New Diagnosis and first time giving insulin alone - worried about low blood sugar

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Cat_Ion, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Cat_Ion

    Cat_Ion New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2020
    Hi All, I found out my 11yo male cat has diabetes on Wednesday this week, and I have been extremely overwhelmed. I can't tell you how relieved I was to find this forum and see so much encouragement, as I read some posts on reddit that were very disheartening (someone actually responded to a poster telling them the cat will likely die in a year and to cut their losses, let the nature take its course no basically and another person responded saying its way too much work to plan your life around their 12 hour schedules when they are going to die in a year or 2 max :( ).

    I haven't gone through all of the information on this site yet, and I definitely will! But I am really worried about Ion right now and am hoping to find some advise so i'm really sorry if I post this wrong. The reason I took him to the vet this week is because he hasn't really been eating for ~ 2 weeks, but i noticed he was drinking a lot and peeing a lot. I thought something was wrong with his teeth because he chews his kibble weird, but the vet said his teeth look okay and did all the blood work. fast forward and we found out he is diabetic, his blood sugar was 28 on Tuesday so the vet said we would start with 2 units of Lantus, but yesterday when i brought him in for the day his level was 20, and when i went to pick him up at 6 we did a reading and his levels had still be going down (but were at 4) she said that normally by then they should start going up, so the dosage was probably too high. We skipped giving him any last night and I gave him 1 unit on my own this morning. The thing I'm worried about is that he does not like to eat very much still, since Tuesday I started giving him a food they recommended for the time being (canned EN Gastroenteric by Purina) and he seems to really like it, but the vet said he should technically eat a whole can in one sitting and he is not eating even close to that. I have been able to get him to eat more by holding the bowl for him wherever he goes after he "finishes" eating and then after that putting some food in my hand and giving him some. But eventually he just doesn't want anymore :( I don't have a blood reading meter thing yet, but I am working from home today to watch him to make sure he doesn't seem to be hypo, but the vet said if that happened he would be "lethargic"..... my cat is a princess haha he is always a bit lethargic hes a senior cat!! I gave him his insulin at 930, and hes been sleeping for the past 40 minutes or so.... is that a sign that something is wrong? I just have no idea how I would know if hes "lethargic" or relaxing :(
     
  2. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Yup, that's always the question with cats-- "lethargic" is kind of a way of life for a lot of our kitties! That's one reason why it's such a relief when you get the home testing up and running-- you no longer have to guess.

    We're all in different time zones here, so we don't know when 9:30 was for you-- how many hours ago was the shot? And how low did he go when you picked him up yesterday?
     
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  3. Cat_Ion

    Cat_Ion New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Sorry I hadn't even thought of that! it is 11:44 now, so it was 2 hours ago. I will definitely get one of the testes asap, I just need to figure out which one to buy, i know there is some information on this site on that so I plan to read through it over my lunch today and see if I can pick one up tonight :)

    Is it bad to check more frequently than when the vet tells you to do a curve day?
     
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  4. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Also, I wanted to address the most pressing part of your post first, so now that I've done that: thank goodness you didn't listen to those other folks after the diagnosis! With proper care, diabetics can live perfectly normal life spans. My cat spent almost four very happy years as a diabetic senior cat before cancer took her this past fall.

    Caring for a diabetic cat is a big thing, especially at first with the shock of the change, but it quickly becomes routine and is so worth it.
     
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  5. Nan & Amber (GA)

    Nan & Amber (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Heh. If you click on the spreadsheet (SS) links in many of our signatures, you'll see that a lot of us qualify as 'testaholics' :oops:, but what we usually recommend is a test before each shot (to make sure it's safe to shoot), then try to get at least one test a few hours later to see where the dose is taking him (with more tests to follow if he seems like he might be going low).

    A lot of vets don't encourage testing, in part because they're afraid that it will push more people to say "oh, that's too much work" and euthanize :(.
     
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  6. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    Hi and welcome!!

    First I want to tell you is great that you didn't listen to those comments about diabetic cats, because a diabetic cat can live a normal long life some can even go into remission and be just diet controlled without insulin.

    I won't lie is a bit complicated and overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of the testing and shooting and get organized it gets easier .

    Regarding the eating schedule with Lantus you don't need him eating all at one time actually is even better if you give him several meals during the day and it may be easier for him to eat smaller portions splitted during the day if you are not at home during the day you could buy a time feeder that you can program to open mid day and mid night which also helps you getting a good night sleep with out a hungry kitty waking you
     
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  7. Juls and Billy

    Juls and Billy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    I'm a newbie too, my Billy was diagnosed late in December. I just wanted to say welcome to the board and you are at a great place to get the information you need to help your kitty! I felt the same way when it was time to give Billy insulin, and it will really add to your peace of mind when you get a meter and can test your kitty's BGL at home.

    Billy was very much like your baby, not eating at all when we got him to the vet. He was a very sick boy, and didn't eat very much of anything for the first couple of days. The good news is that after a few days on insulin, he began to feel much much better. His appetite got better quickly, and now he's doing things he hadn't done in months, like come running into the bathroom to get pets when I'm trying to pee. :D

    Get your meter, read as much good stuff here as you can, and you'll be able to help your cat live a healthier, longer life.
     
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  8. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Would you please help us to help you better? If you read this link (just click on the blue highlighted text) it will help us a lot.

    New? How You Can Help Us Help You!

    We'd really appreciate it. Thanks.
     
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  9. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi and welcome. I just wanted to comment on your kitty not wanting to eat much at the moment.
    When my Sheba was first diagnosed she had no appetite at all (and she normally ate very well). I just kept offering her the food and she started eating well again after about a week. She regained all the weight she had lost and then I had to make sure she didn’t put on weight!!
    Some cats when diagnosed are starving hungry and want to eat all the time.
    Feed him before every shot, and when you get the glucose meter, make sure you test before every shot to see the blood glucose level is high enough to shoot. Offer him several smaller meals during the cycles, both am and pm cycles, especially in the first half of the cycle when the insulin is strongest.
    Im glad the vet said to reduce the dose to 1 unit. 2 units is too much to start with.

    So glad you found us. You will find this a very knowledgeable and supportive community. Keep asking lots of questions and read all the yellow stickies at the top of the main heath and lantus page.
     
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  10. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Hello from the west coast of Canada.
    Your two considerations for meters are size of blood drop needed, smaller is better, and price of the test strips. You will go through quite a few of them. Common brands here amongst Canadians are Freestyle, Bayer and Aviva. Sometimes you can get good prices on eBay for test strips. I was lucky I live near the US border and went cross border shopping.
     
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  11. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Another Canadian here. Waving to you from the Kawarthas.
     
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  12. Cat_Ion

    Cat_Ion New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2020
    Thank you everyone so much :) Ion made it through the day well and even came over to me to cuddle once and purred again :) he still was a bit sleepy but I just went and got myself a meter! I saw a thread on here somewhere with a link to getting a free accu-chek guide meter - thank you to whoever you were who posted that haha I will find you later and give you a proper thanks haha, but now I am going to learn how to use this small yet somewhat confusing looking machine and test Ion's blood for the first time on my own :)
     
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  13. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
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  14. Cat_Ion

    Cat_Ion New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    So his reading says 9.2 mmol/L I think that's pretty low to give insulin right? this morning I gave him 1 unit at 940AM (it is now 9:16PM). He did eat very little more after breakfast and then just now i gave him half a can of friskies pate and he ate about half of that. Im going to start weighing his food before and after to get a better idea of how much he's eaten sigh. This is quite stressful :(
     
  15. Cat_Ion

    Cat_Ion New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Thank you !! I will definitely go through this and do a better job of updating you guys properly! :)
     
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  16. Dana & Ninja

    Dana & Ninja Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Welcome! I’m a newbie too, 3 days shy of a month with feline diabetes. I’m still learning but my “freak outs” over numbers are less. There are so many wonderful people on this site with soooo much knowledge!! Just keep asking questions and you and Ion are gonna be great!
     
  17. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    For people brand new, we say to withhold insulin below 11.1 (200). Next time you hit a pharmacy, I would grab some Ketostix. You want to be testing his urine or ketones. Lack of food, lethargy and lack of food are not a good combination if there is any infection or systemic inflammation going on. If kitty (name?) is showing ketones, we'd be more likely to suggest shooting at least a partial dose.
     
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  18. Cat_Ion

    Cat_Ion New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Thanks so much! I did have the vet do a culture with his urine to see if he has an infections but it wont be back until next week. Would the ketostix be looking for the same kind of thing? Sorry I will go look up more about ketones and diabetes stat!
     
  19. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    Aug 5, 2016
    No with the culture you will get as a result if he has an urinary infection, and what kind of bug is causing it ( it will probably include ketones as well but it is not really the objective), with the ketostix you will monitor him daily to catch if there are ketones forming which can be very dangerous so that you do not have to wait days (which would be too much in case he's developing ketones) till the lab gives you a result
     
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  20. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Trace of ketones, then monitor with keto stix if you have them. Anything more than a trace, emergency visit to a vet.

    Right at the very top of the link below, it talks about the signs to watch for with ketones.

    Try this link to learn more. Ketones, Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), and Blood Ketone Meters. It's from over in the Health Links/FAQ's forum. Look under the INDEX: Health Links/FAQs sticky at the top of the post to find links to many articles put together by other members. Some of the links don't work. Some are of stories about someones cat and what they did.

    If you see a link that isn't working, go to the Suggestions, Tech Support & Testing Area forum and start a new thread to alert someone there is an issue. It could take awhile to get someone to look into the reason and get a fix in place. There just aren't enough volunteers here to keep everything on here working.

    p.s. Someone just asked me about ketones a few minutes ago. So copied and pasted what I wrote in her post. She must have been reading your post!!!
     
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  21. Cat_Ion

    Cat_Ion New Member

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    Jan 10, 2020
    Thank you all so much, we made it through our first weekend and you really helped to calm my nerves :) ! I checked Ion's blood sugar yesterday morning and evening after eating before his shot (giving 1/2 unit AM & PM now) and his numbers were 19.7(this was after not giving any insulin the night before) and 14.8. Vet wants me to stick with the 1/2 units for a few days and then do a curve and we will adjust from there. Thank you for the details on the ketones, I am going to find some ketostix next time I am by a pharmacy, but I checked out his initial urine test from last week and it was negative for ketones so that is a relief :)
     
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  22. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Can you believe it's only been three days since you joined theFDMB message board and how much you have learned? You said you are calmer already. Way to go! Glad we have helped you de-stress a bit.

    Stressful times as you said, but it will get easier as you learn more. Check out other peoples posts. Check out the Index over in the Health Links/FAQS forum.

    Knowledge is power. Maybe review the (2018) AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats before you see your vet next time. Vet journal published article.
     
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