New Mom of Diabetic Kitty

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Ooter's Mama, May 26, 2017.

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  1. Ooter's Mama

    Ooter's Mama New Member

    May 26, 2017
    Hello! I am Ooter's mom. We just found out yesterday that he has feline diabetes and will need insulin. My vet is going to show us how, but I'm a little nervous about doing it. I would greatly appreciate any advice, and I do plan to look at the forums for the answers that are already there. He was prescribed Lantus, if anyone has advice there, too. Especially about any low-income assistance programs or just general good things to know.

    Good to meet you all, and thanks for this resource!

    This is Ooter (top) with his little brother, Cyrus (bottom). He's lost weight since then. 2015-09-04 23.00.37.jpg
  2. rhiannon and shadow (GA)

    rhiannon and shadow (GA) Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    It's pretty quiet tonight online. Holiday weekends can be that way.

    Lantus is a good insulin.
    You might even want to start posting over in the lantus forum as soon as you start.
    There are several sticky's at the top of the page that you will want to read.
    You will want to print the one on shooting and handling low numbers and put it on the fridge.
    That is just in case of power outages, computer outages, or no one being online that can help at some odd hour.

    Most cats start with 1 unit, it can depend on their weight.
    Many vets aren't familiar with lantus and pick a dose based on the bg number.

    Lantus dosing is determined by the lowest number in the cycle. Each cycle is 12 hours.... am and pm....

    I hope you will come post on the lantus forum.
    You will want to create a spreadsheet to keep records of how he is doing.
    Those of us who have been around here use that spreadsheet to help you decide when to change the dose if it needs to increase or decrease.

    Here is how you create a spreadsheet
    If you aren't tech savvy , we do have a few people here who can do it for you. ( i'm not tech savvy)

    Welcome to Fdmb.... Ask questions as you have them.

    We've all been where you are and we like to pay it forward.

    The cheapest place to buy lantus is from canada.... called Mark's Marine.
    The other place is to look in our supply closet. That is one of the forums.
  3. Ooter's Mama

    Ooter's Mama New Member

    May 26, 2017
    Thanks for all these resources! I'm digging in. I want to know everything I can to get my baby feeling better. He was overweight before but now he certainly doesn't need to lose any more. Also, the hypoglycemia procedure and symptom list will be super helpful as we try to do our very best for him.

    Right now he is on Instinct grain free rabbit flavor food. The alternate protein seemed to help him stop throwing up but is fancy feast classics something I should discuss with my vet? How do people feel about the alternate proteins? They are rather expensive but we will figure it out if it's the best for him.

    My vet prescribed a 10 mL bottle of the Lantus. Will it expire before we could possibly use all of it? Should I ask them for the 3mL or get what I can from the forum in any mL amount? Also, am I understanding correctly that it's 100 units (doses) per mL? So a 10 mL bottle would have 1000 doses?

    Thanks again.
  4. rhiannon and shadow (GA)

    rhiannon and shadow (GA) Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    yes on the mL.

    If his numbers are about 350 or lower....
    the vial may be more than you need for now. Lantus is also available in pens. There are pharmacies that will break up a 5 pack.
    You don't use the pen as intended , but you use it like a vial. It has a rubber stopper where you can stick the needle in and draw out insulin.
    Most of us don't dose a cat in whole units, the dose changes and the pen ( with the needles that are optional) doesn't do half or quarter unit measurements.
    Many vets will go from 1 unit to 2 units for an increase and that can be too too much for a tiny creature like a cat.
    We increase in 0.25u when needed. This is so you don't miss the optimum dose.

    I see that food you listed is a dry food. Now that he is diabetic, the better diet for him would be canned.
    And all the instinct canned foods are really good for him. I used to say if I could get my cat to eat that all the time, I would pick that one.
    If you can afford that one, good choice.
    I myself like to have a small repertoire because I find that food companies suddenly change formulas and phase out the ones I like. :rolleyes:
    Here is our latest food guide

    you want to pick canned foods that are less than 10% but also have a few cans that are a higher carb for boosting his numbers should he go too low.
    Just about any of the gravy foods will do that.
    The reason for canned food is at

    However, there are some cats that are just dry food addicts and it takes a while to convert them. We have all kinds of tips for that.

    The other good possibility is freeze dried cat food , often raw.

    The other two brands I really like for quality are Wild Calling ( they have rabbit) and Tiki Cat ( I only get the chicken varieties )
    Fancy feast is the most common one because it's easily available and under $1 a can.
    The problem with fancyfeast is they are pretty high in phosphorus which can be bad if your cat develops CKD.

    Dr. Pierson is the one who wrote the nutrition guideline.
    Most vets seem to only get a few hours on diet and nutrition which is why so many of them sell the prescription stuff, especially Hill's.
    It's a partnership that Hill's gives away so many scholarships and vets don't seem to question the products.
    We do.

    The other thing you want to explore is freeze dried cat treats. ( and they have rabbit for that too -
    look around dog treats come in bigger bags and are usually just the same, just a better deal.

    another good one is whole life turkey
    or the fresh is best brand.
    I don't know what protein you are trying to avoid. I am assuming chicken.
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    Welcome... You've come to the right place. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Best wishes. Injecting is nerve wracking at first, but really it's easy.
  6. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    Welcome Ooter and his Mum! Rhiannon has given you lots of info but don't feel bad if you still have more questions :bighug:. I will just add how to setup your Signature with some information about Ooter:
    Be sure to add Ooter's allergies in this section too, since he's on rabbit, my first thought is with Rhiannon in the no chicken ;)

    She gave you the Spreadsheet instructions and many of us will re-enforce that home testing is the best tool in our FD kitty toolbelt :cat:. Another money saving tip, many use a human glucometer like Walmart's ReliOn Confirm/Micro if you're in the states. $0.36/strip versus AlphaTrak 2(pet meter) ~$1/strip. Estimate you'll use a minimum of 2-4 per day. Also, don't give in to the prescription diets, they are too high in carbs.

    If Ooter really is not switching to wet food, there are 3 "acceptable" dry foods some of us use for our sugar babies. I've ready Dr. Pierson's article about dry food so I want to clarify I don't try to promote them, just trying to offer some options if you need :). Feel free to ask more questions, like I said above, and post on the Lantus forum. There is a very nice size, active, community over there :smuggrin:
  7. Tracey&Jones- GA

    Tracey&Jones- GA Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    Just popping in to say hello and hope to see you over on the Lantus forum. Jones is on lantus and I have never had issues with it. You got some great information on food etc already, so here is a hug:bighug: to say everything will be alright.

    Also to say, home testing is the most important tool we have to keep Ooter (love the name, need to know the story) safe especially if you will be doing food changes on top of staring insulin.
  8. Ooter's Mama

    Ooter's Mama New Member

    May 26, 2017
    Hey everyone! Thanks for all the support and suggestions. I'm reading through as much as I can and trying some of the food changes already. He's been on the rabbit for a few months (yes, we are avoiding chicken) and it's mostly stopped him from throwing up with two small incidents.

    I will be joining the Lantus forum, I'm just preparing for our appointment this Thursday where our vet will teach us how to inject him. Are there any questions I ought to ask her when we go? I definitely want to home test for his safety and my peace of mind. I noticed a product on the market that is litter made for testing. Is that worthwhile? Will the tests generally be using a drop of blood like in humans or is this a urine test?

    Thanks for all of your answers so far! I feel way better about all of this knowing there are people here who can help.

    I'll be trying to get my signature and database set up properly this week, but I'm very busy with ly disability appeal too, so I apologize for the slowness in my responses.

    Also, does anyone know which pharmacies might break up a 5 pack of 3 mL Lantus pens?
    I live in California if that helps.
  9. Ooter's Mama

    Ooter's Mama New Member

    May 26, 2017
    Oh, and also, he does eat the canned food already and has some of the dry food. The canned food is the Instinct rabbit and I just ordered him some raw treats so we can try that.
  10. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    You can ask whether she supports owners who want to be more hands on by testing blood glucose at home even if she doesn't recommend it to all her clients with diabetic cats. This way you'll know beforehand that you won't have any unpleasant interactions with her because she's adamantly against it. Some people here have changed vets because of this. You can also ask if an office appointment is required every time you need a new vial of insulin. It shouldn't be but, again, others have had to deal with this.

    I've never read about this so I don't know. My guess is it would only give a very broad indication of glucose in the urine - not specific enough for making dosing decisions.

    Blood glucose testing involves a tiny drop of blood just like human BG testing. Most of us use the edge of an ear but some people use a paw pad. We also recommend testing urine for ketones periodically. We can tell you more about this easy test later.

    I've read other comments here where the member has called around to ask various pharmacies. I know that Lantus is very expensive in the US so many users order it from Marks Marine Pharmacy in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.

    I hope this helps! :) Post any/all questions you have on the main health forum where more people will see them.
  11. Ooter's Mama

    Ooter's Mama New Member

    May 26, 2017
    Thanks! That helps a lot. I did manage to find a Rite Aid in my area who can sell me one pen for me to try before I invest in a big bottle. I want to order from Mark's Marine but that will take having a little more time for it to get here. We need it by Thursday for our first vet demonstration on how to properly give it. Hopefully from there I can order it from
    Mark's Marine if the Lantus works for Ooter.
  12. rhiannon and shadow (GA)

    rhiannon and shadow (GA) Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    I will suggest that if the vet tries to sell you an alpha trak meter.... that you decline and get a human meter instead to save money.
    alpha trak strips are very expensive....
    you will probably want something like the relion from walmart.... and it's strips.

    I would even suggest you go get one before your appt. That way the vet can do a test, you can do a test.... and he can see the difference in the readings which usually isn't that much.
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