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08/07/2013 / katnewman

Harrycat – diabetes continued – the ‘hypo’

Mr Harrison Fur, everyone…


The cause of a sleepless night Friday night and much worry, stress and some tears. Well, a lot of tears – it was scary, ok!

It’s only the second one he’s had, which apparently is a good thing – I get the impression from my vet that if I didn’t monitor him as well as I do that he would have had many more than that by now. In fact he tells me that I’m his best pet owner for close diabetes monitoring which is good to know – but confusing on the other hand as I don’t really understand how anyone would get on without such close monitoring, but that’s probably my sensible analytical side coming out there!

So, he’s been throwing up a lot lately. He had contracted a stomach upset back in March where he was pooping a lot of blood. He had almost come out of the diabetes but this virus set him right back, as did the 3 courses of strong antibiotics. I had tried to wean him onto more natural food once he started recovering because I was concerned that perhaps additives and preservatives in his sachets might be aggravating the situation and all this combined meant that he lost yet another kilo. He is now over a kilo underweight, poor little lamb. Anyway, this natural food seems to be bulkier so I was ending up giving him such a massive bowl of the stuff, I don’t know if this was partly the cause of the vomiting but I do know that the regular vomiting has caused the blood sugars to eventually dip so low that he became unresponsive on Friday night.

How to tell they’ve slipped into low blood sugar level – or a hypo as I’m calling it as it’s shorter! Harry becomes very unresponsive, he lies in places where he wouldn’t normally. He won’t lift his head or move at all. The first hypo he had he also hyper-salivated – drool and bubbles making him a little goatee beard. Coming to think of it, a lot of the vomit he’s produced lately contained a lot of liquids, perhaps this is an indicator, I don’t know. When I ask the vet is this or that an indicator, symptom, cause etc the answer is generally ‘who knows, we can never really know’ – I guess this is going to mean that your journey with your own diabetic animal is going to be different, but take note of everything however small and you may just see a pattern for yourself.

What to do when they go into a hypo – feeeeed them! Get some liquid glucose from the cake aisle at the supermarket which you can rub into their gums to bring them up quicker, but they need to get some food too. On Friday, Harry was 1.8 and within an hour I’d managed to get him up to 4.8. I’m using a human blood tester and we recon that it’s just under 1 point under the proper vet testing machine. They say that anything under 1 is potentially coma territory so I’m taking 1.8 as a close call.

So as long as you’re monitoring your pet well, and you catch the dip before it gets too bad then I’d say you have it under pretty good control. If you’re anything like me, telling you that and that there’s no need to panic won’t help you when you’re in the thick of things as my husband and my bestie will tell you! She was up talking me down at way past midnight and bless her for it (love yoooo!) I can only hope that as things progress I’ll get less and less freaked out with it but I doubt it somehow.

He’s not thrown up for 2.5 days now which is progress, I’ve put him back on 1/2 new food 1/2 old food which turns out less bulkier – note, there is a special diabetic food for them, but at £30 for 12 days of food you gotta be kidding me!!!

He’s also developed lipids on his eyes – actually they’ve been there for 8 years but the vet has only just attributed them to the diabetes – and needs eye drops. Of all the things I have to do to him, needles phase him so much less than eye drops!

So today he’s all good, sulking cos he had to go for his booster, and I’m feeling relieved if not a little sheepish for panicking (thanks to nonchalance of the vet this morning lol)

If you find yourself here because you have a pet with diabetes, I’m always happy to chat, just drop me a line.

Have a good day 🙂



Leave a Comment
  1. JH / Jul 8 2013 1:50 pm

    I can sympathise with what you’re going through, Kat. We had a diabetic Border Terrier. Every day Mum had to collect a urine sample to test and he had daily injections. He went hypo a couple of times but the liquid glucose you mentioned helped. I can’t remember how long he had diabetes for but I know it was for a number of years.

    Regarding your vet’s comments about how good you are with monitoring and looking after Harrycat; we were told by relatives that they couldn’t believe what we were doing for our dog and they would have put him out of his “misery”. I was completely incredulous at the remark. When you take on a pet, you bring them into your family and have a duty of care to them. Just because they become “inconvenient” is no excuse to abandon all hope!

    Anyway, from what I’ve read, you’re one of the good’uns. Harrycat is beautiful 🙂 Keep going Kat – it’s difficult but so worth it! x

    • katnewman / Jul 8 2013 2:56 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment 🙂 Yes the notion of euthanasia was a difficult one for me too, because when I look at him he’s the same old Harry – 2 kilos lighter maybe, but not ‘sick’. I am fortunate in that I have a wonderful neighbour that is happy to inject him when I can’t but I can see why others don’t feel they can take the diabetes on, and if you’re not prepared to do it properly then it probably would be for the best – sad to say! But he is our baby, and part of the family, like you say!
      Thanks again x

  2. Helen / Jul 9 2013 6:41 am

    Brilliant blog, Kat. So pleased to hear Harrycat has recovered from his hypo! Well done you.

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