Captain: Diagnosed January 22nd

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by -Samantha -, Feb 8, 2015.

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  1. -Samantha -

    -Samantha - New Member

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    Feb 8, 2015
    Hi everyone! Captain is about 12 years old, not sure because we rescued him. When we adopted him and his brother Theo in May of 2013 he was 26 pounds of nothing but love and affection! 2013-07-19 16.44.21.png
    Besides being extremely overweight he had severe ear, eye, mouth, and skin infections. a ton of vet visits, test, antibiotics,creams,drops, and a good dental pulling more than half of his cracked and rotting teeth and he was good as new thanks to our ABSOLUTELY AMAZINGGG VET! We quickly put his food lovin' butt on a diet at the recommendation of my vet! From may 2013 to February 2014 we got him down to 18 pounds. 1527122_1430961293861143_4863337575437761579_n.jpg
    They are the best cats in the world! Despite all the abuse they went through over the years of their lives, they couldn't be anymore perfect! They fit right in with our other children ( 3 dogs).

    In August of 2014 we decided to move to Florida. In the beginning of December I noticed Captain was always hungry and thirty to the point he would break into the cabinets to rip the dry blue buffalo bags open when we weren't home. He started peeing outside his litter box, I immediately brought him to a vet. He was diagnosed with a UTI and put on antibiotics. He got worse over the next 2 weeks and we were at the vet four times changing his antibiotics. The third week, the vet started doing blood work and other test where he found nothing wrong and just kept giving more antibiotics. I finally got fed up with this answer after he lost 4 pounds and seeming like he was starving. I brought him to 2 new vets the following day that gave me the same answer and wouldn't investigate further and told me I was over reacting and panicking over something that wasn't a big deal ... I brought him to another vet(a "state of the art animal specialist hospital") the next day, said nothing at all was wrong with my cat. I gave him my list of concerns and a couple thousand dollars later,and I quote " You need to realize that your cat is old and his time to go to the big kennel in the sky might be coming soon." I was appalled by just how heartless and rude a vet could be!! I stormed out the door and called my vet we used for many years before we moved not knowing where else to turn after 4 vets making me feel like i was crazy! He said to have him checked for diabetes. So the next day that's what we did, onto yet another vet. Checked his blood work and said everything came back fine so he ran more tests, again everything was fine, hes just getting old. I was devastated.. over the next week he lost even more weight and got even worse. We finally decided to move back up north due to some other problems we were having. The first thing I did when we got back was take Captain to my vet. Within 20 minutes he had confirmed tat Captains sugar was nearly 800 and he was diagnosed with diabetes on January 22nd... He was also down to 10.5 pounds now and you could see all the bones in his body:( captain1.jpg
    How is it possible that all these vets couldn't find anything wrong with him while he was practically wasting away?! Are vets really that uneducated about the matter? My mind is still blown!!


    Fast forward to today: My vet put him on Vetsulin and we changed his food. He loves his dry, cant eat any fish because of allergies, and VERY picky. I'm having a hard time getting him to eat just wet food. we tried a few brands and the only one he will even eat more than once is Authority but their flavors that aren't fish are pretty limited and he still picks at it then screams for food like hes starving 20 minutes later. We are also having a hard time getting his sugar under control. My vet found a alphatrak 2 on amazon and recommended i order it to do at home testing since it was a lot cheaper than what he could order one for me for. hopefully it should be here by Wednesday. But in the meantime, he still isn't acting himself at all and we cant seem to get his insulin right because he picks at his food so badly. Is there any dry foods that diabetic cats can have? my vet said the prescription one is worse than a store bought one and didn't know any other alternatives. We also put him on probiotics last week because his insides smelled like he was rotting away!
    This adventure has been mentally draining and I still feel so confused over all of it and am very worried about my cat. How long does it normally take to get a cat regulated? Is there anything else i can be doing to help him?

    Sorry this is so long, I just am overwhelmed with what a process this whole thing has been and needed to vent! lol..
     
  2. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Hi and welcome to the forum. You will find lots of help and support here for you and your lovely Captain.

    I am amazed that all these vets didn't run a simple blood glucose check. Poor you, all the stress and worry.

    There is one brand of dry food that I know people use. It is called young again zero carb food. https://www.youngagainpetfood.com/10browse.asp?ProductCode=92100&category=cats

    You will also find this website extremely useful with tips on transitioning over your cat to wet food which in the end is the ideal for not only diabetes but also for urinary tract reasons,etc

    http://catinfo.org

    Having said that we don't recommend that you just suddenly switch cats over to a low carb diet as it may reduce their blood glucose and therefore need for insulin quite dramatically. You need to do it slowly and once you are testing his blood glucose at home.

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

    You might find that the alpha trak is expensive to use. Most people here tend to just use a human meter. US members often seem to use the relion confirm or micro meters as the test strips are cheap and easily accessible. The alpha track tends to used for when people want to do curves at home but on a daily basis the other type is more common.

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/feline-diabetes-home-testing-kits.60261/

    With regards treatment one of the reasons that you are struggling to get captains levels under control is that the insulin you have been given doesn't last long enough in most cats. Ideally you want your vet to give you a longer lasting one such as lantus, levimer or prozinc. Have a look at this link

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/aaha-feline-diabetes-treatment-guidelines.80813/

    Finally I just want to make sure that you are aware of what to do if you ever see captain display symptoms of low blood glucose. It sounds dramatic but if you are prepared in advance it really helps
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-to-treat-hypos-they-can-kill-print-this-out.15887/

    I hope it haven't overwhelmed you, there is lots of reading for you to do. Any questions please ask. The main place to go is over on the health forum. It would be really useful if you could add to your signature the insulin captain is using, the dose his name, his current weight, any other medication or conditions, etc.

    Best wishes

    Sarah
     
  3. Tiger(GA) and Ruth

    Tiger(GA) and Ruth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    As to your question, there is a saying on this forum, Every Cat Is Different(ECID) But don't worry, you are never alone- this forum is filled with wonderful people who will help you!

    Congrats to you for home testing- that is the best thing you can do to keep Captain safe! Most here use a human glucometer, the test strips are far less expensive and more readily available than the Alpha Trak.

    I empathize with you on the transition to wet food- one thing that helped me was to sprinkle my Tiger's food with Fortaflora, which you can either get at your vet or on Amazon.

    And finally, don't apologize for venting, that's what we're here for, moral support! We've all been there, :bighug:
     
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  4. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Samantha and extra-sweet Captain, and welcome to FDMB.

    12 years is not that old for a cat these days. And diabetes is very treatable. There is every chance that Captain will soon regain his health and strength.

    What dose of Vetsulin is Captain on? (Sorry if I missed that bit)

    Best wishes,
    Eliz
     
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  5. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB.
    You may find it helpful to know what some of the glucometer numbers mean; see my signature link Glucometer Notes.
    You've identified some of the other things that can change in diabetes that are listed in my signature link Secondary Monitoring Tools. Testing the urine for ketones is important as too many may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially fatal complication of diabetes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
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  6. Martha and Lolly

    Martha and Lolly Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Welcome! I love your pictures of Captain and Theo-- they are adorable! My initial experience with vets wasn't that great either, though yours sounds like malpractice. The food thing also really gets me-- vets supporting high carb food as good for cats. Have you tried Fancy Feast Classic? I had two confirmed dry food eaters, one has been converted to FF completely, I stopped free feeding, and that was enough for Mickey to convert. I'm still working on the Ninja, who ate dry all his life (he's a rescue) he's just started licking at the wet. It sounds like Captain is at least at the "OK, I'll try it" phase-- great start!! :bighug:
     
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  7. -Samantha -

    -Samantha - New Member

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    Feb 8, 2015
    They are both on Fortaflora. He acts like hes starving and then once i put the bowl down he takes a few licks and walks away. But if we arent careful with picking up the dogs dry food after they eat, he goes to town on.
     
  8. -Samantha -

    -Samantha - New Member

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    Feb 8, 2015
    He is on 3 units twice a day. He seems to be going through highs and sometimes lows after the insulin that we cant seem to work out. Hopefully with the home testing it might get a little easier.
     
  9. -Samantha -

    -Samantha - New Member

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    Feb 8, 2015
    is the ketones testing something we can do at home? my vet hasnt mentioned anything like that to me, what is it really?
     
  10. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Yes, you can check either urine (urine testing strips) or blood (special meter) for ketones at home.
    Ask at the pharmacy for KetoDiaStix or generic to test the urine. There are special meters for ketone blood testing; if your cat has ever had ketones, you should get one of these.
     
  11. -Samantha -

    -Samantha - New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
    I tried every wet food at the local pet stores. the only ones he will even pick at are friskies and authority which i cant see being healthy. before being diagnosed they were eating blue buffalo freedom dry food and i would make chicken, turkey or beef with liver cooked and would blend it with some water and give it to them warm on top of their dry. When i got them they were on all dry from the rescue and captain wouldnt eat canned even then. Theo on the other hand would eat anything you put in front of him lol.
     
  12. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    I feed Friskies pates to all 16 of mine; they seem healthy and fit ... and my budget can handle it.
     
  13. Martha and Lolly

    Martha and Lolly Member

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    Jan 4, 2015
    Wow- blended chicken and liver-- they must LOVE their mama.!:) If you can get them to eat that, it looks like you've at least got the texture thing beat. Is Captain doing more than licking yet? Do you think you could fool the big lug by mixing 25% wet Friskies with 75% of your special "blend", then 50/50, etc? But really, Friskies and Authority are a huge improvement over dry, you shouldn't worry about the quality thing at this point. It's so overwhelming feeling like you have to change 15 million things at once, and learn 20 kajillion things while changing the 15 million things.o_O

    Take 3 deep breaths-- then keep doing the great job you're already doing.
     
  14. -Samantha -

    -Samantha - New Member

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    Feb 8, 2015
    if i put more than a spoonful in he knows and wont eat it. my vet said if he was hungry he would have to give in and eat at least some of it. Nope.. he sits at the bowl and "yells" at me. he will eat any kind of human food though. meat, vegetables, salt and vinegar potato chips anything.. but not wet cat food...
     
  15. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    You start slowly mixing in different food. Stick with 1 spoonful each time for a good week. Then add another quarter teaspoon for another week. And so on.
     
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  16. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
    The going up and walking away from food could be a sign of nausea rather than just being fussy. You could ask your vet about trying a medication such as ondansetron or cerenia just to see if it helps.
     
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  17. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hello and welcome.

    A vet tried to write Saoirse off as well. It's a lousy thing to go through. :bighug:

    It sounds like the vet you have now sounds much more caring - and switched on! :) You did an amazing job with Captain before, and you'll do it again with his diabetes.
     
  18. Martha and Lolly

    Martha and Lolly Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Oh no, you may have to do the homemade cat food thing! ;) Try BJ's advice, really, really slow.

    You'll want to start posting new threads in the Health Forum. New posts with current subject headings will be reviewed by experienced people, who look for current postings-- you can ask for help in a posting on a particular problem, put "Help! Captain needs....etc" in the title, someone will answer quickly. Use the 911 prefix if you need help ASAP. Also, you should set up Captain's spread sheet. We record insulin dosages and glucose tests each day in the spread sheet. You link the spreadsheet to your signature, so anyone can review it and see how Captain is doing. It's really important to have it when you need help in a hurry, as all the info is right there. I'm relatively new, and I don't know all the links that show you how to do this. Marje and Gracie helped set up mine. Post a thread for help on this, or BJ can give you the links.

    Let me know how Captain is doing- and here's a hug for you:bighug:, Captain:bighug: and Theo:bighug:
     
  19. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Lets get you started using our grid to record your glucose tests. It will help us give you better feedback. Instructions are here.

    Understanding the spreadsheet/grid:

    The colored headings at the top are the ranges of glucose values. They are color-coded to clue you in as to meaning.

    Each day is 1 row. Each column stores different data for the day.

    From left to right, you enter
    the Date in the first column
    the AMPS (morning pre-shot test) in the 2nd column
    the Units given (turquoise column)

    Then, there are 11 columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you test at +5 (5 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +5 column
    If you test at +7 (7 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +7 column
    and so on.

    Halfway across the page is the column for PMPS (evening pre-shot)
    To the right is another turquoise column for Units given at the evening shot.

    There is second set of columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you snag a before bed test at +3, you enter the test number in the +3 column.

    We separate day and night numbers like that because many cats go lower at night.

    It is merely a grid for storing the info; no math required.
     
  20. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Once you have your spreadsheet set up, could you add a few tidbits to your signature? It will help us give you feedback without having to go look in all your past posts.

    Editing your Signature

    In the upper right corner of the screen, within the dark blue bar, you will see ID, Inbox, and Alerts

    Click on your ID.

    On the left, under Settings, Click on Signature.
    This is where you will put information that helps us give you feedback.
    This is where you paste the link for your spreadsheet, once it is set up.
    Add any other text, such as
    your name,
    cat's name,
    date of Dx (diagnosis)
    insulin
    meter
    any other pertinent issues like if there are any food issues, history of DKA, hepatic lipidosis, pancreatitis, allergies, IBD, etc.
    Click the Save Changes button at the bottom.

    Always click the Save Changes button at the bottom when you have changed anything.
     
  21. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Samantha,
    Here's a link to a page of info about testing kitty pee; including tips on how to catch a sample. (Oh, the things we do for our kitties...:rolleyes:)
    http://www.sugarpet.net/urine.html
    .
     
  22. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    See also my signature link Secondary Monitoring Tools for tips on checking dehydration, the WCR (whole cat report), and more.
     
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