10 yr. old cat…diabetic for about 3 1/2 yrs, licks and pulls at hair


10 yr. old cat…diabetic for about 3 1/2 yrs. when found as kitten..diagnosed with chronic nasal infection (1 nostril) was on Humilin U, but switched to PZI recently eats only Purina DM dry food indoor cat always past summer we had slight flea problem…he developed flea dermatitis..pulled out hair , scratched a lot…treated with Advantage for 4 months…hair’s grown back but…still licks and pulls at hair..put on a antihistamine but made him too lethargic & has not helped

Presently, Zak is constantly eating and drinking a lot of water. He has really smelly, loose stools and is losing weight (from about 21 lbs. to 16 lbs now). He doesn’t urinate a lot and seems to be a normal volume. He is still pulling his hair (although most has grown back). We regularly have his blood sugar tested and his frutosamine is within the normal range. We test his urine-normal ketones. He been on antibiotics and antihistamines.

Our vet thought he might be suffering with pancreatic insufficiency and put him on Viokase-V…. he won’t eat his food with this on it…sprinkled it on his dry food and he nibbled just a little. We had pancreas blood test done…TLI came back negative but the PLI was 30.8. He is now on Metronidazole (1 tab. once a day..put on 2/22/06). We were told we could also give him acidophilus. He is not vomiting and may play a little at times. His weight went from 21 to 16 lbs.

Nothing seems to stop his diarrhea and his wasting away!\r\nHe seemed fine until switched to PZI-could this be the problem?He”s now licking the floor at times and still pulls at his fur. IS he in pain? Please help-his a great cat. Hope to hear from you soon.

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Asked on August 6, 2015 6:36 pm
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A complex case! When making changes with this case give some time to see if there is an effect with the change. If this all started when you switched to the PZI, I would definitely switch back to Humulin and see if it helps. If that does not help a new insulin called Vetsulin may be helpful. Also he may have developed a food allergy.

Consider a diet change to a food with a unique protein source and avoid wheat and corn as the carbohydrate source. At the D.E.L.T.A. Hospital we also use HESKA testing to rule out allergies to things other than fleas and start desensitizing injections if the test is positive. The drug budesonide is indicated as a bowel anti-inflammatory in diabetic cats where inflammatory bowel disease may be the underlying cause.

We use the antihistamine chlorpheniramine in cases such as these. The pancreatic supplement is available in a pill form if the cat refuses to eat it mixed in his food. However, tablets are generally less effective than the powder and need to be administered with the cat”s meal. The drug metoclopromide may be helpful for the vomiting. Finally, rule out other health problems. Recheck Zaks blood panel with thyroid level, check his urine for infection, and get new radiographs.

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Posted by Dr. Gaylord Brown
Answered on August 6, 2015 6:37 pm