new kitty to join the ranks!

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by ReiKitty, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. ReiKitty

    ReiKitty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    Hi my name is Rachel and I'm a cat rescuer and foster.

    My newest rescue is a lightly older gentleman (5-7) who supposedly spent most his life outside. His name is Wink as he only has one eye. (The other was surgically removed.) Some one 'adopted' him from that home and tried adjusting him to their home. However he kept peeing all over their home. Long story short he got surrendered to me. The moment I got him I knew something was wrong medically and we got a vet appointment made.

    His test results showed he was diabetic and is in desperate need of treatment.

    His test results came back Thursday and Monday (today) we go in for our first insulin shot and an In-depth review of his care.

    Since I've had him hes been on a mix wet/dry food diet. Since his diagnose his been on one of the hills diet dried and evo wet food. I hope to transition him to fully wet but I wanted to wait till we got insulin and were monitoring him. Wish us luck on this adventure!
     
  2. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    goof luck. Are yo going to home test Wind wit a human meter? Most of us here do.
     
  3. aochoa

    aochoa Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Rachel good luck! It is a very nice thing you are taking care of this kitty. You will find a lot of great information and great people around to provide advise. If it wasn´t from them, I am not sure I will still have my cat with me and even better, he is in remission for a couple of months already.

    I am not expert, some other members are, but I have learn to go easy on insulin, specially if you are switching him from dry to canned. Sometimes, just a diet change mades the trick for some cats and if they have insulin at the same time, they can go too low, which is more dangerous than to high.

    In any case, welcome!

    Ana and Bruno
     
  4. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Switching to low carb canned or raw food may reduce the glucose level about 100 mg/dL and may reduce the insulin dose by as much as 2 units.
    Glucose tests at home may read 100 - 180 mg/dL lower than at the vet. Vets often don't know this and start with an excessively high dose of insulin.
    See my signature link Glucometer Notes to learn more about glucose testing your cat.

    We suggest starting at 0.5 to 1.0 units of a long-acting insulin in cats such as Levemir, ProZinc, Lantus, or BCP PZI. Other insulins do not work as well for cats and optimal glucose control may require dosing every 8 hours when using Vetsulin/Caninsulin, or Humulin/Novalin NPH insulins.
     
  5. ReiKitty

    ReiKitty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    We (The rescue group) might be purchasing a feline meter and we would then keep in our organization for any future diabetic cats we may encounter. I'd pick up a human one too so I can compare the two and send Wink of to his furever home with that meter. It's one of the things we will be discussing today at our appointment.

    I'm worried about sudden diet changes which is why I didn't just put him on straight wet food as soon as I found he had diabetes. I knew sorta knew that wet food was good for diabetic cats but I wasn't aware of why so that's why I started him on a half wet and half dry diet the day I got him and got suspicious. So I've kept him on half and half and I probably will until I know he's stable and been stable for while. He's in pretty rough shape and has been suffering for a while, the poor guy has lost 5lbs in the last 5 months! (his last known time he was weighed)

    So until I get him healthier and more stable, and I'm used to monitoring his blood sugar and it's a day I'm home to monitor him all day long, we'll make the change to wet food. But it's something I also plan to talk to the vet about.

    Here's a photo of the little guy:
    https://www.facebook.com/3127429689...3486/324690961062020/?type=1&relevant_count=1
     
  6. ReiKitty

    ReiKitty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    Oops you posted while I was typing!


    I did chat with the vet for a bit on the phone and she recommended two brands of insulin, one which was human one was available at like 270-300 dollars a vial at our pharmacies local. She said there has been a suddenly up tick in pricing and didn't know why. The other one was the one they carried at the vet clinic, it's listed as Insulin "PZI U40/Vl" on the quote I was given. Which is what we're getting today, at least for a starter.

    I also mentioned briefly about using a human monitor and she did mention the test would be different then the feline monitor. But again we'll be chatting about that today. I'll have more info tonight and tons of questions I'm sure!
     
  7. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    See my signature link Glucometer Notes for info on test ranges using human meters in mg/dL and mmol/L, plus ranges for using an AlphaTrak of other pet meter.
     
  8. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    The insulin that is purchased from the pharmacy is most likely either Lantus or Levemir. If your vet prescribes either one of these, ask for the prescription for the pens instead of vials. Each pen is just a smaller container of insulin and you will get 5 pens in a package of them. One reason we recommend the pens is that you will be able to use almost every drop because they are in smaller containers. After a few weeks, insulin begins losing its effectiveness. With a vial, it probably will only be effective for 2 - 3 months and you will end up throwing away a lot of insulin. Each pen will contain enough insulin for the same 2-3 months, depending on your dose, and you will be able to use almost all of it. One package of pens could last 9 months or more depending on your dose. Plus, the manufacturers usually have discounts on their websites for the pens and could save you even more money.

    The two animal insulins that you could get from the vet are PZI and Prozinc.

    All of these insulins work well in cats.
     
  9. ReiKitty

    ReiKitty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    The vet ended up giving us Prozinc, as its what they carry and my organization was able to use their discount on it. They'll be checking into pricing on the pens for us as well.

    I also found out that my brother in law girl friend is an infusion nurse at a local clinic and she gets glucometers, test strips, and needles sent to her on a monthly bases. She rarely has enough people to give them out to so she's going to hook me up with some supplies. :)

    We did start Wink on insulin Saturday morning, the vet started us at 1 unit twice a day.

    We waited so long because we wanted a day the vet was open and I was home all day to monitor him. With so much of his history unknown the vet felt it be better so we could avoid costs of going to the pet emergency (which is $150 for walking in the door) in case of a bad reaction. His numbers were in the 500s! the lowest he tested at yesterday was 322 (which still seems crazy high, but it's better then off the charts!) It's still a learning process for me and him to set up a schedule for blood testing and giving shots. But we haven't missed an shot yet (the whole three we had to do...).

    He's not so fond of the pricks on the ear for testing, but we did several through the day on Saturday and I was learning too... so there were a couple extra unneeded pricks done.... But he takes his insulin shot like a champ!

    The only really issue is the vet doesn't want me to do a wet food diet only that's a non prescription diet. So we're on the half dry prescription diet and half wet food non prescription diet. I've already changed his food twice since he's been with me anyways. And he's in bad need of some weight so once we get him back a healthy weight and I get him under better control we'll start working on convincing everyone and switching him over to straight wet non prescription diet.

    This has been quite a learning experince!
     
  10. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    A bit of Neosporin with pain relief may be applied to the ear a few minutes prior to testing, then wiped off well to test. This helps reduce the annoyance of testing, plus may help it heal.
    After getting the test, apply direct pressurefor a minute to reduce bruising and scabbing.
    Always give a low carb treat after testing, successful or not. Freeze dried chicken (Pure Bites) works well. Get the dog sized ones; they're less expensive.
     
  11. Kimmied

    Kimmied Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    Welcome to FDMB!

    When Hank was first diagnosed, his BG's were in the 700's! I didn't know that it could go that high and still be alive!!

    Check out this website, catinfo.org. The articles are written by a vet, Lisa Pierson. Short version, dry food is full of carbs and very bad for diabetic cats! There are only 2 dry foods that she recommends and that is Evo and Young Again. In one article she talks about how high in carbs the prescription dry (Hill's) is.

    My vet didn't want me to switch Hanks food either. He told me that it would make it harder for HIM to regulate him sooner if I did. I did it anyway and he was all for it when he saw what a difference it made in his numbers. I have from the beginning sent a weekly updated spread sheet to Dr. Hayes.

    You should for sure test before each shot and then around +5-+7 (Nadir, or lowest point). The more you test, the more data you collect to see how sugar kitty is responding to the insulin. On a human meter, normal is 50-120 for cats. If you get a number below 200 at pre shot, skip the shot. The reason is you risk the BG going too low without a lot of data to back you up, it's a risk you don't want to take.

    There's a saying here..."Better to be a day too high than a moment too low". High numbers kill slowly but low numbers can kill quickly!

    I don't mean to overwhelm you so I'll stop here.

    If you have any other questions, just ask away. We're here cause we've been where you are and we're paying it forward.

    Kimmie
     
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  12. ReiKitty

    ReiKitty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    I'll try the neosporin if we don't get better about it. But we've both improved about the blood tests. He doesn't stuggle as much and I can do a quicker, cleaner, stab now. He also had horribly dirty ears when he came to use so he got a deep cleaning of his ears... and has been a little sensitive about them since. (no mites or anything) A lot of it is me learning how to do it right and efficiently. This morning was quick and easy. :)

    And we have been raiding the dogs chicken treats for shots. The dog does not approve!


    Crazy! Wink tested at 691 this morning. I have a call in at the vet to see if they want me to change anything. Its the highest number he's tested at but we only just started testing and insulin. He also ate all his food during the night and vigorously attacked his food this morning and was normal for himself, so I wasn't too worried. And I was giving him a shot.

    I haven't decided yet if I will yet, but I might run home at lunch time and test him and come back to work. Otherwise I'll get home about 8 hours after his shot and I can check him then. My vet is open till 8pm so if he's still really high then I'll still be able to rush him to the vet if needed.

    Is the +5-+7 hours after insulin shot? That's what I've assumed reading here but I want to make sure.

    And how quickly can insulin make them feel better? He seemed more relaxed last night and jumped on my couch and bed, which he hasn't done yet. But since I've only had him for about three weeks it's hard to say if its because he's finally comfortable in my home, or he's feeling better. He normally finds a towel or blanket on the floor and sleeps there.
     
  13. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    +# is number of hours post shot.
    We reference that way because interpretation and action depend on how long it has been since the insulin was given.
     
  14. KPassa

    KPassa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    In addition to the catinfo.org website Kimmie mentioned above, there is also this article on the truth behind "prescription" foods that you might be interested in.
     
  15. ReiKitty

    ReiKitty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    W00t!

    The vet explained her hesitation in going of prescription food due to a recent case where she had diabetic kitty start kidney issues, which ended up being due to the EVO diet he was on. (High phosphorus lvls) She did some research on Wild Calling, she couldn't find very much but that the dog brand was a little high in fat. She gave me her okay to start him on it as long as I understood that there could be unknown side effects due to the diet.

    Trust me I don't like most prescription diets, and if I can I keep my cats off it. I've also read all over the catinfo.org site when my cat got diagnosed with crystals.

    She also said to up his insulin to 2 units since his number are still very high. I'll probably wait for a couple days after we're on a 100% wet food diet, I rather keep him at higher numbers then cause him to go to low!
     
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  16. KPassa

    KPassa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    That sounds wise to hold off on the dose increase till he's fully transitioned. What dose did you start out at? 2u might be too high of an increase. We usually recommend only increasing by .25 to .5u at a time.
     
  17. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    The Friskies Special Diet pates are both low carb and kidney friendly, if you want to check them out.
     
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  18. ReiKitty

    ReiKitty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    We started at 1 unit. The lowest he's tested at has been 322 so far. His numbers are sticking in the mid 400s (This is the feline blood meter) to mid 500s, with a couple of 600s tossed in.

    I know... but this poor cat has one heck of a ride in life and I rather splurge a little on this guy and spoil him.
     
  19. KPassa

    KPassa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    In that case, I would suggest going up by .5u, but still not a whole 1u.
    :woot: That's what I wanted to do, too, but surprisingly, Mikey and Henry both love their Friskies SD more than the expensive stuff. And it's actually one of the better foods out there. Weruva Chicken Frick 'a zee is another one low in phosphorus and carbs. I supplement their Friskies with that or the Tiki Cat Chicken&Egg (higher in phosphorus, though) so I don't feel so guilty.;)
     
  20. ReiKitty

    ReiKitty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    K, I'll touch base beginning of next week and see where is numbers are and go from there. I'll be touching base with the vet then too.

    We have a lot of the Weruva chicken foods in our house because one of my personal cats is a crystal cat and that diet has worked really well in keeping him clean. But Wink eats anything and everything, he came to me on a Wiska's dry food. He hasn't snubbed a food yet, and he realllly loves the dried chicken treats he gets when we do a blood test. I guess I can do a taste test with some of the Friskies SD food to see if he prefers one over the other.
     
  21. ReiKitty

    ReiKitty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    Just an short update. We've been on Wet food only since the New Year. He loves it, two days after the switch at breakfast his BG was 381 the lowest I've seen it when it's time for his insulin, this was apparently a one time thing though. The good thing is instead of seeing numbers all over the board he's stayed now with in 30 points (480-510) almost the entire year so far; before it was as low as 400 up to high 600s. So I think it's starting to get controlled we probably just need to up his insulin.

    A HUGE plus to his diet switch is that he's stopped drinking water. He used to chug it when ever he could and he'd wander the house looking for water, now most days his bowl is still full and he isn't constantly craving it. He's also (thankfully) stopped peeing non stop.

    Over all he's finally started to put some weight back on, he's more active and more talkative. And you no longer look at him and go "Oh that's a sick cat" he looks so much better.

    So we're getting there!
     
  22. Kimmied

    Kimmied Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    That's great!

    It takes time and patience!

    Hang in there.

    Kimmie
     

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