Merlin's story

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Kat M, Aug 20, 2017.

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  1. Kat M

    Kat M New Member

    Aug 20, 2017
    Hi all! I am overwhelmed with all the information here! I look forward to posting specific questions, but here is the story so far on my kitty Merlin's diagnosis, it has been a bumpy ride.

    One of my cats, Merlin, was diagnosed with diabetes 7/12/2017. He has been between 12-14 lbs most of his adult life. For most recent 3-4 years he'd been on a combination of wet food (blue buffalo) and dry (orijen). He lost weight in the 4 months leading up to his diagnosis, when he was 10.5 lbs. They were able to collect a urine sample at my July appointment, which had sugars present. He was started immediately on 1 unit of insulin (vetsulin) twice a day.

    In the week leading up to the appointment, I started looking into diabetes more, in particular food options. I attempted to switch to a canned food only, a mixture of Merrick and Fancy Feast, as those are both high protein, and low carb. Merlin is a very picky eater, and he also really loves dry food. He is currently underweight, and will generally eat only a little wet food before turning his face at it. And it varies, one day he'll eat great, but the next he barely touches it. He does still occasionally get a few kibbles of dry when it's one of those days that I'm worried he didn't get enough calories (so I am probably not helping the problem). I try to limit the dry to <30% of his overall calories.

    Merlin's diagnosis was not at the best time. 10 days after my family was going on vacation, and Merlin is nervous around strangers (i.e. a pet sitter) and will hide. I knew there was no way he was going to get insulin and eat while someone else was around. So we decided to board him at the vet, which turned into a disaster, because he spent the entire 10 days he was there hiding and barely eating. And therefore not getting insulin, until they started force feeding him. At the end, he lost another pound by the time we came back.

    Once he was home and eating well again (it took several days) we started giving him the 1 unit BID again. Around this time my glucose monitor arrived. I was finally set up to do a blood glucose curve at home. So a week after he's back to normal, I do the blood glucose curve. I unfortunately did not do enough research about normal levels before this time, because his BG was 130 that morning, and I still gave him his shot :(. Needless to say, a few hours later we were at the vet getting sugar stuffed down his mouth. Vet said stay off insulin for a week, try to collect urine sample (which I wasn't able to do). But I felt horrible and terrified - he could have been "normal" before many of his other shots, and I didn't know! Off to work unaware that my kitty could be close to passing out at home.

    I was not able to easily collect urine (I have 2 cats), but I checked his BG through out that week twice a day, and he was consistently above 300, sometimes even above 400. Vet suggested trying 1 unit once a day for a week, then doing the BG curve again. So we arrive at today. Yesterday we started the 1 unit vetsulin in the AM, when his BG was over 300. I did not check this morning before giving his shot (another fail :(). But after a few hours, he was at 70, low again. He is now stuffing his face with some left over dry food.

    So this is my story up to now. It is clear we have not figured out how to manage Merlin's diabetes. I am struggling making good food options work. I have definitely learned the importance of testing before each shot. I just need to figure out how to make it affordable! Looking forward to learning a lot from everyone.
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    70 on an alpha isn't hypo but close to it. I would reduce to half a unit. Welcome! Good job home testing. If you get a chance set up a spreadsheet like the one in my signature so we can give you better dosing advice.
  3. Beenie (GA)

    Beenie (GA) Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2017
    Welcome Kat & Merlin!! :)
  4. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    Welcome! We can help. I like Janet's advice to try 0.5 u. Giving it twice a day is best. Home testing is essential, as you've seen.
  5. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    Welcome Kat and Merlin!
    Feel free to ask any additional questions over on Main Health forum so more eyes can see :)
  6. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    What a gorgeous kitty! Welcome.
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