? New Feline Diabetes dad

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by fenix547, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. fenix547

    fenix547 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    Hi there,

    I have a recently diagnosed diabetic cat who has had a rough go at it over the last few months. He has acute pancreatits, IBD and now diabetes. He's been on the ZD food, which was OK (expensive), but seemed to work for the most part. After recent episodes of throwing up our vet decided to put him on a course of steroids which I believe helped put us in the situation we are in now. I am only on week two of treating our cat 'Dude' with one unit of u40 Catsilin. I've ordered the Aphatrac and used it a handful of times and he still floats somewhere between 300-550. I really want to get him on diabetic food but has anyone had any luck with a food that works well for IBD and Diabetes? Would that possible work with a low dose of budesonide? I feel really bad for Dude, he was such a loving cat and now he just wants to be alone because I know he doesn't feel well.

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
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  2. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    Welcome! My diabetic girl has both IBD and chronic pancreatitis, and all of them are diet controlled (for the most part :rolleyes:). What county are you located in? That will help us to make suggestions.

    As for the insulin, I have not heard of Catsilin before! In the US there is Vetsulin which is called Caninsulin in other countries, is it perhaps one of those?
     
  3. fenix547

    fenix547 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    I am in Massachusetts (USA). I just looked and it's actually called Vetsulin, whoops!!
     
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  4. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    Perfect! Do you know if Dude has any food intolerances? Many cases of IBD can be triggered by food intolerances. For my kitty, it’s any form of poultry and beef. Some IBD kitties do better on a novel protein diet, like rabbit, venison, lamb, etc. and raw feeding can be a good option as well. For the diabetes, you want to feed a food that is low in carbohydrates, preferably under 10%. I’m not sure if the food you’re feeding is wet or dry, but there are hardly any dry foods that are okay for diabetics.

    Now the really challenging part is finding a food that fits both those criteria :rolleyes: For my cat, her options are basically limited to Nature’s Instinct rabbit (her current food) and venison flavors, and a few kinds of ziwipeaks.

    However, you should not switch foods unless you are consistently testing your cats blood sugar, especially if the food you’re feeding now is high in carbs and you switch to one that is lower. It can possibly affect the amount of insulin your cat will need so it’s very important that you home test before switching foods
     
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  5. fenix547

    fenix547 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    Thanks! Prior to going on the steroids, which he has been off now for 3 week, he was put on been on Hill Z/d. He is now on Hills I/D. He has been doing OK on the Hills ID but I think I'd like to get him on something that is lower carb like you are mentioning. I may order a case of cans of the Nature’s Instinct rabbit unless they have them at pet smart to test it out. I was planning to do a diabetes curve on Saturday but it sounds like I really need to try to get him on a better food and then do a curve so his insulin can be properly adjusted.
     
  6. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    They sell it at pet stores! I would definitely buy some sample cans first, it’s not cheap so it would be a pain to buy a whole case and him not like it :rolleyes: The rabbit and venison original formulas are diabetic friendly, the limited ingredients ones are not. They both also contain pork, which doesn’t bother my cat but every cat is different.

    As for testing, it’s great that you have already started! The AlphaTrak is a good meter but the strips are very pricey, especially if you’re testing daily like the majority of people on the board. Human meters are a much more cost effective option, if you ever wanted to consider switching. It’s highly recommended that you test before every injection to make sure Dude’s blood glucose (BG) is high enough for insulin, and then at least once during the cycle to see how low the dose takes him.
     
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  7. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Hey Matt and Dude, you're both very welcome here. Diet is definitely your starting point, we have pancreatitis in our house too! It comes in waves/episodes and does pass, not much on the diet front can prevent it, Toby's episodes come and go and we just manage the pain.
    There are some great food spreadsheets in the files that lists all the carb contents, have a look and get some to try. The Hills diets are expensive and really are no better than low carb regular food.
    We also use the alpha Trak, I like it as my vet understands the data so we talk the same language, however the strips are pricey, but hey weve saved you some dollars on food right!
    How is Dude in himself? Apart from hungry? Hungry is normal, it's where his body is processing the food so quickly, bless him he never thinks hes been fed! Keep feeding, as much and as often as he likes, vets say twice a day, but free feeding is more natural and far kinder. It will get better when he has lower sugars.
    Please do keep asking questions, the guys here are amazing and so knowledgeable and happy to share their experience. We are with you and we get it.
    Take care
     
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  8. Jennifer R.

    Jennifer R. Member

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    Dec 20, 2019
    Do you have any local pet food stores (not chains) that could work with you on the selected food restrictions? IBD can often be triggered by food proteins, but can also be exacerbated by some added ingredients like gums and starches.
     
  9. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Waving to Matt from the MA coast, north shore.

    Was that the dry or canned versions of the Hill's foods? Big difference in the content between the 2.
     
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  10. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I have a non-diabetic IBD kitty. The brand of canned food I found that has novel proteins and is free from gums or carrageenan is called ZiwiPeak. It is also low in carbs. It's pricy but is a very good quality food. Like Jennifer suggested above, if you can track down a few cans at a pet store, it saves. you from buying a case and your cat refusing it. (I buy from Chewey's.) I also give my IBD cat primarily a raw diet. You might want to take a look at this site on raw feeding for IBD cats. Even if you don't opt to transition to a raw diet, it is a wealth of information. (They also have a Facebook page if you have questions.)

    FWIW, most people here do not feed prescription diabetic foods. There is nothing inherently better about those foods. In fact, many of the commercially available canned foods are lower in carbs and nutritionally better than the prescription foods.
     
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  11. Si am cat mom

    Si am cat mom Member

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    Nov 11, 2019
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  12. fenix547

    fenix547 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    Thanks for all of the responses and sorry for the delayed response on my end! I picked up some of the Nature’s Instinct rabbit which he seems to love. He love's it so much that he wakes me up at 4AM because he wants more lol. A little more background on Dude. He was 16.4 pounds 2 months ago and he now weighs 12.2. He's a large cat, was maybe a little overweight but was pretty solid. Right now he feels like skin and bones and I feel terrible for him. He used to love laying on the couch with us but not he really just wants to be alone and I know it's because he doesn't feel well. I am planning to do a blood sugar curve on Saturday as I don't think the 1 unit of the vetsulin is having any effect. Every time I test his blood sugar it's between 380-550. I am hoping the food change from the Hills ID gravy to the Nature’s Instinct rabbit will help some as well. I do have an appointment with Tufts internal medicine at the end of the month but if I can get him feeling better now that would be awesome. He's having a lot of weakness in his legs and I am getting nervous the damage might be permanent.
     
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  13. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    Awesome to hear he likes the food! If rabbit agrees with his IBD, vital essentials makes some freeze dried rabbit treats that might make a good testing treat for him :cat:
     
  14. Kate & Toby

    Kate & Toby Member

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    Aug 23, 2019
    Great news on the food front, you're doing good. I dont have any experience with it, but many of the guys here use Zobaline (a food supplement) to help with the hind leg weakness (neuropathy), its reported to have remarkable effects.
    Vetsulin is a harsh fast acting insulin, you will likely find it takes effect on your boy within an hour or two of injection and then quickly wears off, so if youre not testing early on after the shot then you probably wont seem to see much of an effect. your curve will tell you more.
    What is the appointment with the internal medicine vet for? Depending on your data the internal specialists are usually pretty good at prescribing longer acting insulin. Let's see what your data shows at the weekend. Well done again, you have grasped all of this really well.
     
  15. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Tufts vet's are good for difficult cases. Good vet school too.

    If you are anywhere near Topsfield MA during your travels, the Essex County Co-op on Rt 1 opened a large new addition fall 2019 with lots of kinds of cat food. Would be easy to buy a couple of different kinds of food there that might help Dude.

    Would you do us a favor please? Put some information in your signature, so it's there at a glance. Otherwise we have to look back through a lot of posts for some basic info. Your first name, cat's name, cat's age, Dx date (diagnosis), insulin you are using, meter you are using, any concurrent medical issues, your time zone, any medications your cat gets. Look at Kate & Toby's signature (or mine) for what I'm talking about and how easy it is to see that info. New How you can Help us Help You! link has how to do that. We'd really appreciate it.

    The legs issue sounds like it could be diabetic neuropathy, but low blood potassium can also cause issues. Is Dude walking on his hocks? Best way to get the diabetic neuropathy under control is to get the BG (blood glucose) regulated and as close to normal as possible. Neuropathy is painful, ask any human diabetic. You might want to ask the vet about Gabapentin.
     
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  16. fenix547

    fenix547 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    Thanks! I'm glad I stumbled across this forum, so many helpful people. My vet suggested an internal medicine specialist to balance the Diabetes with the IBD/Pancreatitis. He has been really good on the IBD front since the round of steroids, however, I think the aided with the diabetes unfortunately. My appointment is on the 23rd with the specialist, I am just worried that more damage is being done to his body in the meantime. Hoping that the curve gives me a better idea how it fluctuates and my normal vet can advise on a new dosage. In regards to actual testing, I have having a really difficult time drawing enough blood to test. The lancet that comes with the Aplha trac is really short and its hard to hit the vein to get blood. Is there an easy way to get a droplet of blood that I am overlooking?
     
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  17. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    You don't want to hit the vein. Warm the ear first, and aim for the 'sweet spot' of capillaries near the edge of the ear. If you hit the vein, your test area may look like one of those crime scenes from CSI. (Been there, done that)

    [​IMG]

    Testing tips and tricks link here.
     
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  18. fenix547

    fenix547 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    My vet lied to me : /. Good to know, I think I hit the vein once and theres a little blood blotch under his skin now. Can i get better lancet's at a pharmacy?
     
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  19. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Since you are just starting testing, the lancets that are labeled "for alternate site testing" have a bigger pin for poking (26 gauge is nice). Yes, you can get them at the pharmacy.

    If Dude does not like you to touch his ears, some people test using the paw pad instead of the ear.

    If you do hit the vein, put firm pressure on it to stop the bleeding more quickly. You can alternate ears, left and right.
     
  20. fenix547

    fenix547 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    Thanks! I'll give everyone posted come Saturday :)
     
  21. fenix547

    fenix547 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    Signature updated
     
  22. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    How are things going with The Dude?
     
  23. fenix547

    fenix547 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2020
    Unfortunately, not good. He's spending a few days at Tuft's Emergency Vet. He stopped eating, started losing more weight and his breathing got really bad. Basically he would walk 10 feet and lay down; I had to carry him to the litter box. They are hoping that is just a severe asthma episode in conjunction with me not getting the diabetes under control yet but it could also be heart disease. He has high keytones in his urine so they want those cleared and are giving him oxygen treatment and an inhaler in the meantime. It's one thing after another. I feel really bad for him, especially after pricking him a bunch of times on Saturday to do his glucose curve. If he only knew we are trying to help the poor guy.
     
  24. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Sorry to hear that The Dude took the fast train to Tufts Emergency Vet, but it sounds like the best place for him right now.

    Please let us know how he does. High ketones sounds like DKA. There have been a lot of cats here that have survived a DKA episode.
     

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