Found out today my cat Jerry may be diabetic.. WORRIED!

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Alredman, Aug 19, 2015.

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  1. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    This all started last Friday when Jerry started wheezing so off to the Vet we go. After receiving a shot for his wheezing we come home and all went down hill from there. Noticed Jerry was not feeling so hot on Sunday. He has been eating, drinking and using is litter box. I thought maybe it was the shot he received for the wheezing so I had just been keeping an eye on him. Today after still not feeling good I loaded him back up into the dreaded cat box and took a trip to the Vet. Blood work was done and his sugar was over 300. Taking him back in the morning for more testing. Worried sick about my fuzzy buddy. Could the allergy shot for the wheezing have caused this to manifest? He is 7 years old and weights 16 pounds. The vet said he has lost half a pound since Friday.
     
  2. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! I'm new here too, so I don't have a lot of knowledge yet, but was the shot a steroid? My friends cat had a steroid shot to help with a skin problem, and she was diagnosed with diabetes shortly after. Good news is she caught it early and was able to control it and her cat is now off insulin. Hope the news is good tomorrow. Keep us posted
     
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  3. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome to you both.

    Another thing to bear in mind is that some cats get quite stressed at the vets and their blood glucose levels may be temporarily elevated. Over the last few days has Jerry been drinking or peeing more? Does he seem more hungry than usual? And has your vet done a fructosamine test?


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  4. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Yes
     
  5. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Yes it was a Steroid shot.
     
  6. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    I have noticed he has been drinking and eating more. Also have noticed he has not been hanging out in his favorite spot in the house the top of the fridge. He always likes to look down upon his humans. I read that it could affect there legs? Im hoping I have caught this soon enough and there's no permanent damage.
     
  7. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Also I have already started home testing Jerry. I have low blood sugar myself so I was already equipped with a glucose monitor.
     
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  8. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Great that you are home testing. What are you feeding Jerry? A low carb canned food is best. I switched Colin to Fancy Feast classics and have seen some improvement.
     
  9. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    It's great that you're already home testing. I've included a link below to tell you how to set up one of our spreadsheets for you to record your test results. The spreadsheet is an invaluable tool to help you monitor BG patterns and it will help you with both regulation as well as safe dosing. Sharing the spreadsheet will enable experienced members here give you better suggestions when you need help.

    How to Set Up a Spreadsheet and Link it to Your FDMB Forum Signature

    In addition to the spreadsheet link, it is helpful to put both of your names, insulin and glucometer type, plus brief details of any other health issues/medications. Have a look at other members' signatures to get an idea of what to include.

    In addition to home blood glucose monitoring, we also recommend using urine test strips to monitor regularly for ketones (e.g. Keto-Diastix). Monitoring of urine glucose levels is very crude, and does not help with gauging whether an insulin dose is safe.

    If Jerry's showing reluctance to go to his high spots it may just be that he's feeling a bit cruddy at the moment, or it may be that he has subclinical diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy can be treated successfully with oral methylcobalamin (B12) supplements. Diabetic-friendly supplements include Vitacost methylcobalamin and Zobaline. Both are available online.


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  10. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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  11. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    I was wondering about the food. I'm sure the Vet will try to talk me into feeding him the food they sale. I have read where there is no need to go that route. He is fasting right now until I can get him back into the Vet tomorrow so they can recheck his sugar levels. His last sugar level was 251. I will recheck in the morning to see what it is after no food tonight.
     
  12. jane and stewey

    jane and stewey Member

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    Well, we've all been right where you are. It's rather scary at the beginning. Steroids can really jack the sugars way up. But, a one time dose should wear off rather quickly...I hope. And, yes, the vet will probably try to prescribe food they sell. Most vet's push the dry diabetic products. My cat prefers dry but her sugars skyrocket. She is on wet only. Although she is a real bugger about getting at the dry if at all possible. I use Friskies or Fancy Feast pate only. When I try the sliced, it also plays havoc with her sugars. She gets insulin twice daily but does not do well when I try to feed her twice daily. Depending on the season...it's either 4 or 5 times daily with the larger feedings coming before her insulin doses. We've had our ups and downs this past year and a half but my vet i coming around to the use of wet food. Good luck from Jane and Stewey
     
  13. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    You are already headed in the right direction with home testing. No reason for the vet to check your cat's sugar levels if you're doing it at home. The BG (blood glucose) numbers are often higher at the vet, especially with a stressed cat. Vet BG numbers can elevate 100 points or more. CJ is proof of that. She had a vet BG value of over 480 points several times; with a change to a low carb diet and home testing, she has been in the 70-90 range. CJ is also on steroids daily. Not all cats on steroids go in remission but some like CJ do. It helped that I got her on insulin (briefly) and changed diet right after I noticed the symptoms you are seeing in Jerry.

    There is reason to buy expensive vet prescription food. As many here state, a wet low carb diet under 10% is important. If you are feeding high carbs, transition slowly. Now is a great time to do the diet switch, before giving insulin. Look for food under 10% here: http://www.catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf

    I am unclear why Jerry needs to fast before going to the vet tomorrow. For blood work? @Critter Mom, should Jerry be fasting before his vet visit tomorrow?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  14. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    @Cat Ma - some blood tests do require fasting. IIRC, IDEXX recommendations for fasting times of diabetic cats is less than for non-diabetics, but I'm not sure whether that's for a diabetic cat on insulin or not. You definitely need to fast a cat before a Spec fPL test.


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  15. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    After fasting last night his sugar was 216 this morning..
     
  16. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Even during a period of fasting, Jerry's liver will be producing glucose by breaking down stored glycogen (glycogenolysis) and/or using other nutrients (gluconeogenesis).
     
  17. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Jerry will be staying at the Vet over night maybe until Saturday. My question is how much is insulin going to cost me and whats good for cats. The Vet said it could cost 200.00 a month! WOW!!
     
  18. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Some caretakers order Lantus from here
    https://rxcanada4less.com/search.php
    You need to send them a prescription. The pens are $150 for 5. 3 ml pens. Each pen can last usually till it is used up. That is typically not the case for the 10 ml vial.
    To find the least expensive local place try here:
    http://www.goodrx.com/
     
  19. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Larry gave you the info for Lantus. You can also use ProZinc or BCPPZI. All three insulins work well. You can order ProZinc online with a vet prescription for about $125 including shipping. Your vet can also order BCP PZI (it's a compounded form of insulin similar to ProZinc.). It is under $100 including shipping.

    We do not suggest using Canninsulin or Vetsulin or any of the N insulins. They tend to be harsher, don't last as long and are more difficult to regulate with.
     
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  20. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    For BCP PZI you order it directly from BCP but you do need your vet to provide BCP with a prescription. It is overnight delivery.
    You can get your vet to order you a free 5 ml sample of BCP using this form. Problem is the delivery takes weeks.
    http://www.bcpvetpharm.com/pdf/sample.pdf
     
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  21. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    I can get 3ml of Lantus for 107.00 at the Vet. I have no idea at this point how much he will require. I am so overwhelmed!
     
  22. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

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  23. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    Poor Jerry. Why is he being kept at the vet? See the link Sue and Oliver gave you in her post above. Lantus is the most popular insulin used here so you're off to a good start and will get wonderful guidance from members here.

    See the link in Larry and Kitties' post above. You can have your vet fax in a prescription and order FIVE (5) 3 ml Lantus pens for $150, which means you are paying $30 per 3 ml pen, a big savings. Many members here use that link to order Lantus from successfully. The only drawback is that it takes a few weeks to ship.

    Alternatively, there are often members here who sell Lantus pens in the For Sale section of the forum: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/forums/supply-closet-for-sale-or-free.15/

    You could also check with a pharmacy, places such as Costco, Target etc, a hospital or nursing home and see if they will sell you one 3 ml Lantus pen at less than what the vet would charge you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
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  24. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    That's a feeling we can all relate to. It does get easier. I promise. :bighug:


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  25. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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  26. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    When I took Jerry to the Vet this morning his sugar was over 400. They gave him 1/2 unit and it come down to 125. Just got off the phone at 5:00 with the Vet and it was back up to 265 so was given another 1/2 unit. Will call in the morning to find out how he done over night. He was dehydrated so was given fluids today also. Is if normal for it to go up and own like this? This is his first day on insulin.
     
  27. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    The ups and downs are normal for a diabetic cat on insulin. A cat's BG is usually (though not always) highest just before the next dose of insulin is due.

    Some questions:

    1. What insulin is Jerry receiving at the vet's?

    2. What is Jerry's current weight? Is he over/underweight at the moment? (See this body condition chart to help you assess Jerry's weight.)

    3. What time this morning did the vets give Jerry the first 0.5 unit dose of insulin?

    4. Has your vet identified any other underlying health problems?

    .
     
  28. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    They started him on Lantus not sure at what time the first dose was given. Jerry weights about 14 pounds. No underlying Heath problems that we know of. He did have some wheezing last Friday and was given a stariod shot and it all went down hill from there.
     
  29. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    It would help if you can add to your signature line (go to Profile, then click on signature) the date Jerry was diagnosed, insulin, dose, food you are feeding and other medical issues (the wheezing) so we don't have to ask each time :)

    Yes, till Jerry is regulated and stable on insulin, it can be normal for BG levels to fluctuate. Plus the dehydration and stress of being at the vet can affect BG #'s.
     
  30. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    0.5 IU BID Lantus is a conservative starting dose for Jerry's weight - better than too high a dose. Being a depot insulin, Lantus likes consistency and needs to be dosed once every 12 hours.

    Out of curiosity, do your vets have many diabetic patients?

    .
     
  31. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Yes one lady who works there has 3 herself. This is so over whelming. I have cried for two day. The cost of the insulin is what has me so worried.
     
  32. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Can you extract Lantus from a pen using a needle. I was told Lantus does not dispense 1/2 units or 0.5 units?
     
  33. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Yes, just push the plunger all the way in the syringe and then insert needle into the stopper end of the pen, where the pen needle goes. Then retract the plunger to fill the syringe to desired dose
     
  34. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Stress at the vet may raise the glucose 100-180 mg/dL.
     
  35. Vegetable (GA)

    Vegetable (GA) Member

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    @Alredman dont stress about the cost of the insulin. One pen cartridge will last a long time! I recently bought a box of Lantus cartridges & it cost me about $120 but I have used maybe half of the first cartridge over about a month now. So the cost can be a little bit high to start but in the long run its not to bad.

    The members on here have lots of excellent information & someone is always around to help if you have questions. Ask as many questions as you want or need.
     
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  36. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Jerry come home from the Vet yesterday and his BG was 60 when we got home. There thanking is the allergy shot he received a week ago threw him into diabetes. They was hoping diet alone would control his BG. Well when we awoke this morning at 5:00 his sugar was 356. When I rechecked again at 7:00 my meter said HI!!! I rushed him back to the Vet and they gave him a insulin shot. He has been on 0.5 Lantus twice a day since Thursday. I ended up buying a vile of Lantus today. Anyone have an idea how long a bottle will last.
     
  37. pevsfreedom

    pevsfreedom Well-Known Member

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    A vial is 1000 units, and a vial lasts about 6 months in the fridge after opened.

    A vial is typically only worth buying if you use 5.5 units a day or more. At 1 unit a day you're better off with buying a lantus PEN since it's only 300 units and you won't be throwing as much away after 6 months when it goes bad (presuming Jerry still needs insulin in 6 months):

    http://www.vetrxdirect.com/product/...kMPYHcTW9tnZiIMORrysiFjYmvyFSYOKVgxoCWbzw_wcB

    Note this pen is $100, not $300-400 like a vial. If you're interested in this and need a specific Rx for it (vial Rx should work though) just print this out and show to your vet or pharmacy to try and get the pen (easiest is to order online though, you just -email them a copy of your Rx). You use this pen just like a vial.

    At 1 unit a day you're going to be throwing away about 820 units in 6 months, which sucks. I learned that same lesson when I started and Luna was a lower dose (she's now on 12 units a day so a vial is worth it).

    If you're buying those pens online, and using 2 units a day (if you get to that), you're looking at 150 days per pen (which is under 6 months). 356 days a year puts you at about $200 a year for insulin - which isn't too bad in my opinion. If you get the vials for $400, and throw it away every 6 months, you're spending $800 - so that's $600 save right there!

    If you won't be home-testing (which is very advised) it is definitely recommended to stick to low doses of insulin so you're kitty doesn't go too low in the BG range which can be very dangerous/deadly. Home-testing will also literally save you thousands at the vet. I buy 25 test strips for $12, which is 25 'spot checks' at home. My vet charges $25 per 'spot check' at his clinic. That's $625 at the vet, or $12 at home - for the same thing :) I have a little video in my signature showing that blood testing can be pretty easy witch patience and practice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  38. pevsfreedom

    pevsfreedom Well-Known Member

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    I'll also add that buying insulin and syringes and test strips online will literally save you thousands a year instead of going to the vet - if you have any questions please ask me and I'll share my 'shopping links' - I've found a lot of stuff for super cheap online.
     
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  39. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    I have found a pharmacy in my neighborhood that sales the Lantus pens for 89.54 I will most definitely go this route. So stressed!!
     
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  40. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    As of right now Jerry's BG is 165!!! its come way down!!
     
  41. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    You're doing a great job with the home testing, April. :)

    Here are some special anti-stress hugs for you >>> :bighug::bighug::bighug:


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  42. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    I believe it's harder on myself then Jerry.
     
  43. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    I certainly felt like that when I first started home testing and giving insulin to Saoirse.

    It does get less stressful. :bighug:
    .
     
  44. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    It is hard in the beginning but it gets easier. I never thought I'd be able to say that but it does.

    Jerry has a handsome face. I like his freckles.
     
  45. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    I sure hope so! Its tough. Thank You! Jerry is a sweet boy.
     
  46. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    You're doing a much better job than I was doing when I started out here. You've only been here since Wednesday so you've been getting what surely feels like a crash course on feline diabetes management. You're on the right track with home testing and starting Jerry on Lantus, a great insulin.

    Remember to breathe and take time for yourself.
     
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  47. Shiloh & Rhonda (GA)

    Shiloh & Rhonda (GA) Well-Known Member

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    April, I have to share a picture of my Franki. Looks so much like Jerry! 3758_1061182810297_240466_n.jpg
     
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  48. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Yes he does.. I'll have to figure out how to upload a picture. Jerry has a twin brother Tommy..
     
  49. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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  50. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Jerry and his twin brother Tom.
     
  51. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    Great photo! Which one is Jerry and which one is Tom? Is Jerry the one looking at us?
     
  52. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    Yes Jerry is the one looking at us. There almost identical. Most people cannot tell them apart.
     
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  53. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    I am having a hard time telling them apart. Their markings on their front legs look exactly alike!
     
  54. Alredman

    Alredman Member

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    I was with them when they were born. They turned 7 in May. I also have the Momma Miss Kitty and there Sister Sally.
     
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