Didn't realise it takes a week for insulin to take effect. My cats level is dropping like a stone!

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Amanda Whitehead, Oct 21, 2017.

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  1. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    Hey all
    I've been slowly increasing my cats insulin now for a month. We are at 3 units and now we reached that, we decided to leave him on that for a week. Suddenly after levels of 300-400 hes testing in the 200s and last test was 158. Is a week normal for insulin to take effect? He's tested 158 4hrs after his shot do I need to stay up and make sure he doesn't go lower? Does anyone know the danger range on the Alpha Trak 2, this is the first time I've had to worry as he's always had high levels.

    We do have karo syrup and high carb food ready for any potential problems.

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Hi Amanda, just looking at Oscar's SS. Back soon....
     
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  3. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Amanda, that 81 is OK, but you just don't want him to drop much lower, ie, below 68.
    Given that the 81 is at +5 it may be that a small snack of ordinary food will steer him past the peak of the cycle.

    Edited to add: Good catch!!!
    .
     
  4. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    He's 68 now should I test again in 30mins before giving high carb food as its now been 6hrs must be almost at nadir now. Thanks all
     
  5. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Amanda, you don't want him dropping below 68. That's hypo territory on Alphatrak.
    Even though he should be very close to the peak of the cycle I'd recommend a small amount of syrup. You shouldn't need much...
     
  6. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    Thanks we're going to give him some syrup and a litle high carb gravy food. How much karo syrup 1tbls
     
  7. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Shouldn't need that much. If it were my cat I'd give about half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of syrup. It'll act fast. ...You can give more later if you need to, but no need to give more than is necessary..
    Then retest in 10 - 12 minutes.
    If you see obvious hypo symptoms in the meantime give a little more directly into his mouth/cheek.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  8. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly. First time we've used the karo syrup it was like glue had to ditch the syringe and rub it on the gums. Given him some gravy fancy feast which luckily he's scoffing. I'll test again soon. Lesson learnt takes at least a week to see results from an insulin increase and 3units is a bit to much. Thanks
     
  9. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    You're going great! This kind of experience can be really scary, especially when it happens out of the blue...
    Oscar must surely be close to the peak of the cycle now...
    .
     
  10. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    When a cat has had high blood glucose for a while the cells of its body can become damaged (glucose toxicity), and this makes it hard for the body to utilise insulin. When the body starts to heal it can start to use insulin more effectively. Sometimes things can turn around in a very short space of time, almost as if the body suddenly 'gets' how to use the insulin. ...This may have been what's happened with Oscar...
    .
     
  11. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    I've been waiting for this moment all month knew we'd get there. We've see no change in his levels until now so it was a surprise I was starting to think he was insulin resistant... obviously not . I think his nadir must be around this time so hopefully he'll start going up soon. How long does the karo syrup take to work and the high carb food?
     
  12. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Syrup works fast. In my cat I'll see a definite rise within 10 - 12 minutes.
     
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  13. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    I hope so because I was getting worried he wouldn't be able to be treated. So in a weird way I'm happy this has happened it means finally we can make some progress.
     
  14. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Syrup (like other simple sugars) works fastest, but also wears off the fastest.
    High carb food is quick too, but the effect stays in the system for longer than syrup.
    You may find that, with the combination of syrup and food, Oscar's BG shoots up quickly. He may well also 'bounce' from the low number. So, you may see high numbers for little while after this. But don't let that bother you.

    Can you get another test, Amanda?
     
  15. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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  16. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    Tested again 127 now phew. So I'm hoping the high carb food will kick in soon too to keep him out the danger zone. I wonder when the karo syrup will wear off? Should I keep testing I'm running out of ear space
     
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  17. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, 'phew' indeed! :bighug:
    That 127 is a nice safe number, and at this point in the cycle it's highly unlikely that Oscar will drop low from that point. However, it would be good to get one more test if possible, just to check the the number is definitely on the way up.

    In my cat syrup wears off after about an hour. But if the blood glucose is rising anyway at that point it doesn't matter.

    Amanda, what time is it where you are? And are you OK?
    .
     
  18. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    It's 5am here now. I might stay up and test again at 6am then I'll go to bed for a while. I'm ok thanks got a bit hot at one point but my husband and I stayed calm, we already had a good idea of what to do, just had a few questions. Thanks so much for your help we might have given him a whole syringe full of karo if you hadn't of replied so grateful. Lets hope he's on the up now so I can get some shut eye, don't mind though I'd move mountains for my little fur baby. Luckily he actually has a vets appointment tomorrow do we'll be able to chat all this over.
     
  19. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Oh gosh. You must be exhausted... (((hugs)))
    But you've done absolutely brilliantly. I hope you can get some good rest soon.
    You could get a test at 5.30? Then if the BG is clearly rising you could get to bed then..?

    Amanda, how many hours is it since the shot?
    .
     
  20. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    Yeah feeling tired now. Luckily we do stay up late on weekends but this is extra late. I guess by 5.30am it will have been an hour after so I might do that. We'll be walking in the vets tomorrow like zombies ha ha. Thanks :)
     
  21. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Will pop back in a little while just to check all is OK, Amanda. :bighug:
    .
     
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  22. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    He's back into the 300s now so we're off for some sleep. Even Oscars tired. Thanks so much for your help. Be in touch tomorrow :cat:
     
  23. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Great.
    Sleep well...... :bighug::bighug::bighug:
    .
     
  24. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Good job. You may have over compensated using Karo since it was about nadir.... A bit of regular food would raise him up without sending him to the moon. Lol. I get though that it was a surprising number!
     
  25. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    So next time the number is around 270- 300 for the preshot try just 2.5.
     
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  26. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Giving a little syrup was my suggestion since the BG was 68 (on AT meter) and seemed to still be dropping at that point. ...Better safe than sorry....
    .
     
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  27. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

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    Especially since this was the first time seeing a drop like that, so no idea what he might do. Glad it all worked out!
     
  28. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    Yes it was a difficult choice because I felt like he might have been near the nadir but at the same time we are still not exactly sure where his nadir point is. So I think we made the right decision to not risk it he was starting to get a little spaced out. Lets hope now we can get him on track now we're finally seeing some effects from the insulin. Vet today told me to go down to 2units for next couple of weeks to see what happens and to prevent another hypo incident. He thinks 3units is a bit too much. Thanks
     
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  29. Amanda Whitehead

    Amanda Whitehead Member

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    Yes I think Elizabeth was right not to risk it he was dropping so fast think another hour and he would have been lower than 40. We're still unsure where his nadir is so we need to work on that now we're seeing some progress. Thanks
     
  30. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Next day off consider doing a curve to help figure out when nadir is.
     
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