Saturday, August 06, 2005

Dogs and Cats with Diabetes

When Daniel and I were living in our first house, a little condo in Irvine, California, the lady upstairs had a cat that took insulin. She faithfully injected it with insulin subcutaneously every day, lifting up its skin. She also had to leave food around for it because a cat can't tell you when it has hypoglycemia and needs to eat.

This was the first time I heard of a cat with diabetes. Since then, I've heard of it a lot. Apparently up to 1% of dogs and cats get diabetes. That's a lot of pets on insulin, and a lot of obsessive pet owners. There are also a lot of websites about diabetes in pets, both about individual animals and about dog and cat diabetes in general. That tells you how common it is.

My friend Chrissy told me just this morning about a lady she knew who had a cat with diabetes. The cat was about 20 years old and the lady had it on an insulin pump. An insulin pump costs about $5,000 nowadays. I wonder how the lady justified that. I guess some people leave their estates to their animals too.

Diabetes Monitor, a e-magazine, has an entire web page of links for diabetes in dogs and cats. It's the best resource I've seen on the subject, although a google of cat diabetes or dog diabetes will bring up all sorts of links.

While we're talking about types of insulin, I should point out that there is special insulin for dogs and cats called Caninsulin. It is a pork insulin.

I don't think I could stand injecting an animal with insulin. I think it would irritate me having to spend my time doing that. It is enough of a hassle injecting yourself with insulin

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