Just found out Toby has diabetes

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by swtsparkle, Jan 9, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. swtsparkle

    swtsparkle New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    Hello everyone. I am brand new to this website and feline diabetes. I found out Toby (5 years old) had diabetes on 1/7/15. My vet recommended to start him out with 2"cc" (I believe that is the term) of insulin 1x a day and check back in 2 weeks to see if that needs to be adjusted. I went to my local, natural pet food store and I bought a dry cat food product called Nutrisca. It stated is it low on the glycemic, does not have corn, wheat or soy, low in carbs. ( I tried calling the company to see if they can tell me the carb count, but not answer yet). I also bought some natural canned food (Spring Natural, Weruva, Hounds & Gatos). The routine I am starting is 2 feedings a day with 1/4 of canned food mixed with 1-2 tbsp. of dry with 1/2cup of dry food on the side. He is good at eating the wet food and may nibble at the dry. I am not sure the correct amount of food to feed him-I do not want his sugar to keep going high or get too low. Has anyone heard of these brands or foods and if they are good for diabetic cats? I also want to find out what others' did when they first started out? Or what advice would you give me now? I know this is general, but I want to see what others have done or what they have learned. Any help or advice is appreciated. Thanks :)
     
  2. ramonaghan

    ramonaghan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Hi there! I am pretty new to this myself but would advise you to take a look at Dr. Lisa's food chart on catinfo.org. That's the list most of us here use; we try to stay under 5% carbs ideally and definitely no more than 10%. Dry food is discouraged because even though a few varieties may be low carb, it is still moisture depleted and cats, especially diabetic ones, need more water than they're likely to drink from the water bowl. You say Toby is eating the wet food well, which is great! A lot of cats are hardcore kibble addicts and that makes things more difficult. The switch to a low carb, high protein all-canned diet can reduce the blood sugar by more than 100 points. When my Henry was diagnosed, he was at 465, and after a week on a diet of only Fancy Feast Classics he was down to 350--with no insulin (some people even see this kind of drop overnight). A lot of us feed Fancy Feast Classic pates, Friskies pates, or 9-Lives pates--they're all on the food chart I mentioned. So, as you can tell, you don't have to spend a fortune on food! :) That said, I have recently started feeding some Weruva flavors to my diabetic boy in addition to his Fancy Feast, and it's a big hit with both him and my non-diabetic cat. Weruva and Hounds&Gatos are both listed on the chart, so just check the flavors to make sure you're feeding the best ones for Toby.

    Has Toby started insulin yet? If not, now is a good time to go ahead and try the diet change, and then you and your vet can determine the appropriate starting dose based on his numbers on the new diet. If he has already started insulin, the process is a little different. If you could provide a little more info, like how much Toby weighs, what his blood sugar was at diagnosis, and what insulin he has been prescribed, that will help the experts here (which I am not!) advise you better on how much to feed, what would be a good starting dose, etc.

    Finally, home testing is vitally important, so you'll see that mentioned here a lot. Most people use a human glucometer, such as the ReliOn from Walmart, since the test strips are much cheaper than those for the pet-specific meter (which I use...between that and the Weruva I will probably go bankrupt ;)). For example, if Toby has started insulin and you switch him to the wet food diet and his blood sugar drops 100 points because of the new food, you'll want to know that so you can make sure he doesn't drop *too* low (hypoglycemia, or "hypo"), which can be very dangerous. Did your vet mention home testing at all?

    I'll stop there because I know there's a lot to process right now. But you're in great, capable hands here! Henry is already on his way to remission after less than a month on insulin thanks in large part to this community.
     
  3. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hello, and welcome to FDMB. We're so glad you found us. Here's a big welcoming hug for you! :bighug:

    When you say '2cc' of insulin once a day, do you actually mean '2 units of insulin' once a day?
    Insulins generally need to be given twice a day. It is unusual for an insulin to be usefully active in a cat's system for more than 12 hours.
    And, as a starting dose, our general recommendation is to start out at no more than one unit and work up from there.
    Which insulin has your vet prescribed?

    Eliz
     
  4. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Hi and welcome

    I wouldn't feed the dry food. There is only one dry food that is low carb and that tends to be given to cats that refuse wet. You want to find a low carb wet food and the best place to do that is through the chart that has been linked by Rachel. If you are in the US many members seem to use one of the Friskies brand. To ease the burden on the pancreas it is best to split their daily amount into small meals.

    If you are giving insulin then we always advise that forum members test their cats blood glucose. This enable you to keep your cat safe and also fine tune your cats dose. This is very important to do if you are switching your cat from a dry to a wet cat food as it can significantly lower the amount of insulin your cat needs. It is best to test your cat before you give the insulin and then at least one time per cycle.

    Would you be prepared to home test your cat? It is simple once you get into the swing of it. Most people buy a human glucometer. This link will help guide you.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/

    List of low carb treats to help your home testing go easier

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/list-of-low-carb-healthy-treats.9172/

    What insulin did you vet want you to start with and are you giving it yet?

    Best wishes

    Sarah
     
  5. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi again,
    I forgot to ask earlier...
    5 years old is very young to be diagnosed diabetic. Has Toby had any steroid treatment recently...?

    Eliz
     
  6. swtsparkle

    swtsparkle New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    Thank you everyone for responding and welcoming me :) Just to give you some more background on him. We took him to the vet recently because he started losing weight (3lbs in 6 months the vet stated). She gave him a blood test and his sugar was 488 (do not quote me on the number, I cannot remember off the top of my head). The vet stated he had Diabetes. She stated he needs prescription food and insulin. Needless to say, I was in shock, but since I was doing a bit of research before I remembered reading the prescription food was not that good. I told the vet I would like to try natural food/wet food first before anything else. She was ok with that, but gave me insulin anyway. He is on ProZinc " '2 units of insulin' once a day." I just give him his shot in the morning. (He will be on insulin for 2weeks on 1/22/15) The vet never said anything about testing his levels at home-I actually heard that from this forum and the websites. I am bringing him to the vet on Thursday, so hopefully I can find out more information on his levels and what is the next step. After I changed his food-free range dry to 2 meals a day- (vet approved) is when it seemed everyone was saying that is not a good thing because now I will not be able to tell if it is the insulin or the food is helping him. I still have to increase his wet food (because I did not want do a big change after hearing others). I am thinking of doing the full can 5.5-6oz of food a day after his next vet visit. His old eating habit was free range dry food with a sliver of wet at night as a treat to 2 meals a day with 2.75oz-3oz wet food per meal, with a 1/4cup of dry-total for the day. I am thinking if the vet states to increase insulin or put him on prescription food, I will tell her no until his diet is steady and then I can better track his levels. I guess I may have to get over my fear of testing his blood!
    Also, Toby has never been sick before (except a sneezing allergy like 3 years ago). I am lost as to how he got Diabetes so young, but at the same time I hope he has Diabetes and the vet did not jump to a conclusion!
     
  7. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB, the best place you never wanted to be.

    It'll control the glucose better to do 1 unit every 12 hours as ProZinc only lasts up to about 12 hours in the cat.


    (Sorry - typoed and missed the 2)
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  8. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    I think BJM meant that Prozinc only lasts 10-12 hours in most cats.

    Many vets do not mention the option of home testing. Perhaps they think if they do, it will overwhelm their clients and result in more euthanasia of diabetic cats.

    Here, we think that home testing is one of the fantastic ways you can help to keep your kitty safe and see for yourself how the insulin is working. Plus as an added bonus, testing the BG levels at home is much less expensive than having the vet run a curve every 2 weeks or do another fructosamine test.
     
  9. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi extra sweet kitty Toby and welcome to the FDMB. We have lots of experience here with the day to day management of diabetic cats. Would you please share your caregiver's first name with us? Like many new folks, you introduced your cat but forgot to introduce yourself.:facepalm:
     
    swtsparkle likes this.
  10. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Typo fixed!!
     
  11. swtsparkle

    swtsparkle New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    I did forget to introduce myself!! My name is Erica. It is nice to talk with everyone. Interesting I did not know it is better to split the shot. In everyone's opinion can Toby be taken off insulin or is this the kind if thing that will be with him always? Also when everyone found out their cat(s) was diagnosed was it as quickly as mine? We brought him in, 1 blood test, next day insulin.
     
  12. swtsparkle

    swtsparkle New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    Thank you for your reply you gave me useful info to start
     
  13. swtsparkle

    swtsparkle New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    Thank you for your help:)
     
  14. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    It depended on the situation for the cat. Ketones/diabetic ketoacidosis, hospitalization, and more make it very clear diabetes is likely.
    Weight loss, excessive urination, and hunger could be hyperthyroidism or diabetes.
    So, it varies.
     
    swtsparkle likes this.
  15. swtsparkle

    swtsparkle New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    Thank you for your information
     
  16. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Before you start changing food, if you're already giving insulin, for safety, you need to be home testing. The glucose can drop 100-200 mg/dL and the insulin dose can drop 1-2 units by changing the food.

    Pick up an inexpensive human glucometer, such as the WalMart ReliOn Confirm, or Target Up and Up, matching test strips, and alternate site testing lancets (they're a bit bigger and more likely to get a blood drop for you.) Also get some Neosporin ointment with pain relief.

    Read the instructions, practice on yourself and some fruit to get a feel for it, then you're ready to learn how to test your cat.
     
  17. swtsparkle

    swtsparkle New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    Thanks
     
  18. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Erica, forgetting to introduce the "bean" happens all the time. You gave us the most inportant info, your cats' name, Toby.

    You asked about if any of those cat foods were good.
    I don't think we ever gave you the link to the Food Chart by vet Dr. Lisa Pierson. These are for canned foods. Look in the 3rd column of numbers for the carb percentage from calories. You want that to be <10% if you can find something your cat will eat.

    For example, search for Weruva and you'll see that Paw Lickin' Chicken is 3% carbs but Grandma's Chicken Soup is 21% carbs. Please be aware that the values on this Food Chart are from September 2012 and manufacturers may have changed the ingredients in the foods so some may not be as low carb as they were several years ago.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page