My cat smells like her insulin!

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Kathryn & Nugget, Mar 5, 2018.

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  1. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

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    Mar 4, 2018
    I noticed this morning that my Nugget smells (reeks, actually), of the insulin. It smells the strongest near the injection site but I feel like even her breath smells like it. After I roll the vial in my hands before I measure out the dose my hands start to stink like the insulin and I have to wash them quite a few times to get the smell out. Is this normal? I am worried that maybe I am not getting the syringe into her skin, but I never feel any wetness in her fur post shot. I want to give her a bath... but don't want to stress her out. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

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    Dec 12, 2016
    I don't have that issue. The only time I really smell it is if I have pulled to much and have to push out a drop or two.

    Jones has never smelled like the insulin either unless there was a drop that made it onto his fur during the shot process.
     
  3. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    No it's not normal. BTW, Lantus is not supposed to be rolled or shaken before use like many of the older insulins. More on proper handling can be found here: LANTUS & LEVEMIR - SYRINGE & INSULIN INFO: HANDLING, DRAWING, & FINE DOSES.
    Check it out. There's even a video to show how to properly draw a dose.

    I found this statement in one of your posts in the Intro forum:
    It sounds like your vet sold you repackaged Lantus. I highly suspect there's a problem with the seal... hence the overpowering smell of Lantus on your hands and cat. Lantus should not be repackaged and resold by the vet. If you are buying repackaged insulin from your vet, even if it was transferred into a sterile container, its efficacy and longevity may be questionable... especially if the seal has been compromised. I would also be concerned about contamination with a faulty seal. Lantus is a human insulin and should be purchased from a pharmacy for humans. Your vet shouldn't have any problem writing the script for you.

    About the 2u starting dose given twice a day...
    2 units given every 12 hours is a pretty hefty dose for a newly diagnosed cat who weighs less than 10 pounds. Is she underweight, overweight, or just right at a little under 10 pounds? Even if you were following a tight regulation protocol for dosing (an aggressive approach) the starting dose would calculate out to be 1.125 units administered every 12 hours if she's currently at her "ideal" weight:

    • the formula is 0.25 unit per kg of the cat's ideal weight
    • if kitty is underweight, the formula frequently used is 0.25 unit per kg of kitty's actual weight
    10 pounds = 4.5kg
    4.5 x 0.25u = 1.125 units (which is normally rounded down to 1 unit to be administered every 12 hours)

    I think you'll find the information I linked above very helpful. More info can be found in the "stickied posts" marked with yellow tags at the top of the Lantus & Levemir Insulin Support Group.



     
  4. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

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    Mar 4, 2018
    Jill I am now super nervous about giving her tonight's dose of insulin. I thought this vet was decent- but everything your post says is a "no-no" is everything they told me to do... they told me not to check her BG at home either. I ordered a meter and strips yesterday, I will have them by tomorrow. I am not sure if she is at an ideal weight, two different vets said two totally different things (one yes, one no).

    I am super confused and super stressed out. The first vet that didn't do a thorough examination was the one that wanted me to buy the insulin from the pharmacy, but they also didn't see the need to treat her that day... they said I could come back three days later to learn how to administer the insulin. So I felt like that wasn't the right vet, took her to the second vet. They did a seriously thorough exam, and said she needed treatment IMMEDIATELY because her sugar was 421. Maybe it was a scare tactic, I don't know. Now that I've done research I see that a cat's BG can rise dramatically because of the stress at being at the vet.

    Nugget is due for her next two units right now, but I am afraid to give it to her!
     
  5. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

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    Mar 4, 2018
    Good to know Tracey, thanks. Jill might be right on point with the fact that the seal might be no good on the vial... that would explain the smell on my hands.
     
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  6. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009

    • Has she been sick?
    • How is her appetite? Eating normally/well?
    • Any mention of ketones?
    If she's been healthy, eating well, and NO mention of ketones... you have a couple of choices. You could skip insulin 'til you get the meter & strips tomorrow OR you could drop the dose to 1 unit tonight and tomorrow morning and then keep an eye on her.

    If she's healthy, been eating well and hasn't been throwing ketones (in her blood)... I'd be inclined to skip insulin tonight and in the morning. I'd resume insulin with tomorrow night's shot when you'll have your meter. It's an ultra-conservative choice, but if there isn't any urgency to have her on insulin... I'd go with it. Lantus is a depot insulin so the full effects won't be totally out of her system for a couple of days.

    On the other hand, if she seems the least bit "off", not eating or feeling well... I'd probably give serious thought to giving insulin without testing. The reason being the basic recipe for developing DKA (diabeticketoacidosis) = an insufficient supply of insulin + inappetance + infection OR other systemic stresses.

    Just my thoughts...

     
  7. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Forgot to mention in my last post...
    If I were in your shoes I would do something about replacing that insulin as soon as I could. I'd be very leery about using that vial from your vet...
     
  8. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

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    Mar 4, 2018
    We are going to another vet tomorrow afternoon. I am going to leave work early to take her. I am not going to give her the insulin tonight. She is going back to her food now (an hour and a half after I put it out). She ate a little bit when I gave it to her at 5:30. Her going back on her own seems like a good thing.

    I will see how she looks in the morning, and I might give one unit depending on how she looks. The vet I took her to assured me I did not need to do any testing at home, so I don't even have the ketones testing strips. She has had a total of 16 units of Lantus since Thursday night (Thurs night, Fri morn, Fri night, Sat morn, Sat night, Sun morn, Sun night and this morning). If it has those long term effects there is probably a good amount in her.

    I just sat in my room and cried because I am so stressed. My SO does not seem to think there is so much cause for concern and that stresses me out just as much as her being sick does. I have to learn to manage my stress better!
     
  9. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    We all know how stressful this is, especially at the beginning. :bighug:
     
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  10. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

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    Dec 12, 2016
    :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
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  11. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I think we've probably all cried... more than once. I did.
    I know it doesn't seem like it now, but there will be a point when taking care of Nugget's diabetes will become as routine as brushing your teeth.
    :bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  12. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    I’m so sorry you are having these problems, but I’m sure Nugget will be ok. I hope the new vet is a good one. You are much more educated on Feline Diabetes now and will know what questions to ask, so things will get better!
     
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  13. Sean & Rufus

    Sean & Rufus Well-Known Member

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    Jan 10, 2018
    How close are you to Canada? Lantus here is $300 a vial, I picked some up for $64 in Canada.
     
  14. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

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    Mar 4, 2018
    I'll be honest- the 3rd day in, it did feel like routine... but that was before the realization that she needs to be tested at home set in. I put a lot of faith in a trained medical professional because I was scared and unsure, and it turns out I probably shouldn't have done that. But we live and we learn and I am so grateful for the Internet and for finding this community of fur parents who have this wealth of knowledge.
     
  15. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

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    Mar 4, 2018
    Sean I am about a 7 hour drive from Montreal. I am shocked at the price here. Maybe in April when my next vacation comes up I will take a long weekend drive to Montreal... poutine for the human and insulin for the Nugget :)
     
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  16. Kathryn & Nugget

    Kathryn & Nugget Member

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    Mar 4, 2018
    Thank goodness for this community that has made me so much more educated! I've learned so much more in the last 72 hours than I ever thought I would learn about diabetes. It has been an eye opening experience and I know there is so much more to learn. I've been spending a lot of time reading through past posts and writing down observations and notes for the vet!
     
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