Melanie & Sisko - Canadian, eh!

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Melly, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Melly

    Melly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Hi everyone! I'm Melanie and our little boy, Sisko, was just diagnosed on Friday with diabetes. I'm in Ontario, Canada, and according to his bloodwork, his glucose was at 26 at the time of testing on Thursday night. Since Friday's diagnosis I've been trying to read everything I can get my hands on surrounding feline diabetes and when we had the consult with our vet yesterday, felt comfortable with the route she has prescribed.

    We've switched to Purina D/M for both our cats and are waiting to see how our little girl does on it. They were both on Hill's Z/D as she was diagnosed with idiopathic intestinal muscular hypertrophy 2 years ago. The Z/D cured her illness, but as we don't know the initial cause, we're unsure how the D/M will take.

    Both kids are 11 years old (they're a brother/sister duo). He started his first insulin dose last night and is on Lantus. As he is used to free-range feeding my biggest concern at the moment is the potential for scarf & barf, as we're giving him a much larger serving of food than he usually receives at one time.

    I'm happy to have found this board and am looking forward to getting to know everyone here! We will be doing glucose testing on Thursday (the vet only wants to see the 6-hour mark and the pre-shot numbers) so wish me luck for that first home test!
     
  2. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Melly and Sisko! Welcome to FDMB.

    You've found a great place to learn all about how to help Sisko with his diabetes. It's great that he's on Lantus: it's a very good insulin for cats. They metabolize insulin very quickly and Lantus is one of the insulins that lasts longer in their bodies and which therefore affords a greater prospect of keeping them in regulated numbers for longer.

    In time you will learn to develop a feeding schedule that works for Sisko with the Lantus. Many of us feed small meals regularly throughout the cycle. For the time being, you may be able to slow down his eating by spreading the food out on a big plate. I've also read here that some people put a clean golfball into the bowl with the food so that the kitty has to eat around it.

    With respect to Thursday's tests, it would be great if you could manage to do a test before insulin (the preshot test) then at 3, 6 and 9 hours after the injection and finally the preshot test before the next injection is due. It will give you a full curve and start giving you some information about how the dose is doing throughout the 12-hour cycle.

    You can learn more about diabetes, home testing, and Lantus insulin by checking out the 'sticky' posts at the top of the Lantus and Levemir Support Group board (access via main forum index page).

    I hope that your girl will do OK on the new food. It's so worrying to have to change something that was working.
     
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  3. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Something that might help with the scarf and barf is 1) mix the food with warm water and make a sort of a gravy. (I am assuming you are using wet Purina DM. It is expensive so we prefer store food in the 8-10% carb range, but wet is always better than dry. See www.catinfo.org. 2)use a plate and smear the food over the plate
     
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  4. Melly

    Melly Member

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    Jul 27, 2015
    Thank you, Critter Mom! I am hoping to bring Sisko and his sister back to small meals/grazing throughout the day. We were told that it was best for now, to achieve regulation and potentially remission, to keep him to two feeds a day. Once regulated we can start introducing more food. In the meantime we started today by giving him several small portions, forcing him to take a bit of time to eat. Poor little dude is so hungry.

    I appreciate your recommendation on the pre, +3, +6, +9, and pre BG tests. I am working from home on Thursday and was planning on aiming for every 2 hours so that I had additional info. Every 3 seems a little more manageable for my first time! I'm pretty sure I'm more nervous about it than the impact he'll actually feel!

    And yes, our girl is a major concern but she seems to be faring well so far with the new food. We'll be keeping a close eye to ensure she remains that way and if need be, will have to find some way to feed them separately. It's not so bad for the initial feed but the grazing has the potential to be difficult.
     
  5. Melly

    Melly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Thank you, Sue and Oliver! We are feeding wet Purina DM. We have the dry as well, as our kids are used to grazing, but at the moment are sticking with 2 feeds in an attempt to achieve regulation. It is pricey, but we're used to the cost as our other cat requires prescription food and has needed it for a couple years now. Fingers crossed that she will take well to the Purina DM and we'll be able to have them on the same food!
     
  6. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Melly. :)

    You can manage every 2 hours? Bonus!!! Go for it. ;)

    I'm glad to hear that your little girl seems to be getting on OK with the new food thus far. Food can be such a worry... What's her name? I really hope the new food will agree with her going forward.

    Sisko's hunger will subside as he becomes better regulated. Once the insulin gets going, you should hopefully see improvements in that relatively quickly.



    Mogs
    .
     
  7. Brashworks

    Brashworks Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2015
    Hi Melanie in Ontario Canada …. from Melanie in Ontario Canada!

    Welcome, you have come to the right place.
     
  8. Lori & Lulu

    Lori & Lulu Well-Known Member

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    Mar 21, 2015
    Hi Melanie in Ontario Canada ... from Lori in Alberta Canada!

    What Melanie (Genghis' mom) just said :)
     
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  9. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Feb 18, 2015
    Hi Melanie and Sisko .... welcome to the board!

    From Linda and Menace also in Ontario, Canada!
     
  10. Lynn & Rupert

    Lynn & Rupert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Hello Melanie and Sisko, welcome to FDMB! My cat was recently diagnosed and everyone here has been so helpful, you found the right place for answers and understanding. Sounds like you are off to a good start, good luck to you and Sisko! Lynn and Rupert from central Florida :) :cat:
     
  11. Robin&BB

    Robin&BB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Welcome, Melanie & Sisko -

    Is wonderful that you're so intent on learning all you can to help heal your boy Sisko! Everyone I've encountered here is very patient, kind & full of wisdom; I am so thankful for the help & moral support I've received from others on FDMB.

    My Bat-Bat, dx'd at age 9, started with Lantus + D/M canned, too. Those 2 big meals 12 hrs. apart were worrisome to me, too. Sue's suggestion above re: adding some water really does work! I also found that picking up Bat's plate halfway through a meal - having her take just a 5-minute breather - helped ensure that the big meal remained IN her belly. ;)

    Best of luck to you & Sisko!
    :):cat: - Robin & Bat-Bat in sunny Arizona
     
  12. Melly

    Melly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Thanks! I'll strive for the two hours and see how it goes. He's fussy with his ears (aren't so many of them!) but I've been gently rubbing them to try and acclimate him...though we've also been cutting his claws since he was a baby and he's not acclimated to that. lol

    His sister is Jadzia. They're both such sweet kids.
     
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  13. Melly

    Melly Member

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    Jul 27, 2015
    Thanks, Melanie! :)
     
  14. Melly

    Melly Member

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    Jul 27, 2015
    Thank you, Lori! :)
     
  15. Melly

    Melly Member

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    Jul 27, 2015
    Hi Linda! Worf is such a fabulous name - he'd fit right in with our crew here. ;)
     
  16. Melly

    Melly Member

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    Jul 27, 2015
    Thanks, Lynn! We've weathered everything pretty well so far - now it's onto a home BG curve on Thursday! My husband will be home to help wrangle Sisko for the first pre-shot test if need be, so that's a bit of a relief.
     
  17. Melly

    Melly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Hi Robin! We've definitely been using that strategy - the 5 minute breather - with Sisko both last night and this morning. So far it seems to have worked, although he's a little cranky about not having some kibble to munch on as a mid-afternoon snack. I figure that small amount of crankiness can be put up with if this gets us to regulation (and potentially remission) faster!

    Everyone here is so helpful and friendly - I can't wait to explore more of the boards!
     
  18. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Yeah! Another Trek fan! Believe it or not, I considered calling my girl Jadzia, B'Elanna or K'Ehleyr (now that would have really been funny;)) but Menace just seemed to fit her better so we stuck with it and she's still living up to her name!

    We are all nervous doing that first few tests on our fur babies. I think they pick up on that stress and get more antsy because of it. So do some deep breathing before hand and approach Sisko like you are a pro and I'm sure you'll have no problem at all. Personally I find the worse part is the dreaded head shake. You just get the bead of blood, grab the glucometer and kitty decides that a good head shake is in order.:banghead::cat::woot:

    I found the whole process got much smoother once I was organized with the equipment and could go through the exercise with the least amount of extra movement. I even did some run throughs sans cat to determine where to leave the meter, when to push the strip into the meter etc. ahead of time and it paid off.

    I'll be thinking about you tomorrow and sending good vibes your way! And if you need any help, they'll be lots of it waiting for you here!:)
     
  19. Robin&BB

    Robin&BB Well-Known Member

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    Sep 28, 2013
    So far, so good! Hold your ground with him, Melanie (in spite of his little "tantrums") because I found that - with Lantus - tight regulation got Bat-Bat into full remission in just under 8 wks. While every cat is different (ECID), you have a very good shot at that via his low-carb controlled diet, careful BG monitoring, etc. :) I'm rooting for you!
     
  20. Melly

    Melly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Thanks @MrWorfMen's Mom - I didn't even consider the headshake!!! Oh the challenges!

    @Robin&BB tonight was the first time he fought us on the shot. Just super-grumpy about the whole thing. We got the needle in and the shot administered and it was super-easy once done! Perhaps he just wanted to eat in peace. I don't blame him.
     
  21. Robin&BB

    Robin&BB Well-Known Member

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    Sep 28, 2013
    Well done, Melly! :)oops:Is it ok to use the short version of your name? Lazy typist, I am ...)

    Bat-Bat had an attack of super-grump today, too ... I had been so thrilled that we'd gone 5 whole days without insulin on her latest OJT trial, then - bam! - this morning she popped me a # that meant "time for a bump o' the juice." <sigh> Boy, was she a crankster by nadir time: Did not want that ear prick at all!!! (Bit me.) But was good I won the struggle, as she'd dropped to within 4 pts. of hypo @ +4. Some kitties get listless as they get closer to hypogycemic, but ol' Bat-Bat? She turns into Ms. Wildcat! I told her, "Well, if you'd just make up your little cat-mind and STAY off the juice, you'd get fewer ear-pricks!" :p
     
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  22. Melly

    Melly Member

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    Jul 27, 2015
    So Sisko's first couple of BG tests went okay. I feel more traumatized than he does - I'm such a marshmallow.

    My husband was home to help with the first test and his AMPS was 28.4 - it took a few tries to really get the hang of it so I'm not sure if there was time for heightened stress to impact the numbers. I just did his +3 on my own (he and I are going to do tests three hours apart today so that we both make it through relatively unscathed) and he was down to 18.6. He really loved the warm rice sock so I'm definitely going to do that again, and we need to find him some treats for being such a good little dude.

    Sisko had lots of cuddles post-prick but to tell you the truth, they were mostly for my benefit.
     
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  23. Robin&BB

    Robin&BB Well-Known Member

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    Sep 28, 2013
    Aww ... Don't worry, Melly. It'll get easier (on both of you) soon. (Will you be able to get those BG #s plugged into a spreadsheet before long?)
     
  24. Melly

    Melly Member

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    Jul 27, 2015
    @Robin&BB I was hoping to use a spreadsheet but I'm unsure how to translate the numbers in the hundreds to the numbers I'm using. Could you suggest a forum that I could post this question to?
     
  25. Robin&BB

    Robin&BB Well-Known Member

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    Sep 28, 2013
    I think I saw a conversion chart for this somewhere ...
    @Elizabeth and Bertie , @Critter Mom , @BJM , @Sue and Oliver (GA) - Can anybody help Melly out on conversion issue (I'm lousy with numbers. :confused:)
     
  26. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

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  27. Melly

    Melly Member

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    Jul 27, 2015
    Thank you, Sue - I've sent you a PM. The spreadsheet is set up but the numbers along the top don't appear to be different than the US numbers.
     
  28. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

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  29. Melly

    Melly Member

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    Jul 27, 2015
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  30. Robin&BB

    Robin&BB Well-Known Member

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    Hey, you're a trooper, too ... good job, Melly!
     
  31. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    There are some feline-specific reference numbers using various meter types in my signature link Glucometer Notes.
    And since your cat is more than a glucose number, there are some other assessments you may wish to make to evaluate him in my signature link secondary Monitoring Tools - like how he is behaving.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  32. Melly

    Melly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Thanks @Robin&BB

    And thank you @BJM - I will check out your glucometer notes. I agree that yes, they are more than a number, this is what prompted the vet visit and why I have spent the days since his diagnosis reading everything I can to help him on his road to recovery. We are already monitoring food, and visually monitoring water consumption along with attitude and demeanour! ;)
     
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  33. Asrael

    Asrael Well-Known Member

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    Jul 28, 2015
    Thinking of you and hope all is going well today- sounds like he is doing great and letting you take the tests:) So glad to hear it! And it looks at the spreadsheet at least you are seeing some improvement in the numbers during the day- Yay! :cat:
     
  34. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Feb 18, 2015
    Great job Melanie! And scritches to Sisko for being a co-operative boy!
     
  35. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Hello and welcome from me in B.C. You are doing a great job with the first day of testing. My first day was an epic fail. :oops:
    Freeze dried all meat treats seem to be a hit with most cats. Orijen has some, including single source proteins (lamb and wild boar) or you can buy Pure Bites which have freeze dried chicken (we call it kitty crack), beef, shrimp, turkey. If you buy the Pure Bites, buy the large size in the dog section - more value for your money. Another option is to boil a plain chicken breast and cut it into small pieces. Freeze what you don't need for later. Those small zero carb snacks might also help his hunger between meals and likely won't impact his blood sugar.
     
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  36. Asrael

    Asrael Well-Known Member

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    Jul 28, 2015
    Thanks for the tips- I was wondering about treats- and haven't asked:) And Great job testing- I tried today just do take it once- and it wasn't fun for Trouble.... It will get better I know:)
     
  37. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Feb 18, 2015
    Here in Canada you can get PureSnacks at Walmart identical product made by the same company as Purebites but considerably cheaper.
     
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  38. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Weigh the bowl and water in grammes. Later in the day, weigh the bowl and remaining water (again in grammes). The difference between the two figures will give you the volume of water consumed (1ml weighs 1g).

    I used the above method to monitor Saoirse's water intake. I found it best to use a large pyrex bowl filled with about 1 litre of water each day. I would weigh it at the end of each 24-hour period. (Saves a lot of math.)


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  39. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Depending on the heat and humidity of the environment, there can be some evaporation of the water.
     
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  40. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Thank you for catching my oversight, BJ. It's a while since I needed to monitor fluid intake by weight.
     
  41. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    If you want to get a rough gauge of the evaporation rate, weigh out another similar quantity of water in a similar diameter bowl and leave it somewhere in the same environment but out of reach of the cat(s). Weigh it again in 24 hours. Divide the difference in weight by 24 to give you a very rough idea of the rate of evaporation. You can then use this to correct for evaporation from the cat's bowl.

    Example:

    Cat bowl + water is 100g lighter after 8 hours - 100ml of water gone.

    Approx evaporation rate: 2ml/hr (worked out by method described above).

    Water gone from cat bowl - (evaporation rate x 8 hrs) = amount consumed by cat.

    100 - 16 = 84ml consumed by cat, and 16ml lost to evaporation.

    .
     
  42. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Perfect Aine. Is it OK if I add that to my tools explanations?
     
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  43. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Fill yer boots, BJ! :)


    Might want to add a caveat that evaporation rate changes with season/atmospheric conditions and will need to be reassessed when the weather changes.

    .
     
  44. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Ok, its added. Fixed some spacing and up-cased the L in mL (was told to do that in a doses and calculations class)
     
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  45. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    You have the right of it, BJ. Over here metric package labelling uses 'ml' all the time so one gets used to the lazy version. :oops:
     

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