New and scared and anxious, oh my...

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by HimynameisDucky, Jan 7, 2018.

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  1. HimynameisDucky

    HimynameisDucky New Member

    Jan 7, 2018
    Hi! I just posted an introduction and I am trying not to have a freak out. I am worried about my cat (who is very recently diagnosed) currently because she seems to have been rather lethargic and hiding most of the day, after her first ever insulin shot. Husband thinks that she is just mad about being poked, but I have a feeling its the insulin. I am opting not to give her insulin tonight because of her behavior most of the day, and then when it came to feeding time she ate less than half of her bowl. Is this the right decision? I plan to call our vet first thing tomorrow. They suggested that if she looks/acts loopy and "drunkish" to give her some Karo syrup, but she's really only just lethargic and hiding.

    Vet is starting her at 1 unit 2x a day, and I gave her her first shot of Vestulin (which I am reading is probably not the best to give her) this morning (now about 14 hours ago). I am unsure what her levels were when we have gone to the vet (seems like we are there every other day), but I think the last number I heard was between 200-300, so my guess is she is holding around the mid to low 200's, but I could be wrong.

    Edit: We don't have the supplies to test at home currently (our bank account has been getting hit rather hard lately due to this new diagnosis among other things). In an attempt to kind of save money and not freak her out further we are keeping with our old food until we run out which is going to be soon so currently she is eating Friskie's meaty bits (with some Iams dry food for indoor cats), but I am thinking (and open to suggestions) that I will eventually get her onto Weruva brand. Her stomach doesn't handle fish well, so its hard to find a variety pack, at a good price, that doesn't include fish.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
    Reason for edit: updating information
  2. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    Deep breaths ... The starting dose your vet recommended is a good one. If her BG was in the 200 to 300 range she should be OK but that's only a guess. It's possible that she's reacting to the insulin. It can take time for their body to adjust to getting insulin. It's too soon to say that Vetsulin isn't the right insulin for her.

    Many of us feed Friskies or Fancy Feast pate style food. It's best to avoid fish mostly but chicken , turkey, etc are fine.

    Testing BG at home is really the only way to know whether a dose is effective or not and is the best way to keep her safe from hypos. Many people buy a Walmart ReliOn brand of human meter because the test strips are quite economical and readily available. Meters that take a very small blood drop are the easiest to use.

    Keep a close eye on her - energy level, eating habits. Do call your vet tomorrow if she still seems "off".
  3. trapnurse

    trapnurse Member

    Jun 10, 2017
    kris and Teasel is right. And friskies you can buy almost any where. With membership / discount cards at petsupply stores you can sometimes get discounts too! It’s tough at first but there’s a lot of people who know a LOT about dosing and how to read the BG spread sheets and give accurate help with what ever you’ll run into. Check what kind of insulin your vets giving her. I was able to buy mine with out fuss from a Walmart pharmacy. Once your kitty gets used to the testing and the insulin pokes you’ll be well on your way to regulating and even possibly remission. Good luck!
    Critter Mom likes this.
  4. Carol & Murphy

    Carol & Murphy Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2015
    Hi Cat I know it is very scary at first, but really, after a while, it becomes quite manageable. Is Ducky drinking and peeing a lot? You've gotten good advice on home testing supplies - once you start that (and we urge you to do that as quickly as possible), you'll have a much better handle on things. Ducky does need to eat though, so keep a close eye on that.
    trapnurse likes this.
  5. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2014
    I second this.

    You're right to be concerned about lethargy because it can be a sign of a symptomatic hypo but, as Kris says, sometimes kitties do experience low energy levels when first starting insulin therapy until their bodies become more acclimatised.

    I was in the same predicament as you when my Saoirse was first diagnosed (no meter at home, no idea what to expect). Saoirse was started on 1IU Caninsulin (aka Vetsulin) and she weighed about 9lb at the time. She was absolutely poleaxed during the early days of her treatment with this insulin and I was utterly terrified the whole time because I had no way of telling whether or not she was safe: there's no way other than testing BG to definitively distinguish between lethargy due to insulin reaction and lethargy due to hypoglycaemia. Take it from one who's been there; you will be unimaginably relieved when you get your home meter; the peace of mind they give is priceless.

    Assuming you're in the States, many of our US members recommend Walmart's Relion Confirm and Relion Micro glucometers. They only require a small blood sample and the test strips are reasonably priced (and much more affordable than those used in pet-specific meters).

  6. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    When Quintus's BG levels first started coming down with the help of insulin, it made him very tired. I figured it was his body finally being able to use some of that glucose he'd been swimming in for so long! If you test at home it allows you to see where his BG is at and interpret his symptoms better. Good luck for the ride and all the best for your kitty!
  7. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Welcome Cat and Ducky!

    Many of our suggestions for food and supplies will be based on your locale. We don't need to know exactly where you are, but can you let us know if you are in the United States? Because we have members all over the world.

    Hang in there. We will do everything we possibly can to help get you sorted!

    Critter Mom likes this.
  8. HimynameisDucky

    HimynameisDucky New Member

    Jan 7, 2018
    okay! thank you all so so much! I definitely appreciate all the kind words and support!

    I am feeling much better. I was able to bring my girl to the vet this afternoon! It was basically just so they could take her BG levels, and even though I haven't given her any insulin since Sunday morning, her BG level was at the high end of normal and out of diabetic range. So the plan going forward is to decrease her insulin to 1/2 unit, 2x daily. I also picked up some new food for her to hopefully make it more enticing to eat and I will increase the time from when she eats to when i give her a shot (first time I did it it was like 15 minutes, so now I will wait 30 mins in hopes that she doesn't associate eating with a shot).

    To answer some questions:
    -We are using vetsulin brand insulin
    -unsure if she is drinking/peeing a lot more than normal. My husband and I have two cats and I like to give them some privacy when they use the litter box, so its not exactly known who is going when and what not. But as for drinking - no more than normal, I would say. Ducky has actually been drinking less, but I think that is due to the fact that we are giving them wet food 2x daily now (as per our vet's orders since my other cat, Millie, had a tooth extraction and is on a wet food diet only until fully healed).
    -we are located in the US
    Critter Mom likes this.
  9. Marylou and Malika

    Marylou and Malika Member

    Jan 15, 2018
    The original post sounds like how I'm feeling! I gave my kitty 1U 2x a day for 2 days. She started hiding in the closet and under the bed and not coming out. So I'm trying with low carb diet first and I bought a BG testing kit: Contour Next. The thought of trying to get blood terrifies me. Giving her the insulin was a piece of cake compared to how I feel about this. I'm going to see if there are any YouTube videos.
    I'm trying a food change up and a successful blood test before I give her the insulin: Weruva Chicken in gravy (there's some potato starch but it's around the 7th ingredient) and Blue Wilderness Chicken in gravy. I see the brands, but not those particular flavors. Anyone have insight there? At least she'll eat them. She snubs any kind of pate.
    I'm going to look for a new vet for a variety of reasons. Wish me luck!
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  10. HimynameisDucky

    HimynameisDucky New Member

    Jan 7, 2018
    I am doing much better and so is my girl! The people on this forum are amazing! SO SO SO supportive. I am pretty new to the scene, but if her behavior is hugely different from normal, I think it was a good move to stop the insulin. Don't be terrified about the blood glucose, there are a bunch of youtube movies and there is also a bunch of links here on the forum:

    I did just order my BG testing kit and I am also a little nervous about it, because Ducky still doesn't cooperate with the shots. but its all about finding the correct way of doing things. A lot of people will have a certain spot in their home that they dedicate to the process of taking a reading/giving insulin or some do it while feeding, etc.

    I also am having an insane amount of trouble with food. Both my girls HATE pate style food, and that seems to be the most popular style among all the low carb, high protein options. Here is a link provided by the forum as well:

    Ive been skimming through it and trying to find different options as well as affordable options. A lot of people here opt to keep the Friskies/9 lives brands from what I have read, but I am eager to try and get Ducky off insulin with a low carb, high protein diet. Since I have 2 cats, I like to get the bigger cans of food (I can split the can between them and less waste overall), but like I said it is wicked difficult to find shreds/bits/flaked food. I recently found a brand that they love which is Soulistic, which makes food in a 5.5 oz can, but all there food is made with Tuna broth and Tuna as the first and third ingredient, respectfully, which makes me a little nervous to keep giving them the food. So I will probably be looking to find another option soon.

    EDIT: also, GOOD LUCK!
    Stephanie & Quintus likes this.
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