What is the optimum blood glucose level for our diabetic cat? He is 13 & 1/2 years old and weighs about 12 lbs. we give him 2 units of insulin twice daily.
Due to the variable effects of insulin over time, a single glucose level is actually a very poor indicator of any diabetic patient's overall blood glucose regulation. For most cats, a serial assessment of the blood glucose over time (blood glucose curve) is recommended to evaluate a patient's response to a dose of insulin. Cats are particularly difficult to assess since it has been shown that any restraint associated with the collection of blood samples for a curve can cause what is called a stress response, or stress hyperglycemia, which may negatively affect the results. Newer glucometers that require smaller samples are ideal for performing these curves in cats, as small ear prick samples can be collected by an experienced technician with minimal stress. The general practitioner is the first line in making sure your diabetic cat stays well regulated. Diabetic cats should be evaluated frequently (ideally every 6 months) by their regular veterinarian to better assess their regulation. The veterinarian will evaluate your cat's hydration status, body weight and body condition as well as consider valuable historical information provided by you regarding drinking habits, urination habits, appetite, and activity. Collectively, this information gives the veterinarian the best overall picture of your cat's regulation. Any red flags noted (such as weight loss, continued increased thirst, ravenous appetite or decreased appetite) may indicate poor regulation and the need for more in depth testing (blood glucose curve, fructosamine level) or prompt the veterinarian to evaluate your cat for other disorders that may be affecting his regulation. If other disorders are identified, or your cat seems to be poorly regulated despite appropriate treatment, a referral to a veterinary internist may be the next step to determining why he is unregulated.