Just started home testing, question about BG readings

Discussion in 'Lantus (Glargine) / Levemir (Detemir)' started by Kathryn & Nugget, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    I just started home testing Nugget's BG yesterday. I attempted to get a couple of readings, but the veins in her ear are quite difficult to see/lance. She does not love this task as her ears are sensitive. I got a few readings, which can be seen in her SS.

    She is slightly above the normal range, from 214-226. The only "normal" reading I got was 12 hours after her first Lantus shot of the day (so I guess you would call that the PMPS), and that was 188.

    I am unsure of whether or not I need to adjust her dosage based on those numbers, or if I should stick with this dose (2 units/2x day) until I get more readings to see the trends.

    I also realized that I was not administering the insulin properly. The vet showed me how to do it, but I am almost positive that the syringe was not fully under her skin. So all this week it is possible that she did not receive the full dose. I figured out a better way to part her hair to see her skin, so it should be better from now on.

    Any suggestions to make the BG test easier? I tried a warm washcloth (she hated that), I tried the warm rice in a sock (she bugged out hearing the rice move)... I don't want to keep sticking her poor little ears :( I would rather find the technique that works and stick once real quick! I stuck her a lot yesterday, and her ears are VERY red. I don't want to cause her anymore pain. I was going to put some neosporin on her ears but she will lick and clean and I don't think its a good idea for her to ingest that stuff!
     
  2. Amy&TrixieCat

    Amy&TrixieCat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Great job getting started with testing - this is the most important thing to do with your sweet girl! At the moment, I'd say we need more data before making any dosing decisions, unless you catch a BG that is below the safety range.

    Testing can be tough at first, but it usually does get much easier. As you test more frequently, capillaries develop, which in turn makes getting blood easier. In the meantime, give lots of treats, hugs, and scritches at testing time, so Nugget associates testing with love and positivity. Before you know it, she will come to you when she hears you getting testing supplies together (I didn't believe that when I first joined this group, but it IS true!)

    Some folks here actually do use Neosporin with pain relief, and they find it is helpful with sore little ears.

    Just a couple other basic questions - have you looked at the stickies at the top of the forum about Tight Regulation (TR) and Start Low Go Slow (SLGS)? Those are the two methods most members here follow, and the stickies are full of great info. When you decide which one works best for you, you can include that in your signature so folks know how to guide you.

    And, what does Nugget eat? Knowing that also helps us help you.

    Welcome to the group!
     
  3. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    JanetNJ has made a good video about how to test:
    Video I made showing how to test your cat's blood sugar

    This is the sweet spot you are looking for.
    [​IMG]

    A bit of neosporin with pain relief ointment (not cream) is fine to use.

    Are you using a lancet device? or free handing? It could be that the lancet device is set to a low number and does not penetrate deep enough.

    It does get easier. I promise.
     
  4. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    The way I did it with Quintus is that I would try and minimise the "fiddling with ear" time. I also started playing with his ears when petting him so that he didn't associate ear touch with automatic ear prick. When came time to test I would put the strip in the meter (without pushing it all in), give scratches and scritches, deftly catch the ear and quickly poke roughly where I thought I should poke, and immediately continue with scritches, without checking if I had got the drop of blood or not. After a few seconds I would look to see if there was a blood drop, and if there was, continue scritches and push strip into meter, and test when the meter was ready.

    It gets easier with time! my first time took 40 minutes :eek:
     
    beggargirl likes this.
  5. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    I found it helped if I held the tip of the ear between my thumb and index finger, and gently placed the other three fingers flat across the opening of the ear. This method gains trust. The cat will begin to believe that you are not grabbing the ear in order to poke your finger into it.
     
  6. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Hello and welcome. Congrats on starting home testing. Here is a post with some Testing and Shooting Tips.

    It's also important to try to get a test in the night cycle, maybe one just before you go to bed. Often cats go lower at night.
     
  7. Stacy & Asia

    Stacy & Asia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Hi neighbor! Welcome to you and nugget. I'm in NYC too. Which borough are you in? I'm on vet #3 since FD diagnosis and she's a keeper. PM me if you want the lowdown on my vet recommendations. I have 2 that I would go to and one I would avoid.

    Can't go to Walmart either, I order strips, lancets, and syringes from ADW. This is the meter I have, it's rebranded and sold in Walmart so it's the same as one of the relion meters that many people here use. They ship fast and they are cheaper than Amazon. You get the meter free if you buy 200 strips:

    https://www.adwdiabetes.com/product/4045/arkray-glucocard-01-blood-glucose-monitoring-kit

    I also started with an AT. The strips became prohibitively expensive really fast! I could have purchased 2 unlimited MTA monthly passes for what I was spending on AT strips a month! :eek:

    Testing may seem challenging now, but I promise you it will get easy in a very short time. Their ears learn to bleed better and as your technique improves, you can get finer lancets and not make them sore. You can just rub her ears to warm them up, assuming your hands are warm. Hold an ear between your thumb and pointer finger and slide your thumb up from the base of the ear towards the tip to encourage blood flow. Also, if you give a special "test only" (diabetic friendly) treat, you may find Nugget asks to be tested! No really, it's happened. :p
     
  8. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Hi Amy, thanks for the info. I will take a look at those stickies. I didn't receive much guidance from the vet that prescribed the insulin other than give two units twice a day 12 hours apart... she even told me it wasn't necessary to test at home. I am glad we are doing it, it gives me such peace of mind. Would below the safety range be anything below 100? I've read so many different things about the ranges and what is good and what is not.

    I will definitely try a reward with treats... she gets her breakfast/dinner right after I do the testing, so hopefully with time it becomes normal for her. I look forward to the day she comes running when she hears me open the zipper on the kit!

    Thanks for the advice to add TR/SLGS and her diet in my signature, I will do that now!

    We switched from entirely dry purina one to castor and pollux organix chicken and chicken liver, and their pristine line- allllll the seafood flavors. Those are her favorite! 3oz of wet food twice a day.
     
  9. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Hi! Yes Janet's video is great. I watched it a few times before I tested Nugget for the first time. I am using the lancet device, and I have it set to "3" (it is an AccuTrak2). I was nervous about trying it free hand so I figured I would stick with the device instead of just the lancet.

    That is a good diagram, definitely helpful. I just wish those tiny little veins were more visible! I will have to pick up some neosporin and keep it in my kit.
     
  10. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Hi Stephanie... it took me about 40 minutes to work up the courage! It is definitely scary the first time. Good idea to start playing with her ears so she doesn't associate the two activities. I had some trouble this morning getting enough blood, and I wasted a test strip because I thought there was enough, but the meter didn't read it. I am wondering if the click of the lancet pen is what is bothering her... I will have to try and free hand.
     
    Stephanie & Quintus likes this.
  11. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Hmm I will have to try that! Her next test is at 5:20, so I will try that.
     
  12. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    I tried to stay up last night... I was testing every three hours. But I was sound asleep when 9PM rolled around. It will be easier this weekend to do an all day curve. She was up busting my chops at 2:30 AM, so I probably should have dragged my butt out of bed and tested her but I was just so tired. I'll take a look at that post, there might be something to help me with her injections!
     
  13. Amy&TrixieCat

    Amy&TrixieCat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    It's a little tricky with an AT (the stickies are written based around human meters), but very generally, anything below 90 is "take action" with SLGS on an AT, and anything below 68 with TR on an AT is "take action".

    There is a ton of real-life experience here with all kinds of kitty circumstances...keep asking as many questions as you need!
     
  14. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Hi Stacy! I am in the Bronx (BX transplant, I am a Brooklyn girl, born and bred). I will definitely send you a message!
    I can't believe the cost of the strips- and when I screwed one up this morning I had a face palm moment. I will definitely look into that meter, if I decide to switch. What kind of treats are good for diabetic cats? The only treats she's really ever liked are Greenies (catnip flavor), and the ones that are crunchy on the outside and squishy on the inside.. I feel like it might have been friskies brand? I can't wait for the day she "asks" to be tested!
     
    Stacy & Asia likes this.
  15. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    So I just read the stickies and I am not sure where I fall- TR or SLGS. I haven't adjusted her dose (except for two nights when she did not get the dose because one night I was afraid she was too low- this was before testing at home-, and Monday night when we didn't get home from the vet until 8:30 (2.5 hours past her normal shot time), her numbers at the vet were decent so I didn't think it was a problem.
    I give the 2 units exactly 12 hours apart. But I'm not home during the day to test her every 3 hours like the TR sticky says. I supposed that lands me in "it has only been one week since diagnosis and I am still figuring things out" land.
     
  16. Stacy & Asia

    Stacy & Asia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    You're not too far, we are in Manhattan.

    Im not sure if greenies are high carb or not, maybe others know and can chime in. A lot of people use freeze dried chicken or whatever protein treats, my cat doesn't like treats and will eat those. You can also use a piece of boiled chicken or certain types of deli meat without added sugar or bad stuff.

    The AT strips are somewhere around $1 per? The ones I use, in the link I sent, are around .34 cents each, and that comes with a free monitor.
     
  17. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Wowza that's a HUGE price difference! Just tested now, gave lots of scratches and two greenies and kisses and got a good test. Had to stick twice- still trying to find that sweet spot. Her BG was 187, which it was yesterday 12 hours post AMPS.

    The Greenies package doesn't have a carb count- but the second ingredient is wheat and the third is brown rice... guess those are out. I'll wait for a good sale on chicken and freeze it, and then I can always toss one in to boil for her. She stole my boars head chicken yesterday- jumped right up and grabbed a piece and ran!

    I think I sent you a PM, I am not sure if I clicked the right buttons. I'm interested in who you go to in Manhattan. I spoke with a vet yesterday on the lower west side, he was very helpful. I have an appointment at AMC on 4/5 with Dr. Bloom. I do want to take her to the vet within the next 3-4 days to have her labs repeated, as her calcium was also high and one idiot vet said "oh that usually means cancer" :confused::eek::nailbiting:o_O:stop::arghh::arghh::arghh::arghh::arghh::arghh::arghh::arghh:

    I am not freaking out, yet. I googled and it could be idiopathic hypercalcemia. So we will wait and see.
     
    Stephanie & Quintus likes this.
  18. Stacy & Asia

    Stacy & Asia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    I got your pm, I've heard good things about AMC, you're probably seeing an IM specialist there? Either of the two vets I pmed you about would be good to do those labs if you wanted to go sooner, they both use IDEXX, I would trust the 3rd vet's interpretation of the results more. There is also a tab in the SS where you can enter in your lab data and a few people here are very good at reading labs. Did the vet make that conclusion based on a lab number alone? Did they do an ultrasound or urinalysis or other tests as well? It could be elevated for several reasons that aren't cancer.
     

Share This Page