insulin cessation
March 9, 2011 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Diabetic cat: what's likely to happen with several days missed dosage?

I need to attend a funeral this weekend and all of my usual go-to people for cat care are unavailable. I have two cats. One is diabetic and gets 2.5 units of lantus twice a day. I'll be gone for three days. Any kind of vet visit throws these two cats into mortal combat for several weeks. They draw blood and I've picked claws out of ears and faces. I know the diabetic cat will be miserable there and we'll be in for weeks of violence thereafter. I want to do right by him, but don't want to make them (and me) miserable. I also don't want to come back from a funeral to a sick cat (or worse). Is it safe to leave him unmedicated for a few days?
posted by anonymous to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
No. Not safe. Find another solution.
posted by jon1270 at 6:23 AM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Can you ask an admin to post your location? If you're in my area, I'd happily come tend to your sick kitty.
posted by Cat Face at 6:27 AM on March 9, 2011

If my diabetic cat had to miss several doses, he would have had to spend a week at the vet anyway recovering and getting re-stable to the tune of around $1500. So you'll have fighting anyway plus high cost.

Can you hire a vet tech to come to your house and do shots, if boarding is truly not an option? Many do for extra cash, call your vet and ask.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:28 AM on March 9, 2011 [6 favorites]

We always had a pet sitter come and do it. They charged a few dollars extra but they were used to it. But then our cat never really minded the shots, as if she had no feeling at all in the scruff on the back of her neck.
posted by bcwinters at 6:45 AM on March 9, 2011

If you are in the United States, you can find a professional pet sitter here.
posted by something something at 6:46 AM on March 9, 2011

Check in with your vet's office because many vet techs do pet sitting, including administering meds, on the side.

I have a diabetic cat and would not let him go three days without a dose. One full day without is enough to see some pretty bad numbers and a whole lot of pee. Even just getting someone to give one dose per day would be better if you have to go that route. With no doses, you'd probably come home to an insanely full litter box, urine accidents, high blood glucose numbers that are hard to get back under control, and the potential for ketones.

Seconding Cat Face, can you have an admin post your location?
posted by dayintoday at 6:47 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I have no idea where you are but if you are near Atlanta, I can or I can help find someone who will help you.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:39 AM on March 9, 2011

Do not screw around with a diabetic cat, either medication wise, or just leaving him/her unattended for days.

I highly recommend the vet tech route. The one time I had a non-vet-tech sitter care for my diabetic cat was the trip where he died while I was away. I'll always wonder if they screwed up his dosage and/or didn't know how to treat a cat in diabetic shock.
posted by Stacey at 9:18 AM on March 9, 2011

Nthing home visits by vet tech, if possible, or risk the flying claws and arrange for medical boarding. My family's first cat was diabetic, and any missed shots would have resulted in Bad Stuff.
posted by thomas j wise at 10:13 AM on March 9, 2011

Yeah, if you're near Phila, I can help or find someone to help you, as well . . .
posted by MeiraV at 11:27 AM on March 9, 2011

hi, i also have a diabetic cat who needs 2 units of Lantus twice a day. it sucks. i can't be away from my house for more than 12 hours unless i want to take him with me. i feel for ya.

that having been said, do not leave him alone without his insulin for that long. one or two days is the longest i've ever gone with my cat, and that was pushing it. it took a few days to get him regulated again and he suffered as a result with an upset stomach and increased thirst/peeing. can you find a vet tech you could pay to visit?
posted by hollisimo at 12:28 PM on March 9, 2011

Joining the chorus: you MUST find someone to come and care for your kitty over the next 3 days. Diabetes in cats is no less serious than diabetes in humans.

I took care of my diabetic cat for just over 3 years before putting him to sleep in the throes of renal failure last September. Even on a well adhered to schedule, my cat's numbers could suddenly rise or fall for unknown reasons.

Please call your vet and ask if any of the techs are able to come and take care of your kitty or if they can recommend other vet techs to contact.

If you live in Chicago, I have several resources for you.
posted by gsh at 12:59 PM on March 9, 2011

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