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Diabetic Cats & Young Again ZERO Cat Foods
There is an emerging trend in veterinary medicine for the diabetic cat to be placed on a protocol that is known as “tight diabetic control.” These protocols recommend frequent blood glucose testing including testing prior to injecting insulin. In addition to home monitoring a cat for blood glucose levels, cats are prescribed specific feline diets that are low in carbohydrates, and high in protein (called LCHP diets). Several newer insulin choices are available for use in diabetic cats.
Choice of insulin will depend on the duration of action of the insulin. There are rapid acting insulins that begin working very quickly, peak quickly and then stop working quickly. Short acting insulins take a bit longer to take effect, peak later and stop working a little later. Then there is intermediate acting insulin and also long-acting insulin.
It has been proven in studies that high levels of processed carbohydrates contribute to the poor blood glucose control that is so frustrating in so many feline diabetics. Up until our revolutionary dry cat food was developed, virtually all dry cat food diets contained too many processed carbohydrates to provide “tight” diabetic control, so veterinarians and owners were forced to choose prescription canned or over-the-counter low carbohydrate diets or owners of diabetic cats would end up becoming a chef cooking up home-made low carb foods.
Young Again’s ZERO formula is the ONLY dry feline diet that contains NO utilizable carbohydrates. Our special process allows us to make a dry kibble without carbs, which up until now, was not possible. Our diet contains absolutely NO grains, no gluten nor other cheap fillers.
Converting to Young Again Cat Foods
For diabetic cats, it is recommended that you just take away your previous cat food completely, and just replace it with Young Again ZERO cat food and free feed (food available at all times). Once a diabetic cat that is on injectable insulin in switched to our ZERO Cat food, this will cause almost immediate changes to your cat’s blood sugar levels (in MOST diabetic cats). It will become very important that you closely monitor your cat’s blood sugar levels once your cat is consuming YA ZERO Cat Food in order that your cat does not receive too much insulin as its body adjusts to NOT processing carbs into glucose that usually would cause a blood sugar spike after a meal. Be sure that food is available at all times so that they are able to eat when they need to.
If you are used to administering insulin twice daily to control elevated blood sugar levels in your cat, as her blood glucose level begins normalizing, her requirements for insulin will begin to drop. IF you continue to administer the amount of insulin that she was on while consuming a diet containing utilizable carbs, you may actually drop her blood glucose levels to dangerously low levels. This results in hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar).
After your cat begins consuming Young Again ZERO Cat food, it is very important that you keep in mind that your cat is not in immediate danger if her blood sugar becomes slightly elevated during this time, if a lower dose of insulin is being administered.
Remember, prior to your cat being diagnosed with diabetes, she most likely lived with high blood sugar for quite a while, before starting therapy. While we want her target blood sugar within normal limits as soon as possible, if her blood sugar goes up after she begins eating Young Again, this will most likely not harm her, especially short term.
But, on the other hand, if her blood sugar drops too low from insulin administration, that can prove to be very dangerous, even fatal, very quickly. Blood sugar levels lower than 60 mg/dl can lead to serious consequences, including coma or death, usually when levels drop below 35 mg/dl.
You can begin learning how to test your cat’s own blood sugar levels. While vets can offer an expensive meter to test your cat’s blood sugar level, you CAN use human test meters. Here is what you do: bring your cat to your vet, and have him/her draw blood for testing. Bring your meter (if you have a family member who is a diabetic, or if you can purchase a meter for your cat) and have your vet run a blood glucose level at the same time you use the same sample to test using YOUR meter. Whether your vet runs the blood test in-house or sends it out to a diagnostic lab, you will be able to compare the results from BOTH tests.
If a sample of blood is sent out to a diagnostic lab, it is imperative that the blood sample be spun and separated as soon as possible, as the blood glucose will be consumed by the red blood cells at the rate of 7% per hour that it sits in contact with the cells. While human test meters are going to give a different reading, the results will be proportional. It will be possible to generate a chart to figure out the actual value of the blood glucose based on the vet’s reading and your own meter’s reading.
Your cat’s vet can show you how to get a blood sample from your cat’s ear vein or from other areas, or you can follow the easy methods posted on several excellent cat diabetes sites. It is very important that you learn how to test your cat’s blood for the amount of sugar present so that you can administer the correct dosage of insulin, if required.
You may be thinking: Why can’t I just test my cat’s urine for the presence of glucose there instead of testing a blood sample? When I was in vet school (a long time ago), this was the method most often employed to assess control of a cat’s blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, this method is not the most effective way to determine how well a cat’s diabetes is being controlled on a daily basis. By using a dipstick to measure the amount of sugar in a urine sample, you are basically just assessing the previous 12 hours, and isn’t very helpful in determining the amount of insulin that needs to be given now.
In addition to checking your cat’s blood, your cat’s vet will suggest running a fructosamine level periodically. This test will tell you and your veterinarian what the average blood glucose levels have been during the preceding one to two weeks. So, in addition to periodic blood glucose level testing, fructosamine is a very valuable test. This test gives you a good idea of how well your cat’s diabetes is being controlled overall.
Once your cat has been consuming YA ZERO cat food, if and when she no longer requires insulin, do NOT convert your cat to a low carb or other type of cat food. While your vet may recommend this, as your cat is “no longer a diabetic” your feline will most likely revert back to a diabetic state if she starts consuming ANY carbohydrates again. Her pancreas simple cannot handle carbohydrates in almost ALL cases. A diabetic cat cannot ingest a food with carbohydrates! The rule is: ***no digestible carbs!!***
Most feline veterinarians have no experience with a cat food that has NO carbs, and may make recommendations based on previous experience with other types of diets containing lower amounts of carbohydrates. Feel free to contact us for recommendations for your own cat once she has been on YA ZERO cat food for 30 days or more and you have updated her blood tests.
If you have noticed that your cat is requiring less and less of a dosage of insulin while consuming Young Again ZERO cat food, please be aware that administering insulin to a cat with normal or below normal blood sugar levels can precipitate a very serious, even life-threatening drop in blood sugar. Early signs of low blood sugar are weakness, staring off into space, wobbling when walking or trembling. This can proceed to tremors, seizures and death. When in doubt about dosing your diabetic cat with insulin injections, ask your cat’s veterinarian before proceeding with an injection. Remember, once the insulin has been injected, it cannot be “un-injected” meaning that it can’t be removed from the cat’s system (unlike certain oral medications when vomiting can be induced, to get at least some of the medication out of the cat’s gastrointestinal tract!)
It is important to remember that your diabetic cat cannot be offered any food other than YA ZERO cat food. ANY foods or treats containing carbohydrates will wreak havoc with her blood sugar levels. This means NO hairball treatments (often containing high fructose corn syrup-use Vaseline instead) or treats containing carbohydrates. You can give proteins, such as chicken, steak or other all-meat treats, but NO carbohydrates can be given.
If your cat is doing well on YA ZERO diet, do not switch your cat to our YA cat food that contains 4.63% carbohydrates. Your cat’s blood sugar will begin to climb, often as much as 70-100 mg/DL per day. In 4-5 days your cat’s blood glucose will be back up to the previous diabetic level.
Many diabetic cats will no longer require insulin after being on YA ZERO cat food for several months or even weeks. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns for managing your cat’s diabetes and health in general. Remember that many veterinarians have little experience with this revolutionary new cat food developed especially for diabetic cats. While we have the utmost respect for all of the training and experience that veterinarians’ possess, this is uncharted territory for many professionals.
If your home has both diabetic and non-diabetic cats, offer all of your cats ONLY our carbohydrate –free food. Cats thrive on a diet containing no utilizable carbohydrates. YA is a healthy diet for all of your cats. It is next to impossible to offer more than one type of cat food to cats in a multiple cat household, nor is it necessary to provide different foods to your felines. Young Again ZERO Cat Food is the only food that all of your cats require.
We are very excited about the encouraging reports coming in from the owners of diabetic cats and their incredible positive response to Young Again ZERO Cat Food. This cat food will improve the overall health and well-being of the plethora of overweight and diabetic cats in our country and around the world!
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