My 16 year old cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes, need advice please.

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Dan&Heather, Dec 21, 2016.

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  1. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

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    The Lantus pens come in boxes of 5. Some stores, I have heard some Targets, some hospital pharmacies, and maybe some CVS pharmacies will sell the individual pens of Lantus, to keep costs down.
     
  2. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Ok, that's what I figured I would do, just kinda go along with it when they talk about bringing her in every couple weeks to have the blood glucose testing done. Just from what we've learned on here in the short amount of time we've been here told me that it's perfectly safe and better to do that testing at home, so that is what we plan on doing.

    I have not heard back from DCIN yet, I plan on emailing them when I get back from the store to make sure they've seen the application.

    I have to work in about an hour and a half, so I'm going to go get more food to make sure Dan has enough here to keep up with feeding her for the night and someone mentioned giving her some plain pedialyte so i'm going to get that too.

    I want to give her some of the pepcid but i'm not sure how we're supposed to do it. We guessed maybe we can crush it up and mix it with a little bit of the baby food we've been giving her? If that's not right please correct me, I'd like to try it to see if it will help at all.

    I wish I would've asked what kind of insulin they would prescribe her. Is it something that depends on the cat for what kind they write it for or do you think they write it for the same kind for all?
     
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  3. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    If you can't get the 10mg famotidine tablets you can split the 20mg tablets into approximately 1/8 tablet dose. Some of the tablet will crumble a bit but you'll be able to get a piece that's the right size; it'll be just fine. (Can't get the 10mgs over here so I split the 20mg tabs.)

    To give the 1/8 tablet try this method:
    • Kneel on the floor with Mittens between your thighs, back towards you and facing away from you.
    • Tilt her head back and ease open her jaws with thumb and forefinger. You need to see the back of her tongue.
    • Gently drop the 1/8 tablet into her mouth so it lands on the back of the tongue.
    • Keep Mittens' mouth closed and very gently rub her throat - it will encourage her to swallow the tablet.
    • Syringe about 3-5ml of water after giving the tablet to wash it down properly.
    • Keep an eye on her for a minute or two to make sure she doesn't spit it out! ;)


    Mogs
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  4. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    Most vets have a "go to" insulin that they use for all their patients....Unfortunately a lot of times it's an insulin that's better for dogs than cats (since they see more diabetic dogs) called Vetsulin ....but that's a veterinary insulin so if they're talking about you getting your insulin at a human pharmacy, they're probably talking about Lantus or Novolin

    There's a big difference in how Lantus and Novolin work and while NPH (WalMart's brand of Novolin) is better than nothing, it's really better to spend the $ if you can and get the Lantus
     
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  5. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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  6. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Different vets may prescribe different insulins. Different insulins have different characteristics. Some of them are longer-acting than others.

    You can start with one insulin and change later if you need to. As Chris says above, right now any appropriate insulin is better than none but if you can get Lantus it's a very good insulin for cats.

    .
     
  7. Misterbeesmom

    Misterbeesmom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 25, 2016
    If its lantus she is talking about, the solostar pen is cheaper and less insulin than the vial.

    Given what we've seen of this vet so far, i'm not surprised she doesnt like that you're home testing. Keep home testing it is much more accurate and much cheaper, and you dont have to tell the idiot vet about it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  8. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

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    With the holiday weekend upon us, I'd try to delay the labs (saving money) until after Christmas - by which time you may have found another (better) vet. Ask the vet exactly what each lab test is for and how necessary is it? Explain that it is Christmas and money is tight. You probably won't by getting the results until after Christmas anyway.

    Ask for a script and also ask if the vet has a part bottle of Lantus they could sell you. Check it first for air bubbles (you don't want to inject air into the vial) and check to make sure it is clear (particles or cloudiness indicates the Lantus has gone bad).
     
  9. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    I'm just catching up here. I agree with all the others about your vet. I could just slap the women that told you treatment wouldn't help. HOGWASH !!!!!!

    Poor baby not feeling well and doctors won't help. They need to be reported. I know from reading here you are doing everything you can. I so hope you can at least get the N going until you can see another vet

    If your vet had diabetes or one if his kids did, should they be put down. I'm pissed enough to actually ask them that face to face.

    Sorry for rant. Prayers and hugs to you. Wish I had some left to send you. :bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  10. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Following on from Red's post above, I'd suggest following Meya's recommendation to get a test done for potassium levels.

    If the vets office offer a SNAP fPL test for pancreatitis that might be worth considering tomorrow. It gives an on-the-spot Yes/No result for abnormalities in the pancreas. Pancreatitis can cause pain, especially when food is ingested. If Mittens were to have a positive result you might be able to get the vet to prescribe pain meds for her tomorrow (buprenorphine) and if she has pancreatitis the pain relief along with an anti-nausea med could help her eat better.

    (For info, there are also Spec fPL or equivalent pancreatitis blood tests which give a numerical result indicating severity of inflammation. If a kitty has pancreatitis then the number returned by this test doesn't change the treatments that the kitty needs to receive. If the SNAP test is available and shows positive you should not need a Spec fPL test.)

    Just in case you might need them to help your vet discussions, maybe print out the following and bring it with you to the appointment:

    IDEXX pancreatitis treatment guidelines

    IDEXX are an authority on feline pancreatitis treatment and all the meds you need are included in the recommendations contained in the above document and should hopefully reinforce your case.


    Mogs
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  11. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Hear, hear!

    (I think we need to form a queue ...)


    Mogs
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  12. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    We live in Escanaba, Michigan.

    Thanks again to everyone for all the replies and help. :) Ill make sure we have a good set of notes for us to use tomorrow with the vet.

    Just a small update: I just got another urine sample for the ketone strips and it came back "small". Ive been feeding her with the syringe every 2-3 hours, depending if shes sleeping or not(i try to let her rest when she looks comfy). We also got some non flavored pedialyte and mixed it about 60% water and 40% pedialyte? I read online half and half, but wasnt sure, gonna try to give her some of that soon. She ate a little bit of food today on her own but not very much. I kind of wanna wait til Heather is off work to try the pepcid because it might be easier.

    Im sure my wife will be on here as soon as she gets a break, shes a little more informed than me since she was the one on the phone with the vet and the one on here replying lately. Im trying to catch up on the thread now though.
     
  13. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I have often seen it recommended that anything above a trace in ketones should be referred to a vet. I would keep that food coming (every couple hours, through the night, too) and do your best to keep her hydrated and eating. My cat J.D. was a DKA survivor. He had to be hospitalized for over 8 days. The recipe for DKA is not enough food, not enough insulin, and an infection or other stress. DKA can come on very quickly. I don't want to scare you. You are doing such a good job of trying to help her. I just want you to be aware of the importance of getting food into her and keeping her hydrated. I'm glad you'll be getting the fluids tomorrow, and some insulin, and hopefully some meds to help her to eat on her own better. Is your appointment in the morning?
     
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  14. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Yes our appointment is at 11am, I just gave her some pedialyte/water and a portion of the chicken and broth baby food and will continue to do so every couple of hours for the rest of the night, she tries to walk away from me halfway thru feeding but she gives in easy enough to let me feed her a little more. Im really hoping tomorrow brings some good news and maybe she starts to feel better. Thank you and everyone else here for all the help lately
     
  15. Misterbeesmom

    Misterbeesmom Well-Known Member

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    Mittens is very lucky to have you two!
     
  16. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Per Meya's and Dyana's recommendations try to keep to feeding Mittens every couple of hours. I understand more than you'll ever know how emotionally tough it is to see your furbaby sick and yet still have to keep doing things to help - and assist feeding can feel very stressful.

    While in an ideal world it would be lovely to let Mittens rest, right now she needs you to be extra strong for her, wake her and keep assisting her to take on board food and fluids to keep the ketones at bay. Please try not to feel guilty about waking her; you are acting out of love. :)

    When you get the insulin tomorrow (and you will!) it will be a big step forward but for now the calories and moisture from the food are what your dear girl needs most. I really do understand how hard this is and I feel for you all.

    (((Dan, Heather & Mittens)))

    You're both doing an a-mazing job. Mittens is indeed blessed to have you both. I hope the Pepcid will help.

    Maybe with the two of you there you might be able to sleep in shifts?

    Prayers continue ...

    :bighug:


    Mogs
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  17. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Hi, it's Heather. I see Dan has updated you while I've been at work. Yes we are going to start caring for her in shifts which will make sleeping much much easier. Neither of us has had much sleep at all for the last week or so.

    Will the insulin take care of ketones?

    Also, we got an email from DCIN. They praised us for feeding her fancy feast and for joining this forum they said there is tons of information on here for us. They requested a copy of the prescription because I didn't have one to send yesterday. I emailed back and explained that we are getting it tomorrow morning and that I will send them a copy as soon as its in my hands. Hopefully they can help us a little, that would be incredible.

    Thank all of you again, we will keep you updated. Dan is keeping me informed while I'm at work. I feel bad that he has to be there and do it alone for most of the night tonight, but work must happen unfortunately.

    I'm going to go thru the while thread again when I get home and make more notes so I am as prepared as possible for the appointment tomorrow.
     
  18. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    :bighug::bighug::bighug: Empathy :bighug::bighug::bighug:

    Delighted you've heard from DCIN; they are an amazing organisation. (((DCIN)))

    I suggest printing out the IDEXX document. You couldn't wish for a more reputable and authoritative source for nausea treatments, appy stimulants, pain relief, etc. All of the meds we've told you about are discussed in that document.

    Insulin plus food plus fluids.


    Mogs
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  19. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    We really appreciate this! Thank you. We worry when we haven't had any news for a while. :nailbiting:

    Sending prayers for everything to go OK overnight and with the vets in the morning. I really am pleased you've heard from DCIN.

    :bighug:


    Mogs
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  20. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Praying all goes well at the vets today.

    I hope the two of you managed to get some bit of rest overnight.

    :bighug:


    Mogs
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  21. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Just as I read that Dan was telling me I need to go to sleep. I can take a nap after the vet, so not a big deal. I just read through the whole thread about 3 times trying to make sure I understand everything. I am going to sleep for a few hours then we'll be off for the vet again. Dan got a little bit of sleep right before I got done working tonight. We have fed her a few times from the syringe since i've been home because she still wont take more than a couple licks of food off of a plate. She drank a little bit of water after I got home, we gave her a little more in the syringe a little while ago. I'm hopeful for the vet visit later today, I'm glad we will finally be getting some things that might actually start helping her. I will post again when we're getting ready to leave in the morning and when we get back.
     
  22. Barbara & Uncle

    Barbara & Uncle Well-Known Member

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    Well done! Good luck with the vet. You guys are amazing!
     
  23. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Hear, hear!

    Hope the sleep will restore you a little, Heather - when you get it! Glad Dan got some sleep.

    EVERYTHING is crossed over here for you all.

    :bighug:


    Mogs
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  24. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    That Mittens is at least trying to eat on her own is good.

    Did she get any famotidine? Did it help any bit at all?

    .
     
  25. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    Good luck with the vet. Hope you both got some sleep.

    Remind your vet that Mittens has not given up and you'll be damned if you do. Tell them in no uncertain terms you have not given up on her and you want treatment and want to start NOW.

    It's always a good idea to get copies of all records each time you go.
     
  26. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    This! In spades!!!

    :bighug::bighug::bighug:


    Mogs
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  27. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree!
     
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  28. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    I know it's tough going at the moment but it would be great if you could do a blood glucose test for Mittens BEFORE going to the vet so you know what her levels are at home. This is important for dosing the insulin properly. The vet visit might make her levels higher than normal so if you have the home test done you'll be able to compare. If your vet uses a pet meter this is also likely to read higher than your human meter.

    The normal reference range for cat blood glucose levels measured on a human meter is 50-120 mg/dL

    (source: University of Queensland Veterinary School - Dr Jacquie Rand).


    Sorry about the technical stuff - last thing you need. :bighug: (Just giving you info which might be handy when dealing with the vet.)


    Mogs
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    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  29. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    I didn't see the message about testing her glucose before we went. We just got back.

    They did blood work and tested her urine, she said her electrolytes are low, her white blood cell count is high, she told me the blood cells could be because of an infection or a tumor or cancer or just because she's sick and her body is trying to fix itself and said more tests would be required to find out anything about that. She said her potassium is low, on this paper the number is 2.5mmol/L. I hope that's the right number I'm looking at, here's a link to a picture of the paper I got today http://imgur.com/a/g8z9W She told me she has some ketones in her urine but said with the things we're gonna do they should go down. They gave her fluids and showed me how to do it, she got a shot of B12 and they gave her cerenia for anti-nausea. She sent me home with potassium supplements and an appetite stimulant Mirtazapine along with a bag of fluid and the line and needles to give it to her. She said we can give her 100ml either once every 24 or 48 hours depending on how much fluid she is taking in.

    She walked around for a few minutes when we got home then went behind the couch for about 10 minutes then came out and drank a tiny bit of water. She didn't want anything to do with the food we tried a few minutes ago, so we fed her some from the syringe. The appetite stimulant pills are pretty small and it says to give her half of one at a time so I'm not too worried about that, although we haven't given it to her yet. The potassium tablets are concerning me though because it says to give her a whole tablet twice a day for two weeks and they are bigger than I thought they would be. They're roughly the size of an aspirin pill for humans and I don't know if we'll be able to get her to take it.

    The appointment was more expensive than they estimated for me on the phone. They said this was because they weren't sure if I was going to want the B12 for sure so they didn't add it in, and because of the cost of the appetite stimulant and potassium tablets. I sent a picture of the prescription for insulin to DCIN as soon as I got home, it's getting very very close to their help being the only way I can start her on insulin. The kind they wrote it for is Glargine and it says on there that it can be substituted with generic. I think that's all the information from the vet visit.

    This was the first appointment with them where nobody suggested we put her to sleep. I think they understand at least a little now that we fully intend to try treating this and are not giving up just yet. I'm worried about her eating, she is fighting us more and more it seems each time we try to feed her with the syringe. I know she must hate it as much as we hate doing it but yesterday she seemed to take it alot easier than today. I know she must have been aggitated from being at the vet for almost two hours though, I'm hoping maybe when she calms down it might go a little easier. The vet gave me a couple of printed off sheets of information about diabetic cats and how to treat and care for them. When she gave them to me I was confused about why they didn't give me that at our first appointment, but I'm sure it was because she gave up hope on Mittens immediately upon meeting her and didn't think we were going to need that information. She should provide this information to anyone who has a cat diagnosed with diabetes anyway I feel.

    So very soon we're going to attempt to give her the appetite stimulant. They said I could give it to her whenever after I got home. Should I wait and let the anti-nausea medicine have time to try to work or should we give her this right now?
     
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  30. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Oh yeah, she also asked me if I intend to test her glucose at home. I said I'd like to and she seemed ok with it at first saying I should call in with the results so they can adjust dosage. Then she said she'd be reluctant to go with the number on our monitor because it's for humans not for animals and suggested I buy one for animals online and said I should just let them do the testing there so they know it's accurate. At this point I just did what you said to do and just kinda went along with it and then just let that subject pass. They said we'd have leave her there overnight so they can do the curve thing. I'm not going to do that, Mittens would go nuts if I dropped her off and then just left.
     
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  31. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Hi!

    Much better. Will write more but need to address this first:

    Don't give the appetite stimulant for the moment.

    Need to check dosage - sometimes vets prescribe too high a dose and mirtazapine is quite strong. (Anti-nausea needs a little time to kick in before giving appy stimulant.)

    Can you let us know the following:

    * How much does Mittens weigh (approximately)?

    * How many mg in the mirtazapine tablets???


    .



     
  32. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    You're already getting some wonderful advice. I just thought I'd add a bit since we went through some of this with Alex...
    Just a suggestion...
    A half tab of mirtazapine aka Remeron is usually too much for many cats. When the dose is too high, they'll often vocalize incessantly, pace, act nervous, and/or act completely "out of it". If I were in your shoes (and have been), I'd start with 1/8 to 1/4 tab (think slivers of the pill). A tiny bit goes a long way. You can always give a bit more if necessary.
    Try crushing the potassium tabs into a fine powder. If Mittens will eat, you can mix it in a little food. It'll go down easier mixed in food. If not, mix the potassium powder and a little water in an oral syringe and give it to him that way. Follow it with a water chaser... about 4 - 5 ml of water.

    Edited to add: An inexpensive pill cutter found at any drug store will come in handy!

     
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  33. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Ok, I thought maybe we should let the anti-nausea work for a bit before giving her the appetite stimulant. I think someone here said something along those lines the other day and that's why I thought we should wait a little bit.

    She weigh's just barely under 8lbs. God she has lost alot of weight in the last week..

    The tablets are 7.5mg
     
  34. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    @Jill & Alex (GA) -

    Thanks for posting the dosing info for mirtazapine, potassium, etc.

    @Dan&Heather -

    Are you OK with the info Jill provided about the mirtazapine?

    .
     
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  35. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I wish they could have started her on some insulin right away. Will your vet be okay with starting with some Novolin N from Walmart? I think it's about $25.00 for a vial. It's not the best for kitties as it is fairly strong and only lasts about 8 to 10 hours, but would be better than nothing for now, until you get some Lantus (Glargine) shipped to you.
    What was her glucose number?
     
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  36. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    I was going to suggest the same about insulin as Dyana has just done.

    Keeping fingers crossed about DCIN but you do have a fallback position for insulin if necessary.

    .
     
  37. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Dyana, would you be able to help Dan and Heather with Novolin dose, or do you know which members could help?


    Mogs
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  38. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Did they give you more Cerenia tablets to bring home with you?

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  39. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    Mogs took the words out of my mouth. Did they give you cerenia to take home? If he's nauseous the stimulant will probably not work. Cerenia is a daily dose until the nausea subsides.

    Agree with getting N insulin started, it's better than nothing. Don't know how long it will take DCIN to get it to you since its the holidays.
     
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  40. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I only know Lantus and Levemir well. My cat started on PZI or Prozinc but that was a long long time ago.
    I did a search on the "Novolin N" in the search box on the board and there were a lot of hits. Maybe, she could start a new thread on the Health Forum with a subject line of "Novolin N help, please" or something like that, and making sure to state in the initial post that Mittens is not eating regularly and being assist fed at the moment. I hope they can get some insulin into Mittens soon. I could only guess at starting with 1 unit or even 0.5 unit since she's not eating much, and testing. Make sure they have gravy and syrup or honey and the whole hypo kit, including lots of test strips. I wish they lived closer.
     
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  41. Meya14

    Meya14 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 2, 2015
    Regarding the potassium, once you get her level up, she will probably have less nausea and a lot more energy. Low potassium can cause the digestive system to slow to a halt. Be aware though that it's best to give with food as it can irritate the stomach at first if the stomach is empty. Also, it may cause some loose stools, don't be alarmed if this happens. You can crush and mix it with the food you are feeding.

    The faster you can start insulin, the better your chances of getting her healthy. I agree, novolin N would be better than nothing at the moment. Also, you may want to put a shout out in your social network - a lot of human diabetics throw out insulin after 30 days (after it expires) so they may be able to give you the leftovers - for free! Only take vials form people, not pens, as humans usually use pen needles which contaminate the pen and could expose you to germs (hepatitis) if you had and accidental needle stick. Don't take from people who re-use needles either for the same reason.
     
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  42. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    @Meya14 - Very glad to see you here, Meya.

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  43. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Same here.

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  44. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Yes that was good information. We will start with only a very small portion of the pill. And for the potassium I was hoping someone would say that way would be ok, that's the way I think we'll have the most success. We are going to try it in a few moments, after that we will get a glucose reading and let you know what it says.

    I'm not sure, I didn't ask because when she gave me the prescription for the other insulin I thought we'd be all set until I realized I won't be able to afford it.

    No she did not send any of that with us.

    Is that the one I can get at walmart over the counter? If so should I go get some right now? I need to go get more baby food anyway and can ask about it while I'm there, we do have enough money left for that one if we need it tonight.

    We did get an email from DCIN here is what it says:
    Hi Heather,
    Thank you for the prescription and it sounds like you & Mittens had a productive vet visit!
    I know this is a very stressful time for you right now, we have all been in your shoes when it comes to caring for a diabetic kitty at one time (even myself). The reason I asked for the prescription is so that we can work on getting you the insulin and syringes.
    I have your file set up and I am just waiting for confirmation that your application has been approved (I don't see it being a problem but I have to go through the proper channels before I can official say yes). Hopefully I can have a decision for you shortly. In the meantime please continue with what you are doing, your are doing the best you can for Mittens and that is all we ever want!
    Could you please send me a picture of Mittens when you have a minute?
    -Jennifer

    Sounds like a positive email to me. Should I wait to see what the next email says or will it take a while to get it to us even if we are approved. If that's the case I and if the one from walmart can be gotten without a prescription I will go get some right now. We are going to try to feed her and get the potassium in her right now.
     
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  45. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    How broad a time window do you have to get to the Walmart pharmacy?

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  46. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Is the vet near you? Could you phone in a request for an Rx for Cerenia tablets?

    Stress that it's the Christmas weekend and you want to make sure that you've got enough meds to cover Mittens' needs over the holiday. Even if she only gives you a handful of doses it would help the situation. Perhaps you might be able to pick up the Rx on your way to the store? (I'm very conscious of it being the weekend and, presumably, the vet office being closed.)

    (An aside: a lot of vets prescribe appy stimulants for nauseated cats without also giving an Rx for anti-nausea meds. It's very frustrating because the key to getting appetite back is tackling the nausea.)

    Also can you look at this thread for things to pick up from the store when you go out to get your baby food supplies:

    Hypo toolkit

    In particular be sure to pick up karo or honey (unless you already have some in the house) and a few cans of Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers cat food (the gravy has a lot of carbs and helps raise BG numbers quicker than regular food). A pack of Temptations treats would be good too.

    How many meter test strips do you have at home?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  47. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Let us know what her blood glucose test is, and what was it at the vet today?
    I would try to start her on insulin ASAP, like tonight if possible. She has waited long enough. Do you have plenty of test strips? You may need to test often (like every hour or two) once you start insulin (especially the Novolin, which like I said can be not as gentle as Lantus), and you will need some food with higher carbs like the ones that have gravy or some honey or karo syrup. Do you have those?
     
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  48. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I've never done this before, but if it's possible to do, I can phone in a small Walmart Gift Card for you to pick up to help you pay for things, tonight.
    I hope someone can chime in on what dose of Novolin N would be okay to start with. If you get the insulin be sure it's Novolin "N" and not Novolin "R".
     
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  49. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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  50. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    They are open until 9pm. I have to leave for work in less than an hour though

    The vets office closed at 5, but they are open tomorrow till 1:00, so I will call about more cerenia.

    We have a bunch of the strips left. We just crushed up the potassuim pill and mixed it with baby food and gave it to her. She is fighting us very hard on the syringe feeding so she probably only actually got half of it in her mouth but that's got to be better than none, right? I hope. I'm going to walmart now. I'm going to get fancy feast gravy lovers and honey and novolin N. I will have the message board open on my phone so please let me know if I have more stuff we need to get. We are a little limited on money now but I have enough for those things I just mentioned. Also, I know we need syringes, can someone tell me what size or gauge or whatever I need to get. Sorry, I know someone already said so but I feel like I need to take off for Walmart right now so I dont want to scroll thru all the messages. Thank you
     
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  51. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    I'll check back in the thread for the syringe info. (I just want to double-check what Chris posted.) I'll repost it below in a few minutes.

    .
     
  52. Meya14

    Meya14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    syringes 100U/ml 3/10ml 1/2" or less length syringes. The higher the gauge number the thinner the needle.

    If you are sweet to the pharmacist, they might be able to give you a baggie of syringes for free - my pharmacists does this often when I'm between orders, and she feels bad I spend $$$ on the cat.
     
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  53. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Here's the info on the syringes you will need for the Novolin N / NPH:

    - Get the ones with half-unit markings.

    Make sure you have plenty of test strips for your BG meter.

    .
     
  54. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Ask them for the ones with 1/2 unit markings. The Walmart pharmacy people often don't know they have them, but ask them to look. The 1/2 unit marks just help to fine tune the dose. They should be around $12.58 for 100. You can use them for the Lantus insulin when you get it, too.
     
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  55. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    @Meya14 - Would you be able to help Dan and Heather with Novolin N dosing?

    .
     
  56. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I was wondering if @Larry and Kitties would be able to help with the Novolin N dose advise, too.
     
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  57. Meya14

    Meya14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    My help with dosing Novolin-N would be limited to my knowledge of this insulin in humans. I've never used it in cats. I feel that starting at a negligible dose (less than 1/2 unit, or about 1/4 unit three times a day) and working up would be safe. Three times a day dosing would be preferable to prevent steep drops and to provide full day coverage with this insulin.

    Off topic - novolin-N is actually a slightly better insulin to use in this situation because it won't have as much potassium lowering effect as lantus does.
     
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  58. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    We'll be keeping an eye out for you here. If you're not sure of anything while you're out just post for help.

    :bighug:

    .
     
  59. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Where I live we need a prescription for syringes. I guess and hope she does not in her state.
     
  60. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    All of the Relion 3/10ml insulin syringes come with half unit markings....although a lot of the people that work there don't realize it
     
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  61. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Fingers and paws crossed.

    .
     
  62. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I'm back from walmart. I got novolinN, syringes, fancy feast gravy lovers, and honey. We are going to test her glucose in a minute to see where it is. I will post that in just a few minutes. I can be about 2 hours late for work tonight which gives us about 2 hours from now since right now is when I should be leaving, after that Dan is going to be on his own until I get home around 3:30am so I need to know what we need to do right now. Do we start with a very small dose of insulin right after we test the sugar? How long after insulin should we retest? Sorry I feel this post is frazzled, but that's because I am right now.
     
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  63. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    Which insulin did you end up with?
     
  64. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    (((Heather)))

    The post's just fine, Heather. You are doing amazingly well in very stressful circumstances. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply - it does help - then lets do one step at a time.

    - Test Mittens' BG and post the result.

    - How long is it since Mittens had food and roughly how much did she eat?

    - Have you given Mittens the mirtazapine yet?

    NB - you will need to give Mittens some food and wait a little before giving any insulin.

    .
     
  65. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    The box says Novolin N NPH human insulin isophane suspension (recombainant DNA origin) 100 units/mL - 10mL
     
  66. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Ok, testing now. Thank you everyone so much, I cannot express how helpful you have been thru all of this craziness. I know for a fact I would not be able to get thru this without you
     
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  67. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    You want to Test first....then feed a good meal.....then shoot in about 20-30 minutes so when the insulin "hits", there's food on board
     
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  68. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Her BS is 389, she ate about an hour and a half ago, so now we will feed her again. She is fighting us every time we do it now but we will get as much in her as possible

    No we did not give her the mirtazapine yet
     
  69. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    @Dan&Heather -

    Print out a copy of this document (just the standard drill - put it somewhere handy along with the hypo kit supplies you got earlier)

    How to Treat Hypos

    -----------------------------------------------------------------


    @Chris & China, @Dyana, @Meya14 -

    I have to pop away for a little bit to feed LĂșnasa and grab a bite of something for myself. I'll check back in as soon as I'm done.

    .
     
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  70. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    @Chris & China, @Dyana, @Meya14 -

    When do you think would be the best time to give the mirtazapine?

    @Meya14 - are there any precautions you know of WRT giving mirtazapine and the potassium levels?

    .
     
  71. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    I think I'd go ahead and give her the 1/8th tablet....the sooner she's eating better, the easier it's going to be to help her
     
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  72. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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  73. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Ok we just fed her again. She has retreated behind the couch again, she hasn't been staying there for too long. So I should give her that mirtazapine as soon as I can? I will do it when she comes out.
     
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  74. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    How much did she eat?
     
  75. Meya14

    Meya14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    I can't think of any interactions with low K and mirtazapine, other than heart arrythmias, but that's a risk with the low potassium either way. It might make kitty a little lethargic or goofy especially at first. I really wouldn't worry too much about starting it now or starting it in a day or two. Likely, she will still need to be syringe fed for a few days until other things are fixed, so it's not priority.
     
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  76. Meya14

    Meya14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    NPH insulin onset is about 1-2 hours, peak 2-6 hours and duration 8-10 hours give or take with some residual effect up to 20 hours. Insulin metabolism is faster in cats. So for your initial couple doses I would test at +2, +4, +8 in each cycle at the minimum. Does anyone have a copy of the spreadsheet for 3 times a day dosing?
     
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  77. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Please notice that 0.5 unit dose, if that is what you are going to give, is the very first black little line on the syringe. I am going to try to find some pictures for you.
     
  78. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Here's a picture of 0.25 dose
    upload_2016-12-23_19-34-13.png
    If you shoot 0.25 then see above, if you shoot 0.5 then measure down just a little bit to the first small line.
     
  79. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    We filled the syringe to 10ml we probably got half maybe a little more actually into her because she's fighting it. I'm worried right now because I'm down to the wire, I have got to leave for work in about half an hour and Dan has been up all last night and today, I dont think he's going to be able to stay up long enough to check her sugar and monitor her while I'm at work. So I dont know if we should do the insulin with nobody to watch her closely. I wish it was tomorrow, I have the day off and can spend all of it with her. What do you think I should do because he's not going to be able to stay awake?
     
  80. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Please say you did NOT fill it to the 10 line out of a possible 30

    You should have given less than 1 unit....1 unit is the 2nd line on the syringe (not counting the "zero" line)

    Or did you mean you got about 5ml of FOOD into her?
     
  81. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Can he set an alarm for 2 hours from now? It's just that she really needs the food, the insulin, and to fight that infection.
     
  82. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    IMPORTANT!

    Heather, please confirm straight away that this is a 10ml syringe of FOOD!

    Please confirm that you have NOT given any insulin.

    .
     
  83. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    This may not be perfect math, but this is the formula I used to use for J.D. to figure out how many calories he was getting.
    upload_2016-12-23_19-54-46.png
    I often had to give 3 or 4 syringes in the wee hours of the morning, wait an hour, and give another 3 or 4, then go to work. I would feed another 3 or 4 when I got home from work, and another 3 or 4 before I went to bed.
    I figured my syringes had about 16 calories each. Maybe my math was wrong.
    Anyway, I have to log off for an hour or so.
     
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  84. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Yes just food, we didnt give any insulin yet.
     
  85. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Yes, we havent given her any insulin yet just food.
     
  86. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Thanks for the clarification.

    .
     
  87. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    I hate not to start her on insulin since she's still showing "Small" ketones (according to the testing done today at the vet) but she's going to also need more food

    Will your husband wake up to an alarm? Or could you call him from work to make sure he wakes up to test?
     
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  88. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    How many hours sleep does Dan think he needs?

    .
     
  89. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    oh my god, I'm sorry, yes it was food
     
  90. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    He's decided he's going to stay up with her. How much insulin should we give to her. He swears he can stay up and watch her
     
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  91. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    (((Heather)))

    :)

    :bighug:
     
  92. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    No apology needed....we've just seen it happen before where people thought they were giving X when they actually gave Y

    Do you have an idea of how much she weighs?

    With her not eating very well, I think I'd start with .5....that's the first tiny line on the syringes after the "zero" line...if you got the Relion 3/10ml syringes
     
  93. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    She weighs just under 8 lbs
     
  94. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    half unit.PNG

    Not a great picture, but that's the .5 line (where the arrow is pointing)
     
  95. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Ok, will start with .5 right now. The post above said test her sugar at 2 hrs 4hrs and 8 hrs. Is that correct? Dan said he will stay awake to do it
     
  96. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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  97. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    It's really too early to say for sure.....it will depend on how she responds....it's possible you may have to test more often but it's also possible he'll be able to go to bed earlier

    It's a good place to start though if she stays safe....it's good to get that later test in just to see how long the insulin is lasting in her but it may not be necessary tonight

    Will he wake up to an alarm if he takes a nap? Or can you call him from work to make sure he's up?
     
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  98. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    The vet said angle the syringe, is this advice correct or should it go in straight?
     
  99. Dan&Heather

    Dan&Heather Member

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    Dec 21, 2016
    Ok, I see it says a 45 degree angle
     
  100. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    - Pull up the scruff to form the tent.

    - Make sure the bevel on the syringe needle is facing upwards (rotate it under a good light to see the bevel).

    - Insert the needle into the tent at a 45 degree angle.

    - Press the plunger to deliver the insulin.

    - Withdraw the needle.

    - RECORD THE EXACT TIME THE INSULIN DOSE WAS GIVEN.

    (You need to refer to this time for testing, etc.)

    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
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