diabetes?

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beeratz
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diabetes?

Post by beeratz » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:10 pm

Recently (for the past week or so) Pan has been drinking excessively, in gradually increasing amounts, to the point where a 150ml bottle is almost gone within 24hrs! They do however both use this bottle (for some reason they prefer it to the other one) so some of the 150ml is being drunk by others. For the past day or so I've been checking whenever I hear someone having a drink and 9 times out of 10 it is Pan that is drinking. He's also spending a good few minutes at the bottle each time he's having a drink.

I have just cleaned the cage and there were a couple of areas that were absolutely sodden (presumably from him weeing). He hasn't really lost any weight though (no more really than his usual fluctuations).
Does this sound like diabetes?

I am going to get him an appointment at the vets asap, hopefully tomorrow if they have any appointments left but if not tomorrow it'll be before the end of the week. Is there anything I can be doing for him in the meantime?
Thanks in advance! :)
Bobby and Crowley the supernatural boys, plus girlies Nyx, Asteria, Chloe, Calypso and Freyja :hearts:

My Angels that had to leave :rattyrainbow: - I love you all :love:

fuschia
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Re: diabetes?

Post by fuschia » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:33 pm

There should be a special diet on here somewhere for diabetic rats. :luck:
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beeratz
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Re: diabetes?

Post by beeratz » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:59 pm

Thank you :) I will have a look.
Bobby and Crowley the supernatural boys, plus girlies Nyx, Asteria, Chloe, Calypso and Freyja :hearts:

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neotoma
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Re: diabetes?

Post by neotoma » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:27 pm

Don't feed him anything with added sugar, or refined carbs. Otherwise not much to do until you see the vet.

There is a diet for diabetic rats in the diabetes article in the health section of the articles forum. I'm also currently in the middle of experimentally constructing a new one on different principles, because the existing one is pretty close to what I feed as a dry mix anyway, so diabetic boy was already on it when he developed diabetes, and needs greater carbohydrate restriction - the thing to remember is that as in humans, the individual dietary needs can be quite different depending on type and stage of diabetes. Human diabetics and nutritionists appear to currently be arguing over whether a diet should be based on complex carbs, or overall carb restriction - likelihood is that both options are right for some people and wrong for some people.

Also, look up the glycemic index and the glycemic load for foods you want to feed (gi is how fast the sugar is released, gl is how much it raises blood sugar based on the gi and the amount of carbohydrate present).

Don't cut out carbs completely as rats can't fuel their brains on ketones (which we can, although it isn't necessarily a good idea), so do need enough carb intake to convert to sugars. It's a question of balancing enough carbs for energy vs not so much they over do the blood sugar. The ketones thing is also why giving insulin is only considered in serious cases, as it means if they get a hypoglycemic crash they are likely to die as there is nothing they can support their brain function with - so getting the dose of insulin right is vital, and potentially hair-raising. I'm investigating whether things like metaformin can be given usefully.

Our first attempt at diet this week is focusing on reducing exposure to dry mix (which is already based on complex carbs and has had any simple carbs removed) by filling him up with a protein / healthy fat meal first (the vet said diabetic cat food, but he's not being keen on animal protein, so he's currently getting avocado and nuts), providing some lower carb sources in place of the dry mix (legumes primarily - things like chickpeas and lentils provide complex carbs, but with higher protein going in as well, so the overall glycemic load is reduced), and when he does get the dry mix, making sure it is diluted with plenty of healthy veg (most raw non-starchy veg is low GL - sweetcorn is the only borderline one), so again the over all carb, and thus blood-sugar load hitting his body at any one time is reduced. That seems to have stabilised his weight loss, but I need to do a urine dip in the next couple of days to see if it's helping the sugar levels.

You do unavoidably end up feeding higher protein (which is fun for us because we're concurrently feeding a 3 yr + boy kidney friendly in the same cage!), but if he is diabetic, it is the lesser of two evils.

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beeratz
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Re: diabetes?

Post by beeratz » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:14 pm

Thank you! That is really helpful :)
Bobby and Crowley the supernatural boys, plus girlies Nyx, Asteria, Chloe, Calypso and Freyja :hearts:

My Angels that had to leave :rattyrainbow: - I love you all :love:

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beeratz
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Re: diabetes?

Post by beeratz » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:21 am

So Pan had his appointment today, the vet confirmed that it is likely diabetes although she couldn't get a decent wee sample to dip (neither could I beforehand :roll: ) she doesn't want to do anything in terms of medication at the moment and for me to just alter his diet as has been recommended here. He is currently 646g so she is not especially concerned about his weight at the moment, but he definitely feels skinnier than usual to me.
I'm to take him back in two weeks and in the meantime monitor his weight and water intake etc.
Is there anything that I should be pushing for medication wise? Or am I best to just do as the vet says for now?
Thanks :)
Bobby and Crowley the supernatural boys, plus girlies Nyx, Asteria, Chloe, Calypso and Freyja :hearts:

My Angels that had to leave :rattyrainbow: - I love you all :love:

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acapae_wolf
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Re: diabetes?

Post by acapae_wolf » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:08 am

Neo's already answered about medication options
neotoma wrote:The ketones thing is also why giving insulin is only considered in serious cases, as it means if they get a hypoglycemic crash they are likely to die as there is nothing they can support their brain function with - so getting the dose of insulin right is vital, and potentially hair-raising. I'm investigating whether things like metaformin can be given usefully.
So I'd go with Neo's and your vet's suggestions on diet :luck:
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neotoma
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Re: diabetes?

Post by neotoma » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:17 am

I wouldn't push for insulin unless blood tests show he really needs it after dietary intervention has failed. I'll get back to you about other meds after Monday when I'm seeing my vet.

However, if he hasn't had a urine test, and he hasn't had a blood test, you don't really have a firm diagnosis (excessive drinking and urination, along with weightloss can also happen in other things). Did the vet give you any dip-strips to check his urine with at home? They use the human ones, so you can buy them at a pharmacy.

We did a urine test, and then had bloods taken for a full panel so the vet could check his liver and pancreatic function (to ensure the high blood glucose was diabetes and not any other underlying condition, and also to check how far it had progressed). He's now being monitored with urine dipsticks and occasional blood-drop tests.

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beeratz
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Re: diabetes?

Post by beeratz » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:48 am

Yeah, I have been given some dip sticks to test a sample at home and then either ring her/pop it in to the vets for her. She didn't mention blood tests actually :? Unless she is planning on doing them when he goes back :?
He's currently sat in the empty carrier while I try to get a sample, he does not look best pleased :lol:
If a blood test isn't mentioned at his next appointment, I will definitely ask for it.
Bobby and Crowley the supernatural boys, plus girlies Nyx, Asteria, Chloe, Calypso and Freyja :hearts:

My Angels that had to leave :rattyrainbow: - I love you all :love:

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acapae_wolf
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Re: diabetes?

Post by acapae_wolf » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:51 am

She might be waiting on the results from the dipsticks first. Certainly the two times I've been worried about diabetes, blood tests were discussed but not as a route to go down before urine in case something completely different was indicated :)
Beri with all at Dandelion Soup
1 cat, 50-70 mice, 2x guinea pigs, 2x gerbils, 2x Syrian hamsters, 2x Russian hybrids looking for new homes ;)

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neotoma
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Re: diabetes?

Post by neotoma » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:18 am

You'd always do urine first, although it apparently can give false negatives so if the rat has symptoms the diabetes article recommends to do a blood drop test on a glucometer as well for diagnostics - it also gives a numerical baseline for glucose levels to work from which is better for long-term monitoring than a colour band on the dipstick.

Full panel of bloods is trickier because you have to knock the rat out to get enough blood (they aren't the easiest animals to get blood from). It's probably not essential and many vets may not want to do them - mine is thorough about that sort of thing, and I allowed it as a one off because it was a young fit rat, and as he has always been on a diet that in itself wouldn't contribute to diabetes and he wasn't obses (i.e. his development of it wasn't environmental), we wanted to check there wasn't anything else bad happening.

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beeratz
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Re: diabetes?

Post by beeratz » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:22 pm

Ah, ok. Well he hasn't provided a decent enough sample yet :roll: but I will persevere.
Bobby and Crowley the supernatural boys, plus girlies Nyx, Asteria, Chloe, Calypso and Freyja :hearts:

My Angels that had to leave :rattyrainbow: - I love you all :love:

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beeratz
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Re: diabetes?

Post by beeratz » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:32 pm

Thought I'd update this.....
Pan had his second appointment this afternoon. His urine has not given a conclusive result so a blood test is needed but he is currently also respy :roll: so has been given doxy. Apparently the blood test cannot be done whilst he is on ab's, he needs to be off them for a few days for that to give a correct result. So the plan for the next week or so is to give him the doxy to clear his respyness and also to see if this helps reduce his water intake at all, because if there is any kidney/bladder infection it will also help that, and if he is still drinking and weeing excessively on the doxy then he will have a blood test after he's been off it for a few days. Then we will take it from there.
I also discovered today that Pan now has a serious dislike of Michelle (vet) :roll: she tried to pick him up, at which point he jumped onto the floor and sat in the corner screaming at her every time she tried to pick him up :shock: he was fine on the first consult though :lol: I think he's learnt that vets do nasty proddy things that he doesn't like :lol:
Bobby and Crowley the supernatural boys, plus girlies Nyx, Asteria, Chloe, Calypso and Freyja :hearts:

My Angels that had to leave :rattyrainbow: - I love you all :love:

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neotoma
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Re: diabetes?

Post by neotoma » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:45 am

Oh dear. I have a boy who does that - he had a chronic skin problem which involved seeing the vet a lot and some injections, and he now screams as soon as the vet touches him. Fortunately it isn't the diabetic boy.

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