Change of diet/food and neuropathy

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Roops, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Roops

    Roops Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2019
    Well it's back to trying to change Rupie's diet. Trying to get him completely off kibble or Whiskas. Thankfully he likes wet cat food. Always has but had a preference for Friskies Turkey and Gravy. That gravy was the best bit.

    We are now giving him wet cat food (IAMS Perfect Portion Grain Free) and have been for a while but now give it first before any kibble. We start off early morning with a tablespoon or less of cat food, and a crushed Zobaline pill. We also bought him more Purina Pro Plan Overweight Management. This is what the vet originally recommended when he was diagnosed. I hope he will not have any digestion problems with the re-introduction of Purina PP OM. I know his neuropathy will not improve (even with Zobaline) without getting his blood sugar down.

    I was encouraged this morning to read that going from kibble to an all wet canned cat food diet will produce loose movements. In the past I became alarmed when I noticed it. I freaked. Now I know this is normal. However I am still withholding all fishy pates. I know he is sensitive to it.

    One concern I have ...Rupie sometimes still gorges with kibble. Even the Purina Pro Plan stuff. He at times reminds me of my son's dog, and wondered if I didn't need a special feeding bowl for him. Is gorging a sign of diabetes...elevated blood sugar perhaps?? ...or just a cat that loves his grub. He always was a member of the clean plate club. He does not do this with wet canned cat food. He is more reserved. More respectable. Takes his time.

    Rupie's neuropathy is quite bad. And that is distressing. He walks both on his hocks and elbows. But my oldest daughter thinks she sees some signs of improvement. Last night she and my son saw him standing up or walking differently. We all thinking he walks lighter now. and this morning I saw him standing briefly to drink from the tub tap. But he has a long way to go. He eats lying down and lies in the litter box. he has been on Zobaline for about a week now. Diabetes is a dance. One step forward, one step back. Believing there are better days ahead for our Roops.
     
  2. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Hi and welcome from a fellow Canuck. I'm in south eastern Ontario. We're practically neighbours! :smuggrin:

    QUOTE="Roops, post: 2389974, member: 26998"]One concern I have ...Rupie sometimes still gorges with kibble. Even the Purina Pro Plan stuff. He at times reminds me of my son's dog, and wondered if I didn't need a special feeding bowl for him. Is gorging a sign of diabetes...elevated blood sugar perhaps?? ...or just a cat that loves his grub.[/QUOTE]

    The gorging could be a product of several things. First of all, it's apparently his favourite food so he wouldn't want to let the chance to have at it slip by. My girl was/is a total kibble addict and it took me forever to get her to even acknowledge that wet food was not waste to be immediately buried. Secondly, diabetics do not process and utilize the food they eat as well as they should making them ravenously hungry. Thirdly, if BG drops lower than Rupie is accustomed to or to levels too low, it's common for them to go for food as if they have been starved for ages.

    I see Rupie is on a 5u dose of ProZinc which is pretty hefty for most cats. That said, with kibble still in the picture, he may very well need that dose for now. If you can get him on a totally wet diet, his insulin needs will likely drop, sometimes dramatically. Are you home testing Rupie's BG at all? Home testing would provide you with a way to determine which of those reasons for gorging might be at play. It also gives you a way to monitor Rupie and keep him safe as you make the transition from dry to wet food diet.

    If you aren't testing at home and would like to learn, we can help you do so. It's really very easy, takes but a minute or two and it gives you a better picture of what is going on with his BG because tests done in the vet's office are often elevated due to vet stress and that can elevate BG substantially by 5.5 mmol (100 points in US measure) or more in some cases.

    Neuropathy can take a while to clear and getting kitty regulated is key. Zobaline helps but getting BG levels under control is of paramount importance to get the neuropathy out of the picture.
     
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  3. Margie and Jackson

    Margie and Jackson Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    My cat still walks on his hocks, too. He’s stronger after 2 months with me, 3 months on insulin, even though I wouldn’t say he’s regulated. Nerves take a long time to heal. If you’ve ever had surgery you might recall feelings of numbness from injured nerves. Some people say it takes a year for them to recover as much as they can.
     
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  4. Roops

    Roops Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2019
    The gorging could be a product of several things. First of all, it's apparently his favourite food so he wouldn't want to let the chance to have at it slip by. My girl was/is a total kibble addict and it took me forever to get her to even acknowledge that wet food was not waste to be immediately buried. Secondly, diabetics do not process and utilize the food they eat as well as they should making them ravenously hungry. Thirdly, if BG drops lower than Rupie is accustomed to or to levels too low, it's common for them to go for food as if they have been starved for ages.

    I see Rupie is on a 5u dose of ProZinc which is pretty hefty for most cats. That said, with kibble still in the picture, he may very well need that dose for now. If you can get him on a totally wet diet, his insulin needs will likely drop, sometimes dramatically. Are you home testing Rupie's BG at all? Home testing would provide you with a way to determine which of those reasons for gorging might be at play. It also gives you a way to monitor Rupie and keep him safe as you make the transition from dry to wet food diet.

    If you aren't testing at home and would like to learn, we can help you do so. It's really very easy, takes but a minute or two and it gives you a better picture of what is going on with his BG because tests done in the vet's office are often elevated due to vet stress and that can elevate BG substantially by 5.5 mmol (100 points in US measure) or more in some cases.

    Neuropathy can take a while to clear and getting kitty regulated is key. Zobaline helps but getting BG levels under control is of paramount importance to get the neuropathy out of the picture.[/QUOTE]


    Waving back to you from South of Ottawa. I think his current kibble Purina Pro Plan has about 5.75 carbs in it. I've taken him off ALL other kibble. Whiskas Indoor Cat Chicken. From walking up and down aisles looking for other options I know they are all carby. Not suitable for our boy Roops. He eats wet food and we are trying to push that. Offering that before the kibble especially during the day when we are awake. We do let our boys graze. I left some Pro Plan out for him last night, and IAMS wet cat food. I will be monitoring how much he eats at night. If I see some leftover I will be reducing what is given. Both wet and dry. Diabetic cat food is expensive, or not cheap

    We have taken blood samples at home a few times. But not on a regular basis. We ran out of glucose strips and were waiting for them to come in. Thankfully they have arrived. Earlier this week before the complete change in diet his blood sugar was high. 34.something. This was toward the evening before his shot. I was not surprised. I could tell by the way he was that he was not himself. We hope to begin testing his blood on a more regular basis now that we have the tools. We are uses the pet glucose monitor. AlphaTrak 2? We try to test him on days my daughter is off work. I am hoping to see his numbers come down with the changes in diet. I know he still needs to lose weight. We try to play with him and keep him somewhat active. Burn some calories. I think he is about 18 pounds now but was over 23 before he was diagnosed.

    We did try to lower Rupie's insulin but it was not the right time. He needed that high of a dose. He began voiding more, and became more lethargic. We gradually began increasing the dose back to 5 units 2x per day. Now with a change in diet ...no carby food perhaps in time we can gradually decrease the dosage. I have already begun to see he is voiding less and the amount is not as large. we will continue monitoring him. I have accepted that whatever dose he needs to be healthy is okay.

    Thank you Mr.WorfMen's for your advice, and insight. Just clicked on what or who Worf is, or who I think he is. A favorite character. Great actor.
     
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  5. Roops

    Roops Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2019

    I've had several surgeries but never suffered with numbness from injured nerves thankfully. I will be patient with his progress. I do not expect him to be able to run overnight. Or to see him walk as he once did before his diagnosis. But I will rejoice in the small achievements I see in him. I will be happy for him in those small things. Last night for the first time I heard him scratching the sides of his litter box (cleaning his claws/litter). He had stopped doing this. Or when I see him cover up his business. He didn't or stopped doing this for a while and is now beginning to do it again. I see that small step as a positive step. A sign of hope. A sign he is improving. You see we have had thoughts of putting him to sleep if it progressed much further. This was the last hurrah. We do not want him to suffer. When he was first diagnosed he exhibited no signs of neuropathy. The neuropathy progressed from March through to May.

    Rupert has been on insulin since February? starting off low and gradually increasing the dose. We did not totally switch him over to low carb food only because he experienced digestive issues. We tried several times but it did not go well. Anything fish related was disastrous. I will stay clear of that food group for him. I know how it ends. Chicken he can handle. He seems to tolerate it well. I did not realize at the time when we first tried to switch him over... that wet cat food can make your kitty's stools loose. The vet never advised us of this. Now with this knowledge I will not be overly upset if it is somewhat soft. IF it has a shape it is good. If it is running - not good.

    And like your kitty, Rupie walks on his hocks but also on his front paws. From reading online I know neuropathy can impact other parts of the body. The eyes, the lungs. I hope we can stop that from happening. I hope someday he will be able to walk as a normal cat does. And he will be able to climb stairs and jump up onto furniture. For now I hope and wait, and give him time to heal.
     
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  6. nslade001

    nslade001 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Be patient. Willow has been pretty well regulated and on zobaline pretty much from the get-go , and she is just now walking on her pads on her right foot! Her wrist is actually off the ground! Her left is still a mess. She was diagnosed in November, and upped to twice daily zobaline in feb-march. She still lies to eat, but can mostly stand in the LB for the whole business (used to lie and rest). She's started walking the length of the trailer (60feet) back and forth multiple times a day; she used to rest after half a dozen steps. She's much more stable, and jumps on her steps with both feet sometimes instead of slowly stepping one leg at a time.
    Just some hope for you...
    With love, nikki

    ETA Willow has also been on gabapentin powdered in her food twice daily for neuropathic pain, and we noticed a definite ease in her movements when we hit the right (current) dose for her. Also recently began cartrophen injections, and since those she's been grooming under/around her hind legs occasionally...Can't remember the last time she had that leg in the air!
     
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  7. Margie and Jackson

    Margie and Jackson Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    This is a terrible illness, but the cats can come back from a lot.
     
  8. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    If the kibble is Purina Pro Plan DM, it's 18% carbs. There are no low carb kibble products in Canada that are appropriate for our extra sweet kitties carb wise but there are a few options with lower carbs than the DM including Nature's Variety Instinct Original CHicken and Ultimate Protein Chicken. They run 15% and 14% carb respectively. I'm the Mom of a very stubborn kibble addict that took years to transition to wet food and these are the lowest carb dry foods I could find.

    None of it is "diabetic" food .......most of it is classified as "dietetic" because diabetics need to watch their weight and there is nothing special about it including the canned food, except the expense. There are many retail brands with much better ingredients costing a lot less money. Popular brands used by a lot of members here include Fancy Feast Classics (Pates), Friskies pates and PC Extra Meaty from Loblaws. Check out Dr. Lisa Pierson's list and the Canadian List HERE

    I caution you to always test Rupie before every shot to make sure it is safe to give insulin and to get mid cycle tests once per cycle to see how low the dose is taking his BG especially when you are decreasing/removing the dry food. The diet change alone can have a very dramatic positive effect on BG leading to a need for the insulin dose to be reduced and sometimes even stopped completely. Without testing, the transition can be very dangerous.

    The other important thing to know is that sometimes too much insulin can look just like too little (high BG readings) and just doing odd random tests does not give you the info you need to know if Rupie needs his dose of insulin raised or lowered.

    Worf is my middle fur child, non-diabetic. He was rescued at 5 days from a feral colony by friends who happen to be HUGE Star Trek fans (well I am too!). The name Worf seemed to fit perfectly for a little alien, who "klungon" to life despite his tender age, being raised by humans. LOL!
     
  9. Roops

    Roops Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2019

    How did you find out that Purina Pro Plan has 18% carbs. I do not question you, but thought I had figured it out right. Obviously I didn't. I added all the ingredients: protein, fibre, ash, moisture, etc and subtracted that amount from 100. How can you find out how many carbs are in kibble or wet cat food? It's certainly not included with the nutritional facts. They don't make it easy.
     
  10. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    I looked it up on the website but admittedly it's pretty well known to be too high amongst members here....I just couldn't remember the exact %.

    If you calculated based on the Guaranteed Analysis, that is the problem. You need As Fed or MFE values and sometimes it's a real shocker how different the carbs are using those numbers vs. guaranteed analysis.

    The manufacturers were contacted to get the necessary analysis to ascertain the carbs in the foods I mentioned above. It's a pain but essentially the only way to be sure of the calculations.

    ETA adding pic

    Purina ProPlan DM.PNG
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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