Diagnosed today. Confused about food choices.

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Spike's Mom, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Spike's Mom

    Spike's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Hello,
    My name is Tammy my 13 year old cat Spike was diagnosed today. I have very mixed emotions as I am happy to know the problem. I am also overwhelmed with the amount of information available about caring for Spike. Apparently I need to request a lot of information from my vet to know exactly what my next step will be. At this time all I know for sure is he was diagnosed as diabetic & we give him 2 units ( 4 clicks of the pen??) with insulin twice daily after eating.

    I though I was doing a better job of caring for him last week when I started researching the truth about cat food. Since he likes to eat 2 to 3 times daily. The total amount consumed in a day totaled 1 can of wet food to 2 small handfuls of dry food. On Sunday I changed him from the Friskies he has eaten his entire life to Merrick's Purrfect Bistro for the wet food and the Senior variety for the dry food. He loves the Turducken variety. So tonight when I took him to the vet they strongly recommended I change him to the Hills MD weight loss, low carb, glucose management variety. Now I am reading this food may not be the best choice. I am so confused. I would love to have the opinions of someone who is more experienced in dealing with a diabetic cat. I am considering learning how to make his food myself at home. Has anyone on this site done this? If so I would appreciate some advice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
    Reason for edit: fix readibility
  2. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    You're ready to read over Cat Info and check out the food list there. as well as the raw food recipe.

    And ditch the M/D dry food; it'll likely keep him on insulin.
     
  3. Spike's Mom

    Spike's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Thank you for the link. This link is how I found your site. I wish I had read it before I bought a case of the prescription food tonight.
     
  4. Most vets will refund you on the food. You can tell him that he refused to eat it. My cat, Bob actually did refuse the same food. After that he ate nothing but Fancy Feast or Friskees pate style canned. That played a big part in his only needing insulin for ten weeks and going into remission.
     
  5. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi Tammy and Spike and welcome to the FDMB.

    Most dry foods are higher in carbs than the wet foods. Eating the lowest carb food your cat will accept is a recommendation in the AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.

    My vet had Wink on extra high carb Hill's W/d (37% carbs dry, 25-26% carbs wet). It took time, but I did manage to convince Wink that wet food was better for him and he would get better on the wet food. He's a dry food addict.

    If you were feeding the Friskies pate style food, then that would still be ok for your kitty. Most of the other Friskies canned food styles like grilled or shreds or in gravy are too high in carb for a diabetic cat. The Friskies Senior dry food is going to be very high in carbs. We recommend that you try for <10% carbs from calories. That food chart from catinfo.org is a good starting place.

    I thought that Merrick had changed their formulas since that food chart was put together. I'm not sure they are as low carb as they used to be.

    We'd sure love to have you join us on the Feline Health (The Main Forum) to ask any questions you may have.

    Yes, it's a bit overwhelming at first. We've all been there. We'll help you through this.
     
    KPassa likes this.
  6. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Hi tammy

    Can I ask what insulin you were prescribed? And have you started using it yet?

    Have you thought about home testing spikes blood glucose? This is an important way of keeping him safe. We recommend that you test before each insulin shot and ideally once more during the cycle.

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/

    Until you are testing at home I would go careful if you changing foods to a lower carb one as it can reduce the need for insulin.
     
  7. Mogmom and Goofus

    Mogmom and Goofus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    I've tried several times to switch Goof to wet food, VERY SLOWLY every time. He vomits, every time, so it's a no-go. I'm currently researching low carb dry foods. He's on Hill's DM, but would like to find something more affordable so I can feed it to the other 2 that prefer dry to wet, because it'd be healthier for all of them. I actually have 6 cats, one will only eat wet, 2 want a combo and 3 will only eat dry. Feeding time is a nightmare at our house. I'm having a hard time finding good info tho as so many of the sites just keep telling you to switch to wet and don't really give you any good info on dry.
     
  8. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Low carb dry food:
    Evo Cat and Kitten
    Wysong Epigen 90
    Young Again 0 Carb (internet only)

    Transition foods slowly, about 20-25% per day to avoid food refusals, vomiting and diarrhea.


    Also, you can bake a low carb canned to a pilaf or crunchy state.
     
  9. kitty & bear

    kitty & bear New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
     
  10. kitty & bear

    kitty & bear New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    I am not going to tell you to not follow your veterinarian's advice but I have had good results with Core original kibbles and fancy feast canned food. Both very low carb so glucose doesn't spike sharply once he's been on it consistently.
    Have you read the "dear mom" letter?
    Hang in there :)
     
  11. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    How is Spike doing Tammy?
     
  12. Spike's Mom

    Spike's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Spike went back to the vet yesterday. His low sugar is still low 300 ' s he is continuing to lose weight. He is down to 9.2 lbs. With his body structure he has typically weighed around 18 lbs without being overweight according to his prior vet back in Indiana. I am very concerned at this point. I am going to try to get a meter this weekend. I am being told this will require a prescription though. Hope this is not true.
     
  13. Spike's Mom

    Spike's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    The vet increased his insulin to 3 units twice a day now. I am not sure what the insulin name is only that it is in a pen style dose made by vet tech
     
  14. Spike's Mom

    Spike's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Where can I find the dear mom letter?
     
  15. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
  16. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Does it not tell you the name on the side of it? I would be very wary of switching up by a whole unit when you are not testing him as spike may have had higher blood glucose at the vet where he is stressed. At home it could be up to 100 points lower.

    Could you try testing his blood glucose at home before you switch up? When you buy the meter I would also buy ketostix to test for ketones
     
  17. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I do not understand what you mean by that statement. If there is no label can you take a photo and post it?
     
  18. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    If you cannot tell from the labeling, call the vet's office and get the insulin name ASAP. This is important as different types of insulin work differently in the body and can be riskier for your cat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  19. Spike's Mom

    Spike's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    We are using Vetsulin and use the VetPen. He is up to 4 units twice a day and his glucose levels are still way to high. We took another trip to the vet tonight to pick up a home monitoring kit. The vet advised it is made for animals. When we went tonight and tested he was at 515. He has started to gain a little weight back finally though. Not much but at this point i will take what I can get.
     
  20. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Tammy,

    Well done for wanting to hometest. That is the best way to understand what is going on with Spike's blood glucose, and to keep him safe from hypoglycemia.
    Here is the link to the page of hometesting info, tips and tricks, and example videos.
    Hometesting Links and Tips

    4 units is quite a high dose, and a minority of cats do need higher doses. But sometimes higher numbers are caused by an insulin dose that is too high.
    "Too high" doesn't necessarily mean dangerously high (ie, high enough to cause hypo): High BG levels can be caused by the blood glucose dropping lower than the cat has become accustomed to. It can also be caused by the cat's blood glucose dropping too fast.
    If the cat's body senses that the blood glucose is dropping too low and/or too fast, it can release stored glucose to try to raise the level. It can also release counter-regulatory hormones, the purpose of which is to keep the blood glucose levels high for a while. So, a random test that shows the BG levels to be high may not be telling the whole story.

    Vetsulin can drop the blood glucose quite fast in some cats. And giving a mini-meal/snack about an hour to an hour and a half after the shot can help to slow that drop down. Here is the link to the FDMB Vetsulin/Caninsulin User Guide which you may find useful:
    Vetsulin/Caninsulin user guide
    The User Guide is just that, a 'guide': Every cat is different, and each cat may need a slightly different approach.

    Many folks here put their cat's blood testing data onto a Google spreadsheet. We have one that is specially formulated for this. If you have an 'SS' set up then any folks helping you will be able to see your testing data. If you'd like help setting up an SS just ask. There are some smart techy people here who can help you. (Sadly, I'm not one of them...;))

    It sounds like your vet is getting an Alphatrak meter for you. That is a nice meter, but many of us have found it too expensive to use and we use ordinary meters made for humans instead (the test strips are the main cost). If your wallet starts to feel the strain then you may want to consider a cheaper alternative.
    The Alphatrak reads slightly differently to human meters (it reads a little higher). For that reason we ask that folks who use it add that info to their signatures, so that anyone helping can see that info at a glance.
    You can also add other info about your cat such as; date of diagnosis, type of insulin, any other health conditions, medications etc.
    To add a signature to your posts just look for your user name at the top right hand of the page, click on that, and then on 'signature'.

    If you have any questions, please ask. We're here to help. :cat:

    Eliz
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  21. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Tammy,

    Here's a handy link about how to set up a spreadsheet for Spike and link it to your signature.

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...te-a-ss-and-link-it-in-your-signature.130337/

    As Eliz says above, just give a shout if you need help setting one up. :)

    When you start testing, try to get some tests at +2 and +3 hrs after insulin injection to see how Spike is responding to the Vetsulin. Saoirse was initially treated with Caninsulin (same as Vetsulin, just a different brand name). I found those two tests very helpful in establishing how she was responding to it.
     
  22. Spike's Mom

    Spike's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Thank you so much.
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  23. Priscillalea

    Priscillalea Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Am on here today for the first time in years. I have a kitty diagnosed in 2007 and the key , in my opinion, is ditch the dry food...My cat is only on 0.5 units of Lantus and stays pretty steady and if she even gets a bit of dry food she shoots up so that is just my idea...ask all others also ..good luck....Hannah Glory has been a diabetic for 8 years, pretty amazing..in fact we are now dealing with some pretty serious things having nothing to do with the diabetes...she will be 17 in Oct. if she is still with me....good luck !!We also use pate Fancy Feast and it has done us well and the Fish and Shrimp dark blue label, she esp. likes...
     
  24. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Understanding the spreadsheet/grid:

    The colored headings at the top are the ranges of glucose values. They are color-coded to clue you in as to meaning.

    Each day is 1 row. Each column stores different data for the day.

    From left to right, you enter
    the Date in the first column
    the AMPS (morning pre-shot test) in the 2nd column
    the Units given (turquoise column)

    Then, there are 11 columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you test at +5 (5 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +5 column
    If you test at +7 (7 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +7 column
    and so on.

    Halfway across the page is the column for PMPS (evening pre-shot)
    To the right is another turquoise column for Units given at the evening shot.

    There is second set of columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you snag a before bed test at +3, you enter the test number in the +3 column.

    We separate day and night numbers like that because many cats go lower at night.

    It is merely a grid for storing the info; no math required.
     

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