Brave Bengal Survives Surgery

My Fellow Bengal Cat Dougal Has Been Through a Lot

Bengal cats like Jacey, Marley, and I are not your typical house cat. We are intelligent, active, athletic, and inquisitive. But even with these characteristics, sometimes, we need help from the humans in white coats. My good furiends Belinda’s Cats shared the story of Dougal with me and I am passing it along to you.

You see, Dougal showed classic signs of diabetes. He was drinking a lot of water, and when he went to the litter box, a lot more liquid waste than normal came out. He went to the humans in white coats, and they saw that his blood sugar level was high. Dougal started to get two shots of insulin a day.

My Fellow Bengal Cat Dougal Has Been Through a Lot
My Fellow Bengal Cat Dougal Has Been Through a Lot

Unfortunately for my fellow bengal cat, the insulin did not get his blood sugar under control. The humans in white coats did further testing, and they discovered that Dougal had a tumor. Additional tests at the Royal Veterinary College revealed that Dougal was suffering from acromegaly.

To help Dougal fight his disease, the humans in white coats presented three options. One of the options was pioneering surgery that would remove the tumor and the gland it affected. The surgery was not without risks, as there was a 25 percent chance of Dougal dying on the operating table.

His humans thought long and hard about how to treat Dougal’s condition. In the end, they decided to go ahead with the surgery.

But there was another complication that Dougal encountered before his surgery. He and his brofur Harnish came down with gastroenteritis and it was uncertain whether he would recover before the date of his surgery. Dougal won this race, getting the okay to proceed from the humans in white coats just four days before he was scheduled to go to the clinic.

Dougal went into the clinic several days before his surgery to get used to his surroundings. On the day of the surgery, his humans were very nervous and waited very impatiently for news. They got good news. Dougal had gotten through the surgery like a proud bengal cat would.

Next up were seven days of intensive care. Two weeks after Dougal’s surgery, he went home to his humans. If he is anything like me, when he saw his humans, he started to talk to them very loudly!

Dougal now has to endure not just the insulin shots but also many medications, and he will take these for the rest of his life. But he is a brave and tough bengal cat to have come through all of the challenges he has faced thus far. I have no doubt Dougal and his family will be very happy together for a long time to come!

Learn About an Extra Special Diabetic Cat

We diabetic cats are definitely a small portion of the feline community.  Estimates are that around one percent of us felines are diabetic cats.  For most of us, insulin and a high protein, low carbohydrate diet is all the treatment we need, and we live happy and healthy lives.  Well, mostly happy, because we have to endure the torture of syringes and ear sticks but that’s only for a short time each day.

But for a small group of diabetic cats, the disease is more complicated.  They are not just fighting diabetes.  They are fighting a much more unusual condition called acromegaly.  Symptoms of acromegaly include:

  • A gain in lean body mass despite uncontrolled diabetes
  • Enlargement of the paws, chin, and skull
  • Glucose levels that remain uncontrolled despite doses of above 20 units of insulin per day
  • High cholesterol and liver enzyme levels
  • Protein in the urine

Say hello to Extra Special Diabetic Cat LilyThis is the condition that an extra special cat who I will introduce you to is suffering from.  Her name is Lily.  She was found by a kind human when she was a tiny little kitten hiding under a car.  That was many years ago, and Lily was given little chance of surviving.  Well she did, and she grew and became a strong and playful adult feline.  Because acromegaly causes an abnormal secretion of growth hormones, she continues to grow.

Sadly, there are no proven treatments for felines suffering from acromegaly.  All treatments are experimental.  Some experiments have been conducted using treatments for humans suffering from this condition and seeing if it works for these cats, who are often referred to as acrocats.

A while ago, I introduced you to a kind human who had adopted two canines from the San Diego Humane Society and who participated in the Walk for the Animals.  This human is the one who took in Lily when she was a tiny kitten, and she wants thCan Bagheera's Buddies Help Extra Special Diabetic Cat Lily?e best for her feline.

According to the initial research, the most promising treatment for acrocats is radiation therapy.  But just like with humans, this is a very expensive treatment, and she could use some help getting those green paper things.

If you want to help Lily, you can go to her YouCaring page and donate there.  And as always, if you do not have any green paper things to give, please share this story so other humans can help.

My goal with this page is to help raise awareness of feline diabetes.  Now we have an extra special diabetic cat, and I want to help raise awareness of her condition, too.

A Condition That Looks Like Diabetes

Today, I want to let you know about a condition that is very scary, because it can very easily be diagnosed as diabetes.  As a diabetic cat who is also a big cat, this is a condition that many people have warned my human to watch out for.  The condition is called acromegaly.

Bagheera the Diabetic Cat wants Humans to Know About AcromegalyThis condition occurs when the pituitary gland develops a tumor, and it starts to secrete growth hormones.  What happens when this occurs is what happened with the humans who attempted to show cat like reflexes with a stick and ball.  It’s cute that you humans think those are fast reflexes.  We felines could do so much better if we could hold that stick!

But unlike the humans who played that game, since the growth hormone secretion is at a lot higher concentration, acromegaly creates severe problems.  Our paws, jaws, tongue, and forehead become enlarged and disproportional.  In addition to this, we tend to urinate a lot, have an almost insatiable appetite, and have cardiovascular irregularities.  In addition, diabetic cats with this disease become very insulin resistant.  Doses of more than 20 units per day are required!  To put things in perspective for you, even my highest dose is only 6.5 units per shot, or 13 units per day.

Acromegaly is diagnosed by either testing the blood of a cat who the humans in white coats think have the disease or by giving our pituitary gland a CT scan.  Typically, CT scans are the best way to diagnose this condition. Bagheera the Diabetic Cat Wants You to Be Aware of Acromegaly

If a diagnosis of acromegaly is confirmed, the short and medium term prognosis is okay, but the long term prognosis is not good.  Generally speaking, cats with acromegaly will die due to heart failure, renal failure, or excessive growth of the pituitary gland.

My human is very confident I do not have this disease, because the amount of insulin I am getting does not indicate acromegaly and because my jaw, tongue, forehead, and paws are not growing.  But he will keep an eye out for it, and all humans with diabetic cats should be aware of it.