I'm so frustrated!

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by KelleyAnn, Jan 26, 2017.

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  1. KelleyAnn

    KelleyAnn New Member

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    Jan 26, 2017
    I'be been dealing with feline diabetes for 7 years. I'm at my wits end.

    I just took my cat to the vet for dental work, they did a curve test and he's between poorly controlled- controlled. I buy Lantus (so expensive) and give him his shots at the same times every day. I follow the vets instructions, feed him the expensive foods they prescribe, and my cat is still struggling.

    He's been through it all. Ketoacitosis a couple times, neuropathy, bad teeth that have mostly been pulled, hypoglycemia... and the vet gets him well again only for him to be sick a short time later. He's only 13 years old. I have spent all my savings and created debt for this animal. He drives me CRAZY at home, constantly begs for food and follows me. He rarely lets me sleep! (I live in a loft and don't have a bedroom door uhg.) He has been peeing on the bathtub drain which has warped and corroded the pipes. I take him to the vet and they say he's fine and he's "not that sick". They charge me crazy amounts of money for the blood work and medications, and every time he gets sick I ask if it's time to put him down and the vet says no, he's just not that sick. Although he usually stops eating, has to stay at the vet several nights and needs fluids.

    Honestly. I'm not interested anymore in saving him over and over. I'm broke from this animal. He pees outside of the litter box daily, at this point I don't think it's because he's sick but because its habit now. He gets in the box but the pee still sprays outside. I even got the box with the lid... he gets in and somehow manages to get pee on the floor. The vet would say I need to run more tests... I can't afford it anymore! I want to cry out of guilt and frustration... of course I don't want to put him down, he's my baby. But after years of him never getting better, switching vets, trying several foods and brands of insulin, checking glucose at home (so upsetting for both of us) and I've literally spent all my money on him... what am I supposed to do?! I'm single, don't make tons of money, and he's damaging my rental apartment by peeing on the drains and floor.

    There is no way out for me. I can't travel. I am tethered to my home by a 12 hour leash. I can't even go out for dinner and drinks, gotta get home to administer insulin and then go back out. I'm feeling so trapped and guilted to keep him alive, but his quality of life AND MINE are pretty pathetic. I've spent over $10,000 on him in the last 5 years alone. That could be in my savings account!!!

    I wanna cry. I feel so defeated and left with no choice. Right now he seems well... but the daily urine cleanup is enough to drive me mad. It's a matter of time before he gets sick again.

    UHHGGG
     
  2. KelleyAnn

    KelleyAnn New Member

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    Jan 26, 2017
    Also... I have another cat that suffers with him. She doesn't have diabetes, but is forced to eat when he eats, and the same food. She is a grazer, and often leaves food in her bowl and I have to put it away so the diabetic cat doesn't eat hers too (and he will). So she's often hungry and crying for food throughout the day. I hate it!
     

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  3. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Welcome to FDMB, the best place you never wanted to be. Love the pic of you and your furball! You have obviously been having quite the struggle. Your frustration is palpable and very understandable given what you have been through. To some degree we all suffer from being a "tethered" to our cats to some degree but it is possible to get out to socialize and even go on vacation. Many folks here are working full time, some with erratic work hours and still manage to keep their sanity and kitty safe and healthy. I am sure we can offer you not only lots of emotional support but help you get your life and your kitty's health under better control.

    It's possible that the inappropriate urinating is related to the diabetes and there is a good possibility that getting your kitty better regulated would resolve that issue.

    I strongly recommend you come join us over on the Health forum HERE (a copy of this post would be just fine) along with information about the specific diet you are feeding, whether you are home testing your cat and if so what glucometer you are using, your location as that may help us give you some cost cutting tips along with diet options and details of what dose of insulin your cat is currently on. There is more traffic on the Health forum and that is where we can start offering you specific suggestions, tips and tricks, and get you on the road to a much happier healthier existence for you and your sweet furkid. :)
     
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  4. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Welcome! I feel so bad that you're at the end of the proverbial rope. I think there are ways we can help you so that you can keep your lovely boy. As Linda said above, please post on the main health forum with the info she asked for as well as what insulin you're using now and in what dose.
     
  5. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    PS: Ranting and venting are allowed! :)
     
  6. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Member

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    Oct 2, 2015
    I don't see you over in the Health forum yet so I wanted to be sure to catch you here.

    First, your baby is way too cute in his Santa hat :)

    Second, you sound very alone, but you came to the right place and you won't be alone again. And to have survived DKA a couple of times, you are obviously doing something right!

    Finally, I know that it would be nice to have you silver bullet to fix it all, but we are just going to have to hit one thing at a time. But I guarantee that you will get help and suggestions for every single one. We can help with less expensive food that is as good or better than what you are using, and to pick a food that works for both cats so that you don't need to play Food Police and so that you can get some sleep! It may also help to get an autofeeder, they even have some that only let a specific cat into it based off of their microchip. Once you find a good food, we can help with figuring out how much your cats should be eating to see if maybe you should just be feeding more -- an unregulated diabetic needs more food because they can't utilize their nutrition optimally. We can help point you to a pharmacy in Canada where Lantus could be about half of what you are paying now. Almost most important, we can help you home test his blood sugar to both save money, keep him safe and get him better regulated. And then the million dollar problem...cat pee. Almost nothing can make your day more miserable than that. We can help with suggestions of different kinds of litterboxes to prevent overdraft. Or with neuropathy, does it hurt to crawl in and out and he needs a low entry box or even just puppy pads. Dr Elsey's makes a cat attract litter for kitties with litter avoidance issues that i have read works well. Or if all else fails, medication. Personally, we have had success with amitriptyline to help break the cycle for a while. And we can give suggestions for home testing techniques.

    I know that it is a lot and that I didn't fully give you answers, but I wanted to give you hope that we have all had experience with everything you mention and we are here to help. We'll need some more info on your kitty:

    - name, age, current weight, ideal weight, other health conditions. Same info for his sister.
    - dosage of Lantus
    - what meter you are using
    - current food and amount, and his sister's current food and whether he ever gets any of it

    But start a thread in Health with this info and we will get started. And in the very short term, I can't recommend puppy pee pads enough. Put them over the bathtub drains and under and in front of the litterbox. You can get the kind that have sticky tape right on the back to hold it down. It saves my sanity.

    Please take a breath and we will go from there. Big hugs to you and the kitties!

    Sandi&Whisper.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
    Reason for edit: Darn auto-correct!
  7. KelleyAnn

    KelleyAnn New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    First- I have no idea how to transfer all this info into a different thread. I'm operating from a phone here and can't copy/paste.

    You responded at the worst time. The cat just peed in my shower while I was in my bathroom.

    He walked past his litter box to do so. The neuropathy is no longer an issue and he gets in it just fine to poop. Even when he gets in the box to pee, he won't put his butt down and the pee goes everywhere anyway. I have tried every type of box, every size and shape. He pees where he wants.

    Aysa -male - 13 years
    16 lbs
    Eats Hills Prescription Diet M/D 3/4 cup per day, split into two feedings and a snack in the middle of the night so he will let me sleep.
    2 units of Lantus in the AM, 3 units PM

    The vet said that wet food doesn't keep him full long enough and that's why we have him on dry food.
    i tried the auto feeder, which was very expensive and I refuse to buy another one. First he would eat all the food and the other cat went hungry. Then he chewed through the hard plastic and ate everything inside of it, then threw up all over my house. The auto feeder seems pointless anyway as I have been instructed to give him insulin when he eats.

    The cheapest Lantus I can find in the area is around $390 at the Costco pharmacy. I have no means of getting to Canada for this cat, not gonna happen.

    I stopped doing the home glucose testing. I bought the meter the vet uses, Alpha Trak 2. Getting a large enough sample for the device to test it was so upsetting For the cat I had to stop altogether, he won't hold still long enough for me to even get close to poking him. Every time I'd think i'd get a good drop on the strip it would say I needed a bigger sample.

    My vet pulled his teeth last month and broke his jaw. I refuse to go back there. Honestly going to another vet, paying for all the labs and scans and blood work... omg. I can't even deal with it. I can't spend any more money, I just can't. I don't have it. I have two credit cards with thousands of dollars on them ALL from his vet bills, including the Care Credit. I want to give up. Honestly I just want him gone, I can't stand it anymore. He makes me miserable. He's miserable.
     
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  8. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    I wanted to address some of the points in this post but I don't think you're in a place right now to hear any suggestions. If you feel calmer later and want to ask for our help we're here. Many of us have been at the end of the proverbial tether with sick kitties, vet expenses and so on. We understand, we really do.
     
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  9. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Oh Kelley. :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug: You have obviously hit a brick wall and you need some relief. I can relate to your frustration as I have an 18yr old who has recently taken to peeing inappropriately I think partially due to dementia but also because I didn't find and treat all the "target" spots thoroughly enough. I am now getting a better handle on the issue and think I have finally beat the problem. I believe you could too. I completely understand how upsetting it is to deal with this bad behaviour as my cat has ruined my living room hardwood flooring. Maybe after you have had some time to calm down a bit you can consider whether you are willing to give him another chance or if rehoming your kitty would be the best option. There are many ways to keep costs down considerably for home testing and insulin and there are enzymatic cleaners that can get rid of any traces of urine that might be enticing your kitty to continue to pee inappropriately. Fixing this is going to take a bit of time but there are solutions. If you really are at the end of your rope we understand and rehoming may be the best option. There is a group called DCIN (Diabetic Cats in Need) who may be able to help by posting your cat to find a new home for him.
     
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  10. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    I wish you had found this site years ago.... I think you would be in a better place right now. Have a glass of wine and a good cry.

    You don't need to drive to Canada for the insulin.... They mail it.

    One of my cats stopped peeing in a litterbox a few years ago. Several times I said very cruel things to him out of frustration. I loved him but was at the end of my rope. Fortunately we found our compromise.... He happily will pee on a puppy training pad just outside his box. I also use command hooks and hang a pad behind my box because one of my cats often stands and pees over the side even though it's a high sided box. Saved my floors and kept me from strangling him. Do you think that would work? Maybe starting with a pad in his favorite tub spot and outside the box?
     
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  11. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    For our 28lb cat we had to adapt a big Rubbermaid, cut out a semicircle for him to get in, or he would pee on the walls (just too tall) and kick his litter, maybe out of frustration because he couldn't turn around in a normal box. Maybe a new box in a new place will trigger something positive. You know this already but being at the end of your rope can create tension a cat can pick up on. Not much help but it's a start. Rehoming is not abandonment. Take care of yourself first, no matter how selfish that sounds. NO ONE here will judge you. Wishing you luck.
     
  12. KelleyAnn

    KelleyAnn New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Ha I totally did just pour a glass of wine before reading this. Been crying for hours over this, finally took a klonopin.

    I have bought puppy pads but maybe I bought the wrong brand because the urine still got to the wood floors through the pad. I bought better ones today, lets hope they work. He also likes to pee on the shower drain. You would think that wouldn't be a bad place, but it warps the metal ring and pipes over time, something I learned at my last rental unit and had to pay $$$$ to fix it. I guess I'll have to start putting down puppy pads every day when I get in and out of the shower. SERIOUSLY?! Then it's the rugs in the kitchen. My kitchen rugs are rendered useless, as they usually are sitting in the washer or dryer.

    The Alpha Tracker did not work for me. Most times I went to get a sample from his ear, the meter would act like it was working and then indicate that the sample wasn't large enough. I'm pretty sure I got a good solid drop of blood every time and nothing would happen. I'm not saying it's a bad device but I couldn't make it work for me. The cat gets upset getting poked too, and would never let me try again for another drop.

    My vet never taught me how to adjust insulin to the glucose level anyway. In the event of an actual reading I just knew to give him more insulin if he was high and less if he was low. I knew better than to adjust it by too much, he always stays between 1-3 units.

    Oddly he seems fine. He plays and cuddles like normal. He isn't chugging water. When he's really sick he hides under the bed and faces the wall. But I know he doesn't feel well, otherwise he wouldn't pee out of his box right?

    My vet wants to charge me $75 every time I come in and get blood work done. Even to get a new prescription for Lantus costs me a vet visit of $60, plus the $390 lantus vile. The vet discourages the pens even though they're cheaper, says the shelf life is longer on the vile.

    I am willing to take any advice on insulin and food suggestions. I don't mind switching brands.
     
  13. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    You could leave an inch of water in the tub. Kitty will learn quick not to jump in there. If he pees on the edge of the pad it might go under.... Put two side by side maybe. I gave up on kitchen and bathroom mats. Haha. If you need a great cleaner, anti icky poo unscented is awesome and leaves no scent behind. I get it on amazon.

    I use an Alphatrak and it takes a very small sample... But make sure the sample you are getting touches one of the black spots on the side. Human meters draw it in from the front of the strip, AT from the side. The other thing you can do is when you get a drop, click it onto the back of your nail and test from there so it's less time your cat had to sit there when he's squirming. Also make sure you are testing from the right spot. If you poke the vein it hurts more.... You want to get the edge. Here's a diagram.... IMG_3612.JPG
    Once I started regularly testing at home I no longer needed to bring my cat to the vet. I just emailed her the spreadsheet of tests. You can see everyone's spreadsheet in our signature below... It's the tool we use for checking in on each other to offer dosing advice. We can help you set one up if you are interested. Also you can set up a signature with info like date diagnosed, food you're feeding, and type of insulin. Just click on your name at the top and go to signature, type in info, then save.

    Maybe a different meter would help you. I know budget is a concern. Many here use the Walmart human meter Relion micro. The strips are like 100 for $35. Much cheaper than at.

    Food : no prescription needed. Fancy Feast classic or Friskies pate is great. The only dry food that is ok for diabetic cats are Evo cat and kitten in the purple bag and my favorite Young Again Zero carb food which I credit with getting my cat into remission.

    Lots of very experienced people here that will be happy to help you with dosing advice...
     
  14. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    The Alpha Trak pet meter works well and needs only a very tiny drop of blood. Warming the ear beforehand can help a lot with better blood flow to the ear. We tell people to make a rice sock (old sock with about 1/2 cup dry rice in the toe and tied off) and warm it in the microwave until it's quite hot. Over time the cat's ear will grow more capillaries. Some people find that freehanding the lancet works better than using the trigger device. Also lancets that are larger gauge like 26G or 28G make a bigger hole and might work better. If you input search terms in the search box in the upper right corner of the forum page you can find loads of info on testing, etc. YouTube also has many good videos.

    Lantus is an insulin that works best with a high degree of dose consistency, ie., keeping the same dose AM and PM and for at least 3 days at a time. It doesn't adapt well to dosing that changes frequently depending on the BG number. If you post on the Lantus & Levemir forum there are many people with a ton of expertise to help.

    If it's blood work to check BG like doing a BG curve, there's no need. You can learn to do it at home.

    Many people in the USA buy Lantus from a Canadian pharmacy, Marks Marine Pharmacy, for half the price. All they require is a prescription from your vet. The 10 mL vial isn't a good choice because it will most likely expire before you get anywhere near finishing it. The pen cartridges are 3 mL apiece and a box of 5 unopened will last up to 2 years in your refrigerator. Much better value. My opinion about the $6o fee for a prescription is that it's a cash grab by your vet. Many of us here just go in and pick up insulin at the clinic with no fee beyond the cost of the insulin.

    Unfortunately I don't have any suggestions to offer on the pee problems. Others have already commented on that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  15. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I'll let lantus users speak to the shelf life of the pens, but since they hold a smaller amount there is less waste.... You can get 5 pens (3ml) from marks pharmacy for like $150 or so I believe. They last a long time in the fridge. Can someone more familiar weigh in on that?
     
  16. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Your vet is definitely out to make money ($60 for writing a prescription is highway robbery IMHO) and doesn't know what he's talking about with regards to the insulin. A vial of Lantus containing 10ml will never be used up for any cat on normal cat doses so you will end up throwing away a good portion of every vial.....a big waste of money. By buying the pens you get 15ml of insulin in total (5 - 3 ml vials/pens in a package) and in most cases, you'd have no waste at all and potentially have enough insulin for 2 years given the usual expiry duration on the packages at a cost of roughly $150 by buying it from Marks Marine Pharmacy in Canada. If I were you, I'd be considering finding a new vet because it sounds like your pocket book is being gouged.

    Has your kitty been checked for a urinary tract infection? Diabetics are prone to UTIs and that can make peeing painful and in turn make them avoid the litter box because they associate it with the pain. I know you don't want anymore vet expenses, but if your little guy hasn't been checked, it probably would be a good place to start.
     
  17. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    KelleyAnn, Some of the advice you're getting here is from "old" people, like me. Check their profiles and mine. I don't think many of us either thought we'd ever be 30 or can remember being 30. MrWorfMen'sMom is right, your vet is overcharging you. What does that have to do with age? I was a lot more trustful of authority figures back then so if a vet said jump I'd ask how high. Your cat does NOT need a visit just to get a repeat of insulin. Show the vet your curves, daily diary etc., that should be enough to demonstrate you know the basics and yes, your cat is still diabetic. With everything else you're going through having your wallet drained isn't good for your health and a sick cat NEEDS a healthy caregiver.
     
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