new to this board--hi everyone!--questions

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by TMR, Mar 3, 2013.

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  1. TMR

    TMR Member

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    Mar 2, 2013
    My cat, Midnight, was just diagnosed Friday. She had been thirstier than usual and urinating more than usual for about a week. And she had lost 2 pounds in about 8 months. I feel like a bad mom because I didn't notice the weight loss. She is a black fluffy kitty with a hangy downy belly so it wasn't obvious. I don't know why she didn't seem lighter when I picked her up. The diagnosis was a bit overwhelming, mostly emotionally but also financially--about $500 in one day for the vet, food, and insulin/syringes. I am a little confused about a couple things. The vet told me to cut her lantus dose in half if she doesn't eat well (I think). I think they said to call if she doesn't eat at all. What if the office is closed? Should I call the emergency number? She is a grazer. I think they said it is ok to leave her food bowl out all the time. She doesn't have to eat her whole meal at once. I can still give her the insulin as long as she eats a good part of it right away. Does this sound right? And about dry vs wet food: she has eaten dry food her whole life. This website gives me the impression that she should be switched to wet food. Is this really necessary? About expenses--any recs on less expensive food, less expensive insulin, and less expensive syringes would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. RubenTheCat

    RubenTheCat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Welcome, you've stumbled apon a great resource.
    first off breath. FD can be managed.
    Switching to wet can be instramental in helping with FD.
    Are you home testing?
    Have you shot her already?
     
  3. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I gave her one dose Friday evening, one Saturday morning, and one Saturday evening. Have not really thought about home testing yet. Still learning about the whole thing. I am a one-thing, one-day-at-a-time person. Get over the initial shock first. Give the insulin. Then figure out if I should switch to wet food (and if I can afford it). So I am working on the insulin/when to call the vet first. Then moving on to the type and brand of food. THEN I will think about home testing!
     
  4. RubenTheCat

    RubenTheCat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Home testing seems scary at first but is key in treating and handleing this disease.

    Your gonna find most people here will agree, home testing can save your kitty's life and isn't as horrible as it seems, especially when you know you can controll FD with it, gives you sercurity, will help ease the stress and won't have to depend on your vet and safe you money not having to go to them.

    Home Testing

    with out testing you might not catch a hypo if you shoot to low

    How to treat Hypo's, They can kill. Print this out
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome!
    here's the quik n dirty...
    1. home testing is needed to keep your cat safe.
    2. yup, gotta switch to wet food for the good of the cat.

    The food..... see catinfo.org for all sorts of reasons and explanations why. The best food list was recently compiled by Dr. Lisa.... go with carbs under 10% and you are OK. Lots feed closer to 5%, but so long as you stick to under 10, you're good. Pick up a couple cans for higher carb to feed if your cat goes too low on the insulin.
    http://catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf
    You can feed Friskies or FancyFeast pates, or even the more economical pates like Special Kitty if you like; just stay clear of the grilled and marinated and all the gravy ones.... they are full of carbs.

    The home testing.... you will save yourself lots of worries and a ton of cash because you will know what your cat's BG numbers are, and you won't have to waste all the money on curves done at the vet office which are useless because cats are stressed at the vet and that just makes their numbers higher. Everyone just tests their cat at home and it's way better.
    Depending where you are, if in the US, pick up a Relion meter and strips and lancets if you want the most economical meter. It's a good meter. If outside of the US, I like the Bayer contour and also any of the OneTouch meters. .... lots of youtubes to watch to see how to home test - just a poke on the edge of the ear, then sip up the drop of blood on the test strip in the meter. It may be frustrating in the start to get it right, but it's worth it in the long run.

    One other thing you can get at the pharmacy would be a container of KETOSTIX so you can test your cat's urine for ketones.... very important to know if your cat is prone to ketones or not as they are pretty serious and need handling as soon as they are seen.

    The switch to the wet food is pretty important, but if you can't switch, you are going to have a rough time in regulating your cat's blood sugar as the dry food will make the numbers all wonky and high.
    That's just how it is.
    There are a great many cats who are DIET CONTROLLED ... they switched to wet food and their numbers came tumbling down and they did NOT need any insulin.... it's worth a try to get your cat onto wet food because it may mean the difference of insulin for life or not.

    There are a few cats who just will NOT switch and their owners just need to adapt and adjust the dosing based on the numbers, and it's a bit of an up and down with the dry food in the picture.
    On the catinfo.org site, there are lots of ways to help with switching over, and many people on this site will have suggestions for you.

    Gayle
     
  6. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I bought one can of wet food, when I got the diabetic dry food at the vet, just in case she didn't like the new food. So last night she didn't want to eat much and I decided to see if she would eat any of the wet food. I gave her a couple teaspoons and she gobbled it right up! Now I have more questions: how much to give her and can I just switch to the wet food, or do I need to gradually switch over? I don't want to send her into hypoglycemia!

    I understand about the testing and I will look into that immediately.

    What would you suggest about giving the shots: if she eats some of her food, ok to give? If she only eats a little, give half (if I can even measure 1/2 unit)? If she doesn't eat at all, don't give the insulin and call the vet? Or just don't give the insulin and if she doesn't eat the next meal either, call the vet?
     
  7. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    This may appear twice--sorry if it does.

    Does the wet food say it is for diabetic cats, or do you just have to read the label for the carb content?
     
  8. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I still don't know if I should switch "cold turkey" to wet food or gradually change over. Someone on another thread said "We do recommend a change to wet canned with under 10%carbs but only if you are home testing.". So do I need to get a testing meter first, and then switch to wet food?
     
  9. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi,

    For a cat on insulin absolutely DO NOT switch to low carb wet food unless you are testing your cat's blood glucose at home.

    Dry food elevates blood glucose levels. Therefore removing dry food lowers glucose levels. An insulin dose that may have been OK when the cat was on dry food may need lowering when the cat is on wet low carb food. Too much insulin can cause hypoglycemia.

    Oh, and welcome to FDMB! :smile:

    Edited to add: So yes, you're absolutely correct. 1. Learn to hometest. 2. Phase out the dry food.
     
  10. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi,

    here is a link to really good post that has a list of low carb wet foods in the US:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=87391

    The food doesn't need to be 'special' diabetic food; just a decent quality ordinary everyday kind of low carb wet/canned.

    Eliz
     
  11. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    So until I get a glucose meter, I should continue the dry food?
     
  12. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Yes! That's the way to keep your kitty safe.

    For a cat already on insulin the rule is; learn to test first and then switch to wet food. That way you can lower the insulin dose if necessary.
     
  13. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Here is a link to a good page of basic info and pics about hometesting;
    http://www.sugarpet.net/bloodtst.html

    There is a LOT of other info on this site about hometesting too.

    It probably sounds a bit scary at first but really isn't that hard to learn. It only involves taking the teensiest weensiest droplet of blood from the outer edge of your cat's ear, and then transferring that to a test strip in a glucose meter. Most of us use ordinary glucose meters made for humans. There are very few nerve endings in the cat's ear so testing shouldn't hurt Midnight.

    Hometesting has a lot of benefits: It will enable you to know if you need to increase or decrease the insulin dose; it will help to keep Midnight safe from hypo (blood sugar that is too low); it will give you a sense of control over your cat's diabetes; and it will save you a heap of money in vet's bills.
     
  14. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Do I need to test her blood sugar every time I give her insulin (twice a day)? The vet told me to come back in 2 weeks. That is quite a drastic difference.
     
  15. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    So it sounds like I should do this: 1. Get a testing kit and learn how to use it. 2. Test her blood sugar (?how often?). 3. Switch to wet food (?over how long?).

    Then, how would I know how much insulin to give? Dosage based on blood sugar, or just if it is in a certain range, give the 1 unit that the vet has suggested at this point?
     
  16. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Some vets encourage people to test their cat's blood glucose at home. Some vets are ambivalent about it. And some vets actively discourage it. The experience of people on this forum is that hometesting is vital for managing feline diabetes.

    My own vet was initally opposed to my testing Bert's blood glucose at home. But now he is really supportive! Without hometesting my cat would have died long ago. But he's been diabetic now for 6 years and is thriving (touch wood, anti-jinx). My vet has never had a diabetic cat live so long after diagnosis...

    The treatment of feline diabetes has evolved over the years, but many vets are somewhat outdated in their views, and tend to treat cats like small dogs, which they are not...

    Cats have the unique ability to be able to go into 'remission' from diabetes. Their pancreas can start to work again (if it had stopped producing insulin), or to work more efficiently (if it had only been producing a little bit of insulin). But without hometesting things like that are hard to pick up, and an insulin dose that might be fine one week may be way too much the following week...

    Some cats, like mine, are on insulin for life. But quite a few cats can go into remission; and some of those after just a short period on insulin and a change to a low carb wet diet.

    'Remission' doesn't mean 'cure'. Once a cat is diabetic it will always be diabetic. Remission means that the diabetes can be diet-controlled.

    Like most people on this forum I test my cat's blood glucose before every insulin shot. I do that in order to check that his blood glucose is sufficiently high for me to give that insulin dose. Then I do another test (or sometimes a number of tests) during the insulin cycle to see how well the insulin is working in his body.

    Here is a link to some info about why hometesting is important:
    http://www.sugarpet.net/reasons.html
     
  17. Denise & Honey

    Denise & Honey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    We usually start on either .5 unit or 1 unit twice a day (every 12 hours) so find a schedule that works for you.
    I used to do 6am and 6pm so I could do the shot before the kids got up for school and freaked her out :D

    Its better to be conservative on the dose and then increase gradually if you have to.

    We adjust the dose based on a schedule - but the dosing experts on this site can help you with that. However, if you do test at home, newbies are advised not to shoot if bg is less than 200 on a human meter as you don't know if your cat's numbers will drop really low - then its an ER visit ($$$$).
    Insulin is a depot drug, ie. it builds up in the system over time - usually takes 5-7 days for the kitty so it needs a settling-in period.

    If you learn to test her bg, there's no reason why you need go to the vet - she will probably have vet stress and her numbers there would be higher anyway.
    Very few of us went back to the vet after we found this site :D

    And yes, before you give her a shot you need to test her bg. It if was really low, you wouldn't shoot - it could kill her.

    I know its a lot to take in - just take it one step at a time.
    Try to get the home testing started first - then you can see her numbers and start to safely move her to wet food.
    That will give her the best chance of being regulated (on insulin, but in safe numbers for her body) or even remission (off insulin, but diet controlled).

    As you're posting late, I'm guessing you're on West Coast or a night owl :D If you can tell us where you're located, someone may be able to come out and help with the home testing.
     
  18. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I am in Pennsylvania. I work night shift.
     
  19. TheBowHuntress

    TheBowHuntress Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Hi & welcome to our family. My name is Kat and Gobbles is my sugar-boy; a 10 year old male, neutered grey/silver tabby who was diagnosed on 11/17/12 and started on Lantus 1 U. every 12 hours on 11/23/12. I'm in NE Ohio. I've learned so much here and have received tons of support and advice; these Boards and the people on them is immeasurable.

    What's your name and what brand of insulin is Midnight? How much and how often? Did someone suggest what to buy as far as home-testing supplies?

    When I was a newbie, I was strongly advised to NOT give an insulin shot if your cat's BG (blood glucose) is 200 or lower. Period.
     
  20. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Ok just fto confirm

    1. Get a testing kit and learn how to use it. Many people here get the Walmart Relion brand or Arkray since its reliable and low cost.

    Here is a shopping list:

    1. Meter ie Walmart Relion
    2. Matching strips
    3. Lancets - little sticks to poke the ear to get blood . new members usually start with a larger gauge lancet such as 28g or 29g until the ear learns to bleed. Optional - lancing tool.
    4. Cotton balls to stem the blood
    5. Neosporin ointment to heal the wound
    6. Ketone urine test strips ie Ketostix or ketodiastix - Important to check ketones when blood is high
    7. Treats for the cat - like freeze dried chicken
    8. karo syrup/corn syrup or honey if you dont have it at home - for hypo emergencies to bring blood sugar up fast
    9. A couple of cans of fancy feast gravy lovers - for hypo emergencies to bring blood sugar up fast


    2. Test her blood sugar (?how often?) Always test before every shot. Also its good to do a test 5-7 hours after shot and a before bed check if you can. That will give us an idea of the lowest point of the day in order to decide if a dose change is necessary. Here are some testing tips . And track your results on a spreadsheet.

    3. Switch to wet food (?over how long?). As soon as you are home testing I would switch as fast as she will let you, keeping an eye on her for any stomach issues. Maybe over a week is safe.


    4. how would I know how much insulin to give? Generally we use the below formula and adjust dose based on this protocol.


    Wendy
     
  21. TheBowHuntress

    TheBowHuntress Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    (Wendy--didn't you have that shopping list or some other type of link in your signature not too long ago? I'd love to be able to find it in a snap....)
     
  22. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
  23. TheBowHuntress

    TheBowHuntress Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    done!
     
  24. Hope + (((Baby)))GA

    Hope + (((Baby)))GA Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Always test before feeding and before giving insulin. Spot checks during the cycle also help as does doing a curve when you have a day to do one. Some cats go into remission just from removing all dry food......some hit remission in a short while with a little help from a few days/weeks on insulin and wet food........some never (like Elizabeth's Bertie, 6 years, and my Mishka, 9 yrs. 5 months. In all those years with Mishka I have never once given her insulin without testing her first and no vet would be able to tell which ear I always use...it looks just fine. One of my other diabetics, MC, was 64 last night at her normal shot time. If I had not tested her, I hate to think what may very well have happened.

    We have seen previous members come back on who knew how to test but became complacent because their kitty was always giving same numbers and doing great till suddenly a hypo happened. Never take it for granted that your cat is always going to throw basically the same readings, same dose,etc. so why bother to test.....that is how a hypo happens and sometimes we cannot stop one without ER intervention. Sometimes that insulin shot is just going to keep working hard no matter the food we give, the Karo we give, ice cream, treats, the insulin is winning that particular hypo and ER help is needed.

    Hometesting is a life saver when it comes to our kitties. Don't worry about what the vet may say or think. There are many vet journals out today promoting owners to learn to do it. Bottom line is if a kitty passes away because of bad vet advice, the vet is not going to miss the cat.......the owner is. Hopefully you will learn and be able to educate some vets like many of us do. I gave one ER vet 20 pages printed out of vet journals and articles promoting it when she put hometesting down in front of me. I will also face off with a vet when it comes to hometesting because I get furious when I know that vet is telling someone not to do it or it just doesn't work, etc.
     
  25. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Thanks for all the suggestions and information. It is a lot to take in. I am working two 12 hour shifts this weekend with very little sleep, so I need to let it all sink in. I will read more on this website when I have time, and take all of your recommendations to heart.

    Kat, my name is Terri and Midnight is starting on 1 unit lantus every 12 hours-ish. Due to may work schedule, it will be every 10-14 hours. I will try to get it as close to 12 hours as possible. There are several suggestions and links on this website about food brands, testing supplies, etc. I have to sort it all out. The only thing I know for sure is that I checked the dry purina DM the vet sold me, and it is 18% carbs.
     
  26. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Here is a summary sheet that may help. It s a steep learning curve but it soon becomes routine.. unless your cat goes into remission of course!!
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Rd6sMfsrNB41yQVEqpyjlHrJsDIbGEhbRIWR4QAwu3c/pub


    I would take that bag back and get a refund. Tell them Midnight doesnt like it. Many people here feed fancy feast classic pates or friskies pates or Wellness grain free varieties.

    Try and shoot within 30minutes of the prior one if you can - Lantus works best on consistency.

    Wendy
     
  27. dian and wheezer

    dian and wheezer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    where abouts in Pa are you located. maybe someone close by can come and show you how to test
     
  28. RubenTheCat

    RubenTheCat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    just checking in on how your making out, I had work stuff to do today so haven't been around.

    Yes, there is a lot to learn and take in,but remember Knowledge is power and to have power over this disease is mind settling

    Yes, your gonna wanna test before every shot< that sounds like a lot now, but when you make the connection of how much controll it gives you , your gonna be wanting to test more, most of do.

    Yes, more often than not vets treat animal diabetis, much different than human diabetis. Thats why all of us here tend to follow the TightRegualtionProtocol.
    You wouldn't shoot your child with insulin without knowing their BG so why do it with our fur babies.

    Most vets don't expect companion animal gaurdians to invest the time or concern to care for their animals, but we do, and can tell you it gets easier and gives your kitty a chance to get into remission.
    Ruben OTJ in a lil over a month.

    Once you start testing the sooner you can switch food, the sooner you switch food, the sooner he has a chance to go OTJ.

    Were all here for you and you will find this is the best place on earth, Everyone here is so so supportive and tend to know more than any vet I ever spoke with about FD. Keep in mind most vets (even internists) deal with a vary of illnesses, here only focuses on FD. Thats why there experts. (which I am by know means not :D )
    You can do this.
     
  29. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Thanks everyone for your input. I am very grateful for the support. I need to let this sink in a little. I am working this weekend, 2 twelve hour shifts, with 4 hours of sleep in between. So between that and this, I am on the verge of tears. I need to process all the information over the next couple days. Thanks again.
     
  30. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    thats ok - chill and read what everyone said and let it sink in.

    Ask lots of questions. We are here to help.

    Its a steep learning curve but it will get easier.. we promise! And before long you will have a happy kitty again and you will be here helping other newbies. :)

    We will be looking to hear from you.
     
  31. MelanieAndRacci

    MelanieAndRacci Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Hi Terri,

    Welcome! There was something missing on the list of supplies you will need. Very important - syringes. You should buy syringes that are 30 units or less, 3/8 or 5/16, 29g, 3cc with 1/2 unit markings. You were wondering how you would tell what a half unit is, well if you buy the syringes that are pre-marked, it's easy. We usuallly change doses by Quarter or half doses so at least having the half marked is much easier. If you're in the position of having to wait until you use the ones you have up first, so be it, but if you do have to increase or decrease the dose, we do it by 1/4 unit usually so keep it in mind.

    I've found that most people keep their vets for any other illnesses that may arise and bring their diabetics in about every 6 months or so for a checkup. They are more prone to a lot of things going wrong than a non-diabetic so checkups are a good thing but you can do a lot of it on your own. My vet is one of those who was unhappy about my insistence on testing and handling Racci's diabetes myself but she is now quite pleased with the results and says that Racci is doing much better than she expected her to do even with her handling her care because of Racci's old age, asthma, & weak immune system. She is regulated and almost always at normal numbers or almost normal (50-125) numbers or on our ss, blue and green or under 100 and under 200 bg. It's all because of this method of tight regulation and the help & support on this website. The vets just don't have the time to devote to your cat that the experts on this site will make for him. Therefore, they tell you to bring him in 2 weeks. Most people also can't afford to go in to the vet every day. A lot of people can't learn all they have to either. The vet has to do what is expedient for most people. That doesn't necessarily mean it is best for your cat. He does his best under the circumstances. Racci usually sees the vet every 3-6 months for one thing or another but rarely for diabetes. :lol:

    You should also set up a spreadsheet and profile for Midnight as soon as possible so people can help you and you can track him.

    Btw, I used to have a Midnight too. :razz:

    Have a great night! You found the best place to help your baby.

    Melanie & Racci
     
  32. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I just gave Midnight her "breakfast" (dry food). She ate about 1/3 of it (it is only 1/4 cup) and I gave her her insulin. She is a grazer and won't eat the whole bowl at once--it takes many hours. Anyway, I gave her about a tablespoon of wet food to try to see if she liked it, and I think she ate a bite or two. She then had diarrhea with some blood in it, and vomited. Which she almost never does. She also howled/cried, which she never does. Then she went back to her food bowl and ate a little dry food. What should I do? I called the vet office and left a message but they have no idea when the vet will call me back.
     
  33. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I'd definitely get her to the vet today. It could be an obstruction of some kind in her bowel. If you can see the blood, it is something to get checked out.
     
  34. TheBowHuntress

    TheBowHuntress Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    I totally agree with Sue. I seriously doubt it was the wet food EDIT-I mean that the food was bad or had toxins in it! I would call the vet now and just make an appointment for this a.m. or afternoon. Good luck and please keep us posted.
     
  35. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Is it fresh blood? This could be a reaction to too sudden a diet change - irritated bowel. Fresh blood means its lower intestine or even near the exit which isnt so bad just irritated.

    Call the vet anyway though.
     
  36. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Looks like fresh, bright red blood. Not a lot. The vet office called me back and said not to worry unless it continues or she acts different--and then to bring her in. Thanks!
     
  37. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Was it a vet who said not to worry about a cat who is vomiting and has bloody diarrhea? I would call that as acting different since she does not usually vomit and have diarrhea as well as cry out when eliminating. It could be constipation issues, or even IBD, but I would want the vet to say a bit more.... ask about constipation and the possibility plus what to do about it, other than just watch.

    I have a question about how your cat was diagnosed as diabetic - did the vet do a fructosamine test which is the average of your cat's blood sugar over the last couple weeks, or was it from just the glucose number on a meter test at the vet office, or maybe the glucose number on bloodwork done?
    Also, do you know the number that made the vet decide your cat is diabetic?

    That expensive 'diabetic' dry food from the vet? Take it back. Say your cat refuses to eat it and it's high carb which will just keep the insulin needs high. And no thank you, you do not want to buy some of the expensive 'diabetic' wet food from the vet.

    Vomiting and diarrhea is also symptoms of constipation, and if blocked, you could still have some diarrhea and her crying could be from the discomfort. And illness, constipation, and even dental problems,can cause high BG numbers.

    I'd call your vet and say it's NOT normal for your cat to act this way and you want to know the method by which your cat was diagnosed plus you want the test result value or if it was just by one glucose number - what that one number was.

    If you are using Lantus or Levemir and are going to be doing a short turnaround this weekend, it may be an idea to be testing before that time so you know what your cat's BG are.... you will need to decide on a lesser dose to give between the two 12hr shifts, or maybe just skip that shot to be safe.... it all depends on the home testing numbers are.

    If the numbers are very high, you may be able to give a lesser dose between the 2 shifts, but if your testing gives you lower numbers, you may want to try stopping the insulin and switching to all wet food. You have only just started on insulin, and even if your cat turns out to be diet controlled, you would still need a meter to test periodically to be sure she doesn't become in need of insulin help later on.

    Since you work some shifts that are 12hrs, there will be some overlap in the insulin you are giving, so it will very important that you are home testing. I think others who have had odd shifts have altered their dose, giving less on the shorter period of time, but I am not sure how it would work if you work two 12hr shifts with such a short turnaround....

    I think I'd ask the vet for numbers and details, then pick up a meter, Relion is very economical, and start testing.... who knows? Switch to all wet low carb food and the tests may show her numbers drop to levels not needing insulin!
     
  38. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Yes, the vet said the diarrhea/vom were nothing to worry about if it was just one time and then she ate afterwards. When she was diagnosed, they drew her blood and urine. I don't think it was a fructosamine test. I think it was just the glucose level on the blood draw. Her blood sugar was 491 and they said she was "dumping sugar" into her urine.
     
  39. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Ok cool but keep a close eye on her.

    Any questions yet ? ;)
     
  40. RubenTheCat

    RubenTheCat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Ruben had vomit and diarrhea after switching food too. it ended up being Pancreatitus but was never confirmed. Not saying it is just keep an eye on her.
    Your doing good, keep us posted
     
  41. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Just following up - hows she doing? Are you home testing?
     
  42. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I thought I posted a reply a few days ago. I don't know if it was deleted or if it never went through. I think there is a lot of great information on this board. I must be honest. I get the impression that this is a board about home testing and wet food. I understand that people feel that those are the most important aspects in dealing with this disease. However, if someone doesn't want to home test or can't home test for whatever reason, it would be nice if the other people here would support their decision/situation and still be a resource for other aspects of the disease. The same with wet food. If the cat doesn't tolerate it (throws up, has diarrhea, or whatever) or just won't eat it, I would hope that the people here would still support that person. Diabetes is complicated. There is more to it than testing and food. There is insulin. There is the behavior of the cat. There is the emotions of the cat owners. There is the expense and time and effort that goes into caring for a diabetic cat. It is not just about testing and wet food. I would still be interested in participating here, but if I keep my cat on dry food because I have tried wet food and she won't eat it AND throws up and has diarrhea after eating it, can we drop that subject (with me, I mean)? I just got a home testing meter today and plan to home test, but I haven't decided how often. I might or might not do it before every insulin dose. It is my decision. I have to add here that I am going through some other unrelated really big things right now with my elderly father, both of my children, and myself. So I would like to feel like I can come to this board to get help dealing with my diabetic cat, but not feel unwelcome if I don't switch to wet food and home test several times every day. Thank you.
     
  43. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I forgot to even answer the question---how is Midnight doing. Her hunger is astronomical. We are working on getting the blood sugar under control and hopefully I will start giving her more food. Her thirst, urination, and bowel movements are pretty much normal. Her weight is stable (9 pounds). Her behavior is normal except for being hungry and not running to chase the laser pointer like she used to. She just stares at it.
     
  44. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    It's your decision to do whatever you like. Members here just want to be sure you understand the issues at hand... It's a lot to take it for new members at first so we tend to repeat ourselves a bit to try and hope it sinks in.

    Anyway it's a real shame midnight can't eat wet food. Unfortunately though High carb dry will make remission unlikely and the diabetes hard to regulate.

    Have you considered a low carb dry food instead? As with any dry its not great for their kidneys since cats don't drink enough water but it could help make it easier to regulate her.

    I can provide a list if you like? However if you aren't going to be home testing (at least before every shot and occasional mid cycle spot checks) then I wouldn't do this as again she could go into remission and have a hypo. (as many as 40% cats on low carb do go into remission within the first 4-6months of a low carb diet and insulin).

    Also we do have other monitoring tools you could use , they aren't as accurate but better than nothing.

    Let me know if you want more info.

    Wendy
     
  45. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I have a home blood sugar meter. I will use it. I just haven't decided how often yet. I would be very grateful for a list of high protein/low carb dry foods. Thank you.
     
  46. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
  47. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Yes, I understand the point about home testing. People have told me this over and over and over on this thread. I get it. Thanks.
     
  48. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
  49. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Sorry for the hostility. I guess I was having a bad day. I do appreciate the support and suggestions here. I just hope that if I stay with low carb, high protein dry food and don't switch to wet food, that I will still be supported. And also, whether I chose to test Midnight's blood sugar several times every day or only sometimes, I will still be supported. I understand the rationale behind wet food and testing before each shot. I just have to decide what I am going to do. ON ANOTHER SUBJECT (sort of) I got my meter and I am going to do a curve in a few days, when I get back from vacation. The vet said to test every 2 hours and plot the results. Then he can suggest how much food and insulin to give. Now she is on 1/4 cup food and 1 unit lantus twice a day. Her blood sugars were 491 when first diagnosed, 245 two weeks later, and 407 two weeks after that (approximately-they may have been slightly different). Her fructosamine was 447, I think, which he said is very high. Any suggestions on doing the curve? And do most of you use a sliding scale with insulin doses (if the blood sugar is in a certain range, give a certain dose)? Also, do you give the amount of food that is suggested on the packaging, based on the weight of the cat? Does the amount of food you feed your cat ever change, based on her hunger level or her dose of insulin?
     
  50. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Most users of Lantus or Levemir do NOT use a sliding scale for dosing.
    Some users of ProZinc, PZI, or NPH type insulins may use a sliding scale, if it works best for the cat.

    The Secondary Monitoring Tools in my signature link include urine ketone monitoring. Ketones are a byproduct of fat breakdown; too many, and the cat may be in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is an expensive to treat, potentially fatal, complication of diabetes when it is not well regulated, the cat stops eating, and often infection is present.

    The 5 Ps, or Whole Cat Report, focus on the normal behaviors you'd expect to see in a healthy cat - peeing, pooping, preening/grooming, playing, and purring. When all 5 of those are normal, the cat is usually doing fairly well.
     
  51. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi TMR!

    No worries. We all get stressed sometimes, emotionally, financially, spiritually trying to manage this new sugardance with everything already going on in our lives. It's hard. I hope you still will continue to post here because there is a lot of great information available.

    Curve. Nothing special. Just take a BG reading every two hours, write down the number. Start with the morning preshot (AMPS) test. It's that simple. You can do it over a weekend. You can do it at night. You can actually do it over a couple of days.

    Food. 1/4 a day is probably not enough. Due to the diabetes, the food is not being processed correctly and the cat is starving. Newly diagnosed unregulated diabetic cats may require double the food intake of a normal cat. You need to know the weight of your cat and if over, under or just right weight. Ideal body weight x 15 calories is one formula. Then double that. My foster cat was eating a cup a day of dry food. Now diet controlled and eating 8 ounces of canned food.

    Sliding scale. Nope, not on Lantus or Levimir. At least not most people that use the 12 and 12 schedule. You certainly may need to adjust how much insulin you give, up, down as the pancreas heals. Dose changes are based on the BG nadir for Lantus and Levimir. You will need a schedule that works with your long work shifts.

    Feeding based on what the package says. Nope. These suggested amounts from the manufacturer are usually way too much and lead to obesity. You need to base the fed amount on ideal weight of your cat. See above response for one formula. Your vet should be able to tell you ideal weight.

    Changing amount of food fed. Yes, I certainly do change the amount of food fed based on how hungry the cat is. Initailly, a diabetic cat is literally starving internally. Double the normal food intake is often required, even triple. As BG comes under control, cat will not be starving and appetite will diminish. At some point, you need to limit the number of calories so the cat does not become obese and develop other health issue due to obesity.

    No, I do not change the amount of food given based on the amount of insulin given. I do make sure the cat is eating, not vomiting up food after the insulin is given. I use 4 smaller meals a day to help level out the BG numbers.

    I have two ideas to maybe stop the wet food/home testing advice pushing we do.

    1. Maybe if you added a block of text to your signature in the user control panel that said something like 'Choose to feed dry food after research and your feedback. Will not be changing my mind at this point. No more advice on home testing please. Thanks for understanding." or "Dry food due to other issues." Think about what to say and then put it in your signature.
    2. Either that or some sort of disclaimer at the beginning of every post. 'No more wet food/home testing advice please'.

    Then all us new and old people who don't realize this history and those who may not have the greatest of memories would stop and read that first. Then you will not keep getting those annoying posts that try to convince you to come over to 'the dark side of the force'. Just a thought.

    I did not reread your entire post history when I responded, only the last post you had made. That is why you got another annoying reply.

    We say what we say because it works. Over 240 cats are now diet controlled thanks to the hard work of their owners and the advice on this board. Maybe you will be the first to have a dry food diet controlled kitty!
     
  52. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    How do I add the disclaimer? "Not switching to wet food at this time due to cat not tolerating it. Working on the home testing thing." Or something like that.

    I am onboard with the home testing. I am just starting this process, so bear with me, please.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I do appreciate it.

    My cat was not eating well when I first switched her to diabetic food. Now her appetite is out of control. She inhales all of her food at once (she has always been a grazer, until now) and always stays by the kitchen. She weighs 9 pounds which is close to ideal. I think the vet said she could stand to lose another pound or so, but not much. I can see curves when I look at her from the top and feel her bones easily. She is medium-hair---not long and fluffy fur that needs to be brushed, but not short hair like my tiger striped cat was. And she used to weigh a lot more so her belly hangs down a little from being stretched out. It is quite a bit off the floor now--it used to almost touch the floor. Anyway, the bag of food says that based on 9 pounds she should get a max of 1/2 cup per day. So I give her 1/4 cup twice a day. The vet said after the curve is done he will give me a recommendation on adjusting her insulin and food amounts.

    One more question, since I shouldn't use a sliding scale for the insulin, I should give the vet-recommended amount--always the same amount--as long as her blood sugar is above 250? I think I read somewhere not to give her any insulin if her blood sugar is below 250. Is that right? This is a lot of information to process! In other words, home testing is not going to tell me HOW MUCH insulin to give, just whether or not to give the insulin--right?

    Thanks again.
     
  53. KPassa

    KPassa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Hi and Welcome!

    I wanted to share a few links with you that might help answer these questions. First, regarding feeding, most people around here allow their cats to graze (yes, it's also possible on wet food). See this link about Feed Kitty as much as they want.

    Next, with Lantus, you do not need to hold off or decrease the shot if the cat doesn't eat at shot time. In fact, Lantus is a depot-type insulin and you want a dose that is safe to shoot approximately every 12 hours (the closer to 12 you can get, the better). You do not want to skip shots (usually means the dose is too high) nor do you want to change dosing levels more than once every 6 cycles (3 days) or more, depending on numbers. Because of this, a sliding scale will usually not work with depot insulins because it takes up to 3 days to see the full effects of dose increase/decreases. It is recommended to not shoot under 200 if your cat is newly diagnosed and/or you don't have the data to show how your cat might react.

    Finally, for the curve, here is a nice example of a typical Lantus curve and what the cat's numbers might look like:
    Home testing does take some time, so don't worry about it! It can take up to two weeks or more before you and your cat fall into a rhythm and your cat might actually start seeking you out for treats, I mean testing. :lol: But those two weeks (sometimes less, sometimes more) can be an additional trial in and of itself! Just make sure you have plenty of wine and chocolate stocked up for yourself! ;-)

    And lastly, take a deep breath! We've all been where you're at and are here to help. The recommendations here are considered the "best practices" which lead to the highest remission rates and regulation rates for feline diabetics, but you know best which suggestions you feel will work best for you and your cat. A saying around here is ECID, "Every Cat Is Different!"
     
  54. KPassa

    KPassa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Sorry, I missed this part and didn't address it in my previous post. As shown in the typical curve I posted above, home testing is based on both the pre-shot values (i.e. if you have to skip a shot because they're under 200) and the nadir, the lowest point in the cycle. If their nadir drops below 50 (on a human meter) the dose needs to be immediately lowered at the next shot time.

    Here is some more information on dosing:


    *Note: you do not have to follow the "Tight Regulation Protocol," but the information is still the same.
     
  55. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Go up to the top of the web page.
    Click on User Control Panel.
    Click on the Profile tab.
    Click on Edit Signature.
    Edit away.
    Preview if desired.
    Save.
    Click on View your posts to quickly locate your last post.
    Click on the little square next to the name at the right (last post made)
     
  56. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    And now that you know how to add text to your signature that will show up at the bottom of every post, would you be willing to add a tiny bit more?

    I'd love to see your first name and your cats name at the end of each of your posts.
     
  57. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I am going to read all these posts later when I get home so I can understand them better. I am out of the house for a while right now. But I have a meter specifically for cats and dogs. Would that make any difference in the recommendations?
     
  58. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    You should add the meter you got to your signature also. Most of us use a human glucometer so we need to know you are using a pet glucometer.

    The only difference is the range of numbers the meter will give. As long as we know it is a pet meter, we will know to subtract roughly 30 points from any BG reading you give us.
     
  59. KPassa

    KPassa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Well, there's one more difference: the strips for the pet meters are much more expensive than the human ones (which is why most of us use human meters).
     
  60. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    You're are right. A pet specific meter besides being 5 times the cost of a human meter also has very expensive test strips. Some of the human meters also have expensive test strips.

    Alphatrak test strips - $1.00 each roughly
    Relion Confirm test strips - $0.36 each
    Relion Prime test strips - $0.18 each

    Might not seem like much but at 200 test strips a month that is
    alpahtrak $200
    confirm $72
    prime $36

    Where did I come up with that number of 200 strips? Roughly 5 per day and then special situations like hypo, dosing changes, beginners finding the nadir, dose changes, cat seems wonky, etc,
    Daily use - AMPS, midcycle, PMPS, before bed test - 4 a day 4 X 31 = 124
    Beginning out - finding that curve easily 10 in a day - several days of testing, say 3 days = 30
    Random testing to see how cat is responding - many like to do a few +10, +11 tests = 15
    Hypo testing - every 15 to 20 minutes until 2 non-food incluenced rises - 8-15 easy = 15
    Dose changes - get more numbers to find nadir - AMPS, +2, +5 +6, +7, PMPS - 6 in a day minimum - 6
    Curve - 6 a day for each curve, aaha guidelines recommend every two weeks = 12

    124 + 30 + 15 + 15 + 6 + 12 = 202
     
  61. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I mentioned in a prior post that Midnight weighs 9 lbs, and I think that is very close or at her ideal weight. Someone had asked about her ideal weight. Someone asked about the meter I got. It is for cats and dogs. I know it is more expensive than a human meter but I thought it might be more accurate for a cat than a human meter. Maybe it doesn't matter, but I got it anyway. Oh well. I am pretty sure the meter is Alphatrak. But I just bought it Tuesday and left on vacation Wednesday. So I will start using it when I return from my vacation (return Monday night, start using it Tuesday morning). I will research and shop for low carb dry food. I will do a glucose curve. I will try to figure out, with my vet and all of the suggestions here, how much food and insulin to give. I am trying to do what is best for Midnight. I have spent almost $800 on her so far on this journey, between blood and urine tests, the glucose meter/strips/lancets, food, insulin, syringes, and vet appointments. I am totally broke. I don't even know if I have enough money in the bank to pay my bills right now. I am dealing with some major life issues with my elderly father, both of my children, and myself in addition to all of this with Midnight. But I am trying to do my best. Thanks for all the suggestions and support. I can't do anything until next Tuedsday with Midnight, so I am praying she will be ok until then on the amount of food and insulin she is getting now. And I changed my signature. I hope I did it correctly. I have stocked up on alcoholic beverages for myself (LOL). Have I covered all the bases, at this point, or do you think I am forgetting anything?
     
  62. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    If you haven"t used the Alpha_rak yet, you might return it.
    There are referenc numbers established for using a human glucometer with diabetic cats.

    On a human glucometer
    < 50 is possible hypo territory
    40 to 120 in a non-diabetic cat is normal
    50 to 150 is what we try to get as aften as possible with a diabetic cat
    240 -280 is about when the glucose starts spilling into the urine
     
  63. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    What are the normal and abnormal numbers with alphatrak.
     
  64. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    With the Alphatrak, at the low end, you add 30 points.
    A human glucometer runs about 30-40% lower than the AlphaTrak and a vet lab, per Dr Janice Rand, University of Queensland Centre for Companion Animal Health.

    Also, the FDA allows meters to read within 20% of the true lab value. Table here.

    This 20% doesn't make any difference when high - 300 HI, 458 - you do the same thigs.
    The most concern is the low numbers, because a hypo can kill quickly.

    If you're going to keep the AlphaTrak, add that to your signature, so we adjust for the numbers.
     
  65. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Yes, stocking up on certain supplies is critical :lol: :lol: :lol: I always need a few pieces of chocolate around. Some people need their endless cups of :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: :coffee: .

    Good on the signature. I'd like to see one tiny change. could you break out the meter onto a separate line and increase the font size from normal to large should work. That is in the middle of the toolbar when you are writing a post or updating your control panel info. Thanks.

    Yes, that disclaimer did work. I read the post and saw "hunting for dry carb food" thought to myself why and then my eyes traveled down to the end of the post and saw your disclaimer.
     
  66. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I already added Alphatrak to my signature. Not sure if I will keep it or get a human meter.
     
  67. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
     
  68. KPassa

    KPassa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Add a couple of returns/enters around your line about the AlphaTrak in your signature and increase the size of the word "AlphaTrak" so it stands out and this will help. Or, you can remove it entirely since you haven't started testing yet and maybe add instead: "start testing XX/XX" date until you decide whether or not to keep the AlphaTrak.

    (The <enter> between lines is especially imperative because the current line break on my device keeps making me read your sig as: "Terri, Mom of 12." And I think, " gee, that's a lot of kids!" :lol: )
     
  69. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    hello
    Its a lot to take in at first but you'll get up to speed fast. Sorry to hear about your life issues.. we hope we can at least help you out with this one!

    In terms of dose we have a formula : the formula is 0.25 unit per kg of the cat's ideal weight = Which works out I think to 1unit - which you give twice a day.

    Her BG might seem high now but thats because of the high carb food, once you get a low carb one her numbers should drop and the 1 unit will work better.

    Did you get coffee liqueurs? Sometimes you might need the caffeine? lol.


    Wendy
     
  70. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Seriously thinking about taking the cat glucometer back to the vet for a refund. I have not used it yet. I bought it because I figured it would be more accurate for a cat but it seems that a human meter would be just as reliable and a lot less expensive. So does it come with lancets and test strips? And I have heard that Relion is a good brand? The Alphatrak uses a tiny tiny drop of blood (they demonstrated it for me at the vet). Do the human meters also only require a tiny drop? And what about the lancets? I would think you would need a much bigger needle to poke a human than you would need for a cat. I am going to try to get to Walmart tomorrow.
     
  71. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    I would. The Walmart relion brand is a good price and reliable. The Prime is the cheapest but it needs a little more blood than the confirm and the micro so I would go for those instead.. I think they need 0.3microlitres of blood - same as the alphatrak.

    You would have to buy lancets and test strips in Walmart too. 28g or 29g is good to start for lancet size.

    Wendy
     
  72. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Which is better: the confirm strips or the micro strips? I read online that you should not poke the vein alongside the edge of the ear but I also saw and heard that you should try to poke the vein. She is black and I cannot see the vein. I would think it wouldn't matter as long as you get a drop of blood.
     
  73. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Not sure I think they both are pretty good - I would look at the meters on walmart and see what you think.

    You might want to buy a small flashlight so you can see what you are doing. Ideally you dont poke the vein as it can cause scarring and inflammation over time but if you are having issues getting blood then its ok short term. I bought a mini usb flashlight from ebay from China for like $2 including shipping.
     
  74. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Thank you.
     
  75. Kristina & Charlie :)

    Kristina & Charlie :) Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Hello! I am a newbie here as well...i've only been online since Monday and I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!!
    The vet gave Charlie his first shot of Lantus (2U) on Monday about 5:15 pm and later that evening and he went hypo!!! The first night!!! hypo!!! I was a wreck and felt completely lost. There was more than person on here to help me through that and I am so greatful!!! ( I was on here well past 1am)
    I read through your thread and feel I can contribute (yay me). If and when you decide to home test, there is a trick to getting blood the first time. Poor Charlie was a pin cushion the first night!!!
    Put dried beans or rice in a sock
    Tie it up ( I use lentils in a tied up paper towel)
    Heat in microwave for about 20 seconds
    Apply to fur baby's ear for a little bit to get the blood moving
    Use lancet and you have yourself a dot!!!!
    This was EXTREMELY helpful for me and I wish I knew right away.
    Also, I have the Relion Micro. I liked that it was more compact.
    Good luck! Everyone here is so great and will take care of you!!!
     
  76. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I got a Relion at WALMART. I got strips and lancets. I was told to get 28 or 29 g lancets but all they had was 30 or 33. So I got 30 g. It came with aa pen to. Put the lancet in. Do most of the people here use the pens or just poke the ear with the lancet?
     
  77. Kristina & Charlie :)

    Kristina & Charlie :) Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    I use the pen. I'm not comfortable doing it myself yet. I also use the the 4th setting. I tried 3 but it wouldn't even reach his ear. I even tried it on myself at 3 and got nuthin'.
     
  78. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    I like to freehand the lancet.

    1. Gives you better control.
    2. Easier for this old, bifocal challenged to see where I'm hitting on the ear.
    3. No clicking noise from the lancet pen to hurt my cute litty kitties ears.
    4. No noise to send the cat running.

    Whatever works best for you is the right thing to do. Try it both ways to see which method you like.

    Have a long haired black cat. Since I was a newbie, I shaved a teeny, tiny patch on his ears so I could see better. Don't need that anymore and the hair is grown back.

    The Relion Confirm and Micro meters use the same test strips. Your box should say that. Test strips are interchangable in these two meters so you can have both these meters and use one as a backup.

    Both need 0.3 milliliters of bloood. The Prime needs 0.5. Still a tiny amount.

    Try for the edge of the ear. You willl probably hit the vein a time or two and get plenty of blood. If you do, try to only put the edge of the test strip near the drop and let the strip do it's sipping routine (capillary action at work - cool!). Too much blood can give you an error reading.

    If you really need to get blood, and poking the sweet spot simply is not working, then try for the vein. Hurts kitty a bit more but if your kitty has hypoed, you need to test frequently and get that blood to retest BG's.

    Be sure to dab that neosporin with pain relief on kitty's ear. Poke yourself with the lancet and then put the Neosporin w/pain relief on your finger to see the action. It really works. You'll need it for when you eventually poke yourself with the lancet or the insulin syringe. I have sight in only one eye so my depth perception is awful. Poked myself with one syringe AFTER shot was given trying to get the dang cap back on the needle. :evil: ohmygod_smile ohmygod_smile ohmygod_smile ohmygod_smile
     
  79. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
  80. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Just opened the meter and tested myself. 114, I think. As long as Midnight doesn't squirm too much I think it will be very manageable to do the curve tomorrow. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT. I was feeling really overwhelmed for a while and got a little cranky but now that I have been away from Midnight for a week, I can put it into perspective much better. I had my daughter, son, and neighbor taking care of her while I was away. She looks better than she did when I left! Her appetite isn't as voracious, and I am actually really anxious to see what her blood sugar is tomorrow. I DO feel a lot more in control now that I will be able to home test her.
     
  81. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Should I just post the results of the curve here, tonight when I have finished testing for the day?
     
  82. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Yes, you can post the results of the curve right here.

    A list like this but replace the xxx with your numbers

    amps xxx
    +2 xxx
    +4 xxx
    +6 xxx
    +8 xxx
    pmps xxx

    You'll need to set up a spreadsheet eventually. Here is the how to link:http://felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=50130

    You need a Google account to set it up and then update it. Yell for help if you need it.

    A profile would be good too.

    http://felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=79123 There is a template but throw it out the window if you want and tell us about YOUR cat. Love to see pictures in the profile.
     
  83. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I tried to get a photo on here but it is apparently too big and I can't figure out how to make it fit.
     
  84. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    The profile I was talking about was a google doc, not the profile in the user control panel. Two different things.

    You can add an avatar to your user control panel profile with a picture of your cat. This link talks about shrinking it down to the size limitation first:

    http://felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=74672&p=809028&hilit=avatar size#p809028

    And if you want to have a link to a service like picasa or photobucket some explanation here:

     
  85. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I had to poke her ear several times before it bled and she didn't cooperate at all! :(
     
  86. rvontrapp

    rvontrapp Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Hang in there!!

    I am trying to start home testing too and my Munchkin is not a fan of it, YET. (I have some new treats on order and plan to bribe him into liking our testing times.) I don't have any tips for you on how to make it go easier, but I'm sure the other FDMB members will be along soon with some help. Were you able to get a test reading, once you got her ear to bleed? If you did, then post it. :)
     
  87. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I warmed her ear this time with a warm washcloth and it bled on the first try. I also petted her and talked to her first, and she didn't squirm as much. I have been told on this board that people only hold the lantus if the blood sugar is below 200. Doesn't it matter whether or not they eat? Would you still give the insulin if the sugar was above 200 but the cat didn't eat any of their food? Do you give the insulin before or after or during the meal?
     
  88. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Congratulations! Welcome to the vampire Club. Your thread is 2 pages and your dosing question may get lost down here. I'd suggest starting a new topic specifically asking for Lantus dosing help
     
  89. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I started a new thread with that topic/question.
     
  90. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I have the results of the curve. If I should start a new thread, let me know and I can copy/paste.

    March 1 (day of diagnosis): 491
    March 13 (6 hours after insulin/food): 245
    March 25 (5 hours after insulin/food): 407. Fructosamine level that day: 447

    Today I did the curve--
    7 am (before 1/4 cup Purina DM-have not had a chance to switch foods yet-and 1 unit lantus): 293
    9 am: 245
    11 am: 205
    1 pm: 324
    3 pm: 253
    5 pm: 290
    6:30 pm (before food/insulin): 438

    Any suggestions or thoughts on these numbers?
     
  91. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Interesting! I have to admit I dont see a lot of curves with dry food so it makes things interesting to see what the impact of dry is.. Did you feed at all during the day asides at 7am and 6.30pm? Dry is supposed to impact them for up to 24 hours so I guess anything can happen.

    Do you want to set up a spreadsheet? Would make looking at this easier.. http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=18207
     
  92. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I only gave her a few bites of food in between her meals at 7 am and 6:30 pm because she doesn't like treats, and it helped her cooperate a little more with the testing.
     
  93. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    I need to know what this means, and if/how I should be adjusting her food and insulin amounts.
     
  94. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    We have a protocol you can use but remind me, long has she been on lantus? You need to hold it to let the depot build up first before changing dose.

    The protocol : http://felinediabetes.com/FDMB/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1581 but essentially see below.. and explains also why you need testing:

     
  95. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Sorry, but I really don't understand that. She was started on 1 unit lantus every 12 hours the evening of March 1.
     
  96. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    And also, I could not possibly change the dose by any less or more than 1 unit. The marks on the syringes are in 1 unit increments, and I would not be able to see 1/2 or 1/4 unit differences.
     
  97. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Ok well let me get a dosing person over to explain.

    Normally we suggest people get the 3/10cc syringes since they do have half unit markings and many cats are sensitive to small changes. Even my Tiggy who gets 6.75units, if I give him 7 he goes too low but if I give 6.5 it's not enough. A small amount of insulin goes a long way. And we go up slowly so you don't miss the good dose.

    But again all these assumptions are based on no dry, so maybe you will be ok. Anyway I want someone more experienced over here since I am flying a bit blind with this.
     
  98. TMR

    TMR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Do you need a prescription for syringes? I could try to change them when I run out.
     
  99. Wendy&Tiggy(GA)

    Wendy&Tiggy(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    I think it depends where you live. Not in Canada. US states vary...
     
  100. rhiannon and shadow (GA)

    rhiannon and shadow (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Hello.
    I think you've got lots of good info so far.
    I saw that Wendy showed you the Young Again Dry food that is Zero Carb. If you would like to see a spreadsheet of someone who had
    a cat that ate Evo dry ( 9 % carb) and struggled as the numbers wouldn't really go down..... and then switched to the Young Again Zero carb
    dry and suddenly within a month or so, went into remission , send me a pm and I'll show you the spreadsheet.
    We don't have any examples that I could find of anyone making any progress with dry food. She struggled alone.
    I don't think you could be successful with any dry food other than the Young Again.

    Secondly, your lancets at 30g will still make it hard for you to get blood. I would suggest you try to poke the same spot twice in a row
    and that should give you a sample. I couldn't do it with the 30g. I had to go buy another lancing device... the accuchek softclix plus
    which is 28 gauge. It made a huge difference. I resisted for a while and was so glad when I made the switch. Less stress for both me
    and Shadow.

    The other contingency you will need to plan for is how you will steer the numbers when your cat starts getting low enough to earn
    dose reductions. It's really hard to steer when they eat dry food. If he doesn't like wet food, you will have to find a substitute for
    the gravy foods we use to bring numbers up. So you will want to experiment before you start seeing low numbers.
    The lady who used Young Again used a dropper of milk to bring numbers up ( the only treat her cat would accept) and I think she was
    very lucky that the cat didn't have huge drops in glucose numbers.
     
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