Kitten with Type 1 Diabetes

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Joanna Duncan, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Hi, looking for some advice. My 7 month old rescue kitten Minnie was just diagnosed. I adopted her when she was 3 months old and was relatively healthy. She has always drank a lot of water, more than any other cat I have had but I thought nothing of it. She appeared to be gaining weight until about a month ago, and then 2 weeks ago she just appeared unwell. Not playing, lethargic, losing weight, threw up a few times and VERY hungry. Still drinking excessively and also very gassy. I took her to the vet and her BG was 300, they put it down to stress. At that time found a polyp in her ear, gingivitis and decided to treat those 2 things plus giving her a deworming Medicine in the event she had a parasite (GI symptoms and weight loss). 4 days later she deteriorated and I took her back to the Vet. She lost 0.5 of a lb ( weight 4.5 lbs), she is skin and bones, very lethargic, blood sugar was 350, positive glucose and ketones in urine. They admitted her gave her fluids and insulin. She stayed 2 days and came home. At discharge G still 300, I am giving her insulin 0.5 unit twice a day. The Vet said not to change her food just yet. I feed her wet food twice a day (Blue Buffalo, 1/2 can morn and night), blue buffalo dry food in between. She appears starving but has still thrown up.
    I am overwhelmed not sure what to tackle first. Should I feed her more? Change her food? Feed only wet food? Should I monitor her BG? Her urine?

    really need some advice 0C640B45-FDD3-481B-AE37-13909E598EAB.jpeg
     
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  2. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi and welcome to the forum. I am sorry your sweet little kitty has diabetes so young.
    Yes please do test the BG levels. A human meter is fine. If you live in the US you can get a ReliOn meter from Walmart, or a pharmacy.
    While at the pharmacy also pick up a bottle of Ketostix to test the urine for ketones which you should do each day at the moment. It is very important to monitor ketones if your kitty has had them.

    To prevent ketones reforming this is what you need to do:
    • Make sure Minnie is getting plenty to eat. Low carb food is best for diabetic cats. But the most important thing is she will eat, so if she will only eat food that is not low carb at the moment that is fine as we need her to eat. Offer her lots of small snacks during the day and night as well as her meals before the insulin. DO NOT change her diet at the moment until you are testing the blood glucose levels.
    • Try not to skip any doses of insulin. It is really important Minnie gets insulin twice a day. As I mentioned above it is really important you test the blood glucose levels to keep her safe. We can help you learn.
    • Give extra fluids in her food. Try a teaspoon of warm water in each lot of food. Give frequent small meals throughout the day and night.
    • Test daily for ketones in the urine. It is much safer to catch any ketones early and deal with them then to wait until she presents as sick and you find out she has a lot of ketones which can quickly become ketoacidosis (DKA). To test for ketones, dip the test strip into a urine sample you have collected from Minnie. Check it against the colours on the side of the Ketostix bottle exactly 15 seconds later. Anything above a trace needs vet attention.

    . In answer to your questions,
    Yes I would feed her more...as much as she will eat, as long as she doesn't vomit.
    I would not change her food at the moment until you are testing the BG levels as low carb can drop the numbers more than 100 points.
    Yes monitor the BG levels?
    Yes monitor the urine for ketones?

    Link to home testing
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/



    Keep asking questions. We are happy to help
    Bron
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  3. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Thank you so much for the great advice.
    I am in the US in fact in Georgia
    She currently eats both wet and dry Blue Buffalo kitten food. I have increased the amount of wet a little. She is very malnourished.
    Is there such a thing as diabetic kitten food?
    Have you ever experienced such a young cat with type 1 Diabetes? My vet has not seen it before so if not really sure how to manage it.
    I will get the ketone sticks. I have a BG monitor already ( human use!) how do I obtain a sample from her? Where do I stick her and with what?
    Do you recommend any nutritious low carb snacks I could give her?
     
  4. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    As far as I know, there aren't any diabetic kitten foods. If Minnie has been spayed, at 7 months, she's old enough to eat adult food. (I have a kitten who's the same age and spayed and my vet said she's fine to be eaten adult food.) The kitten food is nutrient dense and will help Minnie put the weight she's lost back on more quickly, though. You may want to check this chart of available canned foods. If you are looking for kitten food and/or low carb, the carb percent is listed and ultimately, you are looking for less than 10% carb. As others noted, though, don't make big changes in the carb value of food until you are home testing.

    Regarding home testing, you want to test along the outer edge of the ear -- don't try to poke the vein. I'm linking information on home testing. The alternative location to test is a paw pad. You use the same lancets that you use for a human. In the beginning, you may need a wider gauge lancet (e.g., 28 gauge) but once the capillary bed in the ear develops, you can use a 30 or 31 gauge.

    There are lots of freeze dried snacks around. Most people here use freeze dried chicken but your options include anything that's protein only. Many of us buy these treats in the dog aisle -- the bags are bigger and a little cheaper -- and just break them into cat sized pieces. Poached chicken is another option. There are also members who have use cooked shrimp or whatever is your kitty's favorite. Also, when starting to test, always give a treat. Regardless of whether the test is successful, give Minnie treats so she associates testing with a reward.
     
  5. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    Fancy feast has two kinds of kitten foods listed on the chart that Sienne has linked that are good for diabetics :cat:
     
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  6. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Did the vet do any blood work other than testing her glucose levels? If she has any infection or pain that also could be contributing to the high glucose levels.
     
  7. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    If you look at the chart there are no significant differences between the FF kitten food and the FF classic varieties. Most cat foods today meet the requirements for both kittens (Growth and reproduction) and adults. All FF canned food that I have seen says on the label that the food is good for all life stages. The cat food that says for senior cats only will not meet the kitten requirements and the label will say for adults only. If you want to see the difference see:
    https://www.aafco.org/Portals/0/Sit...osed_Revisions_to_AAFCO_Nutrient_Profiles.pdf
     
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  8. Tina Marie and Jan

    Tina Marie and Jan Well-Known Member

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    Jul 24, 2019
    Much love to little Minnie. Your title snagged my attention because I've been a type 1 for 40 years.
    Type 1 is an autoimmune disease, unlike Type 2 which all the kitties I've seen so far here, seem to have (?)

    My primary thought is that this darling needs insulin for life. Was any test done to confirm Type 1 (destruction of beta cells in the pancreas), or is it being called Type 1 because of Minnie's age?

    Not a huge difference in caring for Minnie, other than remission could not happen if she's truly T1.
    She is so very precious!
     
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  9. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Hi, Sorry I am just getting back to you.
    No signs of infection and kidney numbers looked good. Did have some elevated liver numbers. The vet is thinking that her pancreas maybe abnormal and is planning to do testing for exocrine pancreatic disease.
     
  10. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Thank you....she is the sweetest kitty ever! I think the diagnosis is purely because of her age. Our vet has never encountered this before. I would love to find a feline endocrinologist if there is such a thing, but I dont know where to start.
     
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  11. Tina Marie and Jan

    Tina Marie and Jan Well-Known Member

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    Jul 24, 2019
    Joanna - you are doing the best thing now though, and that is giving insulin!
    I don't know if a specialist could do much more than what you are doing already. I know there is that curiosity though . . .
    I had another thought about something potentially easier about T1. Once Minnie is an adult, she might float along nicely on a stable dose, only occasionally needing adjustments.
    I'm so glad Minnie has you:):cat:
     
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  12. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Kay Passa used to have a diabetic kitten, Michaelangelo. Not sure of her user name or if she posts here anymore. She might have some ideas.
     
  13. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Are you testing for ketones to monitor them?
    Can you tell us what type of insulin you are giving and if you have started testing the blood glucose yet?
    How is her appetite?
     
  14. Alicia & Chester

    Alicia & Chester New Member

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    Sep 2, 2018
    You may want to try and reach out to TinyKittens. They are a cat/kitten rescue in Canada and had a kitten named Stanley that was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Maybe see if they can point you in the direction of any information. They're quite busy so they may take a bit to get back or not have time at all, but I think it's worth a shot. Their website is tinykittens.com
     
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  15. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Poor kitty. Feed her as much of the wet food as she wants. Until her diabetes is regulated she will need extra food because their bodies can not properly utilize the nutrients so they are literally starving even though they are eating. Several small meals a day rather than two big meals.

    I have a video in my signature showing how I test my cat CC at home. It's tricky at first but after a couple weeks should be easy.
     
  16. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020


    I have been attempting to test for ketones...catching her urine stream when I can. I have not started checking her BG yet, the vet said to just observe symptoms. Her appetite varies, as you can see she is VERY skinny and has lost weight. She has times when she will eat little bits and other times when she appears to be starving and nothing will satisfy her. She has quite mixed symptoms. She has had intermittent vomiting as well. It is hard to give her insulin as she is so thin.
     
  17. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    I have been attempting to test for ketones...catching her urine stream when I can. I have not started checking her BG yet, the vet said to just observe symptoms. Her appetite varies, as you can see she is VERY skinny and has lost weight. She has times when she will eat little bits and other times when she appears to be starving and nothing will satisfy her. She has quite mixed symptoms. She has had intermittent vomiting as well. It is hard to give her insulin as she is so thin.
     
  18. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Thank you I am reaching out right now!
     
  19. Tina Marie and Jan

    Tina Marie and Jan Well-Known Member

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    Jul 24, 2019
    I would definitely check BG no matter what you were told! The intermittent vomiting could be from high BGs making her sick.
    Are you giving the .5U every twelve hours?
    Hugs for you and gentle hugs for your baby Minnie:bighug::bighug:

    Don't let me stir up things; I'm sending you calming vines . . . just want to be clear on what's up!
     
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  20. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Giving her 1unit every 12 hours now. Same food Blue Buffalo, but I am feeding more often smaller amounts. How often do you think I should check the BG?
     
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  21. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Thank you so much the video is helpful. I hope my kitten will be as cooperative as your kitty :)
     
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  22. Tina Marie and Jan

    Tina Marie and Jan Well-Known Member

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    Jul 24, 2019
    Great on the insulin dosing!
    I would check every time before giving insulin, and log that BG number. (My experience is with Lantus.)
    What insulin are you using?!
    With Lantus, the lowest numbers/peak insulin time/nadir, is usually around 4 to 6 hours after injecting, but can vary by cat! The idea of testing during the cycle with any insulin, is to first, keep kitty safe from going too low, but to also see when the onset is (often 2-3 hours with Lantus), and when the peak strength or nadir is. Ultimately, we are looking for a good and safe dose. It can take a while.

    You can look over my, or anyone's spreadsheet in our signature lines, to see how the BG numbers are tested and logged, and insulin doses changed, etc.

    Please ask anything no matter what! I need to get to a bigger computer so I can see better!!
    Also - you might want to review the first posts from Bron, and then Sienne, that are packed with good info!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  23. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    We are using Prozinc.
     
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  24. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    So the glucose testing didnt go well :(
    I warmed her ear and massaged. I stuck 3 times before I got any blood and it was a tiny amount. Not enough for the glucometer to register a value. Her ears are paper thin and she was very squirmy and didn't like it at all.
    I am taking her to the Vet tomorrow for her Glucose curve.
     
  25. Tina Marie and Jan

    Tina Marie and Jan Well-Known Member

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    Jul 24, 2019
    I'm so sorry it didn't go well. My cat was so unwell, she didn't even squirm as I was learning.
    You are not alone - some people go through awful experiences, then end up with a cat that comes right to the testing spot, willingly! I ended up being able to test anywhere Tina was, but lots of people use one familiar area.
    Any chance a second person could hold Minnie for you?
    Next time you try, first breathe deeply and relax . . . Talk sweetly, and after a poke, give a little freeze dried treat. Don't despair . . . Right now, Minnie just thinks you are nuts! Keep associating treats with the process. It will get easier!!

    Maybe you could use a bigger gauge Lancet? 28 is the larger one (30| 32, are smaller) until the capillaries bleed better. But 28 may be what you are using!
     
  26. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    I actually used a 30 gauge as that is what we had at home. I will go to the pharmacy and get some 28s. Thank you, I will keep trying....she does think I am nuts!!
     
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  27. Joanna Duncan

    Joanna Duncan New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    All,

    I am researching food options for Minnie. Right now I am not changing anything but am starting to plan. She is very underweight, only 4.5 Ilbs. She has gained 1Lb since August. She has no fat at all just skin and bones and a little pot belly! So she will need the nutrition/calories but appropriate for diabetics? Any suggestions?
     
  28. Tina Marie and Jan

    Tina Marie and Jan Well-Known Member

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    Jul 24, 2019
    A simple answer & I have learned from others: Fancy Feast Classics pates! It is a pretty standard go-to for diabetic kitties, that isn't cost prohibitive.

    You would be surprised at how many carbs are often in so much of the so called healthier foods. And it is difficult to even find the carb info on most food.

    I happened to research the Weruva line - a few of their choices are low carb. However it is pretty expensive ($2 for a 5.5 oz can), and the reason I use it is Tina needs low phosphorus. YOU don't need to worry about that with your young kitten - I needed to go low phos for my Tina's kidney disease.

    Once your baby has the diabetes under better control, she will gain weight!
     
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  29. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Some of the Fancy Feast flaked canned foods are good for diabetic cats but higher in calories. Different texture than the Fancy Feast classic pates.
     
  30. Tina Marie and Jan

    Tina Marie and Jan Well-Known Member

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    Jul 24, 2019
    Very good to know; Minnie would thank you!
     

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