New Sugar Baby - Archie, the Purrvert.

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by cmb, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. cmb

    cmb Member

    Dec 29, 2017
    Hi FDMB, thank you for all your support so far. I'm Christin, one of two humans for Archie, 11 years (and Loretta, 3 years) - both adopted tabby cats. Archie is medium-haired orange cat that until recently had two giant fangs (after some dental work in October 2017 only one left - he looks like a vampire version of Garfield - but slim).

    We adopted Archie in 2014 from the Humane Society, after he had been there for almost 2 years and was adopted and then returned for the reason that 'he didn't do much'. So terrible. The shelter started treating him with anti-depressants afterwards - omg! The first night we brought him home we put him to sleep next to us and he did not move. Till this day his protection mechanism is to just flop and freeze. Once we left the house the next day he hid under couch and was not seen eat / drink / poop for almost two weeks - unless we would force him out. With lots of love and patience, he's become the sweetest lap cat and even started playing (very gently) with the kitten Loretta that we adopted a couple of moths after bringing him home. They are best friends. He's never had any urgent issues despite already having not great teeth (that we monitored) and a couple of hernias that the doctor said wouldn't be worth to do surgery on. In addition, he was always weak on his hind legs - we had some x-rays done last year - but nothing.

    Our first visit to the vet was on 12/27 because he had started drinking / urinating a lot for the past 2.5 weeks, but we're working / traveling a lot - so we didn't notice really until the holidays. He also seemed to get weaker on his hind legs so that I bought him a little step to climb the bed (I thought he was just getting old and since he had never been a cat known for running around, it didn't seem odd). Our vet tested the urine and blood and called us the next morning on 12/28 and said ketones were found in the urine and he needed to go to the hospital immediately to check for ketones in blood and might need fast-acting insulin. Luckily they didn't find any. So the hospital sent us home on 12/28 saying we should give 1Unit of Lantus every 12 hours and check back in 14 days. That's it.

    Our normal vet (Dr.C) called afterwards on 12/28 and we explained the situation. She recommended Dr. Pierson's site ( to check for food options - our cats' previous diet was Purina One kibble (they seemed to really help with Archie's occasional hair ball) free feed, and in the evenings a can of Beyond Grain-free Salmon Pate. More recently we had begun to feed Stella&Chewy freeze-dried chicken and mix it with the Salmon Pate. Upon discovering that the pate was only moderate in protein, higher in fat and still with 20% carbs, I started looking for low carb alternative and found TikiCat Chicken. We mostly fed our cats fish varieties (my husband is pescetarian) - however, upon opening one can of the TikiCat chicken both cats freaked out and gobbled it all up within seconds. So we decided to go with this, since they usually only eat a couple of bites of wet food once it is out and we wanted to make sure Archie eats enough food before the insulin.

    By the time Dr.C called on 12/28, I had already ordered an Alphatrak2 and she recommended we start home monitoring. It arrived on 12/30 and we were overjoyed to see blue numbers in the spreadsheet the first couple of tests. However, they dropped to 116 AMPS +9 and we got a bit nervous. We called the hospital that prescribed 1Unit (they're open 24/7) and asked if we should still give him the 1Unit. All they said is that the doctor who prescribed wasn't there and that the discharge did not say that we should be home testing. Therefore all they could say is to continue as prescribed.

    Ever since, his numbers are off the charts - so frustrating! After some reading in this forum and advice from you, we suspect that Archie is bouncing because his body is not used to lower levels. However, I'm still not clear how the bounce clears - how is his body getting used to lower levels if he spends so much time in extremely high values? I fear that the next time he drops low, he's just going to spend another 3 days >400 levels until it starts all over again. Also - is the depot not building up over time and making it less likely for his body to not freak out? Very confusing. *sigh* Maybe someone can explain that to me?

    Another issue - we've been testing vigorously over the weekend to get a curve. But Archie is a pretty gentle soul and I think it's starting to weigh on him that he's being poked every time he comes out from his little spot behind the couch. Treats are fine, but I feel like I'm losing his trust if we keep testing at this rate. I've been testing on the ears, but find the paws easier to get enough blood. Does it hurt him more on the paw? He definitely jolts more on the paw.

    So many questions! Sorry for the long intro - this diagnosis has thrown us off a bunch. Obviously we're so glad that he is not ketoacidotic and will likely survive in the short-term (compared to what we feared on 12/27), but the fact that his numbers are so high makes me feel so helpless.

    The whole home testing is fine, but the fact that he starts to not come when I call him is terrible. We're already cancelling a bunch of our plans in the short term, but we're avid travelers (both work and pleasure) and have a pretty busy schedule otherwise too.

    I've read that the chances for remission are higher the less time passes since diagnosis, so we're trying to be rigorous right away - but really it breaks my heart to bother him so much. My husband thinks that his levels might be just high from us testing Archie so much that he's stressed out about it and his blood sugar is shooting up. Is that a possibility? At the hospital his blood sugar was only 374. Argh.

    Ok, I think I've covered most of what's been going around in my head.
    Vader723 likes this.
  2. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2016
    What an absolute Sweety! He deserves the better life you gave him. Can't wait to show my wife this. :bighug: :)
    Noah is/was a bit of a recluse too, we never figured out why.
    Vader723 and cmb like this.
  3. nmveasey

    nmveasey Member

    Nov 15, 2017
    Welcome Christin and Archie!

    You are in a great place here and will learn a lot. It appears that you have already been doing your research. Regulation can take time. Try not to rush things, but do realize when something isn’t working. Try not to get frustrated!

    You can post your health related question in the Main forum or dosing questions in the lantus forum.

    I don’t have any experience with Lantus, so I am no help there.

    I can offer you words of encouragement! Looks like you are off to a great start with Archie. Fingers crossed for smooth sailing or I should say for a smooth sugar dance!
    Vader723 and cmb like this.
  4. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    Welcome to you and Archie! :) I agree with the advice to post general health questions on the main health forum and insulin questions on the Lantus forum. The Lantus forum is large and has many very experienced people on it so you could start there. They've seen it all in kitties!
    Vader723 likes this.
  5. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2016

    And congratulations on home testing that is a great way of helping him.

    Don't worry too much about ruining your relationship with him because of the testing, both you and him will get used to it and it will not be a great deal eventually, and I think if something the bond between a diabetic cat and his caretakers/parents gets even stronger it becomes special, there are a few tricks that help with the testing, if there's some special treat he likes that's a good thing to offer it after the testing whether you were successful or not and giving him a lot of petting at the time of testing helps, some eventually even start coming to you when they see the preparations

    Getting them under control takes time so be patient
    cmb likes this.
  6. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2016
    Well said. You'll soon get into a routine you're both comfortable with and Archie will trust you. Noah is our second sugar cat; I lay everything out in front of him, he knows what's coming next and that it might hurt a bit but he has faith in me.
    cmb likes this.

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