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Diabetes - Gangrene, Cushing's Disease? - Skin Turning Purple And Black

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by Yoheved79, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Yoheved79

    Yoheved79 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Apr 15, 2018
    I have a 15 year old Male cat who was a rescue and looks very much like a Ragdoll. Even though he has no "official paperwork" he seems to be plagued with a lot of ailments common to that breed.

    In August of 2017 he was diagnosed with Small Cell Lymphoma and given 8 weeks to live. I immediately started him on Prednisolone and opted not to do exploratory surgery. Thankfully it was a good choice. After going to 3 different vets, a surgeon and then ended up at a Veterinary Internist's office he was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease and so he remained on the Prednisolone and we agreed to monitor him by having me return in 2-3 months.

    Upon my return we did a Echo and found that his heart had enlarged to 20 millimeters which was very alarming. It was something the Internist say's can happen when on steroids so we needed to change his regime. We then put him on .25mil of Dexamethasone and .25mil of Furosemide and after several months his heart size went down to 15 millimeters. He has been on those dosages for 10 months.

    Then 5 weeks ago a terrible Upper Respiratory Infection spread through my house. After 3 visits to the ER over the weekend with my 19 and now 16 year old's I thought they were both going to die since they are already immunocompromised. The ER's did little to help and them and I immediately got them in to see my Internist on Monday. She quickly diagnosed the 16 year old Ragdoll looking kitty names Chai with Diabetes.

    I won't go into all the details but no one would really tell me what to do. The Internist prescribed Lantus, 1 unit twice a day and sent me on my way. The next day I went to pick it up and was so confused about everything, when to administer it, how to store the Lantus, buying a Alpha tracker etc. i watched some Youtube videos and have done the best I can.

    Two days after he was diagnosed I noticed some strange lacerations on his rear feet. It was actually on the heel or area where the "metacarpal bone" meets the plantar pad (so it's the part that does not touch the ground when he walks). I did what most probably would, cleaned it out with a littler peroxide and a dab of neosporin (I know that's probably poopooed by many) and then my thought was it was an ulcer. It seemed to go away a little over the next few days and then it came back, but this time it came back as scaly skin that was flaking and hair was coming out. The area that was now bald had skin that was turning black.

    I took my cat to my regular vet and he said that Chai probably has a bacterial infection and he sold me a topical ointment called Dermalone which I applied twice a day for a week. It did nothing. In fact the spots were getting larger, the skin was getting drier, welts started to form all over this area on both his kind feet. The vet then told me he needs to have his skin conditioned so he needs to take Omega 3 oils.

    This entire time since these spots surfaced i have strongly urged that these spots are due to poor regulation of his Glucose and incorrect dosages of insulin but no one has really listened to me.

    Between yesterday and today my cats tail (the last 3 inches) has also turned black, the hair easily falls out when I gently glide my hand over it and the hair comes off with pieces of dried skin attached. Half of this area is now bald and i noticed when he walks he is now dragging his tail where before he would raise it. Another development today as well is that I started to further investigate all 4 of his feet more closely even the areas where there is fur and sadly i found these jet black spots some the size of a dime all over his rear paws and feet. The hair is still there but if i gently tug on it the hair will come out just as it did on his tail. However none of the skin on his toes have changed color, yet. I also noticed a lot more purplish coloring forming over the past 2 days and this area also feels very bony. He is walking but he seems wobbly in the rear as I would suspect he is in pain. I also noticed that sometimes after eating or after getting the insulin he will lay down on his stomach with his paws in front under his chest and he bows his head down. It's not a position I have ever seen him spend any amount of time in and it again looks like he's in pain.

    I contacted my vet because i am freaking out and my gut is telling me his Diabetes is not being regulated correctly. They actually recommended I take him to a veterinary dermatologist and i can't get a Appt with one for almost a month. So I was able to make an appointment on Saturday to either have the vet do a Glucose curve over 8 hours or a Fructosamine test, (they are pushing towards the Fructosamine).

    Has anyone out there ever experienced this, what are your thoughts as to why his skin is turning purple, black, swelling, hair is falling out on his hind feet and end of his tail, what might you think it is and what would you do because i am worried he's on the path of having his feet and tail amputated due to Gangrene which my vet and Internist said is most likely not the case? Any help is much appreciated!?

    I included two photos, it's really hard to get a shot of his tail without the flash so you can't really see how dark the spots are. in the photos they look more grey than black but they are just as dark as the spot on his foot which I also attached.


    Attached Files:

  2. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

    Aug 29, 2014
    No idea but you should also post on the FelineDiabetes.com message board to get additional advice from other diabetic cat owners. Maybe someone there had experienced something similar before.

    Steroids such as prednisolone can induce diabetes-like symptoms in some cats. Long term use can cause diabetes but oftentimes stopping the steroid use will resolve the diabetes.

  3. Yoheved79

    Yoheved79 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Apr 15, 2018
    Thanks so much for the quick reply. I will post there as well. My internist did consider stopping the steroids but she said that would not be good for his heart IBD so she reduced it to .2mL, I am in agreement that it probably needs to be stopped. I think dying from Diabetes and falling apart and rotting is far worse than dying from the IBD if I had a choice but I could be wrong.

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