1. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Is there anyone here who is from Australia with a diabetic kitty? My cat Harvey has just been diagnosed and just after some advice as to the most cost effective ways of getting and administering lantus/ other supplies?? Thanks in advance
     
  2. LizzieInTexas

    LizzieInTexas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    I'll tag Darrah for ya, she is in there. I know there are a few others and one (that I know of) in NZ - she will probably know who they are.

    @Girlie's mom
     
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  3. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Thank you so much xx this whole thing is quite scary and despite being a registered nurse and knowing a fair bit about human diabetes I feel quite overwhelmed!
     
  4. carfurby

    carfurby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
  5. LizzieInTexas

    LizzieInTexas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
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  6. LizzieInTexas

    LizzieInTexas Well-Known Member

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    Jul 25, 2016
    Thanks Carla. I hadn't had my morning coffee and couldn't think of anyone else.
     
  7. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Rosanna and Harvey! Welcome to FDMB:)

    I live in Sydney and will help in any way I can.
    What dose of insulin is Harvey on? And what does he weigh?
    It is cheaper to get Lantus from the chemist if your vet is willing to write you a script. Most vets sell it themselves and it is always more expensive that way.
    I also used to get the syringes from the chemist as well. But in the beginning I got it all from the vet until I was sure of the correct things to get. It costs about $29 for a box of 100 syringes from the chemist.

    Are you going to home test the blood sugar?
    I would strongly advise you to do so as it will not only keep Harvey safe but will tell you how the insulin is working in his body. We always test before giving every insulin shot and also in the middle of the cycle to see how far down the insulin has brought the blood sugar. Here are instructions how to start the process of testing the blood sugar(BSL)
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/

    I would also recommend you set up a spread sheet (SS). Here are the instructions. If you have any trouble setting it up...I did....just yell and someone will help you set it up.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    If you decide to go ahead with home testing, and I hope you do, I can tell you a couple of good monitors to buy and what else you need to buy for that as well. I don't want to overwhelm you will information all at once.

    You might find your vet is not keen on you home testing the BSL. A lot of vets don't like it. But it is much safer to do it than not. It doesn't hurt the cat at all and they become very used to it very quickly especially if you reward them with a small piece of low carb food after each test. In fact a lot of cats come to be tested as soon as they see their owners getting ready to test as they associate it all will food.

    What food are you feeding.? There is no need to feed the expensive vet prescription food ...here is a link to what you can buy in Australia. It is best to keep the food under 10 grams of carbs.. canned is much better for them than dry. Dry is not only high in carbs which is no good for diabetic cats, but it is also very low in moisture....about 7% where canned is about 70% and all cats, especially diabetic cats need moisture in their diet. Here is a link
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...anned-food-suitable-for-diabetic-cats.134090/

    Do you have any honey in the house? We recommend you always keep honey available in case kitty drops low and you can give him some to bring his BSL up to a safe level.

    You will find you are on a steep learning curve for the first month and you will probably feel overwhelmed at times. Take comfort in knowing we ALL felt like that in the beginning. I can promise you that you will find it much easier after a short time. Ask lots of questions, we are all very happy to help, and read all the yellow stickies at the top of the pages.
    Bron :)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  8. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
  9. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Having issues posting due to spam alert sorry.
    Thank you so much for this reply.
    After his initial symptoms and urine test I did some googling and switched him to an all wet food diet using the fancy feasts classic cans, so hopefully, that has helped a bit! Before this, he was exclusively dry fed (on Vetelogica as he's had IBS issues before).
     
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  10. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    I got him some Lantus today from the pharmacy, have you ever used the pens to inject?
    My vet was pretty opposed to checking BGL before dosing at home and would prefer I just monitor his urine glucose, but as a nurse, I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable giving insulin without knowing the BGL! Would love your recommendations on monitors and whether or not I'll need to buy the pet specific one, or of a human one is okay?
    I've set up the spreadsheets and am keeping a hard copy log as well with water intake etc.
     
  11. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Thank you so much for replying, I did have all the above written in a polite post but it wouldn't let me post it all together :(.
     
  12. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    I am nurse too so understand how you feel!
    That is great you have changed him over to fancy Feast classic cans. His blood sugar could well have come down after you did that so I would definitely test first before giving any insulin . Don't worry about the vet not wanting you to test. Harvey is your cat and while testing the urine is good, it is not giving you a picture of the current situation but of the previous several hours. You don't have to tell your vet you are testing if you don't want to. Many of us have learn to nod and then go home and continue doing what we were doing. I was very lucky in that my vet was very happy for me to home test but I know his partner thought I was a bit crazy.
    I can't see your SS in your signature so maybe you haven't quite finished setting it up.
    We all use syringes to give the insulin not pens as we go up and down the scale in 0.25 increments of insulin not 1 unit increments which most vets do. It is much safer to go slowly.
    I'll post this then look up the monitors and post them too.
     
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  13. carfurby

    carfurby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
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  14. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
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  15. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    I would only get a human monitor not the pet specific one because the strips for the pet specific one are much more expensive than the human ones and the strips are probably the most expensive thing you will be buying because you will use quite a lot of them. Most of us use the human one. The pet specific one has only been available here in Australia for about a year. Up until then vets always used the human meters.
    Here is the Abbott Optium Neo Freestyle which is the one I used and found very reliable.
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ABBOTT-...ETONE-READING-MONITOR-METER-KIT-/181682283855

    Here are the strips that go with that monitor. I always bought them on eBay and usuallyfrom this person. They are about $60 at the chemist. I found buying on eBay very reliable and never had any problems. Make sure you are buying 100 strips not 10 as they are sold in 10s as well and they are expensive that way.
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/FREE-NE...570244?hash=item4b42482004:g:eHQAAOSw37tV9Aw5

    Here are the lancets. You should get a lancet device in with the monitor kit.
    https://www.amcal.com.au/abbott-thi...MIuq7v8JaK2wIVVx0rCh2e9QHeEAQYBSABEgITTfD_BwE


    I have not used this one but I believe it is good.
    http://www.davidjonespharmacy.com.a...MI0qfvy5mK2wIVmg4rCh3lYg1XEAQYASABEgLfHvD_BwE

    Here are the strips that go with that
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/FREE-SA...098935?hash=item33aeaff3f7:g:GYwAAOxy2CZTZ0Ao

    I'm not sure about the lancets for this monitor so you would need to check on that sorry.
     
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  16. Beth 73

    Beth 73 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Welcome Rosanna and Harvey :bighug: You are in the exact right place for knowledge, wisdom, experience and compassion :bighug: So glad for you and Harvey that you found FDMB :)
     
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  17. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Welcome Rosanna and Harvey :cat:
    I am new to the game too. It is all super overwhelming that's for sure! But the fact that you sought out this group shows you are strong and willing to do what's best for your kitty. There are many knowledgeable people here to help you. You got this ;):)
     
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  18. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Thank you!
    I've just purchased the one you've recommended, looks exactly the same as what I've used in hospitals! Do you test Sheba's urine glucose as well? Haven't ordered strips yet but thinking if I'm monitoring BGL I won't need to do urine, except to look at ketone levels? His full blood test today showed no kidney impairment so thankful for that!
     
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  19. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Hi Rosanna & Harvey!
     
  20. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Great buy!
    I used to use the Ketostix strips, from the chemist, which tested for ketones and glucose. I only used them for ketones but it was interesting to sometimes see what the urine glucose was in comparison to the BSL. I would recommend you get the ketone strips and test fairly frequently while Harvey's BSL are higher than normal. Some cats seem to be more prone to ketones than others and if ketones appear they need to be dealt with promptly as ketoacidosis is a deadly disease in cats.
    It is good to keep an eye on the amount of water drunk and the urine output. When Sheba was bad she used to flood the litter box. Once Harvey gets more under control his drinking and urinary output should come back to a more normal level.
    What symptoms did he have that made you take him to the vet in the first place?
    Do you remember what they said his BSL was at the vets? Most of us find that our cats BSL goes up at the vets due to stress. That can be problematic if the vet is doing a curve and the cat is giving readings higher than he would be doing at home and the vet is using those reading to adjust the dose.
    Once you are home testing you won't need to ever go to the vets for a curve which saves on time and money.
    We base our insulin dose on the nadir not the preshot reading, although we always check the preshot to see that it is safe to give the dose.
    That's really good that Harvey's kidneys are OK! Did you ask for a copy of Harvey's blood test results? Most of us do here as you can then keep a track of how things are going without having to refer back to the vet all the time. Then if you have any worries about any of the results, you can post them on the forum and there are several people who are very knowledgeable about blood test results in cats.
     
  21. Gill & George

    Gill & George Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Hello and welcome Rosanna and Harvey,

    I'm glad you found us and that Bron has been able to help get you started.

    Like Bron I used the keto strips that tested for glucose and ketones, really it was the ketones that I was monitoring for especially when George was unregulated. But testing for glucose in the urine helped give me a good idea of when he was below the renal threshold. But I/we always use the BGL to determine dose and monitor cycles.
     
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  22. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    I didn't ask for results no but definitely will at the followup in 10 days! His BGL this morning was 24.91mmol/L.
    I just noticed that he was urinating large volumes, that was 2 weeks ago and I took him to the vet the day after noticing thinking it was kidney failure! He had no other symptoms other than the urine volume, no excess drinking (he's an only pet and inside only so really easy to monitor all that), no behaviour changes or asking for more food or not eating, so I'm hoping we've caught it really early! There was a weeks delay between the first urine test and the followup appointment as I was sitting my final exams at Uni and my partner was working away. It's been a big shock, we only adopted Harvey last year from a local rescue, so we had no idea of any of his history. My partner is a bit reluctant at the moment, we're only 24 and have no children and he's worried about how this will effect traveling etc or going away for spontaneous weekends, but I'm sure there are boarding places that can accommodate diabetics/hoping for remission eventually with a strict diet!
     
  23. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Welcome Rosanna and Harvey. You have wonderful advice. It is manageable and you will find a way to continue to travel. If planned ahead you can even take Harvey with you.
     
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  24. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Yes it is always a shock to get a diagnosis of FD but really it is a very treatable disease. Sounds like you have caught it early. Very observant......must be the nurse in you!
    Do you have any friends or family who you could train up to look after Harvey when you want to go away for a few days.
    If you are likely to be going away a bit it would be a good idea to look around at alternatives before you suddenly need to find someone..
    I taught my 9 year old granddaughter to test the BSL so I had a back up. She didn't give the insulin but did the testing.
    Your vet would probably take him. The only issue with that is most vets don't have a 24 hour service and don't test in between giving the insulin.
    You might be able to find a vet nurse who is used to giving injections, who you could pay to come in and give the injections and monitor the BSL inbetween doses.
    I like Paula's idea of possible taking him with you.....several people do that.

    Remission is certainly possible. Sheba went into remission for nearly 3 years after about 4 months. Strict low carb diet and monitoring the BSL and adjusting the dose as needed will make a big difference.
    How many times a day are you feeding Harvey? We recommend feeding at preshot, then maybe +3 and +5 and then the same at night. It is easier on the pancreas to give several smaller meals. We recommend not feeding in the two hours before preshot so as it doesn't influence the preshot reading.
    If you are unable to feed at these times because you are at work, there are automatic feeders which are great. I used one for Sheba and it is fine to use canned food in them. Like this
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AUTO-Do...hash=item33a16c680e:m:mZIS9w05nC9ZTgu-DTjP8xA
     
  25. Rosanna Short

    Rosanna Short New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2018
    Also to answer your initial question he is 6.6kg, he is a big cat (tall and broad) and no vet said to us he was overweight until this diagnosis. Hoping to get him to a more healthy weight with the wet food and increased exercise :)
     
  26. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Harvey looks a beautiful boy!
    Sheba was also overweight before she was first diagnosed with FD. Because I had another cat with IBD issues I had been freefeeding them on the recommended dry food too. And because she always loved her food she ate too much and put on weight. I soon learnt that dry food was the worst thing to give any cats, but the damage had been done.
    Sheba actually lost all her extra weight when she was first diagnosed and I had trouble getting her to put it back on until she became better regulated....which took a while.
    Keeping them active is a good idea. My cats are inside cats too so it is a bit harder to give them exercise but well worth the effort.
    It is great you have made the effort to find out more about FD and are taking steps to help him.
    Harvey is a lucky boy.
    Bron
     
  27. Girlie's mom

    Girlie's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Hi there! I'm in Sydney. Sorry for the late reply here.

    I put a whole lot of Australian cat food info in this post, so you could go there and download that info if you like. Figuring out which food to feed when was one of my many challenges!

    I get my 1/2 unit syringes from Hyperdrug UK. They'll get it to you within ca a week: fast and reliable. They're much nicer to use that the 1 unit syringes we get here. Make sure you order the BD Microfine Insulin Syringes 0.3 ml Item Number: BDMICROFINE03ML

    I use the Bayer Contour Next Meter. I just rang them and they sent me one; I didn't tell them it was for my cat, but they also didn't ask. :) You can also get it from pharmacies online; I got one as a backup just in case. You don't want to be sitting there at 3:00 am and have something go wrong with your meter during a hypo incident. You can get 100 test strips for $35 - $40 on ebay australia.

    I use the lancing device that came with the AlphaTrak2 and get the lancets from Amcal: the Abbott thin lancets ($14.95/100 lancets).

    You've come to the right place, and there are lots of really good people here who will support you along the way! :bighug::)
     
  28. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Hi Rosanna & Harvey! I'm near Sydney (Central Coast). It looks like you've already got a heap of info so I don't really have anything else to add, except welcome to the best place you never wanted to be. You'll be fine! :bighug:
     

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