Behaviour change, eating less,

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Ewa Michalczuk, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    Hello everyone. I'm new here. My cat Chucky lost quite a bit of weight and had ravenous appetite and also drank a lot. We took him to vets, they did a blood test and suspecting diabetes. They asked us to bring him for another blood test, as they can check for a molecule in the blood which will show sugar level in the last 2 to 3 weeks. We are waiting for results which should be on Monday. However today he's eating a lot less. Normally he was so hungry, he was scoffing his food so fast. Apart from that he seems same, quite lethargic, but that's how he's been lately- basically sleeping, eating and drinking. Don't know if I should worry that his appetite gone down a lot? I'm new to the diabetes, but I'm watching him constantly for any changes, maybe I'm just paranoid, as I'm so worried. Thank you for anyone who has some kind of advice
     
  2. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    Newbie here, so take what I say with a grain of salt. You get your results from the Vet on Monday, so that should give you a clear plan of action. You are doing great by monitoring him so closely. Make sure he keeps eating and drinking, peeing and pooping. If he stops any of those things before you talk to your vet on Monday, a trip to an emergency vet might be in order. If he continues as is, eating but not as much as usual, lethargic but still alert, you can discuss these symptoms with your vet on Monday. I'm sure more experienced folks than me will be in to help soon. I just wanted you to know that you are awesome for taking such good care of Chunky, and it sounds like he's hanging in there.
     
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  3. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi Ewa and welcome to the message board. Would you please tell us what country you and Chucky like in? We have members all over the world. And some tips specific to different countries.

    A cat not eating can get serious very quickly. Have you tried tempting him with some of his favorite foods? Any type of cat food. Sometimes cats will eat some people food. Maybe try things like cooked chicken or some plain tuna and that may perk up your cats appetite.

    Do you have canned food at home? Try putting some of that food in his mouth. Try holding his food dish right in front of him.

    Is there any more information from that vet that you could share with us? What blood test did the vet do at your last visit? Probably some sort of blood glucose (BG) test that was either done with a glucometer or blood was drawn and tested in a lab. Do you have the results from that test to share with us?

    The test you are going back for sounds like a fructosamine test. That is a test that some vets use to help diagnose diabetes in cats.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
  4. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    Hello and thank you for your quick responses. I'm from the UK.
    I went and bought some Purina pate for him, and he ate it, so maybe he was a bit bored with food I was feeding him. I have some tuna as well and will try to give it to him later when he comes downstairs. He's been sleeping upstairs all the time, and comes down for food. I left water for him upstairs, as I know he's very thirsty. Hopefully it will all be ok.

    Sorry don't know what type of blood test they did, but they were checking for other things, as originally vet thought it was hyperthyroidism, but few hours after the test she rang me and said his sugar is high. If I remember right, she said it should be between 3 and 8 and it was 28...hope that makes any sense.... I don't have the results unfortunately

    I'm quite happy he ate some food again. It so hard seeing him being so tired, and not being himself as always, playing and running around.

    I'm worried about the injections and testing the blood as he doesn't like being touched, he's always been like this, so don't know how this is going to go. Hopefully we will work something out with the vet, as I'm pretty sure it will be diabetes.

    Thank you for all your help, it's a great community you have here, glad to be a part of it
     
  5. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Ok, thanks for letting me know where you live. We have some UK specific information to share with you and I will try to tag a couple of members from there.

    Yes, 28 mmol is high (504 in mg/dl used here in the USA). Very high.

    A long acting insulin and change to low-carb food can help bring down those blood glucose (BG) levels.

    Since you are not on insulin yet, you might try the diet change first. If you are not able to home test, it can lead to low blood sugar (think insulin overdose) if you are trying to do the food change at the same time as you are giving insulin. I believe Caninsulin is still the insulin of choice for many vets, although the RVC did a study and is now recommending Prozinc as the insulin of first choice for cats.
     
  6. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Links to some UK specific information.

    UK info 1. Food, insulin and other important stuff.
    UK info 2. This one is on pancreatitis. For future reference.

    Can't remember but a few members that are from the UK. Here are a couple that I know of.
    @Elizabeth and Bertie, @Diana&Tom They should be able to point you to other members from the UK that might be able to help.
     
  7. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    Thanks so much for the links, some great info on there.

    I have 3 cats, their favourite is felix temptations, however I got some sheba fine flakes and purina pate, so could just feed those 2 brands to Chucky, as they seem to be low sugar? Hope I'm right on this one. How about cooked chicken breast? Will it be ok to give him some? As he does like cooked meat

    He had his 2nd test on Thursday, seemed long time to wait till Monday for the results, I was worried he will deteriorate without immediate treatment, especially if his BG is so high

    I might get those ketone strips from Amazon, as they would be delivered tomorrow on Prime, so I could test him, and make sure he's ok

    It's been quite scary thinking that he has diabetes

    :(
     
  8. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Yes, any plain cooked meat is fine. No spices added is good.

    Here is another UK cat food list. This list is only the foods that are <10% carbs, which is what you are looking to feed to a diabetic cat. Good for you non-diabetic cats too. Did not find the 3 foods you mentioned on that particular chart, but the other link (UK INFO 1) says Sheba fine flakes is ok. The important thing right now is that your cat eats.

    " POPULAR FOODS

    Current favourites (Aug 2019) include: Nature's Menu, Butcher’s Classic, Sheba 'fine flakes', Lily’s Kitchen, Thrive complete; and from Zooplus: Smilla, Granatapet, Catz Finefood, Feringa, Macs, Animonda. (For more details on these foods click on 'UK Food List' link below.)"

    Those other 2 foods you mentioned may be ok, hoping one of the UK members can tell you.
     
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  9. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    And remember to breathe! Deep breath, hold, release, deep breath, hold, release.........

    Hoping you get good news from the vet.
     
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  10. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

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    May 18, 2016
    Also tagging UK member
    @Kate & Toby
    who knows a lot about ketones and its treatment in the UK.
     
  11. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    Do the injections have to be done bang on 12 hours apart? As me and my partner work long hours, so it might not always be possible

    Also do we have to keep feeding the same brand of food? As I think they tend to get bored. Or if I switch to a different one, will have to test to see BG level to see how he reacts to it?

    Sorry if those questions were posted before, they probably were

    I'm a bit overwhelmed and going through all the info daily, as I have to learn as much I can so can help my little one

    I also web chatted to Purina today and it turns out Gourmet Gold Pate in UK it's the same as Fancy Feast in the US, so it's a good news, I started feeding Chucky with it

    Thanks again
    :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  12. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi, I'm in the UK and just seen your thread by accident (I didn't get the tag, sometimes this doesn't work :( )

    You've had some good responses already and you'll be able to update us more when you have the results of the fructosamine test tomorrow. This will give an indication of bg over a period of two or three weeks and thus is a reliable way of diagnosing FD... a single test at the vet or elsewhere may be wonky for various reasons.

    So assuming FD is the diagnosis, you'll want to start testing bg at home as soon as you can... it's a knack you can acquire with practise and there is plenty of help available here about how to get it right, so don't stress too much. If a low-carb food isn't lowering bg, you'll have to start giving insulin, whether Caninsulin or Prozinc - there are beginners guides we can link for you when we know which one you're using, so you can read up on that.

    To answer your other questions:

    Injections have to be done as near as possible to 12 hours apart, yes, but there is some (short) flexibility at times when you're either unable to shoot at the 12 hour mark, or get a bg number that may be too low to shoot (you would know that because you'll be getting a bg test before every shot to make sure bg actually warrants the dose).

    You don't have to feed the same food all the time, no, but some brands and even some flavours within the same brands may contain different amounts of carbs and that could affect bg. So while a varied diet is fine, you'll want to be aware of any foods that might spike bg to any extent and either limit or eliminate those.

    There is a lot to take on board but keep reading and asking questions, and you'll get there. Good luck!
     
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  13. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Hi Ewa, I only just saw this sorry.

    I'm in the UK too. Ok, you've already had lots of good advice. But without the results of the fructosomine test let's just deal with the facts and what you can do right now.
    How is chucky today? Has he eaten? Drunk? Urinated? Did you get ketone strips? Lloyd's pharmacy have them in stock if you didnt order them online.
    It's super important that he eats and drinks, anything at this stage, so tuna (leave some of the tuna water in too) is a great idea,cooked chicken, again add some warm water, sheba fine flakes in jelly are great and come in a variety of flavours. I also really like natures menu, both adult and kitten food for a few more calories, natures menu also do a great range if treats which are diabetic friendly.

    I have little glasses of water all over my house, toby likes to drink cold water from a glass, so make sure you have some options and choice for him.

    When you have the diagnosis, come back and ask more questions. One thing I would encourage you to do is talk to your vet about the insulin. Most vets prescribe Caninsulin for cats at first, it really is not a good insulin for cats, if you can, get them to prescribe prozinc, it's much better and longer lasting. There is loads of info on here about prozinc, have a read.

    Well done, you are doing great,and you've come to the best place for help. Xx
     
  14. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    Thank you for all your great advice and reassurance, it was much needed...

    Chucky seems better today than yesterday, he's eating and drinking which I'm really happy about. I think he's less hungry then last few weeks, but I have been giving him as much food as he wants, as that was the advice I got from vets, so maybe it just looks like this cos he doesn't cry for food as bowl is always full.

    I have bowl with water in the sink as well, as my other 2 boys like to drink from it.

    I got the ketostix from Amazon, they came today. I've put some clingfilm to catch the pee, but he managed to move it when he was digging in the box. I tried to sneak in behind him when he tried to pee, but he ran away... will try again tomorrow, might have more luck then

    I'm expecting a call from vets tomorrow, so will update as soon as I'm back from work.
    I reckon we will have to go back for an appointment as soon as possible to establish Chucky's treatment. I will see what they recommend, and if it's not pro zinc, I will ask them to prescribe that one

    Thank you for everyone's help and time to reply to my message, it's nice to talk to someone who can relate :)
     
  15. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Awesome work. And great work on the ketostix. Some people have a cat ladle, so a soup ladle designated for catching cat pee, the longer arm might make it easier to catch a wee, there is also some litter you can buy which is non absorbent. Maybe just try and sit near him when he is in his litter box to start with, so he gets used to you being near him whilst he does his business but dont actually interfere with him, build his confidence. I also use litter tray lines, like big plastic bags, if you use these with just a small if litter the pee will pool in the plastic. Just some ideas, you will find something that works.
    If you've changed his food to low carb, his glucose levels may have come down nicely already, which could mean he is not as hungry, this is a good sign, many cats just need a diet change and not insulin. Mention to your vet that you have changed to a low carb food.
    Good luck tomorrow and keep us posted xx
     
  16. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    Hello everyone

    So the vet rang this morning to confirm it's diabetes. She asked if we can bring him in, we just now came back. I asked for the test results, and she showed it to me on the computer, 28.8, she said very high. She also that he has a lot of fat in his blood and to avoid any fatty foods.

    He's lost about 100 grams since last Thursday, so she checked his temperature, and it was 39.9, so she said he might have an infection and she gave him a shot of antibiotic.

    She said we will have to do injections twice a day ideally 12 hours apart, when he's having his food. We are starting with 2 units as his BG was very high. She had Caninsulin already packed and ready for us, along with syringes. Syringes were expensive, I can get them for half of the price online, so I think I'll do that next time.

    She said we dont have to feed prescription food, but to be low sugar one.

    I asked if we should do glucose test on his ear, she said no, but want us to bring him back in a week for a check up to see if insulin is working.

    Strange thing though, when she mentioned symptoms of hypo, she said bring him in asap, but never said how to treat it at home before we bring him in. I think it's very important info, and surprised she never said anything about it.

    First shot will be tomorrow morning. She showed us how to do injections, seems pretty straightforward, but we'll see how he will handle it. She said if it happens that he won't eat, to bring him in.

    That was everything, will see how it goes...
    Let's hope he takes it well
     
  17. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Ok, well done for remembering everything and reporting it here!

    First - you don't have to have your vet's permission to test bg at home. It may not be something that most vets expect of us, but they can't exactly disapprove if you want to do it - and we on this board strongly suggest that you do, to keep your cat safe. It's up to you of course, but we are very numbers-orientated here and you'd get more specific advice if you do test and log the data.

    Second - 2u is a higher starting dose than we would usually suggest, whatever the bg at dx. We would normally say start with 1u and increase as and when necessary, depending on response to the dose. But again, it's up to you and you may choose to go with the vet's instructions. It's a dilemma I know, many people have been there!

    Third - if an infection is present, that can increase bg, so with an antibiotic on board you'd hope that bg would drop at least a little anyway even without insulin. So further reason to be cautious about the dose.

    Four - as for not telling you what to do if you see hypo symptoms - that's a surprisingly common occurrence. You're right, it is important info (have you found the link here explaining how to manage hypo?) and actually makes it all the more necessary, really, to test bg at home so you'd know for sure if a hypo was happening and treat it accordingly. Taking a cat to the vet if it's showing hypo symptoms could take a long time, and time and correct action is of the essence if bg really is dropping too low.

    I'm not sure if that helps or not but it's food for thought for you.
     
  18. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    I thought the dose seems a bit high for the starters, as we don't really know how he's going to react to it...

    I didn't know BG can increase with the infection, definitely need to be careful about the dose

    I read the link, yes, as I think it's important to know what to do when that happens and to watch for changes. There will be no time for searching internet then

    I'll buy all the stuff for checking BG, and will try testing at home. It seems a bit unsafe not to test really, as if he won't need his shot, without the test I won't know about it.

    She also said that cats don't go into remission from diabetes, which surprised me, as I read multiple articles, and it says unlike human, they can do...

    Strange right?
     
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  19. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    I think you have a very good handle on this! We don't like to tell you outright to ignore what the vet says but there are some aspects of treating FD that not all vets seem to understand. Go with your instincts is my advice.
     
  20. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    The decision is yours on how to proceed. You are there to see how he is doing.

    Shameful that your vet didn't even tell you what to do in the case of a hypo. If you can, print out the link and put that in a folder where it is easily accessible.

    Yes, you can test on the ear, and use a human glucometer. Thousands of people here home test, getting the blood from either the ear or they use the paw pad to test.

    Your vet is wrong as regards cats being able to achieve remission. My diabetic cat is a case in point.

    Wink went into remission, or became diet controlled is another term for it. Look at my signature and click on where it says Wink's SS. It will take you to his spreadsheet where there are multiple tabs for each year, from 2012-2013 thru 2016. Click on the tab labeled 2012-2013 and you will see that he got off the insulin. He was not yet regulated or on a low carb wet food when he was at the shelter so the BG readings for 2012 and beginning of 2013 were still high until I got him off the 37% high carb dry Hills' W/d that the vet had 'prescribed'.

    Not only did he get off insulin, but he stayed that way for years until his death (from heart disease) in 2017. You can look at the other tabs to see testing I did for other years. Shows he did not need any insulin for more than 3 years. I stopped recording his BG readings on the SS but still testing about once a month or whenever it seemed he didn't feel right. You will find one higher number 130 mg/dl on 9/27/15 when he had a kitty cold and was not feeling well. Again on 4/2/14 when he was not feeling well.

    Normal BG for a non-diabetic cat is 50 - 130 mg/dL (2.8 - 7.2 mmol/L) {80 - 160 mg/dL for an AlphaTrak}.
     
  21. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    I'm a newbie, but I just wanted to reaffirm how important it's been to me and Billy to test at home. Like OP's vet, ours didn't say a word about testing at home. Then I got to the time of Billy's first injection and freaked out a little. What if his sugar was too low? How would I know? Luckily for me, I already had a meter and test strips. I was diagnosed with type II diabetes last year, and I kicked it to the curb 3 months later. Type II is different than type I, and yes it's possible for both kitties and people with type II to go into remission. No guarantees, but possible.

    Personally, I think I now know more about feline diabetes than my vet does, after reading everything on this board I could get my hands on. Nothing against my vet, he's awesome in many many ways. But he seems to be more informed about doggo diabetes, and he doesn't seem informed about nutrition options. My plan is to work with my vet, but to do my own research on nutrition, etc. Honestly, that's the same thing I did with my human doctor when I had diabetes. I want to know what the options are myself. Knowledge is power!
     
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  22. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Well done Ewa, that was a lot of information to take in. It's a shame about the Caninsulin, but that's ok. You've already had some super advice from Diana above, it's a must with the hypo info, be aware that cats dont always display any symptoms so your cat could be hypo and act perfectly normal (mine did) hence why home testing is fundamental.
    2iu is far too high a starting dose, I strongly recommend that you start at 1iu, and hold that dose until you can home test, I would even be nervous to give any insulin without the ability to home test. I'm also nervous about the 2iu as this was based on a fructosomine test done prior to you changing your cats diet, we just dont know what effect the new food has had on his BG levels, another reason to start low and home test.
    Yes you can absolutely get supplies cheaper online, let me know if you need any suggestions, I shop around each month for supplies so have used them all!
    Well done, you really have grasped a handle on this very quickly. X
     
  23. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Well done deciding to test the BG levels!
    I agree that starting with 1 unit is a much safer option.
    And yes cats can definitely go into remission. My Sheba was in remission for 2 1/2 years before pancreatitis tipped her out of remission.
    Keep doing your own research and trusting your instincts.
     
  24. Chloe007

    Chloe007 Member

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    Oct 27, 2019
    Everyone here is giving you great advice, I just wanted to chime in to get some clarification that your vet did check for ketones. It's very important to know whether or not ketones were present when he was diagnosed, especially knowing he has an infection and hasn't been eating well.

    If you're not sure, I would certainly encourage you to call and ask.
     
  25. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    Ok, so 1st injection went well this morning. I started with 1 unit, as I was a bit scared to go with 2, as didn't know how he would react to it. When I got the food out this morning, my other 2 cats barely ate anything, and as I can't have food out for them to nibble, they must have been starving all day :(

    We came back from work an hour ago and Chucky went hiding. He hates vets so much, and he thinks he's going there again. I'm trying to let him smell the food so he will come out for his injection, otherwise I'm going to miss it. No point chasing after him, as he will be even more traumatised than he already is

    :(
     
  26. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    If he does come out, how much later than 12 hours I can do a shot?
    I did it at 6am
    Thank you
     
  27. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Hi ewa, sorry nobody has replied to you. You need to space your shots 12 hours apart ideally, this is less important with Prozinc though as it will be back out his system by the next shot, that being said, you would need to shoot later in the morning to be safe. Has he come out yet? Eaten? Can you tempt him with some tuna or sweets? It's important to start establishing a routine of test, feed, shoot. He needs to learn to trust you so you have to start working on this. Good call with the 1 unit. Has your testing supplies arrived yet? Poor chucky, this is hard and new for him xxx
     
  28. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Don't worry, this is all new and it does take a while to establish a routine and build Chucky's confidence. Try some extra cuddles or play time perhaps, to strengthen your bond. If you haven't already shot tonight, leave it for now and try again in the morning.

    When the testing supplies arrive, spend some time familiarising yourself with the process with Chucky watching, and keep some treats nearby too so he associates test time with a reward. The other thing you can do in preparation is set up a spreadsheet to log your bg data - there's lots of help available with this if you need it.

    Keep smiling - it will all fall into place and you've made a great start :)
     
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  29. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    Ok so he came out and I did the shot.
    I was 1hr 20 mins late though...

    So tomorrow morning I shall do the injection? I can do 30mins later, but I will be out the door straight after, so won't be able to watch him, to make sure he's ok

    I got glucometer from a diabetic friend, she borrowed it for me to see how things will go with him. Chucky is a bit of a problematic cat, as since he was a kitten he never liked cuddles, and when we try to stroke him, he kinda dives under to avoid our hand. Other 2 are very affectionate. That's why is so hard with him, as he doesn't like human contact

    He is skinny now and I was struggling to find enough skin for the injection haha
     
  30. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Oh bless you, I know its hard, its super important that he gets more used to you touching him, as diana said, try just having all the kit out, and syringe, try and stroke him and give him treats. He will quickly learn that test or shot means a treat. You should be fine with 1unit 30 mins later in the morning and then get back on schedule by the evening at your normal time. You could try wrapping him in a towel if that helps, or tests can be done on the paw. Keep posting, we are with you xx
     
  31. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    Ewa, I have nothing important to say except that you rock and you are taking such good care of Chucky. We had a feral kitty that lived with us for years. He loved us, but he wouldn't be touched. I can't imagine how we would have managed if he's been diabetic. Probably had to do the kitty burrito bit with a towel.

    Hopefully Chucky will start associating testing with treats and then it will become easier. Keeping you both in my happy thoughts.
     
  32. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    This morning he didn't even let me do injection... He just meowed at me and ran away.

    This is becoming a nightmare and I'm going to fail at this

    Never had a cat like chucky who hates human touch

    Honestly feel like crying this morning...
     
  33. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    You will find a way and you are so not going to fail. It's all about adapting and brainstorming. I know it's not ideal, but until you and Chucky reach an agreement, do you have a single room he can stay in with less hiding spots? Perhaps once Chucky gets in the swing of things, he could go back to roaming everywhere. My Billy is getting to the place where he's going out into the house again, but when he sees me with a plate of food in my hand, he now runs into the bedroom. He knows he's going to get poked and prodded, but he wants that food!
     
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  34. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Oh Ewa, we are here for you. And you are not failing, you are doing really well, he sounds like a tricky customer!! I think Juls above has some good ideas, maybe restricting him to one room in the interim would be a good idea, until you and he can reach a mutual agreement of shot or test means a treat. he will soon get it. Natures Menu do some diabetic friendly cat treats, Toby goes mad for them and they don't affect his BG at all, pets at home have them, and any independent store, bribe away xx
     
  35. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

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    Jan 1, 2020
    Ahh I was in tears this morning...

    As pathetic as it might sound, I got really upset because all I'm thinking is, he's gonna die if I fail to do the injections

    Will see how it goes tonight, if we have to catch him every time and burrito him for injection, that's what we might have to do, but hope not as he will be even more terrified

    Thank you all for your kind words
     
  36. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    It's not pathetic at all to feel like that, Ewa. What you're going through is much more common than you might think, there are very few totally compliant kitties at first. It is a process, taking time and patience and love... if you have those things you will get there!
    If you have to burrito him, make sure he has a nice treat afterwards so he associates it with something good next time.

    Also, try to stay calm yourself too... kitties pick up on our own stress and that concerns them too... maybe have a glass of wine before you attempt the shot tonight (but not at breakfast time, obvs!)

    Keep trying - you can and you will make progress :)
     
  37. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Ewa, Oh honey. :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:

    Deep breath, hold, release, deep breath, hold, release, deep breath, hold, release.........................

    Your cat did not become diabetic in one day. It happened slowly, with subtle signs that were easy to miss. It will take time to get him feeling better. For a quick visual assessment, you can check the 5 P's (purring, preening, pooping, peeing, playing) and appetite. As you see more of a return to 'normal', in one or more of these areas, you can see that he is getting better.

    This is a marathon, not a sprint. Take it slow and easy. Introduce your cat to the "new stuff" one thing at a time. Cats are creatures of habit and most of them hate change, even moving furniture around can freak them out.

    Don't forget to treat yourself too. Go for a walk, look at the sunset, go watch something fun and silly on television, take a bubble bath, have some chocolate, meditate, yoga, whatever you do to help yourself relax.

    It's very stressful and worrisome at first when our cat is diagnosed with a serious but treatable illness like feline diabetes. It takes time to learn how you can help your cat at home. I takes time to learn about all the ins and outs of treating feline diabetes the best you can. None of us learned how to do this in a few days or a few weeks. Give it time. Call your vet if you have any questions.

    We are here to offer suggestions on ways that we have found work for our cats, on the day to day ways to manage diabetes at home. ECID (every cat is different) so what might work for one cat might not work for another. Keep on asking questions and letting us know what is not working and what is working.

    Sing to your cat as you are doing new things, even if you can't carry a tune. Or talk to them, any sort of nonsense or tell your cat about your day. Cats pick up on our emotions, so singing or talking can help to calm you and calm your cat.

    Click on the blue highlighted text to open the following document.
    Ear testing psychology is a document written by one of our members years ago, for treating her kitten (yes, <1 year old diagnosed with diabetes). Give it a read to see if there are some different ways to approach the insulin shots. A different way of doing things for skittish kitties.

    Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way.
     
    Amina&M'row likes this.
  38. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
  39. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Ewa, if you have to burrito your Chucky, then burrito him. I have to burrito my youngster, Scooter, any time he needs a liquid antibiotic--or as he calls it-- The Poison! I know it can be upsetting to burrito a kitty, and yes, it does stress them out. But honestly, the kitties I have had to burrito in my life were stressed for all of 60 seconds. As soon as I freed them, they were fine. Of course, every cat is different, but I suspect burritoing is more stressful for us than the kitties!

    Chucky is already one lucky kitty. He has a mama who is ready to try anything, no matter how hard, to get him feeling better. When you get sad and worried, as we all do, remind yourself that Chucky has one awesome mama! You rock!
     
    Kate & Toby likes this.
  40. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2020
    Has anyone had any luck with a insulin pen for cats?
     
  41. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Insulin pens can be used for cats but they usually only give doses that are 1 unit,2 units etc, not the smaller doses.
     
  42. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Some places in Europe offer Caninsulin (Vetsulin) in an insulin pen where you can dial the dose down to 0.5 units IF you get the 8IU size The 16IU size of the VetPen can only 'dial the dose' in 1 unit increments. You have to prime the Vetpen before using, so you waste a bit of insulin each time.

    @Matthijs was using one. He is in the Netherlands, using Caninsulin, one of the U40 type insulins. He said he was using a VetPen and that he could dial down the dose to 0.5 units but no lower.

    He is pretty new with Feline Diabetes, so he was asking questions about/looking for dosing options from us.

    Using the pen information is here for you. Caninsulin is called Vetsulin in the US, simply a different country and different name for marketing purposes. Information talks about dogs, because while Caninsulin/Vetsulin works well in dogs, it doesn't always work so well for cats (duration often not long enough).

    Hey Matt! Would you share some of your experiences with using the VetPen with this new member? Any tips and tricks would be appreciated. Does the 8IU VetPen let you select in 0.5Unit doses? (e.g. 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5) See on your SS that you have shot insulin in 1.5U doses, but wanted to double check with you on that.

    If your cat needs smaller doses, or smaller adjustments in dose then in 0.5U increments, there are ways to use insulin syringes with the insulin pens. We can give you info on doing that if/when needed.
     
  43. Matthijs

    Matthijs Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Hi @Deb & Wink, @Ewa Michalczuk! Sorry for seeing the alert this late.

    I'm indeed using the Caninsulin VetPen. It was actually what our vet prescribed when Cedric was diagnosed.

    As a person afraid of needles, I was happy to start with an insulin pen instead of actual syringes. Turns out it's very easy to use.

    You start by screwing on a needle on the bottom end (I actually use them twice) and gently shake the pen until there is a uniform, milky solution. No need to prime the pen and waste insuline, only in case of big air bubbles you need to let them escape.

    Then dial in the insuline dose in steps of 0.5 U. I can select 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, etc, up to 8.0.

    I find it the easiest to inject the insuline while Cedric is eating. I usually wait until he is almost finished, then I sit behind him on my knees. That way I can restrict his movement a bit.

    Then I lift some skin from his flank, insert the pen, push and hold the button for five seconds, then you can remove the pen.

    It took a few tries at first, but Cedric got used to it very quickly and now he just continues eating. It does not bother him.

    And I think that's the most important experience I can share. Cats are very adaptive creatures. Measuring his BG was a battlefield the first time, with an angry hissing cat as a result! By now, he purrs throughout the whole session. Sure, he tries to escape, but I suspect he actually likes the attention and looks forward to his treat.

    If you are calm, your cat will be calm as well. Good luck!
     
  44. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi Ewa. How are things going?
     
  45. Amina&M'row

    Amina&M'row Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Oh my, whatever works for you, of course, but the needles do get significantly blunter (= more painful for kitty) after one use. And re ketone strips, I read that you can take all the litter out of the tray, and replace it with washed and dried aquarium gravel from the pet store. Finally, I have a hypo box with evertthing needed, even a spare glucometer and plenty of strips for it., You're doing great, keep posting! :)
     
  46. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2020
    Hi @Deb & Wink

    Thank you for checking :)

    Things are OK. I think Chucky is getting used to his injections. First when we started it was a bit of a hit and miss, as he was so stressed bacause we took him to vets, so he was running away as soon as I tried to touch him. So he was getting 1 injection a day, as I couldn't catch him. But last 4 days, he got his injection twice a day and he seems OK, he lets me do it.

    Failing with testing his blood though, as when I tried, he jumped and ran away, and didn't even let me do his injection afterwards.

    I'm dosing less than vet recommended, he seems to be doing fine.

    We are taking him for a check up tomorrow evening.

    He seems to be drinking less, still have a big appetite though.

    We will see how it goes tomorrow, hope his bg had gone down a bit

    I will update tomorrow after vets appointment

    He will probably will be hiding again as he hates vets so much haha
     
  47. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Thanks for the update Ewa! If you want some testing tips, let us know. I have 2 great documents to share if you are interested.

    We'll be interested to see what the vet says about Chucky after your appointment.

    Could you put some information in your signature for us please? It will help us to help you better. You can look at my signature after my post for examples of what is useful to see there. Thanks.
     
  48. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2020
    So signature it's that info under your post? With names, dates etc?

    If you can share those 2 docs that would be great.

    So if he still has big appetite, what does that mean? Is the insulin not working? Should his appetite decrease with the insulin use? It's only been a week since started, and was a bit inconsistent at the beginning, but it doesn't look like he's put any weight back on, unless it's not enough time to see such a change. I suppose we'll see tomorrow as he will get weight at the vets.

    Thank you :)
     
  49. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Yes, that info under the post with names and such is what we call our 'signature'. Your first name, your cats name, DX: is the diagnosis date, insulin you are using, meter you are using, type of food you are feeding, SS link (means spreadsheet), any other medical conditions your cat has like a heart condition or IBS, time zone you are in is helpful.

    It acts like a quick snapshot of some of the information you may have already mentioned in your posts. It will get automatically attached to your posts. You can change it when you want, it's in your user profile. If we need to respond quickly in case of low numbers or other urgent situation, it's very nice to see that 'signature' info at a glance.

    How to do that is in this post here, along with some basic info about feline diabetes. Just click on the blue highlighted text and it will take you to the document.
    New? How You Can Help Us Help You!

    I've included the names for some of my other cats too in may signature, optional type info. GA after their name means they are Guardian Angels or Gone ahead, no longer with us but remembered fondly.

    One of the best ones I think is Ear Testing Psychology

    I think Marje and Gracie's Testing and Shooting Tips is well written.

    The Hometesting Links and Tips - includes numerous links, instructions, pictures, & videos has tons of information. It includes both of these that I already told you about. Sometimes a bit overwhelming.

    Let us know what you are trying and what is working and not working for you and your cat. We'll often have suggests like "Have you tried warming your cat's ear" or "Are you using bribes (pure meat food treats) as rewards for testing".

    Unregulated diabetic cats are still very hungry. They might need twice as much food as they used to before the diabetes. Diabetes takes time to control. Think of this as 'a marathon, not a sprint'. Step by step, day by day and we will help Chucky get better.

    One week is not enough time to see changes yet in weight gain. You can do some subjective checks. What we call the 5 P's (purring, peeing, pooping, preening, playing) plus appetite is a good gauge of how Chucky is doing.

    So how is Chucky doing with the 5 P's? Still peeing lakes in the litter box? Preening or grooming himself again? Fur in good condition or a bit oily and greasing? Hair matted or falling out?

    Those are the sorts of things you can check yourself real quick.

    p.s. There is a lot of information in your thread over the last week. Going back through and reading it again could be very helpful. We tend to give too much information sometimes and it's a lot to absorb at one go.
     
  50. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2020
    Ok so we are back from vets

    His BG dropped from 39 to 34. He's lost more weight though.
    She's upped his insulin to 3 units and we're going again next Friday for a frustosamine test to see if he's improving. If not, she said we might need to do more tests in case there is something else going on.
    She said she wants his appetite to subside and he needs to stop drinking and peeing so much. At the minute he wants food every 2 hours.

    Will see how it goes, but he doesn't seem to be getting worse in terms of his behaviour. He's not more tired or anything like that. He's done well at vets as well, seems less scared than before.

    And I will work on my signature, I just haven't had the time today

    Fingers crossed :)
     
  51. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    So what kind of test did your vet run to get the BG reading? Glucometer? Pet or human meter? Lab test?

    How long was it from the time you gave the insulin until the vet did the test?
     
  52. Ewa Michalczuk

    Ewa Michalczuk New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2020
    She said she will prick his ear. She took him to different room though, so I don't know what meter she used. But then he came back with a shaved patch on his paw, I only noticed it when got home, so maybe she couldn't get blood from his ear... she didn't explain

    It was 11 hours since insulin shot. He gets his shot at 6am and we were at vets at 5pm
     
  53. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Ok, thanks for that information.

    Caninsulin (marketed as Vetsulin in the US) starts to 'wear off'. The duration of Caninsulin in cats is often 8-12 hours. So with your vet testing at +11 (11 hours after you gave the insulin shot), the test was done at the end of the duration of the 12 hour dosing cycle.

    Hope your cat stays safe on the increased dose to 3U. Do you have a plan in place, in case your cat exhibits hypo symptoms? Location of nearest 24 hour emergency vet? Hypo kit ready to go?

    Please review this Beginner's Guide to Caninsulin (Vetsulin) It will help you understand Caninsulin better and treating feline diabetes better.

    What we call the 5 P's (purring, peeing, pooping, preening, playing) plus appetite is a good gauge of how Chucky is doing. So how is Chucky doing with the 5 P's? Still peeing lakes in the litter box? Preening or grooming himself again? Fur in good condition or a bit oily and greasing? Hair matted or falling out?
     

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