Hi...we're new - not diabetic but 3 cats dx with severe hypoglycemia

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Terri B, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Terri B

    Terri B New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Hi,

    We're new here and desperately working with our vet to try and find out what has made our 3 cats extremely hypoglycemic. All 3 are running BG's ranging from 42 to mid-60's. We took our one boy in last week, full blood panel was good except for BG. He was placed on 5 mg of Prednisone 3X/day. On a whim, I decided to test our other 2 on Tueday night and found them to be at 66 and 42. Our vet saw them the next day and both had readings in the low 60's, so he confirmed that for some reason all 3 are hypoglycemic with no known cause. Initially, we suspected insulinoma in Jake (approx 7-8 years old, no health problems) but with the other two (ages 6 and 18-19) now hypo, we believe something else happened. We're at a loss, as is our vet.

    Our oldest boy was diagnosed with diabetes 2 years ago...BG's in the 600's, was on insulin for a couple days, but we regulated with diet change and he was off the insulin within a week. Once he was stable, we would periodically test and numbers were always around 80. He does have minor hyperthyroid and is on transdermal methimazole. We don't believe the initial diagnosis of diabetes was true, but that something was causing the elevation. We continued to feed low-moderate amounts of dry and switched most of the wet, though not all, to non-gravy. When he was running the 600's, he also started head-pressing which continues to now.

    Our youngest is about 6 and has no known issues besides this. Unfortunately, he is almost impossible to test at home, at least at this point. We got the one reading of 42, and he was in the low 60's the next day at the vet.

    We have fed primarily FF wet, some Meow Mix and Sheba wet, and the dry has been Purina One Beyond. Our vet had us switch yesterday to Purina One Urinary Formula, not because he suspects anything urinary but I guess because he trusts the food. We have always given treats at night, recently Greenies which the cats aren't crazy about, and also Temptations and occasionally Party Mix. We're also giving pretty much anything we can get them to eat to try and raise their BG's.

    I guess I came here since this is the opposite of what most deal with on this board, if you have ideas of things you avoid with your babies that we could incorporate. I've switched the wet foods to gravy formulas and they seem to lick the gravy more than eat the actual food. I may just ask the vet about getting some canned gravy and see if that will help.

    Any ideas are appreciated!
    Terri
     
  2. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Hi Terri! For non-diabetics, those are normal numbers. I test my civies (non diabetics) every month or so - they all run between 40 and about 75. I do have one that has monthly steroid shots that sometimes goes into the high 100's to even over 200 for 2-3 days at a time but comes back down on his own. No need to try to raise those numbers - they're GREAT!
     
  3. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Hello Terri and hypoglyco Cat gang


    Not much help to offer but just a few check up suggestions

    First - are the 3 in the gang anyway genetic related?


    There are genetic disorders of the more rare kind

    and you often find them in the body region kidney and the bi-adrenal kidneys next to them function.
    In Swedish medical area term is Adrenogenital Syndrom, AGS.

    Affects in different biochem and medical ways
    as
    less ability to produce aldosteron, kortisol, hypo lipoproteins, hypoglucose


    You find some scientific articles on it if you do a medical publication search, or your vet can do it and see what comes up and sound more logical in explanation.


    Also in foods and biochem for cats, our reknown and super Cat vet Dr Lisa Pierson has broken down all available cat foods in this excellent chart of hers on her own page. She works there nowand don't come here so often anymore. She is however very internationally qualified. I would point your vet to her too if your 3 are not genetically related then.

    http://www.catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf




    Sorry for not being of such more help

    The Scatcats and Ann
     
  4. Terri B

    Terri B New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Squeaky, Not according to our vet and a friend who is a vet tech. The middle cat has facial tremors and perfect bloodwork, besides the glucose. He's running 50's-60's ON steroids. The twitching has lessened slightly, but not entirely, so the steroids are likely helping a bit. We've been told that the sugars should run the same as, or slightly higher than a human.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
    Reason for edit: was replying to another post
  5. Terri B

    Terri B New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Ann, thank you. I will check it out. The 3 are not genetically related at all. One was my late mother's cat, the other 2 were rescues. The little guy is a Himalayan and I know being purebred they can be more prone to some issues, but aside from noisy breathing from the flat face and being small and therefore not really successful at self-grooming (we get him groomed a few times a year to help him out) no health issues. Thanks again.
     
  6. Libby and Lucy

    Libby and Lucy Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to the Group!

    My Lucy was diabetic but has been off insulin for almost 6 years. For about the last 3-4 years she has usually been in the 40s or 50s when I test her at home. She is perfectly healthy. I have only tested my other non-diabetic cats once each, but one was in the 60s and the other two were in the 70s.

    Vets are used to much higher numbers for a couple of reasons. Most cats are stressed at the vet, and blood glucose readings can be affected by stress. Lucy is usually in the 200s at the vet but like I said, 40s at home. However, some cats are not affected as much by stress so that *could* explain why your cats are running lower than they are used to seeing. Also, different meters can give slightly different readings, and they all might be slightly different than the equipment used to determine whatever your vet is seeing as the "normal" range. It's usually not a big enough difference to worry about in the low range, but human meters do tend to run lower than animal-specific ones. If your vet wants to see them at, for example, 80 on an animal meter, that might be the same as 60 on a human one.

    Of course that is not to say that there isn't something else going on. It's possible, but if they are otherwise healthy then those seem like great BG numbers to me.

    If you have more questions, you might move over to the Feline Health section for more eyes on your post.
     
  7. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Terri,

    My cats (non diabetics) also usually test in the same numbers as Lyresa's and Libby's cats above (40s to 70s). And my newest foster cat - that I've tested twice recently - has tested at 52 on both occasions.
    I use a human glucose meter, and, on this forum, these numbers on a human meter are considered 'normal'.

    As Libby says though, this isn't to say that there's nothing going on; we're only saying that these numbers are pretty typical in our experience.

    I just found this little article online that gives some causes of tremors/twitching in cats:
    http://www.cat-world.com.au/Cat-Health-Collection/twitching-in-cats.html

    Eliz
     
  8. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Hi Terri

    My cat remi has little twitches that become more apparent at certain periods of time. I have never fully worked out what they are but be have associated them with low levels of either potassium or vitamin b (blood tests have confirmed low levels at different time). Did the blood test check for this sort if thing?
     
  9. bettyandhank

    bettyandhank Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    After my kitty went into remission (didn't know to test prior to his DX) his BG's were often in the 60's, just as those above have said. Those are perfectly normal non-diabetic numbers. I would however caution you about feeding the dry, the temptations, party mix, and the gravy food as you may end up with more diabetics. For your oldest boy, once a diabetic always a diabetic....to maintain diet control he should remain on low carb canned, which is best for all your kitties diabetic or not. Feeding mini meals spread throughout the day is easiest on their pancreas, and adding a couple of T's of water to each serving helps also. Wasn't clear on the reasons for prednisone...was it concern for the perceived hypoglycemia? That can be a common trigger to diabetes for many cats, which I imagine you know. I'm with everyone on those sounding like great numbers. So great you are testing, it really does allow you to keep track of your kitties overall health, not just diabetes...if they aren't feeling well it is usually reflected in their numbers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
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  10. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009


    I just want to note there we note which type of blood we test on
    Plasma glucose - a turn over 'pool'
    Venous blood - equals on nutrition drained blood having emptied around its way going back up for cleansing, purification and nutrition filling again
    Artery, aorta, blood - equals nutrition filled blood going down out to give nutrition everywhere

    At vets most often the front arm leg inside venous is used for the large covering lab blood tests, and that glucose often on Plasma glucose. While our meters at home use the different blood part. So comparative and repeated spot checks often best to rule out what's what and what not. That's why it is biochem science.

    Here are some descriptive anatomy in all our different bloods used. A fingertip with arteries and nerves from Frank D.Netters anatomy med book.


    And the front arm going large posterior interosseous down going artery over the large down going nerve with the same name - I happened not to check in the anatomy book when I punched a bit hole straight through it, and right through the nerve and canula straight into the arm bone under, in 2007, when learning and trying on myself first to take blood tests on Simba, so I didn't harm in. You know when it is an aorta artery you hit since it fontain pressure squirts and is fresh bright nutrition red, while a vein going up uses a different blirt blirt lower pressure and is the dark red nutrition empty blood. So it matters where blood samples are taken but that vets and vet techs know.

    I have medical literature here for cats too. However too tired to read in them now.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    What kind of meter are you and your vet using? Most of us here us human meters on our cats and they have a different "normal" range. Are you are using a pet-specific meter (AlphaTrak)?

    The numbers you are seeing are normal using a human meter. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes_in_cats for a chart with bg ranges. They list 40-130 as normal for a non-diabetic cat using normal meters:

    "40-130: Non-diabetic range (usually unsafe to aim for when on insulin, unless your control is very good). These numbers, when not giving insulin, are very good news."​
     
  12. Terri B

    Terri B New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Thank you for the information. Our vet isn't as concerned about the 60's...it's the constant 50's and dips to low 40's. We've checked the human meter we use against his veterinary one, using the same sample which he drew and the numbers were only about 4 off, and both glucometers read about 10 points higher than he had been at home, at rest. They're registering low on both human and veterinary glucometers. I do realize that once diabetic (truly diabetic) always diabetic for our older boy, but we all believe that something else spiked his sugars two years ago. Given that we didn't change their diet that dramatically, it would appear it was somehow related to steroids he was getting (though they never spiked it like that before) and the fact that he had (and fairly often gets) sinus infections. He had normal bloodwork a couple months prior to what we initially thought was diabetes, and relatively normal (for an old cat, mild thyroid...) since. The one who is very symptomatic is our middle boy, who is now running about 50-60, head tremors, eating a lot. He's the only one on steroids at the moment. I'm going to test everyone shortly. Hopefully we'll see some increases with the food change. We'll likely run a full panel on the other 2 to see if there's any indication in the other two of what is happening since Jake's other bloodwork was normal. We've seen slight improvement in his tremors and wobbly walking so he's doing better even though his numbers aren't really changing.
     
  13. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    I test my 2 civies about once a month. They've always ranged in the 40-80 range on a human glucometer, the Relion Confirm.

    Like the others on this post that have answered you, the low BG's are not a likely cause of the tremors in your kitty. Looks like your vet should consider other causes for the tremors.

    The low BG's you mentioned are perfectly normal. We've even had diabetic kitties on here that went OTJ and had BG readings in the 30's.
     
  14. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    See my signature link Glucometer Notes for information about meters and reference ranges.
    Most importantly, note that the FDA allows meters to read within 20% of what a lab would get.
     
  15. Terri B

    Terri B New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Well, as I said, our vet doesn't feel they're normal and believes the tremors are absolutely from the blood sugar, as is the wobbly walking, the staring into space, the appetite, the changes in sleep. I could go on. I won't because it sounds like most of you have your minds made up. These readings are on 4 separate glucometers, 2 human and 2 veterinary.

    I wasn't going to bring this up, but I actually came to this group 2 years ago, when we thought Sonny was truly diabetic. I was criticized for leaving him at the vet for a day to get a curve. I was criticized for testing at home. I was absolutely blasted for going with our vet's recommendation at using what people here considered the "wrong" insulin. There were a couple very nice people that messaged me privately, but overall, if you don't go with the pack, all people do on here is try and tell you how wrong you and your vet are.

    I am looking on the page to find out how to cancel my membership on this page.
     
  16. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    The food list at Cat Info will let you select foods that have higher carbohydrate levels; you might go up to the 10-20% level to see if that helps.
     
  17. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009

    Don't cancel. Stay on. Simba was vet curved once a month in his beginning in 2006 with no hometesting in between.
    As it was, when Simba got his diabetes in 2006, the vets wasn't so nice either to him or me, and all info on diabetes they could give, was a 2 page sheet on ... D O G S
    So I first did a search in Sweden, in swedish, at our National Vet and Animal Uni, with zero research themselves on cats too, also only dogs. So I then mailed the Reseacher in charge, Tove Fall, with Simba's case, and she replied and also gave her Peer Medic Researcher link to felinediabetes page here then.
    So I had it for a year, before I became member in it January 2008 in an acute phase thing for Simba, which my vets also messed bad with him. Dr Lisa Pierson and vet tech Jojo then helped me, and with that I saved Simba's life. Well Simba saved his life since he is the one telling what to do, as his secretary.

    After that I have never joined in the insulin groups for instance, of defyiance really. Outside U.S all lab and meters use the international mmol value, and converting all those all our home numbers in Sweden just to appease the Americans who use the other American values, it was just something our daily life home business didn't allow me time to do. At first in 2008 we could give numbers direct in a General Main Health post. Then that old forum crashed in 2009, I was notified by others it had happened and I needed to re registerer in that then new forum 2009. I was however away a lot and when back in the game again, some had started with the Google set up spreadsheets, starting to say to me I had to have it in my profile signature. And our with former vet tech Jojo awesome live memory on a general basis kept for quick post replies to all new with all various insulins, members on then had started to divide us in Main Health forum, you use that, you have to go to that separate created insulin group. Nope I thought for me and Simba, we have had a good time in General Main Health Forum and we are gonna stay there.
    About 60-80 % of my time lays in the General Main Health Forum.

    Naturally living in Sweden and not in either Canada and U.S the 'social part' either in Community Social part Forum, or coming to reunions, and even emails and private messages with all sorts on the board through the years, has never been so prevalent for me through the years then.

    In that way Simba and I have been 'our own group' then -:) A Minority -:) A big factor has been I've also had pretty severe disabilities from a grim car crash in 1993, before both Gustav ans Simba fell down in my lap and I rescued my Boys in 1995 and 1996, but had my rescued girl cat already since 1988 and only grown up since 1968 bothering about all sorts of animals -:) So a lot of suggestions made from, well any abledbodied, have perhaps not been fully workable for me, Gustav and Simba were we are at home. I am a vegetarian too, since I was 11 -:)
    I am however phys therapy and human and animal medic educated, and was in National Civil Defence, catastrophy and crises urgent rescue and meds since before, 1995, too.

    We can only ask, and then see what is applicable for us, were we are and our situation.

    But do stay on, and do keep us updated in how you, your vets and the HypoGlyco Gang have progressed.
     
  18. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Terri,

    I don't think anyone meant to imply that there 'isn't a problem'. And I am sorry if the responses to your post have caused you to feel that way.
    We're not vets here. We're just ordinary people looking after our diabetic cats and pooling our knowledge and experience.

    The fact that one of your cats is having tremors and other hypo-like symptoms suggests that there absolutely is a problem that needs to be addressed.
    It may be that your cat's blood glucose is dropping even lower than either you or your vet have managed to record.
    Perhaps your cat does have insulinoma. Though I sincerely hope that's not the case. I'm keeping fingers crossed for your kitty and hoping that the problem, whatever it is, is something easy to resolve.

    I've found a couple of articles about hypoglycemia (and one is about hypo in non-diabetic cats). I've posted the links below in case they may be of interest to you.
    http://pets.thenest.com/hypoglycemia-nondiabetic-cats-8526.html
    http://www.cat-world.com.au/hypoglycemia-in-cats

    If you would like to, please do let us know how things go.

    Wishing you and your kitties well.

    Eliz
     
  19. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Terri, we didn't mean to upset you. We understand the tremors are very serious and there must be a reason for them. I'm sure your vet will examine all the possibilities. If all of them are having this symptom, could it be something that was ingested? Environmental? A bad batch of food? At least you can give them the higher carb food to raise their bg, though the steroids will also boost it up.

    I hope you will stay around. No one was trying to give you a hard time, we just aren't used to those numbers being a problem. :bighug:
     
  20. jebris

    jebris New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    Tnx for helpful information
     

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