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Mer- Living with Feline Diabetes

Mer came to us from a Siberian breeder in Colorado. Since the day I picked him up he has been a joy. He has always remained healthy and active and definitely displayed his unique Siberian characteristics. We also have his brother who is equally healthy and delightful. The only difference between the two is Mer will eat anything while his brother is very finicky. I would have to say that Mer’s diet in the past has been less than a good example of healthy eating. My bad!

At the ripe age of 12 we discovered a definite increase in the urination in the litter box. I knew it was a result of Mer as he frequently visited it. Obviously concerned that it might be a urinary infection we took him to see our Vet. After conducting several tests, I will never forget when he announced that Mer had Type II Diabetes. My immediate reaction was FEAR. I thought I would lose him and that his quality of life would be challenged.

I couldn’t have been further from the truth!

After one year of treating him, I have to say that WE are managing this diagnosis well. Initially I was terrified about administering a shot. I would agonize about it, and it most definitely hurt me more than him. After some practice and confidence, it has become an easy routine. Initially we did not monitor his glucose we simply took him for testing every two weeks. Once we discovered that we could use a Diabetic Libre reader it was a ‘game changer’. The unknown was no longer a factor. We could monitor him and make minor adjustments if necessary. (Under the guidance of his Vet).

Establishing a routine has been critical to the success of treating this condition. Monitoring healthy eating and scheduling his injections has become part of our daily life. I now recognize the shot administered does not even phase him. I generally ensure he has eaten a good amount and then reward him with a small treat. While he is focused on the treat, I administer the shot. Easy Peasy! I have also learned how to install the Libre, which includes preparing the location of the monitor with a quick shave and the application of antiseptic to ensure the area is clean.

Our treatment of this mysterious condition continues to be a function of our daily lives. We have utilized both the phone application and the handheld reader for the Libre. We have learned that if his level drops significantly to make available a treat. Early on in his treatment he did go into remission, which was a blessing. Then just as soon as he went into remission, he fell out of it (4 months). Apparently, felines can go into remission unlike humans. We are hopeful that this might occur again, however we are not seeing this occurring yet.

The libre monitor which is applied to his upper torso does not interfere with his activities at all. He is aware of it, but it does not bother him. When I take his reading with the handheld, he has learned to position himself so that I might wave it over the monitor. Like he knows…….

His demeanor has not changed. His activity level remains the same. He just celebrated his 13th Birthday, and I am happy to report that he is an affectionate companion to my family. Of course, great gratitude goes out to our Vet as he has been with us along this journey and has fielded multiple questions and has always provided timely advice and encouragement.

~BJP,  from a client