Heart hurting

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Jan&butch, Nov 25, 2017.

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  1. Jan&butch

    Jan&butch New Member

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    HI. Butch & I are new to this site. Butch was diagnosed diabetic couple months ago. He's a senior (16) and I believe now has been living with this disease for a year or more. His last vet thought his weight loss was due to his age. His new vet ran enough test to confirm his diagnosis. It's been a really rough road for us. Butch experienced a terrible glucose crash one night after 6 weeks of insulin treatment which entailed emergency visit. Since then I've gotten a glucose monitor & check him sometimes multiple times a day. I've twice caught seriously low numbers & have administered honey to get him back up. My last vet consultation was to discuss more end of life decisions than treatment and needless to say I'm heartbroken. As his swings are so high (35 right now) and so low (2.5 yesterday morning) I've decided to stop the treatment. He hated the diabetic food & ate very little so I've gone back to the flavours he loves & he's eating lots, but even though he's eating I can't control his numbers & I can't monitor him 24/7
    Am I hurting him more by stopping the insulin or the roller coaster of trying?
     
  2. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    why not?
    it does NOT take 24/7...
     
  3. Jan&butch

    Jan&butch New Member

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    Ok as an example- his #s were high (27.5) he ate a good breakfast, gave him 1 unit, had to leave him for work for 2 hours, got back & he was 1.9 and starting to go into shock. It’s pretty damn stressful for him & me!
     
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  4. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    we can help you with control over the blood glucose levels - especially if you have already got the monitoring supplies.
    most of the diabetic food are BAD for diabetic cats - if he eats what he likes - all the better, you just need to keep his foods carbs content below 10% per 100 K cal.
     
  5. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    it is stress full. :bighug:
    Do you want to hear how my cat got in sever symptomatic hypo with seizures and foaming mouth and stuff? I think not.
    you are not alone, believe me, and the stress and shock will subside with time and practice.
     
  6. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    diabetes is very manageable condition
    we can help with "how to"
     
  7. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    here is what I read:
    1 unit may be too much for him at the moment.
    Good brekky - what is it? How much and what carbs%? Are you sure he did not vomit it?
    Is he on Lantus? Sounds like it because two hours after the injection is the typical onset for Lantus - you can beat it by giving a bit higher carbs food. ETA: the onset is when insulin kicks in and it is quite normal to have the BG plummeting at this time - all of us deal with it - there are ways to help it. Please let me know if he is on any other type of insulin.
    Do yo have any records as to how he read in the past few days/ weeks - the BG levels? It'll help in assessing the situation.
     
  8. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

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    Hello--

    I agree with Tanya-- if the only health concerns are feline diabetes, don't give up, it is manageable! On this site we have tons and tons of real-life experience in dealing with this disease, we can help every step of the way.

    You're already using the most effective tool in the toolbox, home monitoring, so you are over the biggest hurdle for most people. Now it's just a matter of figuring out what that information is telling you about Butch's insulin needs and steering his dose to the right one for him.

    I'm going to repeat a couple of Tanya's questions, because they're really important for us to know right off the bat:

    1) what type of insulin are you using?
    2) what kind of food (brand, variety) is Butch eating now?
     
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  9. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Ok so through testing you have established that 1 unit is too much. So lower the dose to half a unit and try again.

    You don't need the perscription food.... Just a low carb wet food. What country are you in?
     
  10. Jan&butch

    Jan&butch New Member

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    Oh we so want help!! I’ll try to answer all your questions & pray with help I can get this under control!!
    His insulin is Lantus. Without monitoring he started @ 2 units, twice a day, for 2 weeks. Then the vet upped him to 3 units, twice daily for 2 weeks. They wanted to up him to 4 units but I thought that was too much & opted for 3.5. Then he had his episode the night before I got his monitor & he’s been all over since then.
    He tried Purina DM for all that time but was eating less & less, his dry I’d switched to performatrin ultra potato & salmon but have stopped both. Now he’ll devour a can of Friskies (any flavour fish)
     
  11. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Friskies is a great food choice. Just make sure it's the pate version.
     
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  12. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Is it Friskies Classic Pates?
    If yes then there you go with that Hypo episode - Friskies Classic is low carbs and did not work well enough to ward off the quick BG drop and he either needs lower dose with that food - very diabetic friendly, btw, or you 'll need to get higher carbs foods (still below 10% carbs, thou).
    What's you country? we have food lists prepared for several countries.. I can fetch you a list for your region.
     
  13. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes they become more sensitive to insulin after a symptomatic hypo, so that could be part of what is going on. Another big factor could be the removal of the dry food-- even the DM (which is often suggested for diabetic kitties) is high in carbs. Removing that carb source and going with all wet food can make a big big difference in insulin needs! Some cats, after they make that switch, can go into a diet-controlled remission very quickly. Maybe Butch will be one of those lucky ones!

    As Janet says, the pates are the ones that are low-carb. Varieties with gravy are good to keep around to help bump up blood glucose when numbers go low.
     
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  14. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

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    OK, looks like you now have a swarm of us, all saying the same things simultaneously!
     
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  15. Jan&butch

    Jan&butch New Member

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  16. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    I'll get quiet and lurk. Lol
     
  17. Jan&butch

    Jan&butch New Member

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    I’m in Canada. I saw on this site that Fancy Feast Classics was a good choice & I did every store that sells cat food & couldn’t find a single can that says “classic “ Even looking at the friskies cans I have here I can’t find “classic “ on any of them. He prefers pate & any that are in gravy he only does the liquid & not the meat
     
  18. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Fancy Feast pates don't have the word "classic" on them in Canada. Just look for "pate". Friskies pates are fine too, except for the green lid indoor varieties.

    You've received good advice already:
    • feline diabetes is definitely manageable
    • home testing of BG is key
    • a kitty's responses to insulin can be very erratic especially at the beginning, if dose is increased too fast, if high carb food is fed and then withdrawn, etc.
    • 1 unit twice a day is a good starting dose for Lantus
    • increasing by whole units is too much
    • there are doses less than 1 unit - 0.75 u, 0.50 u. 0.25 u - that require a bit of eyeballing of the insulin level but it's possible with practice
    • almost all dry foods, even those sold as prescription food for diabetics, are too high in carbs
    • taking dry food out of the diet has to be done carefully with good BG monitoring because the insulin dose needed can drop significantly.
     
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  19. Jan&butch

    Jan&butch New Member

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    How do I figure out the carbs? I’m not finding that information on any of the cans
     
  20. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    HERE is the link to the Canadian foods - it might be outdated, thou, so let me tag some of your compatriots who might be able to give better/ these days foods: @Wendy&Neko , @Kris & Teasel

    HERE is the list of US foods that has Fancy Feast and Friskies listed - aim at below 10% carbs and low Phosphorous if possible - many of the foods listed are available in Canada, too.
     
  21. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    All the Friskies and Fancy Feast pates are under 10% carbs. The wet DM prescription pate is around 6% carbs if he likes that. Here's a great food reference list compiled by a vet:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/dr-pierson-new-food-chart.174147/
    A lot of the common foods are there. There are some Friskies and Fancy Feast varieties given that aren't available here in Canada but you can get a general idea.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  22. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you have the food part in good shape right now. Kris, I was thinking of tagging you as one of our resident Canadians, but you beat me to it!

    Next step will be careful record-keeping on the BG readings. You're probably already doing that for yourself, but on this site we all use a common (Google Sheets) spreadsheet style and share a public link to our cat's SS in the signature of our posts. That way, not only can you have all the data to look at, but when you ask for help, anyone else can see the data too.

    Here are the instructions for getting the template and setting up a spreadsheet. Don't hesitate to ask for help with this if you have problems-- we have several people who can get things set up in a flash!

    Once we can see some of the numbers you've been getting, we can offer more specific advice about dosing, although I agree with Janet that the symptomatic 2.5 you got yesterday means that the 1.0U dose is too high.
     
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  23. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    How good to see you both Nan and Kris! If it's ok I'll sign off now - you know the things better anyway.. I popped in because no one else was on...

    Best of luck Jan and Butch! Hope to see you later!
     
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  24. Jan&butch

    Jan&butch New Member

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    You guys rock! I’m not feeling quite so overwhelmed! I’m sorry but there aren’t any instructions for starting out for a spreadsheet but like everything else I’m going to muddle through this too!
     
  25. Jan&butch

    Jan&butch New Member

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    Ok! Lol figured out where the instructions are! I’ll keep muddling & will get a spreadsheet done!
     
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  26. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

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  27. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad you joined us Jan - welcome! My little old man kitty is 16 1/2 - been diabetic for 8 years.

    Just to answer that question - a cat that needs insulin will literally starve to death while eating everything in sight. Insulin is a hormone that the body requires but the pancreas quit secreting for some reason. It's not a chemical medicine such as thyroid or pain meds.

    Again, welcome!
     
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  28. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Member

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    Welcome @Jan&butch !

    Everyone has gotten good information to you. Just one thing I noticed -- if Butch loves the "gravy" foods, since the actual gravy foods are a little higher in carbs than recommended on a daily basis, try adding as much water as you can to the pates to make your own faux gravy. That'll give him the slurp-factor that might be the most desirable part of what he likes about gravy, plus the extra hydration is good for him. He'll tell you how much to add. If it is too much water, then he just won't eat it, and back off the amount next time. I am lucky that all of mine like a 50/50 food/water ratio, but they may not be the norm.

    Take a deep breath. It'll be ok.

    Sandi.
     
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  29. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from me too. You can do this. As you see lots of people are here to help. It was overwhelming for me at first as well. This is the best place to be. :bighug:
     
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  30. Jan&butch

    Jan&butch New Member

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    Nov 25, 2017
    I so appreciate the information and the support I feel your all willing to help with. I’ve gotten poor info from my vet (the whole team are young and I feel like this is their first feline diabetic) so can you help me almost from the beginning?
    Do I test Butch before he eats? Right after he eats? How do I know how much insulin do I give him? The vet’s response was to give him what I feel is appropriate. She couldn’t really give me any information!
    Again- thank you for the support! I’m feeling less overwhelmed but not really knowledgeable and I so want to do all I can to help my fur baby.
     
  31. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    The order is Test/Feed/Shoot....You test to make sure they're high enough for insulin, Feed to make sure they're at least willing to eat and Shoot.....all within about 5-10 minutes

    One of the nice things about Lantus is that it usually doesn't "kick in" for 2-3 hours after the shot, so it's not terribly important that they eat a certain amount....as long as they're willing to eat!! You'll have a few hours to get food into them.

    You want to take food up for the 2 hours immediately before shot times so the Pre-Shot numbers aren't influenced by food.

    You ALWAYS test before shooting....then try to get at least a mid-cycle test on the AM cycle (5-7 hours after the shot) and at least a "before bed" test on the PM cycle. Most cats go lower at night, so it's important to make sure they're OK before calling it a night.

    If you can get more tests in, that's even better! You'll learn faster when the lantus starts to "onset" for Butch, when he usually nadirs (the lowest point in the cycle...usually around +6) and how long before he starts to head up again (the "duration")

    Learning those things really helps you to make decisions on dosing in the future as well as keeping them safe. Know Thy Cat is one of our big sayings around here and testing helps you do that!
     
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  32. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we can! :)

    The yellow info stickies at the top of the topic list on the Lantus forum is where you'll find detailed info about Lantus and how to dose. Also, ask as many questions as you think of.

    Chris has given you the info on testing routine. There'll be times when you test more but the minimum is 3 to 4 times a day. It becomes routine very quickly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  33. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

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    Good morning. It’s also a good idea to post on the lantus forum daily. You don’t have to but it gets lots of eyes on your condo quickly as you start testing and need to make dosing and feeding decisions.

    BTW even many senior good vets aren’t as familiar with lantus and even if they are, they can’t help you 24/7 as questions come up. There’s always someone here to help. Keep asking questions and you wil be a pro in no time.
     
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