Diagnosed Friday, new to the group today, hopefully, I'll get a grip tomorrow

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Churchill's Mother, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Churchill's Mother

    Churchill's Mother New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    My boy Churchill is the most loving, sweet and cuddly kitty cat you ever want to meet. That is why finding out that he has type 1 diabetes has just gutted me. I have a feeling that people in this group will get this. I have been crying on and off since we got the diagnosis. I am baffled though at this because he is 3 1/2 years old, not overweight, and just two months ago his levels were normal. He has been in perfect health up to now and was just in for an annual checkup. I have a lot of reading to do, I guess. I'm mostly afraid that it will shorten his beautiful life. My female cat seems to be worried about him and is currently grooming him like crazy!

    I'll try not write too much right now but I am a little surprised that my vet gave some conflicting information regarding food. He said that although I should change his food to a high protein, low carb wet food (with no guidance on what that should be), they also suggested I give him Royal Canin prescription diet dry food and let him graze on it. On this site and by all other accounts, that is not advised. If anyone has thoughts on that, I would love some real guidance.

    I would do anything at all to make my cat healthy. I just want someone to tell me exactly what to do and I will do it. Getting mixed messages is not helping me and I'm scared I'm going to screw it up. I am so grateful that Church has been easily distracted as I have had to give him his first shots of insulin. I am dreading the monitoring and have not quite figured that out yet. Watching the videos has made me nauseous, wondering how I'm going to do it. The vet said that I should take him in next week for the first curve test and after that, I guess, I'll be on my own. Thanks to whoever is listening.
     
  2. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Welcome Churchill's Mom and extra sweet Churchill! You CAN do it! You really can...it's not hard, it's just different.

    We all got that same note from our vet - kitty is diabetic. We all sat, overwhelmed, and cried too - believe me, we 'get it'. BUT guess what! We soon learned that diabetes isn't a death sentence! See that cute little old man kitty as my avatar? That's extra sweet Dakota. He's 18 1/2, has been diabetic for 9 of those years. He's had over 10,000 - yes 10 THOUSAND tests using his ear and it hasn't fallen off yet. :)

    Food - most vet's diabetic food training is done by the actual sales reps for the dry food companies like Hills and Royal Canin. Of course they're going to tout how wonderful their food is even when it's not. Dry food is very high in carbs - it's not the 'science behind it' as my vet tried to tell me. Cat's don't eat 'science'. Wet food is much more appropriate as there's all sorts of low carb choices. Here is the link to a wonderful food chart giving you wet food selections - you want to shoot for under 10%. Many of us feed Friskies pates and Fancy Feast 'Classic' pates. No gravies - those are high carb. Food list --> Food Chart 2017 - CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf

    Even if your vet advises against it, we all test at home mostly using human meters. Most vets only know how to test BG using a vein draw - they have no idea other places can be used. Poke around a bit, you'll find lots of videos to help you learn too.

    Welcome again - I look forward to seeing you post questions in our Health forum!
     
  3. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Welcome Churchhill's Mom and Churchill! What a beautiful boy he is, incredibly fluffy! I remember well my reaction to the diabetes diagnosis. I wondered to myself if two older people could manage to care for our boy properly, and we did get off to a rocky start. Sweetie, it was like watching a manic Laurel & Hardy movie combined with Keystone Cops! Funny now, not so funny then.
    Now, Idjit is an eating machine, so changing his diet was not an issue, that was the easy part. We also got conflicting advice from the vet, about how much and when to give insulin, and to only test mid-day, a couple of times a week. Luckily I found FDMB through www.catinfo.org and learned better. You will too. You are a loving cat momma and you are smart enough to have researched and found the board, there is nothing to stop you from learning to do better to take care of Church and keep him safe!
    There are members here who have taken care of "sugar" cats for many years, like Lyresa (Squeaky) so you can depend on the knowledgeable and experienced information and advice. The rest of us offer our support and help in every way we can.
    I suggest you start with the FAQs forum HERE, go through the Index and read through the links that are most pertinent right now: feeding, home testing etc. Pay close attention to the Hypo information, I hope you never need it, but better safe than sorry.
    Home testing requires practice and patience, and it may save Church's life. Now, that's worth learning. It also allows you to do your own curves, saving Church vet stress (which raises BG) and you the expense.
    We need to know a little more about Churchill, so please create the signature that will display with your posts: SIGNATURE
    Post on the Main Health forum: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/forums/feline-health-the-main-forum.28/ so that more members can meet you and Church and help you on these first steps on your new journey.
    I am offering this quote I found along the way because I believe it is so true: Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Saint Francis of Assisi
     
    Squeaky and KT (GA) likes this.
  4. Churchill's Mother

    Churchill's Mother New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    Thank you for your responses. It means so much to me to have a place to get information and support. I can't remember feeling this raw about a pet health problem before. I am so tearful that both posts made me cry. I really like that quote from Saint Francis of Assisi. I'll need to keep that in mind! I must do what I can do get and keep my little guy on track. I will create the signature now.
     
    JanetNJ likes this.
  5. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Ok, Church is just adorable. I could bury my face in that beautiful fur!

    Lyresa and Lou did all the hard work, I just want to say Hi and Welcome :bighug: You can do this. My first diabetic was that way the final 5 years of his life (his death was unrelated to Diabetes), and our current diabetic Whispy was diabetic for 3 years before we adopted him, and its been almost 3 1/2 years since then. He's a healthy, happy, and a little too chubby of an old man now.

    You'll get testing down - no matter the issue you might have, one if us has surely run into it and can provide solutions, so just ask. It'll all just become part of your life. Plus, if someone you don't like asks you to dinner, or someone you do like invites you somewhere you don't wanna go, you have an automatic out with "oh, darn, sorry but I have to stay home to give my cat his insulin...". Just kidding...sort of...not really! :rolleyes:

    That aside, I do recommend you start trying to test ASAP. 3 units is truly not the advised starting dose based in any official recommendations that I've seen. I don't have the link to I think it was the AVMA or AAHA New guidelines, but the protocol we use here starts at 0.5 to 1.0 units every 12 hours (unless there are extraordinary circumstances). Especially if you've switched to lower carb food since diagnosed, and now Church is home without all that "vet stress", 3 units could well be too high. We helped someone just this past Saturday night in that situation on their very first day giving insulin -- the dose was just too high, but fortunately the owner did test at home, and she came here for help and we caught the kitty before his blood sugar got too low. And once you learn to test at home, there's really no need for the stress and expense of going to the vet for a curve. Plus an at-home curve is more accurate.

    Welcome, and just let us know what we can do to help!
     
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  6. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Ok I just found it: https://www.aaha.org/guidelines/diabetes_guidelines/default.aspx

    So I guess if your kitty is over 15lbs and the Blood glucose was over 360, that could put your starting dose around 3u, but since stress raises BG at the vet in almost all cases... but I would never start a cat at 3u. Let us know how much Church weighs, what his BG was at the vet, and I guess I am wanting to make sure that based on blood work and/or urinalysis they didn't think he had any kind of infection, since his numbers were fine two months ago...because an infection can raise the BG.
     
  7. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Welcome! Skip the dry. :)
     
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  8. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    ...but *if* you are still in fact giving dry, don't drop it while continuing to give 3 units of insulin. And if you are not still giving dry right now, see my post above about still being worried that 3u could be too high a starting dose.
     
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  9. Churchill's Mother

    Churchill's Mother New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    Thank you for the information! I have been out of town and my cat sitter who is a vet tech started giving his insulin about three days into all this. I just took him in this morning to the vet to get his first curve done by them. They said they would teach me how to test him when I pick him up. I wish I would have checked this before I left and seen what you wrote. After two days of insulin, he seemed to perk right up. Even last night, he and my other cat were playing tag as usual and he seems back to normal. Well...You know what I mean. I am truly scared of the testing because I have been terrible with needles my whole life. I don't even have my ears pierced! I will do what I must to keep him home and make him comfortable but to be honest, the videos I watch to get the blood make me nauseous. I have to push past this for him and change my thinking. I don't want to keep taking him after today so if you or anyone has a suggestion on the best way to test him, I'll take it. I don't want to hurt him.

    I have him on Weruva's wet food and although he loved it on the first day, he is still meowing for the dry. I have the prescription dry Royal Canin but am giving it to him in a half handful after he eats his wet food. I will take him off of it this week if I can get him to just eat the wet. I'll let you know what the vet says about the 3 units. Thanks again!
     
  10. Mike Roberts

    Mike Roberts New Member

    Joined:
    Sunday
    Hi Churchill's mom. I'm Delilah's dad. Thank you for posting your story as I too got the same call from the vet on Friday. The vet gave us no other information, just to come back in. All these responses have really helped my wife and I understand. We are overwhelmed by what comes next.
     
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  11. Churchill's Mother

    Churchill's Mother New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    It's incredible to get this diagnosis with so little information. He handed me a bunch of papers and I could tell he was waiting for me to pick up Church and leave. I just looked up and him in shock. I was so unprepared to handled all of it, and surprised that they didn't want to at least show me how to do the injections right then. Instead, they had me pick up the insulin and needles and bring him back in in the afternoon. I'm wondering if I need to find a new vet! I am grateful for the more experienced people on this site that can speak with calm and reassurance for us.
     
  12. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    You aren't the first person to have the issues with little or no information on diagnosis. But now you are learning and can go forward. It's really important to be testing Church and see what the blood sugar levels are. Human diabetics are taught that testing, insulin and diet go hand in hand. Every aspect is important. A curve at the vet can be indicative but also affected with raised BG levels because of the stress of traveling and being at the vet. You have AlphaTrak 2 meter in your signature, are you testing now? If you need help learning, we can assist. It's important to test before every injection to be sure it's safe to do so. Set up the spreadsheet so you can record those blood sugar levels, and if you have any difficulty with set up, we have members who can help or do it for you.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    Here's a link to understanding the spreadsheet and what it's telling you:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/understanding-the-spreadsheet-grid.156606/
     
  13. Churchill's Mother

    Churchill's Mother New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    I learned briefly how to do it today when I picked him up. His does was reduced to 1.5 units twice a day now. My cat sitter, who is a vet tech is coming over tomorrow to show me some techniques to test him. Thank you for the spreadsheet!
     
  14. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    That's very good news. Just remember, testing is a learning process for both Churchill and yourself, so don't get upset if the first tests aren't perfect. Some cats don't mind, some do and need to learn that it's all ok. Take a look at some of the videos here http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/
    and on You Tube.
    You can begin posting on the Main Health forum HERE with questions and concerns, more members monitor that forum than this Introduction forum, and I would like you to get help and answers when you need them.
     

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