New and worried

Discussion in 'Lantus / Basaglar (glargine) and Levemir (detemir)' started by Simon's mom, May 15, 2018.

  1. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    5/15/18 Simon (I'm sorry, Idk what AMPS means)
    Good evening,
    Simon is a 13 y/o male. Diagnosed with diabetes by his vet 5/7/18 (a week and a day ago). I IMMEDIATELY switched him to an all canned, low carb diet; keeping between 250-350 calories(as advised by a veterinarian friend). While waiting for his insulin(Glargine/Lantus) and needles to arrive, he seemed to be urinating less, but still meowing a lot for food. I've been trying to get him used to a set schedule, to prepare for the upcoming injections.
    This morning was normal, with vocal requests for food. Went to the vet so I could do a cpl practice shots into a towel, Then with a fresh needle, gave him the real thing (1 unit) @ apx 9:45am. He did well with the shot and didn't seem to notice but then hissed when the nurse when to weigh him. I have not heard him meow since we left the vet. He stayed under the neighbor's porch most of the day and didn't eat what was left for his lunch until this evening. I got home from work apx. 8:15pm he barely ate any dinner and immediately wanted outside. Again, he hasn't meowed at all, just stood by the door. I have not given his evening dose of insulin because 1, he didn't eat his dinner and 2, he's currently back under the neighbor's porch refusing to come when I call.
    I will mention, it was very hot out today. It's also about to storm and it just doesn't seem normal for him to want to be out like this.
    I'm sorry if I sound ridiculous, but I'm absolutely terrified that something is wrong. Any advice is welcome! Thank you in advance!!
     
  2. tobakett

    tobakett Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2018
    I'm pretty new too, so I dont have much advice but I just wanted to welcome you and send you :bighug:

    My Gizmo and I have had a nerve racking start and I know it's super overwhelming and scary at first but this place is an incredible resource. The first 2 weeks of our diagnosis I was convinced there was no way we would ever be able to figure it all out, but it does get easier.

    Did the vet teach you to test his blood at home? I'm a data junkie so everytime Gizmo does anything 'weird' (which if I'm being brutally self reflective, 90% of the time its probably me projecting on him) I test. Let's me know where he is at and if his numbers are weird, maybe clues me in if he is telling me something. They could also be sensing how worried you are and is anxious themself. I know the first week Gizmo and I had a rough go of it because I'd get upset or worried so he'd get upset and squirrelly and it was just a cycle. I've learned trying to stay chill (WAY easier said than done, I know) usually helps. That and bribes, when it comes to getting them used to testing.

    Welcome and good luck :bighug:
     
  3. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    Thank you so much for your reply! My vet said to hold off on the home testing, that we should "see how he does" this first week, then bring him back in for a check. I've been at work most of the day and got the report of his behavior (until after 8 when I got home) from my roommates. His seemingly immediate change in demeanor has me concerned. I feel so stupid and helpless. Thank you again for responding. Do you think I should go above the vet and just get a glucometer?
     
  4. Sean & Rufus

    Sean & Rufus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Hi and welcome! It is hard and scary and overwhelming in the beginning, but soon it will all become routine. Most vets tell you no need to test at home, but evetyone here will tell you otherwise. A cat can go into remission and not need insulin, or his pancreas can start working better and need less insulin, and the only way you are going to know these things is if you are testing at home. One of the least expensive meters is a ReliOn from Walmart. Should be about $15. Test strips are like 33 cents a piece I beleive. We always test before the shot and try to get a couple other tests in during the day to see where they are at. Hopefully someone will chime in and eleberate on the process! Good luck to you and Simon! :)
     
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  5. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Welcome to the forum.

    There is no reason at all to "hold off" on home testing. We get that malarky from some vets. Home testing provides you valuable information about how well your kitteh is doing with the ups and downs of their BG value. In many cases, home testing means the difference between dosing and not dosing - so it can be quite critical to accomplish.

    AMPS and PMPS mean morning A.M. Pre Shot glucose level and PMPS means P.M. PreShot level.

    Please read the FAQ info at the start of the forum. There are a lot of links about diabetes. Basically your kitteh will be hungry unless they have enough insulin to allow them to absorb calories at the cell level. Same thing for human diabetics. For a diabetic kitteh to get additional insulin, they can then absorb the nutrients, and their hunger signals will dissipate.
    .
     
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  6. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Hello and welcome. Start by reading the yellow sticky notes on the top of this forum.

    I'm sorry, but your vet is wrong on the no testing. I've lost track of the number of times in six years here that I have seen a new person learn to test the first time and find out their cat is in low numbers. Knowledge is power.
     
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  7. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

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    May 15, 2018
    Thank you all so much! I scrolled through some of the sticky notes, then panicked and posted. Haha sorry about that!
    I will DEFINITELY get a glucometer tomorrow! Thank you again!
    Since I don't have one at the moment, do any of you advise me giving Simon his 2nd dose still tonight? He just came inside and ate some. Seeming to be acting a little more normal. Maybe the heat just got to him earlier?
     
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  8. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Don't worry about asking questions. We all remember what it was like in the beginning. :bighug:
     
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  9. tobakett

    tobakett Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2018
    I use the Relion Micro. Originally got the pet specific Alpha Trak 2 because the vet told me to and in less than 2 weeks blew through over 70 bucks of strips and then stressed when Amazon messed up a shipment since I couldnt buy them locally. Relion is 35 bucks for 100 strips at Walmart, and it's just as easy to use and will save you a ton of money, especially at first when you will make mistakes and get in the swing of a routine with blood draws. It just gives slightly different numbers but it still gives you the same curve, same data. Kind of like music.. two instruments play the same song, the pitch might be different but it's the same info, if that makes sense.

    I hemmed and hawed going against the vet (especially since in RL I work in a human clinic and deal with humans who trust WebMD over the medical doctors who spent years in school studying their specific niche condition) but yeah...I'm learning vet medicine is not quite the same and although they may mean well, a lot of them just dont have the kind of experience this place in. In fact, I'd wager very few could, just given the collective data from the members here.

    I would suggest making sure to go back and re-read the stickies after a few days as well after you do an initial read through. I have found that re-reading things a week, 2 weeks, even 3 weeks after, there are a lot of things I have missed or misunderstood.
     
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  10. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Welcome to FDMB! You have definitely come to the right place. We can help you learn to test your sweet kitty and understand what the numbers mean. :):):)

    Do you know what his blood glucose was at the vet's? I don't understand why some vets suggest not testing at home! Would you inject yourself or your child with a powerful hormone without knowing whether or not it was safe to do so? Of course not! So why do vets tell their clients to do it to their beloved kitties??? I'm so glad you're going to get a meter and start testing! It's the only way to really keep Simon safe.:cat::cat:
     
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  11. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

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    May 15, 2018
    Oh much gosh, again, thank you all SO much!!! I don't remember the exact number from the vet, but I know it was high 400's.
    He's seeming to be acting more normal now. I think I kind of jumped the gun with my panic, buuuut that's kinda how I am. Haha ugh. I'm actually glad that I did though, or I may not have found this group!! I can't wait to get into a regular routine (the best we can) with testing and dosing!
    Have you all seen many success stories on here where cats went into remission?
     
  12. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    We've had almost 400 cats on Lantus insulin alone go OTJ (Off The Juice) and lots of others on other insulins.

    The biggest things are to get onto a low carb canned or raw diet, start at a reasonable amount of insulin and home test often enough to really know how well your cat is doing. The sooner a cat is diagnosed and treatment is started, the better their chances are!!

    Generally, it's most common if the cat has been diagnosed less than 6 months-1 year, but we've had cats go much longer on insulin and still go OTJ.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  13. Janine & Floyd

    Janine & Floyd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    My advice (as a vet) is to call your vet and discuss the info you've found here and explain that you want to try either SLGS or following this protocol and home testing, but that you want to collaborate with them as well. Explain that you'll have a spreadsheet set up that you can give them access to know what you're doing and keep them in the loop.

    If they are not on board with that, then it may be time to find a new vet.
     
  14. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

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    May 15, 2018
    I'm sorry, I haven't come across SLGS in my reading here yet. Could you please tell me what that means?
     
  15. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Hello and welcome :cat: I am new to this too, but I can assure you you are in the right place. Read all the stickies, I know it is a lot of info, maybe print it out to go over it little by little and so you have it handy for the future.

    My Shmee would not eat in the beginning either, and his BGs were in the 400s at the vet. One thing that is very clear is every cat is different ("ECID"), but just from my experience - make sure to get all bloodwork from the vet. Did he do a full blood panel when he found Simons blood sugar to be in the 400s? I would be curious to see if any other numbers were off. My Shmees liver numbers were extremely high so they were worried about liver problems, but after a few weeks on Denamarin (a liver enzymes pill) and an appetite stimulant to get him to eat, his liver numbers became normal again. They think he might have had slight pancreatitis. You never know whats going on until you see the data, like the bloodwork and the blood sugar numbers you find when you begin to test. You will find the instructions on how to make a spreadsheet like we have in our signature in the stickies too.

    Its very important for Simon to eat - so if he is still not eating well I would talk to your vet about an appetite stimulant until you figure out why hes not eating. Diabetics with high numbers should be very hungry, which is why this group told me in the beginning to look at the bloodwork and we found his liver issue. Good luck to you, you can do this and I hope Simon feels better soon.

    Oh yeah - what is your name? :)
     
  16. Amanda & Shmee

    Amanda & Shmee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    You will need to choose a dosing procedure to follow; there is SLGS (start low go slow), which is most in line with most vets chose to do and evaluate dosing every week. And TR (tight regulation) which is increasing more often (every 3-5 days ish). And as we are on the topic of dosing - increases are only made by .25. Vets (like mine) will increase by 1 full unit, we do not. The data has found that increasing in the smaller units is safer and better to find the "right" dose. You will want to read all the stickies on the Lantus forum but these are the two for these two methods:
    Tight Regulation: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/lantus-levemir-tight-regulation-protocol-tr.1581/
    Start Low Go Slow: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/lantus-levemir-start-low-go-slow-method-slgs.129446/
     
  17. Marie&HerCats RUSTY

    Marie&HerCats RUSTY Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Hi Welcome Im new also, still in a sort of panic mode also!
    I experienced odd behavior with my indoor/outdoor cat after furst vet visit and every one since. I thought for sure he was going to die & it was all my fault LOL.
    This is what I realized:
    1. It was normal for Rusty to disappear under deck, in outdoor cat shelter, under whatever for hours after each vet trip. He always came back in when he was hungry.
    2. The members here are literally lifesavers, understand any hesitation, fear, and guilt new members have and are gracious and patient
    3. My intimidation and fear of using spreadsheet & testing is diminishing although Ive not even mastered testing yet. My Alphatrac BROKE and I just bought a human testing at a local pharmacy that cost $15.00 !

    I'm in the same stage of taking care of my feline as you so maybe we could help each other!
     
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  18. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

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    May 15, 2018
    Oh my word, now that you told me "start low go slow" I remember I actually did read that but must've forgotten in my panic. Haha thank you! He's started out on 1unit. Vet says we'll check him again in a week and go from there. After reading up on this page though, I'll be getting a glucometer for home testing.
    DEFINITELY overwhelmed by information but I'm hoping to be able to take it all in and start this spreadsheet jive. I'm kind of SLGS myself ha

    My name is Sally.

    They did the full Senior Profile bloodwork, when Simon was diagnosed, and the only thing that they said that came back funky was diabetes. He was showing "classic signs" also, leading up to his annual wellness check up.
    You all definitely sound like me and I can't thank you enough for being so welcoming, informative and relatable!!!
     
  19. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    It's easy and common to feel overwhelmed, and frightened. First, by the diagnosis, then by learning a load of info, learning to test and give insulin. It does happen, and more quickly than you would think. Remember to breathe, and why you are here. Because you love Simon. You are helping him feel better. You are a good momma bean!
     
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  20. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

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    May 15, 2018
    Thank you so much!!! :cat::kiss::):bighug:
     
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  21. Gill & George

    Gill & George Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Hello and Welcome,

    Keep us posted on how you get on with the home testing and let us know if we can help you with that if you have trouble with it. Most of us find that with a little patience they do very well with the home testing, George loves his Low carb Freeze dried treats and I just have to rattle the test strips and he comes trotting up for his test.

    Here's the link http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/ for setting up the Spread Sheet, if you get that up and running it's a great way for you to keep track of BG, and in the comments section you can also make note of any extra info, was he eating well, when you fed, was he happy, hiding...........

    Did the vet check Simon's BG after you have made the swap to canned low carb??? In some cases making the switch can make a big difference, so after a week on the LC canned his BG may not be as high, also at the vet's their BG is often raised due to stress, so at home you will get a much better idea of where he is at.
     
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  22. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

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    May 15, 2018
    Thank you!!! No, she did not retest him. He really did seem to be drinking and urinating less just after the week of his new diet, and even gained a little weight. Only a few oz. according to the vet, but not losing any more!
    Yes all this jazz is very intimidating! My boy has calmed down a lot in his advancing years, but still not the most cooperative when it comes to things like this. So far I've only given him 3 injections; 2 at home didn't go quite as smoothly as at the vet, but I was surprised that he didn't put up more of a fuss. I've been getting him while he's eating in hopes of distraction, but as soon as I go to tent his skin, he wants to walk away. Then I have to hold him still for a sec.
    Does everybody vote that the less expensive Relion glucometer, that I'm told is found at Wal-Mart, is my best bet?
    It breaks my heart to have to put him through this, but I'm determined to get him in remission asap!
    I can't thank you all enough!!!
     
  23. Gill & George

    Gill & George Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    I'm not in the US so I use a different meter, but what I will say is that a lot of folk use it, and it requires a small drop of blood, and add to that the convenience of being able to get test strips not to mention the cost, I gather they are quite economical. I have two meters, one as a back up that I can get strips for at my local pharmacy, should I run out or have a mishap with the meter, george through one into his drinks fountain once:rolleyes: saw me rushing to the nearest pharmacy for a replacement. I get my strips on line for my regular meter because they are much cheaper the downside is that delivery can be patchy, so in an emergency it's nice to have something I can get locally even if the strips are 1 euro (over a dollar) a strip:eek:

    I had more trouble with the injections than with the tests when I started out.
    First I got him used to having his ears touched and rubbed, and rewarded him with lots of love and a treat (my boy is food motivated). So when it came to the test he didn't mind in the slightest.
    Some people have a work station that they take their cat to, but as George likes to sit with me I just use to ask him to come and sit on my lap. You'll know your boy so I'm sure you will figure out what works for both of you.

    I used to give him his injection when he had his head in the bowl, after someone suggested I try that, he wouldn't even slow down while I shot him. Some cats don't mind others don't like it.

    George is just recently back on insulin, a bad tooth infection knocked him out of a 2 year remission, he's not been well and I haven't been able to shoot when he is eating, so I know wait for him to finish then I let him go to his bed and I do the injection then, that's been working better this time. If I tried to put him somewhere for his shot I don't think he would like that.

    Sounds like the diet may already have been having a positive effect on his BG.
    I'm very excited to see what your first reading is, please keep us posted and don't wait to long to do it, especially in light of the reduction of symptoms, for some kitties a change of diet is all they need, shooting blind is really scary.
     
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  24. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

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    May 15, 2018
    Awe I'm sorry that George is not feeling well! Hearing that he was in remission for 2 yrs gives me much hope though.
    Simon has always loved his ears rubbed so I think what I'll have to work on will be my approach. He won't be as cooperative if he sees me coming at him with Lancets and cotton balls.
    I'll keep everyone posted!! I hope your boy feels better soon!!! Xoxo
     
  25. Gill & George

    Gill & George Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Thanks
     
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  26. Janine & Floyd

    Janine & Floyd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    Hi, Sally! I hope I'm not hijacking your post, if I am, let me know.:)

    I just wanted to step in and answer @Squalliesmom about why a vet would tell someone not to home test. This statement right here is the reason. We have maybe a 20-30 minute appointment, then a phone call or 2 to try and explain everything about FD to someone who is completely overwhelmed. You're telling someone they have to completely rearrange their life, give injections, change diets, etc. It's a lot all at once, and frankly MOST cat owners simply are not willing or able. The more we pile on right at the beginning, the more likely folks are to say, "Nope. Can't handle this."

    So, for better or worse, let's get the diet in place. Let's get comfortable giving injections. Then, maybe if things are going well, we'll talk about home testing.

    Having said all that, you are on the right place to get help. It's correct that you'll get a lot more info and support here than your vet can give.
     
  27. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    No, not hijacking at all! I appreciate any and all feedback/info!!!
    I have another vet friend that just suggested getting the urine test strips for humans, then sticking them in his litter to see. At the advise of my vet, I will not be getting them though, as she says they are far less accurate.
    Does all this sound right?
    I'm already running kind of low on funds, but will do whatever it takes to make sure my boy is safe. I don't get done work until later in the evening, so I'm hoping the pharmacy at Wal-Mart will still be open for questions when I go to check out glucometers.

    Since Simon's diagnosis, I've already had ppl tell me "he's old, it's probably time to just let him go" which is absolutely not an option, obviously. So I'm thrilled to be here, among other folks who understand!
     
  28. Janine & Floyd

    Janine & Floyd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    Urine glucose testing is useless in terms of regulation. However, getting test strips to monitor urine ketones is a very good idea. You can get ketodiastix at any pharmacy.

    I have the ReliOn Micro and I really like it because of the small blood drop needed.
     
  29. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    That is most likely the one I will get. Does it have "wicking" strips, where it basically sucks the blood right up?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  30. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Sally, I was using the pet meter, but the strips are very expensive. We got the Relion Confirm, and strips. Works fine and is wicking. Easy to use. Just note, the diet change can bring results. Idjit was going off insulin in weeks, we had been shooting blind, 1x a day and only testing a couple times a week, on vet instructions. Could have been disastrous. We also didn't reduce dose properly. So, please test, and follow advice you get here. Keep Simon safe.
     
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  31. Janine & Floyd

    Janine & Floyd Member

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    Mar 20, 2018
    Yes. The Micro and Confirm use the same strips, which are wicking.
     
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  32. Sue and Luci

    Sue and Luci Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2017
    Welcome to the very best forum on the web!

    These folks have helped me every step of the way. I too was completely overwhelmed by so much information! And that was after getting that stunning diagnosis that my girl Luci was diabetic! That was a shock in itself - then the vet says 'If it were my cat, I'd put her down' - I went into a deep depression and cried for two days before I started searching and found this group. Ran to Walmart and bought the supplies recommended to me here - and went home and proceeded to TRY to get some blood from Luci's ear - what a fiasco! I poked that poor girl multiple times before getting anything to put on that little meter/stick! I was a nervous wreck; Luci was uncooperative and my DH had to hold her while we worked together to get a test. And you probably have a feel for the rest of the story. Here it is 6.5 months later and I'm able to test alone - Luci is very cooperative - she always gets a treat after a test - for her it's all about the food!

    I wish you the very best in getting your spreadsheet set up and getting into the groove of testing. It'll get easier over time - I didn't believe them when they told me that either. I think the very best tips I got were from watching the video of 'how to test your cats blood glucose' - and I use a baby sock with the toe filled with rice to place under her ear (I warm it in the microwave first)...It really helps support her ear and keeps me from poking my finger too! It'll all come together in time and you'll be able to help your baby feel better!

    Post lots of questions - everyone here is so helpful!:bighug:
     
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  33. Simon's mom

    Simon's mom New Member

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    May 15, 2018
    It makes me feel so much better knowing that I'm not alone!
     
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  34. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    You are not alone and we will keep helping. We have saved hundreds (or thousands) of kittehs. Mostly it just takes some diligence and learning.

    It is a distant memory, but I was scared of needles when I first started with Leo's treatment. That was a long time ago. The syringes are just our way of providing nourishing medicine to sick kittehs. After awhile you get used to the routine and so will Simon.

    Leo is now 3 years diabetic, and has received 2 doses a day for those three years. He is pretty healthy considering all the problems he had. But if you think of the consequences of untreated diabetes - he would have been gone a long time ago. Maybe you will get lucky with Simon and he is only diabetic for a month or two. But if it is longterm, he can be treated with insulin for the rest of his life. The nice thing about diabetes is that it is a very well understood disease.
     
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  35. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Thanks, Janine, and I fully understand this position. :) However, the vet who diagnosed my cat (I'd been with her for a long time) told me unequivocally not to test Squallie at home. When I really pushed the issue she finally sold0 me an AlphaTrak kit and told me I had to draw blood with a syringe from the vein inside his hind leg, and then apply it to the test strip; I was not to test his ears. She told me testing more than once every couple of weeks was entirely too frequent. When I tried to discuss with her the information I had learned from this site she shut me down completely and derided me for "listening to advice from some people I didn't know online". What she did not tell me, even when pressed, was what to look for in case of a suspected hypo, she just told me ,"Oh, you'll know!" Well, I didn't know, and my cat nearly died (he is asymptomatic, as well, but we didn't know that at the time). Had I not gone against her instructions and been home testing -using his ear- with the help of the folks here, he would not have been with me any longer, only a month into his diagnosis. So I feel pretty strongly about vets telling their clients NOT to test at home, especially when the client asks or requests to do so. :)
     
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  36. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    Jul 7, 2016
    OMG - sounds like the vet from hell! I wonder how many patients she lost to simple bad advice and lack of diabetes knowledge.
     
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  37. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    I suspect I was her first FD client. I had begged her for three months to check Squallie for diabetes and she refused because she was sure that wasn't what was wrong with him. When she finally did test him she came back in and announced very smugly, like it was all her idea, that "we have a diabetic cat here!" I left her practice when she and her tech/receptionist screamed at me, in front of a roomful of waiting clients, that I was killing my cat because I was home testing, and feeding low-carb FF, rather than the $$$ dry "prescription" food she wanted to sell me.
     
  38. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    Jul 7, 2016
    That deserves a TRIPLE OMG. That vet sounds like a total dufus.
     
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  39. MizzKitty

    MizzKitty Member

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    May 15, 2018
    Welcome to the forums! I'm new as well and still in panic mode myself. I'm less then a month into this new journey but slowly but surely I'm calming down and getting used to all these new things, you will too! Keep us updated on your baby!

    Wow..thats the best explanation Ive seen as to why a vet would discourage home testing. Mine did as well, and now I can better understand why. This is true, at the start I was very much thinking the same.

    This thread has been interesting to browse, @Squalliesmom and @Sue and Luci , wow!! What horror vet stories...!
     
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