Meet diabetic patient Madigan

Diabetes is a common disease in humans but it can also affect cats and dogs. Introducing one of our lovely diabetic patients Madigan, a 17 year old Burmese, who was initially presented to us with an upper respiratory tract infection after moving from Adelaide to Melbourne. On routine blood and urine tests while being hospitalised, it was detected that Madigan had excessive glucose (sugar) in his urine and blood. After more detailed testing, he was diagnosed as having both renal disease and diabetes.

Renal disease and diabetes are both diseases we see and manage commonly in cats and dogs. Diabetes mellitus in cats commonly cause signs such as excessive drinking, excessive urination, lethargy, weakness in limbs and malnutrition. Successful treatment and management relies on prompt medical attention. In cats, a small percentage of diabetic patients that receive insulin treatment eventually go into remission. However for the remaining patients, quality of life can often be restored with management of the disease. Besides insulin injections, special attention is paid to the diet and activity of our diabetic patients.

Madigan was started on a renal diet for his renal disease and on insulin injections for his diabetes. Managing a diabetic cat at home requires commitment from dedicated owners as injections are required twice daily about 12 hours apart. Careful monitoring of Madigan's response to the insulin injections was required at home as there is sometimes the possibility of having hypoglycaemic (low blood glucose) attacks if the dose is too high or if there is high sensitivity to the insulin.

In the initial few weeks of therapy, Madigan visited the clinic regularly to have a blood glucose curve. A blood glucose curve is where we take multiple readings of Madigan's blood glucose throughout the day in order to find out his body's response to insulin. After a few adjustments of his insulin doses, an appropriate dose of insulin was finally found for Madigan. Insulin therapy has enabled Madigan to enjoy life like before with his favourite friend Elvira who is another 16 year old Burmese. Besides enjoying snoozing with Elvira, Madigan has also become much more affectionate towards his owner.

Three months after being stabilised on insulin, Madigan started to show signs of going into remission on his follow up blood glucose curves. We started to lower his insulin dose and carefully monitor his blood glucose levels as we did so. On his most recent blood glucose curve, Madigan was finally given the green light to stop insulin therapy. He will still have to be monitored very closely over the next few months but things are definitely looking even better for him. These days Madigan rules the house with Elvira and enjoys being served and looked after like king and queen by their owners.