Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I thought I would post another update on Max. He's doing well overall. His blood glucose levels are getting close to regulation, but we're not there yet. He's maintaining his weight well, too. He is suffering from one side effect of high blood glucose levels - diabetic neuropathy.

This is a common side effect for any creature that has poorly controlled diabetes. The high level of glucose does something to damage nerves. In cats it manifests itself in a weakness in the back legs. Untreated it can lead to all sorts of dreadful things.

At first I thought Max was just having problems walking on the hard floors, but when he started walking on his hocks (heels in cats) I knew what was up. After some research I learned that, besides getting his glucose levels regulated, a form of Vitamin B12 called methylcobalamin has been purported to help repair the damaged nerves. This form of B12 is supposed to be better absorbed and, therefore, works better than the usual forms of B12.

Because Max has been extremely difficult to pill in the past I tried a spray form of methylcobalamin, dispensed in a syringe. Although I didn't mind the taste (yes, I try it first), Max wasn't too fond of it. When I found a great pill popper on Amazon, I also got a pill form and it's been going well. I tried one especially for cats, but am switching to a similar one that I can get cheaper. Since Max is also taking a gel potassium supplement, I just put some of the gel on the pill popper and he opens his mouth enough that I can get the pill in. Most of the time the first time works. BTW, I also found this same gel on Amazon at about a fourth of the price I've been paying at the vet's office. Wow, I didn't realize the mark-up on meds at vets' offices was so high!!!

Anyway, I haven't seen all that much improvement yet, but he doesn't appear to be getting any worse. I know that he won't get a lot better in this department until his diabetes is totally regulated. Right now he's on 5.5 units of insulin twice a day and he's beginning to stay below 300. Ideally I'd like to see him below 200,but the vet seems to be happy with below 300. Considering that Max's glucose levels were well over 500 when this all started, below 300 is indeed progress.

After going thru all of this, Max is still a very loving boy. He does startle easily, but he lets me check his blood glucose levels and give him his insulin without a problem. He's not too happy with the other meds, but it's not the big battle it used to be.

Max does have a heart murmur that the vet wants to check out further with an echocardiogram soon. The big problem is the cost - over $200. I think we will just have to postpone this until I get some of his bills paid down.

I hope you enjoy seeing Max's new picture. His shaved areas are just about all grown back and he looks more handsome than ever. Max and I appreciate all the prayers and good wishes we've received over the past months. I know that they have contributed to his remarkable recovery.

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