Czar Zanzibar~ an intro

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Nicole, Jan 6, 2015.

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  1. Nicole

    Nicole New Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    My tabby Czar Zanzibar:

    Born on my 19th birthday (I'm now 25) he was intended to be a low maintenance companion while I put myself through college. About halfway through my BS in biology I came home from a sleepover to find his water bowl knocked over; I didn't think much of it until he had trouble urinating. After a vet consultation/ no crystals in urine they advised me to monitor him. That Saturday I rushed him to ER because he was blocked. They recommended I switch to prescription UTD food but I figured that it was a one time fluke and I already had him eating healthier than I was! Well after his second blockage I decided to switch; I was very reluctant because as a biology student I didn't understand why a 'prescription' food was comprised of such poor ingredients ( the food I had him on was better) not to mention the inflated price for the removal of a nutrient. He was my baby and all of my level headed reason ness flew out the window. I can say the 2 years he was on the prescription food he wasn't blocked. However his weight steadily increased until it leveled off about 3lbs heavier than the vet would like, but since I was only feeding him 1/2c a day he didn't want me to reduce the food.

    College is over and I landed my dream job working with prescribed burning and an on call wild land firefighter. Upon returning from a two week tour fighting fire in California my boyfriend informed me he noticed a dramatic increase in water consumption and urination. I took him in to find his blood glucose level at 400. Unfortunately I didn't go into the oil field and always thought that I'd rather love my job than care about money, until my baby got sick, again! Great 'prescription' food, if I didn't let the vet pressure me into that crap food he wouldn't have diabetes today.

    I'm afraid that I'm letting the same thing happen with this vet. October we switched to dry prescription food then re tested twice, it was in the mid 300 range. November we switched to the wet prescription food and retested twice, no change. December I started vetsulin at 1unit 2x/day after a week and a half we retested and there was no change so we increase to 2 units 2x/day. Today we went back to retest, he was at 419, the only other time he has been over 400 since this whole debacle began. I told him I didn't have the funds to continue paying him $50 every time I took him in to get a BGL reading and told him I wanted to do it myself(I asked to do this before but I don't think he took me seriously, this time I was more firm). I just wish I would have read this website before dropping $150 on the kit. Too late for that and now I know I can get an accurate reading (without the stress of long car ride and smell of sterilization products) and do a curve to really see where he is at.

    This brings me to my dilemma at hand, where I'm hoping to get some input on this. I still have a strong dislike of his diet. I asked my vet if I could make his food, but again I'm not sure he had any confidence in my ability/intellect and steered me to the pre canned crap food. I would like to make his food, I have an unprocessed deer I recently shot in my freezer and would really like to find some thoughts on venison as a meat product, as well as potential recipes that are diabetic and UTI friendly. He has only been on vetsulin for 3weeks with no change/increase in BG. I'm not sure how to proceed with a diet change since his insulin levels aren't stabilizing itch the vetsulin. What I really would like to do is discontinue the vetsulin, proceed with the diet change and get a good couple BG curves that are consistent, then reintroduce the insulin (all the time continuously monitoring BG). Please give me some input on this!

    Czar has always been very active, even over weight he was climbing trees and chasing away the neighbors large dogs. The only thing that has changed in his demeanor is the rapid weight loss and constant hunger. He is only 6 years old. I just want him to be healthy I don't like to feel like he is starving, poor guy has lost 5.5lbs in 3 months, he is considered 'underweight' but not yet emaciated, however if I can't get a handle on this I don't know what else to do.
  2. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Hello and welcome to you and your super sweet kitty Csar Zanzibar. I've lost track of the number of kitties that have arrived here diabetic from eating the dry urinary food. You might want to pop on over to It's a really good site on cat nutrition and includes sections for diabetes and urinary issues. Basically you want to feed low carb and low phosphorus wet food, with water added. The site also has a food list with many commercial canned and raw cat foods. You want something under 10% carbs. My kitties (one diabetic and the other with urinary issues) eat the same food. I've chosen to go with raw food, which was the vet's suggestion. They actually had venison tonight. Several of the commercial raw food suppliers and some of the canned food suppliers used venison as their main protein. However, the meat by itself is not a complete meal. The website above also has a formula for preparing your own food. You could supplement CZ's meal with venison.

    I'm glad to hear you are interested in learning to home test the BG. Many of us here use the Relion Confirm/Micro from Walmart, because it needs just a small blood drop and the strips are cheap. The price of test strips is key as you go though them. Testing BG will help keep your cat safe. My urinary issue cat once tested over 210 at the vet, and 53 at home the next day. Stress can make a big difference and you don't want to decide on an insulin dose based on a stress inflated number. Too much insulin causes hypos. If you change food, you do want to be home testing, because it can drastically change the insulin needs.

    Your kitties numbers are pretty high. It is likely that he will need to be on some insulin, at least for a while. Vetsulin (also called Caninsulin) is not recommended for cats. It's a great insulin for dogs but doesn't last long enough for most cats. We started on Caninsulin - and it lasted about 8-9 hours, after which Neko was miserable. For cats, you want either PZI/Prozinc (made for pets) or long lasting human insulins like Levemir or Lantus.
  3. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    See my signature link Glucometer Notes for some details on home glucometers, what the numbers may mean ... and the lack of accuracy (+/- 20% off what a lab might get.)
    Friskies Special Diet pates are both low carb and renal friendly. Since you are testing, you might gradually switch 20-25% over to that while monitoring the glucose levels. A change to low carb food may reduce the glucose from 100-200 mg/dL and may reduce the insulin dose as much as 1-2 units.
  4. Melanie and Smokey

    Melanie and Smokey Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    Can I ask how many hours after the shot you were/are taking Czar Zanzibar (love the name!) into the vet for the BG tests? The problem with vet testing combined with a short acting insulin is often the tests are too far after the shot and the insulin is already out of the system, the cat is high so they up the dose. But the cat may have been lower early in the cycle where they typically are with insulin like Vetsulin. Increasing the dose without knowing the lowpoint can start to cause too low of numbers, that create what we call a "bounce" to even higher numbers. Which can end up causing the dose to be increased more.

    I am glad you got the kit to home test, even if you went through the expense of getting a pet meter. With Vetsulin you want to be catching some tests in that time 2-4 hours after the shot, that is when he will likely be hitting his low point.

    I would suggest getting some good testing in before discontinuing the insulin. You want to know if he is really that high consistently because 400s need insulin, even if its not the best insulin for cats. When you switch food, drop back down to your starting dose.
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