New at this - Advice on Testing and Eating?

Discussion in 'Caninsulin / Vetsulin and N / NPH' started by Cheezycat, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. Cheezycat

    Cheezycat New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    My cat Chachi is 9 yrs old and was diagnosed on 5/15/17. The Vet has him on 2u currently and his last curve range was between 157-204 (tested by Vet).

    Testing - I see on this forum many owners are testing at home. The vet has never suggested this but I'm contemplating it because I feel like I can get a better handle on things rather than wait another 3 weeks to get him tested by the vet.

    Are all blood sugar meters about the same?

    Eating - Sadly I was feeding him way too much dry food and he had gained alot of weight. Chachi has always been a "hungry cat" and enthusiastic eater so it's difficult to gauge whether it's just habit or sugar related. I cut down his dry food even before he was diagnosed and am trying to wean him completed off it (down to an occasional tablespoon). I was feeding him canned fancy feast (1/2 can morning/night) prior to starting insulin but switched to the DM diet canned/dry.

    Any advice on dealing with a frantic foodie cat?
     
  2. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Hi HoomanBean and extra sweet Chachi! Welcome to the best place you never wanted to be!

    What kind of insulin?

    Very few vets ever suggest testing at home and in all fairness, many don't know HOW. Vets take a vein draw and use that to test - that method isn't for doing at home. They don't realize that you can use their ear edges and even use a human meter! There aren't the nerves in cat's ears like humans - it's not painful like you imagine, it's just different.

    Due to cost of test strips, many of us use Walmart's 'Relion' brand, either 'Micro or Confirm' models. Those 2 take the same strips, just different shapes. You'll see the 'Prime' is a bit cheaper on strips but let's not start with that one - it takes more blood. That's for later when Chachi's ears 'learn to bleed'.

    You're on the right track - keep ditching the DRY - it's BAD mojo! It's high in carbs and even if it SAYS for diabetics, it's not. Stay with wet pates, no gravies...those have carbs too. In Fancy Feast, stay with the 'Classic' line to start. Here's a link to a food chart providing carb count for lots of different brands - shoot for things under 8% carb count: Food Chart 2017 - CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf

    Diabetes is causing part of that 'frantic foodie'...after treatment and their bodies get used to working right again, that will likely slow down a lot.

    Again, WELCOME!
     
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  3. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Hi and welcome Cheezycat (or is there another name you'd like us to call you? ;)) and Chachi!

    I want to commend you on your decision to do home testing. :DThat is the best tool we have in our arsenal to keep kitty safe and get them on the path to better BG regulation and we can help you learn how. Many vets do not mention home testing.....some even discourage it for any number of silly reasons including not wanting to lose the income from running curves in their clinic.:rolleyes: Most cats have elevated BGs at the vets and this often leads to the dose of insulin prescribed being too high. Home testing lets you know it's safe to give insulin and gives you a much more realistic view of how kitty is doing on a daily basis.

    There are pet meters and human meters. Pet meters provide blood values close to animal lab values. Human meters will read a bit lower but they have been used for cats since long before pet meters existed and normal BG ranges and safe numbers using a human meter are available and proven to be very safe. Pet meters tend to be expensive to use because the strips for them can be as much as double the cost of human strips. If you are in the US, many folks here use the Relion Confirm or Micro meters both of which take the smallest sample of blood and have very reasonably priced test strips. If you are located elsewhere, let us know and we can give you some suggestions for your part of the world.

    Glad to hear you are weaning Chachi off the dry food. That alone can make a big difference in BG levels so I would encourage you to start home testing sooner rather than later as Chachi's insulin dose may need to be reduced as a result. Fancy Feast Classics (Pates) are perfectly fine for Chachi and used by a lot of folks here. The DM canned pate food is fine too but far more expensive and no better for Chachi than the Fancy Feast from a nutritional perspective.

    It sounds like your vet may have suggested feeding twice daily. We suggest splitting up the daily food allowance into two meals and some snacks to try to keep them from becoming frantic for food. Unregulated diabetics cannot use the food they consume as well as they should and that makes them hungry all the time. By providing multiple meals (some do 2 main meals and 2 snacks, some 2 meals and 4 snacks) it helps to keep the cat more sated and less frantic for food.

    It would be helpful if you would set up a signature with a few details about Chachi and your location so we don't keep asking you the same questions over and over. The signature is the light grey text under my message. To set this up, hover over your screen name in the upper right corner of the page and click on "Signature" in the left column. This opens a text box into which you can type info such as your name, the insulin you are using, the meter you ultimately decide to use, any other health concerns with Chachi, diet, your general location, and anything else you would like to share. When you are done, scroll down and click on "save changes" button and voila, you're done.

    Please keep the questions coming. We are a very friendly group eager to help any way we can. Looking forward to getting to know you and Chachi! :D
     
    Yong likes this.
  4. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
  5. Cheezycat

    Cheezycat New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Thanks for the info, I'm in Los Angeles btw. I'm going to check Walmart's or Amazon's website for those products.

    Chachi's was on FF pate prior to diagnoses but the addition of dry food was his catalyst. In addition his sister Somba (grey/white in my avi) is a slow eater and he took advantage of the fact to steal bites out of her dish. Separating them only makes it harder to get my girl to eat (she's a nervous / distracted eater). So I do the dance with Chachi to keep him away till she finishes :)
     
  6. Cheezycat

    Cheezycat New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Thanks for the welcome!
    Lots to think about now. Prior to this all our cats have been pretty healthy all around. I added some basic info to my signature, thanks for that tip.

    I think starting tomorrow, I'm going to switch completely to wet food. His two main meals were FF pate (1/2 in am and 1/2 in pm) but in between his snacks were dry(3-4 times daily).
    Thanks again!
     
  7. Cheezycat

    Cheezycat New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Thanks for the spreadsheet and info! I was an accountant for 20 yrs so I'm all about spreadsheets and databases. :)
     
    Squeaky and KT (GA) and Yong like this.

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