New here and looking for advice

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Crissy, Feb 27, 2018.

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  1. Crissy

    Crissy New Member

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    Feb 27, 2018
    Hi, I’m new here and looking for help! I have a 10 year old cat who was diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago. The vet is saying she looks good on paper (gained a little weight and is now 10 lbs), all numbers look good and vet is saying her diabetes is controlled. She’s on Hills glucose and weight management food (2x per day as indicated by directions). She’s on Vetsulin 6 units 2x per day. My problem is that she is STARVING (and the vet says he doesn’t know why). She will get into anything that is food despite our best efforts. We can’t keep her off the kitchen counters/ dining table because she’s constantly looking for scraps. This can’t be right! Please help!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
    Reason for edit: Better description
  2. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Hi Chrissy welcome! Are you home testing? If not, that’s the first thing I’d recommend. It’s really the only way to tell if your cat is regulated. The next thing is the food. Is it the dry or canned Hills? Both are higher in carbs than recommended for diabetics. Do not switch to a lower carb food though unless you are hometesting. A switch could result in lowered glucose and your cat needing less insulin. Also most of us feed multiple times a day, and some even free feed. The only time they should not have food is 2 hours before Pre shot test.
     
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  3. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Welcome! The AAHA guidelines (link in my signature) say that feeding four times a day is ideal and that free-feeding is fine for underweight cats. Is she still underweight?

    The Hill's m/d food is pretty high in carbs. Have you considered switching to a low-carb wet food? You can find all the feline nutrition info you could ever want on catinfo.org. There is also a great cat food database that can help you find appropriate foods (link in signature). It is recommended that you keeps the carbs really low..definitely under 10%. The low-carb wet foods tend to be lower in calories, so she would get to eat more volume of food for the same calories. A word of caution though, changing to low-carb food can lower glucose levels, sometimes quite a lot. So, you will want to monitor carefully if/when you do it.

    Speaking of monitoring, do you test her glucose at home? If not, the best thing you can do for her is start ASAP. That will allow you to really know what is going on with her glucose levels. It will also help you keep her safe since you will know what her level is before giving her that large dose of insulin.
     
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  4. Crissy

    Crissy New Member

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    Feb 27, 2018
    Ok, so I really am at a loss and completely trusted my vet, so you might have to break it all down for me. If I switch to wet food, what am I looking for and how much do I give? What do I do with a home test (where and how do I get one)? Do I keep the same amount of insulin? What number am I looking for? The vet says her weight is good at 10 lbs. I’m not free feeding as they said to go by the amounts on the bag.
     
  5. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Home testing your cat is easy. All you need is a human glucose meter, test strips and lancets 26-28 gauge. Here are some videos
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/
    Once you learn to test, then you can begin to switch over to a low carb wet food. If you’re in the U.S., Fancy Feast Classic and Friskies pates are 2 popular brands. HERE is a food chart. Look for foods under 10 carbs. Feeding her several small meals a day may help alleviate some of the hunger.
     
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  6. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    There is a lot of info, and I know it can be overwhelming, but I suggest you start by reading this: http://catinfo.org/feline-diabetes/ The AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines also have helpful information - there is a link in my signature below. And, here is a beginner's guide to Vetsulin: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/beginners-guide-to-caninsulin-vetsulin.186099/

    I am not personally familiar with Vetsulin, but others here are and may be able to talk dosing with you. There is even a forum specific to Vetsulin: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/forums/caninsulin-vetsulin-and-n-nph.19/

    For testing, the AlphaTrak 2 is specifically for cats and dogs, but the strips are expensive, so most people here use people meters. You want one that takes a small drop of blood. Sharon gave you a good link for testing info.
     
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  7. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

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    May 18, 2016
    Unregulated diabetic cats cannot metabolize their food properly, so yes, they are starving. Many people find that it helps to feed 3 or 4 meals through the day instead of twice a day. Just do not feed for the two hours before the shot. You want a number that is not food based.

    If/when you switch to wet food, you need to be testing because just dropping the carbs can drop insulin needs. A human meter is just fine (and cheaper!). If you are in the US, a lot of people using the Relion Confirm or Micro, available at Walmart. We can help you learn how to home test.
     
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  8. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 26, 2015
    Hi, Crissy, welcome to FDMB. You have come to the right place for answers.

    6U of Vetsulin twice a day is a whopping huge dose! DO NOT change your kitty's diet to a low carb one until you are able to monitor her closely for at least a couple of days! I am pretty certain you will need to do a dose reduction once she is eating the low carb food, and you need to be able to monitor to make sure she doesn't become hypoglycemic. Testing at home sounds a lot more intimidating than it really is, it's easy to learn and before you know it you'll be an old hand at it. A lot of us here use human meters because the pet meter test strips are exorbitantly expensive. Walmart sells an inexpensive human test kit for $15-$20, and the test strips are much more affordable. Home testing is the best way to know whether or not kitty's diabetes is under control and what her dose should be.

    I do not believe your kitty's diabetes controlled. She is hungry all the time because she is literally starving. Diabetes causes her system to be unable to properly process her food and nutrients, so she is constantly hungry. Your vet should know this! Once she is better-regulated this will stop. Until then, if she is hungry it's okay to feed her. Right now I wouldn't worry about her gaining weight.
     
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  9. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    Aug 5, 2016
    By home test we mean you check his blood glucose levels at home for doing that you will need as they mentioned a blood glucose meter, strips for the meter and lancets, using a human glucose meter is ok and cheaper ( some people use pet meters that's your choice) you will get a little drop of blood and put it in the meter to see what his glucose level is at the time of testing. (I think most people buy their testing supplies at walmart but I'm not in the US so not sure )

    You will need to test him at least twice a day before giving him his insulin shot to keep him safe

    The amount of insulin will depend on the results you get when you test him

    The overall goal is a happy and healthy cat with a blood glucose as close as possible to normal glucose values (under 120 mg/dl ) but this will take time and a lot of patience right now is more important to know what his values are and you'll take it from there

    As they've said since she´s not overweight I wouldn't worry too much about the amount of food she's eating just let her eat as much as she wants , the amounts on the bag are usually calculated for a healthy cat not one with unregulated diabetes so not much of a guide right now for you
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
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  10. MaSha

    MaSha Member

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    Apr 8, 2016
    Hi and welcome, I agree with what has already been said.
    In my experience the behavior you mention is a sign of non-regulated diabetes. Home-testing is better than occasional testing at the vet's.
    Our cat is in remission, but whenever he acts the way you describe, I know that his BG must be up.
     
  11. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I have a video link in my signature showing how I test my cat CC at home. 1 unit is the recommend starting dose... 6 units is double what most cats EVER need. I'm concerned about that. He may be starving because he's trying to not have a deadly hypo event.

    The food you are feeding is high carb. If I were you here's what I would do.

    Go to Walmart and get

    1. Relion micro or confirm meter
    2. Box of 100 extra test strips
    3 box of 26 or 28 gauge lancets
    4. Cotton cosmetic rounds
    5. Neosporin ointment with pain relief
    6. Fancy feast classics any flavors
    7. A treat for you.

    Before switching food (because moving to a low carb diabetic appropriate diet will drop the numbers significantly) I would lower that dose significantly. Maybe to 1-2 units. If you give 6 units with a low carb food you could be asking for a hypo.

    Most cats do better with several small meals a day rather than twice a day. Just no food 2 hours prior to the preshot test so the number is not food influenced.

    We have a great spreadsheet template for you to track numbers.

    I waited 6 weeks before I started testing and once I started out wished I had been testing from the start. I only started when my vet wanted me to double my cats dose from 1 to 2 units... I was terrified she would hypo so finally learned to test. It's a huge relief and the best way to keep them safe and find the right dose.
     
  12. Crissy

    Crissy New Member

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    Feb 27, 2018
    Thank you for that list! That was incredibly helpful as my head seems to be spinning. I will get all of these in the morning and report back with what I need to do with all of it.
     
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