Hello from Julie and Pete!

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Julie Ann, Oct 22, 2015.

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  1. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    My cat PT or Pete was diagnosed about 5 months ago. We have followed our vets recommendations with insulin shots (Vetsulin) and the Purina DM dry food. We also had a glucose curve done at the vets office.
    Pete's BG results were high - over 500 - during this test, but the vet told us she was very stressed. I can't imagine why - taken away from home (never before had she been away from home - not even for one day!), exposed to all the noise of the vets office - dogs barking etc. We live quite quietly - just hubby and I and out cat! I had some negative feelings about this visit - the vet appeared stressed herself, nothing passed along to the receptionist/nurse. (I called the vets office at a later date for a prescription for online purchase of Vetsulin. Later that day the office called to ask me how much I was giving Pete!) I'm sure that complete charting on pets is not necessary as it is for humans (I am an RN) but surely somewhere it should be noted what advice/recommendations/prescriptions have been issued.
    We have just come back from a family vacation for which I had to board Pete as I could trust no one else to maintain her twice daily shots. She was well looked after and I was pleased with the cattery and staff. But now I have time to do a little research I found this site along with a couple of others that have made me rethink the care Pete is receiving, both from us and her vet.
    I have read that dry food shouldn't be given - and yet this was prescribed by the vet! At $60 for 10# bag!
    BTW - since eating this food Pete has developed an horrific odor. It is not her breath, nor is it her stool (although that is smelly, too). Quite honestly I am reluctant to get close with her and that is not acceptable!
    I am interested to learn how to take care of Pete with the least stress to her and to our pocket book! The fewer visits to the vets office the better - so I would like to find out about testing at home.
    Thank you for your time in reading my note ( I realize it is lengthy!).
    Kindest regards
    Julie
     
  2. Brashworks

    Brashworks Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2015
    Hi Julie - and welcome. I'm sorry Pete has to be here (gotta love a girl cat named Pete, like a Boy Named Sue.. :D)

    Your instincts are very good for treating Pete's diabetes. If you click on the link on my spreadsheet that says Genghis SS, you can see we like to chart here. A lot!! I prefer knowing how she is doing - some folks test more, some less, but we definitely test. My dad, a physician and 20 year Type II diabetic, would never inject insulin without knowing his BG levels - it certainly didn't make sense to me not to. Luckily my vet urged home testing from the get-go.

    I think the first thing I would suggest is to ditch the dry food altogether. Pete is better off with a wet diet - there lots of posts talking about the info at www.catinfo.org - click here and you can find a good food (fewer than 10% calories from carbs) if you can transition her to a wet diet. If you do so, and she has previously been on an all dry diet, please ensure you either carefully monitor Pete's BG levels (Vetsulin can peak between 2-4 or more...? it depends... every cat is different) hours (Caninsulin is the trade name in Canada, and Genghis started off on it so I have a little experience) - anyway, my point is that a change in carb content in the diet can have drastic results in BG levels. You can also try changing the diet first before starting insulin.

    I can't say anything about the odour.... hmmm. Odd. Maybe others can chime in on that.

    You have come to a great, supportive place and will find all kinds of information and help. There is another Vetsulin user here - perhaps she can share her experience - her name is Lucy - Hey @Squalliesmom !

    Best of luck -- read the info and sticky notes, I do encourage home testing (it's easier than you think!) and I hope Pete can feel better soon.
     
  3. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Hi Julie and Pete, Welcome! I'm glad you found this site, there's a lot to learn and so many people here to help you along. I agree about not wanting to take your kitty to the vet for curves. I stopped that too after I found out how stressed my cat was while there. Testing is easy once you get started. Most of us use a human glucometer that can be purchased at any pharmacy. I use the Relion Prime from Walmart because the strips are so cheap, and I use a lot of strips! Most of us feed a low carb canned food such as Fancy Feast Classics or Friskies Pate, rather than the expensive stuff from the vet. Ask lots of questions, we love to share the things we have learned. BTW, would love to see a pic of Pete!
     
  4. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Thank you so much for your super fast responses and your kind welcome!
    Already you have given me much to research and think about!
    I'm not sure where to put up a picture of PT but I will have a go!
     
  5. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    She's so cute!
     
  6. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Thank you.
    Looking at Walmart.com at the ReliOn monitor and supplies.
    May I ask which lancets you use Sharon14?
     
  7. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Her name - PT is short for Putty Tat - as in I thought I saw a...
    She is our second cat - but the other one (also a stray) only stayed with us for about 6 weeks. I think maybe he liked our food, but got fed up of us and went back home!! Maybe he didn't like his new name!
    He was also PT! We have never been very imaginative with our pet's names!
    She was supposed to be something a little more exotic that I have long forgotten, but she answers to PT or Pete!
     
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  8. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    when you first start testing most use 26-28 gauge. They poke a little bigger hole so you can get blood easier. After a bit, the ears form more capillaries and blood will come easier and you can use a smaller lancet.
    I like PT (loved Sylvester and Tweety). I have a Pete too his brother is RePete because when they were babies I couldn't tell them apart!
     
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  9. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Hey there and Welcome! When you first start home testing sometimes it is hard to get their little ears to bleed. Just know that the longer you test, then more capilarillies form and she will start bleeding better. Here is a couple links for videos on home testing http://s106.photobucket.com/user/chupie_2006/media/testingear/sweetspot.jpg.html

    Here is another good link on Home Testing:http://www.felinediabetes.com/bg-home-test.htm

    The Lancets: It is recommended when you are first starting out to use a 26-28 gauge. Also, it would be a good idea to pick up Neosporin ointment ,not cream , WITH pain reliever to apply on the edge of the ears and don't forget to alternate ears.

    Ask all the questions you need answered, Julie Ann, that is how we all learned.
     
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  10. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Julie Ann and Pete, welcome to FDMB.
    You will find there are lots of very experienced people here who can help and advise you with Petes care.

    Changing over to a low carb wet food is definitely the way to go, but Melanie was right....do not change over the food UNTIL YOU ARE TESTING THE BLOOD SUGARS. This is because the blood sugars can drop 100 points or more with the swap and you need to be testing to keep Pete safe. And do it gradually.

    Also there are more suitable insulins for Pete than Vetsulin which is shorter acting and harsher. Lantus, Levemir or Prozinc are much more suitable insulins for cats and you will have a better chance at remission with one of these.
    Here is the link to set up a spreadsheet to record your blood sugar readings. If you run into trouble, post and someone will help you.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    Here is the link to what to do if the blood sugar drops too low
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-to-treat-hypos-they-can-kill-print-this-out.15887/
    Here is a Link to how to test for blood sugars
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/testing-and-shooting-tips.85113/
    Good luck and keep asking questions. It can be overwhelming at first but we all understand as we have all been there:)
     
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  11. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Thank you all and for the great links - I have started reading a few of them already!
    Pete is used to 'browsing' her food - always dry. I wondered - when I swap her to wet food should I give her several small meals a day, or two meals per day to coincide with her insulin shots?
    Where do you guys buy your insulin? I bought the second vile from Valley Pet Supplies - it was so much cheaper than the vets office even after over-nighting in ice!
     
  12. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Sharon - how cute!!
    See - so much more imaginative than us!!
     
  13. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010

    When you have a moment, could you add a few tidbits to your signature? It will help us give you feedback.

    Editing your Signature

    In the upper right corner of the screen, within the dark blue bar, you will see ID, Inbox, and Alerts

    Click on your ID.

    On the left, under Settings, Click on Signature.
    This is where you will put information that helps us give you feedback. You are limited to 2hard returns, so separate pieces by | or -.

    This is where you paste the link for your spreadsheet, once it is set up.
    Add any other text, such as your name | cat's name | date of Dx (diagnosis) | insulin | meter general location (city and state/province) any other pertinent issues like if there are any food issues, history of DKA, hepatic lipidosis, pancreatitis, allergies, IBD, etc.

    Click the Save Changes button at the bottom.

    Always click the Save Changes button at the bottom when you have changed anything.
     
  14. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

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    Jun 15, 2015
    As Brashworks said, ditch the dry, too high in carbs. Will Pete eat wet? I am going to link a food chart. We recommend that the carbs are 8-10 %. The carbs are the 3rd column from the left. A lot of us use Fancy Feast CLASSICS , they are around 4-% carbs. Also 9-lives PATES, also in that ball park. Also, Wellness NO GRAIN. Look up by brand names foodchart

    As far as the meals go, they are several ideas about that. If she does not have any other health issues, I would suggest 2 feeding a day to coincide with her injections. @Squalliesmom , she can give you more insight abougt feeding schedule as her cat is on Vetsulin.
     
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  15. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    I have a lot of cats. I've been rescuing them for years, finding homes for the ones I can and keeping the rest. Right now I have 14, names are sometimes hard to come up with...
     
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  16. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    If you are using Vetsulin I think you need to make sure that Pete has food in her system before you give the insulin, as it is quite a harsh insulin so you probably need to feed before you give the insulin.

    With the long acting insulins.... Lantus, levemir and Prozinc a lot of us will give maybe half the morning food at preshot time and the rest a couple of hours later....the same with the evening food at the evening preshot time.
    For best results think about asking your vet about swapping to one of the long acting insulins.
     
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  17. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Thanks again ladies - you have already shared a wealth of information!
     
  18. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    On the left, under Settings, Click on Signature.
    This is where you will put information that helps us give you feedback. You are limited to 2hard returns, so separate pieces by | or -.

    This is where you paste the link for your spreadsheet, once it is set up.
    Add any other text, such as your name | cat's name | date of Dx (diagnosis) | insulin | meter general location (city and state/province) any other pertinent issues like if there are any food issues, history of DKA, hepatic lipidosis, pancreatitis, allergies, IBD, etc.

    Hi BJM, not sure where these are - I went to signature and up popped a box - I wrote my name in there!
    Not sure about the "2 hard returns".
    And my spreadsheet?
     
  19. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    When Pete was boarding - she wouldn't eat there, so the lady tried mixing her dry with wet, and she ate for her. So I doubt there will be any problems there.
    I always thought wet food was not good for dogs or cats! What did I know?
     
  20. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Click on you profile page and up to the top. Right hand corner you will see your name next to inbox and alerts. Click on your name then you will see a list of different things; the second on the left is signature. Click on that and that is where you write it all down. Don't forget to save
    The SS will automatically go there.....well mine did anyway !
     
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  21. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Remember to start testing her glucose levels before making the switch to the low carb canned food. The switch may lower her glucose significantly then she'd need less insulin.
     
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  22. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Looks like you have found it.....can you add type of insulin and meter if you have one. Thanks.
     
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  23. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Hopefully I did it right!
     
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  24. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 26, 2015
    Welcome, Julie Ann and PT! Looks like I'm late to the party! Everybody has given you great advice!

    First of all, let me say "Don't let Vetsulin scare you!" Vetsulin can be difficult to work with if you don't understand how it works, and it isn't for every cat, just like the other insulins out there. However, many have had success with Vetsulin, myself included. If it isn't working for PT then, by all means, you should ask your vet to let you try a different insulin but, if it's working at the moment, you will likely be okay continuing to use it, at least for now.

    Vetsulin is a non-depot insulin that has two components; one, a short acting component, causes a swift, sometimes large, drop in blood glucose early into the cycle, usually around 3-4 hours after administration. The second component is longer-acting and can sometimes give a gentler, further drop around 7 hours into the cycle. Some people feel that Vetsulin does not have the staying power of some of the other insulins, lasting only about 8 hours instead of a full 12, but I have not found this to be a problem and have gotten very good endurance from it. I have had quite good luck with it, and figure "...if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

    As regards food, weaning PT off dry will be one of the best things you can do for her. My (former) vet also put my kitty on Purina DM, and it wasn't until someone here clued me in to the fact that it's incredibly high in carbohydrates that I realized I was shooting my kitty, and myself, in the foot! My guys were all dry food junkies and I never thought I'd be able to get them off dry and onto wet, but to my amazement, with a little persistence, we are completely kibble-free! However, as the others have warned, DO NOT change foods until you are home testing as blood glucose can drop very significantly when you go from high to low carb foods. PT's food should be under 10% carbs, and should be changed over gradually, mixing it with her old food until the change is complete. For Vetsulin users, it is a good idea to make sure kitty has food in her tummy before she receives her insulin shot, it helps buffer the early drop in BG. Here, we test, feed, then shoot, and I usually wait anywhere from 20-30 minutes after Squallie has finished his meal before I give him his shot.

    I'm so glad you are ready to start home testing, it is so important to the health and well-being of your kitty! You can get an expensive pet-specific glucometer, or you can just pick up an inexpensive human meter from any pharmacy or department store. Seems like most folks her use the Walmart Relion meters, as do I. The test strips for the human meters are much cheaper, as well. The BG values are a little lower with the human meters, but it doesn't present a problem, once you get used to working with them. We definitely encourage you to use our spreadsheet, it will be one of the most useful tools you have! When I first became a member here, I was a little reluctant to use it, mostly because it really intimidated me, lol, but now, I would be lost without it! It's very helpful for letting you see patterns in your kitty's treatment and progress, and it's super-helpful for us to be able to look at it if you need advice or assistance. And it's just a great place to store information where you can see it all at a glance.

    Well, have I exhausted you, yet, lol? I know I've exhausted myself! :)Always feel free to ask for help, whenever you need it. Last but not least, I want to send you a hug, because you are such a good kitty Mom! You are doing the absolute best you can for PT, and that makes you a hero, here! :bighug:

    Lucy
     
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  25. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
     
  26. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Oops - seems I did something wrong - reposted YOUR post Lucy!
    Thank you for your kind words, Lucy, truly appreciated. I have been looking at Walmart to get the ReliOn monitor. Will have to order a few extra items to get their free shipping!! ;)
    Thank you also for the information regarding the Vetsulin. I can see there is much to be aware of in Pete's care that I have not been alerted to by our vet. I think I may have to change vets anyway. I do not feel confident in them. Especially now I have visited here!
    Do you find that you need a hand in hand relationship with your vet, or do you do most of the decision making yourselves?
    There is a sweet emoticon - cat_wings>o - I find this one perfect to describe all of you!
    Thank you!
     
  27. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Oops Julie.....we use that emoticon for kitties that have passed away.....have earned their angel wings.
     
  28. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    I had a vet I had used for years, for all my pets, but when it came to treating Squallie's diabetes, we couldn't have been any farther apart. She insisted I feed him the high carb "prescription" dry food and told me not to test him at home. I knew then that I needed to find a new vet. I got really lucky and found a wonderful vet who is very supportive, and recognizes that I am capable of monitoring BG, doing curves, and adjusting Squallie's insulin as needed. He has a link to my spreadsheet so he can keep an eye on things, and I almost never call him or have to take Squallie in unless I have a serious problem. We had a visit yesterday due to a probable UTI, and I really feel like he includes me in the diagnosis and treatment plan, and I feel like I have some control over my kitty's health choices (I did NOT feel that with my former vet), which is very important to me.

    If you feel doubts about your vet it's probably best to go with your instincts and look for a new one. One of our members here, BJM, has a link in her signature called "Notes to Share" and in it she has listed some good interview questions to use when looking for a new vet. Here is the link for it:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/12dfoE3fsj944c7XlJYwO8lDC5VVERpro_3C43jxLhBk/edit

    This diabetes dance we do is a long one. You will definitely want a vet who can dance comfortably with you and PT, so to speak, lol!
     
  29. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Oh dear - I am so very sorry. I certainly meant no disrespect. I hope I didn't upset anyone. Please forgive me.
    Julie
     
  30. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Thank you Lucy!
     
  31. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

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    Jun 15, 2015
    I learned something new today too.; I did not realize that emoticon was reserved for the kitties who passed.
     
  32. Julie Ann

    Julie Ann New Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    You are sweet - thank you for making me feel a little better about my faux pas.
     
  33. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

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    Jun 15, 2015
    No worries, I made my share of them and still do. We are all here to help each other. :bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
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