Found out yesterday that Stewie has diabetes

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Anita and Stewie, Jun 3, 2017.

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  1. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    My sweet Stewie, who is 10, has diabetes. He is a short haired black cat, weighs 6.4 kg. He is a bit portly, but vet said not obese. He starts insulin treatments on Monday. She uses prozinc. He is active, happy, great appetite. He drinks and pees a bit more than normal. He also might have some arthritis in his back legs. He will be going on a just canned food diet. He was on canned and dry food along with my other black cat Sammy who is younger and has no illnesses. I feel confident that my vet and I can get this under control. He's a remarkable cat, never met a cat like him. Here's a pic of him not being impressed. haha. I'll read the forum threads to learn all I can. SO happy to find this support network! Thanks for being out there. :cat::kiss:
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  2. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Welcome! Stewie looks like a handsome black panther. :) There's a ton of help and info here for you.
     
  3. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Welcome Stewie and Anita! :bighug:
    It is possible it's just some mild arthritis on his hind legs but could be a little diabetic neuropathy. Either way, both can be helped :). Glad you are switching to canned diet but you'll want to keep it low carb <10%. What is your general location? I see you are referring to BG (blood glucose) numbers in mmol/L. Here is the food chart most of us in U.S./Canada are able to use. We have others for international locations like UK / Australia / Europe.

    Setting up a Signature, mostly about Stewie ;), but also including your time zone and geographic location is helpful too. Instructions are here: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/editing-your-signature-profile-and-preferences.130340/

    Do you plan on home testing? It's the best tool in our FD (feline diabetes) tool belt to keep Stewie safe, and if your Vet is on board, save money on unnecessary clinic curves by doing them at home. Just need a Google account and if you need help setting one up, just ask: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    Lastly, I like to give this to new members because it's better to be prepared but I hope you never need it: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-to-treat-hypos-they-can-kill-print-this-out.15887/

    Feel free to ask any questions! I am currently a Prozinc user as well, we have a great little group :cat:
     
  4. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Thanks so much Kris and Teasel, and Yong and Maury! I'll fill out geo location, etc. soon! I'm in Ottawa, Canada. I do plan on home testing, my vet is onboard. When he was diagnosed yesterday, they said he would stay at the clinic for 3 days for them to do the initial dosing to regulate. I read that is not necessary and another vet farther away from me who I know well said he doesn't require that. I recently moved and I live right around the corner from my new vet so she said if I can bring him in every 4 hours it would be fine and he would not have to stay there three nights. I don't want him in a cage...he was at the shelter for almost 8 months, in a cage, before I adopted him at 6 years old, so I can't stand the thought of him thinking he's back to that situation again. :( I'll read the links you provided, thanks so much! I was feeding him and Sammy my other cat, Merricks Cowboy Cookout before and it seems, according to Binky's chart, to be good for high protein, low carbs. I've stopped the dry food which was Performatrin Ultra Grain-free, and still do research about what canned foods are best.
     
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  5. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    One thing to keep in mind, grain-free does not mean carb-free. Pet food companies try to be sneaky this way ;)
    Oh and you are in the vicinity of Kris&Teasel. There are quite a few Canadians so you are not alone :smuggrin:
     
  6. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Thanks Yong, good to know! I didn't know about low carb diets being important for cats, until yesterday! I did know that a canned food diet is better than dry. Lots to learn here, and you can bet I'm going to share cat diet info with all of my friends who still insist on feeding their cats only dry food.
     
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  7. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Something to think about here. Since you haven't started insulin yet, it would be better to stop using it before insulin starts. Also glucose can be elevated greatly just being at vet office, just from stress. Do you know what the glucose was that vet got?
     
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  8. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Hi Woodsywife, I don't know the reading the vet got, I can find out. Maybe they are open now if I call? I do remember she said stress can also cause elevated readings. Stewie does drink a lot and pee a lot. He has weaker back legs....he can still jump up on the bed and go up and down the stairs, and the difference is subtle right now, but noticeable. What did you mean 'better to stop using it before insulin starts'? Do you mean not start insulin at all? What are the alternatives if he does indeed have diabetes, which my vet is certain of? Thanks!!
     
  9. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Vet office is emailing me his chart from yesterday. His glucose reading was 3+. I don't know what that means, as I'm new to this. Any info is appreciated, while I'm educating myself about this. It takes time to read everything and get up to speed. Here are the results...I don't yet know how to interpret any of it, but I'll learn.
    CBC - M1 increase in eosinophils - 1.03 (0-1)
    Otherwise WNL; Chemistry profile - Alb - 42 (25-39)
    Glucose- 20.4 (3.5-9.4)
    Na- 143 (145-158)
    Cholesterol - 14.29 (1.94-5.7); Thyroid hormones - WNL; Urinalysis -
    USG - 1.044
    GLucose 3+
    pH - 7.5
    Occ WBC/RBC
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  10. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Ah ok I think his glucose in urine was 3+ and his actual BG diagnostic reading was 20.4 mmol/L (367 mg/dl). :)
    I think Woodsywife meant to try diet change before starting insulin? I'm sure she will clarify for you later :D
     
  11. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Ok I wondered if that is what she meant. I'll await her reply. Would be nice to try diet change first if insulin is not critical to give at this point.
    Thanks Yong! :D
     
  12. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Have you purchased a meter to test him at home?
     
  13. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Not yet, but I will be doing that. I was thinking the vet techs would show me how on Monday and tell me where to buy one...I'm guessing at a pharmacy?. They know I will be testing him at home.
     
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  14. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Welcome! so glad you are going to test at home! :) There's a good chance that Stewie's back leg weakness is from neuropathy... it's common with diabetic cats. most folks give a b12 supplement called Zobaline (available on amazon) to help with that.

    If we can help with anything else, just ask.
     
  15. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Yay! Another FD parent in Ottawa!.
     
  16. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    I meant if you can stop dry food now as long as you have not started insulin. Removing dry usually has a significant change in glucose. Removing dry food while on insulin requires very careful, close monitoring in order to avoid a hypoglycemic event which can be serious. If Stewie needs insulin, by all means give it. Based on your first post AS long as you haven't started insulin yet, change the diet while you are waiting to start it. The difference could have an affect on the dosage.
     
  17. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Awesome that you are in Ottawa too! :D
     
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  18. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    I stopped dry food right away as soon as I found out, but only since then...so only two days so far. I have an appointment for him tomorrow at the vet, to start insulin. Do you recommend waiting, and having him just on wet food for longer, like one week? Is it too early with his diet change to see any results in glucose, thanks! (This will determine if I tell my vet tomorrow to hold off on insulin, or not.)
     
  19. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    It should be ok to start insulin as long as it's a low dose. Dry food clears the system quickly and has an affect on glucose usually in a few days. Please have vet teach you how to home test and read the syringes. A common mistake in the beginning is not reading the syringes correctly. DO NOT practice on your cat either especially if using insulin. Use water on an orange, stuffed animal or banana etc.

    Having a hypo kit in your house ready at all times before you start or pick up items on your way home. Included should be: karo syrup or honey. Pure maple syrup or cake icing is also good. No chocolate flavor for cat. Wet can food that has gravy (labeled on can). Small bag of dry treats like Temptations (high carb). Full bottle of test strips (something you never want to run out of). Chocolate or wine for you.

    These are just guidelines and suggestions. Whenever in doubt you can always post here. Please let us know how it goes tomorrow. Good luck, remember to keep breathing.
     
  20. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Thanks so much for the advice/info Woodsywife! I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow morning. I've been quite worried and anxious about this, but it sure helps to have you all here. I'll get the things you mentioned. :bighug:
     
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  21. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    You are definitely not alone! After a couple of weeks it will feel much more routine and you'll feel much less anxious.
     
  22. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Thank you! I'm sure it will be ok, I keep telling myself he'll be fine. He's so lovely. He often lays down beside me, his face close to mine and we stare into each other's eyes, and he puts his paw in my hand or lightly touches my cheek. Such a sweetheart. I hate the thought of stressing him by bringing him to the vet, giving him shots, checking his blood...but I will do whatever it takes to keep him as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
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  23. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    When you test at he it eliminates most of the vet trips. Once I started home testing I would just periodically email my vet a link to her spreadsheet. A lot less stressful and less expensive.
     
  24. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    I really hope your vet is one who is on board with you doing a blood glucose curve at home instead of having them do it in clinic for a well over a $100. He/she might not suggest home testing the way we do it here but shouldn't be totally against it either - ie., should be willing to work with you. My vet has said that many/most FD clients really don't want to have the burden of so much monitoring so she doesn't push it, with the exception of home BG curves.
     
  25. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Such a handsome boy!
     
  26. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    He's at the vet for the day now. They showed me how to do the BG test and they are ordering the AlphaTrak 2 meter that I saw on your youtube video JanetNJ, that was really helpful! They will monitor him through the day to get the curve, gave him one unit of prozinc this morning. I pick him up after 4 pm and they will do this tomorrow and Wed. Then I'll be doing the monitoring at home. He's very chill and was happily purring and laying on the exam table. He didn't like the ear poke so much. The vet tech insisted it was in the vein in the ear, but in the video JanetNJ has, it hurts them more, so I'll not do the vein myself. Janet, where do you buy Young Again Zero Carb dry food? I might want to have a back up food or he might like it as a treat to reward him after ear and shoulder needling.
     
  27. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately we can't get Young Again food here in Canada. It would have to be ordered online from the US and might not get across the border. I buy Orijen brand freeze dried meat treats for Teasel as his pokey treats. His favourites are the original (poultry-based) and wild boar treats. They're available at Global Pet Foods in Ottawa or at the Natural Pet Food store if you're anywhere near Scott and Churchill in the Westboro area.
     
  28. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    My vet thought you needed to poke the vein too. Not so. Aim for the area between the vein and the edge.

    Sorry young again is not available in Canada. See if Dr. Elsley's food can be shipped there if you want a dry in addition to wet.
     
  29. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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  30. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Anita, it might be good to start looking online for the test strips you will need. You go through them fast. It is something you never want to run out of. The ones for the AlphaTrac can not be purchased in a store. You can also ask if your vet carries them for sale (usually more expensive) in case you do run out. You always want a couple of hundred in house. I always ordered 400 strips, when I got down to 200 I ordered more. Smokey always knew when they arrived, he would decide to go low that day and we would use a bottle up.

    Picking up a human meter for a back up is something to consider also.
     
  31. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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  32. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Thanks JanetNJ and Woodsywife for the advice! Sorry, for some reason my outlook only notifies me for one post and not that there have been more! I will search online for where to buy the test strips right now! His second blood glucose curve will start Monday, and I will attempt to do the readings on my own, and send the results to my vet. I'm quite nervous. Ever since I found out he has diabetes, I've been waking up at 5 am and thinking too much about it and what if, what if....:( wanting him so badly to improve. He's not so bad off right now, and I am hoping like crazy that he will get better rather than worse.
     
  33. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    The cheapest I could find, for test strips, was through EBay. Two boxes of 50 strips for $115 USD, so I'm thinking about $150 CAD. I found websites selling them for $261 CAD for 100 strips!!, or $172 CAD for 100 strips, so I think I did ok. The exchange rate is poopy though.
     
  34. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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  35. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    The best thing is getting his BG under better control. In addition you can buy Zobaline (not Xobaline) on Amazon, it's specifically designed for diabetic kitties. It's B12 (Methylcobalamin) and folic acid. You just crush a pill and add it to wet food. Has no taste but may turn red when it gets wet ;). Majority of my boys neuropathy has been reversed via BG control. Another member sent me the rest of her bottle so I've been adding a tablet to his meals once a day, it's about a 2 week supply. If you ask a Vet about B12 they'll talk about injectible B12 which is Cyanocobalamin, not effective for neuropathy. :)
     
  36. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    Love zobaline. Smokey did well on it.
     
  37. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Hello and welcome to the FDMB, Anita and Stewie! Now that you've introduced yourself I'd like to invite you to post your questions over on Health - (The Main Forum). You'll get more eyes on any questions you may have.

    Hope to see you posting often! :)
     
  38. Anita and Stewie

    Anita and Stewie Member

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    Jun 2, 2017
    Thanks everyone, I'll look up Zobaline on Amazon. I'll post over on the Health forum...I did post one about constipation. So glad to you found you all!!:bighug:
     
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