March 2009 - Bartok Hughes
Bartok's acidic episode
Bartok, an 11 year old domestic short hair cat, has been treated for diabetes mellitus since the age of 10. Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease where carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism is defective due to a failure to produce or respond to insulin.
The vet was called out to examine Bartok when the cattery he was staying at noticed he was vomiting and becoming lethargic. He was also resting his head on his water bowl with no signs of wanting to move. The vets’ initial concern was that Bartok was suffering a hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar level) episode. This can be a life threatening condition so Bartok was rushed into the surgery. A blood glucose reading was taken which showed that Bartok’s glucose levels were above the average range recommended for a cat. A comprehensive blood sample was also run. Bartok was dehydrated and had a subnormal temperature; he was immediately placed onto intra venous fluids and placed in an incubator to help raise his temperature.
The blood test revealed that enzymes within the liver were raised and there was a decrease in the potassium, phosphorus and sodium levels.
A urine sample was obtained which showed a high number of ketones being excreted. This revealed the cause of Bartok’s dehydration. The vet diagnosed the condition as ketoacidosis. This condition can occur if the diabetes is uncontrolled. Ketoacidosis causes the body’s cells and blood to become acidic which can have a detrimental effect on the liver and kidneys. The out look for Bartok was not good.
He was started on a course of insulin neutral injections to lower the amount of ketones and glucose in his blood. Bartok was inappetant so he was syringe fed a highly concentrated diet to ensure he had sufficient amounts of protein and energy which he required to aid his recovery. Multi vitamins were placed in his fluid bags as well as a slow infusion of potassium.
Regular checks and frequent blood glucose samples were taken throughout his hospitalisation with a continuous treatment regime. Blood and urine samples were taken each day to allow the vet to monitor Bartok’s progress.
Eventually with lots of love, care and constant monitoring, Bartok turned a corner and began to regain his normal characteristics. His electrolytes began to rise towards the normal range. Gradually Bartok began to eat by himself and was able to come off his drip. After 4 days, he was allowed home with constant monitoring and lots of cuddles.