I don't want to be here...

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by lilbear, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. lilbear

    lilbear New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2018
    I hate this. I have fostered and re-homed over 200 cats and kittens in the last 16 years before I moved to the middle of the country and lost all connections to cat community. I started in high school volunteering at the Humane Society and then worked with rescue groups and people from local community. I've done everything from help birth kittens to giving IV fluids while they recover from surgeries, if a vet tech could show me, I did it. So I've had "experience" with feline diabetes but not really. I took the samples, recorded the findings, reported back, fed separately on a schedule, and given insulin. That was the extent of it. I also had the best vet to go to during all of this and the supplies were either paid for or donated by others, it was just my time and apartment. Of all those cats and kittens I've kept 4 with issues that kept them from being adopted, mostly attitude. They get along great so they've stayed with me. To have four cats in Southern California meant living in some pretty shady areas while in college. I did it to keep them, they're mine, issues and all.

    They're older and lazier now. Cookie is 13, Athena is 12, Boots is 11, and George is 9. Boots is the reason I'm here. He had a sneezing fit a few weeks ago, took him to the vet. Upper Respiratory, and everything else was great... fine. shot of antibiotic and pred. Three days in he was scratching everyone, he is a lazy teddy bear who loves head noogies... so we stopped pred. The vet said that it would cause him to drink more and urinate more but that it would stop within a few days of stopping. It didn't. She wanted a $980 blood test. Husband was laid off for 4 months and just got started working again and I had to quit my job due to my daughter's special needs constantly landing her in the hospital. so that was not happening.

    We got a second opinion, tested urine, glucose found. Blood test $190, much better, run it. Nothing else going on other than his numbers show that "he's playing with the idea of being diabetic"... ran the fructo test off the blood they took earlier to save costs (she is my new vet for that alone) and it was 520 so it wasn't the pred that threw him into this state... and then showed me his teeth. **This is totally on me, they go to the vet regularly but obviously their (now) previous vet wasn't paying attention so neither was I** One side has horrific gingivitis, he's going to need that tooth pulled. She won't touch that until we figure this part of his health out but now it's solid that he's on an all wet diet. Found a deal on chewy.com to get Royal Canine food. He's going to need 5 of those tiny cans a day. FIVE!!!! it's sold in pack of 24 for over a buck a piece.


    The questions I have for this forum are:
    The new vet understands the financial issues but is insistent on getting the AlphaTrax monitor when we get to that point. She'll let me test at home since I've had experience with it before. I'm trying to treat this as effectively and efficiently as possible. In searching the boards I've seen others using different monitors. What is the most universal monitor? One that can take less costly strips? the alpha trax is proprietary and way more money than my mother spends on HER strips.

    What is this raw/natural diet I'm hearing about? Interested since Boots loves to hang out in kitchen searching for droppings with the dogs from the highchair... he's more dog than cat sometimes.
     
  2. penni

    penni Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2017
    Welcome and so sorry you have to be here! I find the people here to be unfailingly optimistic and supportive in all my reading and lurking, and yet I'm sure we can all sympathize in not wanting to be here. I can totally sympathize having found myself on the floor crying the other night after cleaning up more urine in the entry way not an hour or two after spilling expensive *radioactive* chemotherapy meds all over my kitchen. It can be rough.

    I'm pretty new here myself, but I'll give you two jumping off points for thread searching or further convos with those more experienced. I did buy an alphatrak but I transitioned to freestyle lite strips, which are a lot cheaper. There's a lot of info about that on this forum and why that works, and it has worked for me. Still, I think the other devices/strips can be even cheaper than that and I get the sense that most folks use Relion or other human meters. I think you will hear people encouraging you not to let your vet force you into an alphatrak. In the end it doesn't seem like pinpoint accurate numbers are as important as consistency in measurement. I mean, you don't want something telling you 95 when Boots is actually at 370, but I don't think there's any question that any of the meters are anywhere near that far off.

    On the raw food, I have been feeding raw for...over 10 years? A long time. I currently use Primal, which is convenient and Akila loves it, but there are many options and you can also search "raw food" on this forum and read about other folks' approach. It's great because it is a natural diet for an obligate carnivore. Unfortunately for me, since she's been on this diet forever I couldn't change from some terrible high carb diet to it and improve her BG that way (to be fair, not having to change her diet was one less emotional and financial hardship she and I had to go through!). But I think there are lots of reasons to recommend raw, beyond FD even. Though it's definitely more expensive. It's the equivalent of about $2.25 I pay per day just for her food, but that sounds cheaper than that Royal Canin package!

    Good luck and welcome again - I am confident you'll find lots of helpful info!
     
  3. Brittany-Tig

    Brittany-Tig Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Hey. I’m still very new to this message board and I noticed you talked about cleaning urine off of your floor. Is this common behavior for diabetic cats? That is the strange behavior my Tig was showing and that’s what made us take him to the vet. He definitely urinates on the floor a lot less now that I’m treating him for the diabetes. But is this common for diabetic cats, or is this just bad behavior?
     
  4. Brittany-Tig

    Brittany-Tig Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Hello, and welcome (unfortunately ). I’m very new to this message board as well, but since finding this place I am much more optimistic. I understand your financial concerns as well. I had purchased an AlphaTRAK2 meter before I knew I could use a human one, so I’m stuck with it. But it does help with my communication with my vet since that’s the meter they use. Once you start home testing the financial expenses should be a little more manageable. Before I got one I had to see my vet every 3-7 days at $45 a visit! Now that I have one I test him often and will be emailing my spreadsheet to the vet every week. Hopefully this will be something you’ll be able to do soon.
    I do think all of your experience will be beneficial for Boots. I’m fairly new to the treatment of diabetes in cats, but I’m here if you need any advice or whatnot :)
     
  5. penni

    penni Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2017
    Oh yeah, definitely an FD thing. Polyuria and polydipsia are hallmarks and, I believe, quite common, particularly for unregulated cats. I feel like I've gotten Akila's diabetes under some measure of control (although her numbers are a little higher in the last week, after we decreased her dose two weeks ago), and yet she's still drinking more than she used to a year ago, and is not reliably making it to the litterbox.

    It's a struggle for sure. Sometimes I think her little bladder is so full and she was probably making her way to the box but didn't quite make it. But the other night...to get to the entry way, she hooked a left turn instead of a right as she would have to head to the box...so it's not JUST about full bladders. I have started tracking her performance in her SS as well now. She reliably goes in for #2, so I honestly don't know why she doesn't, 1/3-1/2 the time, for #1. :(
     
  6. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Welcome! I do not think anyone actually wants to find out their cat is diabetic, but since it has happened, this is the best place to be. You do not have to use the expensive food. There are lower cost options that are low carb. Many people here feed Fancy Feast classic or even Friskies pates. You also do not have to have an AlphaTrak. The majority of people here use people meters which have much cheaper strips. Why wait to start testing? It is a good idea to start testing as soon as possible. It sounds like you may not have started insulin yet but are trying a diet change first. Testing at home would help you to see if that alone is working, and should you have to start insulin, testing is necessary to keep your baby safe. I cannot even imagine trying to manage this without testing. The sooner you start testing, the sooner you can stop paying for vet visits to check glucose levels!

    Normally, questions should be posted on the main health forum where they will get more attention than here in the introduction forum.
     
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  7. Brittany-Tig

    Brittany-Tig Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Penni, That is exactly what Tigger does!! He always uses the litter pan for number 2. And maybe less than 1/3 of the time he urinates outside of the pan now. It used to be almost 100% of the time outside of the pan! He’ll even go right next to the pan! That’s why I thought it was behavioral. And I’ll be adding that to his SS as well

    (Hope you see this! For some reason I wasn’t allowed to quote your message again..)
     
  8. penni

    penni Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2017
    Yep! I haven't found much info on it here as far as resolving or expectations for resolution, but I haven't allocated a ton of attention to researching, so here's hoping. I'll try to tag or DM you if I find something helpful.
     
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  9. Brittany-Tig

    Brittany-Tig Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Sounds great! I’ll do the same if I find anything as well
     
    penni likes this.
  10. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    It might be due to mild neuropathy. If Akila doesn't jump up onto higher surfaces as easily or as frequently as before she became diabetic that can be a possible clue. Better regulation should help reverse neuropathy problems. For general information, a diabetic-friendly B12 supplement like Zobaline (available online) can also help treat neuropathy problems.

    With Akila on so many different medications for several different conditions I'd strongly recommend you speak to your vet before considering any supplementation with B12.


    Mogs
    .
     
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  11. penni

    penni Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2017
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely look into it!
     
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  12. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Welcome to the board. If you look in the Main Health subforum - test strips and testers are a common topic.

    Many use Relion - from Walmart. I use AlphaTrak2, but I use FreeStyle Lite test strips that I get off ebay. Last lot of strips was about $0.30/strip for 300 strips. If you use 2 or 3 a day it's not too expensive that way.
     
  13. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    I have heard from 2 vets that the urinating outside of the box could be a UTI, or a sign of uncontrolled bg. My Baby did this until I found she had a UTI, pancreatitis & discovered the diabetes. I bought Dr. Elzys cat attract litter online & it really helped. Big help for me!! She was still doing this a week after her dx so I ordered it; the advice from others here. I hope this helps! That missing is enough to drive a girl crazy!!
     

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