Just Diagnosed

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Vince Trombetta, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Vince Trombetta

    Vince Trombetta New Member

    Feb 10, 2020
    Hello, our 6 year old boy Simba was just diagnosed yesterday and my wife and I are just trying to figure everything out to start his care. We have already took away his dry food in favor of wet food to start. Just had a few questions. Should we start on insulin right away or see if just a diet will help? It already seems like he is doing better with just being on wet food but I know it's only been a day. Should we test him ourselfs before just starting the insulin? Just a little nervous about starting the insulin right away.
  2. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    Hey Vince and sugardude Simba and welcome.

    Good for you on starting the transition to wet food! It can make a big difference and it can be easier to change the diet if your cat is not on insulin yet.

    Did the vet mention the word ketones? Did your cat have DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis)? It can make a difference between starting the insulin immediately or waiting.

    Good food, good insulin (prozinc, lantus, levimir) for cats, home testing are the 3 keys we use here to help a diabetic cat get better.
    We highly recommend and advocate learning to home test your cat. Many vets do not even mention home testing to their clients, because they think it will stress their clients out. Can be a bit tricky to learn at first.

    Have you found the "sticky" or pinned posts available at the top of the various forums? Did you read the links in the welcome email you received?

    Any steroid use? Any" reason your vet thought he was diabetic? What were the symptoms for diagnosis?
  3. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Dec 28, 2019
    Hello Vince! I'm a newer member myself, but I can help out until the more experienced members chime in. It can be safer to do the diet switch before you start insulin, so that's a fine plan. Folks can and do switch diets while already on insulin, but they have to watch their kitty's BGL very closely, as switching to low carb wet food can lower BGL by over 100 points.

    I would like to encourage you to home test his glucose levels. When the time comes, pre-shot tests are very important, as you need to make sure his sugar level is high enough for the insulin. Some mid-cycle tests also help see how the cat is doing and let you know if it's time to change dose.

    There's great information in the sticky posts under Health Links and FAQs. Another good place to start is New? How you can help us help you!
  4. Vince Trombetta

    Vince Trombetta New Member

    Feb 10, 2020
    Simba had a blood sugar of 350 and when they tested his urine they said it had sugar but no ketones he is not dka. We just recently changed his diet to only wet (literally last night) and me and my wife already have noticed his alertness has gone up since recently... When we talked to the vet she made it sound like the only option was the diet switch accompanied by insulin for life she kept saying things like life long etc... We're worried about starting insulin if a diet change is all he needs ATM. We are interested in home testing but aren't sure how to do that and are scared of messing up or hurting him thank you all for the replies
  5. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2013
    Any other signs such as excessive drinking (P/D), excessive peeing (P/U), voracious appetite, losing weight, weakness or trouble walking on his back legs (diabetic neuropathy)?

    "Once a diabetic, always a diabetic." But we have had quite a few cats here go into diet controlled status and not require insulin after a short couple of months on insulin. Some cats take longer, some never achieve that "diet controlled remission", some take a shorter period of time.

    A happy, healthier cat is a great goal to strive for when treating feline diabetes.
    Would you like recommendations on supplies needed for home testing? And some home testing tips?
    What country are you in?

    Any steroid use for Simba?
    Did you get insulin already?
    Where hyper-t and kidney disease ruled out?
  6. Vince Trombetta

    Vince Trombetta New Member

    Feb 10, 2020
    We brought him in to get checked out because of the weight loss and excessive drinking. No steroid use and not on insulin already.
  7. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2013
    The sad truth is that vets get less than a day's worth of training on diabetes when they're in school and that covers all types of animals. Once they get into practice, they just don't have the time to stay up to date on the latest treatments for every disease in every type of animal they treat. If they tried, they'd never have time to see actual patients! That's why places like this board are so valuable. The people here not only have the time to research, but they have the real-life experience to share. Book-learning is all well and good, but I'll take practical experience every time!

    Yes, some cats will require insulin the rest of their lives. My China was one of them but with the help of the people here, she was the most tightly regulated cat here for several years. We did try an OTJ trial, but within a short time, it was obvious she wasn't going to be able to stay off the insulin. (feel free to check out her spreadsheets)

    Some cats will go into remission quickly...some need at least a short time on insulin...and some will require it the rest of their lives. There's no way to predict which ones will be which.

    As you gain more experience, you'll find that treating your sugarcat is really no more trouble than brushing your teeth. I could Test/Feed/Shoot China in about 5 minutes total in the AM and PM and I'd grab tests whenever I wanted to (I'm disabled so I'm home most of the time). Each test took less than a minute.

    You can do this!
    Vtambo & Rex likes this.
  8. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Dec 28, 2019
    Take a look at the link in my signature "Billy's Spreadsheet." You can see a very recent example of just how fast some cats go into remission. Billy was lucky. But, as Chris said, some cats are on insulin the rest of their lives and have long, happy, and healthy lives. Every cat is different. I do think that in Billy's case, he needed the insulin to give his pancreas a chance to heal. You can try the diet change for a few days, test his blood, and see where you are at.

    Honestly, I think BGL testing is harder on the humans than the cats. Certainly some cats take to it easier than others. If your cat doesn't enjoy being touched or petted, that could make it harder. Billy got used to it very fast with the judicious use of bribes. (Plain cooked chicken breast and Halo brand freeze dried chicken treats in Billy's case.) Now, he actually purrs when I grab the test kit because he knows he's getting a treat.

    There's some great information here:
    Home testing Links and Tips
    Blood glucose meter ratings, etc

    I use an inexpensive ReliOn meter, and it works great. Many folks freehand the prick with a lancet, but I sucked at it. I use a lancing device. The one I have is a CVS brand for alternative sites. It has an adjustable depth, and clear end. The best thing is it's pretty quiet. Some kitties don't like that clicking sound. The thing about home testing is it takes a little trial and error to see what works best for you and your cat.

    If you have any issues, post them here. Chances are someone will have a tip or trick that will help.
    Kerri & Tigger likes this.
  9. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to FDMB!

    I want to echo what has been said about home testing. It is the best and only way to insure your kitty is safe if you are giving insulin. Just to put it in perspective, no MD would tell a human to take insulin without testing their blood glucose (BG) levels before a shot or during the day to see how low the dose was taking their numbers. Testing can take a bit of practice to master but it is well worth it given how much reassurance it will give you.

    With the switch to canned food, what are you feeding your kitty? Not all canned food is low in carbohydrates and the carb counts are not on the cans. You want to be using a food that is less than 10% carbs. Most people feed about half of that amount of carbs or less. This is a chart with the nutritional values for carbs included. You have lots of choices.

    Please let us know if you have questions.

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