Blood glucose monitoring

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Groovyguru, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. Groovyguru

    Groovyguru New Member

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    Jan 8, 2020
    Hi, my name is Christine and my furry purry is named Elvis. I am a new member and new to caring for a diabetic cat. I have a question regarding home testing for blood sugar levels. When the vet tried to teach me how to pin prick Elvis’ ear - he bit the vet. When she tried pin pricking his paw - he bit and scratched her despite having me petting him and having treats ready. She suggested he might be better using a urine dip test. Is this an option or does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to manage this? He is on .5 units of gargline x 1 daily. (Vet said that’s the absolute minimum dose and we are hoping he goes in to remission). Thanks
     
  2. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    I'm a newbie too, but I'll ask a question until more experienced members come in to help. Have you tried testing him yourself? Every cat is different, but my boy will let me do things he won't put up with from the vet.
     
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  3. Groovyguru

    Groovyguru New Member

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    Jan 8, 2020
    Thanks Juls and Billy for getting back to me so quickly... I haven’t tried myself as I’m a bit anxious after seeing what he did to the vet ... I’m worried if I try and he thinks I’m hurting him - this might effect him having his shot which so far has been going well ... he has only been on insulin for a week and is going back to the vet tomorrow so they can monitor his blood glucose curve..
     
  4. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Once again, every cat is different. And he will likely pick up on it if you are nervous, so take some deep breaths first. My Billy is only lightly annoyed when I test his ears. I did end up using a lancing device, because I was terrible at doing it by hand. Billy honestly doesn't seem that upset. Folks here have mentioned that cat's don't have a lot of nerves in the ear, so maybe that's why. It's worth trying at home, where your cat is relaxed with his person.
     
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  5. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Here's something I wrote up for others for testing...maybe it'll help you too!

    It can be really helpful to establish a routine with testing.Pick one spot that you want your "testing spot" to be (I like the kitchen counter because it's got good light and it's at a good height....it also already blocked 2 escape routes due to the wall and the backsplash) It can be anywhere though...a rug on the floor, a table, a particular spot on the couch...wherever is good for you.

    Take him there as many times a day as you can and just give his ears a quick rub and then he gets a yummy (low carb) treat.Most cats aren't objecting so much with the poking..it's the fooling with their ears they don't like, but once they're desensitized to it and learn to associate a certain place with the treats, they usually start to come when they're called! Or even when they hear us opening the test kit!

    You also have to remember...you're not poking him to hurt him...you're testing him to keep him safe and understand what's going on inside his body. There's just nothing better than truly understanding what's going on inside your kitty's body and with this disease, the more knowledge you have, the more power you have against it. The edges of the ears have very few pain receptors, so it really doesn't hurt them. Also, if you're nervous and tense, it's going to make your kitty nervous and tense too. As silly as it might seem, try singing! It forces you to use a different part of your brain!

    It's also important to make sure his ear is warm. A small sock filled with a little rice and microwaved or a small pill bottle filled with warm water (check temp against your wrist like you would a baby bottle) works well

    For new kitties, using a heavier gauge lancet is also really helpful. A 25-28 gauge lancet pokes a bigger "hole" than a 31-33 gauge lancet does, so look for "Alternate Site testing" lancets that are usually a lower number

    Finding the right "treat" will be a great help too! Freeze dried chicken, bonito flakes, little pieces of baked chicken...whatever low carb treat you can find that he really enjoys will help him to associate the testing with the treat! China's Achilles heel was baked chicken, so I'd bake a piece, chop it into bite sized pieces, put some in the refrigerator and freeze the rest to use as needed. It didn't take long for her to come any time I picked up the meter!

    There are more testing tips here:

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/

    We actually have cats that need even less than .5....like .25, .1 and 1 drop! But Lantus needs to be given every 12 hours, not once a day. In humans, it's once a day, but our cats have a higher metabolism
     
  6. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi Christine and extra sweet kitty Elvis! Welcome to the best place you never wanted to be. How did you find us?

    We're all volunteers here and we suggest trying different things if one way is not working for you.

    1. You can do some basic subjective monitoring with urine dip sticks. The thing is, it's only telling you if there is enough excess glucose in your cat Elvis to be filtered out by the kidney's and then dumped in the urine, which takes hours. Depending on the cat, the renal threshold where that dumping of excess glusose starts to happen is somewhere in the 180-250 BG (blood glucose) range. So your cat could be 180 or so high that a human glucometer would read HI. (500 range or above.) Will Elvis let you near him when he is using the litter box?

    2. You can take your cat to the vet for blood glucose curves. Testing every 2 hours for a 12 hour period. Can get expensive.

    3. You can do some subjective monitoring to see if some of the original symptoms are improving. The 5 P's (preening, purring, pooping, peeing, playing) plus appetite helps you to tell a little bit about how Elvis is doing. (One person recently commented that they knew their cat was feeling better because he got his purr back.).

    Break down the testing procedure into little steps and introduce them as a new routine, one by one. Here is a great document on Ear Testing Psychology.

    Would you help us to help you better? NEW? HOW YOU CAN HELP US HELP YOU! Lots of basic information in that post, just click on the blue highlighted text to open the link. We'd love to see some basic information in your signature.
     
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  7. Groovyguru

    Groovyguru New Member

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    Jan 8, 2020
     
  8. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    You’ve already gotten some great tips so I won’t rehash them too much :cat: I definitely also recommend trying to test him yourself at home and seeing how he does - I know my girl is MUCH more aggressive at the vet than she is at home. Some cats don’t mind testing at all, and others take some convincing :rolleyes: My cat was impossible when I first started, and establishing a routine really helped a lot. She’s (mostly) perfect now when I test her lol. Many, if not most cats are bribable, you just have to find the bribe that works best :cat:
     
  9. Groovyguru

    Groovyguru New Member

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    Jan 8, 2020
    Hi Chris and China,
    Thanks for the information. I might try slowly introducing the routine as suggested - favourite place, ear rub and treat and work up to trying an ear prick. He is spending a day at the vet tomorrow to monitor his curve so that should give me some time to try get him used to the routine before I need to try at home.
     
  10. Groovyguru

    Groovyguru New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Hi Deb and Wink,
    Thanks for the information. I’ve already noticed a huge improvement overall in Elvis in the week he has been on insulin. He is much more content, got his purr back, his tail no longer swishes all day and he is pooing daily and not peeing anywhere near as much as he was previously. I’ll talk to the vet again tomorrow about home testing.
    * I found the site by googling a few questions I had about cat food as the vet has him on hills prescription tinned but he doesn’t love it - and I was looking for alternatives. He is underweight and has never been a fat cat so doesn’t need to lose weight.
    And I’m in Australia - so not sure if our measurement are same but he is supposed to eat 3 x 185gram tins per day which seems a huge amount.
     
  11. Groovyguru

    Groovyguru New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Thanks Sarah and Soph,
    I’ll try get a routine happening and find a treat he can’t resist. He can be quite finicky and what is a treat today he will turn his nose up at tomorrow.*sigh
     
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  12. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Another member from Australia! Hope you are safe from the wildfires.

    Please confirm that is 185 gram tins (cans 6.5 oz per can) of food, 3 times a day. Did you mean 85 gram (3 oz) tins? Have you seen the Australia specific food chart, here?

    BG measurements on this message board are in US numbers (mg/dl) but the rest of the world uses mmol/L. A lot of people don't know the conversion rule but it is 18 times mmol to get the US number. Since this message board started in the US, we use mg/dl in all our documents.

    If you set up the spreadsheet (SS) we use and choose the World version, there is a nice feature that has some formulas in the background and populates the US version. You put your data in the World version, and then when the SS is attached to your signature, we can open it up and take a quick look.

    Spreadsheet how to directions are here. Ask for help if you have issues. We have 2 members that set these up all the time and can help you with that. Not me though.

    And what all that stuff on the SS means is here
    .

    p.s. Yes, I know it's a lot of info to absorb and understand, so keep asking questions.
     
  13. Groovyguru

    Groovyguru New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Hi Deb and Wink,
    I’m safe from the fires but my parents are in the zone. Should be all good.
    Yes - vet said 3 x cans (just checked cans are 156 grams each)... I think she said 3 cans as he needs to put weight on but that’s about as much as I eat! Thanks for the link to Australian cat food site.. I did read somewhere about fancy feast classics being ok and I bought some of those which he prefers to the hills food although I have been mixing these up...
    Thanks for the spreadsheet - I will get this started.
    Appreciate everyone’s help on this site and so glad I found you!
    Thank you
     
  14. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi Christine. How are things going with your sugarkitty Elvis?
     
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  15. Amina&M'row

    Amina&M'row Member

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    Jan 2, 2019
    Is there any way to download "ear testing psychology"? It's wonderful! Thanks for putting it up.
     
  16. Groovyguru

    Groovyguru New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Hi Deb and Wink,
    Elvis is good but the vet has trouble getting his readings over the course of a day as he growled and swiped her after his 2nd reading. I’ve tried at home but he became quite upset after the first time and tucked himself away in a corner. He was quite agitated and the vet said this could give a false reading due to his high anxiety. We are exploring the libre implant which will allow me to scan him. Have you heard of this? Any feedback?
    Thanks,
    Christine
     
  17. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    That fantastic document was written by one of our members, Kay Passa, a long time ago.

    Here is the link to that document again. Ear Testing Psychology

    Not sure how to do that is my answer. Not sure of where you want to download the document to? Maybe ask that question over in our Tech Support forum?

    I use a laptop, and use Firefox. What I normally do is save any documents I'm interested in viewing later to my 'Bookmarks Toolbar'. I've created folders underneath that, and have ones for different categories.

    You could print it. Don't have a smartphone so not sure what apps you might have to save it.
     
  18. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi Christine,
    Yes, there have been a couple of members here that have used the Libre. You can do a search on that keyword up in the right hand corner of the screen for more info in other members posts. The couple of things I remember from reading people's posts is that
    1. only lasts for 14 days
    2. expensive
    3. cats can easily dislodge it
    4. used at a vet's office during a critical situation (cat really sick)

    You may find this document very helpful in trying to ear test. Some people use the paw pads instead when testing. Here is the link to that document. Ear Testing Psychology

    Give it a good read, try some of the things it suggests and then ask more questions if Elvis is still giving you (or your vet) difficulties with testing.
    1. It takes time to get your cat used to the process.
    2. I highly recommend breaking down the process into little steps and adding steps one at a time. Try a dozen times a day if you can, introducing another step each time.
    3. Bribes are also highly recommended. Any pure meat or fish treat, fresh or freeze dried are a place to start. Many cats like a little bit of plain cooked chicken or turkey cut into small pieces.
    4. Treat after every attempt, successful or not.
    5. Be calm. Cats pick up on our emotions.

    Vet stress can cause artificially high BG readings (80-100 points). Here is one vet journal published study on that if you are interested in learning more. It's why the 2018 AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines recommend home testing if possible.

    When you get a chance, could you read this post.
    New? How You Can Help Us Help You! Having some information in your signature will really help us to help you better. Thanks.

    Let us know how it's going. Keep a good relationship going with your vet too. I'll try to keep my eye out for your posts.
     

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