My cat Smiffy diagnosed with Diabetes April UK

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Looby & Smiffy, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Dear Looby,
    I'm sorry I have not posted yesterday but I was completely worn out after work and had to go to bed early.
    This am woke up with horrendous headache.
    If you have a pet insurance I would advise you to purchase AlphaTrak pet meter kit from the vet (~ £88) or a good alternative is AccuCheck Aviva or OneTouch meter as Mogs suggested (buy at Morrissons or Ebay) as soon as possible and start testing on yourself and on your husband (yeh, make him a guinea pig)! Once you see how easy it is and you've got a grip of it you can hopefully try on Smiffy but be assured and calm if you can because your cat will pick up your mood and will be affected by it.
    Try to simplify everything and put everything in order and have a plan. Once you put your plan in place you will feel more in control and more confident.
    My suggestions are:
    1. limit the time you spend looking for information on FD on the web because it can confuse you (all you need to know at the moment is here)
    2. sort out the vet problem by insisting that you will deal with your cat's health the way you want (home testing, diet and type of insulin)
    3. learn to use glucometer
    4. accept yourself and your suffering and have a strong believe you and your kitty will get better
    I hope it helps.
    I'm sorry but I have to go to bed now...
    Ps. I have a new glucometer but it is very new on the market and I'm not sure about it performance. I haven't used it so I'm not sure that it is a good idea to use it if you're new to this.
    Marlena:)
     
  2. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Looby, I agree with what Marlena says but I'd just suggest going carefully with the vet... They can be very sensitive! Tell him that you've read a lot of information about FD online on a specialist FD site and that you'd like to try some of the suggestions which you feel would be a good idea to help you treat Smiffy at home... The vet can't be there at home with you 24/7 so it's important that you do manage this yourself, in your way... Then when it's working you can go back and tell the vet and he will be delighted!

    Best of luck (and let us know what you do about that meter!)

    Diana
     
  3. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    Thanks ... seeing Vet today ... at least last night and this morning worked out a way to get her needle in so pleased about that at least and am going to ask the Vet if I can feed her in between meals - maybe hold back a bit of her breakfast if he really thinks that she should be on as slimming diet at the same time ... but I think I want her to be well ... know that weight is a part of it but if she is happy she will go out into the garden a bit more ...... I gave up cigarettes and alcohol at the same time because my GP blackmailed me so I know that it is like to have to deal with two things at once ... I felt very miserable ........ this was the GP that had put me on 30mg Diazepam in the first place and when I told him I wanted to come off it, he told me that he would only help me if I stopped smoking!!! Well I had already decided that I didn't want to smoke but stupid man!!!
    So I will let you know how I get on at the Vet ...... hope all is well with you
     
  4. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    My dear husband is squeamish and doesn't want to get involved despite adoring his Smiffy ........ I will let you know how I get on here if I can work out how to find you all and thanks for the advice .... by the way if you are there ... is the AlphaTrak pet meter kit really easy to used I mean like pen prick, tab and stick in a small meter because I need to used something small and quick ....
     
  5. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    @Elizabeth and Bertie @Marlena @Critter Mom @Diana&Tom ... Hey just to let you guys know that I have got the hang of finding you all her and the @ business to copy to somebody but I have the feeling that I am posting this in the wrong place!!! Going to the Vet this morning so wish me luck and have a lovely day all of you!
     
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  6. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Looby, great, wishing you luck with the vet - be assertive!
    I can sense more enthusiasm in you, it can only get better!
    Remember ask the vet about switching to a better insulin like PZI veterinary for cats U40 which would be easier for you to use but of course other insulins like Lantus and Levemir are a great choice but I can see how difficult it might prove to be for you in your present situation.
    Buy the meter there as well because if you buy from Ebay your insurance might not cover it.
    Lots of love to you and Smiffy
    Marlena
     
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  7. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2010
    I found the Alphatrak meter quite easy to use, and it's smaller and lighter than my One Touch Ultra. If I could have afforded the cost of the test strips I may well have stayed with it.
    Some people, like Mogs (@Critter Mom ) prefer to use a pet-specific meter - despite the cost.

    The Alphatrak usually (but not always) 'reads' slightly higher than human meters, so, if you do go with the Alphatrak be sure to tell people that if/when you are posting for advice, and they will try to take that into account.

    You may well be able to buy the Alphatrak and, even more importantly, the test strips through your insurance for a time. (The test strips are the main cost of hometesting.)

    Do tell your vet that you want to hometest. If you sound keen and willing then they may be more likely to order the meter for you. ;)

    Good luck at the vet's, Looby!

    Eliz
     
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  8. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Looby, have you watched the video how to test a cat's BG?
    AlphaTrak is the easiest to use. You warm the cats ear, then use lancet to lance the vein at the edge (does not hurt), have a glucometer ready with the strip partially inserted, let the a drop of blood form on the ear and then touch the drop of blood with the side of the test strip. AlphaTrak will beep after few seconds to let you know that the strip took the blood and in few more seconds you have the reading! And then your heart is pounding due to anxiety about the number you see (!) but you just calm yourself down and let us know what's going on and we will help. Stay calm!
    I'm sure the vet could show you how to use a glucometer. If they don't have one because they don't use it I would be very worried indeed.
     
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  9. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    And another thing Looby,
    how about joining me for a DEMO of everything - do you have Skype?
    If you do I will be able to show you everything and then watch you and guide you when you're trying to do it yourself (and I'll get your DH to join in!).
    Marlena XXX
     
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  10. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Diana is right, you have to be careful with the vet but what the heck, there is a lot of vets who would be happy to take your money and do what you wish so I would be careful with the vet if you think he is worth it or you live 50 miles away from another vet.
    But Diana reasoning is sensible and, as I like to think I'm sensible as well, I approached my vet in the same manner but my vet is good and really listens to me. She, at first insisted that I feed Rocky Purina DM and bring him to the surgery for curves but I brought some information I printed out and she agreed to my ways. It was on my insistence that she tested Rocky for diabetes as I had some suspicion although he didn't seem sick just overweight and I was right. Mind you she knows me professionally as I sometimes cooperate with the vets regarding meds (I work in a medical profession).
    Marlena
     
  11. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    :) Marlena! Great post as usual.

    A good vet should respect us if we say we've researched and can discuss matters coherently and I'd like to think that most vets are of that breed. It's just the occasional, dyed-in-the-wool variety who seem to consider their professional pride hurt if we suggest something they wouldn't have mentioned themselves. I'd certainly switch vets if I had to if I felt strongly about an issue and was getting nowhere with it with the vet. Paws crossed that yours is one of the good guys, Looby!

    Dian
     
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  12. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Thank you Diana,
    best regards
    Marlena:cat:
     
  13. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    @Elizabeth and Bertie @Diana&Tom @Critter Mom Have just come back from the Vets and he has explained that for the first three weeks at least we are going to stick to what we are doing at the moment .... I can spilt up the 70mg of food throughout the day so I am going to give her a bit half way through the day ..... he is open to me home testing in the future if necessary but as we are working under strick guidelines and he is going to see her in about three weeks time to see how we are getting on and take it from there .... he says as we are working to a consistent plan we can control the situation (sorry tired been up for a while!) there could be a good result in short amount of time .. if I start feeding her indiscriminate amounts of food at different times we can't see the results ... do a fructosamine test next visit and examine the clinical signs that I am putting in a diary .... BTW there is nothing wrong with her heart ........ She has gained weight since her last trip to the Vet so that is not good so sticking to the 70mg - she is now 5.8Kg as oppposed to just over 5Kg so at least she is not losing weight quickly because of undiagnosed Diabetes .... he says that Caninsulin works differently in different cats and if in a few weeks she has now perked up there is the possibility of changing to ProZinc ...... he took her BG which was 17 so taking into consideration the stress of being at the Vet that is a whole lot better than 24. I agreed that wet food would not be a good idea for her as she doesn't like it and the last thing we want is her not to want to eat .....
    What else ... he used an Alpha Trak meter so that is the one that I would be able to get under the insurance if I needed one ... I think he is optimisitc that we can get her in remissoin within a few months ....... He said as she is an older cat and her habits are pretty much the same every day as opposed to a younger cat that might exercise more one day for example it is easier to get her under control ...... I am to give her the same amount of treats each day too and husband has been told off for giving her too many that I didn't know about ... The Vet seemed incredibly knowledgeable so I trust him ... Smiffy is better today after a rough start ..... I think it is wise to stick to what we are doing at the moment and give Smiffy's body a chance to get used to the changes properly ..... what do you think? He said there was no point taking her in to do a curve as she would be stressed and not under the same conditions as at home .... I think I have to go with it for at least the next three weeks and then see how she is then ....

    Still having troulbe finding your posts and answering them properly - even the ones that are alerted to me on e-mail so forgive me if I don't answer your post directly - I will get the hang of it eventually ...... thanks for everything and thanks for being there ... I did fire everything at him but he convinced for the time being to stick to what we are doing but if she is not happy in a few weeks we will review things ... pleased she is down ... he said that the 'life' of the Caninsulin varies from one cat to the next and there is the possibility that we might swap at some point ... xxxxxxxxxxxx
     
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  14. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    I am on Skype ... Lucille Smith if you can find me!!!!!!!
     
  15. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    Might be Looby Smith come to think of it - no it is Lucille Smith - my real name - named after Lucille Ball whom my Mum adored!
     
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  16. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    @Critter Mom @Diana&Tom @Marlena
    I have sent the four of a you a message I hope about the Vet so that I didn't have to repeat myself ... in a nutshell he persuaded me very eloquently to stick to the plan of consistency especially as her routine is consistent too for the next few weeks and then he would take another fructosamine test and examine the clinical signs that I record and then take it from there .. he brought up ProZinc and he used the Alphatrak meter on her and the reading this time at the Vet about two and half hours after eating and being shot was 17 (she was 24 before and having diarrhea and losing weight quickly and now she has put on about half a kilo since she has been on the diet!

    He is optimistic that under this control we could her in remission within a few months ... ... I told him I wanted to home test but he didn't think it was necessary yet until we see if we can stablise her this way under controlled consisteny cirmcumstances ....... so glad I have all your support as I would not have known what he was talking about .... I am so pleased as well that I have found a better way to shoot her thanks to the video that you posted for me Elizabeth - I was approaching her from the wrong direction - my hand was not back to her head but forward to her head if that makes sense but not as bad as it sounds - still from a position behind her just the angle of my hand was not the easist direction .... tired now - been on the go since 9.30 this morning . ....... thanks again for being there - husband is going on holiday to our house in Greece in a couple of weeks time so I will be home alone and needing a bit of moral support ....

    I seem to have a group of four of you which is nice and maybe one more ...... still gettin used to this site so forgive me if I don't see every post or answer every post - I am trying ...

    xxxxxxxx
     
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  17. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Oh great my darling, I will try!
     
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  18. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Dear Looby,
    that's something you can go with if it's easier to manage.
    You need to rest now and relax, you will feel better.
    Glad to hear the vet is familiar with AlphaTrak, give it another thought, I still think you should start using one as soon as you feel more relaxed, at least you would know when your cat gets very low BG. And maybe if you give yourself a lot of time to practise it becomes much easier.
    I will let you know when I find you on Skype.
    Hugs
    Marlena:bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
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  19. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Looby,
    Well done for getting through that vet visit. :bighug:

    My vet told me the same. I think his exact words were, "No. You shouldn't need to do that."
    But someone on this forum reminded me that I didn't need my vet's permission or approval in order to hometest. It was up to me what I did. And I wanted to hometest - if at all possible...

    Similarly, it is ultimately your choice whether to hometest or not. Smiffy is your cat. She's not your vet's cat, and she's not our cat. She's your cat; so it is for you to decide what you think is best for her.

    I would still suggest though that you at least buy a meter - as soon as possible - and become familiar with how it works. That way, even if you don't want to hometest Smiffy now, you will have a very valuable tool at your disposal if you need it in an emergency.

    And there's one more thing which I feel I just must say (otherwise I'll feel I've done you a disservice by not being honest)....
    Your vet seems to be saying that if food and insulin are kept consistent then the situation can be kept under 'control'. ...It would be great if dealing with feline diabetes was this simple. But, in my experience, it isn't that simple.
    We may be able to keep food and insulin relatively 'constant', but we have no control over what the cat's body does with those things: The cat's response will not be 'constant'.
    Every day will be different, maybe just a little different, or maybe very different. And if the cat's body starts to recover and it starts to produce insulin of it's own, then it's requirement for injected insulin will drop. Sometimes this is a slow process. But sometimes it happens fast. We've seen some cats here go into remission within a month of starting insulin.

    I am sorry to say something that contradicts what your vet is saying, Looby, because I know how difficult it can be to hear conflicting and contradictory advice. But, in all conscience, I couldn't leave it unsaid...


    Hugs to you,

    Eliz
     
  20. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Dear Eliz,
    beautifully said.
    Your wisdom and kindness will never stop amazing me.
    Dear Looby,
    rest, relax now after you've been to the vets and then think about checking the bloods yourself when you are in a better frame of mind.
    Let me know when you're ready and I will take you through that via Skype hopefully.
    Marlena
     
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  21. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Whole-heartedly agree with Elizabeth's wise words. The capability to test is important even if you feel you don't want or need to do so too frequently. There just may come an occasion in the future when it becomes imperative to know Smiffy's BG and unless you have the means of finding out, you're stuck. Nobody wants to scare you into this, we are simply reinforcing the huge value home testing offers so again as Eliz says, do go ahead and get a meter if you possibly can.

    On the whole, your vet sounds good and remember, no-one is over-ruling him, as such, just suggesting that this additional tool at your disposal can only be for the good of your precious Smiffy. I think perhaps as the situation carries on you will see more clearly what we're getting at.

    Keep smiling!

    Diana
     
  22. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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  23. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    @Elizabeth and Bertie @Marlena @Critter Mom
    I totally see what you mean and next time we go I am going to ask for him to prescribe a meter just in case I need to use it .. the starter pack comes with a video so I can teach myself how to use it ..... I insisted at the Vets that he do the test in front of me instead of taking her out of the room to do it ..... great that her heart is OK too and all other organs doing well :)
     
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  24. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that is indeed wonderful news! :bighug:
    .
     
  25. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    It is great that that vet's visit proved to be a successful one!
    You said that Smiffy's BG at the vet was 17.
    Did you give her insulin in the morning before the visit and how much?
    What is the dose from the vet now?
    And just to clarify you do not need a vet's prescription for the glucometer, you just buy it from whatever source you want or if you want to have it covered by insurance you probably have to buy from the vet's office by ringing the reception and request them to order it for you and it should come next day. On the collection the receptionist could give an insurance form (they carry the forms there for your convenience) which you sign and they will do the rest of paperwork, send the form to the company you're insured with and within few weeks you should get paid by your insurance company.
    My understanding is that your next visit to the vet is in 3 weeks time - is that correct? So if it is, by the time you go to the vets, ask them to order a meter for you and then you collecting it we're talking 4 weeks. I would be pretty worried about my cat going into hypo within that time but if you have confidence in your vet that needs to be accepted- and now he is totally responsible for your cat's wellbeing.
    We can now watch that space and pray for the best outcome. When you get good results you'll start feeling much better.
    Hugs,
    Marlena:cat:
     
  26. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2010
    Looby, just a thought, but I wonder if it's worth asking your vet how many diabetic cats he's treated, what the average life expectancy of those cats is, and how many of the cats he's treated have gone into remission? (These were questions that I asked my own vet initially.)
    .
     
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  27. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    I think this is essential really.
    Would be great to know where his confidence came from.
    My vet didn't treat many diabetic cats, I think they only have 2 (including Rocky) and it is a large surgery. They treat many dogs (some breeds are more prone to canine diabetes).
    They haven't got anybody testing their cats, they only get people to use Caninsulin on their pets blindly without home testing. I'm the only person there buying test strips, they don't even keep them in stock, I have to order them every time.
     
  28. Alexi

    Alexi Member

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    Apr 10, 2016
    Hi Looby - sounds very positive, I had a good vet visit today as well although my little madam is still running high! I have just bought the AlphaTrack 2 meter and the cheapest I could find was at Animed Direct, they are not cheap and some of the prices at other sites were eye-watering. I got the delivery within 3 days of placing the order. If your insurance will pay for it then it is easy to use once you get the hang of it. It only comes with 25 strips though so don't do what I did and nearly run out but make sure you have a pack of spare to hand as you will waste some as you are learning how to test.
     
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  29. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    She had food and shot two and a half hours before going to Vat .... An going to call Vet to order me a meter and make sure gets added to our current Petplan claim cos
    I am taking the advice of you girls to have meter just in case I'm worried about Smiffy .... Dose of Caninsulin the same ...... He said if worried to call and someone would come out (at a cost of course but I don't care!) if husband was not around and have some runny honesty to put round her gums should I need to - they told me symptoms to look out for ...." Don't know what symptoms of hypa are though as opposed to hypo - assuming must be lethargy? Meter should be ready to collect when we go back in two and a half weeks ..... Husband going on holiday for two weeks after that (I'm not well enough yet) to stay in our little tiny house in Greece - upsets me ...... I wouldn't leave Smiffy even at the Vets just now anyway ...... Hugs back
     
  30. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    He mentioned having got several cats into remission but there was no time for me to probe deeper ..... Will make a note to ask thanks xxx
     
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  31. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Looby,
    I'm sorry but I still don't seem to see the dose of insulin you give, is it 2 units?
    The BG of 17 at the vets was much lower then previously because you gave insulin 2 hours prior to the test.
    Please take their offer to come out to you when you struggle to give injections as it would be extremely helpful in your situation (DH going away, you're staying on your own for 2 weeks). I once enquired at the surgery about having somebody to come out to my house and give Rocky injection when I was planning to go out in the evening and one of the veterinary nurses said she would come and do it (test plus injection) and the fee was £10.
    When it comes to hypo (hypoglycaemia - low blood sugar as opposed to hyperglycaemia - high blood sugar) it really is a tricky beast when it comes to feline diabetes (FD). Cats can not tell you how they feel and they are very good at hiding their ills). Some cats don't have symptoms or seem to be fine one minute only to have seizures next. Some become lethargic and unstable on their legs or become aggressive. Rocky had hypo a couple of times and he was just very scared and tried to run away from me. Every cat is different (ECID)! So, I would say if Smiffy is acting strangely call the vet straight away and insist on getting an urgent advice from your vet who has a duty of care and is responsible for your cat's health as you don't test at home (on the advice of your vet).
    In the meantime please, if you can manage read all the information regarding diabetes, treating hypo, insulin, diet etc on this site.
    Look after yourself first of all because if you not well you will not have the strength to look after your furry baby.
    I can understand how difficult it is for you to even entertain the idea of using a glucometer and I think you will do it when you feel stronger and less anxious and ready, in your own time.
    Take care of yourself.
    Lots of hugs
    Marlena
     
  32. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Looby,
    it is so reassuring that your vet is experienced in treating FD!
    This is great news.
    :bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
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  33. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Great advice here as usual! Might I just suggest, Looby, that it might soon be time to start a new thread, now that we've gone over some basics and talked about meters etc? A new thread updating us on exactly what's going on? So for example, what dose of insulin you're giving and any relevant data from your recordings in your diary, things that may be worrying you... the nitty gritty really of FD treatment? It wouldn't mean that this thread would be lost - we can all refer back to it at any time - but you might be more likely to get responses from other members, if you need to, if your thread is on a specific subject. Some of our UKers are nocturnal creatures but if you did happen to have a worry in the middle of the night you'd get more responses from our US friends. It's not that they're ignoring this thread, but they can see that your fellow UK members are covering the initial stuff; when it comes to more technical things we can all chime in from anywhere in the world (there are some awesomely experienced members out there!)

    Sounds like you've got some good plans in place anyway so well done!

    Diana
     
  34. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2015
    You're a gem Diana.
    Lets keep our fingers crossed for Looby and Smiffy!
    Having a plan is a very important step forward.
    Hugs
    Marlena:cat:
     
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  35. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    @Elizabeth and Bertie @Critter Mom @Diana&Tom
    Hello Marlena ... yes the dose is 2 units twice per day for Smiffy so yes her reading would have been lower when she got to the Vet .... I am able to give Smiffy her injections now as she has either got used to it or it is because I think I had my hand round the wrong way before and now I have changed my angle it is much easier so three shots in a row have been relatively easy .... thank you for giving me support in this ..... I have told the Vet that Malcolm is going away and that I might need somebody to come out to me and if it costs £84 as he said on a previous occasion then that is what I am going to pay - don't care how much it is ..... Smiffy is quite chipper today and not at all as she was when we were at the Vets ... she was almost acting dead - just not moving and flopped on the Vet's table - she hates going to the Vet ...
    I will ask the Vet when we seem him before husband goes away to order us the Alpha Trak meter but in the meantime I have ordered an Accu-Chek Aviva Glucose set and have bookmarked a video on my computer as to how to use it so that will be with me in a few days ....
    I watched the Vet take her BG - insisted on him doing it in front of me and it looked relatively easy ... the good thing is that I am able to inject her now with much less stress and she is happy today and wanted to go for a walk ..... I AM worried but if I worry to much I will make myself ill ...... I know Smiffy is OK if she rolls in her catnip with her toys and asks to go out for a drink and if she talks to me ..... before she was diagnosed I could really tell she was not well ....... so I have got a meter on the way and one that is easy to use .....
    I will have someobody here next week as husband won't play ball and we can try out the meter on ourselves so I will know how to use it ..... it comes with a good number of strips ... maybe I should order some more strips - I will do that so I have plenty .... also I am not confident to change the cartridge whilst Malcolm is away so I am going to ask the Vet to do it for me .. take the Caninsulin with me on the next trip ...
    I will be demanding - I am good at that!!!!
    Lots of hugs to you and Rocky too ....
    PS WHAT DO YOU DO IF ROCKY IS HYPO ? I have been told to put honey around her gums and call the Vet .. they are there until 9 each night and at the weekend a full day on Saturday and half a day on Sunday and then there is the emergency Vet number but I don't know if they would come out ... I have to ask Malcolm to give me his friend the taxi driver's number before he goes and I have got the cat basket ready in the living room next to the front door if I need to take her anywhere and there are a few people that don't dirnk that I could call on as long as they are not on holiday at the same time ....... you are worrying me now but there is not point me worrying about something that hasn't happened yet but I am prepared I think ...

    I have got the number of iCat if I am in any doubt as to what to do ..... are you familiar with this organisation recommended by the Vet?
     
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  36. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    That's great, Looby! :bighug:

    Excellent news. :)

    Regarding actual hypo, if you see symptoms (and this is assuming that you're not hometesting at this point) the very first thing to do is a bit of 'first aid' at home, and that means putting some honey or glucose on your cat's gums. And if you do decide to go to the vet it's still important to put honey/glucose on the gums before you go, because it has to be done straight away to stop the blood glucose dropping further.
    If going to the vet, get someone to drive you if possible, and take the honey/glucose with you in case you need it again during the journey.

    The good news - especially if you can hometest - is that most hypo situations can be managed at home. :)
    Hometesting will enable you to monitor the situation, and will inform your decisions about what action you need to take (whether that is giving food, or honey/glucose, or going to the vet) based on the kitty's blood glucose levels. As Marlena mentioned above, cats can be in hypo numbers but not show symptoms until quite late on. Hometesting will help to keep your cat safe by alerting you to any action you need to take before the situation deteriorates to the point where symptoms develop.

    If you're worried, you can post on the forum for advice, or call your vet for advice. Or both!

    Here's the link to the FDMB hypo information. It's well worth reading it first and then printing it out to keep somewhere where you can grab it in a hurry if you need to:
    How to treat HYPOS - THEY CAN KILL! Print this Out!!

    Many cats never suffer hypos. But some do. So it is as well to be prepared.

    Eliz
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  37. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    This is frightening the life out of me as Smiffy is often lethargic so I wouldn't be able to tell ... I suppose if I couldn't rouse her ... got some honey at home - I am now scared that I might mistake the symptoms and give her honey when she doesn't need it and then send her the other way!!!????? Wish I had a iPhone so that I could contact one of you girls at any time!
     
  38. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    I know it sounds frightening. I remember feeling the same about Bertie, wondering if he was OK. And sometimes I'd wake him up, just to make sure. I dragged him out from under the bed once. He was really cheesed off with me... :rolleyes:

    Hypo isn't inevitable. It's just possible.
    It's a potential risk that comes with giving insulin. But we give insulin to make our kitties feel better and to help their bodies to heal. Insulin is good stuff. Our kitties need it. :)

    With Caninsulin, it's quite possible that you'll see the lowest numbers during the first 4 - 5.5 hours after the insulin shot. Some cats may have the nadir (lowest number of the cycle) a little later in the cycle. If/when you start testing Smiffy you'll find out how the insulin is working in her system, and when you can probably expect the lowest number. After the nadir the blood glucose will rise again...
    .
     
  39. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Dear Looby,
    you're like a little frighten rabbit trying to hide but you're coming out, that's great!
    It is all very difficult to deal with but I can see you are doing your best and you actually getting better and better at dealing with Smiffy's diabetes as you said you found it easier to do her injections.
    I'm very happy about that.
    Well done with the meters, read the instructions and practise on yourself and whoever is at hand!
    Don't let the vet rip you off - the £84 fee to come out to give an injection is too much! You don't need a vet to do it, ask for a quote from a nurse, if you don't live far it should not be that expensive.
    I told you I was quoted £10 for test and injection.
    I can also help you with putting a new cartridge in the pen - I used Caninsulin pen so I have experience with that.
    So now I just need to find you on Skype because I can see we might need to start doing some demos for you!
    With hypo it is actually very important to prevent it so frequent testing will help you establish whether your cat is going down so you can start feeding her normal food and checking how she's doing.
    You are doing great, don't worry about hypo at the moment just be prepared so read about it and have supplies handy.
    Relax, breathe, relax again and above all don't worry about things which might not happen at all and you're wasting all that energy on worrying instead of healing.
    Have you tried Yoga, meditation, EFT (emotional freedom technique) or tapping?
    Best wishes to you, take care
    Marlena
     
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  40. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Thanks Elizabeth ....... I was getting really paranoid about it .... she means the world to me ... oopps tears ..... I have to think the way you that you put it that it is possible not enevitable :)
     
  41. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Do tapping ...... I am a bit more anxious and dehabilitated by the condition than you might think ... I will look out for you on Skype :) xxxxxx
     
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  42. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Looby, I think I've figured out why you say you don't get email notifications for some posts on this thread... If you're away from your computer for a while, eg when asleep ;-) , when you check emails again you will probably just have one email telling you there has been a post on the thread - this is the LATEST post, not all previous ones to that which you might also have missed. You can either read the message as part of your email account, or by clicking on the message which will take you to this site. On the email message I think it says something like 'there may be other posts before this one' or similar. Does this make sense? So to be sure you're reading all the responses, go straight to the FDMB site and scroll up to the latest post you read... And then you'll see all the others since then, in time order.

    Try scrolling up through the messages and you may see those that you've missed. For example, I wrote this morning suggesting that you start a new thread, with a different more specific header, to get more responses... It's up to you but little things like that might be helpful to you in the future.

    Diana
     
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  43. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Looby,
    I couldn't find you on Skype so maybe you will try me:
    my Skype address is the same as my email: Marlena.mayes@outlook.com.
    See you tomorrow.
    Ps. I'm sorry that you are so unwell with your anxiety, I can imagine that it might be really debilitating, feel for you, specially that I'm a sufferer too but not in such a bad way as some people.
    Try to have a good night,
    sending lots of love to you.
    Marlena
     
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  44. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Looby,

    I am sooooooooo chuffed to see all that you've achieved since I last checked in! Well done, you!! :joyful:

    The test strips for the Alphatrak are pricey but I love, love, love the meter; very easy to use and what I like best is the peace of mind I get from seeing BG numbers that are closer to lab equipment. (The lower reference range on the human meters, while completely safe, makes me paranoid because of the anxiety disorders. :rolleyes: ) Alexi is spot on about www.animeddirect.co.uk being the cheapest least expensive for Alphatrak test strips.

    I'm glad that you've decided to order the meters. It's great because although you need to take things fairly handy while you're learning just knowing you have the meter in the house will help you a great deal because it will give you the peace of mind that you'll be able to check Smiffy's BGs are OK any time you need to (and members here can give you a talk-thru if you need one). you you'll have the meter immediately available in case you're worried about Smiffy. We can help you if you need a talk-through on how to use it.


    Same story here. Ever since my little ones came into my life there have been times when I would feel the need to make sure they were breathing but it has become a much more frequent activity since Saoirse was diagnosed. :rolleyes:


    Mogs
    .
     
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  45. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Thanks Diana think you are right! DOn't know how to start a new thread though! Will try to work it out!
     
  46. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    PS £84 IS for a nurse!!!
     
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  47. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    l've been thinking Elizabeth about the likelihood of Smiify being hypo - as long as I make sure that she has eaten enough before I inject her, she should be OK right? I'm not adjusting her insulin myself so l'm not mixing things up ..... my husband is really mad with me for being concerned about it (in fact had a row about it!) as I just wanted him to get a fresh squeezy container of honey and the number of his taxi man friend in case I needed it whilst he is away - men! He is not the one making judgements as to when she has had enough food before I inject or the one observing her clinical signs all day ! Humph! I would have said she was unlikely at this stage to go hypo wouldn't you considering her BG is on the whole high?
    I think I am just being diligent and logical not hysterical about it .... Thanks for listening ..... Husband is not bad just doesn't understand the concern ...
     
  48. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Gee, I guess your vet's Cessna takes a lot of feeding ...

    :p


    Mogs
    .
     
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  49. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    In the same way you posted this thread! Main health forum, click tab for new thread, give it a SPECIFIC title, start writing... Sorry if it sounds unnecessary but actually it could be vital to know how to do this if you think you might depend on this board in an emergency (not inevitable, just possible, as it is for everyone).

    Diana
     
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  50. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    What a rip off Looby!
    I enquired about having somebody to come to my house on Saturday night to do a test and injection at reception at the vets and a nurse came out and she said she could do it for a tenner!
    I suppose it was a private arrangement and not one done through the vets office, vets put a terribly high mark up on everything! Maybe you could try ringing reception and ask them if they know of somebody who doesn't live too far away who could come out to you on a private arrangement basis.
     
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  51. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    I think there are also pet-sitting companies/agencies who have qualified vet nurses on their books to carry out certain tasks while owners are away, even for a day, so that might be worth exploring too....the problem there though I suppose would be that it wouldn't be a member of staff from your own vet... Still, I'd look into it if I were you, there are several in my area and they are very well regarded. It could just be worth investigating and choosing one that you could call out if you wanted to.

    Diana
     
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  52. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Found you today on Skype and sent you a message
     
  53. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
  54. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
     
  55. Looby & Smiffy

    Looby & Smiffy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    @Elizabeth and Bertie @Marlena @Critter Mom @Diana&Tom
    Just read this properly - are you saying that you feed your cat more food if the BG is too low? I can only feed Smiffy Hills m /d at the moment ..... You mention more carbs if BG low? Thought the idea was to keep carbs low?! Low carbs, low BG, low insulin? Test, feed, shoot? I'm confused again now ......... I am going to learn to home test but I am nowhere near qualified to adjust dose of insulin plus Smiify gained weight in last few weeks so not supposed to feed her more although splitting her allowance into three meals now .... So if I tested her in the middle of the day and her BG was too low, loudly have to giver some more low carb food? How low is too low in Eglish reading to act with food and how low to act with honey and call Vet?!,,
     
  56. Diana&Tom

    Diana&Tom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi Looby
    Yes, if a BG reading is lower than you expect to see at a particular point in the cycle, you might want to give food to help bring the BG back up (or you might want to test again in, say, another hour). Or if it's VERY/TOO low you might have to resort to your "hypo kit" - honey and/or higher-carb food. So yes, if you feed low-carb food as a matter of course you're doing the right thing in order to achieve optimim BGs, but - as Elizabeth explained a few posts ago - cats can react differently to the same food and/or insulin dose on different days, depending on what their metabolism is doing at that time.
    The point really is that nothing is a given in diabetes and this is why it's so important to master testing Smiffy's BGs ideally every time before you give insulin. You will only know if a single BG reading is what you expect/want to see after you've been testing for a while and have begun to see some kind of pattern or reaction to each dose.
    I'm not the best at explaining this but hopefully the others will help me out so you can see what I'm trying to say!

    Good luck
    Diana
     
  57. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Looby,

    I'm going to start by giving you the link to the FDMB Hypo document.
    (The very scarily titled)... How to treat HYPOS - THEY CAN KILL! Print this Out!!

    In the first section you'll see a list of common symptoms of hypoglycemia.
    In the next part there is detailed general info on what to do depending on the cat's blood glucose level (so this info is to be used in conjunction with hometesting).
    Do have a read through of the document and then print it out and keep it somewhere handy in case you need it in an emergency.

    I can say from experience that hypo is very much easier to deal with if you have at least some basic idea of what you'll need to be doing; which mostly entails getting carbohydrate into the cat.

    When we treat cats with insulin our aim is to try to get their blood glucose levels low enough so that they can feel better, and so that their bodies have the chance to heal. But we don't want their blood glucose levels to drop so low that it becomes dangerous for them. It's 'a balancing act'.

    So, if the blood glucose drops too low, or is in danger of dropping too low, we take action to raise the blood glucose level so that the cat is safe from hypoglycemia.
    A cat in very low numbers, or showing symptoms of hypoglycemia, should be given glucose/honey immediately. These 'simple sugar's raise the blood glucose very fast. The cat may also need to be given gravy from high carb food. The reason for this is that glucose/honey works fast but wears off relatively quickly; while gravy from high carb food usually takes a tad longer to raise the BG, but should stay in the system for longer.

    In some situations where the blood glucose is dropping too fast, or is in danger of dropping too low, it may be possible - through the judicious use of food - to just 'steer' the cat safely through the insulin cycle and completely avoid numbers that are too low.

    The situation also depends, somewhat, on the insulin type and the insulin dose.
    There is a general 'rule of thumb' on FDMB that we should aim to keep cats' blood glucose above 2.7 mmol (50 mg/dL).
    But my own feeling is that with certain insulins, such as Caninsulin, we should aim - at least initially - to not let the blood glucose drop below 5 mmol (50 mg/dL). '5' is a perfectly safe number, but Caninsulin can drop the blood glucose much faster than the longer-lasting insulins, so trying to not let the BG drop below 5 gives some buffer of safety.

    And it's not just what the number is, but also where you see it during the insulin cycle.
    For example, if you saw a 5 at the peak of the insulin cycle (lowest number of the cycle) that might be a very nice thing to see, and shouldn't need any action other than you maybe do another test a bit later to check that it's not dropping lower.
    But if you see a 5 just a couple of hours into the insulin cycle, when there is still some time to go until the peak of the cycle, it would be wise to take some action to stop it dropping much lower. It may be that a little low carb food is all that is needed to keep the numbers from dropping. Or is may be that medium carb food, or higher carb food becomes necessary. It all depends on the situation, your ability to hometest, and your confidence in dealing with the situation.

    FDMB is an international forum and there is almost always someone here who can help you.
    Or you can call your vet for advice.
    If you're not testing but you see actual hypo symptoms then give honey/glucose before taking any further action.

    I know it all might sound a bit scary at first. We've all 'been there', Looby, so we do understand. :bighug:
    I think you'll feel a whole lot more comfortable and confident once you've got the hang of how the glucose meter works. :)

    Eliz
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
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