Pana Animal Hospital

1100 E Jackson St
Pana, IL 62557

(217)562-5558

www.panaanimalhospital.com


The Daily Colby, Special Edition Guest Writer Cindy Duez - 01/29/2022

 

Last winter, I noticed that one of my cats had lost weight.  My daughter brought a scale to our home and we weighed him to be sure.  He had lost several pounds so off to Pana Animal Hospital he went.  They fitted him in as a drop off for an exam and tests.  I was expecting to learn that he had a dental issue or maybe a thyroid problem.  He was eating, using the litter box, grooming himself, and as active as normal.  I was stunned to learn later that afternoon that his blood sugar was very high.  


He came home that evening with Vetslin, a box of syringes, and diabetic cat food.  I had never given an injection of any kind.  I was very nervous about giving the injection.  One of the assistants at the Animal Hospital demonstrated how to give the injection and then watched as I did my first one.  It was a quick learning curve since Archer needed twice daily injections.  To be honest, I dreaded each one for quite a while.


We have four cats.  Their food is out all day so they can eat on demand.  I didn't think it was possible to feed Archer his prescription diet and feed the other cats their normal diet.  I was positive that Archer would eat the non-prescription food if it was left out and, since two of the cats are "stealth eaters" (they won't eat if someone is watching or in the room), setting the food out and taking it away was not an option.  So, all four cats transitioned to Archer's prescription diet.  


More than 20 years ago, I had another diabetic cat.  Treatment has changed a great deal since then.  With my first diabetic cat, I had the option of injections or oral medication.  I chose the oral medication and she was well maintained on it for several years.  The vet did regular blood and urine tests to check her glucose levels.  I also fed her a prescription diet.  At that time, we had three cats and they all ate the prescription food.  When I tried feeding the diabetic cat separately, she snuck in and ate the non-prescription food.  When all the cats were on the prescription diet, she would sometimes steal bites of the dog's food.  


Archer returned to the vet after a period of time on the Vetslin and had a glucose curve.  His levels were still high so his dosage went up from one to two units twice daily.  After being on the higher dosage for a month, he went in for another glucose curve.  Still too high.  So, he got a new insulin variety.  The cycle repeated and his glucose was still too high so his dosage was increased twice.  Since he was otherwise healthy, the vets began to look for an underlying issue and Archer and his brother from the same litter went in for dental cleanings.  Both cats needed the cleaning and both had a couple of teeth that were extracted.  We waited awhile and tested his blood again.  His glucose level is still quite high but has come down.  


There have been several challenges to treating Archer's diabetes.  He's become a worse food beggar than our dogs.  I need to keep track of how many times a syringe has been used (three is the magic number before they need to be discarded).  I need to store his insulin in the refrigerator and keep track of how many days since the first puncture of the bottle because it is no good after 60 days.  So, I count the days when we get a new bottle and mark both the calendar and the bottle to be sure that I don't exceed the 60 day limit.  In addition to the prescription food, Archer also has special treats since the ones that the other cats get are not good for him.  Both his food and treats can't be purchased at any of the usual places you buy pet food.  Even to order the food online requires a prescription.  


One issue that I did not anticipate was the need to find a new litter.  Archer's urine is different; I assume because of the high glucose content.  The clumping litter that I had been using was sticking to the litter box and became increasingly difficult to get out.  I tried new litter boxes which helped only for a very short period of time. I then started looking online at diabetic cat forums for recommendations about litter.  I tried a few different kinds until I found one that worked well for us.  


Fortunately, Archer is a pretty laid back cat and he tolerates his twice daily injections well.  He knows they are coming.  We have a routine that is working for us.  I feed the cats twice a day.  After I've filled the food bowls, medication is dispersed.  All of the cats know the routine and they also know that treats are dispensed with medication.  So, I give the other cats their treats and Archer gets his metabolic treats.  He waits for the injection that he knows is coming before eating the treats.  


Living with and treating my cat's diabetes has not been easy but it is doable.  Archer is still a relatively young cat at 5 years of age.  When we adopted him from the Pana Animal Hospital,  I made a commitment to care for him for his lifetime.  I don't want him to have either a poor quality of life or a shorter life span because treating his condition is challenging for me.  I don't think he realizes that he is sick.  He's accepted the new routine with good grace and is enjoying his life, sleeping in sunny windows, romping with the other cats, and being petted and snuggling with his humans.





The Daily Colby, Edition 9 Diabetes - 01/15/2022

 Hey everyone,


The clinic is a revolving door of new animals and owners to meet, but sometimes we have recurring patients that we see every week or so. I say they are just here to see me but the girls say I am being selfish. We have a few of my feline friends that have been in recently for glucose curves. That means they have diabetes and we are trying to regulate their insulin dosages. Just like in humans, animals can get diabetes, and they also require insulin to help regulate their bodies sugar levels.


With new diabetic patients the doctor likes to start with a low dose of insulin and see how their body responds. This means a couple of all day visits with us. That is lots of fun for me! I like when I know who is coming into my clinic and when. Dogs can also get diabetes, although I don’t like it as well when they visit! Diabetes is manageable with medications for the most part but they are usually pretty sick when they get to us. A lot of times the animals have lost weight, drink a lot more, and pee a lot more. This isn’t fun for the owners or the patients. Our glucose curves help figure out the right dose of insulin for each specific pet! The patient stays with us for the day and we draw their blood at 2 hour intervals to see what their sugar levels are like. This shows us how their body responds to insulin at all parts of the day. Our very smart doctors then take those numbers and decide whether we need to change insulin doses or continue on the path we have already established for each patient. This is very important for each pet. The insulin is what makes their sugars stay at safe and healthy levels so they can live a relatively normal life. I personally don’t have diabetes but I do have friends that have it. They seem so sick and tired when they come in, but their owners say they have a new lease on life when their insulin is regulated properly. Animals can get diabetes for all kinds of different reasons. They can develop diabetes because of genetics, lifestyles, and even some of the medications if used long term. This is why our doctors try very hard to educate clients on proper medications (and when to use them) and what kinds of foods my fur-friends should eat. I think my doctors here at PAH are really good at helping prevent diabetes in those that they can, and helping treat those that do develop it. 


I hope that all these patients that have it will learn to live a healthy and happy life with their insulin levels regulated before long. In the meantime though I sure do love to see them come in for their curves. I tell the girls all about it while they draw the patients blood. Of course I am always there supervising. I really like to supervise things around here and curves are no different! Someone has to make sure the girls are doing their jobs right. They try to tell me I’m just being nosey but I know better. 


Well, I’m off to supervise the next incoming case. 


Colby



The Daily Colby, Edition 8 - 08/07/2021

 Colby here,


I think I mentioned before that I have a new sister here at PAH. The girls just insisted that I have the company. I think the real reason they kept her around is because they felt bad for her. Don’t tell Brie but we all know I’m still the favorite. Brie came to PAH because of things called bladder stones. I’m sure you’ve heard of them. People can get them too. Bladder stones are crystallized minerals in urine that develop into rock like structures when bound together. These “rocks” can be impassable for the patient and have to be surgically removed. That is what happened to Brie. 


Brie came to PAH because she had frequent UTI’s (urinary tract infections) and couldn’t seem to get better no matter what antibiotic we put her on. She had blood in her urine and just didn’t seem like herself. The smart doctors here at PAH decided to take an x-ray to see if there was something else going on. Of course they were right, Brie had bladder stones. She needed surgery to remove them so they would stop causing her discomfort and wouldn’t cause anymore issues. That surgery can be pretty expensive because it is a pretty in depth surgery and can take the doctors lots of time to do. After surgery, Brie would have to have a special food for the rest of her life that helps those minerals break down before they develop into the stones. The main cause for UTIs and bladder stones falls to food most of the time. Cats (and dogs) can have a genetic predisposition to them, just like humans, but generally it is their food. These kinds of things can have environmental factors, diet factors, genetic factors, and sometimes even unknown causes though. Some of the food, owners unknowingly feed us, can definitely encourage this kind of thing to happen. I also ask Dr. Lutz or Dr. Mettendorf whether I should have a specific food. They know what's best for not only my urinary tract, but also my digestive tract. They also know how to prevent things like this. If they don’t, they will find the answers for you. 


Brie was smart enough to end up at Genesis Animal Rescue, just like I did once upon a time, and they got her the help she needed. GAR and PAH decided to do the surgery to remove the stones and put her on that special food I mentioned before. She has been healthy and happy since! That’s how she got to stay at PAH. If you ask me, she overdid it a bit. She could have just been cute like me, and got their attention! Of course, she says the same thing about me and my food allergies.  I think they took pity on her. She was here with her special food, being monitored to make sure she didn’t have any complications with the food, her utis, or the surgery itself. That’s when Dr. Lutz fell in love with her. She said she was sweeter than me and friendlier to the clients. Whatever that means! I am always friendly to the clients. Just because they don’t understand my attitude doesn’t mean it's my fault. I mean it is my home. I can do what I want! She, of course, let Brie stay after that. I guess it’s ok though. I kind of like her. She is definitely fun to pick on, and she really will let clients see her when I don’t feel up to the company. She also entertains the girls as much as I do. I mostly handle the patients though. She doesn’t like to visit them like I do. She spends most of her time napping on Dr. Lutz’ chair. So I say as long as she stays out of my way we’ll be fine. She hasn’t had any more UTIs since her food switch and surgery, which is great! It means that she can thrive while living at PAH. 


Well I’m off to go bug Brie. She needs to understand that I am still the boss. I periodically have to annoy her to let her know JUST THAT. I bet I can go wake her up and chase her out of Dr. Lutz's office right now! My new sister really is going to love having an awesome big brother like me!


Colby



The Daily Colby, Edition 7 - 07/10/2021


Hey all! Guess what?! There is always something new at PAH. Most cats don’t seem to like change, but I am fairly good at adapting (especially when it benefits me). I feel like I haven’t talked to you guys in a while and I wanted to update you on all the new people PAH has hired to love on me. I just can’t wait for them to get to know me more!

Courtney is actually not a new hire but is returning to regular hours at the clinic! She is back to love on me, I knew she couldn’t stay away long. Courtney had some previous employment opportunities that she had taken on but her duties there were finished and she needed to see more of me, so she came back! Courtney is coming back wearing many different hats at our clinic. Our patients will see the nice clean clinic when Courtney does kennels with us, she is also a surgery assistant where she watches out for our sleeping patients and helps the surgery technician take care of them, and she may even be found in an exam room checking in patients. She is truly a jack of all trades and we are excited to have her back! 

Rebekah is a new employee here at PAH. She is a kennel attendant and exam room assistant. She is in charge of cleaning our clinic from top to bottom and taking care of our boarders/hospitalized patients. Rebekah does a good job of making sure my room is always clean and I get fed properly. She does the same for our other patients here at PAH. She also checks people into the rooms and let’s the doctors know what is going on with your patients. She helps hold them and let them know they are loved even when they don’t think they are with us! I think she already really likes me. I haven’t even had to nip at her yet to show her who is boss! Don’t worry guys I will teach her how to give me rides around the clinic and make sure she always has my bed properly fluffed-I guess I’ll make sure she does the same for the other patients as well!

We also have a new member of the clinic that I am sometimes excited about sometimes not so much. I have a new sister named Brie. The girls thought it was really clever to name her after a cheese like me. Brie came to us because she requires a specific food in order to not develop bladder stones. That food can be expensive so she didn’t have many people interested in adopting her. She was staying up at the clinic and, apparently taking pointers from me, because all the girls fell in love with her too. Dr. Lutz said she could stay with us then. I guess she is alright as far as sisters go. She spends most of her time on Dr. Lutz’s chair in the office or socializing. She sure thinks people think she is cute! It’s ok though because I know I am still really the girls’ favorite, even if they won’t admit it. They say they love both of us very much. 

I hope everyone gets a chance to meet all three of the new girls and loves them as much as they love me, or something like that!

See ya later,

Colby








The Daily Colby, Edition 6 8-26-2020 - 08/26/2020

 Hey it’s Colby,


I always say that Pana Animal Hospital is lucky to have gotten me, but really

I am lucky to have been adopted by them. I am a cat of many problems.

I have my Feline Gingivitis, Lower Urinary Tract Disease, an allergy to chicken

by products, and who knows how many other problems they have yet to discover.

This all means a combination of medications, food, and monitoring that has to

happen at all the right times to make sure that I feel ok. I can’t say I’d expect

other owners to handle all of my problems (although I know there are great

owners that would take on a special cat like me). It is really lucky I have a

whole team of “owners” to watch over me. 


I bet you’ve noticed that I haven’t been out and about at the clinic as much lately,

and that I haven’t had much to say. I haven’t been feeling the greatest. I had a

series of high temperatures and UTIs (urinary tract infections). I have also been

feeling really down in the dumps due to my Feline Gingivitis lately. The girls have

worked tirelessly to help me feel better. They first worked on getting my

temperatures to regulate. I was placed on an antibiotic to help me fight off

infections-like a UTI-that could cause me to have a fever and feel crummy.

They got bloodwork on me to make sure that I didn’t have any kidney issues

and to monitor my white blood cell counts so that they would know when the

infections were completely taken care of. After all my infections seemed to be

cleared up, they noticed I still wasn’t myself. I was very lethargic and really just

wanted to hide in my cage all day. Luckily the girls know me and know I am a very

inquisitive cat, so they knew I must not be better yet. 


With no obvious problems with bloodwork, urinalysis, x-rays, countless exams,

and chiropractic adjustments, they turned to the last resort. I had my very first dental!

I hated it. It will be a lifelong thing for me. My girls always recommend dentals to

pets in need. They tell the crazy pets that chew on hard things and break teeth to

get dentals, the older pets who don’t allow their humans to brush their teeth to get

dentals, and anyone else that they see seems to be in pain, or sick because of a

thing called periodontal disease to get a dental. I thought they were crazy. I thought

they just liked to torture these poor pets and pull out their teeth. They always joke

that they'd like to do that to me when I bite them, afterall!


I’ll let you guys in on a little secret though. . . listen to my girls. They fixed me!!

I only needed two little teeth pulled this time around and the rest of them are

pearly white. I am absolutely shocked about how much better I feel.

The girls are all rejoicing and telling me how excited they are to see me out

and about making my usual rounds to the other patients, crying to be held,

and even bugging Dr. Lutz for my special treats again! My teeth weren’t even

that dirty and I am only 4 but that made all the differences in the world to how I was feeling.

I may hate dentals and the medications I have to take after, but you can bet because

the girls did a dental on me I will be more than happy to come up and visit you

next time you stop by the clinic. So regular clients/patients, I’ll be seeing you

in the lobby for your next visit.


Love,

A much happier and healthier Colby!