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Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Kelly and Travis, Dec 30, 2009.

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  1. Kelly and Travis

    Kelly and Travis New Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    I posted on the old board earlier today and thanks to Cindy and Mousie et al, I'm now on the new board! So here is my story and I've added more information about Travis:

    My 11 year old cat, Travis, was just diagnosed yesterday with Diabetes..After a small freak out over the vet bill, $618, it was comforting to read that costs might not be that frightening going forward. Our vet was unable to change his diet because he is already eating Hill's CD for build up of crystals in his urine. Thanks Cindy, for the link and info about possibly taking Travis off CD. I will be calling my vet tomorrow. His BS is 450 and he is currently getting 2 units of Vetsulin 2 times a day. He goes back to the vet for a reading next week and then in another week, stays the day for a glucose curve. We just lost his litter mate over the summer to Arterial Thromboembolism. This was a huge shock to our family, and the first time my son, 9, had to deal with death of a pet. So of course, I will do anything for Travis!! It's great to be able to come to this board for support!!
  2. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    A lot of people will tell you to ditch the CD and feed a low-carb canned. The added water of canned helps avoid the formation of crystals. However, if the the cat becomes blocked because of crystals it is a very expensive to fix. I would use canned CD and adjust the insulin to counter the higher carbs in CD.

    I presently have one cat on a combination of canned and dry CD (he will not eat only canned). The FD Bailey eats some dry CD since he doesn't (after trying for years) eat enough canned foods. I just live with the higher carbs, I have another civi who blocked in the past and he is on dry CD and hasn't blocked for 10 years or so. A lot of my other civis are also on dry CD just to make feeding tolerable to me.
  3. Ronnie & Luna

    Ronnie & Luna Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    hello again

    first read this link

    don't panic, but do take it into consideration.
    few questions, how did your vet diagnose Travis? What tests were done?
    What is Travis's weight?
    Are you home testing while on insulin?

    Others will be along to support and advise you some more, but in the meantime, put together some answers cuz they're prob gonna ask you anyway lol
    And lastly, breath, diabetes is manageable, many of us here have been in your shoes and have learned thru this forum to care for our kitties back to the healthy kitties they once were with home testing, insulin and/or food change.

  4. Amy and Six

    Amy and Six Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009

    My advice:
    1. Read, read, read! Read stickies, info on, other postings by other members.
    2. Post questions.
    3. Start home testing.

    I've been on the board about three weeks and it has made a huge difference in Six's life (mine too :D ). Give Travis a pet for me.
  5. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi Kelly and welcome to FDMB. You will find that this board will provide you lots of support and encouragement in helping you manage Travis' diabetes.

    I do have one recommendation regarding your insulin. I am not sure if your vet is aware of it, but there is an FDA warning regarding Vetsulin. ... 188752.htm. Because of production issues, Vetsulin may not be stable and could cause some serious problems.

    I suggest that you contact your vet and possible change to Lantus or PZI. Lantus is a human insulin that many cats respond well to. PZI is made by BCP and your vet can order a free vial for you at by using the link at the bottom of the page. A new form of PZI called Prozinc has also recently come out and I believe that there are a few people on the list that are currently using it. I have used both Lantus and BCP PZI and had good results with both of them.

    If you live in the US, you can also ask your vet if they will immediately switch him to Lantus and get him to write a prescription for Lantus Solostar pens. If you click on this link ... ePens.html you can get a coupon for 5 free pens. That will save you a lot of money and will be enough insulin to last several months. However, this coupon expires tomorrow (December 31st).
  6. paige

    paige Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi Kelly. I don't have any advice to give because we are in the same boat. But this message board has been a savior.

  7. Kelly and Travis

    Kelly and Travis New Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    My vet did tell me about the issue with Vetsulin, adding that the other insulin's are more costly. I do trust my vet, but I'm feeling a little icky about it. I have a ton of questions for him when I take Travis back to see him next week and thinking I will ask him to maybe switch...Can someone help me get started with home testing... where to buy the items I need and how to do the testing? Travis does eat dry and canned Hill's CD which is high in Carbs...that's another question for my vet! Thanks everyone for ALL your help!

  8. Jean and Megan

    Jean and Megan Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    For getting the items you need for testing, look at the "sticky" (first message on the Diabetes Health board) called Request a Starter Hometesting Kit. This is a free kit provided to new members who need it.

    When I first came here, I got one. It wasn't so much that I couldn't afford to buy the testing equipment as that this took a lot of the decision-making out of my hands. Since then, I have learned more about the equipment, bought a different sort of meter that suited me better, and donated some assorted equipment to the "Newbie Kits" cause. So don't hesitate to ask for one, regardless of your circumstances. As long as you have a legitimate need for the equipment, you are welcome to ask.
  9. Michele&Molly

    Michele&Molly Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome Kelly and Travis - In the same breath i say i'm so glad you found us and i'm sorry that you're here (and i mean that in the nicest way possible!).

    First let me say that i'm sorry about Travis's litter mate. It's never easy to lose a family member.

    Please know that feline diabetes is a manageable disease and Travis can lead a long, quality of life. I know it's overwhelming right now, i know because when Molly was diagnosed i cried for days and thought it was a life sentence. That was 4 years ago. Oh and she's sitting right next to me now with her little purring motor revving.

    Vestulin may work for you guys and there are other good insulins available as well. We use Levemir that was not mentioned thus far and it works well for us. In general, a lot of users are finding success with Levemir and Lantus. PZI is another insulin that many users use with nice success -such as Cindy and Mousie who you have talked to.

    As for the expensive curve at the vet’s office - you can do it at home you know. It would save you lots of money and would ultimately be more accurate. Cats tend to get freaked out at the vet's office and that raises blood glucose numbers. Please consider purchasing a human glucose meter and we would all happily help you.

    I don't want to overwhelm you, please read lots and keep the questions coming, we're here to help you. -Michele and Molly
  10. Connie & Em (GA)

    Connie & Em (GA) Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi there, welcome to the place you never wanted to be but will be so glad you found :)

    I'm going to address the C/D. C/D is to help combat the crystals that form in some kitties when their urine is too alkaline. They don't know why it happens exactly, but they do know that it happens when the urine is alkaline. Cats produce alkaline urine when they eat plant material - which is very high in dry foods. C/D gets away with "fixing" alkaline urine with their dry food by adding an acidifier. A lot of cats actually do very well simply changing them over to a low carb high protein high moisture (to help keep the bladder flushed) diet. (which btw is also the ideal diet for a diabetic, heck it is the ideal diet for any cat)

    I have two cats who have blocked with crystals. One never had another problem after being put on a low carb canned diet. the other needed an even lower carb raw diet before he settled down. You can also add acidifiers to the food yourself so you are not trapped into buying the "perscription" foods. L-methionine will acidify the urine, you just need to be careful that you don't go too far because oxolate crystals form in highly acidic urine and are much more difficult to deal with.

  11. Hillary & Maui (GA)

    Hillary & Maui (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    WELCOME, this forum is a great place to gain knowledge and really learn how to manage feline diabetes. By doing just a few things each day (that really won't take up much of your time at all), you won't need to worry about losing your precious cat, not where feline diabetes is concerned.

    There are three key factors to managing diabetes: food/nutrition, home testing and insulin

    1) Feline Nutrition: Now, as far as diet - definitely dump the dry food (if you are feeding any) and if the vet recommends purchasing prescription food like DM just say "no thank you". ALL cats, and especially those with diabetes, do best on a species appropriate diet that is high in protein and low in carbs. Dry food DOES NOT fit that bill and DM food, even canned, just really isn't that great as far as quality. Most here on FDMB feed low carb/high protein canned, raw bought from a pet store or they make there own.

    Here are two really great links, the first is to a food chart put together by one of our board members that breaks down the carb % and protein % of most of the commercial brand foods. You want to keep the carb % below 10% and around 7% is great. The other link is to a site by a vet "Dr. Lisa DVM" ... who also posts on this board from time to time ... there is in-depth info. there about many things, including nutrition and how to make raw food.


    The good thing with feeding your diabetic cat this way, is that it is ALSO good for any non-diabetic cat too. All your cats can safely eat the same food without worry and it may save you some costs and headaches of having to do separate feedings and keeping track of what they are eating.

    2. Home testing: It is impossible to convey the value of testing your cat's BG (blood glucose) level at home. Some vets will "suggest" this, but most won't even mention it. They will send you home with insulin and an amount to shoot and maybe some instructions about hypoglycemia (blood sugar dropping to a dangerously low level).

    Well, the thing is, human diabetics don't EVER give themselves insulin without checking there BG to make sure it is safe to do so, so why shouldn't it be the same for our kitties. Here on FDMB it is. You will notice that the vast majority of people here test their cat's BG at least 2x/day (before giving each shot to make sure the level is safe enough) and periodically at other times to see how the cat is responding to the current dose. We use a human glucometer, test strips and lancets - which are all very readily available and easy to use.

    Our kitties get lots of love and treats for "putting up" with this and most of them actually come out to be tested on their own 'cause they want those treats . Here is a collection of great links that "Carolyn and Spot" pulled together about hometesting. See what you think ... it truly is the best way to not only keep Travis safe but also really get a handle on this disease and help him to live a healthy life with FD (feline diabetes).

    Carolyn and Spot's Hometesting Links: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=287

    3. Insulin: There are several types of insulin available. Many people, myself included use Lantus which is a great insulin. This is a gentle insulin that is given twice (BID) per day in 12 hour increments.

    Cats metabolize insulin much more quickly than humans. You will get lots of advice about that from great people here AND, if you go to the grey "Goto" bar on this page where it lists "Health", "Community", etc. ... you will see "Insulin Support Groups" ... click on there and you will find the boards for each insulin type.

    A reason to request Lantus (glargine) insulin NOW is:

    1 - you can get a 5 month supply for FREE until the end of December. Just print this coupon and ask vet to write a script for 5 solostar pens. Then take the script and coupon to any pharmacy: ... ePens.html

    In addition, ask the vet to write a separate script for insulin syringes - You want U-100, with 1/2 unit markings. I used (31 gauge, short needle, 3/10 cc) from Walmart at a cost of $12/box of 100 -

    You do not want the needles that come with the pens.

    However, one caveat and again this shows how these three things are inter-related:

    If you are feeding dry food or even a high carb food, BEFORE removing these foods, please make sure of your insulin dose as it will most likely need to be reduced, so as to avoid a possible hypoglycemic situation due to the removal of the dry/high carb foods that will lower the BG’s and reduce the amount of insulin required. Again, another reason why home testing is important.

    I know this all seems like a lot, and that's because it is ... there is a learning curve here. But as long as you are determined and keep at it, you will have it down before you know it and you'll be seeing the results in Travis' overall health and happiness. Ask all the questions you can think of - that's why we are here!

    Also, if you haven't done it yet, take the time and fill out your profile. It will help when others come on and read this. Also, let us know where you live - city/state as there are probably people in your area who can provide on the ground support and help you to learn home testing, etc.
  12. Spacey & Ella

    Spacey & Ella Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi and welcome to this wonderful group of lifesavers!

    My good advice:
    Take your time to sleep and take care of yourself.

    I've lost hours and hours reading through all the links and info I've got here. Any info is very much appreciated. But in the progress of absorbing all of it, I forget myself.
    So, if you are anyway like me: don't do the same. ;)
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