? Need Advice: cat not eating: 3 doses of Lantus

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by JanetMR, Jan 18, 2018.

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  1. JanetMR

    JanetMR Member

    Dec 29, 2017
    My Cat Bella was started on Lantus .025 units several days ago. She’s had three evening doses (held the am doses due to BG levels) her appetite has gradually diminished. I can’t get her to eat anything this evening. She’s had this problem in the past. When her blood glucose levels drop to “ normal” levels her appetite goes away and she seems “ off”. When her levels are in the higher levels ( for her 240+) she seems to feel better and has an appetite.
    Any advice? Feels as if I’m chasing good numbers for the sake of good numbers. Is this just an adjustment to the insulin?
    In the past she has had trace- small levels of ketones in her urine. Today she tested negative. That’s great.... but she’s not interested in food. Worried
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    It’s not unusual for a cat to feel unwell at lower numbers. The body has become accustomed to high BG and regards that as normal. Lantus can be given on much lower PSs than is possible for Vetsulin but it’s something you have to wrap your head around at first. Those blue PSs are high enough to give Lantus but you should have guidance from experienced Lantus users. I suggest you post on the Lantus forum to ask for help.

    Lantus is slower in onset than Vetsulin so it’s not essential that she has a full meal on board before giving her insulin - a tablespoon or so is enough food.
  3. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2015
    If she is used to being in higher numbers, it may take her a while to adjust to being back in "good" numbers. It took my cat a while to get used to lower numbers again. I'm glad you're checking ketones; if she's had ketones in the past it's doubly important to test regularly for them. If you have tried all the tricks to encourage eating and she still doesn't seem to want to eat, you might want to ask your vet for an appetite stimulant, like Cyproheptadine. Just make sure she isn't nauseated -you don't want to give an appy stim to a cat who's nauseated.
  4. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Janet,

    If a cat is in high BG levels it can sometimes become extremely hungry (polyphagia) because without enough insulin the cells in the body don't receive enough glucose to properly utilise the food consumed by the cat. The cat may also lose consumed calories if BG is so high that glucose starts spilling over into the urine.

    However, I've seen umpteen cases here of kitties developing appetite problems after starting insulin treatment (and to this day I've yet to see a hypothesis/explanation of why this seems to happen). Because Bella's a little bit ketone-prone it's especially important that she gets enough food and enough insulin. Is she eating sufficient to maintain her weight (or gain weight if she needs to) during the periods when her appetite is stronger? Very importantly, is Bella showing any signs of nausea? Here's a symptom checker:

    Nausea symptoms and treatments

    Nausea is frequently a cause of poor appetite in cats (and we do see a lot of it here). Cerenia and ondansetron are usually very effective treatments but obviously it's important to work with your vet to identify the underlying cause of any nausea/inappetence. Note that if the nausea is due to gut motility/constipation problems then treatment to resolve the constipation and a short course of metoclopramide (Reglan) may be more appropriate; Cerenia and ondansetron are highly likely to be ineffective.

    If Bella's not showing any signs of nausea but is still reluctant to eat I'd suggest asking your vet about whether a mild appetite stimulant might help her to eat better (e.g. cyproheptadine - much milder effect than mirtazapine and can be dosed more frequently. (Safety note: cyproheptadine is contraindicated in cats who have high blood pressure/glaucoma/liver issues.)

    I'd suggest contacting your vet tomorrow so that, should Bella need any supportive treatments to help her eat enough, then you'd be able to get the Rx before the weekend. (Cats do seem to have this really annoying knack of throwing wobblers when the vets are closed! :rolleyes:)

    On seeming 'off', it's not uncommon for newly-diagnosed cats to jWhen BG levels start to move back into a healthier range upon commencement of insulin treatment, the cat's body is better able to utilise food and appetite starts going back to a normal, healthy level. Also, some cats may initially experience lower energy levels when first their bodies start seeing lower BG levels than their bodies have become accustomed to, but usually this initial dip in energy will reduce after the first few days of insulin treatment. (Note: Lethargy is tricky because it can also be a hypo symptom so always check BG if in any doubt.) As treatment continues, one may see energy levels dip at the lower points in the cycle but to then pick up when the cat's BG is higher. Again, this should improve with time as the kitty's body again becomes accustomed to running at healthier BG levels. If the lethargy persists then the situation needs to be reassessed (might be that the insulin in use/dose is producing very fast/steep drops and these can make some cats feel quite icky).

    Needless to say, it's important to let your vet know about any changes in Bella's clinical signs.

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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