Bailey Newly Diagnosed Diabetic with complications

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by WendyACE, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. WendyACE

    WendyACE Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    Hi Everyone,
    My Bailey was diagnosed the day before Thanksgiving as being diabetic which actually was a better answer than the one I feared (cancer) as I know diabetes can be treated/controlled. One thing I am worried about are the 2 other issues she has which has so far delayed the start of insulin. Issue one is that she had some spots on her stomach that the Vet feared were caused by a blood clotting issue maybe caused by coming in contact with rat poison. This really confused me as Bailey is a totally indoor cat and there has never been any rat poison in our house. The Vet prescribed vitamin K and after only 5 days the spots had become virtually invisible. She is still taking the Vitamin K but she will eventually be weened off of it. The clotting issue was the main reason that the Vet had delayed starting the insulin as she didn't want to start sticking her with needles if she was a "bleeder". As the delay was a worry to me initially she said that a high blood glucose reading was actually better than a low one so she would be ok with the temporary delay.

    Ok now on to the 2nd issue. Bailey is Anemic. So much so that the Vet suggested she may need a (very costly) blood transfusion. We were worried about this as the cost already at the Vet was nearly $1000.00 and the Emergency Clinic that would have to do the transfusion would cost that much just to walk in the door Plus the treatment costs! We just don't have that kind of money. Who does???? So our Vet opted to try Prednisolone(steroid). Well at the 5 day followup Bailey already showed improvement as baby red blood cells were seen in her blood sample so the Vet said to continue for 2 more weeks to give her a chance to continue improving. Bailey will be starting insulin a week from today. I don't know which kind yet. The Vet told me the 2 kinds they use there but I don't remember them. Here is my fear now that maybe some of you can help with. I was told that along with the insulin Bailey would remain on the steroids "long-term". In my web research that I have been doing I have read that cats that are on corticosteroids are much tougher to control blood sugar issues. My friend who is diabetic (human) said that when she has to take steroids her blood sugar goes through the roof! Has anyone had this issue with their cat that can give me some insight or heads up to potential issues that may arise?

    My Vet has said that all of Bailey's glucose testing would be done at the clinic. I already know I am going to insist on Home testing as my research has said this is best. I have already purchased a ReliOn Glucometer and supplies from WalMart and I will tell my Vet that I would rather she teach me how to do it otherwise I will have to rely on YouTube videos. I will let them do the initial Glucose Curve test as I would rather let them do that until I am more adept to testing myself. Have also ordered a weight scale so I can keep records of Bailey's weight.

    Oh and I also did away with all dry cat food (for all 3 of my cats) and changed to Fancy Feast Classic for Bailey and as of now Friskies Pate' for my other 2 cats. Which is better for Bailey Fancy Feast or the Friskies? I have heard both are good but Friskies is cheaper so If I can I would go to that one for Bailey too.

    So that's where I am at right now. Any help or advise any of you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

    Wendy and Bailey
  2. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi Wendy and Bailey. Welcome to FDMB

    You are already doing a great job starting this journey with a diabetic cat. Removing the dry food from all of your cat's diet will help significantly lower the glucose levels. Plus it limits the risk of your other cats developing diabetes.

    Since you already have your glucose meter you can start testing now. The numbers that you get will be more accurate than the ones the vet will get while testing in their office. Stress can significantly raise a cat's glucose levels. Most cats do suffer from some stress while at the vets. Even if your vet does a glucose curve, you can provide them with the readings that you take between now and then. This will help them truly understand how Bailey's glucose levels are running. If you decide to start testing ahead of your vet visit get a reading before every meal and if possible one or two in between meals.

    There are four different insulins that we recommend for cats because they respond better to them. The first two are Lantus and Levemir. These are human insulins and you will can get them from your pharmacy. If your vet prescribed either one of these, ask for the prescription for either the pens or cartridges instead of a vial. The reason we suggest the pens is that distance these insulins weekend becoming an effective after a few months. You will probably end up throwing away a lot of insulin using a vial. We use the pens as miniature vials so they last longer and you will be able to use almost every drop. A package of pens contains 5 pens and depending on your dose, will provide enough insulin for nine months or more. If you're here in the US you can order the insulin from Canada and it costs less than here in the US. Many members order from Mark's pharmacy.

    The other two insulins we recommend car ProZinc and BCP PZI. These will need to be purchased through your vet or a pet pharmacy. Both of these are insulins for use in animals. All of these insulins work well in cats and are considered long-lasting insulins.
    WendyACE and SidneysMom like this.
  3. SidneysMom

    SidneysMom Member

    Dec 6, 2019
    I don't have much advice to offer, but I will offer a welcome to you and Bailey! My cat Sidney is also being delayed treatment for a bit while he deals with a UTI, so I know how worrisome it is. You sound like you are doing a great job of researching and finding out what is best for Bailey. Congrats on being such a wonderful cat Mama. I hear you on the 1000 + cost, as we are now at that with Sidney too. I hope someone will so on answer your concerns, but I just wanted to say welcome and that you aren't alone. Hugs to you and Bailey!
    WendyACE likes this.
  4. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Feb 28, 2012
    We’ve had many kitties who have to be on steroids for some medical condition. If prednisolone, then yes, the insulin dose will likely need to be higher. But that’s OK, it’s easy enough to adjust for a medically necessary drug.

    Good for you on getting a glucose meter and planning on testing at home. Vet clinic numbers can be inflated due to stress. I once had to take my non diabetic to an emergency clinic. His blood glucose was in the 220’s, vet called worried about diabetes. Test at home the next day was in the 50’s. You wouldn’t want to base an insulin dose on temporary higher numbers.

    As for food, you want to feed low carb, it’s not manufacturer specific.
    WendyACE and AmandaE like this.
  5. WendyACE

    WendyACE Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    Thank you to those whom answered my call so quickly. I know this is only the beginning of a long journey but with all of your help and support I know it is a journey that Bailey and I can handle. I will attempt to at least try to check Bailey's Glucose before I go to the Vet next week. My Vet actually told me about which lead me to this forum. That act right there tells me that she is someone who will be willing to assist me in learning how to home test despite saying the testing will be done at the clinic. Yes I am in the USA so depending on Insulin prescribed may look into ordering from Canada.

    Thanks again to ALL and to those who help me in the future too!
  6. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Also for the anemia, you want to feed canned food that is higher in iron. Look for foods that have meat as the first ingredient. Liver, turkey, and tuna as the first ingredient listed on the label are good choices. I recently went through this with Indie. He did have a transfusion but even after one you still will need to include iron rich food to keep the red blood cell count rising. A supplement that I also used is Pet-tinic.
    However it does have corn syrup in it so it may not be an option for a diabetic cat.

    Vitamin B12 shots will also help. Or you can give methyl B12, such as Zobaline. This also helps if you ever have to treat for neuropathy.

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