Help for cat not acting right

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by seamist, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. seamist

    seamist Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    My cat Sasha had excessive urination and and thirst and hunger and weightloss and was diagnosed wtih diabetes about three weeks ago. He had high blood glucose and ketones in his urine. He was put on human insulin, Novalin, 2 units every 12 hours. He seemed a little better and was always hungry for the canned food I started to give him. Then this morning I found him sitting hanging his head on the large water bowl. He is not drinking, just sitting there. He did not show any interest in the canned food. This is not normal, and I don't know what is wrong with him. I don't have the money to take him to the vet, especially on a weekend! Any ideas what might be wrong and what I should do?

    Sheryl in Minneapolis Minnesota
     
  2. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi Sheryl
    are you by chance the one i talked to a couple days ago about a testing kit?

    if so, have you been in touch with any of the other gals that live there? i'm thinking we need to get a BG test done pretty quick and a ketone test.

    let me send out some messages to the gals there and see if any of them have ketone sticks they can help you with
     
  3. Amy'sWinston (GA)

    Amy'sWinston (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I do believe this is the same, Cindy.

    She has been in contact with Carolyn. Neither Carolyn nor I have any experience with keytone or DKA. I no longer have Keto strips, gone to a newbie last year, and I don't believe Carlyn has any either.

    All I could advise was the ER vet... :cry:
     
  4. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    It would be best, Sheryl, to take Sasha to the vet. He may be reacting to too much or too little insulin. And either condition is very hard to deal with at home, and can be fatal. Since Sash has had ketones, this is especially dangerous.
     
  5. seamist

    seamist Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Yes, that is me. If I get a test strip for ketones, how do I get the cat to pee on it?
     
  6. seamist

    seamist Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    I have no money to pay the vet.
     
  7. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    The problem is that if he has ketones, there is very little you can do at home.

    If you really can't go to the vet, I would get a glucometer and strips. Do you have any diabetic friends who would let you borrow their supplies? If you can get a reading, you will know whether he is too high or too low. If he is too low, you can do some things at home.
     
  8. Yolanda and Goo (GA)

    Yolanda and Goo (GA) Member

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    Dec 30, 2009
    Hi Sheryl

    have you tried offering him other food? Inappetance in a diabetic (or any cat actually) is never a good thing. Do you have anything that you know he absolutely loves? Tuna will often work when nothing else does.

    If you can get some ketostix you will need to wait until he next goes to pee. I used to just wait until Goo had started going then hold the stick in the stream (yes, we want you to stalk your cat in the bathroom!).

    Ideally he does need to be seen by a vet, as it's impossible for us to tell you what is going on, and I think if you can't get him eating then you really need to find a way to get him there. Not trying to scare you, but whatever is going on is likely to be easier and less expensive to fix the sooner it is dealt with. Especially if he has ketones you do NOT want to wait.
     
  9. carolynandlatte

    carolynandlatte Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I will be heading over there after latte is shot and fed later this evening to test Sasha. Can try to pick up ketone strips, but I dont know what kind. Can anyone chime in and be specific...got a cat running wacky low numbers and need to get all her ducks in a row before I leave, so not a lot of time to look it all up.
     
  10. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    ketostix test just for ketones. (less expensive)

    ketodiastix test for both glucose and ketones (more expensive)

    they are with the other diabetic supplies in any store pretty much.
     
  11. carolynandlatte

    carolynandlatte Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Great, thanks! Just realized the one touch I got in the mail has 10 strips! :D
     
  12. carolynandlatte

    carolynandlatte Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Is there anything else that people can think of that may be needed in near future?
    strips/meter
    lancets
    ketostix
    syringes for syringe feedings if not eating?
    Hi and Lo carb food
    karo, in case sasha is actually low

    Would it be good for her to have a bag of fluids (lrs), needles and line just in case the vet wanted subq's?

    Just trying to think ahead. hate to leave something she may need at home, that I have
     
  13. Amy'sWinston (GA)

    Amy'sWinston (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Carolyn, throw what you think you may need together. I think there's a Walgreen's between you and I. If there is, I'll stop on the way to pick you up and get the Ketostix.
     
  14. Abakitty

    Abakitty New Member

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    Jan 2, 2010
    Head over the water bowl

    points directly to dehydration, which is serious. SubQ fluids may well be indicated. Not too expensive and easy to administer yourself, but only under the vet's supervision.
     
  15. seamist

    seamist Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Do you think it is possible the diabetes is the result of some other health problem, such as pancreatic cancer? Our vet only tested for diabetes, I think, because we did not have much money to pay for diagnostics.
     
  16. seamist

    seamist Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Re: Head over the water bowl

    If he is dehydrated, why is he just laying his head on the water bowl? Why won't he drink some water?
     
  17. Amy and Six

    Amy and Six Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Just hang on. It sounds like help is on the way.
     
  18. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    You said you are using Novalin insulin. Novalin is a family of insulins that includes N, R and combinations of N and R (70/30). Are you using Novalin N?
     
  19. carolynandlatte

    carolynandlatte Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    bg- 411 and questions

    Sasha is getting novolin. Can anyone talk about what kind of food needs to be on board (amount)?

    what dose for methyl b12 3000 sublinqual lozenges?

    we have ketostix, but sasha has not had any water today and will likely not pee. we will leave them with sheryl


    sasha was diagnosed with ketones 3 weeks ago but not treated.

    He did get fiesty after many pokes ;)

    sasha needs to be seen by a vet, but after all the money spent on diagnosis they have no resources left? any suggestions of organizations for emergency care? I would love for them to get in and see a different vet monday. I could see if they could get in with mine.

    any thoughts
     
  20. carolynandlatte

    carolynandlatte Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
  21. Amy'sWinston (GA)

    Amy'sWinston (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Sheryl shot Sasha's dose at about 8:20 CST. Within 20 minutes Sasha was interested in food. Pre shot he'd licked at some tuna in oil, but not really eaten. About 20 minutes after shot I noticed he was scarfing it, then she gave him a low carb FF and he'd almost finished that can by the time we left (+1)

    The test we got off him there was 411, with the last round of attemps I expected even higher.

    COLD ears - made a sock but it took awhile to get enough, so gave him breaks to go and calm down a bit...always went back to the water bowl, sat sphynx, head over bowl, but not drinking. The last round...he'd lost his amusment and was getting pretty fiesty.

    That his appetite returned so quickly is good...but I have no experience with this insulin or keytones. I'm hoping that with the appetite he'll drink a bit and maybe go pee tonight to try to test. Gave her the babyfood bottle trick for clumping litter if she can't catch him while he's going...

    p.s. Carlyn did great teaching her first newbie!! cat_pet very patient and calm. Good job!
     
  22. Traci and Boomer

    Traci and Boomer Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Let me start by saying I'm not an expert, but I've had a cat who would hang his head over the water bowl too. It's heartbreaking. What about force-watering him with a syringe?

    I'm very impressed by how much help has been given to this new poster and her cat! It warms my heat!!!! :YMHUG:
     
  23. angie & charmi

    angie & charmi Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Hello!

    I was directed to this thread by another member (thanks!). I think I'm a little late though.

    I shoot Humulin N. I may be the last hold out on the board still shooting N so I'll gladly help in any way I can. I've been shooting N for over 2 years and dealt with numerous other feline issues. I have seven cats so I've seen a lot, BUT I do not claim to be an expert at anything. Charmi (my diabetic N kitty) is odd in every way so what works for her may not work for your kitty. I have no experience with DKA ---- thankfully. I do have experience with pancreatitis and other health issues though.

    If you're still around and need help, I'll be around for a little while longer. It's 1:00 a.m. here, but I'm still messing around on the computer. I'll check back in a few minutes.

    ~Angie
     
  24. seamist

    seamist Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Sorry for the delay in posting, my computer is not working very well. Two wonderful women, Carolyn and Amy came out tonight in below zero Minnesota weather to help a cat and owner (me) in need. I am amazed and grateful at such an act of kindness to perfect strangers. They came over and tested Sasha's blood suger, and brought me supplies and support. Thank you, Thank you. Thank you.

    Thank you also to all you message board posters. I really need the guidance. I was overwhelmed before the cat was diagnosed, so this is just one more crisis to deal with.

    Sasha is on Novalin N, 2 units ever 12 hours. I would appreciate any feedback from others who have used this type of insulin.
     
  25. Traci and Boomer

    Traci and Boomer Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Wow Seamist!!!! You have been blessed. I can't believe how lucky you are for the help. This kind of story makes me so feel like the world is a great place. :RAHCAT
     
  26. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Wow. Well the fact that food interest came back so quickly makes me feel that ketones may not be the issue here. I hope you can get a reading from the urine on that. I really hope testing gets easier soon! It *will* get easier, but it is usually just a matter of time.
     
  27. angie & charmi

    angie & charmi Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    So far you're doing great! You've learned to hometest, right? You are lightyears ahead of where I was at this point in Charmi's diagnosis.

    Is your cat eating now? What about drinking? If every thing is good in the eating department then your kitty is headed in the right direction to avoid a crisis situation.

    Based on my personal experiences and keeping in mind that every cat is different, I will offer the following and ask a few questions along the way....

    1) Keep in mind that while most people on the board do not use the "shorter acting" insulins such as Novolin N/Humulin N, there have been successes with these types of insulins. My very own Charmi is an example of one.

    2) These insulins are considered "harsh" and as such a little can go a very long way. Above all else, respect the insulin. Charmi's insulin needs change periodically without any known reason. Hometesting will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

    3) Did you start at 1 unit and work your way up or did you start at 2 units? The reason I ask is that prior to finding this board, I had a limited understanding of insulin and the way it works. Less is sometimes more. Too much insulin can produce blood glucose readings that may look very much like blood glucose readings that result from too little insulin. There is a whole phenomenon known as rebound that we don't need to get into this evening. Charmi's ideal dose is a just a drop more than 1 unit. I just know where it is on the syringe. I have to adjust the dose from time to time when the data starts looking funny. She was down to .5 unit for a period of time, but for whatever reason she's up to just a tad more than 1 unit now.

    4) When you have time, it will be a good idea to start gathering data. It can feel very overwhelming and time-consuming in the beginning, but it does get easier as the weeks progress. Since you've been helped out on the hometesting, always get a pre-shot reading. On a day when you have time, preferably sooner rather than later, start getting some cycle checks. On the days that I'm monitoring Charmi closely, I try to test her bg every two hours. This gives a picture of how the insulin is working and how your cat's body is working with the insulin. Doses cannot be calculated based on preshot data alone.

    5) What are you feeding your kitty right now? Charmi eats Fancy Feast, but many feed Friskies. You get more food for the money if you feed Friskies.

    6) Does your kitty have any other know conditions (pancreatitis, etc.) that you are aware of? These factors can dictate the treatment plan to some extent.

    7) You do not have to pay your vet to do bg curves and "regulate" you cat. You can do all of that at home and you will save a ton of money in the process. Plus, it gives you a much firmer understanding of your cat's reaction to the insulin.

    8) What kind of syringes are you using? I have some to give if that would help you out. Charmi's diabetes seemed rather expensive in the beginning, so if I can help with syringes or any other supplies, let me know.

    Okay, I think I've asked you enough stuff for one night. I'll check back tomorrow morning. It's approaching 2:00 a.m. here in Ohio so I better go to bed.

    One last thought... if your kitty isn't eating well, be careful with the insulin. My personal philosophy, and again, I'm only offering my opinion, is that eating is more important that any other thing. Charmi has been treated to hotdogs, deli turkey, baby food, ham, cooked hamburger, tuna, etc. when she wouldn't eat. Water is important too.

    We'll talk more tomorrow.

    ~Angie
     
  28. angie & charmi

    angie & charmi Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Yes, I agree with Karen. The interest in food is a positive sign indeed AND the testing will get easier. Charmi is a fractious cat (that's just a nice way to say she's mean and likes to hiss and bite a lot). angry(2)_cat She even still hisses when I test her sometimes and she's been being poked for over two years. It just takes time to get in the groove. I usually sing a very loud and obnoxious song to her when she's feeling mean to distract her. "Old McDonald had a farm... meow, meow, meow, meow, bark. And on that farm he had a cat... pokey, pokey, pokey." Sometime around one of those very loud and obnoxious "pokeys" I get her. She hisses and then we move on with our routine. It's a little game we play!

    ~Angie
     
  29. Steph & Cuddles (GA)

    Steph & Cuddles (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Would fluids help him feel better (& maybe get the BG down a bit)? If he's not peeing, and just hanging his head over the water bowl.. doesn't that mean he's dehydrated? Did anyone do the snap/tent test, or check the gums? Just wondering if maybe 50ml sub-q would help with whatever is going on? If anything, thinking it would help kitty pee, and get a ketone test....

    Course, I know nothing of this cat's history, or what's going on, so I'm just throwing a suggestion out there for others to weigh in on. (someone else mentioned taking fluids over to her)
     
  30. Spacey & Ella

    Spacey & Ella Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I don't know.
    The whole story (sitting in front of a bowl with water but not drinking) reminds me a lot of Stickey. That's the cat I lost on chronic renal failure.
    Did you have your cat tested for that?

    Stickey appeared to be too weak to drink on his own. He've got a lot of sq fluids and he needed to be medicated. Actually, he was so worse that the vet was ready to put him down. But because I was so shocked of his bad state and that I didn't even notice it that the vet gave me a set of sq fluids and syringes to take home and instructions how to use it all.
    Stickey got better for a few months, on daily medications and all.

    Again, I don't know. But somehow I think of kidneys and chronic/acute renal failure. And really would have him tested for it.

    Anyone else??
    confused_cat
     
  31. Venita

    Venita Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    $200 from FDMB Cats in Need Fund

    I will put up $200 from the fund for Sasha's vetting costs. I will need the name and phone number of the vet, and the day of the appointment, to call and make the payment. You can send that by PM.

    If anyone wants to contribute to this vet visit, you can donate to the fund through PayPal at ennis93 AT att DOT net. If using a credit card, you have the option to pay the PayPal fees. If using cash/check, indicate the payment as personal/a gift so that fees are not charged. Be sure to indicate this is for Sasha.

    Thank you Amy and Carolyn for your mission of mercy! You are the best!!!
     
  32. carolynandlatte

    carolynandlatte Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Steph, I brought fluids over in the event they were able to bring Sasha to the vet and vet agreed it was needed or would be beneficial. Without vet approval, it was not something I felt comfortable either giving or leaving. If at any point they needed some I would be more than happy to bring a bag or two by. I did not do a tent test, as we tried focusing on testing and figuring out how to help them get Sasha seen by a vet. BUt you did just remind me that I forgot to suggest adding water to food, at the very least. I did leave them with some syringes for food/water, and a few cans each of hi and low carb food. They also have a meter with a few strips, but will need to get more (preferably ordering on ebay). Im assuming the meter cindy sent them will arrive on Monday as well.

    Regarding Kidney failure, of course anything is possible. Not even a vet could tell you what is wrong without some diagnostic testing. However, I have a cat both diabetic and crf. During her acute renal failure, she was pretty static with her lack of desire to eat. Sasha perked up very soon after his insulin shot. My gut says its related to BG. I dont know anything about the insulin and have very little knowledge, and no experience in DKA. So I cannot say whether or not that is an issue. definately a strong possibility considering it was left untreated 3 weeks ago due to vet decision and financial limitations.

    Sheryl,
    If you could mix the cat food with a little water and mush it up, that would be helpful in getting more fluids into sasha. For the fancy feast cans I would add maybe a shot glass amount or so. Tuna juice is better than nothing. Water it down a tad as well. If you syringe water into Sasha, aim for the side of the mouth - not straight back, as you could cause choking. He is such a good boy. Dont worry about wrapping him in a towel to help you help him. He is not used to all this poking and such. to keep everyone safe/frustration lower if he starts scratching, a towel would be helpful until he is more used to it.
    I will email links to ebay sellars so you can buy strips, and my vet's name/number today.

    Everyone else -
    Does anyone know of an emergency pet fund that is currently able to help Sheryl out, at least of a visit to a vet that can offer her good medical advice? Most organizations have nothing to donate these days. I know I have looked for myself. Also, Sheryl has recently with no success.

    I asked some questions earlier in this thread about dosing of b12 and how necessary food intake is prior to the insulin she is using. Im only familiar with lantus and how long my cat has to get food on board.

    Thanks to those who are able to help out. Sasha is a very handsome boy! I was so honored to meet him. Im glad Sheryl found this place and us.

    Sheryl - how ARE you all doing this a.m.? Any chance you have been able to get a test?
     
  33. Spacey & Ella

    Spacey & Ella Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Insulin (vetsulin/caninsulin) use when not eating.

    From the brochure I've got (Diabetes in cat's, by Intervet):
    When the animal doesn't want or isn't aloud to eat, then just 1/3 of the normal dose of insulin has to be administered.
    If an animal is eating less or badly for more than 2 day's, then consult your vet.

    (That's a rough translation, the one I have is in Dutch)
     
  34. Connie & Em (GA)

    Connie & Em (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    a cat hanging it's head by the water bowl is a classic sign of ill health. I don't think any judgment of what is wrong with the cat can be made on that. I hope this morning finds things a little better off for both of you. You have had some great help and hopefully that will be enough. If not, please do not be afraid to take Venita up her offer of financial help to get the kitty into the vet. Treating without knowing what is going on can make things worse.

    Connie

    http://www.wvcats.com/diseases.html
    •has been sitting hanging it's head over the water bowl but not drinking (can be due to kidney disease)

    http://moggycat13.tripod.com/id80.html
    One of the most noticeable signs of feline enteritis is that of a cat sitting with its head hanging over the water bowl

    http://www.essortment.com/hobbies/felin ... f_shtc.htm
    Other ways to identify that your feline may have a urinary tract infection will also be noticeable in their normal activity. He or she may become lazy and appear to have no vitality. He or she may have no interest in eating, playing or even grooming themselves. You may even find the feline hanging its head over the water bowl as if he or she was in pain.

    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Cats-1606/sick-cat-3.htm
    She has some of the signs of cat distemper i.e. hanging her head over her water bowl,
     
  35. seamist

    seamist Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Good morning. I am waiting for my husband to wake up and help test Sasha's blood sugar. However, I know he is better because he came up to me and asked to be fed.

    For the person who asked about his insulin, he has been on two units every twelve hours since his diagnosis about three weeks ago. Novalin N was the only type that was available other than Vetsulin.
     
  36. Amy'sWinston (GA)

    Amy'sWinston (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Popping in to see if any news this am...

    It's FANTASTIC Sasha's begging food today! If he asks, if he wants it - feed him! :)

    Right now it's more important that he's eating rather than what, or how often, he's eating.

    If you guys get a test off Sasha, post the number on the board. If you can get a teat before you shoot - that's ideal.

    Angie - when does the insulin tend to peak? So Sheryl has a goal for getting the next test?
     
  37. angie & charmi

    angie & charmi Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Insulin peak depends on the cat. Because it a short-acting insulin, peak will generaly be seen early --- sometimes as early as +4. Charmi gets duration out of it though so she peaks between +5.5 & +7.5.

    One major downfall of these kinds of insulin is the unpredictability of them. It takes a lot of time, a lot of study, and a lot of patience to get the dosing right and there is some truth to the need to work the food around the insulin.

    So as far as collecting data... this is how I started:
    1) a.m. pre-shot
    2) +1.5
    3) +2.5
    4) +3.5
    5) +5
    6) +6.5
    7) +8 (usually starting to see a climb by now)
    8) p.m. pre-shot

    Then I took that data and studied it and if there seemed to be gaps in the numbers then I would try to fill in those gaps. Let's say there was some major change between +2.5 & +3.5. Then I would get a +3 the next chance I got. Most of Charmi's dosing plan was devised through a series of pieced together days. I didn't test her nonstop around the clock. I would gather data, put it all together and start adjusting the dose in increments of .25 unit doses, unless, of course, there was something major that needed a bigger adjustment.

    These types of insulin are tricky to say the least, but we have been remarkably successful and the insulin fits our lifestyle. I had the most success with piecing days of data together instead of trying for a curve. Charmi is a high-stress girl so too much poking and prodding on any given day would mess up the results.

    So, to get back to the original question (sorry I took a detour there) I would start looking for peak as early as +3 and as late as +7, although it can be at any time, really. That's about as clear as mud isn't it? :YMSIGH:

    ~Angie
     
  38. carolynandlatte

    carolynandlatte Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    1/3 Sasha amps +3.25- 251

    Word just in!

    Congrats on your first successful, solo home test! :RAHCAT
     
  39. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Major kudos on a solo test!
     
  40. maryjoandsmokie

    maryjoandsmokie Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    God Bless all you Angels who are helping Sasha and Sasha's Mom!
    Makes me cry for happy.
     
  41. Amy'sWinston (GA)

    Amy'sWinston (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Woo-Hoo!!!

    Getting your first solo test is one of the biggest hurdles!! Well Done!!!

    Try and get at least another test before you shoot his dose tonight, and post his number.

    Good job Sheryl & DH!
     
  42. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    My husband is the one getting the blood from Sasha's ear, Sasha has more respect for him than me. Though I did hold Sasha in a towel while Jim got the blood. I will try to get him to do it again tonight at 8 pm, before the nightime shot.

    1. Please remind me, since the insulin is given twice a day regardless of blood glucose, how does knowing the numbers help? What will I do differently?

    2. Also, if I switch to Lantus, will it still be twice a day?

    3. How do I ad a photo of Sasha to my profile so you can see it when I post to the message board?
     
  43. Amy'sWinston (GA)

    Amy'sWinston (GA) Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    [/color]
    Take any picture you have of Sasha, go to this website: http://www.shrinkpictures.com/create-avatar/ upload the picture and change the number to 90. It will automatically resize your photo to the size specification of this site. Save the picture to your computer, then access your control panel here. Then select Profile. Then Edit Avatar. Paste the link int there - and shazam! You have Sasha as your avatar. (Where Winston shows up as mine. Jack & Lya - same process but in my signature line.)

    You guys are making progress! Keep up the good work! And keep posting the numbers you get.

    I'd suggest getting a notebook and keep track of the numbers there, or the spreadsheet available here. In my experience, patterns are easier found in hindsight than the heat of the moment. After you start collecting data, you may see correlations between timing of food and impact on tests, clues in his behavior that he's going to high or too low and can be confirmed with testing, etc. The data you get from testing will be your most useful tool as you go forward.
     
  44. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    We tried to get a blood glucose with the One Touch tonight. The first attempt the strip would not suck up the blood. The second attempt got error 5. We are now out of test strips. My husband is very upset, and thinks the test equipment should be easier to use. Any suggestions?
     
  45. Steph & Cuddles (GA)

    Steph & Cuddles (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Not sure if you can afford another glucometer, but I find the Aviva extremely easy to use! Takes less blood than the One Touch does too. I actually use it on myself now that I'm pre-diabetic, and Cuddles is no longer with me. I love it, just because it takes a smaller sample, and I don't have to poke my finger as deep as the others. But.. it's less aggravation for the person using it, even on a cat.. just because you need a smaller sample. The strips suck the blood up pretty fast too! I've definitely wasted less strips with the Aviva, as the OTU, or even the TrueTrack.

    Oh, and one more thing... it DOES get easier! :smile: Once you & your cat get into a routine, it gets WAY easier than when we all first start on this journey! (and their ear 'learns' to bleed. Paws, not so much, but everyone says the ears bleed easier, the more you test them.) :smile:
     
  46. carolynandlatte

    carolynandlatte Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi Sheryl,
    Im sorry the 2nd time around didnt go so well. It is really hard in the beginning, but it will get easier! Do you think having two of you do it may actually be harder than one? I know you say Sasha has more respect for your husband. Do you think he could give it a swing on his own? That may end up being less stressful in the end. OR, maybe once you have more strips and a little down time YOU could practice doing it with Sasha wrapped in a towel. I know down time is probably non existent for a mom of a toddler. *sigh*

    The meter cindy sent you I would expect to arrive tomorrow. So, your options would be to wait and see if it comes and try with that meter. I would assume there would be approx ten strips w/whatever meter she sent. You could also stop by a walmart, target, walgreeens, etc and just pick up a box of 25 for the one you have. Its always good to have 2 meters, anyway. The 25 will cost a lot, but not as much as the 100 and should get you buy until the new meter arrives OR you can order some off ebay.

    Were you ever able to get a ketone test off Sasha?

    How is Sasha feeling tonight? Im glad you are putting water in his food. That will be really helpful.

    Im glad you checked in. You know there is a large group of supporters out here for you. Feel free to post again if you have anymore questions. I know you are having a hard time with your monitor, but if you can at all look at some of the posts that may have questions for you and try to answer them to the best of your ability, that will allow more folks to guide you.

    You are doing great! Give yourself a pat on the back. :mrgreen:
     
  47. Karen & Smokey(GA)

    Karen & Smokey(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    First, go to the pharmacy and buy more strips. The initial kit probably came with only
    10 strips...right ? Not enough for beginners. In the future, never run out of strips...have an
    un-opened package of strips handy at all times. Come back here later to learn about the least expensive
    sources.

    It takes practice to get the BG testing reliable each time. I went through several strips each time
    I tried to test Smokey at first...it gets easier. Please don't get discouraged.

    There is most likely nothing wrong with the equipment...but you have to manage a cat (!) at the same
    time, making it not-so-routine.

    I'm not familiar with that particular meter, but usually if the strip will not sip, the drop of blood is
    too small.

    Are you warming the ear well before poking ? with a rice sock ? or oatmeal sock ?

    Another trick to get a good bead of blood is to put a tiny (I mean really TINY) bit of vaseline on the
    area of the ear you intend to poke. Smear a tiny amount of vaseline on, then wipe most of it off.
    You want the hair to look just 'greasy'...

    This will help the blood bead up instead of soaking into the fur.

    You can do this just once per day, and usually there is still enough there for several pokes throughout
    the day.
     
  48. Nicole & Baby

    Nicole & Baby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    In the beginning (a few weeks ago) I made it an "ordeal".... meaning.. a certain spot (bathroom) ... a rice sack warmed... held her down... wore me out..
    But in a few weeks.... I now just show up where she is chillin (lazing around) ... do a quick poke & BAM! I have my BG reading.

    Take it for what it is worth...just my experience. It is frusturating to get an error reading after getting blood....but it is what it is & happens sometimes.
     
  49. angie & charmi

    angie & charmi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    You are doing a wonderful job! I am so proud of you for learning how to hometest.

    Here are some thoughts relating to some of your concerns. Some of the concerns have already been addressed, but I will go ahead and tap out my thoughts here...

    I'll share my personal experience with you. I took Charmi to the vet on a cold Sunday morning in October of 2007. She was hanging over the water bowl and just looked generally ill. When we arrived at the clinic, Charmi was lethargic. She had no life in her eyes at all. The vet took one look at her and said, "Hmmm.... she's lost A LOT of weight." My heart sank because I hadn't really noticed. Life was super chaotic and sadly Charmi had gone under the radar. She had lost 50% of her body weight and I hadn't noticed. I burst into tears right there in the middle of the vet clinic. The vet looked at me and said, "Hey, stop beating yourself up. I'm really thinking this is diabetes which is an okay thing. We can treat this." Sooo... Charmi was taken to the back for some testing. BG was something ridiculous like 684. WHAT?!?!? Sure enough my extra sweet girl really was extra sweet. It was diabetes. She stayed at the clinic for three days.

    She was sent home on Wednesday with a prescription for Humulin N and directions to shoot 2 units every 12 hours. So I did what the vet told me to do. We took Charmi back to the clinic a week later for a curve and they bumped her dose up to 3.5 units. That's a HUGE jump. A week later they bumped her up to 5 units. Whoa!!!!!!!!! She almost died. I was out of town for the day and came home to find a completely lifeless Charmi resting in a puddle of vomit under the bed. She was completely disoriented --- couldn't stand, couldn't walk, had no idea who I was. By this time it was almost 2:00 a.m. I called the vet and she told me to give her some Karo and if she didn't improve call back. I gave the Karo, but instead of getting better, she got worse! I called the vet back and off we went to the clinic. The clinic is 30 minutes away and when we arrived Charmi's bg was 34. Yes, 34!!!!!!!! This is after she had eaten dry food and had Karo. At that very moment I decided to take charge of Charmi's health and I went out the very next day to buy a meter. I found this wonderful place and sucked up all of the information I could.

    The vet was content to keep Charmi on 3 units. Through hometesting I discovered that 3 units was pushing Charmi's bg down to the 50s. Too low for Humulin. The shorter-acting insulins need a lot more wiggle room than that. So I scaled it back to 2 units. Even 2 units was too much so I kept scaling back until I arrived at a dose that works.

    The importance of getting preshots is to prevent your cat from getting insulin when none is needed. The importance of getting mid-cycle numbers is to figure out if the dose is pushing the bg too low during the cycle. You cannot rely on preshot values alone. As I mentioned in my post last night there is a thing called rebound and that can be very tricky to deal with. We don't need to discuss that now though.

    The meter...

    I use the Reli-On Micro from Wal-Mart and I absolutely love it. The cost of the test strips is half of what I was paying to use my other meter. The Reli-On micro was $11.00 and 50 test strips cost about $22.00. I think that's about as inexpensive as it gets for meters and strips. There are very inexpensive ways to treat diabetic kitties. The insulin you are using is one of the more inexpensive ones and if you can get your hands on an inexpensive meter and strips then it won't cost much to treat your kitty.

    The overall health of your kitty...

    I'm unclear if your kitty is going to the vet tomorrow or not. Perhaps it's somewhere in this thread, but I haven't picked through each and every post carefully. And remind me again why your kitty needs to go to the vet. I'm just trying to help you help your kitty. I'm trying to help you save some money along the way, too. We all have to do that!!!

    Take care!

    ~Angie
     
  50. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    I will call a vet tomorrow that Carolyn recommended. There is some concern that having untreated ketones in his urine may still be causing problems for Sasha. I don't know if the insulin type may need to change. Also, I am intersted in knowing what type of meter is easiest to use, with the fewest wasted strips and fewest pokes. Sasha's ear bled pretty easily today, it was the meter that was the problem. I asked my husband to do it himself, but he refused. I hate to have to do it myself, because I hate needles, blood, and causing pain. Also I seem to be responsible for everything in this household, and with a toddler to take care of, I have more to do each day than I can get done.
     
  51. Elizabeth&Julia&Margaret(GA)

    Elizabeth&Julia&Margaret(GA) Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    As far as meter's go, everyone has a preference. I happen to love the Relion Micro that you can get at Walmart. Margaret doesn't care for testing in the least and that meter requires a very tiny drop of blood. With her last test, her ear was ice cold. I went for it anyway and did 2 tiny pricks instead of one to make sure I had enough blood. I had twice the amount I needed since the drop needed is so tiny.

    Margaret still has to be held by someone when I test her. Then she get's her treat afterward. She is one of the cats that never got used to the testing. However, that does not change the fact that I will continue to test her as needed (we're off insulin right now-diet controlled). Ultimately, a few seconds of discomfort for the health of the cat made the decision easy for me. It will get easier. It may, also, be that Sasha is having a hard time of it because he's not feeling well. Many (though not all) cats I read about on here get used to the testing after a bit.They'll show up at their "testing spot" when it's time. Some will go to the testing spot even when it is not time just for a treat. Hang in there. It's definitely not easy in the beginning but it will get better.
     
  52. Gina & Yittle (GA)

    Gina & Yittle (GA) Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Just pipeing up that I also love the Walmart Relion meter, so easy to use and the strips are so affordable.

    I don't recall seeing anybody answer the question - although somebody probably did. But yes, if you switch to Lantus it will still be 2x a day dosing and you'll need to be very vigilent about the blood testing. While you dose twice a day it lasts awhile in the system so if they start to go hypo it can last a lot longer then with a different type of insulin. On the plus side, many cats go into diet-controlled remission after using Lantus, Yittle did.
     
  53. Amy'sWinston (GA)

    Amy'sWinston (GA) Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Sheryl, if you're still struggling with testing, let know later in the week and I can come over Thursday PM or this weekend and show you how I did it with a Vulcan death grip on the ear. :D It was an easier way for me to do it alone that my vet showed me.

    Also...try tying the testing to treats. (low carb) some give a treat at the beginning to occupy them while they go in for the poke. I always gave mine after as a reward. Within a couple of weeks Winston would come running and offer to let me test everytime he wanted something to eat.

    You really ARE doing well. These are stille arly days since diagnosis. it is overwhelming at first. We keep telling you, but I know you can believe us yet, it really does get easier~!! Swear!
     
  54. Spacey & Ella

    Spacey & Ella Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Why is it that 'caring for' is almost always done by women?
    Here I'm taking care of Spacey almost on my own as well.
    I feel for you. Really...
    Hang in there!

    Meter: I have the GlucoCard meter. It's easy, uses very tiny spot of blood, the lancets are small so the cat doesn't have huge holes in her ears. I like it. But I don't know if it's available in the US. :sad:
     
  55. Traci and Boomer

    Traci and Boomer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Jsat adding my 2 cents in for the ReliOn meter and strips. I have the "Micro" and the strips about about $21 for 50. I had the One Touch which required about DOUBLE the blood and the strips are about DOUBLE the price of ReliOn. I switched and the cost of buying a new meter and new strips was about $20 LESS than one box of strips for the One Touch - it was a no brainer. :razz:
     
  56. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    I brought Sasha to the new vet today. His blood glucose had not improved since his diagnosis 3 weeks ago, still 444. However, his urine did not have ketones, so that is an improvement. The vet switched him to Lantus 2 units every twelve hours.

    Thank you again everyone. I feel blessed to have found this message board and all the help we have received from you all.

    Sasha's mom
     
  57. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    I took a deep breath and tried doing the blood glucose test myself. I poked the cat 40 times.. He did bleed, but it was never enough to satify the Contour monitor. Yes, I used the warm rice sock and massaged the ear. The cat was fine and let me do it, but I gave up because I was wasting test strips and seeing no result other than error code for not enough blood. :sad:

    Sasha's mom
     
  58. Sherri & Stash (GA)

    Sherri & Stash (GA) Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009

    You'll get there. Many times the ear has to "learn" to bleed. And for us, we can only test the right ear as the left ear refuses to bleed.
     
  59. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Where are you located? Maybe someone can help?
     
  60. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I know how frustrating this is. We spent a entire weekend poking poor Oliver before we ever got a drop of blood. Two things I think really help--

    Find exactly where you are going to poke. You are aiming for the little capillaries that come off the vein running down the edge of the ear. If you put a flashlight behind Sasha's ear, you can see the vein and the capillaries. Then put a spot of vaseline there. It will help the blood bead up after your poke.

    It always helped us to have something to poke against. We used a small makeup sponge; others use the rice sack or a folded piece of kleenix.

    Give up for a while. Give Sasha a treat and Mom a treat. Breathe. It will work eventually. Somehow the ears "learn to bleed".
     
  61. Jean and Megan

    Jean and Megan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    You may have better luck at the start with a meter that uses a really tiny sample size. The Contour is .6uL, which is pretty small, but there exist meters that require less. For instance, the Freestyle Lite only needs .3uL. Same for the Freestyle Freedom Lite and the ReliOn Micro. WaveSense Presto needs .5uL. And I'm sure there are others. Check around to see what is available in your area.

    After you get the knack of testing, the Contour probably will be fine. Right now a smaller sample size may reduce your frustration.
     
  62. dian and wheezer

    dian and wheezer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    another vote for walmart relion MICR. does not get any easier or cheaper than this
     
  63. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Thank you for your kind words. Sasha started Lantus 2 units twice a day last night, and this morning he seemed healthier than I have seen him in a while. I just wish I could test his blood glucose to confirm my observations.

    Sasha is a male, by the way. Our hunter. In Russia, Sasha is the nickname for Alexander, and I named him this because he reminded me of a Siberian Tiger.

    Two questions:

    1. Which glucose meter requires the least amount of blood and is still accurate? Is it the Freestyle Lite? I would like to hear more about people's favorite meters.

    2. Which lancet is best at getting a good drop of blood from the cat's ear?

    Sasha's mom
    PS, I really have not thought of myself as Sasha's mom until now, since he is my husband's cat. However, now that he needs help, I guess I am his mom.
     
  64. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I have to tell you I am extremely impressed with the teeeny amount of blood the Walmart Relio Micro takes. And it is so much more afforadle. (It's the only thing I will buy from Walmart, but rock ahrdplace you know)
     
  65. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I started out with the Relion Micro (.3uL), and it was definitely the easiest of the meters I've tried to use! I can't imagine starting out with anything other than the micro back when Bandit fought me tooth and nail. I switched to the Aviva (.6uL) once I became more of a pro at testing because I was able to get some free strips from a friend, but testing with it is definitely harder. I had to switch to a bigger lancet gauge, and even then I have to squeeze the poked spot sometimes to get a big enough drop of blood.

    I would highly recommend the Walmart Relion Micro. The strips are probably some of the least expensive you can buy in the store. I established a spot in the house where every test is performed (a basket that I've lined with fleece blankets) and made sure that Bandit got a treat (I use Beefeaters freeze dried salmon from petsmart) after every test regardless of how he behaved. After a while, he started running to the basket when he heard me open the test strip container.

    Another thing that made a big difference for me was Neosporin+pain relief. I put some on Bandit's ears after every test. He didn't fight me nearly as hard once I started using it.
     
  66. Nicole & Baby

    Nicole & Baby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I use the Walmart Relio Micro too, I found that when I bought the Reli On 26 Gauge Lancets - it was a bit more difficult to get blood.
    I then bought the Accu Chek Softclix Lancets & have no issues getting blood (I seem to get too much blood)
    So either I have become better or the different Lancets helped. Just wanted to throw my mention in.
     
  67. Kelly and Milo

    Kelly and Milo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I also want to add a vote for the relion from Walmart. I use the 30 gauge lancet as well. When Milo was first diagnosed, I bought the Alphatrack recommended by the vet and wasted about 15 strips the first weekend trying to test him. I started out by putting him in a small bathroom so he couldn't get away with the determination that I was going to get a successful test. After watching several utube videos and taking a flashlight with me, I realized I wasn't hitting the right spot. Once I figured out the "sweet spot" on Milo, testing became a breeze...so much so that I ran out of the first 50 strips in one week! and realized that I was spending a dollar per test trip for the alphatrack meter...plus about this time Milo's numbers started really falling and I needed to test more than ever! so I ran to walmart and bought the Relion and 100 test strips. The Relion was $9 as the time and 100 test strips about $35. I have never looked back and Milo is now officially off of insulin-- today is day 17.

    You are not alone in your struggle, and it will get easier. Once I had the testing down, I would walk up to Milo while he was sleeping and do the test. He barely woke up from his nap. I also found starting a routine worked great. Before each meal, I would place him on a rug we have in the kitchen and start petting him and talking to him...and rubbing his ear to warm it up. Then I would place a folded papertowel behind his ear and prick him. I then rub the ear to get a good bead of blood and test. After the test, he would get a treat...he absolutely loves the freeze dried salmon I purchased at petsmart based on someone else's suggestion on this board.. Now he actually sits on the rug and waits for me because he knows he gets to eat after! It really does get better. Two months ago, I wouldn't have thought all this would have been possible... he always called Milo our hell cat because he isn't the most friendly at all, but now it is a piece of cake. Just hang in there!!!
     
  68. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Make sure it is the Relion MICRO though. The other takes more blood (but is more affordable).
     
  69. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    What do people think of the Freestyle lite?

    Sasha's mom
     
  70. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Freestyles are nice. and easy. Just more expensive strips.
     
  71. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    i love the freestyle meters. have used them since 2006. they require(d) the smallest blood sample for all this time until recently walmart's relion micro came out. i haven't used that one but i know it takes the same size blood sample as the freestyles. all the rest of the meters i believe take a little more.

    now, the key to using the freestyles is to NOT buy your test strips at a walk in store. you want to buy them online. you can get them online at various stores for roughly half the price they are in your local store or you can get them on ebay for about a quarter of the price if you keep your eyes open and check regularly.
     
  72. Jean and Megan

    Jean and Megan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I use and like the Freestyle Lite. In the store, the strips are a *lot* more expensive, but online they are only a little more expensive (like $2-$8 more expensive for 50 strips, comparing to the Contour strips bought online - which again are a tiny bit more expensive than the Relion Micro strips in the store).

    I have used both the Relion Micro and the Freestyle Lite. In tests on myself (I stay still better than the cats do :roll: ), the Freestyle Lite was more consistent than the Relion Micro. But it's not like I did a hundred tests to compare. In any case, both are well within the limits of accuracy and consistency needed for effective treatment of diabetes.
     
  73. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Ok, Sasha got his second Lantus shot of 2 units at about 9 am this morning. (HIs first ws last night.) I finally got enough blood for the meter to read at about 1 pm, so four hours after the shot. The result was 360.

    I am considering trying the Freestyle Lite because it is supposed to use the smallest amount of blood. However, I read that it is not accurate for glucose readings over 300. Has anyone else heard that?

    Sasha's mom
     
  74. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    It might read a little lower than other meters at the higher numbers but IMO that isn't a big deal. I don't think it is statistically different and what is more important is to see your trends and catch those lows.
     
  75. Jean and Megan

    Jean and Megan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    The Freestyle Lite is accurate enough to make treatment decisions, and that's all you need. It's a good meter. You don't need to worry about slight variations between one meter and another.
     
  76. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Just tested Sasha 6 hours after 2 units of Lantus. Blood Glucose 533 ! It has never been that high that I know of. What should I do? The cat seems fine.

    Sasha's mom
     
  77. Venita

    Venita Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I think the first step is to control test your meter to make sure it's OK, and then retest Sasha.
     
  78. Amy'sWinston (GA)

    Amy'sWinston (GA) Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Sheryl, I don't know which meter you are using and if it uses Control solution. If so, follow the directions in the book to do a control test amd see if you get a reading in the accepted range.

    Or test yourself and see what you get.

    Usually, if you get a test result you really don't expect, people will do another test right away.

    Have you been able to get preshot tests? It'd be interesting to know what he was before you gave the shot this am. 533 at a time when lantus should be peaking is highly strange. Without more data, it's hard to know if he's getting not enough insulin, or way too much...
     
  79. seamist

    seamist Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    I called the vet, and he said not to panic. He told me to keep track of the blood glucose, and let Sasha get used to the new insulin. I need to get some more test strips.
     

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