All of the questions

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Chelsea, Sep 26, 2017.

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  1. Chelsea

    Chelsea New Member

    Sep 25, 2017
    I'm brand new here, so all of the questions.

    First tell me a few of the things you wished you knew right out of the gate! Hindsight is always 20/20 so I'd love to hear what your experiences were.

    Second. Food. I'd like to go wet food only. Cost is a factor for me. I know that keeping carbs under 10% in crucial, and I've looked over the chart Dr. Pierson has, which I found super helpful. What have you found is the best bang for your buck? I'm happy to go all wet for both of my furbabies. Kitty (the diabetic) ideal weight is probably around 14-15lbs (according to my vet). We're at 11.5lbs right now. (this guy has gone from 26lbs in January to 11.5 as of yesterday) Mac is a tiny lady coming in at a whopping 6lbs sopping wet. So I'm thinking food requirements/day Kitty: 12 oz/day Mac: 6oz/day So if I'm not totally off the mark we're looking at 18oz food per day.
    Fortunately I don't have picky eaters in the house. Kitty (my newly diagnosed, cat who I've just adopted) will eat just about anything he can get his paws on. Mac, my healthy girl thinks canned cat food is her reason on earth.

    Testing/Feeding/Dosing Schedule
    I want to test. I plan to go buy a human glucose tester today. I understand that they're calibrated differently so what that tester says and what the vet's tester says will be different. Does anyone have any idea what the difference is? Is it like a just add 5% and that's roughly the actual result?
    With testing, what does an ideal testing schedule look like? Or maybe I should say a common testing schedule?
    I can't really do mid-day home and work are about a half an hour apart.
    I was prescribed Vetsulin @2U/dose. I understand Vetsulin is the fast/short working insulin of the bunch. On that type of insulin, what's the best bet? Test. Insulin. Wait how long to feed?
    I know that with feeding/dosing it's important to really stick to a schedule. I live by myself, and I'm pretty stinking busy this time of year. (I run a haunted house :) I plan to have someone drop by in the evenings during nights that I can't be home at dinner time. Is it super-duper important that he eat right at the same time every time. Or is it acceptable to feed maybe an hour early or an hour late occasionally?

    Thanks in advance for all of your help!
  2. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2017
    Hi Chelsea,
    I do not have much time at the moment so forgive me for being brief. But here are some answers for you;
    Wet food is the way to go for a diabetic kitty. Most of us here use Friskies Classic Pates like Mixed Grill or a Poultry Platter (better to avoid fish flavors) it is $0.48 per 5.5 oz can @Walmart or Fancy Feast Pates $0.57 per 2.8 oz can @Walmart. Both are good choice except that both have high Phosphorous content and if a cat has kidney issues better to find something else instead.
    How much to feed: depends on the caloric requirements individually and the level of activity. 6 oz Friskie Pate - just below 200 Kcal for Mac will maintain her current weight is she doesn't go outside/ or very active in any other way. If you are to increase her weight than feed her a little more that 6 oz. For your diabetic kitty - if he goes out than 300 Kcal per day is probably good intake for him to maintain the current level. If he stays at home during the cold/wet months than this much of calories will help him to gain. Have you seen Dr. Pierson chart? Uploaded below. She lists both caloric content and P levels for Friskies and Fancy Feasts.
    The most important testing times are the pre shot tests in both AM and PM. Thay are to be taken at least 2 hours after the last meal or your results will be falsely inflated by the food. If BG is too low - do not inject, do not feed and post her for help. If the BG number too low, do not feed and take another test in 15-25 min to see if he raises naturally. IF he does raise - than feed and give injection if you are confident. Post for advise here or on the Vetsulin sub forum - some one with experience will be along to guide you for the first couple of times. Usually for the new members who haven't got a lot of data/test results collected over period of time we suggest not to inject if the pre-shot test below 200 on the human meter.
    Another important test to take is at "onset" of the insulin. I am not familiar with Vetsulin (use Lantus). Have you read the Sticky note on Vetsulin? HERE it is. You base your dosing on how low it goes at nadir- the lowest point of the cycle, not on the pre shot values. When my cat's responses were not known to me at the beginning I tested her frequently to figure out what onset and what her nadirs where. In a few weeks of collecting tests her patterns began to show. I always posted a lot for help in understanding/ interpreting her BG numbers - great help and wealth of knowledge available here.
    Meters: the dosage protocol we use here is written for human meters. I use Walmart brand Relion Micro - $15 for the meter, $38/100 testing strips and cannot complain. I always maintain good stock of strips at home as well extra box of Lancets - gauge 29 - 33.
    Test - feed - shoot only if eaten.

    I have to run now. Do you have any other questions?
    I hope someone will chime in to help out. I'll check in with you later on.

    God bless your kindness for taking in a diabetic! It is very manageable illness and many cats have long happy lives even if not in remission.

    Attached Files:

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  3. Caitlin M

    Caitlin M Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2017
    Hi Chelsea!

    First, welcome to you, Kitty and Mac! I use a different type of Insulin so PLEASE make sure you go read all the stickies under the Vetsulin forum. They are so incredibly helpful.
    As far as food goes, most of us feed Fancy Feast or Friskies Pate only. Gravy types are much higher carb content and can be used when you need to steer (am I getting ahead of myself with that word?). I had originally switched to Fancy Feast for my two boys, but the cans are only 3oz and I quickly realized I needed more bang for my (cheaper) buck. I now feed Friskies pate and they're 5oz each. I give the Turkey and giblets and Ocean whitefish and tuna. I believe they were some of the lowest card/highest protein for the pate. I buy them from PetSmart and you get one can free for buying a certain amount (maybe 23?). Personally, it's worked out great for me and my budget. I can buy 72 cans for around $30.
    Insulin- again, I use a different type but most times we suggest everyone start at 1 unit, twice a day to see how they react, then slowly increase by .25 when we bump them up. Vets can sometimes be too aggressive and also like to ignore a thing called bouncing. It's when they have a higher PreShot number, you shoot too much, they go very low/quickly and to make up for the drop, they 'bounce' and you get another high PS. You always want a nice, gentle smile from their numbers all day (when you so a curve you'll hopefully see that). A 12 hour schedule is ideal. It's ok if you can't get any midday numbers because of work but always try to get a test in before bed if possible! Also, get as many midday tests as you can on the weekend. It may seem very time consuming but the more you do it, the quicker it'll be. I am such a stickler for getting midday tests because they tell you EVERYTHING. Are they dropping too low? When is their nadir? Does your dose need to be bumped up or down? PS numbers are great, but midday tests will answer many questions or at the very least, give you some ideas.
    Always test, feed and shoot. NEVER, never, never shoot if they have not eaten. It's safer to skip a shot than be in a crisis hypo situation. It's sometimes hard to feel okay not shooting, but it's better in the long run.
    I myself use the ReliOn Confirm from Walmart. A pack of 100 test strips is about $37. Lancets are less then $2 I believe and I also use the ReliOn brand for alternate site testing (I forget what gauge it is). Grab some Neosporin + pain relief ointment (not cream). You'll use it to help with poking! As far as the difference with human and pet meters- they're just calibrated a bit differently. There's no way to look at a human reading number and make it match a pet meter. They just have different numbers for safe and unsafe ranges. Also, think of it this way- before pets became more valuable and mainstream to us, there was no specific pet food, litter, etc. We used human versions. So, until a company realized they could make a pet meter and make money/market it towards pets, human meters would have been used. If you feel you still need a pet meter, many people have both and only use it to do curves so their vet can understand the numbers. Testing strips are much more expensive though.
    Good good, I'm sorry for such a long response! We have all been newbies and had a million questions. I'm about 7 months in and still feel like a newbie sometimes! Just keep asking questions :) Also, try to set up the spreadsheet so you can start entering numbers and people can view it to help as well. Good luck!
    Chelsea likes this.
  4. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    Here's what I wish I'd known:
    1. the importance of testing blood glucose before giving insulin as well as at a variety of other times day to day to learn my kitty's responses. A weekly BG curve for my vet told me nothing.
    2. even the best, most well-intentioned vet has limited experience treating feline diabetes and I got much better results after taking on the task myself - with help from FDMB.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  5. Smokey'sMomma

    Smokey'sMomma New Member

    Aug 19, 2017
    Smokey was just diagnosed in August. We are not testing at home yet. He is on Vetsulin. Started at 2u 2x's daily, after he has eaten. Vet has sticker on bottle that says to give food with the shot.
    His last big was 200. His appetite is back. We have not had to change his diet at all.
  6. Mandy & Rex

    Mandy & Rex Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2017
    If you want a bigger bang for your buck with food, you can find Friskies in 13 oz cans at Walmart, Target, and Dollar General. Dollar General is cheapest for me. I have 4 cats so I was going through approximately 20 oz a day!

    I also use the ReliOn Confirm meter. If you want to save even more money on the strips, go to eBay and try and get some when they are on "sale," ie cheaper than what you would pay at the store.

    Test, test, test ... that's the best tool you will have to keep your kitty safe and in good numbers.

    Good luck! :bighug:
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