Special Need: diabetes & acromelagy

Tony As you can see, Tony is a handsome marmalade-and-cream boy. Sit with Tony for more than thirty seconds, and he'll end up in your lap, purring with gratitude. Tony loves nothing so much as being loved.

Well, almost nothing. Most cats enjoy canned food, but Tony takes his appreciation to a new level. For hours before feeding time, Tony will sit in front of his suite door, looking out the window in apparent desperation. When food arrives, Tony runs out the suite door into the hallway, overwhelmed with excitement.

Tony is diabetic and unregulated diabetes can make cats particularly hungry. We assumed his voracious appetite would decrease once we tuned his insulin dosage appropriately. To our surprise, Tony's insuilin requirement kept increasing, and increasing ... and increasing. Our vet began to fear that Tony might have a rare disease, known as acromegaly.

Acromegaly causes the body to produce excessive amounts of growth hormone. This can lead to a number of life-threatening complications, including heart disease (which Tony has now, also). In addition, the excess growth hormone interferes with the body's ability to utilize insulin and often leads to uncontrollable diabetes.

After several expensive tests, we confirmed that Tony had acromegaly, caused by a benign tumor on his pituitary gland. Although the tumor is benign, it continues to grow, aggravating the symptoms.

Tony We have done extensive research on potential treatments and radiation therapy appears to be the only viable option. Left untreated, the tumor would quickly become life threatening. Tony will undergo a radiation treatment once per day for 17 days. The treatment is very expensive, estimated at $5,000. But it is the only hope for extending Tony's life and the specialist seems confident that it will be a big help to him. Tony is a wonderful cat and is the favorite of many volunteers and staff.

If you'd like to become one of Tony's loving friends but can't take him home, please sign up to be his monthly sponsor. Your generous support will help us to provide Tony with the large volumes of food, insulin, medical attention and affection he needs and deserves.

Tony is no longer a resident of Tabby's Place and is, thus, not available for sponsorship. You can read Tony's last update here.