Diabetic cat still losing weight

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by rubyfruit, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. rubyfruit

    rubyfruit New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    We have a cat that was diagnosed with diabetes about 6 months ago. The vet prescribed insulin (1/2 m) twice a day. It seemed to help for a while but then he started to lose weight again. The vet had said we could up it slightly if he started having problems. He's unable to gain any weight and he eats ALL the time. We have dry food out all the time. He will also troll around us when we're eating and even get up on the stove or in the sink if he thinks there is something in there to eat. He will even eat the dogs food if she doesn't eat it all. He does this because he is starving to death. He is hideously skinny. If I had to guess how much he weighs, I would guess 6 pounds at the most.

    I've been giving him wet food every day (while keeping our other cat away since he actually is a little heavy and doesn't need extra calories) and I will also give him people food when it's something that won't mess his stomach up (chicken with no skin for instance).

    I don't know what to do. Do I need to start giving him chicken every day? The vet just keeps bumping up his insulin (he's up to 4m at a time which seems excessive to me) and he just keeps getting skinnier.

    If anyone has any suggestions on how I can regulate his diabetes and get him to gain weight I would appreciate it.
     
  2. Vicky & Gandalf (GA) & Murrlin

    Vicky & Gandalf (GA) & Murrlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Absolutely! If you could answer a couple questions for us first, so we can help better, that would be great.

    First, what type of insulin is your kitty getting?
    Second, what type of food is he being given?

    I'm sure there will be more members answering shortly, with great suggestions, so I will relate the similar story of my feline diabetic, Gandalf. During the first 3 months after his diabetes diagnosis I watched as he continually declined, rather than getting better, even after raising his insulin dose from 3U to 6U. He lost 5 lbs during that time, and boy was he hungry! I bought a timed feeder and he would push it across the floor, turn it over, you name it, to try to get at the food before it opened the next meal.

    So when I joined FDMB back in 2005 I quickly learned that diabetic cats do best on a low carb diet and that the symptoms I saw, weight loss, excessive urination and hunger were probably due to TOO MUCH insulin rather than too little.

    It seems counter-intuitive that less is more, but in the case of insulin, it usually is. Once I lowered Gandalf's insulin dose and changed over to low carb wet food, such as certain varieties of Fancy Feast, grain free varieties of Wellness or even certain varieties of 9Lives, he got better and gained some of his weight back. He has been diabetic for 6 1/2 years now, so there is hope for your kitty!
     
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  3. rubyfruit

    rubyfruit New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    He is on humulin. The wet food I've been giving him is Fancy Feast. I am not sure which cat food they are on right now because I don't buy it (and it goes in a bin so I never see the bag). I do know it's weight management because the other cat is overweight. And of course that seems counter intuitive for the cat I'm trying to get to gain weight but it would be hard to separate the 2.

    We need to take him to the vet and I've been thinking about getting a home health kit just so I can monitor him more closely.
     
  4. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    So glad you are considering home testing. You can get a free newbie kit from this site if you would like: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=19541 We use human meters and find they work great. Some vets want patients to use the Alphatrak which is very expensive and we feel, no more accurate.

    When we took away all the dry food and went to wet alone, our Oliver went down 100 points overnight in his blood glucose readings. This is to encourage you to drop the dry for all your cats (see this vet's website for the reasons wet is better for every cat: www.catinfo.org) and to warn you that you should be home testing before you drop the dry completely. If your kitty drops like mine, your current dose could be too high.

    Humulin can be a difficult insulin to work with. It tends to lower the blood glucose fairly fast in most cats and then wear off before the 12 hour cycle is up. Here is some info on how it works: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=303 The most popular insulins here are Lantus, Levemir and ProZinc. In most cats, they all offer a smoother curve and last longer.

    Keep reading and asking questions. We would love to help you help your cat!
     
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  5. Rachel & Morris

    Rachel & Morris New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2017
    I just came upon this & my Morris has been on 2u of humulin 2xday & losing weight but eating like a horse. Should we lower insulin slowly &/or try to switch his insulin? Can this be done workout problems or complications? He's 21 so I'm very cautious.
     
  6. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Losing weight while eating a lot are signs of unregulated diabetes. It's possible that your kitty might need a larger dose. Also, insulin needs can fluctuate over time. It's not a "set and forget" thing. The only way to know what the insulin is doing to the blood glucose level is to test BG regularly at home. We can help if you're willing to try that.
     
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  7. Meridith and Zeke

    Meridith and Zeke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Hi, I am still fairly new to all this to, but learning. A few suggestions:

    Start a fresh post for yourself and tell us about your kitties condition, his insulin, dose and frequency, along with the food you are feeding including what type if it is canned (filet, bits, gravy, pate etc).

    If you click on your name at the top right of the screen, you will see a link for signature. Click that and add your kitties info to that also, so people can easily see many of the important details.
     
  8. Rachel & Morris

    Rachel & Morris New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2017
    We have a Freestyle meter but he will not let me check his blood for anything. He is 3ft long & he fights me to do a prick on him. I was taught to do it on his ear and we do not have luck with that. I usually can tell by his actions if I need to adjust insulin up or down a little but we have been at 2U for a bit. I hate to go down anymore & cause vomiting but I hate to give him too much.
     
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  9. Meridith and Zeke

    Meridith and Zeke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Look for videos on testing to help. It is really important that you test at home. Starting out, it took 2 of us for testing Zeke. Now it only takes 1 person and he might complain a bit but it is more because we ain't doing it fast enough so he can get his special treat. Without testing, you really can't depend on how they are acting to know if they are going to low, and by the time you see the signs of a hypo event, it is an emergency, and if he is staying too high it can cause ketones which at high enough levels becomes very painful for them. When they are tested at the vet's office, it is very likely that the number is being skewed by stress so probably not accurate. So you could adjust his dose by that and put him in bad numbers. It takes patience, but your kitty will get there and not mind the testing. He is just fighting right now because it is something new.
     
  10. Rachel & Morris

    Rachel & Morris New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2017
    Awesome. Thank you for the help & it's nice to know we're not alone! I will get a ton of test strips & start watching videos :)
     
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  11. Meridith and Zeke

    Meridith and Zeke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    If you have any questions, ask! This board has been great for us and I am so glad we found it. I actually had a vet who tried talking me out of home testing. I never took Zeke back to him after that either lol. Everything I have learned on fd has been through here, and things I have researched after reading about it on here. I am now starting on the road of getting proactive by brushing teeth and doing homemade food and whatever else I figure out would be best to start doing or change. :) You will find all the help you need here. Good luck!
     
  12. Meridith and Zeke

    Meridith and Zeke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    PS, get your info added to your signature :) It really does help keep people from constantly asking the same questions over and over.
     
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  13. Rachel & Morris

    Rachel & Morris New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2017
    I have it added I believe correctly. I don't have a spreadsheet but have as much as possible.
     
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  14. Meridith and Zeke

    Meridith and Zeke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Yes, much better, and once you get started on the testing, then you can have your spreadsheet added. :)
     
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  15. Rachel & Morris

    Rachel & Morris New Member

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    Aug 17, 2017
    Does anyone know what type of test strips works best with the Freestyle meter or does it have to be that brand? Thanks
     
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  16. Rachel & Morris

    Rachel & Morris New Member

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    Aug 17, 2017
    Wonderful thank you. I may have Morris horror stories to accompany, he's rotten
     
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  17. Meridith and Zeke

    Meridith and Zeke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Many on the board uses the relion micro or confirm, has the cheapest strips.
     
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  18. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Like Meridith said, most in the U.S. use the ReliOn but if you're outside the U.S. and have the Freestyle meter, you need to use Freestyle strips. The only meter I've heard about that can use another's strip is the pet meter, AlphaTrak 2 which can use Freestyle Lite test strips :). Could you add your general location to your Signature too? If you need help getting a Spreadsheet set up, just ask :bighug:.
    Here are 2 video's of members testing their kitties. Don't be put off, they did not start this calm! ;)
    Janet & CC:


    Sieden & Peanut:


    Picture of the sweet spot:
    upload_2017-8-18_12-44-58.png
     
  19. Rachel & Morris

    Rachel & Morris New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2017
    Thanks SO much! I may give my meter to a friend with a newly diagnosed kitty & buy ReliOn. I may have been poking the marginal vein instead of the "sweet spot"--poor guy was upset & it looked like a blood bath. I hate to stress or hurt by baby. ;)
     
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  20. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    If you have a Freestyle meter you have to use the strips made for it. Some brands will allow you to use the same strips in two or more of their meters. I have a Freestyle Lite meter and use Freestyle Lite strips. You can ask the pharmacist about that.
     
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  21. Meridith and Zeke

    Meridith and Zeke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Many say to have a treat for both the kitty and u for after u test, that way u both get a reward. It is stressful for both parties. The more you are relaxed though, the better relaxed ur kitty will be.
     
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  22. vbc2000

    vbc2000 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    I found that it was ME who had more of a problem testing than Tigger did, lol. The first time I did it he didn't even flinch. I was scared I was hurting him but their ears thru evolution, have less nerve endings than you would expect. Tigger gives me a hard time sometimes because he just doesn't want to stay still, but if I hang in there, stay calm and firm, I get it done. Sometimes it's even easier to do it when I'm standing up because if I get down on the floor with all the stuff, he's like "oh no, not you again". Home testing is the only thing that has given me a true picture of what's going on with him and it's a relief not having to bring him to the vet for tests and curves. He's not the best boy in the car or vet! Good luck and may I suggest to read, read and read the boards some more. It's so helpful and so are the kind people!
     
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  23. Rachel & Morris

    Rachel & Morris New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2017
    This makes me feel better. I will test Morris this weekend (Maybe tonight) and get him adjusted. They are so rotten in watching everything we do.
     
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