Hi Lesa, I've an 11-15 year old? Chartreaux (I'm her 4th owner, no one cared enough pass on her history).
When I got her she was severly overweight, borderline diabetic, and in the process of losing a major canine due to diabetes onset. The vet also found a heart murmur. My baby had no energy, didn't talk or play, and looked perpetually miserable.
After two different vet consultations I was talked into beginning an insulin regimen to manage her diabetes.We tried two different insulins in a 2 month period beginning with ProZinc.
During that time she went from just above borderline diabetes sugar levels (pre-insulin injections) to levels in the high 300 - low 400 levels while the vet was trying to get the insulin type and amount right. She was a mess and went from being lethargic, timid, and docile to being agressive and panicky. She lost all the hair at her injection sites. She was itching like mad all over. It was horrible watching her go through this.
I decided to leave my vet, ditch the insulin and go a holistic route. I did a ton of research during the insulin crisis and settled on a few things that have helped immensely over the last year since.
When I got her I put her on Innova Evo, weaned her off dry kibble and moved to a 95% protein diet. She went from 21 lbs to 10 and has remained at 10 for 4 years now - obviously her 'healthy' weight as she doesn't budge from here unless she's stressed.
Innova sold out to P & G so I switched to raw. The cost is well worth the amazing changes I've seen in her overall wellness.
Her heart and diabetes are no doubt due to the artery damaging, high carb crud that she was fed for so many years.
The high incidence of diabetes and heart disease in humans due to the Western Diet is now mirrored in the poor health of our pets as a result of corn/carb laden commercial pet foods.
I've had her on a raw food diet for almost 2 years (this prior to the insulin) - I prefer Primal over Nature's Variety as Primal includes Taurine in their feline formulas. People will tell you there's enough naturally occuring taurine in meat, thus it's a non-issue, but feline taurine needs are higher than canine needs, thus I'd rather not take a chance.
I feed her at regular 3 hour intervals to keep her blood sugar steady. I do use both 'Tripsy' (to combat the diabetic impact on her kidneys/UT health) and 'Mellit' for diabetes.
I alternate the drops every other day with a daily herbal regimen to address her heart and blood sugar.
In a small bowl I mix the powder from 2 capsules of Nature's Way 'Blood Sugar Formula' (diabetes and kidney support - chromium polynicotinate is the key), 1 capsule Doctor's Best CoQ10 (Heart support), and 1 capsule of Jarrow's 'Hawthorn' (FABULOUS for both human and pet heart health) 500mg.
These are powerful herbs and I made the mistake of giving her one day's dose in one feeding the first time - MISTAKE!
Her little heart was racing as the hawthorne was that effective at increasing circulation.
I found the best method is to divvy it up over each feeding.
I use a kitchen measuring spoon set, choosing the tiniest spoon labeled 'Smidgen', I put enough of the mix to cover the bottom 1/4 of the spoon and sprinkle it over her defrosted raw food nugget.
Ultimately she gets what amounts to a 1/4 capsule of the herbal mix over a 24 hour feeding cycle.
Every other day I giver her 5 drops of Tripsy and Mellit in the morning and 5 more at night.
Since begining these she's testing/averaging BSL of around 130.
Her energy is through the roof, she's vocal, and so very loving. A 180 degree shift from her demeanor during the nightmare insulin incident.
One last thing to report... Last month I went to a new vet to get her yearly check up done. I did not mention my regimen to the vet, nor did I mention she had a heart murmur (I did tell them she'd been diagnosed diabetic and I was refusing insulin).
The vet did not find a heart murmur and was impressed that her blood sugar was borderline without injections despite having been diagnosed so many years back.
Herbal therapies may not work for all pets as there are many varying factors, but the pharmaceutical alternatives in her case were wrecking what was left of her health.
I took a chance and it is working in her favor.
I hope our story may inspire you to do a little herbal research for your baby. I'd definitely suggest Hawthorne and CoQ10 for the cardomyopathy.
I like to occasionally comb the pet forums to see if anyone else has had similar success with herbs. I'm not finding as much pet experimentation as I thought I would.
I should also add I'd NEVER use an herb that's not been deemed safe for felines.
As an example I considered ALA as there's so much sucess with it in human use, but I found a holistic pet forum that says it's specifically toxic to felines.