Frustrated for my fur baby

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Maverick01, Feb 3, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Hi guys!!! I'll just jump right in, because I'm becoming a bit frustrated and my fur baby is suffering!

    My Maverick is around 9, and a rescue that adopted me 2 years ago. He's had a plethora of problems to correct due to lack of care. Before New Years, he had the sniffles, and a bit of dry flaky skin. I brought him in, and he got his Depo (for allergies) shot, but I was not entirely pleased because he was not having the same symptoms to warrant it, like he had prior when he got it. I was strict about at least six weeks out.

    New Year's Eve, he became very depressed, lethargic, rag-doll like. When he got to the vets, his BG was in the 600's and his temp was 97. His kidneys were failing and he had a secondary infection.
    He survived, after a week in the hospital.
    Since then, he's been hospitalized two more times, with BG's from 70 to the 600's. Kidney values are fine now, and no remaining infection.
    Sunday night, he had a seizure. I was terrified. It was 3 1/2 hours after his shot though. I rubbed glucose gel on his gums and after a few minutes he came out of it. He had low BG.
    Back to the vet yesterday. No insulin a day. BG in the 170's all day. This morning, BG is 340.

    Mav was given Humulin N insulin, starting 2 units 2x a day (I give at 8 and 8, so I can make sure he eats) and I'm given no way to monitor him. He was increased to 4 units 2x a day. Now, after his seizure, 3 units 2x a day. His skin is beyond flaky. I don't feel the guessing game of dosing insulin should be diabetic shock or seizures to throw out another dose guess.

    So, I'm wondering, what does everyone think? Help? Opinions? I think I included everything....
    He's a larger cat, not fat. Has been put on canned W/D.
     
    KPassa likes this.
  2. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Hi and Welcome to the FDMB Cassie!! Glad to see you made it over here from the Facebook group!!

    Here's a lot of info for you to read over as you have some time. You've made the first big step to helping your "extra sweet" Maverick by coming here and the people here are all great and love to share their experience and wisdom!

    From @Hillary & Maui (GA) (who I thank for allowing me to copy/paste this)

    Let me start with some basics:
    There are three key factors to managing diabetes: food/nutrition, home testing and insulin

    1) Feline Nutrition: Now, as far as diet - definitely dump the dry food (if you are feeding any) and if the vet recommends purchasing prescription food like DM just say "no thank you". ALL cats, and especially those with diabetes, do best on a species appropriate diet that is high in protein and low in carbs. Dry food DOES NOT fit that bill and DM food, even canned, just really isn't that great as far as quality. Most here on FDMB feed low carb/high protein canned, raw bought from a pet store or they make their own.

    Here is a link to a site by a vet "Dr. Lisa DVM" ... who also posts on this board from time to time ... http://www.catinfo.org

    If you look on the right side of her site, she has a food comparison chart to help you figure out what food you want to get based on the carb %.

    You want to keep the carb % below 10% and around 7% is great. (Personally, I stay between 0-6% carbs.)

    While on her site, you can read about in-depth info. on nutrition and how to make raw food, etc.

    Here is another link that will give more information about food/nutrition

    http://felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=115
    The good thing with feeding your diabetic cat this way, is that it is ALSO good for any non-diabetic cat too. All your cats can safely eat the same food without worry and it may save you some costs and headaches of having to do separate feedings and keeping track of what they are eating.

    2. Home testing: It is impossible to convey the value of testing your cat's BG (blood glucose) level at home. Some vets will "suggest" this, but most won't even mention it. They will send you home with insulin and an amount to shoot and maybe some instructions about hypoglycemia (blood sugar dropping to a dangerously low level).

    Well, the thing is, human diabetics don't EVER give themselves insulin without checking their BG to make sure it is safe to do so, so why shouldn't it be the same for our kitties. Here on FDMB it is. You will notice that the vast majority of people here test their cat's BG at least 2x/day (before giving each shot to make sure the level is safe enough) and periodically at other times to see how the cat is responding to the current dose. We use a human glucometer, test strips and lancets - which are all very readily available and easy to use.

    Our kitties get lots of love and treats for "putting up" with this and most of them actually come out to be tested on their own 'cause they want those treats . Here is a collection of great links that "Carolyn and Spot" pulled together about home testing. See what you think ... it truly is the best way to not only keep your cat safe but also really get a handle on this disease and help him to live a healthy life with FD (feline diabetes).
    http://felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=287
    3. Insulin: There are several types of insulin available. The top three we recommend are Lantus, Levimer or Prozinc all are great insulins. They are gentle insulin and given twice (BID) per day in 12 hour increments.

    Please read up on the insulins available. There are insulin support forums here that can give more specific information on each of them

    However, one caveat and again this shows how these three things are inter-related:

    If you are feeding dry food or even a high carb food, BEFORE removing these foods, please make sure of your insulin dose as it will most likely need to be reduced, so as to avoid a possible hypoglycemic situation due to the removal of the dry/high carb foods that will lower the BG’s and reduce the amount of insulin required. Again, another reason why home testing is important.

    I know this all seems like a lot, and that is because it is ... there is a learning curve here. But as long as you are determined and keep at it, you will have it down before you know it and you'll be seeing the results in your cat's overall health and happiness. Ask all the questions you can think of – that is why we are here!

    Now, you can do this on a budget. Here is a shopping to get started:

    1. Meter ie Walmart Relion Confirm or Micro*
    2. Matching strips
    3. Lancets - little sticks to poke the ear to get blood . new members usually start with a larger gauge lancet such as 28g or 29g until the ear learns to bleed. Optional - lancing tool.
    4. Neosporin or Polysporin ointment with pain relief to heal the wound (can use generic brand)
    5. Mini flashlight (optional) - useful to help see the ear veins in dark cats, and to press against
    7. Ketone urine test strips ie ketodiastix - Important to check ketones when blood is high
    8. Treats for the cat - like freeze dried chicken, even rotisserie chicken, deli chicken, canned tuna will work
    9. Karo syrup/table syrup, honey or any sugar product like jam, jelly, etc. if you dont have it at home - for hypo emergencies to bring blood sugar up fast -
    10. A couple of cans of fancy feast gravy lovers or other high carb gravy food- for hypo emergencies to bring blood sugar up fast


    • We suggest the Relion meter and matching strips from Walmart, as they are the most economically priced meter and strips. That is assuming you have a Walmart nearby. If not, then you can purchase any human glucometer except for Freestyle with butterfly strips or any meter with TRU in the name. People have had issues in the past with these meters and best to start off with something else.


    Here is a link to questions that you can ask any vet:

    http://www.indulgedfurries.com/petdiabetes/diabetes_questions.htm

    Additionally, since you have the supplies or most of them, we can certainly help you get started, monitor and manage your cats diabetes without a vet. Of course, it's always a good idea to have a relationship with a vet too.


    OK, that's enough for the moment. What questions do you have?
     
    bettyandhank likes this.
  3. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB.
    You've gotten the run down on home testing, food, and insulin.
    You may find my signature link Glucometer Notes helpful in understanding what the numbers may mean.
    My signature link Secondary Monitoring tools describes some additional assessments you may find helpful to make.
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  4. bettyandhank

    bettyandhank Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Hi Cassie..you made it! Welcome to FDMB. Since I already posted some of the basics to you on the FB thread, let me point you to a few of links I think may be helpful.

    First we have to get you on a better insulin. As we said the recommended ones are Lantus & Levemir, both long lasting depot insulins, or Prozinc.
    My kitty did great on Lantus.

    You MUST start home testing. Many folks here use the Relion meters, either the Micro or Confirm (NOT the Prime- larger sample required mixed reliability) primarily due to lower cost of test strips. This is really the main expense for diabetes management. We used a One Touch mini and loved it and had a Bayer Contour as a back up meter. Both of these are great meters but strips are pricier than for the Relion. I would buy them on ebay to save $$...lots of people do that. I used the lancet device from the One Touch which we liked. When you start out you want to use a lower gauge lancet (heavier) for lancing. It also helps to warm their ear before poking you can use a baby sock filled with rice that you microwave for 20-30 seconds and hold it there for a minute or so. I also rubbed the ear between my thumb and forefinger to get the blood flowing. Also, it's a good idea to create a 'spot' that you always go to for testing. Mine was up on the kitchen counter as that was a good level for having a bit of control and lessens escape routes. You ALWAYS want to give a LC treat after every single test. This is IMPORTANT....even if not successful you still give the treat. Most of us use freeze dried chicken, shrimp, etc.. as these are almost 0 carb,...boiled chicken is also good. You will find they start to run to their spot at test time. Mine purred through it.

    Here is a link to some compiled testing tips from various board contributors.

    an especially helpful shot of the 'sweet spot' you want to aim for from contributed by an old member http://s106.photobucket.com/user/chupie_2006/media/testingear/sweetspot.jpg.html [​IMG]

    I mentioned catinfo.org that is a great read, not only how to best feed your diabetic kitty, but ANY cat. Check out her food charts for commercially available foods and their nutrient break downs. You want to stick with any on the list UNDER 10% calories from carbs. She has these converted from the actual nutrient data, as most per food companies do not list this information on their cans, only the guaranteed analysis which is simply averages and not helpful.

    Here is a link to the AAHA treatment guidelines for diabetes. http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/aaha-feline-diabetes-treatment-guidelines.80813/

    Let me see if I can find the list for newbies to see what other supplies you may need. (Chris already supplied a good start)

    We cannot really get into dosing advice on FB page so wanted to get you over here as I was very worried reading about Maverick and these crazy high doses and resulting scary situations that put you in. Your kitty is clearly on too much insulin. If it were me I would drop the dose back now and try to switch immediately to a better insulin. Insulin can be expensive but we are great at finding deals around here. Many are buying in Canada at a fraction of the cost, but there are other ways buying locally to make it more affordable. Some of us have been able to buy single pens of Lantus or Levemir, not every pharmacy will do it, you have to call around, but several will. (you use the pens like a mini vial- you don't dial the dose as humans do as the pens are not accurate enough at the small amounts we give our kitties- vets will not know about this) There are pharmacy savings cards and other ways to help save $$.
    But your absolute biggest savings comes from home testing, there is never a need to go to the vet for curves once you are doing it yourself. And his BG's taken at home are much more accurate, realible and in real time so you can keep up day to day with how your kitty is doing and to help keep him safe.
    If you get a new script, be sure to have it written for a box of 5 pens with option of filling them individually- vs for the vial
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
    Maverick01 and KPassa like this.
  5. bettyandhank

    bettyandhank Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    I just want to add..I am so glad you found us. This must have been so incredibly scary to go through. Your instincts were right. Humulin is a very harsh insulin which has not been recommended for cats for some time. And these are far too high doses. Aside from hypos he is also feeling crappy just from the wild swings. The sooner you can get his insulin switched the better.

    If you want to go check the Lantus forum there is some good information in the stickys at top of page about how Lantus & Levemir work and the protocols used if that may help you decide.
    Also check out the health links & FAQ forums for some basics. You will find a wealth of knowledge and resources here.
    And oh yeah, ask lots of questions, we love questions.

    It seems so overwhelming at first I know, but really does get easier soon. We are here to help.
    Good luck to you and Maverick. And lets get him back on track and on his way to feeling better.
     
    Critter Mom, Maverick01 and KPassa like this.
  6. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Cassie and extra sweet Maverick, and welcome to FDMB.

    It sounds like you've been through a lot in a short time. But you'll get lots of support here to help you manage Maverick's diabetes.

    You obviously love him very much; he is blessed in having you as his caregiver. And well done for acting so quickly with that glucose when you saw the seizure. Good job! I know how terrifying it is to find your own cat having a hypo (I've been there too), but I hope I can reassure you that hypos are quite a rare occurrence in cats that have their blood glucose monitored.
    Managing Maverick's diabetes will get easier. And we are all here for you if you need us.

    I've a feeling you are going to do just fine with this, Cassie.:)

    Best wishes,

    Eliz
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  7. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Maverick01 likes this.
  8. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Wow... This is all a bit... Overwhelming. I'm willing to do whatever it takes for Mav, but I do not have my laptop anymore so I can only use my phone. H

    His two vet visits this week alone already wiped me financially for this week. I'll do what I can to get the meter this weekend.

    1) You guys mention other insulin... How in the world can I get that without another vet writing it? I've made a 'second opinion' vet appt for him at a specialist cat clinic on Monday after work. They already told me they don't use Humulin. And it's strictly a consult----Mav will not get poked again yet. I won't allow it.
    2) my other cat was diagnosed with kidney failure in September and put on KD. Will this other food hurt her values? She's been safely maintaining so far.
    3) Is the flaky skin common? What are some signs you guys as pet parents have noticed in yours if their BG is out of whack?
    4) Isn't there still a possibility he is a transient diabetic since he's only been having trouble since New Years eve, after the Depo shot?

    Sorry... I'm sure I have more questions but haven't slept much since Sunday night because I'm too afraid any twitch from him is the start of a seizure. My main fear is his morning dose after he eats then I go to work, he's here all day without me.
     
  9. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Oh, he's also a VERY good patient. I've never had a cat be so compliant with everything at the vets office!!
     
  10. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    You will need to get a written prescription for Lantus or Levemir. ProZinc is usually sold right there from the vet (but you can get it elsewhere) Did you ask this consult vet what insulin they usually start out on? There's no real reason Mav needs to be poked again. His records at his vet are your property...you paid for them, so just ask for copies. You can just say you want to start keeping track of all his labwork

    Actually, putting ALL your cats on a low carb wet diet will help with the kidney cat too. The "key" to treatment of CKD is water, not any fancy (expensive) prescription diet. We have lots of cats here that are in various stages of kidney failure that came to us on "prescription" diets....after switching them over to the same low carb canned food we recommend for diabetics, the vast majority have done much better! Read the info Dr. Lisa has here on "Feline Urinary Tract Health"

    Dandruff and flaky skin are quite common in unregulated diabetics. Getting the BG under control can really make a big difference

    Yes, it's possible!! He may be an excellent candidate for a quick remission, but it's important to get his BG under control as soon as possible to give him the best chance at remission
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  11. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    My vet went to a seminar recently and told me that one of the speakers there said that cats with diabetes brought on by steroids had a good chance of recovering if treated and regulated early on.
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  12. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Oh and I meant to add some info about the meter too

    If you've got a WalMart available, the Relion Confirm or Micro are both great meters for new kitties. They take the smallest sample size and the strips are affordable (especially compared to most other strips that are around $1 EACH!)

    The meter itself will cost about $15 and a package of replacement strips are $35.88 for 100 (and about half that for 50...they also have packages of 20, but trust me, you're going to go through them quickly so it's usually better to go with the bigger packs) Also, you can buy strips for the Confirm/Micro on ADW (American Diabetes Wholesale) They're under a different name....the Arkray GlucoCard01 and you can buy 4 boxes and get 1 free, so it ends up being even cheaper than Walmart...but if you run low at 3am, you can still run to WalMart to get more strips if you need them!

    Lancets aren't terrible expensive either...about $7-10 for a box of 100 depending on brand. If you get a lancet device (little device you "click" to poke with) it's another $5 or so, but whether you buy the device or not is totally up to you....A lot of us just buy the lancets and "freehand" instead of using the device.
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  13. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Good idea for the records! I'll ask for them since his visit after Christmas. I'll say I want to make a chart with his test results! I've got a lot of homework!! :)

    I am fine to deal with this if its a long term thing, and if I can manage it, and you guys are giving me so many tools!! I am still hoping, however, that it is a transient condition that will correct itself. (Hope hope hope)

    What, if any, exercise do you guys suggest for him? A direct X minutes of play time, or something where I can get him moving more than normal?
    He's not lazy, just laid back. He loves his laser pointer though!!!
     
  14. bettyandhank

    bettyandhank Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    I know it's a lot of info. and can feel overwhelming. Truth is switching your catS to a species appropriate diet..low carb canned and with adding a bit of water/moisture to each serving will make such a difference. My kitty likely was diabetic for awhile before it was caught. He slept a lot and was low energy which I wrote off as being a middle aged cat. Well after switching his diet and with a little insulin, not only did he lose some needed weight but also he became practically a kitten again, like it took 10 years off him. And his coat became beautiful and lustrous like a bunny rabbit from the canned food and all the moisture. He previously had chronic urinary issues (crystals, even blockages) that never again recurred once we switched his diet for the diabetes.
    While we did play more just because he felt like it, it wasn't a regimen per se'...he just had more energy, tore through the house more, played with his brother more...because he felt better. The lethargy before was because he was not healthy, not at all about being middle aged.

    Both your kitties will benefit from this. I know it's been mentioned, but please read the www.catinfo.org page first and foremost. She is great and explaining the why's and giving you perspective on all this. It is really a bible for lots of us about the role of food in your cat's health and how to feed them properly.

    If you want to try this new vet, then do as you may find someone you connect with more. But there really is no vet specialist for FD, most are not that versed as they may only have a few patients here and there that they see only a snapshot of periodically. They are not managine them 24/7 like the people here are. You want a vet that is up to date and willing to work with you. You could in the meantime ask the vet you have currently seen for a script for different insulin.. Tell him you are quite concerned with the severe reactions your guy has had, you think this insulin is too harsh and having now researched you are aware of better options out there that you would like to try instead. Share the article we linked above from the AAHA recommendations. Tell him the wild swings concern you, you fear more hypos and know that is not normal and prefer a longer acting insulin.

    If in fact the diabetes is steroid induced, you may only need a bit of insulin therapy to get him back on track. My kitty responded really well to diet change and with a little insulin jump-start was in remission in a matter of weeks and remained controlled by diet alone the rest of his life.
    That may be all maverick needs too...paws crossed, but you'll want on a better insulin for sure soon as you can.
    I sure hope in the meantime you will consider lowering the dose which is clearly too much for him...it is awful that you are having to sit afraid in hypo watch.

    Also, when you pick up some low carb canned food (see food chart mentioned above) be sure to pick up some high carb (Fancy Feast gravy lovers is a good one) foods for when/if he does run low. A couple of teaspoons of the gravy can help bring up numbers quickly if needed.. you only give a little at a time to make sure they will continue eating and not overfill. But its a good thing to have on hand just in case.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  15. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Mav had crystals before too! Thankfully no blockage, but he was on SD then CD for a while until this all happened.

    I have been weighing my options with Mav. I think that I'll see what the new vet says, at least attempt to get new insulin, I'll read the docs to get the right food for both kitties, and invest in a meter with all the 'accessories.'
    As of now, I dropped Mav to 2 1/2 units BID of the Humulin until I can better monitor him this weekend when I'm home, and if he doesn't eat well I will give him less. I don't want to make him 'withdraw' from it @ the 4 unit does BID he was put on last week. I read they should only be incrementally increased or decreased? He was doubled; from 2 bid to 4 bid!!
     
  16. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    "At least attempt" meaning from the new vet without sticking him again.
     
  17. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    From what I gather, the MOST important thing is a meter/monitor first. Right? Can't keep guessing on the levels and dosing?
     
    Critter Mom, Chris & China and KPassa like this.
  18. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    There's really 2 "most important things"....the diet change and the meter

    If you're giving insulin, you can go ahead and start changing the diet, but DO IT SLOWLY! Dropping the carbs will reduce the amount Mav needs...if there's any way you can swing buying the meter first, that's going to be the safest route

    Home testing is the only way to know what's going on inside Maverick's body...there's not one pediatrician that would tell you to just start giving your diabetic human baby "X units of insulin and bring him back in a month".....it's truly a shame that vets don't think the same way
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  19. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Very true!!!!
    Yes, meter first. Most the other things on the list I have, thankfully. The food won't be so bad because I can do that gradually as well (over a week or so) but I'm really hoping Monday I will have something better to go on from the new vet consult. Aa new insulin prescription. A better feeling when I leave for work.

    The pic is his VERY flaky coat that wasn't there this past weekend!!!
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Just so you're not totally shocked....Lantus and Levemir are REALLY expensive ...but you can buy it from Canada a LOT cheaper. It takes about a week, but the savings are totally worth it. ($270+ for Lantus vial, $400+ for a 5 pack of pens is the going price in the US)

    ProZinc is cheaper per vial, but a vial of ProZinc only has 400 units. Lantus and Levemir come in vials of 10ml and also are available in "Pens". A box of 5 pens is the best deal because they will last until the expiration date on the box, whereas a 10ml vial usually will end up having more than half thrown away when it starts to lose efficacy. You can get up to about 6 months on a vial (a pharmacist will tell you 28 days for Lantus, 45 for Levemir) but if it's properly cared for, it'll last MUCH longer.

    Now for the good news! The last post here on "Insulin from Canadian Pharmacies" will give you the information you need to order from Marks Marine Pharmacy in Canada. There's a LOT of us using them now and their customer service has been great
     
    Maverick01 and KPassa like this.
  21. bettyandhank

    bettyandhank Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Humulin is very harsh and short acting..what they call an in and out insulin. I have never used it so would not be able to advise, but I would tend to want to drop back possibly a little more than that under the circumstances if it were my kitty. Hopefully some others will chime in with opinions for the dose.
    I will say that is a really high dose and scary to have been doubled. We advise raising doses in fractions ie: 1/4U not whole U's, even if and when an increase is warranted. Please keep a very close eye out, and leave food out for him to bring himself up if needed
    BTW, I think it is highly likely that the urinary 'prescription' management foods caused or contributed to my cat getting diabetes. He had been on both canned and dry natural type foods prior...it was after we switched to all LC canned that all the other issues resolved.
     
  22. bettyandhank

    bettyandhank Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    If you need to get a single Lantus or Levemir pen (vs whole box) in the interim we can give you some tips on finding places that may sell them that way.
    I bought a single at a Sam's Club pharmacy, some have luck at certain Targets, but you find that some locations will and others not so you have to call around. That would buy you time if you do decide to order from Canada and can't get it right that away. Possibly depending on where you are maybe someone may have an extra to share or sell once you get switched with a vet
     
  23. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    I'm having a bit of sticker shock here. What about VetSulin? Is anyone on that, or had luck with it before?
     
  24. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Look at the cost per unit (insulin is dosed in units).
    And ProZinc is an alternative to Lantus or Levemir.
    Caninsulin/Vetsulin and Humulin or Novolin NPH do not generally last 12 hours in the cat. This can mean either uncontrolled glucose when the insulin wears off, or needing to dose every 8 hours to control it.
     
  25. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    If you get a vet to give you a script for Lantus or Levemir, you may be able to find someone who'll sell you just one pen, or possibly find someone who will split a box with you (that lives nearby)

    Or you can check The Supply Closet here for someone who's got some to give away or sell cheap

    That's why I gave you the link to the Insulin from Canada info....their Lantus pens are only $133.99....and that's enough to last most cats at least a year, so it breaks down to about $12/month....their Levemir is a little higher (but not much)
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  26. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    I think the best thing I can do right now is get the meter, and change the food. If he gets on the right food, maybe it will correct itself in a week or so.

    That insulin cost... Is outrageous. Even if I drive across the bridge to Canada to pick it up myself! I'm sorry I love my Mav and his current expense for two years is $3600 and counting but I have no way I can afford that!! I'm single and paying student loans.
    I feel even worse now! The only other alternatives for him are outrageously priced. This is incredibly disheartening and upsetting. :(
     
  27. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    @Chris & China
    Can you give me a crash course or link for explanation on vials/units/pens/etc? I think I'm incredibly confused about that.

    @BJM
    Thank you!! That breakdown was incredibly helpful. See my above question to chris, because I think I'm confused about the pens and units and stuff?
     
  28. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    U-100 means there are 100 units in 1 milliliter (mL). Lantus and Levemir come in this concentration.
    U-40 means there are 40 units in 1 milliliter (mL). ProZinc comes in this concentration.
    U-50 means there are 50 units in 1 milliliter (mL). BCP PZI can come in this concentration.

    A Lantus or Levemir pen (or cartridges - available in Canada) contains 300 units (3 mL). They are typically sold in 5 packs (1500 units total). Sometimes, you can find a store to sell them 1 at a time.

    A Lantus or Levemir vial contains 1,000 units (10 mL) ... but unless you have a high dose cat, you will not be able to use all of the insulin before it becomes ineffective at about 6 months.

    A ProZinc vial contains 400 units; there is no pen, nor cartridge version.

    BCP PZI comes in different concentrations - U-40, U-50, and U-100; there is no pen, nor cartridge version.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
    KPassa, Chris & China and Maverick01 like this.
  29. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Amazing!!!! Thank you!!

    I read in one of your links about the eyes being dilated is indicative of hypo. I've noticed mavs inner lid showing and dilated but reactive eyes when his is hyper. Does that make sense?
     
  30. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
  31. bettyandhank

    bettyandhank Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    If you are near the border, you are LUCKY and would be paying less than $27-30 per pen. Getting on long lasting, gentle insulin may be the difference in getting off the juice quickly.
    The scary prices are US where they gouge you. But many here have been successful using discount cards and other tricks to get pens here for $25. Please know how important this aspect is, the reason AAHA doesn't recommend N, vetsulin, etc..is they are poor for the cats and the long lasting insulin's are gentler and offer best chance at remission. The biggest expense for diabetes management is in test strips, not insulin. But home testing saves you a fortune in vet expenses (another reason they don't promote it)
     
    KPassa likes this.
  32. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Thank you so much @BJM !
     
  33. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    I do understand the importance of insulin. It's why I started researching in the first place. Please, I already feel guilty and terrible enough he was put in this whole situation just four weeks ago and it was unnecessary and preventable. I hate leaving him every day not knowing what's going to happen. Please understand I am doing absolutely EVERYTHING in my power I can for him.
    I know you guys are being very helpful and I appreciate it, but it's not 'only $27-30' to me. The last four weeks of unexpected and random huge expenses have drained me, in all ways.
    I'm doing the best I can. I'm reading all the links and trying to find coupons and be ready for whatever comes when I have the appointment on Monday. I'll get another second job if I have to, if that's what it takes, but I'm doing the very best I can with what I have to work with right now.
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  34. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Re the dander in the coat, Saoirse's coat was like that. Many diabetics are too lethargic and feel too lousy to groom themselves. Also, it is possible that your kitty may start shedding more. I didn't know about that and it put the heart crossways in me when it happened to Saoirse. The good news is that since her diet change and insulin treatment her coat grew back thick, healthy, dander-free and beautifully soft. The wet, low-carb, species-appropriate diet really helps coat condition. :)
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  35. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Oh yes. After comparing all those foods on the chart last night (thank you guys for the link) I was APPALLED at the number of carbs in canned W/D food!! How can that possibly be for glucose management?!?!

    I wrote down a few I'm going to try for them and make sure they both like it, slowly transferring them to the new. :)
     
  36. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    In their crazy little minds at Hills, they've decided that "some carbs are better than others"...thus the crazy W/D

    The body doesn't know the difference between carbs from one source and carbs from another (does it really matter if your carbs are from potato chips or sweet potatoes?...Nope...both are dealt with the same inside the body)

    We do understand the money problem!! I only gave you the price ranges so you'd have an idea of what to plan for.

    A lot of us feed Friskies pates or Fancy Feast Classics because they're low carb and "affordable", so just do the best you can!

    As far as the some of the costs, you might want to contact Diabetic Cats in Need Compassionate Assistance Program. They may be able to help
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  37. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Great news!!!! He can see the consult vet first thing Saturday morning now!!
     
  38. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Because he was on KD then immediately switched to WD, I am comparing those P-F-C's to others. Because there's over 20 in difference from current to new foods I'm comparing, I'm thinking I should start mixing it with his current WD at least for a bit so as not to shock his system and drop his BG. The absolute LAST thing I want is for it to drop when I'm not home.
    What do you think?
     
  39. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    I agree...slowly is best, especially since you're shooting insulin and not testing yet

    If I remember right, you've already reduced the insulin you're giving, right?
     
  40. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    A food change from high to low carb may drop the glucose 100-200 mg/dL and may drop the insulin as much as 2 units. Plan accordingly as you change the food slowly, 20-25% per day to avoid GI upsets and to give you time to adjust the insulin.
     
    Maverick01 likes this.
  41. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    @Chris & China
    Yes. He was on 4 2x a day, after seizure vet said 3 2x a day, but I am giving him 2 2x a day. At least until the vet Saturday. His dandruff is fading, he's eating fine, and seems just fine.

    @BJM
    Yes I see the carbs in WD are 25 I think, and the fancy feast has 4. I didn't want to make it that drastic all at once, so I was going to get the wellness grain free indoor, which came in at 12 I believe.
    The meter is a must, but Mavs last glucose was in the 370's, when vet decided to decrease his dose. I've been giving him less than that. I'm basically terrified every day that I'm going to come home and he's gone from a seizure. :(
     
  42. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Use the food you have and the food you want to use and switch. No need for a 3rd food.
     
  43. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Delighted to hear Maverick's coat condition's starting to improve! :)

    I experienced similar fears while Saoirse was on insulin (especially at night time).
     
  44. Maverick01

    Maverick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Here's what my vet sent me for Mav.
     

    Attached Files:

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page