Finally a couple of tests and it's not pretty

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Sally the Calico, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2019
    Finally started to test.... After a few failed attempts, I've gotten two BG readings. Rather high, which i was expecting, as Sally still has a big appetite and has one large pee in the litter box each day. Hoping we are having slight improvement anyway, as there are usually a couple of smaller clumps in the litterbox too. She has put on a little weight as well, so that is good. I know I don't have enough numbers yet to decide to increase the dosing, but I'll keep at it and see what you think. I'm feeding mostly FF pate, and occasionally Sheba or Friskies pate, and that's been for weeks now. Should I test again at +2 or +3 of her PM shot?

    As for the testing itself... poor girl. Loves the treats, but first time I tried, it didn't bleed enough. Second time right as I poked her ear, she flinched and it felt like the needle tore at the edge of her ear. Well there was a large drop of blood on my thumbnail, which I used for the reading. And applied pressure with a tissue... the bleeding did stop fast, and I used the neosporin pain ointment on it. On the third try, I used the opposite ear, and unfortunately poked all the way through! I feel awful.

    I thought free-handing the lancet was best, but now I'm not so sure. Should I try a lancet pen? Can you recommend one? I'm concerned the click noise might scare her, but I don't want to continue to mutilate her ears either!
     
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  2. Jennifer R.

    Jennifer R. Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2019
    I got a WalMart lancet pen that is pretty quiet. I think it's relion (Walmart). It's not adjustable, but you can change what size lancets you put in it. I have been freehanding it myself, with mixed results. My cat hates having his ear poked, too. I have heard some will tolerate paw pad pokes better (not tried that myself)
     
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  3. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Have you seen this post in the Health Index Links that has a lot of great info on hometesting tips? If you look at the first link which is my Testing and Shooting Tips post, it addresses things like making sure you are holding the lancet correctly.

    It does take time and practice to get to where the tests are really easy. Everyone has a tough time at first and part of it is our fear that we will hurt our beloved kitty. The ear has less nerve endings in it and it’s likely more the suddenness of being poked than the actual poke itself.

    Just breathe, stay calm, and you got this!
     
  4. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2019
    Thank you both for the encouragement, and I have been watching the videos as well. They make it look so easy. I'm sure it will get better over time.... just impatient to get there. ha!
     
  5. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

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    May 30, 2010
    Let us know how we can help!
     
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  6. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

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    Dec 19, 2019
    Sure! How soon can you get here? ;-)

    I'll get some more tests in and reach out again to see about her dosing. thank you!
     
  7. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    :p After I typed my last post and hit, “send”, I thought, “rut-ro....she’s going to ask me to come there!”. I do love VA but......;)

    Any idea why she was started at 2u? That’s a pretty high starting dose. I would definitely focus my efforts at testing on always getting a preshot test. That is really important. Then if you can get a test midcycle in the a.m. and between +3 and +7 at night, that will help to start.
     
  8. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Try to poke on an angle, not straight down
     
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  9. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

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    Dec 19, 2019
    The vet started her at 1.5u for the first week and had her come in for a curve the following week. Said her results were still a bit high and said to move her to 2u and come back in a month for another curve. I really don't want to take her back to the vet for a curve as it completely stresses her out. So I'm determined to do it myself.
     
  10. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Normally, the dose is started at 1u and quite often at 0.5u. We only increase, in general, by 0.25u at a time so we don’t miss the correct dose. Quite often, when they are in the vet’s office getting a curve done, they are stressed (as you have noted) or they might be bouncing and so numbers might be artificially high leading the vet to raise the dose when it might not need to be.

    The more you can fill in the pieces of the puzzle, the sooner we can figure out if she needs more insulin or not. The tests you want to get are always the preshot; and then 1-2 random tests from +3 to +7 in the a.m. cycle and a +3 and before bed test in the p.m. cycle. That will help us start to figure it out. As testing gets easier, you can get a few more.
     
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  11. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    The lancing pen that came with my old ReliOn Confirm is depth adjustable, I think that you saw my video talking about it, Trish, where I show you the clear cap, and how the top of the pen rotates to adjust the depth. I don't know if the one that they sell separately under the ReliOn name now is the same or not since mine is a few years old, but you can probably tell by comparing it to what I showed in the video.

    Also, in case you didn't already know, it is absolutely fine to test off of your fingernail as long as your nail is clean. Some people just plan on doing it that way with fidgety cats so that they can turn the cat loose right away.
     
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  12. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    My sweetie was just diagnosed recently. I tried free-hand, I was terrible at it! After I put a little notch in his ear after he pulled at the wrong moment, I knew it was time for a lancing pen. I got an adjustable CVS (store brand) pen because my Walmart was completely out of the ReliOn pens. Turned out to be a blessing. The CVS pen is really quiet. Billy doesn't even flinch. It turned out much easier than me trying to free hand.
     
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  13. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

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    Dec 19, 2019
    Thank you! I think I will run down to CVS and see what they have. Sally pulled at the wrong moment as well... I felt awful. Can you use Relion lancets in the CVS pen? Or do you have to buy their brand?
     
  14. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2019
    Yes, I liked your video and the clear cap would make it easier to see placement. I'll have to see what I can find.
    Glad to know it's okay off the fingernail... that's happened twice. My husband said he's becoming afraid to fall asleep at night... that I might start practicing on him! LOL
     
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  15. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Thank you so much to Juls and Billy for helping out with ideas and sharing what worked for her. We always need more people that are willing to help out. Words of encouragement are always appreciated. Letting people know we can help. Tag a member if you are not sure of something and people will try to pop in when they can. To tag someone, use the @ sign and then start typing the name and a list will pop up.

    You know more than enough to let a new member know this disease can be managed. One step at a time, one day at a time. There are lots of links in the Health Links section and there is a Sticky post at the top with an Index of topics. Sometimes linking people to some information is a great step in helping someone.

    Maybe pick one person from the Main Forum and follow along.

    Hubbie practice! :p Too perfect an image, but what we really need is a picture. Sense of humor gets us through the day.
     
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  16. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2019
    Thank you @Juls and Billy !
    Just got back from CVS and got the pen and more lancets because they have a buy $15, get $5 in Extra Care bucks. Believe that's on all diabetic supplies. So a great deal... pen was $9.99, 100 lancets were $6.49. Got $5 to spend or more lancets down the road. Yay! Think I'll post a quick thread so other newbies can take advantage of the deal.

    And a question... @Juls and Billy and @Sandi & Whisper ....
    what number depth do you recommend for the pen?
     
  17. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Keeping in mind that I'm no expert, right now I'm using a 4 on this pen. Every once in a while, I go completely through the ear, but a 3 ends up with me having to do it multiple times. Your mileage may vary depending on how hard you press and how thick kitty's ears are.
     
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  18. Dana & Ninja

    Dana & Ninja Member

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    Dec 15, 2019
    I wasn’t scared to home test but I did feel awful about his little ears. I now know it bothers me more than him. Now when I pick him up and we go to the spot he just purrs and sit quietly in my lap til we are done. I always make sure to give some extra love. I don’t give him treats after tho because his sugars are still all over the place.
     
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  19. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

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    Dec 19, 2019
    Same here... I'm not afraid to test, I just know she's my skittish girl and she flinches every time, and her ears are a mess. I did try the new pen and really like it. However on the PMPS, I had the drop of blood on my thumbnail, but then it slid under my nail and I couldn't get enough for a reading. So I was going to try once more, but when removing the used lancet, the lid stuck for a sec, then came off suddenly and I poked my own thumb! (feel free to have a good laugh here... I'm not the most graceful. Lol!) Decided at that point we'd take a break and start fresh tomorrow.

    Smart not to start the treats. Not sure why, but the freeze dried chicken is like kitty crack ....she goes nuts over it. I figured it would be dry and bland, but she loves it. In fact, I had forgotten to put the bag up last night and this morning she had dragged it on the floor and there were bite marks on the bag! She didn't get into it tho.

    (Sally is so skittish, if you're pulling out a piece of aluminum foil in the kitchen, she runs and hides. Not a clue why!)
     
  20. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    You can use the same lancet for getting another BG poke. They don't get dull that quickly, pretty sturdy, don't get bacterial contamination that fast. I used the same lancet all cycle long, sometimes for a full day. Good idea to change the lancet if you poked yourself though. (But cross species transfer of disease is very low. You can't get diabetes from your cat).:D:D:D

    Have you poked yourself with the insulin needle yet? Either before you have drawn the insulin or after trying to get the cap back on the end after you have shot the insulin? Been there, done that as have a lot of members on the message board. Some people have even accidentally given themselves some insulin. Welcome to the club!

    Skittish! I understand skittish kitties very well. I have a former feral colony cat. Even after 8+ years of her living with me, if I move or walk too fast she'll run ahead of me.

    Wait until your Sally learns to open the kitchen cabinets to get to the treat bag. You may have to get some of those child proof locks on your doors. Or store the treats in the fridge or a pull out drawer.

    Yes, freeze dried chicken can be 'kitty crack'. Pure Bites (buy the dog size bag, it's less expensive per ounce) is one kind, Halo Liv-a-little is another. There are lots of choices out there that are pure meat. I love Chewy.com for cat food/treats/litter. Dried bonito flakes!

    It was one of the things I used that worked to get my dry food addict eating wet food. He absolutely loved the Halo Liv-a-little chicken flavor. They would crumble to a powder and I'd sprinkle that over his food. In the beginning, I'd have to do that several times to get him to eat a couple of ounces of food. Eventually weaned him off that after he came to realize that wet food was yummy. He was a hard case to transition though.
     
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  21. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2019
    Thanks @Deb & Wink ! Good to know I can use the same lancet for several pokes then. I did use peroxide and alcohol on my thumb after poking myself... so far I'm not craving treats, (well, maybe chocolate!) so think i'm okay! ;-) .

    I had purchased a small bag of Zesty Paws freeze dried chicken, just to see if she liked it. Now that it's clear she's hooked, i just got a big bag of the Pure Bites. Had to laugh at how large the bag was, but should last a long time. I'll check out the bonito flakes for some variety.

    And this morning's test was high.... and then i think she got a fur shot. (sigh) I'll test her in a few hours and see how she looks. I'm disappointed in her high numbers, but until I can get more consistent BG tests, I'll continue as is.
     
  22. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Fur shots happen. You might make a note on your SS over in the Remarks column 'possible fur shot am'.

    Neosporin with pain relief (or generic is fine) can help take the sting out of poking yourself.

    P.s. I always crave chocolate. And cheese (no, I don't have a long naked tail, whiskers or eating all the acorns)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
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  23. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

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    Dec 28, 2019
    Once again, complete newbie here. Talk to more experienced folks for important stuff. I just wanted to say that I know how you feel. With the new diagnosis, the change in diet, trying a lower dose after a Hypo incident, and some serious bounce times, I can't tell you how tempted I have been to raise his dose again. But I didn't. I told myself, I said "Self, you promised to give this new dose a 6 cycle trial, and that's what you're going to do. If it's not an emergency, leave it alone!"

    So that's what I did, and it was hard. Especially yesterday at his AMPS reading. 495! Highest his BGL has been since the vet's office. I was so super tempted to go back to at least 1.5, but I didn't. I'm forcing myself to start low and go slow. I suspected bounce. I left food out for Billy that night, but he didn't like that flavor. So he didn't eat past +3 or 4 the night before.

    495, shot 1 unit of insulin. At +2 it had dropped to 203, and at +4 it had dropped to 95! So glad I didn't up his dose. Now, Brian gives him fresh food at around PM +6, and his BGL at this morning's AMPS? 228. Still high, yes, but one of our best AMPS readings so far, and he was at 89 +6.

    Don't be in a rush. I want so much for billy to feel better and be well right this minute, it would be so easy to try to rush his treatment, and that only leads to badness. If you're worried and need dosing advice, there's folks here that will help. It really pays to not be in a hurry.

    And look how bright eyed and bushy tailed Billy was today! [​IMG]
    And compare that perky kitty to poor Bill day one! [​IMG]
     
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  24. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    @Juls and Billy Thank you so much for your posts on other members threads. Sharing your and Billy's story and pictures can make such a huge difference.

    Words of encouragement are so appreciated. You are making a positive impact.

    Way to go girl!
     
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  25. Sally the Calico

    Sally the Calico Member

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    Dec 19, 2019
    Thanks Juls! I appreciate your encouragement and hearing Billy's story. And isn't he a beauty?!
    I'll do my best to be patient and stay optimistic.
     
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  26. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    I can also depend on the size of lancet. We use a 30 gauge usually, but can get away with the thinner 33 gauge in the winter if the woodstove is burning or it's summer and the A/C is not on, but keep in mind that Whispy's ears have been tested at least 8,000 times (not joking) over four years. My husband can always get blood using the 3rd click from the shallowest, but I can often get away with the 1st or 2nd shallowest setting if it's really warm in here, so I've marked the 3rd shallowest as our standard using white-out. I think you can see it a little in our 1st video at http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/videos-of-testing-my-cats-bg.223609/
     
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