New here, obviously.

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Two Muses, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Two Muses

    Two Muses New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Hi everyone. Right before Christmas I took my ten year old cat, Storm into the vet because she had been losing weight and found out she had diabetes. It has been kind of hard for me since then with spending over $600.00, (right before Christmas-goodbye Christmas bonus and all Christmas gifts for friends and family), and learning to give Storm insulin and all the learning regarding our situation. My husband says giving her the shots is harder on me than it is on her,which I am sure is true. :) This morning, while trying to get more info on the right kinds of canned food to feed her, I came across the site. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have found a source for education and support as this one. It's been really hard to explain to others how difficult this has been emotionally on me. (I can't really even explain it myself). Storm and her sister, Kenzie are my babies, but Storm and I have a particulary clost bond. I have always joked that I am the "Pathetic Cat Mom", LOL but now I really do feel pathetic worrying so much about what's going on. :) Anyway, I am glad I'm here and look forward to learning as much as I can about Feline Diabetes so I can relax, knowing that Storm and our family's life can feel normal again. :)
     
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  2. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Hi extra sweet Storm and Storm's MamaBean! (would you share your name?). Welcome to the best place you never wanted to be!

    Yep we're all 'pathetic cat mom's and dad's' so we 'get it'. :)

    We have a great starting place with all sorts of information called 'Feline Health' forum - poke around and holler with any questions! What insulin are you using and what are you feeding?

    Again, WELCOME! ...from another pathetic cat mom... :)
     
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  3. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome.
    Good insulin are the human Lantus and Levemir and the pet insulins ProZinc and BCP PZI. For those two human insulin it is best to get the 5 pack of 3 ml disposable pens via a 10 ml vial. Although per ml the vial is less expensive most cats will not use up a 10 ml vial before the insulin goes bad/becomes ineffective. The human insulin N/NPH is sometimes prescribed but only lasts 8-10 hours. Same for the pet insulin Vetsulin/Caninisulin.
    Most of us here test or cats blood glucose at home using a human meter. We test before each shot and periodically between shots. We record our reading and other info in a spreadsheet. See:http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...te-a-ss-and-link-it-in-your-signature.130337/
    What are you feeding? A low-carb canned is best. No reason for a prescription food. Here is a list of commercial low-carb canned

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/shortcut-shopping-list-all-8-or-less-updated.117688/

    Here is a link to home testing blood sugarshttp://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/
     
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  4. Two Muses

    Two Muses New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Thank you for the warm welcome! :D My name is Beth, by the way. :) I am using "Vetsulin" and as far as feeding, I have been feeding them both Fancy Feast primarily and trying a few higher priced foods like Nutriscience. (Which they don't like very well). Now they seem to be getting tired of the FF but after reading this morning, I am going to streamline the choices even more. No more gravy and limited seafood and beef. I am also considering and curious about making my own catfoods. Been researching that a bit, but will wait until I learn more......All of this is simply a lifestyle change for all of us and we will adapt. :) Storm, (the one on the left) has always been a bit plump throughout her life and Kenzie always fairly fit. Now it's just a matter of educating myself and keeping Storm regulated and Kenzie diabetes free. Thanks again for all the support and help. :)
     
  5. Two Muses

    Two Muses New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Thanks, Larry and Kitties. :) That was helpful. We are probably going to do the glucose testing at home, (getting expensive to go to the vet each time-we are only coming up on our second appt. for that but need to learn more about home testing), and thanks to the link you shared, we should be doing that soon. One concern or question I do have is once her blood sugar is regulated, will she gain a little weight? I need to weigh her again today but she was 9.7 last time and she feels very light to me.
     
  6. Shenandoah

    Shenandoah Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Hi Beth and Storm,
    Welcome to the forums! I'm pretty new myself, but this place is so welcoming. You'll find so many supportive and knowledgeable people here.
    I know so well what you're going through. I was in tears on and off for so many days when we got our diagnosis. I lot of people in the outside world don't understand that, but all of us here do!
    But the good news is that most cats do very well once you get things under control. Many of your emotional feelings should pass once you get through the overwhelming phase and start to get the routine down.
    Post whenever you have questions or need support! We're all here for each other, and some of the people here really know a lot about feline diabetes and can lead you down a good path.
     
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  7. Robin&BB

    Robin&BB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Welcome to FDMB, Beth! Here's a link about using Vetsulin:
    Sticky Vetsulin/Caninsulin user guide
    Yes; once she's well-regulated, that weight loss should stop. I, too, discovered my cat had diabetes after she had experienced a significant weight loss. (Although - at 18 lbs - she had actually needed to lose weight, she ended up losing too much & that was due to the diabetes making her burn up all her fat & some of her muscle, too.) But she's recovered nicely with insulin and low-carb rations, and holds her weight at about 11 lbs. now (she's a fairly large/long cat for a female).


    Low-carb food and portion control are important parts of your treatment plan. It helps to think of the food as "medicine,", too - as how much you feed can either work with the insulin - or against it. You want Storm at a good weight for her particular skeletal frame: Slender (not too skinny or bony, though) is preferable for a diabetic kitty - so determine what your target weight is for Storm and feed low-carb canned foods accordingly. (The "feeding guidelines" on cans of cat food, btw, are not always very helpful or accurate.)

    Here's a handy chart to help you in assessing Storm: body condition chart
    Again, welcome to the "Clan of the Sugar Cats" - you'll find lots of great help & support here!:)




     
  8. Two Muses

    Two Muses New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Hi Shenandoah, thank you!! You described exactly what I am going through. Tears off and on, even though I know it's treatable, not terminal, I am still emotional...:/ Thanks for your understanding and support! I can't say enough how grateful I am for all of you because although friends and family try to understand they don't really.....:) Knowing that a lot of you feel the same as me makes me feel less overwhelmed and confused by all of this. Thanks.
     
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  9. Two Muses

    Two Muses New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Hi Robin, :) Thank you for the welcome and info. Storm was at 11.4 pounds a year ago and had dropped almost two pounds at the time I took her in several weeks ago. Now she seems a bit bony to me, I can feel her back bone, so we are working on that issue. All of the info you all are posting is helping so much! Grateful! :D
     
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  10. LaraB

    LaraB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Hi Beth! I'm a newbie too...my sugarcat, Joshi, was diagnosed in early December. It's definitely overwhelming learning all the ins and outs of managing her diabetes, but evenin the short time we've been doing this, it does gradually get easier. Giving insulin shots has become routine - thankfully, Joshi's been a very good patient. I'm still working on doing BG testing at home - for some reason that's been harder for me than giving the shots, but I'm working on getting over my fear. Like you said in your first post, probably hurts me more than it hurts her.

    Wishing you luck with Storm's progress.
     
  11. Leith and Pablo

    Leith and Pablo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Hi, everyone. I'm new today too, and cannot even find an "orange button" to start a new post, or a new thread, or whatever I'm supposed to do. I'd like to introduce myself to everyone as well, but am totally confused as to "how". Please help!
     
  12. Shenandoah

    Shenandoah Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Welcome Leith and Pablo.
    The new thread button is way up in the top right. Just below where it has your username, Inbox, and Alerts.
    It's titled "Post New Thread," and at least on my screen it is blue, not orange.

    You will only see it if you are on a forum page, such as here.
     
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  13. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    From the main page of the forum, click on 'Post an Introduction'. It will take you to a sub-forum page. Toward the top right, you'll see a BLUE button that says something like 'start new thread'. CLick that and go! :)
     
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  14. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    2015-12-30.png

    Click on the Post New Thread button in the upper right if each forum, See red circled. That button is in a forum, not an individual thread.
     
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  15. Leith and Pablo

    Leith and Pablo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Thank you!!!
     
  16. Leith and Pablo

    Leith and Pablo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Now I see it! Thank you!!
     
  17. Two Muses

    Two Muses New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Hi LaraB and Joshi. :) I am getting better at giving the shots and Storm seems to handle it ok. Sometimes, it seems, as if she doesn't even notice I've done it. I am planning on learning how to do the BG tests at home, but that's a bridge I still need to cross. We will get there. :) At least she is playful and seems to be enjoying life like normal so that helps me a lot. :)
     
  18. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Beth,

    Just checking in to see how you and Storm are getting on. I see you're interested in learning to home test. In case you haven't come across them yet, here are two forum stickies that I found very helpful when I was learning:

    Testing and Shooting Tips (with very helpful diagram the testing 'sweet spot' on the ear).

    Home Testing Tips and Links (includes video tutorials)

    I'm glad to hear that Storm is playful and happy. That's what really matters. The poking and prodding does take a bit of getting used to, but it does soon get easier and eventually becomes second nature. :)



    Mogs
    .
     
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  19. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi @Two Muses , just wanted to reassure you that everyone on this forum was 'new here' at some point. And by the time you read this you certainly won't be the newest person here. ;)
    Regarding feline diabetes: Most things that you need to know can be easily learned. And you may never need to know more than that. :)
    Don't be overwhelmed. Take things at your own pace. And remember to breathe....

    Eliz
     
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  20. Two Muses

    Two Muses New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Hi Mogs, Thanks for your kindness. :) Doing pretty good so far, I have an appt. set up for her second glucose curve at the vet but think this may be the last one there. I am still a bit nervous about doing the tests at home, although the twice daily shot giving is going a little better. Storm does, occasionally, get a bit cranky with me, but I am really trying to give the shots as smoothly as I can. Sometimes she doesn't even notice. I think the "pinching" of her skin tips her off and she fusses a bit. One thing that I think has helped is a list of acceptable canned foods which includes the carb content and protein %. Right now the ones I have been able to find easily are Fancy Feast but carry the list with me so that no matter what store I am in, I can check the available foods against my list. It is very thorough and a huge help. I think since I have been feeding her the acceptable kinds, she seems like she has gained a little weight and is playing a lot more. Not to mention she doesn't seem as hungry. I guess the glucose curve will tell. Thanks for the links on home testing. Working up to that. :) Thanks again for caring and the helpful links and advice. :)
     
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  21. Two Muses

    Two Muses New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Hi Elizabeth, Thank you!! You hit the nail on the head. :) I do feel overwhelmed, there is so much to learn! But we will get there. I bet for most of you, it has been a continual learning process, and will be for me, as well. Thanks again and, yes, I will try and remember to breathe......:)
     
  22. Two Muses

    Two Muses New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    And to all of you, if you have posted something to me and I failed to respond, please forgive me because I am still learning how to use the forum too. :D LOL! Thanks for all of your kind words, encouragement and help!
     
  23. Merlin

    Merlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Welcome Beth and Storm to FDMB! You have come to the right place for support. There are a lot of caring and experience folks here. You will be given a whole lot of information and at first, it will seem very overwhelming however in a couple of weeks, things will start falling into place.

    Good Reading: This is a must read. It is an excellent 18 page informative document that covers feline health and nutrition. Don't take short cuts and read it all. www.catinfo.org Also read other postings and their spreadsheets. You will learn a lot more from others.

    Home Testing: Here, we all home test. It is mandatory to understand how your kitty is reacting to the insulin and the dose. You will want to test before each shot and some additional test in between the 12 hour cycle. Another reason to home test is to keep your kitty safe. Find a place in your home where you will always perform the test and give lots of hugs before and after testing. There are many videos showing you how to test. Hometesting Links and TipsHere is a picture of where you test on your kitty. http://s106.photobucket.com/user/chupie_2006/media/testingear/sweetspot.jpg.html

    Here is another good link on Home Testing:http://www.felinediabetes.com/bg-home-test.htm

    Meters: There are many meters. There is a pet meter called the Alpha Trak2 and human meters. Some use the pet meter because it is what the vets use so the numbers will match up. The meter and strips are expensive though. Most use human meters that can be purchased at any pharmacy. It typically reads a little lower than the pet meter but we have ways of compensating those lower numbers. Many use Walmart's brand, Relion Micro, Relion Prime or Relion Confirm. The Micro and Confirm only needs a tiny drop of blood but the strips are a little more expensive than the Prime. The Relion Prime meter needs a little more blood than Micro and Confirm. They cost around $15 and the strips are around 35 cents each.

    Lancets: These are used to poke the ear to get blood. There are many different sizes (gauges). It is recommended when you are first starting out to use a 26-28 gauge. Also, it would be a good idea to pick up Neosporin WITH pain reliever to apply on the edge of the ears and don't forget to alternate ears.

    Spreadsheets: Our spreadsheet instructions are here. If you look at the signatures of the members here, you will see a link to their kitty’s spreadsheets. We keep track of all our tests. This is basically a place to collect data and help you to determine patterns, doses, etc. It also aids those that may be helping you to better understand your kitty.

    Food: There are many reasons why we are here but one is due to feeding dry cat food which is high in carbs. You will want to consider changing your food to wet, low carb food. It is recommended to feed food that is under 10% carbs. Here is a list of cat food to choose from food chartyou will note that the food with fish are lower in carbs however it is recommended that you only give fish once a week due to its mercury content. Many use Fancy Feast, 9 Lives, Friskies, etc. This list can also be found in www.catinfo.org If you are already giving insulin and you have not transitioned to wet, low carb cat food, be sure to test while you are transitioning. This is because by changing to low carb food, it could decrease your kitty’s number by 100 points or more. One last thing, many of us add water to the wet food so your kitty is getting plenty of water to flush out the toxins and to keep them hydrated.

    Hypo Kit: Always good to be prepared for possible hypo events which means that your cat has reached dangerously low numbers. It can be fatal, hence, the importance of home testing and collecting data in a spreadsheet. In each of the Insulin Forums are stickie’s labeled Hypo Links. Here is one: How to Handle a Hypo. Please print and post on your refrigerator so everyone in your household is aware of hypo symptoms. You will want to create your hypo kit that would include and not limited to; extra testing strips, honey/karo/maple syrup, high carb food, medium carb food, vet information, etc.

    Ketones: Diabetic cats are susceptible to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It is best to buy testing strips that will measure (if any) ketones in the urine. One brand is Ketostix which can be found at Walmart or any pharmacy. You will want to test periodically unless you continue to get high numbers, then it is suggested to test more frequently. Ketostix typically costs around $10.

    Treats: It is always nice to have treats available for your kitty especially when testing or when they decide not to eat. I like using Pure Bites. I have found it at Petsmart and other pet stores. It is freeze dried and the only ingredient is the meat i.e. chicken, duck, etc. If your cat likes it, then I would go to the dog section where it is cheaper than the cat package. It is bigger chunks but no problem in breaking it up. Another option is to use Bonita Flakes. There is a link here somewhere that has a list of low carb treats but I don't have it right now.

    Injections: Most folks here use one of these main insulins; Lantus, Levemir and Prozinc. Two hours prior to your insulin shot, you will not want your kitty to eat. Then you will test and then feed. It is best for your kitty to eat a little before your shoot. I shoot while he is eating. The reason why you do not want your kitty to eat two hours prior to your test is because food elevates BG numbers. So you do not want to dose based on a food influenced number. Here is a link on how to give injections.http://www.felinediabetes.com/injections.htm

    Note: Please check your insulins as there are some (the harsher ones like Humulin, Novolin, Vetsulin, etc.) that would be best to allow some time i.e. 20 minutes, after your kitty has eaten before you shoot.
     
  24. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Beth,

    Thanks for letting us know how things are progressing with yourself and Storm.

    The prospect of testing can be quite daunting. Funnily enough, with practice I'm now pretty cools with the ear testing OK, but even after a year and half I'm still a bit wibbly at times when it comes to the injections. :oops: If you do decide to take the home testing plunge, you'll get lots of help, support and tips here any time you may need them.:)

    These are all really good signs that Storm's insulin is starting to helping her. Be sure to let us know how the curve goes. :)


    Mogs
    .
     
  25. Jan Radar

    Jan Radar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Hi Beth. Welcome to you and your sweet kitty. Like you I found this site by accident and I've been so grateful ever since. The learning curve is very great in the weeks following a FD diagnosis. Know that you are not alone as you try to absorb the knowledge that can be found here. When I was starting out not so long ago I was horrified at the thought of purposely poking my cat and then testing his blood. Perhaps it will be reassuring for you to know that I'm sure my cat understands that the "weird human things" we do to him makes him feel better. In fact He comes and gets us when it is time to test and he purrs the whole time we are doing our work. Our cats are usually smarter than we give them credit for..... When I was starting out I was also really scared that I would hurt Radar. I think Radar was worried because I was worried. When I got more comfortable and was able to relax, Radar felt better and could relax too. I hope these anecdotes help you a little. Breathe and remember we are here to help.
     
  26. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    I had a similar experience with Saoirse. When I started faking confidence she relaxed, and that helped me to feel better about things. That set up a virtuous feedback loop and we soon found our groove. :cat:


    Mogs
    .
     

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