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Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Terri & Tananda, Jan 2, 2010.

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  1. Terri & Tananda

    Terri & Tananda Member

    Jan 2, 2010
    Hi All,
    My kitty was diagnosed about 2 1/2 months ago. The first thing my vet did was to put her on oral meds and change her diet to Purina DM, and she told me to lower the carbs 3 times before it sunk in. I admit, I was slow on the uptake and didn't begin my own research until recently, and quite accidentally I discovered this site.
    My cats are dry food addicts, and through all of my reading I've learned how important canned food is for their nutritional requirements. With Tandy, if it starts in "F" and ends in "D" she will eat it, so switching her is not a problem. However my second kitty Martouf wants nothing with canned food. I've also discovered that switching to Purina DM was a mistake. I was already feeding Wellness Core which is lower in carbs than Purina. With the invaluable information I have goatherd, especially from Binky list, I have in the past few days changed their diet again, now I am feeding EVO, both wet and dry. A little pricey but still cheaper than prescription diets.
    Today Tandy had another glucose test, her numbers dropped, but are still above 400, and I was prepared for my vet to put her on insulin. But when I began talking to my vet about the new diet, she decided to wait and give the new diet one week and re-check Tandy's numbers in 7 days. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can get her diabetes under control with just a diet change, but now I am prepared to give the shot.

    Thank You FDMB for all the wonderful information available at the click of a mouse.
    Terri & Tananda
  2. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome. You will have better luck of not going to insulin if you feed an all-canned diet. Also, most of us her test our cats blood glucose level using a human blood glucose meter and getting blood by poking an ear.
  3. Karen & Pearl

    Karen & Pearl Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi! Yes, wet is best. You can pick up the other cat's dry in between meals. Free feeding dry isn't neccessary and it may teach her, if you offer wet first, to eat the wet. Glipizide is really not very effective and it can be damaging, as you have probably already read. YOu have a better chance becoming diet regulated if you are helping the pancreas with insulin instead of glip. Insulin does the job of the pancreas so it can rest and glip forces it to push out insulin (which, let's face it, is like whipping an injured worker to work harder). If you go on insulin, avoid vetsulin. I know vets are still using it but it has a problem and the FDA even put out a statement on it. The company is suggesting all cats on it be switched to another insulin. If you choose lantus or levemir, be sure the vet writes a script for the pens as it is MUCH more cost effective. You use them just like little vials. Be sure to ask any questions. Have you considered hometesting? It's much more accurate and rules out any rise in glucose due to vet stress and if you have to go on insulin, it will really help you manage the diabetes better. There is a link to all kinds of tips and videos on how to do that in the health links forurm:

  4. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome Terri!

    This is a super place, with lots of info and helpful people. Our approach to diabetes is three-fold.

    Wet, lo carb diet (which you are already working on) Have you seen this site by a vet: She has great tips for switching kitties from dry to wet.
    Insulin (Check out the types before you go back to your vet. Many people here use Lantus or Levemir which are slow acting, gentle insulins. Take a look at the Insulin Support groups forums and you can get info on each insulin and how it works.)
    Hometesting. Here is where you are ahead of the game because you aren't giving insulin yet. So you have time to learn how to hometest. This is my favorite site for info on hometesting: One of the best reasons to hometest (besides knowing how much insulin is safe to give) is that you can do the tests at home instead of at the vet. Often kitties are stressed at the vet and their numbers are higher there. If insulin is based on those higher numbers, it may be too much.

    Do lots of reading and research. And come back often with questions. This is an international board so someone is always on line to help.
  5. Hillary & Maui (GA)

    Hillary & Maui (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi an welcome to the group.

    First off, I'd like to congratulate you for changing the diet and using Janet's list. It's such an invaluable tool.

    Regarding food, definitely dump the dry food (if you are feeding any) and if the vet recommends purchasing prescription food like DM just say "no thank you". ALL cats, and especially those with diabetes, do best on a species appropriate diet that is high in protein and low in carbs. Dry food DOES NOT fit that bill and DM food, even canned, just really isn't that great as far as quality. Most here on FDMB feed low carb/high protein canned, raw bought from a pet store or they make there own.

    Here are two really great links, the first is to a food chart put together by one of our board members that breaks down the carb % and protein % of most of the commercial brand foods. You want to keep the carb % below 10% and around 7% is great. The other link is to a site by a vet "Dr. Lisa DVM" ... who also posts on this board from time to time ... there is in-depth info. there about many things, including nutrition and how to make raw food.


    The good thing with feeding your diabetic cat this way, is that it is ALSO good for any non-diabetic cat too. All your cats can safely eat the same food without worry and it may save you some costs and headaches of having to do separate feedings and keeping track of what they are eating.

    Believe me, I do understand the challenge of getting dry food addicts to eat canned food. I went through this with all 3 of my cats. But I stuck with it and now they only eat canned and raw foods.


    My understanding is that oral "insulin" does not help cats, and actually can cause more damage to them.

    So, may I recommend that you change to an injectable insulin, you do have choices when it comes to insulin, but many of us will recommend choosing one of the long-acting insulins - like Levimer or Lantus.

    Please check out the insulin support group pages and read up on the different insulin choices. viewforum.php?f=5

    Also, are you home testing your cat's BG's?

    It is impossible to convey the value of testing your cat's BG (blood glucose) level at home. Some vets will "suggest" this, but most won't even mention it. They will send you home with insulin and an amount to shoot and maybe some instructions about hypoglycemia (blood sugar dropping to a dangerously low level).

    Well, the thing is, human diabetics don't EVER give themselves insulin without checking there BG to make sure it is safe to do so, so why shouldn't it be the same for our kitties. Here on FDMB it is. You will notice that the vast majority of people here test their cat's BG at least 2x/day (before giving each shot to make sure the level is safe enough) and periodically at other times to see how the cat is responding to the current dose. We use a human glucometer, test strips and lancets - which are all very readily available and easy to use.

    Our kitties get lots of love and treats for "putting up" with this and most of them actually come out to be tested on their own 'cause they want those treats . Here is a collection of great links that "Carolyn and Spot" pulled together about hometesting. See what you think ... it truly is the best way to not only keep your cat safe but also really get a handle on this disease and help him to live a healthy life with FD (feline diabetes).

    Carolyn and Spot's Hometesting Links: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=287

    However, one caveat and again this shows how these three things are inter-related:

    If you are feeding dry food or even a high carb food, BEFORE removing these foods, please make sure of your insulin dose as it will most likely need to be reduced, so as to avoid a possible hypoglycemic situation due to the removal of the dry/high carb foods that will lower the BG’s and reduce the amount of insulin required. Again, another reason why home testing is important.

    I know this all seems like a lot, and that's because it is ... there is a learning curve here. But as long as you are determined and keep at it, you will have it down before you know it and you'll be seeing the results in your cats' overall health and happiness. Ask all the questions you can think of - that's why we are here!

    Also, if you haven't done it yet, take the time and fill out your profile. It will help when others come on and read this. Also, let us know where you live - city/state as there are probably people in your area who can provide on the ground support and help you to learn home testing, etc.
  6. squeem3

    squeem3 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Very few cats can be regulated on diet alone. Give the new low carb diet a week at most and then start on insulin. Insulin gives the pancrease a break and, if the pancnrease isn't in too bad shape, allows it to heal. Pills don't work because they make the pancrease work even harder and can even damage the pancrease.

    Dry food isn't any good for your diabetic cat. EVO is better than most because it is grain-free but may still keep blood glucose levels high. Here are tips to get your non-diabetic cat off dry food, ... nned_Food_ It will take a lot of time and patience to get a stubborn dry food addict to eat canned food. Is there any way you can feed your non-diabetic cat separately from the diabetic cat? Some cats just like hard crunchy things to eat. Try placing some hard crunchy low carb treats on top of canned food. These ones are great, ... 99310.aspx The turkey ones are especially crunchy like dry food.
  7. Sarah and Buzz

    Sarah and Buzz Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Hello and welcome, Terri! You've already gotten lots of great advice, so I will just add my greetings and let you know what a great job you've done already. :) You're ahead of the game on the canned food and on being prepared to give insulin.

    Read all you can here and ask any question you can think of. We've all been where you are, and you've definitely come to the best place to help Tandy. :D
  8. Steph & Cuddles (GA)

    Steph & Cuddles (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome Terri! You've already got tons of great advice, but I wanted to add a little of my own. First & most importantly, is that you try to hometest your kitty yourself. BG readings can be higher at the vet office because of vet stress.. so if you know what her BG level is at home, you have a better gauge of where she really is without any stress. You can use any human glucometer.. everyone seems to have their favorites, but keep in mind how much the strips cost for each meter. Lots of people use ebay to buy strips for their glucometers, as it's much cheaper than buying at the pharmacy. You don't need a prescription for one.. just go to your local pharmacy, and look at them there. Even ask your pharmacist about the pros & cons of each one if you want. Personally, I use the Aviva. VERY easy to use, and takes very little blood. I actually use it on myself now that I don't have a diabetic. They are the pricier strips, so I used to get them off ebay.. but now I have a prescription for them since I'm pre-diabetic & on oral meds.

    Also, do you test for ketones? There are strips you also pick up at the pharmacy to check her urine to make sure she doesn't have ketones. Ketones can turn into an emergency very quickly, so are also a good thing to have since you're not testing yet, and your kitty isn't on insulin yet. Is she still on the glip? If your vet wants to wait a week because of the diet change, I'd definitely at least go buy the ketone strips to make sure kitty doesn't have ketones in the meantime. You can also start testing her BG yourself if you want. You don't need permission by your vet, and they most likely will be impressed if/when you go into your next visit with a spreadsheet of her current BG readings! (As well as even maybe going in sooner if the diet change isn't helping her numbers go any lower.)

    Again.. welcome! & feel free to always ask any questions on here. We've all been newbies once, and been where you are. :smile:
  9. Spacey & Ella

    Spacey & Ella Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I'm just saying hello and welcome. You have so much to read already. :YMHUG:
  10. Connie & Em (GA)

    Connie & Em (GA) Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    he he he.. I absolutely love this..

    I applaud you on relying on your vet but doing your own research. Taking things into your own hands will give you the confidence to treat your kitty and get a good handle on this disease.

    Don't be upset about the "mistake" of D/M. You took your vet's advice about lower carb food, and your vet has limited information on the matter. Vets know that D/M is "lower carb" and often don't realize you can get even lower carb OTC. they are not versed in food - just as your human doctor is not a nutritionist. You did the research and now you know. Just pick up and go on from there :) for what it is worth, some cats have had luck with Evo dry, some do not. Some cats are so carb sensitive that any dry - no matter how low carb - will give them higher numbers. I personally find it most effective to get into regulation if I feed just one type and brand of food to eliminate the differences in carbs in the foods. Once I have a handle for the individual cat and what the foods and insulin does (through home testing extensively) then I feel more comfortable adding different flavors and varieties of foods. But that's just me.

    Remission is pretty much everyone's idea for FD. Do not be upset if food alone doesn't do it. I have treated my own cat, and four foster cats from local shelters. Two of the fosters went into remission with food alone, but the second two needed insulin. The first was on insulin for several months before finally going OTJ (off the juice) The fourth is in the house currently and *knock wood* seems to be heading in that direction. My own diabetic "Em" was on insulin for 7 years though. as long as your kitty is healthy and happy, the rest is just what you need to do for your kitty above and beyond the food and changing the litter cat_pet_icon

  11. Terri and Lucy

    Terri and Lucy Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    Welcome Terri!

    The canned EVO may be a double-edged sword for you. Although it is low in carbs (relatively speaking), it's also high in calories. Obesity is one of the suspected causes of feline diabetes, so managing calories can be as important as managing carbohydrates. Dr. Lisa advises 15 calories per pound of (ideal) body weight per day when you are trying to determine amount to feed.
  12. Terri & Tananda

    Terri & Tananda Member

    Jan 2, 2010
    Thank You So Much everyone!

    With all the links you have provided I am diving in once again. I have purchased a BG Home Test kit, right now I'm just getting Tandy used to the noises of the lancing device and monitor which she doesn't seem to mind, what she doesn't like is having her ears touched. Growling starts very quickly, and when I don't release her immediately, the snarling begins. I know this will just take some patience, and lots of praises, also so she doesn't feel as if I picking on her alone I give Martouf the same ear massage with Tandy watching.

    EVO is just a start, it is the lowest in carbs I could find, chicken & turkey is 0, and that one seems to be the favorite, also for the moment I'm not all that worried about calories right now, Tandy has gotten a little thin, so she can handle a few extra calories, but I am already looking at alternatives.
  13. Steph & Cuddles (GA)

    Steph & Cuddles (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Make sure you're not getting the all meat ones! Those are only for supplemental feedings, or to add the supplements to. It just made me wonder since you said one of them has 0 carbs. It's ok to give them the all meat ones, but not as the sole meals. No supplements/vitamins added, so needs to make up no more than 20% of their meals I believe. (Unless you add the supplement mixture you can buy from them too.. I think it's called Call of the Wild?)

    If you're not sure, look at the ingredients list, and see if it lists taurine, and vitamins on there too. If it just lists meat, and is a short list.. it's not complete.
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