Leonard the Burmese cat was overweight, he was food obsessed and lived mostly indoors, and his weight had ballooned to 6 kg!
About a year ago, his owners brought Leonard in to see us as he wasn’t using his back legs as much and was drinking a lot. We did some blood tests and it showed that Leonard was diabetic and the hind limb paresis was a phenomenon particular to diabetes.
Diabetes is not uncommon in overweight cats and happens due to insulin resistance, the same reason it happens in overweight people, or Type II Diabetes. Burmese cats are particularly prone to it, for reasons which are unknown.
We started Leonard on insulin injections twice daily. We showed Leonard’s owners how to draw up and inject the insulin, and talked about what to do if Leonard had a ‘hypo’ episode (low blood sugar). As it is difficult to monitor his blood sugar level as frequently as humans do, we recommend keeping everything else that affects blood sugar levels constant, and put him on a regular twice daily insulin dose. We monitor his food intake and also try and regulate his exercise (or daily routine) which corresponds to how much glucose he uses.
Over a period of 8 months, Leonard’s weight decreased and his hind limb weakness resolved. With his decrease in weight, his insulin requirement also decreased.
Finally, during a diabetes check up, it was found that Leonard’s blood sugar levels were normal. He now lives a diabetes free life! We have maintained him on his premium cat food so as to keep him in tip top condition, and we see him regularly for routine check ups.