Introducing my feline boy, Joey and myself

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Joey's Momma, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. Joey's Momma

    Joey's Momma New Member

    Jan 20, 2015
    Hi all,

    I've been reading so many wonderful threads and posts on this forum already, so now I'm ready to post an introduction for my oldest boy, Joey. I'm still working on my signature that has all the info on him in it. Please bear with me.

    Joey is my oldest boy of five cats, 3 girls, 2 boys, with Joey being the oldest and a recent addition, Oliver being the youngest of the group. Joey will be 15 years old in March. March 8, 2015. He had pancreatitis way back in 2004, but has been basically healthy as a lark for all these years. In the last couple of years he has put on a lot of weight, got bored, I was caretaking an elderly parent so was hardly ever home except to feed everyone and sleep. So I know Joey got bored! And there was nothing much for him to do but lay around and sleep all day and eat, so, he gained a lot of weight. He is already a big, long cat, almost 17" long so the vet wants him down to around 14.5lbs to 15lbs. He weighed 18.4lbs in November when he was diagnosed with diabetes. I instantly changed his diet (all of their diets) and he has dropped down to 17.2lbs already, which is fantastic!

    The rundown:

    Joey - Age: 14 years 10.5 months as of this writing. Birthdate: 03/08/2000
    Diagnosed: 11/015/2014
    Weight: 17.2lbs as of 01/19/2015 (shooting for 14.5lbs to 15.0lbs
    Food: Went from eating whatever he wanted whenever he wanted, Purina Naturals dry mainly, to now Origen Dry Cat and Kitten about 30% to 50% of his diet and Friskies Pate Classics or Fancy Feast Classics 50% to 70% of his diet now. I am gradually weaning him off the Origen even though my vet wants him to eat some dry food. -sigh- I disagree after doing some research and plan to ultimately give him wet food only!

    He was diagnosed on 11/15/2014, on a Saturday. They did a complete blood workup on him just as a checkup. He was drinking a little more water than usual so, for his age, I was concerned that something might be going on with his kidneys, urinary tract, etc., but, no, it was diabetes. Ahhh! Everything else that they checked in his blood-work came back in the normal range, which is wonderful, especially for a cat his age. My vet was amazed at that, especially for his age and being overweight. His B GLU level was 445 that day and his GGT a 4 U/L. Ugh. So we started him on Glipizide, 5mg 2x a day to see if it would help. It did, in that it got his numbers down to 341, 325, 301 with his first round of a BG Curve done on 01/02/2015. Then, this last Monday we did a second BG Curve at the vet's office with his first round of Lantus. His first number, after having at breakfast and a Glipizide 5mg was 301. I'll list the findings below from this past Monday:

    Monday - 01/19/2015: 1st BG Curve in vets office for first shot of Lantus.

    7:00a - Joey ate 1.5 oz Friskies Special Diet w/Glipizide 5mg

    8:00a - 1st BG - 301
    9:00a - give 1st shot of Lantus insulin ever. 2.0 dosage
    Joey ate and grazed a little bit on Origen Dry
    11:00a - 2nd BG - 132 (huge drop in just 2 hrs, -169)
    Joey ate and grazed a little bit on Origen Dry
    2:00p - 3rd BG - 58 (another big drop, -74)
    Spooked me. Vet gave me 1cc of Karo Syrup to give him within 30 minutes of getting him home and also getting him to eat. He ate another 2.0 ozs or so of wet food, Friskies and DM mixed.
    5:00p - 4th BG 87 (+29)

    Then home. I felt better about the rising numbers, but vet said let's not give him any more shots for the night and he gave me a syringe of Lantus, with this time it being 1.0 instead of 2.0.

    I've ordered both a Relion Micro and the Alphatrak 2. Both should be here by Monday of next week. Also, I am shopping around on the Lantus for a freaking price. I've not given Joey his next injection of insulin because it scared the crap out of me that his numbers dropped so low so quickly and that was with the vet checking his BG every 3 hrs. I don't have any way of checking his numbers at home yet, and I do NOT want to chance it dropping to low. Ugh...

    Also, I am quite interested in the Lantus vs ProZinc vs Lipemur (or however you spell that). Seems like a lot of peeps have had more success with the later two than Lantus with some cats. I'm wondering if Joey will be similar since his numbers dropped so much. It seemed to have surprised the vet, too. He backed off from 2.0 to a 1.0 dosage 2x a day. I love my vet, but I also realize the amount of actual hands-on that everyone has on this forum and how that we kitty parents know our fur babies better than anyone.

    Thank you so much, and I do have questions about the Lantus. It just spooked me that his numbers dropped 169 points in 2 hrs then another 74 in 3 hrs. Whoa! And he was eating, grazing, drinking water like normal, etc. But when it dropped that low, he was not interested in food, and his alertness changed. He also was shivering a little bit even after I got him home. So... I called the vet 2 more times and we got more karo syrup in him and he was finally fine.

    I've not given him any more insulin until I get all the meters in AND do a little more research on this site about the other forms of insulin.

    Again, thank you soooooo much!!!! It's always good to have good info when talking to your vet. You can ask informative questions.

    Thank you!

    Love to all from Joey and Donna in Tennessee.
  2. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB.

    See my signature link Glucometer notes to learn a bit about glucometers and to see the feline-specific reference ranges that we use. Test strips for the AlphaTrak will eat up your budget, so many of us use human glucometers.
  3. Joey's Momma

    Joey's Momma New Member

    Jan 20, 2015
    Hi, BJM. Thank you for your reply. Yes, I saw that about the AlphaTrak 2. That's why I went ahead and got the Relion Micro, too. I'm thinking I'll only use the AlphaTrak a few days along with the other, so I can get a good understanding of the two work, plus use it for when I'll be seeing the vet.

    Thank you all for all the great info!
  4. KPassa

    KPassa Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2012
    Welcome, Donna and Joey!

    Great job on working on the diet change and helping him lose weight!

    The recommended starting dose for most cats, regardless of the insulin, is usually ~1u, so it's good your vet dropped back down to that after see the fast reaction he got. I wrote up this quick reference guide outlining the various insulin choices available for felines that you might find interesting. Most people in the US are now getting their Lantus and Levemir from Canada because the price has gotten so outrageous here in the states. For either Lantus or Levemir, you want the prescription for the pens (not the vials) because it ends up being cheaper per usable unit of insulin (the vials start losing potency about 4-6 months in). You still use syringes with the pens and you just treat them like mini vials.

    What a lot of people do with their AlphaTrak is use it on the "official" curve days, like when their vet wants to see some numbers. The rest of the time, most people use human meters.

    Please let us know how else we can help and if you want to, feel free to start posting some questions in our Main Health Forum.

  5. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2014
    Hi Donna and joey

    Welcome to the board. I think you are right to back off the insulin dose. That's quite a drop.

    With lantus board members follow two protocols (or variations of the two)

    The start low go slow

    Or tight regulation

    They have suggested starting doses and they are usually a lot lower than 2 units. That must have been a scary experience!

    I think for now you need to post you message on the main forum and ask for help on how to proceed with regards the lantus. Make sure you make the title clear about the help you need ie new member needs help with lantus dosing, etc.

    I wonder if for now as you can not test you spend the weekend transitioning joey over to low carb wet food and just give a token dose of lantus. I hope more experienced members will be able to advise.
  6. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    You said that you are giving both Glipizide and Lantus. Not a good idea.

    The reason that you want to give a diabetic cat insulin is to help support the healing of their pancreas and not make the remaining beta cells work too hard. The Glipizide you are giving has the opposite result. It makes the pancreas work harder and can end up destroying the fucntioning beta cells that remain.

    Cats are unique in that they can heal their pancreas and start producing insulin on their own. Many cats even successfully become diet controlled (OTJ off-the-juice, insulin being the juice).

    You want that first BG reading done before you feed. You want 2 hours without food before your test/feed/shoot insulin cycle.

    It's a good thing Joey was getting some dry to nibble on still. It's probably the only thing that kept him from hypoglycemia.
    KPassa likes this.
  7. Joey's Momma

    Joey's Momma New Member

    Jan 20, 2015
    Hey everybody! Thank you sooooo much! Yes, it was very frightening when he took such a drop. honestly, it makes one question the medical folks sometimes, but they also knew that we would be testing Joey every 3 hrs, but still. Woo! My vet said that sometimes he sees cats that do not respond at all to Lantus, so, but Joey obviously did! I'm still working on this whole pricking his ear thing. Jeez! Not so simple. He's a darling but he is not liking this at all! I'm not either. It's nerve wracking right now. I'm not either but surely it will get better.

    Thank you so much, KPassa for the information on the various insulins. And where to purchase. I am going to thoroughly read through all of the info you listed. Canada is the way to go! And the pens. Thank you!

    Thanks so much, Phlika29. I've actually changed up Joey's food again. He's now on Fancy Feast Seafood Feast Classics, Cod/Sole/Shrimp Feast, Savory Salmon Feast, Ocean Whitefish/Tuna Feast (all with a carbs index of 4 or less and higher numbers for protein), Flaked Fish/Tuna and Flaked Trout, Friskies Special Diet (any of them) and then the Origen to nibble on. I've picked all the ones with high protein and lower carbs numbers. the Fat content seems to take care of itself. It is AMAZING how much better he is feeling already with the most recent changes in his diet. He is loving his food! Just loving it! And he has 3 sisters and a brother, the girls, Jessie, Jadyn and Isabelle, and then the youngest, Oliver, but I've got all of them eating this way. They all are healthier. I have also started Pet WellBeing's Blood Sugar Gold and it seems to be a great product. He's feeling great, just amazing how much better he is acting, getting around, interested in playtime, jumping up on perches again. And purrs in my lap most of the time when I'm home. He is down another 0.1olbs which is good. My vet said his target should be around 14.5lbs to 15lbs and he has started at 18.4lb back in early November. So, in almost 8 weeks he's down a little over a pound, about 1.2 lbs. The vet is happy about that. This diet change is really making a difference. My middle girl, Jadyn is 12lbs and she should be around 10lbs and Isabelle is a little chunky, too, so... all of them are on the good diet!

    And yes, Deb & Wink. That Glipizide is not good at all! The vet took him off of it anyway after seeing that it was not going to work and started Joey on the insulin, but if I had known what I know now about the Glipizide I would not have started him on it in the first place. He was only on it for not quite 2 months, and I have now replaced that with an herbal supplement called Pet Wellbeings Blood Sugar Gold. I also have PetAlive's Pancreas Booster, but it has been a little harder to get him to eat that. It "smells funny" to him I think, get he loves the liquid Blood Sugar Gold. We'll see how either of those go, but he does seem much happier and feeling much better since starting him on the Blood Sugar Gold and tweaking his diet with specific Fancy Feast offerings.

    Again, thank you soooooo much everyone!

    Joey chirps "Hey!"

    KPassa likes this.
  8. KPassa

    KPassa Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2012
  9. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    CAUTION: Weight loss needs to be slow in the cat. Done too fast, the fat overwhelms the liver and causes hepatic lipidosis. The liver swells, bile backs up, digestion gets hosed, and the cat becomes jaundiced and very, very ill. See Cat Info for more details.
  10. Joey's Momma

    Joey's Momma New Member

    Jan 20, 2015
    Thanks, BJM. I'm going to read up on that right now.
  11. Joey's Momma

    Joey's Momma New Member

    Jan 20, 2015
    Just read up about it. Thankfully I am feeding him the Fancy Feast flavors with high protein, which helps. He appears fine and has a great appetite. I'm going to be very watchful on how much he weighs. Thank you!
  12. Martha and Lolly

    Martha and Lolly Member

    Jan 4, 2015
    Hi Donna,

    I noticed that you are feeding him all the seafood Fancy Feasts. You may want to cut back on the seafood ones. I know the meat and poultry ones are a little higher in carbs but you can run into problems with high mercury levels in a seafood heavy diet. I limit my cats to 1 day a week seafood, though I doubt there is an official "safe" number of seafood servings.

    Also I really struggled with the ear testing. It's particularly hard when you have to do it every half hour when the numbers are diving.... but you'll get there, you've already got such a great attitude and have obviously been very proactive researching everything. What a great cat mama Joey has! :bighug:
    KPassa likes this.

Share This Page