Insulin & diarrhea

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Ria, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Has anybody had the experience that as soon as their cat started insulin they got diarrhea? After almost 2 months I can not get his diarrhea controlled...have tried pumpkin & probiotics. My vet says she has never seen this before. We also have not achieved diabetic control. He will not eat the diabetic diets & has had urinary issues in the past. Currently eats Royal Canin SO & several kinds of high quality/high protein wet foods.
     
  2. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I never had the problem with the 17 diabetic cats
     
  3. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Hi Ria, welcome to FDMB. Sorry to hear that you and your kitty are having problems. You do not need to feed "prescription" or specialized diabetic foods, you can use many of the popular brands, as long as the carb values are under 10%. A lot of us use Fancy Feast Classic pates, Friskies, 9 Lives, Wellness, etc. Here is a link to a site that lists carb values for lots of these foods:

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

    Hopefully you can find one more to your kitty's liking, that won't cause diarrhea! :)
     
  4. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Thank you! Pretty certain it is not the food causing the diarrhea however. He was eating all of it before his diabetic diagnosis. As soon as we started the Novolin he started having horrible diarrhea...wondering if he is having a reaction to this type of insulin & maybe it should be switched.
     
  5. AJHJ

    AJHJ Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Bunny experienced diarrhea upon starting insulin. While he wasn't on a wet food, low carb diet, he had been given wet food before with no problem (e.g., for several weeks after teeth extractions). The only thing that worked for us was fortiflora which I got on Amazon after the recommendation from @Bobbie And Bubba. It has worked really well. I can't say for sure that it was the insulin and not diet, but it was coincidental.
     
  6. Lisa and Smoky

    Lisa and Smoky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    It would definitely be worth talking to your vet about. It has been two months now and I'm surprised your vet didn't think about trying another insulin yet.
    Smoky doesn't have diarrhea from the vetsulin he is on but his stools are very soft since he started taking insulin two months ago. I would like to try him on another insulin but can't afford to right now.
     
  7. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    I think I had better result with Florastor not fortiflora. You can get Florastor at CVS for about 50 bucks a bottle( 50 capsules) or if you can afford to wait, you can get it online for around 25 bucks. Nice savings. Florastor is a S. Boulardii probiotic. You can get it cheaper with a brand called Jarrow. Here is he link. http://www.vitacost.com/jarrow-form...74zaFvYskum_PgRc1yRVCTovazxq9LcLb4aAuCp8P8HAQ

    The Jarrow is less than 1/2 the price but the Jarrow put MOS in it which makes it bitter and you can not sprinkle it into the food like you can the Florastor, you would have to put it in a gel gap and pill your kitty. I personally like that you can sprinkle it in the food ,easy breezy. Here is the dosing for both products. While having diarrhea you want to give 1/ 2 capsules twice a day. After the diarrhea stops , do a maintanence dose of 1/4 capsule twice a day for about 2 weeks. It was like magic for us.

    But to answer your question: I don't know if it has anything to do with insulin but perhaps more an IBD issue or the diet. Like @Squalliesmom said, you do not need to do one of the RX diets that vets recommend. They are expensive and their is nothing RX about them. Here is the food link that many of us use. Here is the food chart . You want to keep the carb count under 10%.

    I hope this helps. Can you give us a little info about kitty, name, when started on insulin, what date started and are you home testing and what meter? You are in the right place for support and we can help you.
     
    PussCatPrince likes this.
  8. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Also, what dose of Novolin was your kitty started twice a day? And are you Ria or is that kitty? And did I say Welcome? !!!
     
  9. AJHJ

    AJHJ Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Yes, florastor not fortiflora! Thank you. Flortiflora did not help at all (though the name is much easier for me to remember for some reason). Agree with the others that it is worth talking to your vet about.
     
    Bobbie And Bubba likes this.
  10. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Oh good, I am glad that you confirmed is was Florastor. That stuff was like magic!
     
    PussCatPrince likes this.
  11. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    @AJHJ you need to put OTJ in your signature!!! Congrats on that !!!!!
     
  12. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Thank you for your response!
     
  13. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Thank you very much everyone for your responses!! I greatly appreciate it. Argyle is my cats name and he is approximately 9 yrs old..he is 1 of 5 cats + I have a foster kitty. He was diagnosed about 3 months ago. My name is Maria but had to go by Ria on this board. Spoke with my vet today, who I have an awesome relationship with but I think since she has never experienced this & is diabetic herself seems to be doubting the insulin is causing the diarrhea. (Even though she knows my animals tend to have atypical occurrences.) My vet originally started him on 2 ml of insulin twice a day but his fructosamin was even higher after a month so she bumped him to 3ml's. He is due to have another fructosamin test soon but he had a upper respiratory infection two weeks ago so she wanted to wait a bit. Today she bumped him up to 4ml's b/c he is still drinking & urinating like crazy, always acting hungry & looking thin, as well as a test strip I did on his urine was still over what the strip would even measure. He was a very full figured cat before his diabetes. I am not a fan of the prescription foods at all. Unfortunately Argyle's health is complicated b/c of urinary crystal issues. He blocked several years ago & underwent the PU surgery. I have tried other ways of feeding him but urinary problems continued so I gave in to him eating the Royal Canin SO. I do not have a meter but have considered buying 1 & would love to know what is the best one to use. A friend gave me a human meter but my vet told me not to use that. I will definitely get the Florastor. I have not had much success with Fortiflora before so glad to know of another one. I have some Fastrack gel I am going to try also. Hoping I have answered all the questions asked. Thank you again I am very grateful for the information & support.
     
  14. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Maria, where do you live? A lot of us use human meters from Walmart. There are several, the Relion meters are : Confirm, Micro and Prime. I use the Prime because the strips are the least expensive. Once you start home testing and I can't stress that enough here, we all home test. It is very important to understand how your kitty is reacting to the insulin and the dose. You will want to test before each shot and some additional test in between the 12 hour cycle. Another reason to home test is to keep your kitty safe. Find a place in your home where you will always perform the test and give lots of hugs before and after testing. There are many videos showing you how to test. Here is a picture of where you test on your kitty. http://s106.photobucket.com/user/chupie_2006/media/testingear/sweetspot.jpg.html

    If you have any questions please ask. Gosh, I had lots and lot of questions in the beginning. That is how all of us learned. We are here to help one another.
     
  15. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    I am in Harrisburg PA. Are those all animal meters...thinking they are human meters? Will have to look at what my friend gave me b/c maybe I can use it. Argyle was an outside stray cat until I took him in about 4 years ago so he has a really scarred ear that I probably can't get blood out of but I will definitely check out the videos. I have had lots of experience with renal issues w/kitties & cardiomyopathy but this is my first diabetic kitty so again can't thank you enough for all your help!! Have been reading to educate myself but nothing like having other people who are experiencing the same things to ask for advice.
     
    Bobbie And Bubba likes this.
  16. donnalea

    donnalea Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Maria, you mentioned that Argyle had a history of urinary problems. Do you give him D-mannos to treat/prevent UTIs? That can cause loose stools. I hope you get to the "bottom" of his problem.

    I found a meter for pets on Amazon that is highly recommended. It is called Advocate. The starter kit was on sale for $21.99 and a pack of strips was the same. I tried to check it out by running side by side tests using the same drop of blood with an AlphaTrack 2, that's what most vets use, and the numbers were very close. It's perfect for someone on a budget.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  17. Elena

    Elena Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    our perkins was blocked several times too, because of that he used to be on the Royal Canin but now is on Purina DM. The bag says it's for diabetes and Urinary health, so far he is doing well with no crystals.
     
  18. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Maria, I am in PA also right outside of Doylestown. I am about 1 .5 hours away from you. Yes, the meters I mentioned are all human meters. The strips for those are much more affordable. My civvie ( non diabetic cat) had a partial blockage from crystals and rather that go on the expensive diet, I added a little bit of organic blueberry powder to his diet to make his urine more acidic and he never had another blockage. Wellness brand cat food adds cranberry ( does the same thing as the blueberry but make sure you getr GRAIN FREE for Argyle for the diabetes. Bubba has eaten that in the past.

    Once you learn to home test, you won't need to spend money on the fructosomine test as all the home test you do with give you plenty of information.

    A lot of the vets push the animal meters (AT2) and they are fine but the strips are very very expensive. All of the protocol we use here is geared for human meters such as the ones I mentioned above

    Let's get you home testing so we can see what is happening in each 12 hour cycle and try to figure out what is the best dose for Argyle ( love that name) and go from there.

    We are here to help, so keep posting and asking questions. :)
     
  19. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    I do not use D-mannos. For a long time I used cranberry & silver biotic, as well as trying to Vitamin C in him for the same reason. I have to say this combo seemed to be working for the crystals but if I tried to move away from it we were back to the same issues. Thank you I will definitely look at that meter, as it seems I really need to do home testing. My vet only seemed to feel confident in the Alpha Track 2 but I trust that all of you on the boards know what is working on a daily basis.
     
  20. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Thank you for this info. I just asked my vet today if any of the other diabetic rx diets were also ok for diabetes & she told me no. I will look into Purina DM, although I will say Argyle will not eat the Royal Canin diabetic food either canned or dry only the dry SO. I know some cats have gone into remission on the rx foods. Wondering if any have on other diets?
     
  21. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    I know that area Bobbie...funny that we are not that far from each other. Thanks for the compliment on his name. He is a tiger cat with 4 white paws like socks..hence his name. I will try to post a picture. I do have a Walmart about 20 min. from me & it is actually where I am getting the insulin. Interesting about the blueberry powder I might try this. I am very holistic in the treatment of myself & my pets. I am not a fan of kibble at all...I cook for my dogs & would for my cats if they would eat it. I have tried multiple times cooking different things for them, as well as all kinds of expensive raw & cooked meals from companies but they want no parts of it. I try to do mostly good quality grain free canned food but it gets pricey w/6 & Argyle is a bit of a junk food junky with the kibble. I will get on ordering a meter so I can get him under better control. I had heard that it is not the meters that create the most cost but the strips so I am very glad to have everyone's suggestions. My instincts say we are going to need to switch the insulin. Almost 3 months of diarrhea just says to me something isn't right for his body with this one & going up on the insulin is only going to make this issue worse. Is there an alternative to Caro syrup for lows or does everyone suggest having it on hand?
     
  22. donnalea

    donnalea Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Honey and FF gravy lovers is in Callie's hypo kit. I have a plastic shoebox that I keep everything we might need in case of a hypo. Also extra box of strips and a spare meter in case my meter dies or something.
     
    Squalliesmom likes this.
  23. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Bobbie, how far are you from Philly?
     
    Bobbie And Bubba likes this.
  24. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    I am an hour south of Philadelphia in Bucks County.
     
    Squalliesmom likes this.
  25. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Yes, honey or syrup is an alternative to Karo syrup. Both my cats get diarrhea from corn so I stayed away from Karo.

    I think you would be wise to think of switching insulin. Here is why: Novolin is a fast acting in/out insulin and there can be fast sharp drops in BG's with it. Another good reason to be home testing to be able to catch those drops. When you said that the vet bumped him up to 4 mls , do you mean 4 units? If it 4 units, that is a high dose of insulin to be on without testing. He could be bottoming out low and then bouncing back up higher. I am so glad that you will be starting to home test; I can't stress that enough.

    As far as the pet meter vs. human meters: A lot of the vets want to push the AT2 meters saying they are the best but the protocol we use here was written for human meters and the difference between the two readings is close when the kitties are in the lower ranges to know when to intervene with food to help steer up. That is the important thing. With a human meter we use 50 as the number for starting into the hypo range and the number 68 with a pet meter. It's so much cheaper with the human meter strips and if you get one of the ones from Walmart you have the convenience of getting them easy where as the AT you would have to get from your vet or order them.

    With the Walmart meters, the Prime has the cheapest strips. I can get a box with two vials of strips totaling 100 strips for around 17 bucks. I was using the Micro in the beginning but the strips were I believe almost double in price.
     
  26. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    This great information thank you! I always have honey at the house & I will get a back up container in case it crystallizes. I didn't realize the Novolin was fast acting & it sounds like that could be sending his glucose all over the map. Yes 4 units but have to say I only gave him 3 1/2 last night b/c I am just not feeling comfortable. I have not seen him demonstrate anything that looks like a low but I am not able to watch him all day most days & it has been hard to find a time that I can do both shots consistently 12 hrs apart b/c of my work schedule. Absolutely getting a meter & strips to start home testing.
     
    Bobbie And Bubba likes this.
  27. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Thank you so much for the idea of an emergency kit.
     
  28. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    So slightly increased the insulin & any progress we made with the diarrhea is gone. I am done with this kind of insulin. Is there one you all would recommend instead? I will be calling my vet first thing Monday morning.
     
  29. Elena

    Elena Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    https://www.proplanveterinarydiets.com/products/dm-dietetic-management-cat/
     
  30. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Most here on the boards use Lantus. It is a depot insulin and makes for flatter curves. ProZinc is a good insulin too but Lantus does have a higher remission rate than ProZinc. Cost wise they are comparable. If you switch to Lantus, you will need U100 syringes. ProZinc uses U40 syringes like Novolin.
     
  31. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Bobbie when I am looking on line my Walmart price for a vial of Lantus it is $264. Is that what people are paying? I will call them directly tomorrow to find out but there is no way I can do that every 6 wks. I am only paying $27 for a vial of Novolin N. I did find the ProZinc on line for $98, which is still probably more than I can do every 6 wks. I had no idea these medications were this expensive.
     
  32. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    That's how much it is in the states....that's why most of us are now buying our Lantus from Canada!! It's 1/3rd the cost!! Here's the information on where we're buying our insulin from

    All you need is a script from your vet to send to Marks....and you're better off getting the pens instead of the vial because unless your cat ends up on a high dose, you'll end up throwing half of a vial in the trash. With the pens, you can use every last drop because they'll last about 2 years in the refrigerator.

    Most cats end up on somewhere between 1-2 units twice a day...even if you're using 2 units twice a day, a 5 pack of pens will last you over a year so it ends up being about $12/month (buying from Marks)

    While it looks cheaper, ProZinc is a U40 insulin....that means a 10ml vial holds 400 units.....Lantus is a U100 insulin so a 10ml vial holds 1000 units....when you do the math, it's a lot cheaper to use the Lantus from Canada (and about the same if you paid regular price in the states)
     
    Bobbie And Bubba likes this.
  33. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
  34. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    By way of validation, I have seem umpteen cats on this board experience GI issues / pancreatitis problems related to insulin treatment (my own Saoirse included). I've not found any formal studies but based on the volume of anecdotal information available here I am by now firmly convinced that the correlation is significant.

    I suggest you get your kitty evaluated for pancreatitis/triaditis.


    Mogs
    .
     
  35. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Thank you for the validation. I sure hope he doesn't have pancreatitis/triaditis.
     
  36. Suzanne Kostenko

    Suzanne Kostenko Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Rite Aid sells one Lantus pen at a time for $86. My cat has used 1 unit or less twice a day so the one pen has lasted 4 - 5 months.
     
  37. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Got my vet on board for the Lantus....progress. How do I get the signature line at the my post like others have?
     
    PussCatPrince likes this.
  38. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    In the top left hand corner, click on your name, then click on "signature."
     
  39. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Thank you!
     
  40. Ria

    Ria Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Looking for advice on how many Lantus pens I should purchase my first time around, since my cat has never been on this insulin before. Thinking 2 to get started? At 3 units twice a day about how long will 1 pen last me? I want to make sure I have extra but don't want to buy too much if somehow this one doesn't work for him either.
     
  41. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    How readily can you get a Lantus pen? If it's very quickly, I'd say buy only one until you know whether you'll be sticking with it. Or you could buy two and have a spare should the first one get broken, dropped, etc. I think Lantus, as a U100 insulin, has 100 units of insulin in 1 mL of solution. The pen vials are 10 mL each so that's 1000 units of Lantus. At a rate of consumption of 6 units per day, one pen should last about 5 or 6 months. Some people find they can make it last to the end with proper handling and storage. Keep checking the vial to ensure the liquid is always crystal clear. If it ever seems to have floaters in it, you need a new one. These floaters often look like very tiny snowflakes under a bright light.
     
  42. Suzanne Kostenko

    Suzanne Kostenko Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    The pens have 300 units per pen (3 ml). The vials have 10 ml.
     
  43. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    You're right! I forgot.
     
  44. Ellen Dutcher

    Ellen Dutcher New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    My Elsa is 15 and recently diagnosed. My vet put her on basaglar. We had to adjust her dose to 3units 2x. Put her on canned. FF ir 9lives or HALO. Whatever she will eat. But it seems when i start a new pen she gets diarrhea. Tried several types of probiotics but really needed something faster acting. I used diagel. 1ml. Her stools firmed up quickly and within a day back to normal. I believe i got mine from alli vet.
     
  45. Ellen Dutcher

    Ellen Dutcher New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Im using basaglar pen. At 3units twice a day now the pen only lasts about 3wks if that. If Elsa moves sometimes i have to do it again. My vet cant get the pens cheaply anymore. I just bought 3 boxes with 5 pens each for $50 a box on craigslist. You do have to be careful as there are lots of scammers.
     
  46. Cathie and Shaak Ti (GA)

    Cathie and Shaak Ti (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    what is diagel? Shaak is starting to reject pumpkin lately and I have tried at least 8 probiotics and none of them get rid of her diarrhea, only pumpkin has worked for almost two years it worked and now she is starting to refuse it.
     

Share This Page