Lillie diagnosed today - Please help!

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Julieann, Feb 7, 2018.

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  1. Julieann

    Julieann New Member

    Feb 7, 2018
    Hello everybody,

    I’ve been surfing through posts on this incredible site for over an hour. Although I’ve calmed down, I’m very overwhelmed and would greatly appreciate beginning help and advice. My fur baby, Lillie, was diagnosed with FD today. (Although she’s 12 years old, she will always be my fur baby :) Her BG was over 500 (I’ll get a copy of the labs tomorrow). She seems totally healthy and isn’t currently experiencing any other heath issues despite her horrible BG... aside from the fact she’s drinking a LOT of water and is urinating a lot. I was shocked by the idea of spending over $300 per vial of Lantus, but I want the best solution for her. I already submitted for $100 coupon off a pack of Lantus on their website (using Lillie’s name and a birthday that made her over 18 years old), which is good for up to 3 packs per prescription. My vet made it sound like the best insulin solutions were either Lantus or ProZinc. Lantus was the top, yet more expensive, solution. He said it offers the best chance of remission; however, he wasn’t able to provide any information about the chance of remission using Lantus vs the chance of remission using ProZinc. I decided that I wanted to come home and do research before making a decision, but in an effort to do SOMETHING to help Lillie, I purchased the Purina ProPlan DM dry food on my way home from a long day at work... along with a can of the Purina ProPlan DM wet food... to see what she likes. After reading multiple posts on this site, it sounds like most people recommend not feeding dry RX food.... and instead... recommend Friskies or Fancy Feast Pate. I also see that people recommend home testing vs. glucose curve testing at the vet, which I’m totally on board to do since Lillie is not a fan of the vet. Please keep in mind that I currently live by myself and often work late at the office (although I have the flexibility to make changes if necessary. I live 15 min from my office and can even bring Lillie with me to the office if I need to). Here are the beginner questions I have:

    1. Does Lantus really provide a better chance of remission over ProZinc?

    2. Is Lantus better than ProZinc for other reasons? Why?

    3. If Lantus is the better solution, is it better to buy the vial or do the pens?

    4. Is Mark’s pharmacy in Canada the best place to buy Lantus?

    5. Is it ok for Lillie to use the entire $60 bag of RX food that I bought tonight before transitioning her onto the Friskies or Fancy Feast Pate that many people on this forum tend to recommend? If so, how should I transition her from the dry food to the wet food? She’s not picky, so at least that’s in our favor.

    6. Is the ReliOn BG meter the best one to buy for a beginner? If so, is there anything I need to keep in mind about testing with this meter?

    7. Other than a meter, are lancets and test strips the only other things I need to buy in order to test at home?

    8. What else do I need to know as a newbie?

    Thank you SO MUCH for your help. Lillie’s diagnosis was the most recent health surprise in a string of ailments within my family (including myself), and I’m the primary caretaker for all involved.

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    Amanda & Shmee and Julia Rae like this.
  2. Julia Rae

    Julia Rae Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2015
    First of all breath, your doing great and welcome to the family! As to your questions
    1, I found it does but then every cat is different! aka ecid
    2,3 I personally am a fan of lantus as it has a softer curve and does not hit the fur children as hard'
    4,that is a matter of preference some people can get their insulin on the closet, I was lucky as my bf used lantus so I was able to use his!
    5, I would recommend you take the bag back, most places will let you return product tell them you got the wrong stuff.
    6. I would say yes it is a good one, my advise is to use the micro strips as they need less blood
    7. Put together a hypo kit for your fur child, this might include and additional test kit in case your fur child helps you lose the one your using! a bottle of honey, your emergency vet information, some high carb wet food something with gravy that way you can squeeze it off and feed it to your fur in crisis. And do not forget your self.. some chocolate or a small bottle of good booze

    The best advise I can give is breath it is a marathon not a sprint and this disease can be controlled...
  3. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2013
    1....the only published studies were on Lantus that showed up to 80% of newly diagnosed cats could possibly go into remission on Lantus

    2. Lantus lasts longer (usually) than ProZinc, but ProZinc is a little easier if you can't do shots exactly every 12 hours

    3. The pens are the better buy because you'll be able to use every drop. With the vials, unless your cat is on a high dose, it'll lose efficacy before you can use the entire vial and you end up throwing a lot away. The pens are just like "mini-vials" still use regular insulin syringes like you would with a vial to pull the insulin out. The pens are usually good for at least 2 years

    4. Absolutely

    5. I'd just take it back, tell your vet she won't eat it and get your money back to buy a BG meter and strips. It's 100% guaranteed

    6. The Relion Confirm and Micro are favorites here because they're affordable and you can get strips 24/7 if you need them. (cats are notorious for dropping too low at night or on weekends when everything is closed...being able to run to WalMart quickly can save a life!)

    7. A tube of Neosporin with pain relief ointment (not cream), some cotton cosmetic pads (to protect your finger when you poke and then use to apply pressure afterwards to prevent bruising), a low carb treat that kitty loves (as a reward for being tested)....a lot of people here use freeze dried chicken treats but any freeze dried protein treat will work. Just look at ingredients...the only thing listed should be a protein source...nothing else unless it's just vitamins/minerals.

    6. Keep asking questions! Everyone here is very generous with their time and knowledge!! Reading other people's posts is a good idea too because someone else may ask a question you didn't even consider!

    Welcome to the FDMB! The best place you never wanted to be!!
    Amanda & Shmee and Djamila like this.
  4. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    Welcome! :) I don't have anything to add to the good advice you've received already but I will say it's pleasure seeing a new person's concerns presented so clearly in question form as you've done. Makes it so much easier for us to cover everything.

    You can do this! Having a kitty who eats well and a job with some flexibility re getting home or taking her to work is a bonus.
  5. Julieann

    Julieann New Member

    Feb 7, 2018
    Thank you Julia Rae, Chris & China, and Kris & Teasel for responding so quickly. I was an emotional mess last night, and thanks to the info, comfort, and reassurance y'all have provided already, I feel less stressed... and confident that I'll be able to manage this with everybody's help. I'm excited to be able to help others once I'm experienced enough myself.

    I've decided to go with Lantus, and I will likely buy the ReliOn BG meter and micro strips at Walmart tonight... along with wet food (gonna return the RX dry food) and other items that have been suggested for Lillie's hypo kit.

    A new day has raised new questions:

    1. I would like to fill the Lantus pens at Mark's Marine Pharmacy in Canada, but I noticed that expedited shipping won't get them here for 1-2 weeks. Do I need to buy some insulin locally to start off with, or can Lillie wait that long to start insulin (maybe this is a question for my vet)?

    2. I'll find out what the vet recommends for Lillie's beginning dosage. What size syringes are best?

    3. My vet mentioned bringing Lillie in for her first glucose curve testing 10-14 days after she starts insulin. I'm going to home test, but I'm confused about how often you're supposed to test. Do I test her everyday? Multiple times per day? How often do you do the curve testing? I started to read about the spreadsheet last night, but I felt I needed a good night's rest before soaking up any more info, so I'll read more about it tonight.
    Amanda & Shmee likes this.
  6. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2013
    It actually should only take about a week. It will go out within 24 hours of them receiving the script. I've gotten my refills in as little as 3 days (Ordered on Monday afternoon and they were in my mail on Missouri) They will also give you a tracking number so you can follow it through the postal system.

    If you're changing diet, it's actually best to go ahead and transition now (before you start insulin) as long as she hasn't had any problems with ketones or DKA. That way you can see what the diet change will do first before starting insulin. Some lucky cats only need a diet change to go into remission!!

    You'll want to go ahead and start testing now though so you have a baseline for where you started.

    All these syringes have half unit markings (very important when you're doing microdosing) and are the correct syringes for U100 insulin and are available from ADW online:
    Sure Comfort

    They're also available at WalMart if you have one near you. Their Relion brand 3/10ml, 30 or 31 gauge, 8mm (or 6mm) insulin syringes all come with half unit markings and are only $12.58 for a box of 100 (although a lot of them don't realize they DO come with half unit markings!)

    As for dosing, it should be based on weight (and most vets start out too high) Most cats start at around 1 unit every 12 hours, so if your vet suggests something higher, you might want to look concerned and say something like "I think I'd prefer to start lower just in case" (a lot of us use the "Smile and nod" tactic with our vets...we smile, nod like we agree with everything they say and then go home and ask here what we should really do!! )

    OK....actually, curves done at the vet's office are pretty useless because of "vet stress"....Just like humans have "White coat syndrome" where the blood pressure is higher at the doctor, our kitties blood glucose numbers can be up to 200 points higher at the vet. After all, they've just been thrown into a carrier they don't like, driven around in a car that makes them feel all "oogy", forced to sit in a lobby full of other critters that are barking and yowling and then they're being poked and prodded by a person they never liked much anyway.

    Most of us just do our tests at home and either share our spreadsheets with our vets, call them with results or don't bother to keep them informed at all. My own cat hasn't ever been back to the vet for her diabetes. I drank the FDMB Koolaid quickly and trusted the people here with my precious China....and I couldn't be happier!!

    One thing to add about using Marks....Once they have a script on file, they'll never need another one. You don't have to get a new script every year like you do in the states.

    Back to ALWAYS test before shooting to make sure they're high enough for insulin at all. After that, during the AM cycle, (If you can) you should get at least 1 test somewhere mid-cycle (like 5 to 7 hours after the shot)

    On the PM cycle, after the "Pre-shot" test, you should always get at least a "before bed" test...most cats go lower at night, so it's important to get that test in so you can sleep peacefully (or know that you need to set an alarm to get another test later!)

    A curve is testing every 2 hours for 12 hours or every 3 hours for 18 hours, but if you just get random tests at different times, you really don't need to ever do a "curve".

    Think of our spreadsheet's like they're a puzzle....If you only have the edges filled out, it's impossible to know what the picture is, but if you have puzzle pieces (test numbers) sprinkled all over, the picture becomes clearer.
  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
  8. Moose & Rae

    Moose & Rae Member

    Apr 12, 2017
    I just wanted to say welcome to the forum and it's so great that you are asking so many questions! Hugs to you and your Lillie and I hope you are able to get on the right track! I see that more experienced members have already addressed your questions, and I am still a newbie at that so I will leave it to them :bighug:
    Critter Mom likes this.
  9. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    Welcome. Great advice above. So glad you are going to be testing at home. I have a video in my signature showing how I test my cat CC at home.
  10. Tracey&Jones- GA

    Tracey&Jones- GA Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2016
  11. Julieann

    Julieann New Member

    Feb 7, 2018
    I finally started Lillie on Lantus this past Saturday (03/03/18). I didn't start her in the morning like I should have. I started her in the evening. Her first shot of 1.5U was given in the evening. Her PMPS was 264. Her AMPS on 03/04/18 was 79, so I skipped the AM shot. Her PMPS was 252, so I gave her 1.25U (thinking her PMPS on 03/03/18 was too high). Her AMPS this morning was 269. Her PMPS was 96 this evening, so I didn't give her a shot. +2 this evening was 161. +3 was 230. +4 was 269. Was I right in skipping her shots when I did? If not, what should I have done?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  12. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2015
    Hi Julie, I think your question would best be answered in the Lantus forum. There are folks there that can give you great info.
    beggargirl likes this.
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