Changing from Purina DM to Raw Rad Cat

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by heldentenor2b, Nov 20, 2012.

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  1. heldentenor2b

    heldentenor2b New Member

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Greetings from Seattle!

    My cat, Boo was diagnosed with diabetes in September 2012. Before that, she was overweight until about two years ago when I put her on a raw food diet (Rad Cat and Primal). Despite that, she still became diabetic (most likely genetic). She experienced ketoacidosis and spent three nights in the hospital. SInce then, she has been on Purina DM and is now up to 4 units of Lantus Glargine twice a day. Still to date, her numbers are running a bit high and not quite yet regulated.

    Here's the issue, about every two weeks, she gets quite sick (i.e. vomitting, diarrhea, and doesn't want to eat more than a 1/4-1/2 a can - she usually eats a full can twice a day) she also urinates outside the box. This sickness lasts a couple of days but with some Pepcid she gets better and back to normal. I've even taken her to the vet and there's no ketones or anything of concern. After the sickness subsides though, she still tends to urinate outside her litterbox once a day (the rest of the time inside the box). The vet has raised concern that it might be IBS, but since it's very sporadic, she's not sure.

    Anyway, I'm getting annoyed and I truly believe it might be her diet and possible IBS flair ups. I've addressed changing her back to raw, but the vet is opposed to it until her insulin is regulated. I figured it might be better to do it now as there would be a less likely chance of her becoming hypoglycemic since she's not at the optimal dose yet. I don't know. I like my doctor, but I feel they are so robotically programmed to only recommend the prescription foods that I don't know whether it's right or wrong. Despite the diabetes, Boo was very happy, healthy and energetic on the raw food.

    Anyone have any experience with these symptoms and issues or changing foods mid-treatment? I'm sifting through the archives, but there's so much information. I thought I might get some more up-to-date responses here.

    Thanks for your help!

    Ryan

    Oh, and for the record, I now have an AlphaTRAK 2 at home to do testing. Though Boo does not make it easy to test.
     
  2. Hillary & Maui (GA)

    Hillary & Maui (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Bottom line - prescription food is not necessarily high quality food nor is it a low carb food.

    You can feed any commercial food canned or raw that is low carb - less than 10% carbs and it will be better for the cat.

    Many cats get tired of the prescription and refuse to eat it. There is no reason why you can't change the food now, especially if he is vomiting, diarrhea, etc. as a result. Maui has a very sensitive tummy too and she is on a very limited diet - that doesn't include any prescription foods and does include raw foods.

    Since you are home testing, I suggest that you go ahead and put him on the food you want to give him, just be aware that his BG's may drop significantly as a result of the lower carbs and diet change. So be prepared to adjust the insulin dose accordingly. Which by the way, is a good thing......
     
  3. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Has there been any tests done for pancreatitis? Or hepatitis? Those are other causes of vomiting which seem to occur more frequently in diabetic cats, along with hepatitis. (IBD plus pancreatitis plus hepatitis = triaditis)
     
  4. heldentenor2b

    heldentenor2b New Member

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    Nov 20, 2012
    I believe that has all been done. If that were the case, wouldn't be more of a daily thing vs. a couple days every couple of weeks? That's what makes this very frustrating. I could put her through all those tests again, but everything has come up negative in the past. Looking for other solutions before putting her through all that stress and needlessly spending all that money again.
     
  5. lynn and bear (ga)

    lynn and bear (ga) Member

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    Dec 30, 2009
    My Bear had terrible problems 4 years ago after diagnosis in April 2008 - vomiting, not eating, and the diarrhea got so bad that it was often bloody. We were always at the vet - I also took him to a specialist, they said probably IBD. He refused to eat commercial wet- I think I tried 72 kinds. I had a few sessions with Dr. Lisa, she walked me through integrating raw into his diet in late 2008. After I started the integration, he would still go through periods of it, but the attacks slowly were becoming less and less frequent.

    Fast forward to now - knock on wood - rarely ever any digestive problems besides bearballs, and he is now an old guy who shows his age, but he is also jumping around and zooming down the hallways and hiding from me like a little kitty. I am not saying it will do the same for everyone who tries it because I'm not an expert about these things, but for my cat I believe from the bottom of my heart it is due in major part to the raw. I know how hard it is when they are constantly sick with the tummy issues… best of luck to you whatever you decide to do.
     
  6. lynn and bear (ga)

    lynn and bear (ga) Member

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    Dec 30, 2009
    PS - Didn't answer the second part of the actual question - yes, we did the food change during his diabetes/insulin treatment. I learned here that it's very important to be BG testing during the food transition period if the cat is on insulin. Bear is also a free-feeder, so I was BG testing him regularly at that time. It takes a little bit to get used to the testing but it really will give you peace of mind and freedom as well as the info you need to arrive upon a good dose, especially while making a food change if you decide to go that route. :)
     
  7. squeem3

    squeem3 Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Any type or brand of raw food is much better for your diabetic cat than the prescription junk. Rad Cat and Primal Pet are both good brands and suitable for diabetics.

    Be very careful when switching the diet. 4 units of insulin is A LOT to begin with and a diet change may drop blood glucose levels quite a bit that the insulin may cause a hypo. Be sure to test blood glucose levels frequently and do the diet change very slowly.
     
  8. heldentenor2b

    heldentenor2b New Member

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Thanks for all the feedback. Tonight, Boo would not eat any of the Purina DM. However, when offered the raw, she ate 3oz of the 5 oz offered. I was hoping to gradually transition her to the raw, but it looks like I don't have that luxury now. I gave her the regular shot and will offer the rest of her food in an hour or so. I also plan to take her BG in a couple/few hours. Right before feeding she was at 378, so I'm not sure if I should worry about her BG dropping too far. I will monitor her and see though. Vet appointment in the morning, so hoping for the best.

    On the plus side, she's stopped vomitting, but she's not quite as energetic or alert as usual. That concerns me a bit, but is typical of her last episodes. Hoping she'll be pulling out of it tomorrow.
     
  9. heldentenor2b

    heldentenor2b New Member

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    Nov 20, 2012
    I thought I would give an update. Overall, Boo's health visually has increased considerably. No more vomit, diarrhea or lethargic behavior. She has also become very social which is something I haven't seen in a few months. Overall, a very happy cat.

    HOWEVER, I have not noticed her numbers dropping as I thought they would. She did attack a cheesecake tray during Thanksgiving and her numbers spiked last night to over 400. This morning they were at 282 before breakfast and strangely jumped to 402 before dinner. Should this be expected? I just find this strange as I thought in theory that the raw food would keep her more stabilized and her numbers would tend to dip vs. climb. That's unless the sugar from her slip up can linger a couple days.

    Thanks again for any input.

    Boo is currently being fed 4-5oz of rad cat twice per day and receiving 4 units of Lantus twice a day. I work from home, so if feeding her more smaller meals throughout the day is beneficial, I'm happy to do it.
     
  10. Hillary & Maui (GA)

    Hillary & Maui (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    You could try feeding several smaller meals throughout the day, rather than just feeding two meals. Many people feed "mini" meals throughout the day. Personally, I serve the food and leave it out all day and let mine graze, of course with raw food, you need to be more careful about that.

    Try it and see if it helps level her off a bit.
     
  11. squeem3

    squeem3 Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Personally, I would not leave raw food out all day. Bacteria quickly grows in raw food that is left out at room temperature. You can leave canned food meals out all day instead.
     
  12. d0zivyhoo

    d0zivyhoo Member

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    Nov 21, 2012
    Unless you're making your own raw food, I have to agree with the poster commenting on the possibility of bacteria, especially if kitty is a grazer. Also, e-coli, etc. makes me very nervous.

    Your beloved kitty's on and off again IBD could be caused by a gluten/grain intolerance. I have a friend whose cat was both vomiting and getting seizures. Once she switched her kitty to a gluten/grain-free diet, it all stopped permanently. Unfortunately, the prescription foods use corn or wheat gluten, etc.

    There are quite a few good canned, low carb, grain/gluten-free foods out there. In fact, grain-free foods, usually, are higher in protein and lower in carbs. As long as kitty doesn't have kidney disease, you have a LOT to choose from.

    If you look at the dry content analysis portion of the attached list (compiled by Lisa Pierson, DVM), maybe you and your vet can agree on a food to try.http://www.catinfo.org/docs/Food Chart Public 9-22-12.pdf

    While the above list does not contain ingredients, it at least is a place to start looking for nutrient content. Then, you can google the food to find ingredients.

    Many people recommend the Fancy Feast classic flavors. However, they are a little high in phosphorus. I do have a list mailed to me by Purina that contains the ingredients in every single Fancy Feast flavor. If you'd like it, I'd be happy to email it to you.

    Hope this helps.

    DZ and Sarah
     
  13. heldentenor2b

    heldentenor2b New Member

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Thanks again everyone for your input.

    Unfortunately, Boo is not a grazer. When it comes to feeding time, she's a wild animal that will stop at nothing to get fed. Food doesn't stand a chance and 4oz of Rad Cat disappears in 30 seconds or less.

    For the time being I'm feeding her 4oz in the morning and night with a 2oz light snack at the 6 hour mark between breakfast and lunch. My big concern at the moment is her BG which is ringing up over 400 the last couple days before her main meals and shot of Lantus. I thought with the switch to raw that it would drop. When she was on the Purina DM she was much more passive and was not stressed out before feeding time (probably because the food was making her ill), but now on the raw she's very aggressive and a bit stressed before feeding time (she was a dumpster kitty rescue from NYC) so I think that's what's driving up her numbers. Despite that, for the first time since she was diagnosed with diabetes, she is bright, energetic, social and pretty damn happy. I'm going to do a full curve on her tomorrow, so we'll see how the numbers look throughout the day.
     
  14. Hillary & Maui (GA)

    Hillary & Maui (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Maybe she is stressed because she isn't getting enough food. Have you considered feeding her more? Unregulated diabetics tend to need more food as they don't process it correctly and get all the needed nutrients.

    For example, when Maui was diagnosed and I started her on canned food, she could eat 2-3 cans of Fancy Feast at one time. As she got regulated, that hunger dropped to 1 - 1 1/2 cans at a time and now she may eat 2 cans in one day, along with raw food.

    So, it's possible that she needs more food and becomes wild, because she is really starving.
     
  15. heldentenor2b

    heldentenor2b New Member

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Ok, Boo did not cooperate with her blood test before breakfast which was an hour ago. Now that she's calm, I took the test and it showed up as 557! Should I be worried?

    The last couple days she was spiking in the 400's before meal time (again, I believe it's stress).

    On another note, I changed out her bottle of Lantus this morning. I started this vial mid-September when she was first diagnosed. Even though folks on the board said it can last 3 months or longer, I wanted to err on the safe side in the event it somehow lost its effectiveness.

    Boo seems fine, but should I maybe take her to the hospital or should I just take some more tests throughout the day and see how it goes? After her DKA and hospital stay in September, I really can't afford another hospital stay.

    I attached a PDF of her Diary. Any input would be appreciated.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. lynn and bear (ga)

    lynn and bear (ga) Member

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    Dec 30, 2009
    Hi,
    Have you tried posting in the Lantus Group?
    Maybe if you also post this in there they might be able to guide you.
     
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