Are you kidding me?

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Tinker's Mom, Nov 12, 2017.

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  1. Tinker's Mom

    Tinker's Mom New Member

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    Nov 12, 2017
    Hi there. My furkid Tinker is 10. He was diagnosed last week. My vet basically said to give him 2 units of Lantus every 12 hours and change him to Purina DM. Which freaked me out but I bought the pen and the needles and watched a video and thought, ok I can do this.

    Then, being a good kitty mom I start reading on the interwebs and I find this site which says I need to test his Bg multiple times a day? And do curves, and worry about his levels and dips and timing of his snacks??? Which brings up several questions:

    1. Why didn't my vet tell me all this?
    2. Do I really have to do all this? I mean why is all this testing so important?
    3. Are you kidding me?!?!?

    Sorry but I think I am in denial here. Help!!!

    P.s. He has been on insulin for about 3 days and is still drinking a lot.
     
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    welcome

    1. He didn't want to overwhelm you and have you opt to put your cat to sleep for something that is treatable.

    2. At minimum its best to get at least a preshot reading twice a day to make sure he's high enough to shoot. Ideally you get a mid cycle number as well to see how low it goes.

    It's important to test because It's the best way to keep your cat safe and find the ideal dose. It takes away the stress of guessing if he's too low which can be deadly. It is your best tool to get your cat regulated and hopefully into remission.

    It will save you money and stress of bringing the cat to the vet for curves. It is more accurate then curves and readings at the vet because it's not falsely elevated from vet stress.

    In the end whether you test is up to you. I waited six weeks. After I started I wished I had started sooner.

    I have a video in my signature showing how I test my cat CC.
     
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  3. Tinker's Mom

    Tinker's Mom New Member

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    Nov 12, 2017
    Thanks Janet! So the worry is he will go too low?

    I watched your video, it doesn't look that bad :)

    Laura
     
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  4. Anne-Callie

    Anne-Callie New Member

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    Aug 31, 2017
    My Callie was diagnosed in early September.My vet advised me to feed her fancy feast classic and friskies pate.And absolutely no dry food.She gets 2 units of protamine zinc twice a day.The vet tech saw her once a week to test her levels.She is doing well and will be seen once a month unless I have concerns. I feed her 2-3 times a day.I don’t give her any snacks.It’s scary at first but gets easier over time.Callie seems to know when it’s time for her shot and cooperates and she is not your typical lap cat.Good luck.
     
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
  6. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Welcome! It seems that most vets do not actually know a lot about feline diabetes, unfortunately. So, we have to educate ourselves and play a very active role in the care of our babies. Really, you do not HAVE to do anything. There are plenty of people out there who do not home test. They go to the vet every week or every few weeks for a test and to be told whether to change the insulin dose. In some cases, they are fortunate, and that blind approach ends up working, but it is a bit like playing Russian roulette. It also means unnecessary vet visits that usually stress cats out and that cost money.

    When you learn even just a little about diabetes, you see how dangerous the blind approach is. Sending your baby's glucose too low is very dangerous, and random testing done once a week or every few weeks does not provide an accurate picture of the impact insulin is having. Even fructosamine tests are not an ideal way to determine dosing. There is also the matter of what your goal is. Most vets are fine with just controlling the clinical symptoms (get them to stop losing weight as well as drinking and peeing a lot) whereas most of us hope to achieve remission at some point. If remission is the goal, normally, a more controlled approach to treatment is needed.

    It is so overwhelming in the beginning, but it really does get better. If you can select a very low carb wet food that your baby likes and get him on that, that is a significant piece of the puzzle. Testing before each shot (making sure he has not had food for two hours prior) is the minimum just to make sure the glucose level warrants insulin. Then, whenever possible, get a test somewhere near mid-cycle. Over time, you will have enough data go get a good picture of how he is responding to the insulin which will allow you and the vet to make good dosing decisions. This forum is a great resource for support and advice. So, be sure to post any questions you have on the Main Health Forum.
     
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  7. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Welcome to the forum, and to cat diabetes. You are getting great advice from the others.

    Like many, I did not test when Leo first had diabetes...and I was giving him insulin. It is much safer to test before dosing. And it doesn't take very long. Over time you will become an expert. The first few weeks can be challenging. Especially with a furry wriggly worm...I mean kitty. I always give Leo a treat after testing...so he knows a reward is coming.
     
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  8. Ashley & Harry

    Ashley & Harry Member

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    Mar 16, 2016
    Hey there! So I haven't been an active member of the forum lately, because my kitten is at good levels. But some key things that I remember from early on...

    When Harry was first diagnosed, I just... zoned out. I didn't even listen to what the vet said because I was pretty much in shock. It was really, really hard, and really, really scary. Fortunately, my husband (who, at the time, had only known my kitten for less than a year) was there, and he was able to listen and take it all in. The main points I learned over the past two years or so:

    - Depending on your type of insulin, how you want to give doses may vary. Some types impact your cat pretty quickly, and then go away quickly, such as Vetsulin. Others, like Lantus, build a deposit, and need to be constantly maintained.

    - Once your kitty is used to it, there's no harm in checking blood sugar lots as you figure stuff out. It might pinch a bit but it's for the kitten's overall health. Harry understands that the pokes are for good things, and as long as it doesn't hurt too much, he'll cooperate just fine.

    - There are a million resources on this website. Use them!

    - Someone once made a comment that said that insulin is a hormone, not a drug. And that impacted me a lot, and helped me view it differently. If you think of it as a hormone, it makes more sense that it might take a while to build up and to change things. "Insulin is a hormone, not a drug. You don't always see obvious improvement when you go up with each increase in dose. Sometimes you reach a better dose and all of a sudden the good numbers show up." (@Wendy&Neko)

    - We do the best we can with what we are given. If you need to skip a dose, it's okay. It's better to have your cat be too high for a few days than be too low. Too high is bad longterm, but survivable. Too low can mean very, very bad things. Do what you can. It's okay. The members of this site are so, so understanding. I've messed up, I've done silly things, and they've never criticised me for it. They've said "hey, this doesn't make sense, have you tried xyz?" but they haven't called me an idiot, they haven't called me stupid, they haven't said I'm a bad pet momma for it.

    - I know it's really, really scary at first. It's okay. I promise, it really is. Things will tone down before too long. I've fainted at the sight of needles before, and now I'm able to give my kitten shots, because I know that that is what he needs. Just know that as long as you're taking care of your sugarbaby, you're doing what you can. You can come here for help whenever you want to, or need to. It may seem like a HUGE burden at first. It's okay. It's not bad for you to wish things weren't so hard sometimes. Once you get used to the routine, it becomes just as normal as brushing your teeth.

    - Be strong. It's okay to take time off for yourself sometimes. It's okay to let the responsibility fall on someone else for a little while, if you have to. Don't forget to take care of yourself while you're taking care of your kitty. You want to try to be as consistent for your cat as you can during this, but if you falter, it's okay.

    You can do this. The members here are more than happy to help you. They're such good people.
     
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  9. Ashley & Harry

    Ashley & Harry Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Also, I want to add -- testing is important because if you don't test, your kitten might go too low... and if that happens, like I said, bad things can happen. There are some very unfortunate stories of people given cats their insulin for the night, and waking up to find the cat in a very bad state. It's worth it to make sure your kitten is going to be okay. Always test. It can save your kitten.

    edit to my edit: Since you're on Lantus, it might take a while for his symptoms to go away. If they don't, and you keep an eye on his blood sugar with home testing, you may want to adjust his dosage. You can also go to the Lantus forum for advice, they're very helpful people.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  10. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Hello and welcome from me too. Your vet, like mine, was probably just happy you'd said you'd treat your cat. Many don't. :( So good on you for giving insulin. By the way, typically on the Lantus forum we use syringes instead of the pen needles. Cat's insulin doses can change by much tinier amounts than the pens can measure. You might want to read the yellow starred Sticky Notes on the Lantus forum. Lots of good info, but take your time, there is a lot there. Keep asking questions.

    One thing is unique about cats and diabetes - their pancreases can heal and some percentage of feline diabetics will go into remission. Blood testing at home will help you know when Tinker needs less insulin. We give low carb treats when we test, and the kitties soon learn that getting out the test kit means treats. Mine used to beat me to the testing spot. And would often purr through the process.
     
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  11. Tinker's Mom

    Tinker's Mom New Member

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    Nov 12, 2017
    Thank you all, this is very encouraging! I started to try to test but struck out. Will keep trying!! :) :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    Reason for edit: Typed stuck instead of struck! LOL
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  12. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Don't worry. You will get better at it. Really it is a fine art. Once you do your 100th test, you'll be one of the experts! And if you test 4 times a day, that's only one month away.
     
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