Intermittent Diabetic Symptoms with Mouth Pain

Symptoms are Red Flags; there is Help for Financial Constraints


Gritz is an 8 year old cat, weighs 14 lbs. His urine has an overwhelming odor. When he uses the litter box it sounds like a fire hose. It seems sticky. He has a good appetite and drinks plenty of water. He was very sick 1 month ago with severe dehydration, not eating, drinking, or going to the bathroom. He also had a very sticky clear substance that he was drooling. The only thing the vet could find was a high protein level in his urine. He now seems ok but I am concerned that we might be missing something. Our female cat had some of the same symptoms with the loss of appetite and not drinking or using the litter box and was vomiting the same clear sticky substance. My husband and I are seniors and have a lot of medical expenses. Do I need to be concerned?


Dr. Nichol:

Gritz’s history of dehydration, generous appetite and thirst, along with a large volume of sticky urine (suggesting sugar) is shouting diabetes. Intermittent symptoms, like urine sugar that comes and goes, sometimes precede a diabetic crisis. This boy could go downhill quickly and die if things get out of control.


Feline diabetes cases are skyrocketing. As more busy cat owners provide unlimited dry food the American feline girth continues its expansion. At 14 pounds Gritz is the chunky monkey poster cat for diabetes risk. He’s made the A list.


That drooling also concerns me. Gritz may have shared calici (CQ) virus or plasma cell stomatitis (CQ) with your other cat. Either of these infections can lead to mouth pain, drooling, and poor appetite. Kidney failure and dental disease could cause similar misery. Both of your cats need a thorough exam and lab profile.


You are not alone with your financial constraints; good medical care isn’t cheap. I suggest contacting Animal Humane (255.5523). Their Pet Save program can cover diagnosis and treatment of pets owned by low income folks. Your cats deserve a good life.