New to all this & trying to do the right thing

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Lunasol, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Lunasol

    Lunasol New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2018
    Hello! We've just had our big grey fur-baby diagnosed as diabetic over Christmas time. He has pretty bad neuropathy in his back legs which has meant we've been dealing with little to no movement/walking (was peeing only on a puppy-training pad on his sleeping pillow at one point) to now walking enough to get into a modified litter box (boot tray with super low sides), diarrhea from insulin introduction and now he is not really eating (not a fan of the wet food) and therefore we have had to skip a few shots.

    We are not yet testing at home, just skipping his shot if he doesn't eat adequately. He is eating at 8am & 8 pm and getting his shot 30 min afterwards as long as he has eaten well. His spirit is better over the last couple weeks, and his mobility seems to be slowly getting a bit better. A few questions I have about eating:

    - If he won't eat the wet food, do we offer him a high-quality (healthfood store brand) dry kibble just to get him to eat something?

    - If he seems to be weak because he's not eating anything, is it better to feed him at any time (if he shows an interest in eating) just to get some nutrients into him? Or wait until his scheduled time and then try a variety of options.

    We are going away and a pet-sitter is coming to live-in for 10 days. I am very worried about providing them with all the information to care for Kalvin properly.
     
    Stephanie & Quintus likes this.
  2. Lunasol

    Lunasol New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2018
    PS> We are going to start home testing as soon as we are back from our trip. I can see from reading on this forum that it is the best option!
     
  3. Sean & Rufus

    Sean & Rufus Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    I'm no expert, but my cat isn't eating wet or dry food for various reasons. One thing you might try is putting the wet food in a food processor with some water to liquify it. That is what my guy is eating, and my other other cat who refuses wet food actually eats it too. Also, it is expensive but there is a low carb dry food from young again https://www.youngagainpetfood.com/zero-mature-health.html. Have you been giving your guy b12 vitamins? They have tremendously helped my guy with jumping and walking https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008G3LI2M/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Good luck!
     
  4. Karen Mulholland

    Karen Mulholland Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Have you read Dr. Lisa's info. on transitioning to wet food? I started feeding my boy Fancy Feast Classic and he likes it. I add water to it so it is more like a thick soup. Many on this site use Fancy Feast (Classic line only) According to Dr. Lisa the issue is also one of adequate moisture and low carbohydrate in the treatment of diabetics, therefore dry kibble is strongly discouraged, even if it is low carb. If Kalvin is not eating at prescribed times, I would have food available all day so he can eat when he wants. You can put an ice pack under his food bowl (secure it in some way) to keep the food cool. I have although, heard it's fine to leave the wet food out for several hours. I have a Petsafe 5 automatic feeder that allows for 5 programmable feeding times. Google it to see how it works. Home testing was rather intimidating to me at first, but it's really the only way to know for sure what's going on. Ton's of valuable info on this site. Good luck
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  5. Lunasol

    Lunasol New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2018
    Thanks for the tips! Yes, we discovered by accident that he likes the chunky-type of wet food with some warm water added, making it more like a stew, especially when it comes out of the fridge (2nd half of the can). I think we will start leaving any un-eaten wet food out during the day and try to add warm water to keep it moist. Luckily my husband works from home, so he is able to monitor him during the day.

    I am looking at Zobaline, however we are in Canada and it costs quite a bit to ship. I am looking into some other options at a holistic vet clinic. I did see the YouTube of that kitty ??? who made remarkable progress after taking it, so hopefully I can get a hold of some.

    When we have the pet-sitter come, I will write everything out, but want to stress some key things that are extremely important. So far I am thinking:

    1. Do not give insulin unless he eats.
    2. Keep to the 12 hour apart feeding/shot

    What else should I add to the "important" list?
     
  6. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    I would look into methylcobalamin (you don't need to get the brand zobaline) for the neuropathy, definitely.

    Food: I'd say the most important thing, above anything else, is that the cat eats decently. If he's not eating well, and particularly if he hasn't had his shot because he didn't eat enough, feed! Know also (as you aren't testing) that you aren't sure how low he may be dropping. Many cats who drop in low numbers will go for food to try and counteract the "hypo". So if your kitty is ravenous a few hours after the shot, it is possible he may be dropping too low.

    Diabetic kitties tend to be very hungry also simply because their cells are starving (not getting any glucose although they are swimming in it). As his numbers start becoming more normal, you might see appetite decreasing. So less appetite is not necessarily a bad thing (you do want to make sure the cat eats "enough" though).

    If you decide to get a glucometer and test at home, you will have a much better visibility on how your cat is reacting to insulin, and this will help you to deal with the feed/not feed questions. Otherwise it's a bit like running blind, unfortunately.

    It's also worth knowing that the chances of remission are much higher if one his home-testing. As my vet told me just Wednesday, when they see the cat every few weeks for a curve, they can tweak the dosage a bit but they can't get really good regulation.

    Your cat has only been recently diagnosed (although neuropathy suggests he may have been diabetic for a while?) and so he is also in a better spot to maybe go into remission.

    Don't stress yourself out before going on holiday, but I would definitely give a thought to home-testing once you get back. It allows for a better control of diabetes with less risk (of hypos, which can be deadly).
     
    Kris & Teasel likes this.
  7. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Ooh just saw that -- you need to get the husband on board for home-testing! :D
     
  8. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
  9. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    What insulin are you using? What dose. So glad you are going to home test. I would start that asap. I waited six weeks to start and wish I hadn't waited.

    Your cat doesn't need to eat just twice a day, most feed about 4 times, but you want to feed just before shot time. Just no food 2 hours prior to the preshot test so the number is not food influenced.
     
    Stephanie & Quintus likes this.
  10. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Tootsie! :)

    Following on from Stephanie's info, it's important to know that there is no guarantee that a cat will seek out food when they're running low (they might actually be very lethargic and/or spacy). Therefore, it's especially important to closely observe a kitty receiving insulin and learn the possible signs of a hypo (as Stephanie provided in the link above).

    While the prospect may seem a bit daunting at first, being able to home test a cat's BG levels removes all the guesswork and gives much greater peace of mind.


    Mogs
    .
     
  11. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Yes indeed, this is not something you want to leave to chance!
     
    Critter Mom likes this.
  12. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Here is a post on a substitute for Zobaline in Canada. Waving at you from BC. :)
    "High quality" does not mean better for them. Here we are more interested in carb values. It is harder to get low carb dry in Canada. As for feeding, some cats are grazers so feed when they want to eat. Several small meals can be better for them, depending on type of insulin you are using.

    .
     
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