Hello! Newbie here!

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by FatCatToby, May 14, 2017.

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  1. FatCatToby

    FatCatToby New Member

    May 9, 2017
    Hello all!

    My big 'ole cat Toby was diagnosed with diabetes around 3 weeks ago. He's a 10.5 year old DSH and weighed a whopping 9kg up until diagnosis (he's a tall boy too, like a giant of the cat world!). I noticed something was wrong when he started drinking excessively, lost interest in food, and looked a lot slimmer around his shoulders. He also has urinary tract disease and was on Royal Canin Urinary s/o dry food for most of his life, so I thought it may be related to that. I took him to the vet and found out he has diabetes... yay!

    He's on Lantus at 0.6u once a day. Our vet suggested only doing it once a day as it would be hard measuring 0.3u at each injection. We're giving him Royal Canin diabetes wet food satchels ~2-3 times a day, but that is proving really difficult at the moment.

    It's been an enormous challenge with him so far, and I'm assuming every one has felt this way too in the beginning. Injecting him is tough. Because he is such a big boy he's strong as well. Despite all the love and affection we give him, he also is a lot more aggressive than other cats (he is known for being notoriously lovable yet unfriendly at my vets!). When injecting at 7:30am, I have to put him in his carrier and get my mother to scruff him at his neck so he can't move or attack us as instructed by our vets. This makes it hard to rotate site injections as I have limited space to work with. I've tried treating him etc. but it doesn't work with him. He does however run back to me after we're done to get his reward!

    I also fear that I'm not injecting him properly. I use the smaller needles, tent the skin, inject at the base etc. - trying to follow the advice of my vets and everyone here. I just worry I'm not doing it right at all. I think I've done a few fur shots before, I could smell it on his fur when I patted him afterwards. I didn't feel anything wet though so it's confusing... I'm an animal scientist so I've vaccinated animals before, mainly livestock, but I feel so inept at doing it with my boy.

    Trying to get him regulated has been painful as well. He's very, very fussy. He's a kibble junkie so only having wet food to eat must be tough for him. After the first week I noticed a lack in appetite and lethargy so I took him to the vet again. He was given an appetite stimulate (boy did that work!), and a ketone (?) test which was negative. They said his readings were a little high and to just continue with our routine hoping that him eating again would regulate him - and it did for a little while...

    His appetite picked back up for a week, but the past two days he's lost his appetite again and is acting withdrawn. Called the vets this morning and they told me to give his injection despite him not eating prior, monitor him today, and bring him in tomorrow if he's refusing to eat. This is all so worrying and I feel so sorry for my boy. Our vets hope that his diabetes is purely weight related, and once he looses the pounds he can regulate himself just on diet alone. Knowing that there's hope in sight but being faced with all this is really disheartening...

    Well there's my long story, ha! :D
    It's nice to have a place like this where all of us cat parents can come together and just talk!
  2. jayla-n-Drevon

    jayla-n-Drevon Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    Hi and welcome !
    Sounds Like you are already getting the hang of this !!
    I have a big boy as well he has about 19 or 20 pounds in a very tall
    One of the most important things that you will come to see is that home testing is critical to managing a diabetic cat
    If you continue reading in the forum in the sticky notes there's plenty of information and we are always here to answer questions so ask away !!

    As far as being a kibble adfict there are a few lower carb kibbles that you can try to switch to and then hopefully switch to more wet as well.
    I personally like Dr. Elseys new chicken flavor dry kibble which is under 5% carbohydrates, we try to keep it under 10% wet or dry.
    What is definitely preferable but some cats you just can't convert
    Young again also makes a lower carb dry food it is very rich and high calorie some cats have trouble digesting it and it is not particularly good for a cat that is already a bit overweight

    I don't want to overwhelm you with information so I am just going to encourage you to keep reading in the even reading other peoples threads will give you insight and information that you may need down the road
    This thread will also bump up so more experienced people may be able to give you more insight
    Also you may want to post in the Lantis/Levemir forum as there is a ton of experience in this forum.

    Welcome aboard !!
  3. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2015
    Welcome to you and Toby! I see you're from Australia. @Bron and Sheba is from Sydney and can maybe help with some food suggestions. She's not on very often, but hopefully she'll get the tag and check in. As for difficulty with injections, you may want to start a thread on the Health Forum and put that in the title to get some suggestions from members that have difficult kitties. You can also ask about appetite stimulants and anti nausea meds. I don't have experience with them, but I know other members use them frequently and can give advice on that.
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  4. FatCatToby

    FatCatToby New Member

    May 9, 2017
    Ha! Nice to meet another owner of a giant cat! :D

    I'm not doing home testing at the moment so I'll definitely ask my vets to show me how to do it. I think they were a little reluctant to the home testing because they said he's particularly aggressive when they do it. I did find it odd though cause I know you should be testing them regularly...

    Awesome! I'll have a look at those foods and keep checking out the forums too!

    Thank you for you help!
    Yong and jayla-n-Drevon like this.
  5. FatCatToby

    FatCatToby New Member

    May 9, 2017

    Oh cool! Any help with feeding him now would be good!
    I'll definitely check out the forum for injection help and start a thread if he's still being difficult with it.

    Thank you for the help!
  6. jayla-n-Drevon

    jayla-n-Drevon Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    I have another senior cat with my senior diabetic (old folks home over here)
    anywayyyy LOL
    You want to be careful not to give a appetite stimultae if your cat has nausea-
    signs of nausea you may wonder??
    licking lips-what looks like mild burping--drinking lots of water--a quick and grumpy look when feeling the tummy-
    SO many of us use a drug called ondansetron/zofran which is amazing for nausea. My 20 year old gets it regardless of symptoms because he has IBD and I prefer to stay ahead of it at his age. If you feel this may help you and your vet will give a script you can get it online 8mg for less than 1$ and your (and my) cat get 4mg for their size-
    It can be given every 4-6 hours :)
    another med commonly used is cerenia either tablets or injection-
    the injections work very fast --this is for nausea AND vomit issues
    BUT they burn like fire-I only give injection if I give sub Q fluids first and I inject right into the fluid bubble which diminishes the sting and I keep in fridge-
    the pills are easier but if vomiting is hard to give orally:banghead:
    Hopefully you won't need any of this but good to have on hand :bighug:
    Many also get the cat used to getting a super yummy treat after testing... my giant cat seems to like being tested and put up a fuss if I don't and he is waiting:rolleyes:
    this may help with where to test...I made the mistake of aiming for the vein at first:eek::eek::eek:
  7. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    @Sharon14 tagged me and asked if I could help...
    Hi there and welcome to you and Toby to FDMB. Can you know your name please?

    I live in Sydney too. Where abouts do you live? I would be happy to help you with learning to test the blood sugars if you are not too far away.
    A lot of vets are not keen on owners testing the blood so don't let that put you off. And a lot of vets don't know about testing via the ear. They use veins in the leg or neck. I know my vet who was very supportive with everything with Sheba's diabetes did not know about testing with the ear. It is much less stressful than getting blood from the leg or neck. Sheba used to hate that and always struggled, but let me get blood from her ear....no problem at all.

    Before you get a monitor to test the BSL....let me know and I will tell you the best ones to get. It is important to get one that has relatively cheap test strips because they will be the main expense...no the monitor.

    Have you tried letting Toby have a small amount of food while you give him the insulin?

    It is not necessary to use prescription food from the vet for Toby's diabetes. The vet will probably tell you it is but there are plenty of cans of food you can buy at WW or Petbarn that are low in carbs and suitable..
    You need to get ones that are less than 10% carbs.
    I will sent you a link to some of the foods later.

    With the medication that Jayla mentioned for nausea..........it is not as easy here as it is on the US to get a lot of these medications and as far as I know we can't order them online. We can't order them from overseas and import them.
    However we can get the ondansetron or zofran from the chemist. You will need to get your vet to write you a script for the zofran wafers 4 mgms and you give 1/2 wafer. They are human meds so it is possible your vet has not used them, but I asked my vet about using them when Sheba was nauseated and he wrote me a script. If you think Toby is nauseated you can give 1/2 zofran 20 to 30 mins before food and it works well.
    The cerenia that Jayla mentioned is also available in tablet form from your vet. It is quite expensive but effective. I doubt you would be able to give the injections! But they can be given at the vet. Vets out here do not allow us to do some of the things that they are able to do in the US.
    Let me know if I can help in any way. The first few weeks are the hardest for you and Toby but it does get much easier....

    ETA. Re giving the insulin once a day. Glargine..or Lantus works best if given twice a day, 12 hours apart. 0.6 is a very hard dose to give I would think.
    What sort of syringes are you using?
    I wonder how the vet came to work out that dose because if Toby is 9 kgm he would need more than 0.6 a day to be affective.
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    Reason for edit: more information
    Tanya and Ducia, Yong and Sharon14 like this.
  8. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    Welcome Toby and his Mum!
    Looks like you've gotten tons of information so I'll just say hello :). Oh and add if you're looking at other wet foods, don't buy Weruva BFF right now. Big recall in Australia, posted by a newer member @Myrtlesmum but not sure if she's near Sydney. Hopefully, Bron and you do not live far from each other so she can help :cat:
  9. Myrtlesmum

    Myrtlesmum Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    Hi Toby's mum - I'm from Melbourne and my cat Myrtle was diagnosed as diabetic just over a month ago so I understand the big freak out you're going through. It looks like my cat is now being mainly controlled with diet - she eats 40g of Royal Canin Ultralight twice a day and I mix it with about 15-20g of either Applaws tuna flavour (from the supermarket) or Fancy Feast Royal Virgin Flaked Tuna. I mix it with the RC because while she really needs to lose weight she doesn't like the RC but she will eat it if it's coated in tuna - I've chosen these 2 tuna foods as they are the highest protein ones I can find. I was using BFF but you probably saw on the news how that was killing cats... I also allow her to free feed on a half half mix of RC Weight Control and Core Wellness Grain Free for Indoor cats. Myrtle is very good and eats only tiny amounts but it's probably better to limit dry food.

    I see that Toby also gets urinary tract disease. Myrtle is also prone to UTIs and I was feeding her some dry Hills C/d before in addition to an Acidurin tablet a day, now she's not on the C/d anymore I just give her an extra half a tab. Have you used Acidurin before - it may help you to get him off the RC which would be high in carbs.

    Regarding glucose monitors, I just got one for free from the chemist - I explained it was for my cat but they didn't care - they just have to register you in some system and need your driver's licence and then you just have to pay for the strips.

    Feel free to ask me any questions you like - it's amazing what I've learnt in the last few weeks and what is available in Australia (products) is fairly limited compared to the U.S. My best advice is keep calm and hopefully Toby and you will both come through all of this.
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