Hi another noob

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by AlphaCat, May 10, 2017.

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  1. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    Hi!
    First, thank you for having this forum. Today has been a whirlwind of a day, and this site along with the forum has been a great comfort.
    I'm here because Fabalous was diagnosed diabetic officially today. We brought her to the vet due to uncharacteristic weight loss on Monday. I thought it might be her thyroid as I had another cat that was hypothyroid.
    The vet tech took her back to draw blood for labs and the vet brought her back and said, "Did you know your cat is blind?", well... Not what we were expecting. We said "No". He then proceeded to drop a cotton ball in front of her face and she wouldn't follow it. Her pupils wouldn't undialate. He said he thought it was diabetes, but he was going to run a full panel to make sure the extra glucose wasn't from another cause. So we took Fabalous home.
    She has all the signs of diabetes... Weight loss over the last 4 months of about 4 pounds. (She's a big kitty. She weighed 16 - 17 lbs regularly.) She looks like she's stopped grooming. She sits in front of the water dish most days, and she had become extra agressive over people food. She has also begun peeing beside the litter box on occasion, which in 14 years she's never done.
    So last night we were eating french fries and she was being her new normal aggressive self and stalking the plate of fries, pawing at my hand. So I used this opportunity to test her eyesight. I moved the fry back and forth. She followed it with her eyes and head. I set the french fry down thinking maybe she was smelling it... But then she followed my hand without anything in it. So she's not blind, lol, just stubborn. She refused to give the vet any time of day on his eyesight test. I'm a bit stubborn myself, so her antics make me smirk a bit. (She may still have sight/eye problems, but she is definitely not blind like the doc thought.)
    Well, the full panel of blood work cane back today and the doc called to bring her back in. So I'm home without my Fabalous for a few days while the vet tests and trys insulin to see if he can get her numbers stabilized. I think he said her initial blood glucose number was 450. I didn't get any of the testing records, I'll get those when we go back to pick her up.
    Right now the plan is stabilize glucose, then try to maintain via new diet of high protein, high fat, low carbs.
    My vet even gave me a printout to the same table on food qualities linked from this forum. I had been nosing around earlier without creating an account and found the chat before I took her back in. But I'm glad to know what I've found (through here) and the vet is the same info!

    Overall, I'm a bit overwhelmed, and I wish my kitty was home, but we know diabetes is manageable... we just need to make a few changes.

    Reading through this forum today before I even had all the information from my vet helped keep me calm and in "learning mode".
    So hello from me and my clowder, and of course, Fabalous.
     
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  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    We are here to help if you need us. I'm glad your vet isn't pushing the perscription food. Your kitty is very pretty.
    If your cat is having vision problems and it's not cataracts, consider having her blood pressure checked! Diabetes doesn't cause blindness in cats.
     
    AlphaCat likes this.
  3. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    Hi Janet!
    Thanks! I'm curious at the end of her 3 day stay at the vet if he changes his mind about her being blind, lol. I know she's stubborn, but I don't think she can maintain stubborn for 3 days straight, lol... but she might surprise us. We never noticed any eye issues with her, I think the dialation could have even been attributed to stress of being brought to the vet, but high blood pressure due to stress seems to make sense too. We will add that into our possible questions as we eventually address eye stuff after we get her blood sugar regimen figured out.

    But right now in the info gathering step we seem to be in, the advice is welcomed! Thank you!
     
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  4. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Welcome Fabby and her mum!
    Glad your Vet recommends home testing, so many don't :(. Not sure how your budget is but Vet may suggest the pet meter, Alpha Trak 2, if you can afford the test strips by all means go for it. For those of us who cannot, many use the human glucometer Walmart brand ReliOn Confirm or Micro.

    Here's a shopping list I compiled :)
    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
    6. A treat for yourself :cat:

    You'll definitely want to start home testing when she starts insulin and you start changing diet. Don't recommend doing an immediate diet change and starting insulin, gradual diet change while you are monitoring her numbers :)
    Here is the Spreadsheet instructions we use: 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/
     
    AlphaCat likes this.
  5. jayla-n-Drevon

    jayla-n-Drevon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    welcome!
     
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  6. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    Hi Yong!
    Thank you for the shopping list!
    I have some human exposure with medical stuff. (My grandma was diabetic so I watched her do her testing and shot every morning.) For myself I am disabled and use the keystone strips, so I have those already. I also have to give the occasional steroid injection - but not often enough that I'm very confident about it. Also, steroid and insulin injection while both injections, very different placement... When the vet releases Fabby, I'll have him show me how, as well as watching the YouTube videos I've seen posted. But definitely human treat is a good thing to add to the list!!!

    Fabby is still at the vet. The initial glucose test was 450 from the lab results on Monday's blood draw. I called for an update yesterday and it sound like they just monitored on Wednesday, and Thursday morning she tested at 380 in the morning, so she was given 1 unit of insulin, and then tested throughout the day.
    The vet has already changed her diet as he's keeping her to monitor and get stabilized. (To ensure she doesn't go hypo I assume also.) I'm comfortable with the diet change happening sooner because she has lost so much weight, 4 lbs in 4 months. So changing to high fat should help, as she can't afford to lose any more. I'm sure stabilizing the insulin will help this too, as her body won't be starving her anymore. Was there a specific concern about changing diet that you had in mind?
    Typically if we have a change in household with food we do transition slowly. But seeing as her body is not utilizing the food she's on, it seems imperative to get her system on something that will be useful as fuel. She's also staying at the vet, so changing her food to high fat, high protein may actually be a positive due to the stress of being away from home. She's always happier when she's eating. ;)

    When reading around in here about the meters the difference between the Alpha Trak 2 and the Relion seem to be price. It also looks like the Alpha numbers match more closely with the vet's numbers, while the Relion's are farther away from the vet's numbers. But as long as you are tracking the relion is fine as you'll still know what's high or low by the readings... (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) Are there benefits other than matching the vet's readings to choosing the Alpha Trak 2?

    Thanks for all your advice!
     
  7. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Fabby's mum,
    Only concern with diet change and needing to home test is because going to low carb can lower some kitties BG levels significantly. Home testing is to make sure she is safe to receive recommended dose of insulin :). Which insulin is the Vet using? Lots of our diabetic kitty's need to re-gain weight so we understand that :cat:. Correct, AT2 numbers are going to be closer to the Vet's numbers and price is a bigger factor since most test a minimum of 4 times a day. Also correct, the ReliOn still let's you know when she's high or when she's lower. The members here can help you understand either meter. I did purchase an AT2 meter because I wanted a more accurate reading but due to cost I switched to ReliOn and just use AT2 for occasional curves. There seem to be quite a few Vet's who don't understand how to regulate kitties with human glucometers but the protocols you will read about are based on human meter numbers :). One last thing, glad she is currently on 1.0U and if the Vet decides to increase, most likely to 2.0U, we would recommend only increasing by 0.25U or 0.5U. Can also help you figure out how many calories to feed Fabby to help her put some weight back on ;)
     
    AlphaCat likes this.
  8. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    Thank you Yong!!!

    I will find out type of insulin later today. I have a whole rant, but it might be better to go in the main thread. If you're feeling up to squashing nervous cat mom feelings, please come on the new thread and offer more help!

    Apparently, I need all the help I can get! Thank you!!!
     
    Yong likes this.
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