? New to the group - I have questions!

Discussion in 'Prozinc / PZI' started by Julie W., Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Julie W.

    Julie W. New Member

    Mar 14, 2019
    Hello! I just joined the group and read through 2 hours of materials on the site. SOOO helpful and informative. I have some questions, but let me give my kitty diabetes background first.

    I have two cats, both 13 years old, one male and one female. Before the diagnosis, I had always just fed dried food (Friskies something or other). Five years ago, the male cat, Kiki, was diagnosed with diabetes. The vet started us on ProZinc and suggested the AlphaTrak2 meter when I inquired about home testing, so that' what we use. I also switched Kiki from dry food to wet food at that point (Friskies meaty bits usually). That's I've been feeding ever since. He did go into remission for about a year, but the diabetes came back and we have just lived with it since - I test twice/feed/shoot a day.

    Now my female cat, Rogue, has been diagnosed as well. I hadn't switched her over to wet food when I switched Kiki over just because it is so much cheaper to give the dry food and she was not overweight like Kiki, so I didn't think it would affect her like Kiki. Well here we are - she is diabetic now :( I am trying to find a good wet food for her now. My problem is this... she does not gobble down meals like Kiki. She grazes throughout he day and honestly she barely seems to eat much at all, but she is maybe 1 lbs overweight at this point so she must be eating. I know I should have been keeping better track of it. Anyway, I have tried giving her Friskies pate this week, but she licks all the juice off and then won't eat the rest. It it sitting there dried up when I get home from work. Then she looks at me like "where's my dry food?" So next time, I added water to the pate and warmed it up and mushed it around, thinking she'd just lick it up. She licked a little and then left the rest to dry up again. She won't freaking eat the wet food. It is not a chewing problem because she has no problem eating dry food. I don't get it! But it makes it very hard to have a regular insulin schedule if she's not eating when I give her food, or that she refuses to eat anything but dried food. I don't know what to do at this point. If I want her to eat, it seems like it has to be dried food. Does anyone have any other suggestions for wet food I could try?? She seems to be very finicky. I have only ever dealt with a diabetic cat who gobbles his meals down, but how does it works if the diabetic just grazes? I am gone to work 7am-5pm, so what she doesn't eat just sits there and dries up. Would insulin injections still be in the morning and evening if she doesn't have a regular eating schedule?

    My other question: So since I have been using the AlphaTrak2 meter with compatible test strips ever since Kiki was diagnosed 5 years ago, it is taking a toll on my checkbook. After reading through one of the pages on here, I was intrigued to find that although AlphaTrak2 is recommended by vets because it is specifically for cats, I could be paying a whole lot less for test strips if I switched to a ReliOn meter. Is that right? What do I need to know in regards to the ReliOn meter and calibrating it for cats? With having two diabetics now, I am very interested in bringing my costs down!!!

    I am interested in any and all of your opinions on the food situation and meter/test strip types to use!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2018
    Hi and welcome Julie, Kiki and Rogue. I am so glad that you have found valuable information here on the board. These questions can be re-posted in the Feline Health (Main) forum HERE , as that forum is more heavily monitored and the more general questions can be addressed there.
    Yes, you can use a human glucose meter, many of us do precisely because of the costs. They do not need to be calibrated for cats, and the only difference you are going to see is possibly the BG number itself. Pet meters usually read higher than human meters. But, it is the patterns and trends that show up that are important also, as well as those critical pre shot tests.
    You can get the ReliOn Prime and strips at Walmart relatively inexpensively. The Prime is going to require a slightly larger blood sample than the AlphaTrak, but many of our members use it. There are other very good human meters and when you post on the Health forum, you are going to get lots of input.
    Same goes for your questions about food and the dry food addict. It can be a long process to transition a kitty to a low carb wet food, but the results are worth it. We do recommend a carb amount no higher than 10%, less is better. Here is a food chart from www.catinfo.org that you can filter to find canned foods with protein, fats, phosphorus, carbs and calories. FOOD CHART The Friskies Meaty Bits are 13 to 14% carbs. Many members feed Fancy Feast classics and Friskies pates.
    Here is a PDF document from the catinfo.org website about transitioning from dry to wet food DRY To WET or you could just visit the site, it's a treasure trove of info about feline nutrition.
    It would be very helpful if you could create a signature with the cats information so it's available with each of your posts:
    (light grey text under a post). Here's how:
    click on your name in the upper right corner of this page
    click on "signature" in the menu that drops down
    type the following in the box that opens: kitty's name/age/date of diabetes diagnosis/insulin you're using and dosage amount /glucose meter you're using/what (s)he eats/any other meds or health issues (s)he has. You can add your name, and a geographic location (sometimes the time zone matters) Be sure to SAVE when you are finished.
    We have had other members with 2 diabetic cats, just keep the info brief and to the point and you should be able to do both kitties.
    2. Another thing that will help us help you since you are BG testing at home is to set up a spreadsheet like the one we use here. We can all see it and look at it before offering advice:
    I'm not sure how the members with 2 diabetic cats set up the spreadsheet, one per cat or different tabs on the same spreadsheet. We'll have to check on that.
  3. Julie W.

    Julie W. New Member

    Mar 14, 2019
    Thanks so much for the reply! I will post in the Main Health forum too! And I have updated my signature :)
    Idjit's mom likes this.
  4. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2015
    Hi Julie, and welcome! Yes, you can absolutely switch to a human meter, and it does save a ton of money. Also, depending on how much the insulin is at your vet, many of us are buying Prozinc from Chewy now as they have a great price and do a good job of keeping it cool while shipping.

    I'm so sorry to hear you now have two diabetics! We would be very happy to take a look at the numbers you're getting and see if there is anything we can do to help either or both of them get better! We have a handy spreadsheet we all use that is an incredibly valuable tool in all of this. Here is the link to getting them set up (the color coding happens automatically which makes it easy - you just have to input numbers): http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    There is also a link to a sortable food chart in my signature. Friskies Meaty Bits is wet food, which is great, but it's 13-14% carbs which is too high. Diabetics shouldn't eat anything over 10%, and most of us aim for not more than 5-6%.

    Transitioning from kibble to low-carb wet food is not easy, but I promise it can be done! I had a hard core kibble addict myself. He couldn't even recognize that wet food counted as food. Now he's on a raw food diet and healthier than I've ever seen him! If cost is a concern, I can tell you more about how I make his food - it ends up being cheaper than canned food (depending on which protein I'm getting for him and how good I am at watching the sale!). But one step at a time...first we need to get Rogue to recognize that the wet mushy stuff really is food! The catinfo.org site has some great suggestions for helping cats transition, and I'm happy to help too. Know that it's going to take some patience and persistence, but you'll get there! :bighug::bighug::bighug:
  5. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2013
    Hi Julie! It looks like you've been given some great advice already so I just wanted to say welcome! Please feel free to ask all the questions you have...we're happy to help!
  6. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    Welcome! You've come to the right place. :)

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