Help! Insulin injection beginner... did I give too much?!

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Megan Doane, Apr 30, 2017.

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  1. Megan Doane

    Megan Doane New Member

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    Apr 29, 2017
    Hi my cat Oscar was just diagnosed with diabetes on Thursday and I'm feeling very unprepared for this.

    I tried giving Oscar an insulin injection and had a "fur shot." His fur around the injection area was wet. I didn't know that when this happens that they can still get some of the insulin from this! So I stupidly gave him another dose thinking the first one didn't go in at all! (I discovered my mistake after reading more about it )

    It's been about 30 minutes now and he is acting normally. I have honey nearby just in case. The vet said that he is on a very small dose of 2 units twice a day. I'm panicking I've given him too much and feeling very overwhelmed that I will accidentally kill him by messing up his dose...

    I'm doing as much research as I can but I'm still learning so much about this.
     
  2. Frank's Mom

    Frank's Mom Member

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    Mar 16, 2017
    What insulin is kitty on? And are you testing glucose at home?
     
  3. Megan Doane

    Megan Doane New Member

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    Apr 29, 2017
    He is on Vetsulin and initially the vet tech told me I didn't need to test his BG levels... but I know now I need to be! I don't currently have anything to test his levels with. I'm feeling like such a bad pet mom.

    He is still acting normally now and it's been about 45 min now.
     
  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Was it 1 u both times?

    If so maybe we can guess he got 1.5 total. He's most likely fine.

    I would put some extra food out over night in case he needs it.


    If you are willing to home test we can certainly walk you through that. It really is the best way to keep your cat safe.
     
  5. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Welcome Megan and Oscar :bighug:
    We can definitely help you with learning how to home test. 2 Vet's told me it was unnecessary to home test as well but my thoughts were, my fur baby is my baby. I wouldn't give insulin to a human baby without testing first, so no different for my kitty. It's the best tool in the FD kitty tool belt and helps your anxiety level because you'll be able to know what his numbers are instead of just having to do the "watch him like a hawk" that we've all been through. :)

    As you move forward, getting your Signature setup is super helpful for a quick glance and for those of us with bad memories: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/editing-your-signature-profile-and-preferences.130340/

    We use Google sheets to track our kitty's BG numbers, if you need help setting it up just ask: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    And I like to give this to new members, better to be prepared: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-to-treat-hypos-they-can-kill-print-this-out.15887/

    Lastly, if you are in the U.S. here's a list for testing supplies, you can get everything at Walmart. Later for re-supplying there are some places you can save a little money :)
    Test Shop List

    A lot of us use a human glucometer from Walmart, ReliOn Confirm or Micro (Only difference is meter size).
    1. Meter ($15)
    2. Test strips ($35.88 / 100)
    3. 26 or 28 gauge lancets ($4)
    4. Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment ($3)
    5. Ketone test strips (Recommend weekly testing unless other conditions arise)
    6. A treat for yourself

    Apologies if I've overwhelmed you with some information here. I like to put it in one place for you to refer back to :cat:. Ask any questions on the Main Health Forum! This is a support group for Oscar and YOU :bighug:
     
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  6. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Hi Megan. How is Oscar this morning?
     
  7. Megan Doane

    Megan Doane New Member

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    Thank you! It was 2 units each time but I stayed up all night watching him and he is okay thankfully! I am going to the store today to buy test strips.
     
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  8. Megan Doane

    Megan Doane New Member

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    Thank you so much for all of this information, I really appreciate it! I will be heading to the store today to get all of the items you mentioned including a treat! Thanks again!
     
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  9. Megan Doane

    Megan Doane New Member

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    Hi Lisa! Oscar is fine this morning. I stayed up all night watching him and thankfully he is okay! Definitely a scary thing to be a beginner at this...
     
  10. Erin720

    Erin720 Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    @Yong It's ok to get the human glucometer for cats? Or is it better to get the pet one?
     
  11. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Human glucometer is fine, most of us use a human one. Vet's tend to push the pet meter because they haven't taken time to learn how to manage FD with human glucometers. :)
     
  12. Erin720

    Erin720 Member

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    @Yong Thanks! So the readings are the same as the pet one or do you need to convert the human glucometer number somehow?
     
  13. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    No they're not the same and, unfortunately, there is no direct conversion. I believe all of the protocols were written with using human meter. Human meters tend to read lower than pet meters, difference is greater at higher numbers and lesser at lower numbers. Most important thing to know is that 50 on a human meter is the "take action" number and 68 on pet meter. Until you get some BG number data on Boogie, you probably won't want to give insulin if he's under 200 on either meter. :)
     
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  14. Megan Doane

    Megan Doane New Member

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    I purchased the meter, test strips and lancets. Is there a thread on here already about how to test?
     
  15. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Here's a video of me testing my cat. You may also warm the ear with a rice sock before poking... I always just massage the ear.
     
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  16. Megan Doane

    Megan Doane New Member

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    Apr 29, 2017
    Janet thank you! This was such an informative video! I feel less anxious about testing now.

    What are the normal ranges? What's too low or too high? When should I not inject?
     
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  17. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    In the beginning don't inject under 200.... That no shoot number will change as you get more data. Normal on alphatrak meters is 68-150. Normal on human meters is 50-120.
     
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  18. Megan Doane

    Megan Doane New Member

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    Okay thank you! I tried poking his ear with the lancet and he ran under the bed :( Hopefully he will come out soon.
     
  19. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Next time give a treat and poke while he's eating. Be sure to get the edge and not the vein.
     
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  20. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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  21. Megan Doane

    Megan Doane New Member

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    Janet I can't thank you enough you have been so helpful!

    I gave Oscar his food about 30 minutes ago thinking I could test his blood sugar and then give him his injection afterward. Well he has been under the bed since... I was told to only inject after he had eaten. What is the timeframe for eating and then giving insulin? I'm still trying to get him to come out without being forceful and making him hate the whole process.... but I don't want to give him an injection if it had been too long since he's eaten.
     
  22. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    The point is to just make sure he's got some food on board. Maybe you can lure him out with a shoelace or laser pointer, or catnip?
     
  23. Erin720

    Erin720 Member

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    @Yong Thanks for the response. So you have no way of knowing what a certain number read on the human glucometer would actually be for a cat since there's no direct conversion?
     
  24. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    There's no direct conversion. The numbers are closer together when lower and further apart when higher. Either type will tell you if your cat is high or low. On pet meters you don't want the number to go below 68. On human meters you don't want the number to go below 50.
     
  25. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Correct, just as Janet stated above and I did in post #13 :). Don't overthink it, you'll drive yourself nuts! Figure out which meter you want and is friendly to your budget :) Members here know how to work with either; pet meter like AlphaTrak2 or human meter like ReliOn.
     
  26. Erin720

    Erin720 Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    @JanetNJ and @Yong Thanks. I got a ReliOn Micro and (attempted) to test. My cat was not havin' it. I had to stick him twice and didn't get enough blood, even though I rolled his ear with the sock. Stuck myself in his efforts to get away. I feel like an awful pet parent as I look at his white ear all bloody. And I still don't have a number. That's enough for tonight. Does your cat get used to getting tested? I can't even imagine giving him insulin. :(
     
  27. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Are you poking just at the edge? The first 7-10 days of testing I had a really hard time getting a sample consistently. After that they "learn to bleed" by growing extra capillaries there. Put a little neosporin on his ear. If you get a drop but he is done and wants to leave, flick the drop to the back of your nail and test from there.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
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  28. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Even if you are unsuccessful when you are attempting, make sure you give him a treat, kisses, scritches, anything positive :). I'm sure it does look worse on the white ears, but you aren't doing it to hurt him :bighug:
    upload_2017-5-2_8-12-42.png
     
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  29. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    Hi Welcome!!

    Hang in there you will eventually get it, most of us spend several days trying, I have to admit the first time I finally got a sample it was out of desperation, he was looking odd and I got really scared and told him this time no nonsense I really need to know how you are doing, and went for it, I did made a HUGE hole ( at the time I thought I may need to look for an earing for him) , went from one side all the way to the other and got not a drop but lots of blood, with time and some more tries things started going better. He started getting used to it ( turkey after each try had something to do with it ) and I started getting less nervous.
     
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  30. Erin720

    Erin720 Member

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    Thank you @JanetNJ @Yong and @Veronica & Babu-chiri (Lol at the earring comment Veronica!) I was able to get a sample tonight! He still ran off and was mad but it worked and registered 144. I'm not sure what that equates to? He came up as 330 at the vet a week and a half ago.
     
  31. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Are you giving insulin yet? If not, this is quite a good number. Is he on low carb wet food only now?
     
  32. Erin720

    Erin720 Member

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    @Kris & Teasel Oh 144's good? I don't quite understand this all yet. No insulin yet. Yes, he was exclusively on Purina naturals dry food and post diagnosis, I immediately bought some of the doctor recommended Hill's M/D. I did some research and found Friskies is lower carb so we've been alternating til I get rid of the last Hill's can (today). He doesn't really seem to like that Hill's (kinda glad since it's 4x the cost for higher carbs), but eats the Friskies. He was just diagnosed two weeks ago and the vet wanted him to go lose some weight and go on wet food to see where he gets. He lost a pound in 10 days so far. I think we have to go back in about two weeks to do the recheck and if he's still high, then insulin. :( So he originally had BG 380 at the vet then 5 days later, 330 BG, so is this 144 on the Relion means he went down approx. almost 200 points or you can't compare the two numbers? I think remember reading on here someone said 60 is the alert number for pets.
     
  33. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Once he's eating only Friskies (or Fancy Feast) low carb pate, take his BG each day in the AM before you feed him (no food 2 hours before this test). This will show you his non food influenced BG. Repeat in the PM before his meal (no food 2 hours before). This will allow you to track BG without insulin to get an idea of what his pancreas can do on its own.

    Yes, a human meter reads lower than the pet meter your vet probably used. People here can help you evaluate the "before insulin" BG numbers from a human meter.
     
  34. Erin720

    Erin720 Member

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  35. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    One thing to consider about the reading you got at the vet is that most kittys get stressed at the vet and stress can raise his numbers, that's another reason why home testing is god.

    How much higher can vary from one kitty to another
     
  36. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Wow that's great! Its only a smidgen above normal. On a human meter normal is 50-120. Keep doing what your doing and let's hope he's one of those lucky ones that are diet controlled from the start!
     
  37. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    *paws crossed for diet controlled* Still want to be able to home test to make sure if diet controlled changes, you'll catch it immediately :bighug:
     
  38. Erin720

    Erin720 Member

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    Thanks @Yong @JanetNJ and @Veronica & Babu-chiri Yes, I am playing around between different foods to see which helps his numbers the best. I kicked the Hills to the curb, and am trying Friskie's and Tiki Cat now, and ordered some samples of Young Again. He's ranged from the 144-189 the past three nights so paws crossed!!!
     
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  39. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    great! As you get off dry the numbers will come down so keep testing
     
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