but maybe I'm fooling myself because I want to believe he is already better so I don't have to go through with the euthanization.

I understand that neither of these wet cat foods may be proper choices for a diabetic cat but I was mostly wondering if the high sugar levels could have been entirely caused by the change of food. But as you can see, they seem like they are very much the same as far as contents.
Or, alternatively, that the fact he got tired of the cheaper food and started consuming more dry food, has something to do with it?

I will make sure to discuss all these concerns with the vet before they go ahead with putting him to sleep.
 

LTS3

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Diabetes is easily managed. It is NOT a death sentence and euthanasia is NOT the option.There are groups who will take in diabetic cats if the owner is unwilling to care for the cat's needs. You can ask on the Feline Diabetes group I linked above.

You can find carb content of many canned / wet foods here: https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf

Under 10% carbs is ideal for diabetics. All your cats can eat the same food. If you can get did if the dry food for all the cats, that would be ideal.

Dry food does keep blood glucose elevated because it is very carb dense, up to 39% or more carbs per cup. A life long dry food only diet causes diabetes in many cats.
 
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heep80

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Diabetes is easily managed. It is NOT a death sentence and euthanasia is NOT the option.There are groups who will take in diabetic cats if the owner is unwilling to care for the cat's needs. You can ask on the Feline Diabetes group I linked above.

You can find carb content of many canned / wet foods here: https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf

Under 10% carbs is ideal for diabetics. All your cats can eat the same food. If you can get did if the dry food for all the cats, that would be ideal.

Dry food does keep blood glucose elevated because it is very carb dense, up to 39% or more carbs per cup. A life long dry food only diet causes diabetes in many cats.
Thank you for the link and the information. I have scheduled a consultation with the veterinarian today before the planned euthanasia, to discuss medications and change of diet. So do you think it would be okay to feed him and the other cats only low carb wet food? Because from experience I know that it's difficult to change his habits with food and if I was to offer both wet and dry and he doesn't care for the new wet food, he will ignore it and just eat the dry.
 

LTS3

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All cats do well on a low carb wet / canned food only diet:agree: Just do a diet change slowly to avoid upset tummies. Have patience with the food change. Some cats are really stubborn and it may take months to completey change the diet.

Tips: Transitioning Your Cat From Kibble To A New Type Of Food (canned, Raw, Or Homemade)

If some dry has to be fed, there are some brands that are fairly low carb. You can ask on the Feline Diabetes board for recommended brands.
 

silkenpaw

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Although some human diabetes can be caused by diet, I don’t believe this is the case in cats. And of course all cats do well on a low carbohydrate diet, that’s what
they would get in the wild.

My cat has diabetes. She gets an insulin shot twice a day. The shots are very easy to give and the cat does not mind them at all. It all depends on how easily insulin is available in your country.
 

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Thank you for the link and the information. I have scheduled a consultation with the veterinarian today before the planned euthanasia, to discuss medications and change of diet. So do you think it would be okay to feed him and the other cats only low carb wet food? Because from experience I know that it's difficult to change his habits with food and if I was to offer both wet and dry and he doesn't care for the new wet food, he will ignore it and just eat the dry.
I am concerned that your vet is misinformed or misinforming you. Please get a second opinion from a different vet before choosing to end your cat's life. As others said, diabetes is not a death sentence.
 

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