Renn is currently at the veterinary hospital. Nothing is untoward and I await the telephone call to bring him home, though that won’t be until later this afternoon.
For now, I can apprise you of Parker’s progress. I am still working to control his diabetes, though I think a major step forward has been taken this weekend. I conducted a ‘curve’ on the sturdy boy five weeks ago, and he did well. His number didn’t reach lower than twelve, but the doctor considered that to be very good, considering where he had been. It was also reflective of a stability in his insulin dosage. Then, the weekend before this one just past, I performed another ‘curve’, and Parker’s nadir didn’t reach even sixteen. This was disappointing.
I spoke to his doctor about raising Parker’s dosage, which neither of us want. We have been working to reduce it, and increasing it would be a motion backward. We considered as well switching the kind of insulin he is given. In any case, the doctor wanted me to run another ‘curve’ on my guest to make sure of the previous results.
Then, by chance, I noticed that, though he likes his current varieties of food, the orange boy doesn’t clean his dish, as he had the odd time I gave him Merrick brand chicken, the same sort the perma-cats receive. So I thought of giving him that instead. Though I was pretty sure Merrick is low in carbohydrates – Tucker, also diabetic, eats it – I researched further. I had been using a couple of charts that detailed the ingredients of various foods for diabetic cats, but very recently came across an extremely detailed chart compiled just this year – and, coincidentally, devised by a veterinary who had written some other information that the rescue-group with whom I work has used.
Parker’s two soft-foods were Koha chicken (and turkey, now and then) and Blue Freedom Grain-free. According to this new chart, the latter’s carbohydrate count is seven, just at the edge of what one wants to feed a diabetic feline. Koha, however, of which I thought better, was at eleven, and I had just started feeding it to Parker.
So prior to this weekend, I switched my foster-cat to Merrick chicken. I then conducted a ‘curve’ on him yesterday. The results showed marked improvement. Parker’s numbers dropped to twelve, even a few tenths of a point below the good results of five weeks before.
Though these are not conclusive, I suspect the change in diet was to blame for the unfortunate numbers a week ago. I of course do not want to switch any cat back and forth from one food to another. I want to keep them consistent, especially the diabetes boys. But I also want something that they enjoy. With two brands for variety – both very low in carbohydrates – and a third on stand-by in case he tires of one or another, I think I have achieved the stability that satisfies both Parker’s health and his palate. I will perform another ‘curve’ on him to make sure, but not for another month. I think his doctor will agree that the diet – its change and the timing of it – were the cause of the bad numbers.
This also means that Parker will be able to have a dental that he needs. We have been waiting for some consistency in his diabetes-treatment. After some disappointment, I believe the path ahead is now rather encouraging.
(By the way, you can probably see the sturdy-boy’s misaligned jaw in these pictures. He doesn’t need his mouth open to breath, but I think it opens when he lies like this. Who knows what happened to him before he was rescued, but his slightly crooked jaw and jutting chin don’t cause him pain – they just give him personality.)
Whatever Parker's past, he certainly is getting the love and care he needs and deserves now. Great news re: the curve after the food change.ReplyDelete
BTW, this shows how little I know: I would have thought that all grain-free pet foods would be low-carb. What's the filler that is the carb? Potato?
In most high-carbohydrate foods potatoes and corn seem to be the culprits (eg. Friskies Indoor rates corn as the first ingredient, while First Mate has potato). Koha lists no such ingredients, nor do some of the other low-but-not-low-enough foods. It's a good product, I'm sure, just not quite right for Parker. I'm still learning myself, which is why my cats sometimes pay the price of my education.Delete
give him personality :) sounds like you have him figured out - we are so glad he has you on his side for all thisReplyDelete
parker....ewe iz one handsum dood .....for sure..... we R glad a dietary change seemz ta haz helped; we had a pal on catster bak in de dayz oh old that waz abe bull ta stop injectionz bee coz oh what him eated .... troo leeReplyDelete
renn we hope bye now ewe iz home frum de eeeeeeeevil place N all went well ~~~~~ ♥♥♥
We're so glad to hear the change in diet has helped Parker. Unfortunately with diabetic cats, getting a balance between food and insulin can sometimes be difficult. But hopefully the improvement in his numbers will continue. He's so lucky to have you caring for him.ReplyDelete
I keep an eye on his water-intake, his urination, thickness of his urine, his rear-end strength... Diabetes is such a tricky condition.Delete
How did Renn's surgery go? I hope he is recovered and relaxing at home now. Thank you for your efforts in researching cat food. It is always a challenge to find both a food that is nutritionally suitable as well as being found enjoyable by our cats. I hope these food choices continue to meet Parker's needs. He is so fortunate to have you as a foster parent.ReplyDelete
Renn is home and well. I will be writing about him shortly. After being without food since ten o'clock last night, and forbidden hard-food for a couple of days, he is starving, but I don't want to give him too much, so soon after surgery. He'll survive his hunger, my big boy.Delete
I'm glad you were able to figure out the issue and reverse the trend so quickly.ReplyDelete
The cats send their purrs for both Renn and Parker
BTW, I haven't been by for some time - hope you are still enjoying your vacation!
The holidays are going well. Still more than half to go!Delete
Glad to hear the change in diet is helping.ReplyDelete
We're slowly getting reconnected to our friends since Mom Paula retired. WE hope to see more of you!
Truffle, Brulee, and Mom Paula
Consistency of diet is so important with these diabetic guys. And finding one that is both highly palatable and will allow for good dibetic control will take some trial and error. The website YourDiabeticCat.com introduces us to yet another problem: a pet food manufacturer that states 7% carbs when independent testing shows closer to 14% .So we really aren't sure what we're getting. You've done splendidly with Parker given all the variables. No one could have done better and I'm sure Parker thanks you for the care you've given him. I love him, he's such an attractive kitty boy.ReplyDelete
I don't trust big business at the best of times, so I keep my eyes on other signs, too. I figure ingredient charts are more of a rough guide than gospel truth.Delete
Keeping Renn in our prayers.ReplyDelete
Renn is home and recovering nicely.He's starving but I can't give him too much. Better that he is hungry over-night than throwing up food because it was eaten too close to his anaesthetic. Thank you for your thoughts of him.Delete
That he is back on track is a great thing. They really have a good dad fur sureReplyDelete