Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Mystery Deepens

After a wonderful couple of weeks with no insulin injections, and Hamlet looking so much better, it was quite a surprise to find that he had a high fructosamine again, when tested. This was very unexpected. His fructosamine was 563, and when his apex was tested it came in at 27.7 without insulin. We are now working our way back up to a suitable dose for him, and sincerely hope we haven't thrown him out by six months again as we did last year when dropping insulin for one day.

At this point there seem to be a number of options as he is developing slight dehydration issues, while feeling as though he may have fluid buildup on the inside that has been just slightly there for a couple of months, now, where we have noticed. There is a possibility of pancreatitis, or other internal disease, and we are likely to need an ultrasound for further choices to be made. The option of using glargine has been put forward, although I am not sure that regression back to needing insulin after such a short hiatus will categorize Hamlet as "newly diagnosed", so no decision has yet been made.

February 9, 2009
The past couple of months have been a roller coaster of emotion for us as Hamlet started exhibiting signs of seizures in mid December, (2008). Right before Christmas they turned into tonic-clonic seizures. After a number of trips with consultation with a variety of veterinarians, there has been no explanation for these seizures. We suspect it is possible Hamlet's glucose readings are going lower at night, (I have observed this in action), to the point that he may have gone into hypoglycemic episodes. A progression of these may have triggered the seizure activity.
However, we also found an explanation for the unstable glucose readings as Hamlet has a benign growth on his pancreas that will probably be changing size, and possibly becoming inflamed at times, thereby changing the pressures on the pancreas and influencing glucose levels. It would explain the erratic readings, and we are just relieved that the growth is, so far, benign, as our poor dear fellow is aging enough without major surgery again.

To control his seizures, Hamlet is being given phenobarbital which, of course, has turned him into a very mellow fellow. We are being far more cautious about the amount of insulin he is receiving, and the latest fructosamine has come in at a low enough number, (518), that we have decided to leave him there for the time being. The nadir of Hamlet's curve can vary from 27.7, (very odd time), to 6.1 as the lowest I have captured lately. I find the high numbers, (27.7) unnerving as it appears to indicate the insulin is having no effect. We have changed bottles of insulin and I am hoping it is just a problem with the last bottle not mixing properly.*

*Just a note here that changing bottles did not make a difference. The eventual explanation is that the lump on Hamlet's pancreas was acting up, as he eventually settled down with time. I was so glad the ultrasound was done to confirm information and make choices so much easier.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hamlet's History

Hamlet has the physical characteristics of a Classic "seal bicolor" Ragdoll but was either a runt of the litter with genetic flaws, or his mommy got around, if you know what I mean. His eyes are not the classic blue and his legs are shorter that those I have seen in photos of purebreds. Ragdolls are described in technical books as having a "plate of fat" on their bellies, so while Hamlet is only 13 pounds, 4 ounces where other male purebreds range from 12-20 pounds, he still tends to look like an old man with a belly at the same time we are feeling his ribs and vertebrae. He was fully grown when we first saw him 'patrolling' the open concept housing complex we lived in at the time, and according to his physical health after all the walking, he was judged to be about three years old. As he should have been less mature when we first saw him if the estimate was accurate, we are now believing, according to normal aging signs, that he is probably between 15 and 18 years old.

His diabetes means that we must take special care to keep him at his optimal weight for health, partly because he had been a stray scrounging for food for several years, and developed very bad eating habits. He came to us with the diabetes, a slight heart murmur, and he has a problem with asthma. The diabetes has been in remission for a major portion of his time with us, and only came out of remission when he was dealing with severe emotional stress. His heart murmur is not showing up in his very regular checkups, and we have managed to avoid any accumulation of steroids in his system by keeping his asthma under control with Moducare and 1/4 tablet of periactin when he gets a bit wheezy. We are assuming that because the neighbours, (and us too), had been leaving out cheap high carb dry foods to keep him from looking too thin, we probably brought on the diabetic state, and weakened the rest of his health because he had been starved for wholesome nutrition for full body health............and we have had to pay for this since rescuing him when he was near death.

While I am often attacked by fanatics for feeding dry food to Hamlet, we DO NOT feed high carb food. I can't repeat often enough that he is maintained on 119.5 calories per day of low carb/high protein dry food as that allows for frequent grazing that keeps his stomach, and appetite, small. This attention to nutrition for his whole body to have the tools to make up for our early mistakes has also ensured good, well rounded health to combat the threats caused by diabetes, which are the same as those found in the human world of diabetes.

For those who would like to be leaving comments on my diabetes related sites, I am sorry but the rude comments from fanatics who don't have the education in nutrition, (glycemic control, food safety, etc.) that I do, or the up to date technical books back by scientific study that I use as reference material, have caused me to feel a need to block comments from people who don't know what they are talking about.

Anyone else who has managed to keep a healthy diabetic going for ten years or longer, we would love to compare notes, and share information, (backed by scientific references like those on our website please). We can be reached at the email address that will show up with a little detective work in the information attached to the email icon.