diabetic cat

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by alllanbs, Dec 29, 2009.

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  1. alllanbs

    alllanbs New Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    My recently 12 yo cat, Holly was diagnosed with diabetes. Is it a fact that we should eleimate dry food and feed her wet food?
     
  2. Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur

    Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome!

    As you may have noticed, we're in the middle of transitioning to this board, so I'm not certain "old" links work. If they do, please look at this: http://binkyspage.tripod.com/canfood.html This is a food chart of canned foods. It is true that canned food is lower in carbs, and that is what a diabetic cat needs. If you look at the food chart, you will see the carbs listed and you should aim for the foods with the lowest number. Also, you will see all different brands of food, including Friskies, Fancy Feast, etc., that should be available at your grocery store or pet store.
     
  3. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    hi and welcome.

    yes indeed, diabetics shouldn't have a lot of carbs and dry food tends to have a lot of carbs. also, diabetics are more prone than the average cat to other problems such as urinary problems and dry food keeps them in a constant state of dehydration so they can't flush toxins and crystals and such as easily. thus, wet food is necessary both for carb content and for moisture.

    for the best info on feline nutrition check out http://www.catinfo.org
    and then go to these charts and pick out foods that are under 10 in the carb column. you can fine tune protein and fat and that stuff later.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/diabetic-cat-diets.htm

    can you tell us if you are giving insulin already? what kind? and what dose?
     
  4. squeem3

    squeem3 Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome :)

    As many members here will tell you, yes dry food is bad. Feed your diabetic cat low carb canned food. Read http://www.catinfo.org for all the reasons why dry food is bad. It's one reason why many cats develope diabetes.

    Dry food is like junky sugary food. Feed a Human diabetic junky sugary food and the blood glucose levels stay too high despite a lot of insulin and the diabetes is hard to manage in general. The right diet along with insulin and blood glucose testing are key to managing the diabetes.

    If your cat is not yet on insulin, go right ahead and change the diet to only low carb canbed. "Low carb" is food that has 10% or less kilocalories from carbs. Use the famous Binky's food charts to find foods that are low carb: http://binkyspage.tripod.com/canfood.html Look at the column for carbs and choose foods that have a number 10 or less. Fancy Feast, Friskies, Wellness, and other well known brand names have low carb varieties. Feed your cat whatever brand she likes to eat.

    Can you tell us more about Holly? How was the diabetes diagnosis made? Do you know how your vet plans on treating Holly's diabetes?
     
  5. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    You are getting lots of good info already. I just wanted to welcome you and let you know that this is the best place to learn how to effectively manage feline diabetes and I am so glad you have found us.
     
  6. alllanbs

    alllanbs New Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Yes Iam using insulin (Humulin N). I am giving her 6/units of insulin 2/day.

    After chaecking her blood sugar (with a meter and accessories that I purchased) her BS level was 468. We cut out the dry food last night and gave her 8/units of insulin last night and 8/units this morning. We plan to check her blood sugar again, waiting 6hours from the time of the last injection to see if the elimination of dry food has made a difference. We realize this maybe too soon but it's better to check to make sure.

    I am disappointed with our Vet as he never discussed her diet with us.
     
  7. Karen & Smokey(GA)

    Karen & Smokey(GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    If you have discontinued dry food, and are still giving 8 units, I'm very worried that
    that dose is much too high.

    Please immediately read up on treating for hypoglycemia (too much insulin/ too low blood sugar),
    and get the supplies on hand.

    Come here immediately for help if you cat shows any unusual behavior, seems lethargic, is crying, etc.

    How did you get to 8units 2x/day....starting doses are usually 1 unit 2x/day, and increases based upon
    knowledge gained from home-testing.
     
  8. Susie and Moochie

    Susie and Moochie Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Exactly! Please do not continue that dose if you drop the dry food. It is doubtful that that much insulin is needed and the dry food is quite probably what is "protecting" your kitty from hypoglycemia from too much insulin at the moment.
     
  9. squeem3

    squeem3 Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    N user, up to 8 units BID

    8 units of any insulin is way too much and can be dangerous :eek: Especially since you just stopped feeding all dry food. Dry food, with all it's carbs, kept the blood glucose levels very high so the initial 6 units BID of insulin didn't have a big effect. With the dry food and carbs gone, the blood glucose levels are lower (though may still be in the diabetic range). Giving 8 units of insulin now may cause your cat to become hypoglycemic (very low blood glucose level) which can be very serious.

    You need to test your cat's blood glucose level before giving the insulin injection. Knowing that the blood glucose level is before giving insulin can save your cat's life. It's recommended not to give any insulin if the blood glucose level is under 200 mg/dl (11 mmol). Do spot checks on the blood glucose level a few times a day/night if you can. Record all the blood glucose numbers you get in relation of when the insulin was given (1 hour later, 3 hours later, 8.5 hours later, etc).
     
  10. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    oh dear! you decreased her carbs yet increased her insulin. i have to warn you that that is a recipe for disaster. please test your kitty frequently today and if she goes anywhere near about 50 anytime soon, please post asap. there is the chance she could go too low or, and hopefully this is the case, the dry food that is still in her system will keep that from happening.

    when decreasing carbs you should decrease dose too.

    unfortunately the board is in the middle of being changed over right now and info isn't easily accessible at least to me at the moment but we need to get you some info on rebound, hypoglycemia, diet + insulin effects, etc.....let me see if i can figure out how to get that info for you. i will be back.

    in the meantime, please don't give that much humulin n again ok? trust us for today while we help you figure all this out?
     
  11. Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur

    Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    That is alot of insulin to give your kitty is almost every instance (does your cat have other health issues?), but particularly when receiving lower carbs. Please check out this link: http://www.felinediabetes.com/faq.htm which provides a great deal of information regarding feline diabetes. In this particular situation, I believe you will find it helpful to read: http://www.felinediabetes.com/hypogly.htm and this http://www.felinediabetes.com/concurrent-somogyi.htm.

    As others have said, please do not shoot 8 units BID again until you know the effect of removing carbs from the diet and have done more home testing.
     
  12. Connie & Em (GA)

    Connie & Em (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    My Em was diagnosed with FD when she was nine. The vet talked about putting her on a high fiber diet (very old school thinking) but it gave her horrible diarrhea, so she recommended we keep her on her regular dry food. I was giving her 7 units BID and she continued like that for many years.

    we we started looking into diet, we transitioned her to a canned food, and her insulin need went down to 1-2 units BID. Home testing is vital when doing a diet transition. knowing how insulin works on your particular cat is also helpful, so it is a good idea to get a couple of curves under your belt (testing every two hours between the two injections) before changing food over.

    It is better to leave your cat with very high BGs for long periods of time then to risk her going too low for even a moment. High bgs damage blood vessles and the such, but low bgs causes brain damage and death. So it is recommended to greatly reduce the insulin and leave the kitty running high then to risk shooting too much

    Some cats are extremely sensitive to carbohydrates and can even go into remission (aka not need insulin at all) when given food that is low enough in carbs. Some cats deal with them better and their blood sugars don't change as dramatically with higher carb foods.

    Connie
     
  13. Elizabeth&Julia&Margaret(GA)

    Elizabeth&Julia&Margaret(GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I'll just ask you to please trust the people here to help you with the insulin dosing. Insulin needs can change drastically and quickly once the food has changed to low carb. Margaret went from eating high carb dry food to low carb wet in a day. I tried to transition her more slowly but that's how she did it. Three days after the food switch, she was off insulin. If I had listened to my vet's I would have had a disaster. Neither of the 2 vets we saw even gave thought to the possibility she would not need as much insulin as they were telling us. Please test at home and let members here guide you safely. I like others, also, recommend testing especially before each insulin shot and throughout the time after the shot. A lot can happen in the 6 hours between the shot and time you plan to test.
     
  14. Sweetgrass & the Furries

    Sweetgrass & the Furries Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Hello.. I am in agreement with everyone.

    That is a huge dose and to have increased after you have cut carbs down is very worrying.
    Please be testing earlier that 6 hours, getting a test 1 and 2 hours after shot will show how fast and how much the dose is dropping the blood glucose levels.

    Please,please reconsider that dose and watch extra closely today.

    My recomendation would be to actually lower dose when a food change has happened and 6 unit is a high dose on lower carb and if you remove the dry.

    Please have a look at this Humulin N primer with some great tips for how to use this insulin
    http://felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=303
    and please keep in touch and keep testing. Some dry food today may be in order of kitty seems, sleepy, twitchy, lethargic, or anything unusual.

    You will probably have a high number for a preshot following this, please don't adjust the dose based on preshots alone.
    You need to see when the insulin starts to work, "onset", how low it takes the blood sugar " nadir" and how long it lasting " duration"

    I know it is sooo much to learn and we are total strangers, but we have been where you are, we understand and want to help you to be the most proactive caregiver possible.
     
  15. alllanbs

    alllanbs New Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Holly has been under the Vet's care for the past three weeks dealing with the diabetes. He's been testing her BS level every other day. My mistake, she had 7/units last night when her gluclose level was 428. Today is her first day without dry food. We are going to test her tonight before her next injection. We just got the testing kit the end of last week. We are trying to draw blood from her paw with great difficulty; any suggestions.

    I took her to the Vet three weeks ago when I noticed the increase in her urination and drinking water. As I said previously she is 12/yo and very healthy. I've kept her weight at 12 lbs. I was feeding her dry and wet OM (Overweight Management) from Purina. I eleiminated the dry food only today and feeding her Science diet r/d mixed with tuna packed in water. She seems to be having a good day.

    I adopted her 11years ago in Los Angeles. She has traveled with me from LA to NJ to PA and now to NC. She handled all the moves like a trooper. I love her very, very much.
     
  16. Ronnie & Luna

    Ronnie & Luna Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi there -

    I'm really really going to stress that you monitor her BG levels closely, as suggested by others. Now that you have stopped the dry food, she really needs to be closely watched for any hypo symptoms on this dose.

    Please post often - the board is here for you for support and advise.
     
  17. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    glad to see you back. you will find things a lot different now with testing at home. the numbers at the vet are often elevated due to stress.

    also, if you were just diagnosed 3 weeks ago and are already at a dose very few cats ever need, you were started too high. i'm willing to bet you were not started at 1 unit twice a day? often vets will dose a cat based on weight and while that's ok for a dog, it is not the way it is done with cats in most cases.

    unless there is another condition like acromegaly or cushings, very very few cats ever need doses larger than a couple units twice a day
     
  18. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    viewtopic.php?f=14&t=287

    That is our post on testing tricks. Most use the ear but I am sure that the tips can apply to pawpad as well. I think the main help will be warming it. I'm so glad you are going to learn to test!
     
  19. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Hill's RD

    The hill's prescription R/D, both canned and dry, are very high in carbs. I made the mistake of putting bandit on weight loss food before I learned this, and it caused all sorts of health problems. The R/D is questionable even for a healthy, overweight cat...if Holly is diabetic she definitely needs some different food. There are many commercial foods that are low in carbs that aren't as expensive as the Hills and better for her diabetes. Check out Janet and Binky's nutrition charts here: http://www.felinediabetes.com/diabetic-cat-diets.htm. Right now Bandit eats the low carb varieties of Fancy Feast, which are also listed on the page I linked. A diabetic cat should be eating food with less than 10% carbs. As you can see from the chart, R/D has 37% carbs.

    I know it sounds weird trusting people on the message board rather than your vet, but since Bandit was diagnosed in October, I've learned that the advice here concerning diet and dosing is oftentimes better than the advice many vets are giving.

    Now, I wouldn't take Holly off the R/D immediately, but I would recommend transitioning her over the course of a week or so, gradually mixing in more of the new food while home testing and adjusting her dose as needed. The people on the feline diabetes message board give excellent dosing advice and you can ask for advice anytime you need it.

    And if you're concerned about her weight, I would be very surprised if she didn't get down to a healthy weight on her own with a low carb diet and restricted feedings.
     
  20. Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur

    Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thanks for posting back. It's clear how much you love your kitty...just look at how much information you've digested and all the steps you are taking to keep her healthy and deal responsibility with her diabetes!

    As far as testing goes, you can test from her paw; however, if that is difficult, you might try her ear. I'll look around and locate the instructions and video for testing using her ear, then post back. As far as her food goes, getting her off the dry is great! You may want to take a look at the food chart (I posted the link above) for all varieties of low-carb wet food. For a human food treat, you can offer chicken breast meat, turkey breast meat, and othe low-carb, high-protein stuff...just be sure it doesn't have any spices.

    Also, most of us here have a "hypo kit," and you may want to get one as well. All you really need is a bottle of Karo syrup (or honey, if you cat prefers), some very high-carb food, and a way to administer the food if your kitty can't eat it herself during a hypo incident. In my hypo kit, I have a bottle of Karo syrup, a couple of jars of baby food (as high calorie as you can find, but no onions), a couple of cans of VERY high-carb wet food (see the food list - the high-carb stuff will jump off the page at you), one small syringe (the kind used on babies to administer medication) that I use for the Karo syrup, and one large syringe that I use for the baby food. You should be able to find all you need at the grocery store.

    As everyone has mentioned, hometesting is very important. Not only will it keep you from giving insulin when you shouldn't, but you will also learn how and the time it takes for your kitty to react to the insulin. The ultimate goal is to have your kitty's BG level remain consistently in an acceptable range and have the insulin work for the 12 hours between shots. I know right now that seems like an almost impossible goal, but it will happen!

    By the way, what is your kitty's name?

    ON EDIT: This is the link to articles that discuss home testing, both by pricking the paw and the ear: http://www.felinediabetes.com/bg-home-test.htm
     
  21. alllanbs

    alllanbs New Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Holly's Blood Glucose level is 112 after one day without dry food. How much insulin would you suggest I give her tonight? She had 7units this morning at 8am; it is now 7:39pm EST 12/30?
     
  22. Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur

    Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Humulin dosing advise

    Since neither of my cats use Humulin, I can't really make any suggestions regarding dosing. I will cross-post you request in the Community forum and I'm certain someone will be along shortly that can help you.
     
  23. Connie & Em (GA)

    Connie & Em (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    it is better to leave her high for long periods of time then to let her get too low for even a moment.

    If this cat were in my house (I foster so I have walked into some strange situations) I would not give insulin tonight.

    If she were still running that low tomorrow I wouldn't give insulin in the morning either. If she were in the 200s in the morning I might give 1 unit but only if I could test her every couple of hours.

    Connie
     
  24. Ronnie & Luna

    Ronnie & Luna Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: Humulin dosing advise


    I've posted a couple cross posts too to get help here -
     
  25. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    agree totally with connie. under 200 no insulin, not that one at least. yes, on some of the other slow acting insulins people do shoot lower numbers but humulin is a faster acting insulin that can drop a cat dramatically.

    and agree with her too that tomorrow, if over 200, i'd start over and maybe shoot 1/2 a unit or at the most 1 unit.

    do you know what normal numbers are for a cat? they are roughly 60 to 120. some will say 50 to 120 or 60 to 150 depending on what reference you are using at the moment but all of them would say that 112 is within the normal range and not in need of insulin at the moment.

    great catch with that testing! imagine what would or could happen if you gave 6 or 7 or 8 units on a normal number???
     
  26. Connie & Em (GA)

    Connie & Em (GA) Member

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  27. Michele and Esse

    Michele and Esse Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    You know, my cat hypo'd (went too low) on humulin...I don't like the stuff for cats, and considering how many units you've been dosing, I'm worried that your baby will go low too. It's a weird insulin for cats, because their metabolism is different than ours, and can really be tough to regulate on humulin for that reason. I'll be happy to share my story with you if you think you'd be interested.

    Here's what I'd do (and did, if you look at my spreadsheet). I'd stop giving insulin altogether for at least 24 hours (I went close to a week) to let things clear out, and to see how the diet change affected the numbers. Keep testing of course, and keep a spreadsheet to track the numbers. But give your baby a break from the rollercoaster that humulin can be. And do it for at least 24 hours (meaning, from now until tomorrow night). After I'd see how the numbers were without any insulin, then I'd think about putting kitty back on it, and at only the lowest dose it takes to bring kitty to a decent level. The way you do that is to start low, go slow, and give kitty a few days on each dose before changing it.

    And, I'd ask the vet about Lantus. Lantus is a very differently acting insulin, and, according to my vet and from what I see here, there's a high likelihood of the cat going into remission (something like 80%). So Lantus is a better choice, although it is a bit more expensive.

    Forgot to mention that you can see my spreadsheet in the bottom link of my signature.

    I really like that you're here and trying to learn. I know it must feel awful to have so many people telling you you'll harm your cat, but they've been there, done that, and they really do know. I'm a student nurse with a good working knowledge of diabetes, and I've been learning hand over fist here about things that I didn't know, and didn't understand.

    Has anyone explained why hyperglycemia is better for the cat than hypoglycemia? If not, I'll be happy to. Just let me know, all right? Hang in there...you'll find the right road soon enough.

    Best-
    Michele
     
  28. Karen & Smokey(GA)

    Karen & Smokey(GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Where are you (city/state)....

    Perhaps we have a member in your area who could give you a personal demo
    on BG testing from the ear.
     
  29. Jen & Squeak

    Jen & Squeak Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi there

    Wow, I am so glad you are testing now! 112 approx 12 hours after injection is low, considering that humulin N usually wears off in 8-10 hours. So we have no idea how low your cat went today, likely way too low.

    I'll try to keep my response simple.

    1 - dose should be started at 1 unit twice a day, raised by 1/2 unit at a time after 5-7 days of settling time, with raise based on testing prior to shot but also based on info gained testing between shots to determine how well the insulin is working at 'peak' which is 4ish hours after shot (with humulin N). Based on this logic, after 3 weeks you should have been at 2.5 units, not 8. Now, 2.5 may not have been enough insulin considering that you were giving dry food, BUT if you go too fast you can easily miss the right dose and end up overdosing.

    2 - changing food should definitely be done, but not unless you are testing and not when the cat is on such a huge dose. Not sure what the carb content of RD canned is, but as others have said you have room for further improvement as far as ingredients go. But don't feel bad, this is a steep learning curve :) Make sure you read dr Lisa's page www.catinfo.org

    3 - moving forward, please do not dose unless you get a preshot test of at least 200, and I'd strongly suggest sticking with 1 unit. However, I also suggest testing urine with ketostix for ketones, as a reduction in insulin can possibly put your cat at risk for ketones. for more info, please click on http://www.felinediabetes.com/fdmb-faq.htm and you can read about ketones, diet, testing, etc.

    4 - please consider posting your general location if you are interested in local help; it can really save you a lot of time and stress.

    Jen
     
  30. velma & pooka

    velma & pooka Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm glad to see you're hometesting her blood sugar. I agree that is a large dose of insulin, and it may result in a hypo. If your cat seems off at all, I would check her sugars. Humulin N works well for some cats (it did for my Pooka), but it can have a fast acting quick drop and then you get a rebound to a high sugar reading because your cat's body is trying to protect it. I'm not saying that is what is going on, but it could be. I agree that lowering the dose and then slowly working it up is probably the best way.
     
  31. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    PLEASE....go to the Feline Diabetes link below and read the STOP sign section!
     
  32. alllanbs

    alllanbs New Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Re: diabetic cat 12/31/09

    This morning I took I took Holly to the Vet. She tested at 323. The Vet told me to give her 4/units of insulin and recheck her GL this afternoon as we might be able to skip the PM shot. She had a good night. She ate her food and now i'm going to give her 4/units once i get some food in her.

    Can anyone help me find a Vet who specilizes in diabetes in the Greenville NC area?
     
  33. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    please, don't give that much insulin. she's on a rollercoaster, high low high low high low....her body can only do that for so long before it crashes. reacting to each number like that is a recipe for disaster.

    give 1 unit please and no more. i beg.

    i know we have NC members. i'll see what i can find for you
     
  34. Ronnie & Luna

    Ronnie & Luna Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I agree with Cindy.
    Please reconsider - remember she went from dry food to wet just like that - and that alone will lower her numbers.

    EDIT TO ADD: if you go ahead with dose, you really need to monitor her closely by testing and observing, ok?
     
  35. Connie & Em (GA)

    Connie & Em (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I know, we've all said it. But it bares repeating.

    I totally appreciate that you are relying on your vet, and am proud you are also thinking on your own. Somewhere you know that 4 units is still way too high. Your vet is dosing on the number and not on the animal. Since he (she?) has no idea what the insulin is doing in the cat coming up with a number of four units is abortrary. (read above again)

    4 units MIGHT be the right dose for your cat, but you can't know that until you have started at 1 unit and find out what that amount of insulin does for your cat. (read above) if your kitty's bgs don't drop far enough a few days into giving 1 unit, then you can start giving more. Does it drop by half on one unit? then maybe 1.5 might be the right dose. Does it not go down at all? then go to two, etc Insulin is not black and white, it is a huge gray area. Every cat is different and you can't dose on weight (like most meds are) nor on one random blood sugar reading at the vet (which could be off since the stress of going to the vet often makes kitties blood sugars rise)

    You can do this. Keep reading, don't be afraid of high blood sugars since you are working on it. Many cats run high for weeks or months before being diagnosed. high is not health, but it will not kill.

    Going too low can do some signifigant damage in just moments -including death. Be conservitive. You can get through this.

    Connie
     
  36. Michele and Esse

    Michele and Esse Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: diabetic cat 12/31/09

    So, here is what I think is happening.

    You give her insulin, she goes really low (blood sugar less than, say, 90), and, to keep herself alive, her liver dumps a bunch of sugar into her system, so she has something to use for energy which will keep her breathing and living. Then, her sugars read high, and you dose insulin on the high number...and she goes low, and then her liver reacts, and dumps sugars into her system...and around and around she goes.

    How insulin works is that it's the transporter for the sugar to get into the cell, so the cell can have enough energy to do it's job. I imagine it's like sugar has a hand, but can't open the front door of the cell. The insulin has a hand and the ability to open the door...so it holds the sugar's hand and walks it into the cell. When you have high numbers, it's because the sugars can't open the cell door, and when you give insulin, it goes to work walking the sugar into the cell. If there's too much insulin, it's just sitting there, waiting for a sugar to go by, and it grabs it and throws it into the cell...leaving nothing for the rest of the body to work with and use.

    The liver, wonderful organ that it is, sees that there's not enough sugar for the insulin to work appropriately with, and dumps out some stored sugars, just to give the insulin something to do. So, it sends out more sugar, and the insulin gets overwhelmed, and gets worn out throwing sugar into the cells, and then gets used up...but there's still sugar in the blood, waiting for the insulin to come along and hold it's hand and open the cell for it to go in.

    The key is to maintain a decent level of sugar in the blood, without the liver freaking out and throwing more sugar into the system, and having enough insulin there so it can open the cell and escort the sugar into it.

    If you have a high number, a reasonable thought would be to put in more insulin. But do you see how, if there's too much insulin, you'd end up with the liver freaking out and dumping far too much sugar back into the system, and making it look like you'd need more insulin? So then you give more insulin, and the liver says "woah, I didn't give enough last time...here's a bit more..." and then there's another high number. And the cycle continues on...high sugars, insulin, low sugars, liver freak, high sugars, and so on...

    The ONLY way to find the right dose for your particular kitty is to start low. Start at the bottom and work your way up. You've got to break the cycle somehow, and if that means your baby stays a little high for a while, that's acceptable and doable. Start down at 1 unit, test every two hours for a while, and find the low spot (the nadir). Post the low number of the day, and the dosing team will be able to help you decide if you should go higher or lower.

    It's so dependent on the kitty's own body that no one set rate is an across the board answer. I completely understand the whole "I wanna fix this now, and help my baby" feeling. Each and everyone of us has felt that. But what we've come to understand is that each cat is different, and each day is different for each cat...and that it does indeed take some experimenting to find the right dose for that cat...and sometimes, the experimenting makes us really, really nervous and unsure of what we're doing.

    These boards are superb in getting a lot of folks' opinions and advice and experience...and helps us sort ourselves and our cats' sugars out.

    Please listen to the collective years of widsom here...they can help you get sorted out, and Holly will be better for it. Hang tight, all right? Start low, go slow...it's really the best way.

    Best-
    Michele
     
  37. Jennifer and Porky

    Jennifer and Porky Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I have to agree with everyone here so far. Let me add my experience...

    When Porky was first diagnosed, the vets quickly upped his insulit (Lantus) from 1u BID to 3u BID, within a couple of days. I was giving his the 3u when he had an AMPS value of 90, so I panicked: what do I do? The knowledgeable people on this board advised me well, and I decided to go back to the "beginning", and start all over with 1u BID. I'm SO glad I did, because if you check out Porky's SS, you'll see that he had several episodes of low BG's, where I had to feed him some high carb food and corn syrup in order for his BG to go up. I had also switched him from an all-dry food diet to all canned, so I know that impacted his BG immediately as well.

    I shudder to think what may have happened if I had continued to give him the 3u - I might have had a serious hypoglycemic situation on my hands!

    So...please consider all the info you've been given here when you make your decisions - I hope my personal experience is useful to you, but as we always say, ECID (every cat is different). :D
     
  38. Jennifer and Porky

    Jennifer and Porky Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I have to agree with everyone here so far. Let me add my experience...

    When Porky was first diagnosed, the vets quickly upped his insulit (Lantus) from 1u BID to 3u BID, within a couple of days. I was giving his the 3u when he had an AMPS value of 90, so I panicked: what do I do? The knowledgeable people on this board advised me well, and I decided to go back to the "beginning", and start all over with 1u BID. I'm SO glad I did, because if you check out Porky's SS, you'll see that he had several episodes of low BG's, where I had to feed him some high carb food and corn syrup in order for his BG to go up. I had also switched him from an all-dry food diet to all canned, so I know that impacted his BG immediately as well.

    I shudder to think what may have happened if I had continued to give him the 3u - I might have had a serious hypoglycemic situation on my hands!

    So...please consider all the info you've been given here when you make your decisions - I hope my personal experience is useful to you, but as we always say, ECID (every cat is different). :D
     
  39. Karen & Smokey(GA)

    Karen & Smokey(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: diabetic cat 12/31/09

    Please start a "new topic" with the Subject..."looking for goo dFD vet in Greenville NC Area.

    Your request gets buried in amongst everything else...like saving the life of your kitty.


    Oops: I see "Cindy & Mousie" posted on 'Community' for you...hope some answer comes up.
     
  40. VictorsMom (GA)

    VictorsMom (GA) New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to the group - you've certainly gotten a ton of good advice, and plenty of links and references so far, so I'll try to keep it brief. I used Humulin N on my cat for over a year, before he went into remission, and am pretty familiar with how it works. Basically, it's potent stuff, and works it's hardest in the first few hours after dosing.

    If overdosed, any insulin can send the blood sugar levels dangerously low. As others have already pointed out, unless there is an underlying medical condition that warrants a higher dose, we normally like to start at 1 unit 2x a day with any insulin, testing before each shot. We do this to make sure 1) it's *safe* to give another shot; and 2) to give us good baseline data to monitor the kitty's response to the dose we do give. We work our way up with the dosage, IF necessary, from there.

    With doses of 7-8 (even 4 units), your cat's blood sugar (her body) has been on a real roller coaster ride. Think of it as a Superball - assuming you are of an age to remember them ;) - anyway, the harder you throw it, the higher the ball bounces. That's how blood sugar reacts to too much insulin - the body overcompensates for it, giving you high numbers when you test and misleading you into thinking that it's not working at all, and fooling you into adding more. That spells a Dangerous Situation.

    I'm obviously a little late to this discussion, but FWIW, I hope you really think about backing off on that dose, as numerous other members have recommended. Even then, it will probably take several days before it will calm down to give you a reliable look at the true blood sugar numbers.

    In between all of your reading homework, check back in and keep us posted on how Holly is doing. :)
     
  41. Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur

    Jana+BK+Chester(GA)+Wilbur Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Re: diabetic cat 12/31/09

    I agree with what everyone is telling you about dosing your kitty, so I won't repeat it again. However, one thing to keep in mind about the BG number from the vet: Vet Stress. The fact is, there will likely NEVER be a completely accurate reading of how kitty's BG levels are doing when the test is done at the vet's office as a result of vet stress. My cat, B.K., provided a prime example of this just a couple of weeks ago: All my hometesting and his fructo test showed he was well regulated; however, his BG was in excess of 400 at the vet's. My vet has said in the past that, like B.K., she has treated diabetic cats in which the BG can jump more than 100 points solely as a result of stress.

    Of course, there is no way of knowing the exact impact vet stress had on your kitty's reading, but you can be fairly certain there was one.
     
  42. Spacey & Ella

    Spacey & Ella Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi and hello here on this life saving board.
    All that these people here try to do is to safe your cat's life. And I really urge you to listen to them and not your vet.
    I had trouble myself with it. You hear so much in the first days and weeks after the diagnose. One tells you this, the other tells you that.. and somewhere in the middle you have to make up your own mind about everything.
    It's so frustrating. Isn't it?
    The thing I noticed about myself is, that I wanted those numbers to go down. Immediately.
    I was so bloody nervous, thought I was doing everything wrong because those bastards just didn't want to come down.
    And my vet told me every day: give more insulin.
    Well, that's nice.
    But the thing is, I noticed something strange about those readings I've got from hometesting. The more insulin I gave, the bigger the numbers of her bg got.
    That's weird, wouldn't you say?
    And people here advised me to go to a lower insulin. And go to wet food and dump the m/d foot my vet's so fond of.
    Well, I honestly belief that they safed my kitties life with all those advises. I went from giving more and more insulin and yet a bit more to can food, raw meat and less than 0.5 units (try to measure that in a syringe!).

    The thing is thou... changes don't happen over night. Give your cat some time/day's to adjust to the new food!
    It can take 3 to 4 day's for the body to react to the new situation.

    And PLEASE trust the people here!!!!
     
  43. Ronnie & Luna

    Ronnie & Luna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    any updates on Holly? How is she doing ?
     
  44. artnerdjenben

    artnerdjenben New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Hi
    I am a newbie too, this site is fantastic and the people here are AMAZING!!, Boozer was diagnosed in November, we tried him on the Lantus and he had an allergic reaction so they put him on Humlin N, just like what your baby is on. We waited a month after him being on Humlin N and at the beginning of December did a blood curve at the vet, he was testing in the high 400’s almost 500’s there. At that point we only had him on 1 unit BID (1unit 2X a day, we also switched him to a wet diet) and the vet really wanted to up him to 2 units BID, with the input from everyone on this site I stuck with the 1 unit. I am glad I did.

    I started testing at the end of December and was getting strange numbers in the low 100s which was only a short time from the vets curve. I took Boozer to the vet after getting a reading in the 30’s, and he was in fact hypo and was not showing any signs, if it wasn’t for home testing I could have killed him. He has been off of the juice since Tuesday, I am still checking his sugar levels twice a day by ear, as I realize this could just be a short time thing. Great Youtube videos to help you learn to test by the ear, also my husband holds the cat like a baby while I test.

    I know many do not like Humlin N and I could tell that it would wear off after about 10 hours, when he would start drinking more but it only took two months with him on one unit to get under control and he was diagnosed with a BS reading of 460 and sugar in his urine. Hang in there, I know it’s a ton to take in. You can do it with everyone’s help from this site!


    Jenn and Boozer
     
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