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Hello! And best blood glucose meter...

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by curlygirl18, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Good afternoon! I am new here. I recently found out one of my beloved babies has diabetes. The vet highly recommended doing the glucose curves at home. So I have been reading for HOURS on here and other websites and looking up blood glucose tests. I am leaning towards using one that is for a human but I am debating between a few. I obviously want one that accepts the smallest amount of blood. I am debating between a few but if someone has a better one please let me know!

    1) Contour Next from CVS
    2) ReliOn (as I've read many highly related reviews about it)
    3) Onetouch Ultra Mini
    4) Onetouch Ultra

    I think I may be missing one. What do you think?? I have no problem pricking the cat's ear and not using the lancing device. Thank you all in advance. This is such a scary, frustrating experience and I thank you all for your support and advice in the forums! :)
     
  2. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2019
    Sounds like you have a great vet, and awesome job to you as well for starting home testing! The ReliOn prime is a popular choice here because it’s super cheap and the strips are easily available, which are two of the big things you want to take into consideration when choosing a meter. I use the Prime and I like it, but I haven’t used any of the others so I can’t comment on how they are. Hopefully others can chime in :)
     
  3. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Thank you for the answer! Does the ReliOn prime take a small drop of blood? Thanks!
     
  4. CandyH & Catcat

    CandyH & Catcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    check carefully on the OneTouch meters -- many of them require a 1 ml blood drop, which can be difficult to get from a cat -- the OneTouch Verio takes a slightly smaller amount (.6 ml I think)-- but again as with others, the strips are not the least expensive ...

    the Freestyle Lite and the ReliOn Confirm and Mini take .3 -- as far as I know, the smallest sample going .. those ReliOns are discontinued, you can still get the strips, and purchase the meter online from other vendors (and it's one of the most accurate, no idea why the original mfg (Arkray) discontinued it)

    the Freestyle Lite is very similar to the "pet meter" AlphaTrak2

    the ReliOn Premium and Prime take a fairly small droplet, and those strips are by far the least expensive, also available 24/7 from many of the Walmarts
     
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  5. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2019
    The ReliOn Prime takes a 0.5uL sample. If you’re wanting a meter that takes an even smaller sample, I think the Freestyle Lite meter is basically just the human version of the AlphaTrak2 pet meter, and it takes a 0.3uL sample. If you do choose the freestyle, I would definitely recommend buying the strips off amazon or somewhere like that. They are $35 for 50 on amazon, but they’re like $85 for 50 if you buy them at Walmart!
     
  6. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Hi and welcome to FDMB. Many of our members use the ReliOn Prime from Walmart because it's relatively inexpensive and the availability of strips. When you are first testing, and sometimes if you are getting low BG numbers, you use more strips. You always want to have a good supply on hand. Lancets: when starting out, use the bigger size (smaller gauge, 26 or 28) lancets. As the ears grow more capillaries, you can switch to the thinner (30+) gauge.

    Testing isn't only for doing curves. If you are injecting insulin you need to always test beforehand, to be sure the blood sugar level is high enough to do so. Shooting blind can be very dangerous. We also recommend getting in at least one test during the 12 hour cycles between shots, to see how the insulin is affecting the kitty. Many members don't do many curves, as it can be difficult to actually get a test done every 2 hours for 8 to 12 hours. If you do the pre-shot tests, then each day get a test or two in at different times of the day, plus at least a before bed test, that information is going to provide the same picture over time that a curve will.

    Please create a signature so that we can see kitty's information when you post. That way we know what diagnosis date, what insulin at what dose, what food etc.

    Setting up your signature (light grey text under a post). Here's how:
    click on your name in the upper right corner of this page
    click on "signature" in the menu that drops down
    type the following in the box that opens: kitty's name/age/date of diabetes diagnosis/insulin you're using and dosage amount /glucose meter you're using/what (s)he eats/any other meds or health issues (s)he has. You can add your name, and a geographic location (sometimes the country/time zone matters) Be sure to SAVE when you are finished.

    Another thing that will help us help you when you get started BG testing at home is to set up a spreadsheet like the one we use here. You will see how the trends and patterns emerge, and members can review his/her progress before offering suggestions or advice:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/understanding-the-spreadsheet-grid.156606/

    You are already on your way to providing good diabetic treatment for your cat by looking into home testing. We can provide more information about the process and offer suggestions of what worked for us, with our individual kitties.

    We can also offer information about a good diet for a sugar cat to provide proper nutrition, while avoiding carbohydrates in food that kitty simply does not need and drives up the blood sugar.

    Back to testing: here is an excerpt from a response by member Chris & China about getting a kitty used to testing:

    "It can be really helpful to establish a routine with testing. Pick one spot that you want your "testing spot" to be (I like the kitchen counter because it's got good light and it's at a good height....it also already blocked 2 escape routes due to the wall and the backsplash) It can be anywhere though...a rug on the floor, a table, a particular spot on the couch...wherever is good for you.
    Take him there as many times a day as you can and just give his ears a quick rub and then he gets a yummy (low carb) treat. Most cats aren't objecting so much with the poking..it's the fooling with their ears they don't like, but once they're desensitized to it and learn to associate a certain place with the treats, they usually start to come when they're called! Or even when they hear us opening the test kit!
    You also have to remember...you're not poking him to hurt him...you're testing him to keep him safe and understand what's going on inside his body. There's just nothing better than truly understanding what's going on inside your kitty's body and with this disease, the more knowledge you have, the more power you have against it. The edges of the ears have very few pain receptors, so it really doesn't hurt them. Also, if you're nervous and tense, it's going to make your kitty nervous and tense too. As silly as it might seem, try singing! It forces you to use a different part of your brain!
    It's also important to make sure his ear is warm. A small sock filled with a little rice and microwaved or a small pill bottle filled with warm water (check temp against your wrist like you would a baby bottle) works well
    For new kitties, using a heavier gauge lancet is also really helpful. A 25-28 gauge lancet pokes a bigger "hole" than a 31-33 gauge lancet does, so look for "Alternate Site testing" lancets that are usually a lower number
    Finding the right "treat" will be a great help too! Freeze dried chicken, bonito flakes, little pieces of baked chicken...whatever low carb treat you can find that he really enjoys will help him to associate the testing with the treat! China's Achilles heel was baked chicken, so I'd bake a piece, chop it into bite sized pieces, put some in the refrigerator and freeze the rest to use as needed. It didn't take long for her to come any time I picked up the meter!"

    We will help in every way we can as you learn the sugar dance.
     
  7. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    I will definitely create a signature when I have all of that information! Our appt for an insulin demonstration is not for two week so he has not started on the insulin just yet. I am sure I will learn a lot about this from my wonderful vet but I couldn't wait to soak up all the knowledge I could so I started before I have been back to the vet.

    I am curious to know if she'll tell me to test each and every time I am going to give him an injection. She has already told me he will receive two insulin shots a day. So what I hear you saying is that he'll have to BG checks and two injections a day! Oh my poor baby! I know I am helping him but I can't help but feel bad for what he's about to go through! I truly hope that he is not in pain from the pokes and pricks I'll be giving! :(

    My vet has told me already (though I'm sure I will learn more at my next appt) that she wants me to do the curves but now I am wondering if that's excessive if I'll also be doing BG checks daily?? I'm clearly new to all of this!!

    I am so grateful for all of this information and thank you for that wonderful posting by Chris and China. Super great advice!
     
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  8. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Thanks so much! I have a Walmart near me so that's perfect!
     
  9. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    This is very, very helpful. Thank you!
     
  10. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    It sounds like a lot, but most cats are fairly cooperative, especially if there’s treats involved! Before each injection you should test his BG, feed him, and then give insulin (assuming the reading is high enough!). It’s also good to get at least one other reading during the day, but the more you can test, the better. None of it should hurt him at all! Depending on his temperament, he may be a little annoyed with all the poking (my sassy girl is :p), but it shouldn’t hurt him
     
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  11. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Would you please tell us how the diagnosis of diabetes was arrived at, a single blood test or a fructosamine test? I am wondering about that, because of the delay in starting insulin. Why are you waiting two weeks? Do you know what insulin your cat will be getting?

    One thing very proactive you can do right now, since you are not using insulin yet, is to learn about proper diet and let us know what kitty is eating right now. You can transition from a higher carb diet to a low carb diet more safely before you start using insulin. In addition, a low carb diet can significantly lower the blood sugar, and the starting dose may need to be lower or much lower than the vet might prescribe, based on the test he performed initially.

    If you can start getting kitty used to testing and actually get your supplies, then begin testing while you are executing a diet change, then you will have recent data to present to the vet (and to advising members here). Unfortunately many vets do not have extensive education or experience with feline diabetes and we see many starting insulin doses that are actually too high, which causes other issues and doesn't benefit the kitty at all. It sounds like your vet may know more than many we have encountered here, and that's a good thing. Just be aware that there is extensive long time experience and knowledge available to you here also.

    Take a look at the videos, pictures and tips in this link about home testing:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/

    Testing isn't hurting your cat, it's treating a health condition and possibly saving his life.
     
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  12. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    He's a big scaredy cat (literally) but he loves me the most so I'll be doing all of this, not my boyfriend, as he'll just pee on him. The cat that is, haha. And he DOES love treats!! Okay, for some reason I thought insulin BEFORE feeding. I'm learning so much!
     
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  13. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Yes, he had both a urine glucose test (don't know the correct name) and a few days ago, a blood glucose test. The delay is because he was diagnosed in June but since I am a teacher, I did not have a steady income over the summer so I could not start the insulin and the curve, etc. However, in June I DID put him on a new and much higher protein diet, one that has really helped him. He has lost weight, which was the goal. He was prescribed a diet by the vet - Dietetic Management by Purina - and I am happy with the results. So yes, a low carb/high(er) protein diet. I will keep him on this diet.

    The reason I am not starting for two weeks is because I couldn't get in any sooner due to my work schedule and other conflicts, and of course, the vet having scheduled appts already.

    I can definitely get the supplies and get him used to it; that's a great idea! The insulin will be arriving at my house on Tuesday so I can let you know then, but right now I don't know the specific name.
     
  14. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    It's going to depend on the type of insulin vet prescribes, what the test/feed/shoot scenario will look like. There are several insulins that can be used for cats, some much better than others. One, Novolin is harsher, takes effect very quicky and wears off very quickly. There is Prozinc just for cats, that works well. Some other insulins form a depot in the cat's body, are gentler and longer lasting. The latter are the most effective types, although more expensive. On that note, many members order the Lantus, Basaglar and Levimir from Marks Marine Pharmacy in Canada for 1/3 to 1/2 cost of same in the U.S.
     
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  15. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    Is this dry or wet canned food? There is a food chart we use extensively to determine the carb percentages of the canned foods. You can check the food chart HERE and read about feline nutrition here www.catinfo.org.
    We suggest a low carb wet diet with carbs below 10%, as most dry food is full of carbs and not much protein, plus it does not support good urinary tract health.

    You can filter the food chart for the Purina product you are currently using to see what the carb percentage, as well as other components, is.
     
  16. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Oh yes, I am well-versed in how to read labels, moisture, protein, and carbs. That's another thing I educated myself with in June when I started to change his diet. I am proud to say I actually understand how to read a label!! :) It is wet food as I learned what you said about dry food. I'm not gonna lie - I'm not a big fan of it. I believe there are much better foods out there. However, this one's protein is above 50%, though not quite as high as I would like. He likes it though and he is really really picky when it comes to food.

    Thanks, I'll check out the site!
     
  17. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    I'm glad to hear you are not a fan of dry food, unfortunately many of us (myself included) thought that high quality dry food was ok for our cats. I was really appalled to learn that the dry food contributes to crystals in urine and other urinary troubles, as well as not being nutritious and contributing to feline diabetes. Changing Idjit's diet and with a very short period of insulin therapy effected remission and he has been off the juice for 15 months.

    And I'm very glad that your cat is doing well on the wet canned food. You are taking good care of him/her (?) and we will all hope for remission for your kitty. Looking forward to a pic of your furbaby.
     
  18. Gypsy's Parent

    Gypsy's Parent Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    My cat went into remission from switching for "premium" dry food to wet food. She wasn't a huge fan of wet food and I was trying all kinds of wet foods. Fortunately I have two other chow hounds, er chow cats and the wet food did not go to waste. Gypsy decided she loved the Hills Prescription m/d, which is a bit high in carb, but she wolfed it down and switched from dry to wet in a single meal. Her BG went waaaaay down. Fortunately, testing before giving insulin revealed that her numbers were too low to shoot.

    I have the ReliOn Prime meter and it works fine. I've only had not-enough-blood errors three times. With practice, you'll quickly learn how large the blood blob has to be. I squeeze if the needle stick wasn't quite deep enough. One ear bleeds more easily than the other. But yes, I've had to stick two, three times to get blood. The cat doesn't notice the needle stick; it's the handling of the ear that irritates her. I have to hold on to keep her from flicking the ear and blood blob off.

    You should look at some spreadseets to get some idea of how difficult or easy it can be to deal with diabetes. You'll see how often people test and see midcycle blood tests to make sure BG does not drop too low. You'll see people who do curves every couple of weeks to measure the BG over a longer period of time.

    Your vet sounds pretty awesome! Reading through some of the posts, I think some vets are trying to make $ off people. My vet handed me needles, insulin, some sheets of paper with info and told me to buy an Alpha Trak meter, give 2U 2 x per day and sent me on my way. But then again, after 20 years of dealing with my multiple cat household, he knows I use the internet.

    What is your kitty's name?

    You seem to have done a lot of reading and are well on your way to getting your kitty on the best path to regulation. While the people on this forum are not vets, they are saving cats lives!
     
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  19. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Thank you! His name is Quincy and he's a little angel. That's awesome that he is in remission! So incredible. I can only hope for the same.

    Another concern I have is the reading on the ReliOn. I bought it and all the accompanying things needed yesterday and I just gave him his first blood glucose check at home! :) The problem is I know it is for human's blood. How do I know or how will I know when he has a low enough number that he won't need an insulin shot? Obviously the number that was given when I gave him the check was very high. However I know it's for humans so I'm not sure how I will know when he is at a good level.
     
  20. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Thank you for your response! Yes, I am trying to do as much reading as possible. I just responded to someone else by saying I just gave him, Quincy, his first blood glucose check at home. :) however I'm concerned because I don't know what the level should be for him since it is a human's blood glucose meter.

    I wish he had went into remission just with the switching of the food, but no such luck for either him or I :-(. Maybe in the future? He didn't seem to mind the ear prick, he just really hated that I was holding him there and couldn't run off. I gave him lots of treats afterwards, more so for my own guilty and sad conscience haha. Obviously I know deep down I am helping him live a longer and happier life but I still feel bad for the pricks :-(.

    I do feel very lucky to have the vet I have, and I am so sorry for the people that don't have great vets. Definitely switch to someone else! There are great vets out there. Again, thank you for your response!
     
  21. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Pet meters are actually relatively new on the scene in feline diabetic treatment, and they and the strips are more expensive than human meters. Human meters were what was available when FDMB started and the insulin guides and protocols are based on human meter BG levels.
    Meters: you can use a meter calibrated for humans-- the numbers won't match pet meters your vet might use, but all you really need to know is what is "too low" (50 and below on a human meter), what is "normal" (approx 50-120), and then your own cat's relative numbers (going up? going down?).

    What you will be looking at in testing is first to be sure the BG is high enough to inject insulin, every time, and then subsequent tests during the cycle to see how low the BG is going, how the insulin is working. Depending on what insulin your vet prescribes, there are insulin support groups for each one so that you have a guide on using that insulin and interpreting the blood sugar levels from testing that you will get.

    You can create the signature with the information that you have now, so we know dx date, diet etc. and then edit when you find out what insulin, dosage etc.

    You can also set up the spreadsheet now, and start recording the BG tests you are doing now. You do not have to be using insulin to use the spreadsheet. What was the BG level you got today?
     
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  22. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    I'm sorry, I'm just so confused by this aspect. Today it was 476. Believe me, I know that's high. So what I should be aiming to see is 50-120, unless my vet has mean towards something else?

    I am doing this on my phone so I'll attempt to make a signature with what I have.
     
  23. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Oh, yah, on the phone it's harder, such a small screen. Do your best with that. Regarding setting up the spreadsheet, you can PM, that's start a conversation) with Chris & China (GA) and she will get some info from you, and she can set up the spreadsheet for you very quickly. You would only have to create a Google account first, and then make sure you have Google Drive and Google Sheets on your phone to plug in the numbers. I started out with an Amazon Fire tablet, which doesn't play nicely with Google :( and someone set up my SS and I used my phone to update the SS. Still do sometimes if I don't have my laptop running.

    There are all kinds of ways to figure out how to get things done around here! And hooray for that.

    I do understand that's it's very confusing at first. But you are going to get there, just takes time and you are asking the right questions.

    The ultimate goal is remission, in which Quincy will have consistent BG between 50 and 120, thereabouts without insulin. Regulation is when you can get the BG into lower numbers consistently using the best dose of insulin for him. That takes time, testing and perhaps adjusting the insulin dose by very small increments so you don't bypass the best dose (after a period of same dose and consistent testing).

    Don't let this mess with your head, and don't worry needlessly, it's exhausting and doesn't help you or Quincy. I would hope that with the 475 BG today, and if you have had Quincy on a low carb wet diet for a period of time (how long and what brand/variety again please) without significant BG reduction, that you wouldn't have to wait much longer to start insulin.

    We will help you, my goodness, you should have seen "old man" and me when we first began..we were a mess, a big mess and people here made all the difference.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
    Reason for edit: Add comments
  24. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
  25. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    I'd be happy to set up a spreadsheet for you!

    Just click on my name and choose "start conversation" so I can get some information I need!
     
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  26. Cyberlizard

    Cyberlizard Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2019
    Might be a little late to the party but I really enjoyed the DiaThrive meter, you can order the strips in quarterly shipments which was affordable and easy. They have a pretty east to navigate website if you wanna take a look.
     
  27. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Okay so between 50-120 on the meter I'm using. I don't have to do any fancy calculations or conversions.

    Quincy has been on his low carb wet diet since his diagnosis - roughly three months. He is on Dietetic Management from Purina - a prescription food by the vet so very pricey, though with all my research it seems that the high quality food IS pricey! His insulin demo is Sept. 19 so ten days away.

    I did notice when I did the BG yesterday that I (think) I pierced THROUGH his ear. Is that okay?? Seems so sad. I did myself before him and my finger still stings when I touch it a certain way. Maybe I'm just a baby, haha.

    I'm so glad for this community though I've only been here a short time. Thank you for all of your help!
     
  28. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Great, thanks! I did end up buying the ReliOn but I'll keep this in mind in case I change it!
     
  29. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
  30. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    Correct, those are the BG levels of a non-diabetic cat and your goal for Quince. You would melt your brains trying to calculate or convert, there isn't any way to do that because pet and human meters have different points of reference.

    I remember you said you wanted to keep him on this diet, and the Purina Pro Plan DM is only 6% carbs and 43% protein, if that's the one.
    Just looking at the food chart for high protein I saw Weruva CatsintheKitchen varieties at as high or higher protein and less carb % I have not used this brand/variety but others here have and like it. Some of the Fancy Feast Classics have a higher Protein and low carb varieties, Tiki Cat which is also a brand I read about here, Koolina Luau (no fish) is 84% protein and 0 carbs, Puka Puka Luau is 77% protein and 0 carbs. I also have heard of Tiki Cat After Dark but it's a newer variety and not on the Food Chart
    I know the Fancy Feast is less expensive, do not know about the Weruva or Tiki Cat comparing in price, but Chewy.com does ship both of the latter. This is just so you know there are options out there that might be more cost effective for you.

    We have all poked all the way through the ear, although it's not the best technique. Most of us have hit the vein, and in addition to getting much more blood than you need or want, that does hurt the kitty more. I use a cotton ball to back the ear when I poke, to firm it up, protect my finger and to compress the poke site for some seconds to help prevent bruising. A cat actually has less nerve endings in their ears than we do in our fingertips. So, no, you're not a baby and very new at this.

    I have also read about having the beveled side of the lancet and/or the syringe needle point "up" and needle point at a 45 degree angle, helping a more painless skin penetration.

    If you like you can use a thin smear of Neosporin (or Walmart brand Equate) Pain relief ointment, not cream, on the poke site.
     
  31. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
     
  32. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Hmmm...when I calculated it myself from the label on the can and it was somewhere in the 50% range of protein. Now I'm definitely going to look again when I get home, just to make sure! I tried Tiki Cat and he was a fan for about 2 seconds haha. I am nervous about switching food if I'm about to start insulin...I heard that's not a good idea? He is a BIG FAN of pates, not much of anything else, though he does like shredded food. I'm all for a cheaper, great tasting, higher in protein food product but yes, nervous about switching at this point, so soon to starting insulin.

    I believe my vet's goal was for his protein to be above 50%. 43% obviously isn't that and now I wonder if it's a healthy option for him...

    How do you prevent yourself from going all the way through the ear? I used a cotton ball behind the site and then I used a lancet. He didn't cry or anything but he did bleed and has a bruise there now which concerns me as his loving mom, of course. I'm glad to know there is less nerve endings in his ear than in my finger!
     
  33. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    I think it's just a matter of getting really good and familiar with the testing procedure, and gauging the pressure and angle of the "poke". Those little ears are relatively thin. As I said, many, most, perhaps all, of us have gone clear through the ear, and we will do so again. ;) I found that the gentle compression of the poke site after I got the blood sample really cut down on bruising.

    Back to the food issue, that's just what the Food Chart had for the protein level of the Purina Pro Plan DM and it was updated about 2 years ago.

    Many vets recommend/push buying the Rx (really doesn't require a prescription) because they are educated by the vendor reps and because they make a profit on what we buy at the vet clinic. I am not in any way saying your vet isn't good, the sad truth is that vets only get 5 hours of diabetes education in school and that covers all types of animals. Once they've graduated and are in practice, they don't have time to stay up to date on the latest treatments for every disease in every type of animal they see. That's why message boards like this are so valuable. Not only do the people here have the time to research for new treatments, they have the day in/day out experience in their own cats so they know what works....and what doesn't!

    The more you educate yourself about diet, home testing and the insulin you will be using, the more you can be a full partner in treating Quincy, after all, you are the one that is going to be doing the 24/7 care, live with and love him.

    Any food changes should be done with care, you are so right about that! We want to prevent very sudden BG drops when on insulin, and prevent gastric upset, from both ends and no belly aches for our babies.

    I decided to feed Idjit raw with a complete supplement, because I was concerned about phosphorus levels in canned food, plus all the recipe changes they make. Down the road it might be a consideration for Quincy?
    FoodFurLife has a very informative website: https://www.foodfurlife.com Just a suggestion for the future.
     
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  34. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    If you are in the US, most foods have the guaranteed analysis on the labels, which are just minimum and maximum values, so that can complicate things when you try to calculate the values yourself. The chart Dr. Pierson compiled was made using values she got from directly contacting the manufacturers, which is why it tends to be relied on so heavily in this group, because it’s probably more accurate
     
  35. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    I'm so scared I'll be going through his ear every time!!

    That's very sad, and scary, about vets. Diabetes is such a common illness in cats; they really need more training!!

    Now I am really questioning his food! Just when I thought I was doing right by that part!
     
  36. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Ughhh!! Oh no. I feel like I need to switch!
     
  37. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    You are not doing anything "wrong" with his food, I just wanted to let you know there are alternatives that you can explore. He might not like some of the alternatives, Idjit refuses to eat food with tuna in it..and he's a cat!! We all want the best for our fur kids. The problem is with vets, it's also with pet parents, we don't always feed them the best either..look at how many of us did and those that aren't educated still feed crap dry food. Grain free now..but loaded with carbs from sweet potatoes, peas, etc..and we fall for it.
     
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  38. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    It can definitely be very frustrating trying to pick a cat food! :banghead: If your cat likes the DM and is doing well on it, it’s probably just fine considering it’s low enough carb, it’s just really pricey and not really as great as vets push it to be. Just know you have more options than the DM!
     
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  39. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Love the emoji!! Where did you find that one? Yes, he likes it, but it is really pricey and I knew when I bought it that it wasn't as great as other ones that I found, such as the Tiki Cat food. But he, of course, only like the Tiki Cat food for a minute and is over it. I'm sure I could get him to eat it but it too is pretty pricey. I think I'll do some more research too. I wish he liked it...to me it looks so much more appetizing than the DM! haha
     
  40. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    True. My other cat still likes dry food more than hard food so it's been hard to transition him. He's pretty healthy though so I'm not too concerned but maybe I should make the switch before he's NOT too healthy.
     
  41. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Well, I wish I had known then, what I know now re: dry food. Idjit might not have become diabetic , even though for now he's in remission. If I may, I do suggest that you transition both kitties to low carb wet food, that way Quincy isn't going to be tempted to snatch the other kitty's dry food and have some nasty carb induced food spikes that you will have to get through. Some cats never develop diabetes, but it's a specter on the horizon that you most likely would not want to deal with.

    There are lots of ways to help a dry food addict transition, and sometimes is takes a looooong time to get the cat off the dry.
     
  42. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2019
    If you click the smiley face, it’s in there! Definitely one of my faves lol.

    My cat was the same way about the Tiki Cat. She loved the two samples cans I bought but of course as soon as I placed a HUGE order she changed her mind :rolleyes: I know you said your kitty likes pates, Weruva has some new pate flavors that are good for diabetics and they also conveniently have all the nutrition info on their website

    https://weruva.com/nutrition-landing/pates-ni/

    I think the Soulistic pates from Petco are pretty good quality as well, and I believe they are in Dr. Pierson’s chart :)
     
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  43. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    I forgot about Soulistic Sarah, good for you. I got my daughter to feed her kitty that low carb wet food, but she still won't give up the dry food..not giving up though! I love my grandpuddy and want her to not be diabetic.
     
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  44. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Thankfully, Quincy hates dry food so I haven't had to deal with that. BUT I do agree, I should transition the other cat. He does like the DM but that adds to the price, holy cow! I'll need to look at something cheaper. :(
     
  45. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Ok, you can try Fancy Feast Classics and Friskies pates..they are all low carb. They are available at grocery stores and much less expensive. Maybe not as high in protein. But...you can add treats of cooked chicken breast or thighs for more protein. I give Idjit raw chicken wings and gizzards to help with dental health, and that's more meat protein. Look at the food chat and see what varieties will best match your criteria and what flavors Quincy likes.
     
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  46. CandyH & Catcat

    CandyH & Catcat Well-Known Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    looks like Friskies shreds with tuna may have more protein, less fat, than many others, yet still carb friendly
     
  47. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    I read cats shouldn't have fish as their main diet staple? Is that accurate?
     
  48. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    I believe that is accurate, it's best to try to change the protein source around..fish, turkey, chicken, beef etc. Just like for humans, a wide base of nutrient sources.
     
  49. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    I checked out Friskies Pate - doesn't seem to have too much protein. But Weruva looks really good! I'm assuming lots of people like this one?! It looks super high in protein and not a lot of crap involved. I'm not a big fan of "meat by-products". Friskies seems to have that, as does the DM I'm feeding him.

    Thanks for ALLLLLL of your guys' help. I sincerely mean it.
     
  50. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Check out prices at www.chewy.com, for weruva products and compare what you are paying for the DM. I read something about meat by products, and that can mean organ meats that humans wouldn't normally have in a diet, and perhaps not just be non- nutritional fillers. A cat in the wild will eat most of a mouse, bird..whatever and that's meat by products (skin, etc. ) so it might or not be ok. I wish we knew in more detail what those by products really are. It's very good that you are concerned with what goes into Quincy and his sibling.
     
  51. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    I am paying $56 for 24 cans of the DM right now. It looks like, depending on what I get from Weruva, it'd be $33 for 24 cans. Much cheaper, especially if I want to taper my other cat off hard food.
     
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  52. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Well that seems to be the cheapest at Weruva from what I'm looking at. It does go up quite a bit.
     
  53. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    cooked chicken egg whites are also a good source of protein, low carb and low phosphorus too (triple hit!!)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  54. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Great, thank you!
     
  55. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    So if you change the protein source around, it doesn't upset the cat's belly? As I've heard of course.
     
  56. CandyH & Catcat

    CandyH & Catcat Well-Known Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    Catcat won't eat cooked egg white by itself (guess it doesn't smell like food), but if you mix something else with it, or shred treats on top, down the hatch it goes
     
  57. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Egg whites!!! I don't think Quince would eat those in a million years! I've been investigating Fancy Feast as well as Weruva, to try to save some money since both have much higher protein levels than the insanely expensive DM but Weruva seems to be just as pricey and I am nervous, for some unknown reason, about Fancy Feast actually being good for him???
     
  58. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    I think if you gradually introduce a new protein on the side of the already acceptable food, and see how that goes, then when you have verified that Qunicy's taste buds and GI system are in agreement, then you can offer a variety as you like and is tolerated.

    I use different proteins in Idjit's raw diet, but it was a tsp at a time transition from the very beginning, except when I jumped the gun and had to follow him around trying to clean his "pantaloons". :confused::eek:
    He gets lots of varieties of the Friskies canned food snack at night with no ill effects.

    Some cats are more protein and/or carb sensitive than others, and observing his eating and elimination results are going to tell you more about that. Plus, some cats just don't like some things, like humans. Idjit won't eat tuna, alone or in canned food and turns up his nose at pork and cooked plain fish like salmon and tilapia. Different strokes...:)
     
  59. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Lots of kitties here on the board get Fancy Feast and Friskies pates and do well. They aren't as high in protein, and some members have changed brands because of higher phosphorus in the FF if their kitties have kidney issues.

    Perhaps a combination of the DM or Weruva and less expensive canned foods like the FF would satisfy Quincy's needs, your wallet and your peace of mind? It's a matter of getting good low carb nutritious food into both cats, while not breaking the bank and worrying you over the edge of reason. You are just at the beginning of this adventure and need all your marbles to continue to have a good life and peaceful rest while helping Quincy. :)

    Treats of cooked unseasoned chicken, turkey or beef will up the protein intake, etc.
     
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  60. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    All those foods together seem expensive. I found some Fancy Feast shredded (which he likes) with high protein but it's primarily fish. I'm thinking of mixing some DM some FF shreds. Then my other cat would be happy with the FF. What is considered high phosphorus? Is less than 300 okay?
     
  61. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Haha pantaloons. That's what I say sometimes, only in Spanish.
     
  62. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    I don't know the carb value of the FF "shredded", unless that's the "roasted, flaked, chunky" varieties and they are all below the 10%. You can check the Food Chart

    The FF Medley Shredded varieties look like 11 to 16 % carbs.

    Dr Pierson recommends " start with protein minimum of 40, fat maximum of 50, carb max of 10, and for cats with kidney issues....phos less than 300."

    Some of the roasted/flaked/chunky are above her recommended phos less than 300.
     
  63. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Right, that's what I was looking at - flaked, my bad. One or two of them looked good - flaked chicken, flaked tuna, flaked tuna and mackerel with phos less than 300. Specifically, flaked tuna feast. Unless I'm reading it wrong??
     
  64. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Yes, he has big fluffy pantaloons and a big fluffy tail, fluffy all over! He goes outside, sits and rolls around in the dried grass and weeds, then brings it all in so we can brush him out.

    The avatar pic doesn't show all the lower end, I should see if I can get a better angle of his fluffy buns.
     
  65. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    You are looking at the right ones.
     
  66. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    I read that you have a Maine Coon. I have his distant, or not so distant relative, a Norwegian Forest Cat. And I know what you mean by pantaloons!
     
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  67. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    That looks like a good choice, right?
     
  68. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    Oh the Norwegian Forest Cats are so beautiful. Is that the breed Quincy is?? Hard for me to tell..I need a vision exam and new spectacles badly! I have already increased the size of the font/screen so I can read the posts on the board.
    If Quincy and sibling like those flavors, yes.
     
  69. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    No, Quincy is an American shorthair. No need to enlarge your screen, haha, 'cause he is definitely not the Wegie!! Yes, his name is Paws because he has white Paws but he is gorgeous. And large. How much does Idjit weigh? I know they're a large breed - both of them.

    Okay, I just want to make sure that is a healthy choice. It looks like a really healthy choice, especially for the price!
     
  70. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Idjit weighs about 16#, he got up to 20# at one point, then the diabetes and he lost weight. He was too chubby, but that's not the way to lose weight. He's not full breed Maine Coon, I saw a picture recently on the FDMB Facebook page and someone had a full breed Maine Coon, my gosh that was a huge cat. I would not like to clean out that litter box, or have to dust/vac up shed hair.

    I think you are making some very good choices. Know that when/if budget allows you can augment with some of the more expensive brands. You might be able to find some of them at your local pet stores too, rather than having to order a whole box or case online. My daughter feeds my grandpuddy Soulistic and it's also a good one.
     
  71. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Thank you! Well, the DM is over $50 for a box of 24 so I'm definitely paying quite a bit for that. Maybe one day I'll switch that out for a better food (IMO) like Soulistic or Tiki Tiki.

    Yes, Paws is 19 lbs but I know Wegies can get to be 21lbs or over! So I think he's fine. He's completely healthy but I'm still gonna get him on some better food.

    I'm getting the insulin today in the mail so I'll let you all know what it is!
     
  72. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Oh please do let us know. You are very astute about what you are feeding Quince (and Paws, we need pics!) and it's just as important to get a good education about the insulin. I know this is all rather like running right under Niagara Falls, but it does actually become a familiar routine, the diet, insulin therapy and the home testing. There is information on all the insulins here, with a forum dedicated to the same types of insulin.

    Have you been testing Quince at all yet? I am sorry, I can't remember. Please set up the spreadsheet so that we can see the insulin and testing data, then members can view and offer input as you are learning and need help or questions answered.

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/understanding-the-spreadsheet-grid.156606/
     
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  73. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    I will post a separate reply as well but I got the insulin and it's Basaglar. Obvy I know nothing about it (yet) but plan to check out the Basaglar separate forum.

    I only tested Quincy on Sunday. His BSC was 476. I was going to do it last night but never did. I definitely will again soon. I do have a spreadsheet just have to add it to my signature! :)
     
  74. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Hi everyone again! The insulin I have for Quincy is Basaglar. His appointment to teach me how to insert the insulin is a week from today! I am getting nervous about everything I have to do - BS checks, insulin injections, food monitoring. I hope it all goes smoothly!
     
  75. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Hopefully you have been able to handle Quincy's ears getting him used to the testing process, because when you are injecting the insulin it's very important to test before every injection to be sure the BG is high enough. Then you will test as you can during the 12 hours between shots, to see how the insulin is working and to see how low the BG goes. Basaglar is dosed based on the lowest number in the cycles, not pre-shot numbers. The spreadsheet is going to be invaluable to you to record and track the data. I am so glad to see this type of insulin, it works well for many of our sugar kitties.
    To be honest, not every day or even every cycle may go smoothly. You may have temporary bumps in the road with not being able to get Quincy to let you test (it takes lots of patience and practice for some of us), and you will learn what technique works for you when you do the insulin injections. But, you are already very proactive with the diet, getting your testing supplies and setting up the spreadsheet.
    It actually does become routine, and the more you go through the processes, and the more you educate yourself the better off you and Quincy are going to be. Read the stickies at the top of the Lantus/Basaglar forum HERE. That is the forum where you will ask questions about using the insulin and dosing. It's a very supportive forum and I think you will enjoy meeting the fellow glargine users there.

    They are very data driven and before offering advice or input, they are going to need to see testing data on the spreadsheet. So, the sooner you begin that, the better. Do you have any idea what dose of the Basaglar the vet wants to start Quincy on? Just a caution, many vets start out with a higher dose than we suggest, basing dose on the few or the one test they have obtained there. If you can start testing more often before you go for injection lessons, that might help them determine a good dose to begin with and hopefully not be too high at the get-go.

    Here's the basic testing routine we recommend: (do what you can on work days - before bed is useful along with the essential pre shots)

    Test every day AM and PM before feeding and injecting (no food at least 2 hours before) to see if the planned dose is safe

    Test at least once near mid cycle or at bedtime daily to see how low the BG goes

    Do extra tests on days off to fill in the response picture

    If indicated by consistently high numbers on your spreadsheet, increase the dose by no more than 0.25 u at a time so you don't accidentally go right past a good dose

    Post on the insulin support group forum (L/B/L forum) for advice whenever you're confused or unsure of what to do.


    Even though you are not injecting yet, you still could begin the routine and get some data to provide to the vet so Quince doesn't start out on a higher dose than he actually needs, especially since you have transitioned to the low carb diet.

    I think you are going to be just fine, it's just a new learning process and you have been down that road many times before.:cat:
     
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  76. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Oh yes, I am constantly touching his ears anyway so he is used to that. They're so soft and wonderful! But I have only done one BG check thus far so he's not quite used to those yet. I'll do more this week and weekend to get a read on some more numbers. So when you say it's based on the lowest number in the cycles that means during the tests I do throughout the day, that will tell me how much Basaglar to give him for his evening (or morning) shot?

    I have no idea what the vet will want to start him on; the little pen thing says 100unit. But you are correct, I'm sure she is basing it on the only two tests she has from him so I will take more before I go.

    I didn't know so much testing was necessary until I joined this forum. The vet only mentioned testing during a BGC but she might say something to me next week about doing more checks.

    He still has a bruise on his ear from the check I did on Sunday so I'm not sure how to give a check without such long bruising or unnecessary poke-throughs.

    I read somewhere on these forums that if the cat's BG is around 250 that you should err on the safe side and not give the shot. Is that accurate?
     
  77. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    You will not adjust the insulin dose every morning or evening based on the lowest BG of the cycle. A dose is begun, hopefully at one unit morning and evening. The dose is held for a number of cycles, and you are testing before every shot and during the cycle, to see how it works. You do not adjust constantly, and that saves you worries!. Basaglar is a depot insulin..and takes a few days to a week to build up the depot for the body to draw on keeping the blood sugar levels more balanced, preventing abrupt rises and drops.

    Start reading the stickies in the L/B/L forum, they are going to answer many questions.
     
  78. CandyH & Catcat

    CandyH & Catcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    the way to keep the ear bruising to a minimum, is to fold a cotton square/round or folded toilet tissue over the ear where you pricked it, hold (pinch) firmly but not tightly for 10 to 20 seconds .. cats coagulate quite fast so all you are doing is absorbing the extra blood the meter doesn't need, just like a guy putting tissue over a razor scrape, check to make sure you got it all after you pull the tissue away -- since I feed during a test, he settles down and ignores me
     
  79. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Good to know. I used a cotton swab when I did the BG check on the other side of the ear so I wouldn't poke myself and then i just dabbed off the blood with the cotton swab. I didn't hold firmly and he continued to bleed a little after so I think your advice is perfect. Interesting that you feed during a test. When do you give the insulin injection then?
     
  80. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    I definitely will read the stickies now! Interesting about the Basaglar. I'm learning so much!
     
  81. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Many vets don't support home testing at all, or sporadically, which is very surprising and upsetting. Human diabetics are told to adjust diet AND test their blood sugar to prevent and detect hypo situations, and to see how the insulin is working. Hypos can be very dangerous and the only way to know before they are symptomatic (and perhaps beyond help) is to be testing consistently.

    Bruising happens sometimes :( and a good way to prevent that is not to hit the vein. Back the ear with a folded tissue or paper towel, a cotton ball or cosmetic pad when you poke, after you get the blood sample, gently compress the poke site for 10 - 15 seconds to help prevent bruising.

    Here's a pic of the sweet spot that you want to prick with the lancet:


    [​IMG]

    You can use a little Neosporin Pain Relief ointment after you get the test done.
     
  82. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    What a small little spot! I don't think I could hit that super accurately but I will try!! What about the 250 number? Don't shoot if it's that or under? I'm still reading the stickies...
     
  83. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    You find a testing place with good lighting, or use reader/magnifying glasses, some use a headlamp thinger so they have hands free, or use a flashlight in back or front of the poke site to see the vein. The point on the lancet is teeny and with practice you will hit the right area.

    From the Start Low, Go Slow section in the stickies:

    How to handle a lower than normal preshot number:

    In the beginning we suggest following the guidelines in the FDMB's FAQ Q4.4:
    Q4.4. My cat's pre-shot level was way below the usual value. Should I give the injection?
    A4.4. There's no hard and fast rule, but if you don't have data on how your cat responds to insulin, here are some general guidelines.
    • Below 150 mg/dl (8.3 mmol/L), don't give insulin.
    • Between 150 and 200 (8.3-11.1 mmol/L), you have three options: a.) give nothing; b.) give a token dose (10-25% of the usual dose); c.) feed as usual, test in a couple of hours, and make a decision based on that value.
    • Above 200 (11.1 mmol/L) but below the cat's normal pre-shot value, a reduced dose might be wise.
    • In all cases, if you are reducing or eliminating insulin, it's wise to check for ketones in the urine.
    • Above the normal pre-shot value, give the usual dose, but if the pre-shot value is consistently elevated, it's a good idea to schedule a full glucose curve to see whether a change in dose or insulin is appropriate. In most cases, the target "peak" value should not be below 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/L), and for some cats it might be higher.
     
  84. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Holding a flashlight, the cat's ear, AND the lancet will be some talent, let me tell you! :) My lancet is 25gauge. I think that might be too big?? What do you think?

    Thanks for that info! I'm gonna go check out that exact sticky right now.
     
  85. CandyH & Catcat

    CandyH & Catcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    Catcat is quick to claw, swat, or bite when he's unhappy -- just easier to feed a minimum amount to get the test, check the test value, then fix a bigger bowl of food and inject while he's eating that -- with Lantus, it's not necessary to have food on board for the injection, but for us it works out to be much easier -- we started on Vetsulin when it WAS crucial to feed prior to shooting
     
  86. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Start at the beginning in the stickies with The Basics: New to the Group? Start here!
    Then go on to the other stickies, you don't want to miss basic information that you will need when you are just starting out. Yes, look at the two protocols and decide which one you can implement. Just one step at a time, so you have a good basis to take the next step.

    I haven't used a flashlight and you might start a new thread here in Main Health asking members just how they manage testing with only two hands. I have often wished for a few more appendages myself! I am lucky enough to have DH help with these procedures. The 25 gauge is good to start with, we have usually suggested a 26-28 gauge as the ears need to "learn to bleed". The more you test, the more capillaries form to "heal" the area, and this makes it much easier to get a blood sample going forward. Then, if you wish, you can use 30-31 gauge lancets and not have to make those relatively big holes.
     
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  87. CandyH & Catcat

    CandyH & Catcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    one easy way is to invest in some high powered reading glasses from Dollar Tree or equivalent, and pick a place with good lighting to do the test

    rather than a flashlight, I have a small portable LCD light (from Harbor Freight, it was one of their free giveaways if you bought something else), I use it more to get the exact dosage on the syringe (light shining up from the side) -- mine is magnetic so if I need to I can stick it so the light shines where I want
     
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  88. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Very good ideas! you said the magic words: "Harbor Freight". DH waits eagerly for his catalog to come in the mail every month. It's like the old Sears Christmas catalog thing, poring over all the goodies.
     
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  89. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    I have started with all the other stickies but holy cow, it is a ton of information. Like A TON. I will try my best to read it all! Thanks for the advice about the gauge size. I'll continue with the 25 gauge and switch to a smaller one as I continue on this journey.
     
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  90. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

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    Sep 6, 2019
    Haha you guys are funny! Or Home Depot!
     
  91. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Oh, thank you!
     
  92. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    It is a whole lot of information, and too much for just one read-through. I still go back through and re-read mainly so that I can make correct reference for another member, but also to reeducate myself and refresh my knowledge.
    You are not expected to absorb and retain all that info right now. You are only at the very beginning of this new adventure and it's best to walk, and not try to run through any of the steps. Deep breaths..concentrate on learning to test, recording the info, learning to inject the insulin, and don't be afraid to ask questions. We all started at the beginning and will help.

    I will ask you though, before you start injections, to let us know what the starting dose is, and the experienced users can look at that and whatever BG data you have. We are very cautious and doses can be adjusted at need.
     
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  93. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Deep breaths is right!! Thank you for your encouragement to ask questions because I know I'll need to!

    I will definitely let you know that when I find out and before injections. The appointment is next Wednesday but I won't start insulin until Friday night or Saturday so that I can be home most of the day to observe how he does. I don't want to give the first injection and then go to work right away; I don't feel right about that.
     
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  94. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    You have plenty of time then to get Quincy and yourself used to testing. Get busy on that and gather as much data as you can between now and then. You will have that under your belt when you start injections. One important note, get some U100 syringes with 1/2 U markings. The syringes the vet sold me at dx had only one U marks and we really needed to be shooting 0.5 U 2xday. We proceeded, in our bumbling fashion, to get two boxes of the wrong kind of syringes..boo.

    From Chris & China: You can get them at WalMart (although if you ask, they'll probably tell you there's no such thing....don't listen to them) These are the syringes you want to get. 3/10ml, 31 gauge insulin syringes.
    [​IMG]
     
  95. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Well of course when I bought the insulin they included the syringes and not knowing better, I got what they told me to get. When I get home I'll look for closely at them but I doubt they're the same. I know they're U100 but I'm not sure about the 1/2U markings. I can't remember the box that well. I'll get back to you!
     
  96. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    They are probably measured in one unit increments, and many many vets increase or decrease doses in whole units. But our kitty's bodies are so little, can and do respond to much smaller increments..down to a drop even. You can use the one unit syringes with whole unit doses, but it's good to have the others on hand, for one unit doses down the road or to measure smaller doses as needed. They aren't expensive, and won't be wasted.
     
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  97. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Oh poop I forgot to look! If they're whole unit doses, which i think they are, I'll pick up the other ones because I agree - one whole unit is a lot to decrease or increase.
     
  98. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    So I did another BG on Quincy this morning. It was 373. A whole 100 points down from Sunday! I did it before I fed him. BUT I think I pierced his ear through again! What if I keep doing that? I feel like that will keep happening. Is that horrible?

    I held a paper towel to his ear for a bit afterwards and this helped so much so thank you!

    Oh! And his poop is, as boyfriend described it, looking like soft-serve ice cream. It's not all the time but it's happening with a little more frequency which is nerve-wracking. I'll bring it up at the vet next week.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 10:05 AM
    Reason for edit: Forgot something.
  99. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    That BG is better but still needs some help coming down, and you will be doing that hopefully very soon. I wish you didn't have to wait to get him on at least a low dose of Basaglar and help him feel better quicker.

    Your technique with testing will improve with practice. Try a thin smear of the Neosporin or Equate Pain Relief ointment or some Aloe Vera gel (as pure as you can find) to the poke site. If you go through the ear, lube both sides. Switch ears when you test and try for slightly different areas, let the previous poke sites heal up a bit.

    If you have changed Quincy's diet from dry to wet food, his poop is going to be softer and there will be less of it. Not as much filler to pass through the GI system. At least he's not constipated! If he has very loose stools, diarrhea like, you can give him a teaspoon of plain pumpkin, not pie filling, a couple of times a day. That helps runny and constipation alike, amazingly enough.

    Thank you for recording the data in the spreadsheet, it makes it so much easier to review and track. See if you can get a mid cycle reading and another reading either what would be your PMPS (evening Pre-shot) or a before bed test to see what shows up. Good practice.
     
  100. curlygirl18

    curlygirl18 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2019
    Less than a week for the Basaglar! :)

    I guess I just don't see how I WON'T pierce through! I mean they're so thin (the ears) and the lancet is just a pop out and I'm holding the cotton ball behind the ear so the needle won't pierce my finger but still. I feel like I'll always be piercing through. I will definitely pick up some Neosporin or Aloe this weekend for the poke. I did switch ears for today's test and before I left for work I checked the ear and I didn't see any bruising!! So the holding the ear helped.

    The thing is, I switched his food in May so I didn't just change the diet. I'm not sure what counts as diarrhea in a cat? It literally looks like soft ice cream. Not vanilla, haha. Do you still recommend the plain pumpkin? And just pumpkin? Where do I get pumpkin?

    This weekend I definitely will get a mid cycle reading (though that was the one I did on Sunday) and evening reading. I feed him right before I go to bed so I can test before I feed him. This weekend and next week before the vet appt I plan to get a few more in.
     
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