Newbie looking for testing info

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Connie L., Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Cleocatra (7 yrs. old) was recently diagnosed and has been on twice-daily insuling shots following each meal. I'd like to begin BG testing and have bought all the equipment Dr. Pierson recommends but I'm not sure when to test her, i.e., before meals, after meals, between meals....
     
  2. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    Hi and welcome to FDMB. Cleocatra is a lovely name :)

    Which insulin is Celocatra on? That will help us better guide you as to when to test.

    Which meter did you buy? What food are you feeding?

    Very helpful is finding the "sweet spot" in your cat's ear. It's the area between the vein and the outer ear. A picture of the sweet spot is shown in the first post in the first thread at this link: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/testing-and-shooting-tips.85113/

    Additional handy tips and videos for home testing:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/
     
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  3. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Hi, Cat Ma [Love that name, too :)]

    Cleo is on Relion Novolin 70/30

    I bought Relion Prime because the store where I was had no test strips available for the 2 other Relion meters that Dr. Pierson recommended. Cleo's food is currently Hills Prescription Diet w/d and I'm slowly introducing cooked turkey and/or chicken + sojos freeze-dried raw turkey with the intent to discontinue the w/d. Overnight while I'm sleeping, she's still eating a bit of dry w/d, and I'm introducing Iams Indoor Weight and Hairball Care to that (Its calorie count is similar to that of the dry w/d but the ingredients are better.) with an intent to also discontinue the w/d.

    Thanks for the helpful pic's & videos!
     
  4. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    Hi Connie,

    CJ was on Novolin and went hypo on it. Unfortunately, Novolin is not a good insulin for cats. It is fast-acting, short-acting and harsh on a cat. At best, Cleo may be getting 6 to 8 hours of benefit on Novolin, not the 12 hours that he could be getting on a more gentler, longer-lasting insulin like Lantus or Prozinc. Prozinc would be closer to Novolin, I believe, in terms of how you test. To get optimal benefit from Novolin, you'd have to give it every 8 hours, something few caregives wish to do.

    Here's a primer on Novolin (Humulin is the same as Novolin; they just have different manufacturers): http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/humulin-n-primer.303/

    We have tips for getting discounts on Lantus and Prozinc.

    ReliOn Prime is fine. I think it just means using larger strips to collect blood than ReliOn Confirm or Micro.

    Please see this cat food chart: http://www.catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf

    Hills W/D is very high in carbs (25%) and not suitable for a diabetic cat. You need to aim for low carb canned/wet food under 10%. There is no need for an expensive prescription diet to manage your cat's diabetes. Since Cleo is on insulin, you'll need to transition him from high carb to low carb slowly.

    Cooked turkey or chicken should be fine as long as no onions and garlic are added. Eliminate the Iams and other foods. Follow the list.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
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  5. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    Please click on the links on the right hand side for "Prescription" Diets and "Transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food": http://catinfo.org/

    I got CJ off dry food by adding Forti Flora to her canned food. By switching her to a low carb canned food diet, I was able to get her off insulin and in remission in less than 3 weeks. I was one of those people who said I'd never ever feed CJ cheap, commercial food. But read Dr. Pierson's guides. The cheap stuff works and is great for diabetic cats.

    If you have other cats in the household, now is a great time to transition them to a low carb canned food diet as well.
     
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  6. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB, the best place you never wanted to be.

    There are 4 things you'll need to manage your kitty's diabetes:
    - You - without your commitment, the following won't work.
    - Home blood glucose monitoring with an inexpensive human glucometer such as the WalMart Relion Confirm or Target Up and Up (the pet ones will break your budget!). This saves you the cost of going to the vet for curves and done regularly, removes the need for a fructosamine test.
    - Low carb over the counter canned or raw diet, such as many Friskies pates. See Cat Info for more info. If already on insulin, you must be home testing before changing the diet. Food changes should be gradual to avoid GI upsets - 20-25% different food each day until switched. There are 2 low carb, dry, over the counter foods in the US - Evo Cat and Kitten dry found at pet specialty stores and Young Again 0 Carb found online.
    - A long-lasting insulin such as ProZinc, Lantus, BCP PZI, or Levemir. No insulin lasts 24 hours in the cat, so giving it every 12 hours is optimal for control.
     
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  7. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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  8. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Thanks so much for your responses (Cat Ma, we had a cat named CJ!)! They are really helpful and confirm what I've been reading, suspecting, and the direction we're headed. The info about how long Novolin lasts explains why my local vet was getting such high readings at 8-9 hours after I'd given it! I've also given Friskies pates, but didn't recall that last night. Before beginning testing, I'd like to know when to test. Any advice on those times would be much appreciated.
     
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  9. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Testing:
    1) Always test before giving insulin to make sure it is safe.
    For now, your no shot level is 200 mg/dL on a human glucometer (230 for pet-specific); this will lower as you collect data around the middle of the cycle to know how low he is going.

    2) Mid-cycle tests between shots - whenever possible, test around the nadir (lowest glucose level between shots) for your insulin, to see how low he's going. For Novolin NPH, this often falls between +3 to +5 hours after the shot. Some folks do this on weekends or set a clock for the middle of the night to get this test done as it helps determine dose adjustments. This number should be at or above 50 mg/dL on a human glucometer (68 mg/dL for pet-specific).

    3) A before bed test is helpful in determining if you need to break out some higher carb food and steer the glucose level or go to bed with some peace of mind. Steering means giving 1-2 teaspoons of high carb gravy, waiting 30 minutes, and re-testing (repeating as needed) to make sure the glucose stays above 50 mg/dL for Tight Regulation depot insulin protocols, 90 mg/dL for Start Low, Go Slow depot insulin protocol, and 100 mg/dL for Humulin/Novolin insulin protocols (a little extra buffer on the low end, for safety).
     
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  10. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Thanks so much!
    Please explain "depot insulin protocols".
     
  11. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Depot insulins last longer than 12 hours per shot, so there is dose overlap in effect. This can keep the glucose lower overall.
    Non-depot, or in and out insulins have no carry over effects.
     
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  12. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Thanks!
     
  13. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    P.S. I've been following my local vet's instruction to give her the shots right after she eats, so would that influence the info you provided about always testing before shot?
     
  14. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    Yes, it can. With Humulin/Novolin primer found in the forum (and in the link in my 2nd message), it says:

    1. FOOD. Always make sure kitty eats about an hour before his/her shot. This will insure that kitty has food on her stomach to counteract the typical fast drop of the bg's caused by N (some cats do not drop fast on it, which is, again, why hometesting is so important!).

    Feeding an hour ahead also leaves you relatively sure the cat is going to keep the food down. Warning: We are dealing with cats here, which means nothing is guaranteed. Bunny vomited at peak, while we were asleep, and that is how we had our first hypo in over 5 years of treating diabetes.
     
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  15. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    Depot insulins are Lantus and Levemir. Non-depot insulins are Novolin/Humulin/Vetsulin/Caninsulin and Prozinc/BCP PZI. Of the non-depot insulins, only Prozinc and BCP PZI are the ones that last longer, up to 12 hours. Lantus, Levemir, Prozinc and PZI are widely used by members in our forum.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
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  16. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    How neat, another cat named CJ! Very observant in noticing the high readings after 8-9 hours. That is typical with Novolin. Unless you can give Cleo Novolin ever 8 hours (hard for most people to do), I'd strongly suggest getting Cleo on another insulin soon. Let's see what #'s you're getting with home testing first so we can see what Cleo's true BG #'s are. Vet BG #'s tend to be higher, at least 100 points or more, especially with a stressed cat.

    Be sure the Friskies pates are under 10% carbs. The link to the food chart is in my second post and in my signature line below.

    The good thing about Novolin is that since it's a non-depot insulin and doesn't stay in the body for longer than 8-9 hours, you can easily switch to another insulin without waiting.

    It will be helpful if you can put Cleo's diagnosis, name of insulin, units giving, food you are feeding and any other medical issues (if applicable) in your signature line so members can assist you more quickly. Click on your profile, then signature, add the info and click save.
     
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  17. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    CJ didn't eat much while on Novolin and I never waited an hour but that is the proper protocol from the Humulin/Novolin primer on FDMB. The vet insisted I had to give Novolin while food was still in CJ's stomach so, following vet instructions and not knowing otherwise, I usually fed within 30 minutes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
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  18. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Hey, Cat Ma - Please forgive my missing the info you'd given on testing and food timing in the link in your 2nd message - feeling a bit overwhelmed as well as frustrated by the way this site seems to operate (ex. = re-posting message to which I'm replying in the reply box). I don't see the "signature" on my profile page - what am I missing?
     
  19. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    My apologies. It is overwhelming starting out here. I am still learning myself.

    Click on your name (to the left of the In Box at the top right hand corner of this page) and then click on signature (second word under Personal Details).
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
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  20. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    @Connie L. -

    If you just want to reply to a small part of another poster's comment click and drag over the relevant text to highlight it. You'll then see a little black tag beneath the highlighted text with the word 'Reply' on it. If you click on the tag then it will only quote the selected text in your reply box.

    Alternatively, if you just want to respond to a particular person on the thread without quoting their message you can 'tag' them by typing '@' followed by their user name. For example, I've tagged you at the beginning of this post.


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
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  21. Shiloh & Rhonda

    Shiloh & Rhonda Well-Known Member

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    OMG MOGS! That is so much easier! I was just hitting reply and cutting out what I didn't want!
     
  22. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering how Mogs did this! Thank you for the handy tip!
     
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  23. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    It's really handy because you can reply to multiple comments - either from one post or multiple posts - in one response. Each selected comment comes up as a separate quote. I discovered the feature by accident. :oops:
     
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  24. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Got it, Cat Ma - Thanks! Now, to look up the requested info and get it in there....
     
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  25. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    Hi - I just noticed how much your avatar pic cat looks like one of Cleo's sisters we saw at the vet's office in CA after she'd been rescued following Cleo's dramatic rescue a few days previously (Cleo was rescued just moments before she would have been crushed by a recycling dumpster that was being pulled along a track toward her by the truck that was pulling the dumpster onto its platform!). All of the 3 kittens had been born by a nearby bank and carried by their mom across the parking lot to an area behind a nearby supermarket! A wonderful woman who worked at the bank and fed cats who showed up there searched for the kittens after dark until she found and rescued all of them.
     
  26. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    There is indeed a striking resemblance between Shiloh and Cleocatra! Lovely photo of Cleo. She looks very sweet. What a story about the dumpster. Very glad to hear it had a happy ending.

    @Connie L. Great job on setting up info in your signature line! Have you tested Cleo's numbers with your new Relion meter yet? I am concerned about that 3 units of Novolin twice a day. But we won't know if the dose is too high till we get some home readings from you!
     
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  27. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    @Connie L. -

    What a beautiful picture of Cleocatra. She's a tortie tux! :)
    .
     
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  28. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    FINALLY getting back to give info on testing #'s! I started on 8/29 @ 6:25 p.m. w/ reading of 410; 6:12 p.m. next day = 340; 9:15 a.m. next day = 340. 6:30 p.m. on 9/1 = 395; 9/2 @ 8:51 = 537 & @ 6:15 p.m. = 446; 9/3 @ 9:15 a.m. = 452 & @ 6:20 p.m. = 345; 9/4 @ 8:48 = 516 & @ 7:15 p.m. = 428; 9/5 @8:35 a.m. = 459; 9/6 @ 9:45 = 424 & @ 5:55 = 438; 9/7 @9 a.m. = 489 & @ 7:30 p.m. = 252 (!); 9/8 @ 9:20 a.m. = 449 & @ 6:45 p.m. = 293. Because the p.m. readings had been pretty consistently lower, and Cleo has NOT been happy with the process, I decided to check a.m. only after that: 9/9 @ 9:20 a.m. = 350; 9/10 @ 9 a.m. = 374; /11 @ 8:55 = 384; 9/12 @ 9:15 = 449. Today, only an error reading due to Cleo shaking her head & not enough blood left for rest after several tries! She's been eating frozen Instinct raw mixed with Fresh Pet Vital the last 2 days and the frozen raw + Fresh Pet Select the rest of the time. My question now is: is it OK to stick the outside of her ear across from th e "sweet spot" or is it only the inside that is the "sweet spot"? Since one ear is black, and my sight isn't the best, I've only been sticking the non-black ear.
     
  29. Cat Ma

    Cat Ma Well-Known Member

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    May 21, 2015
    Welcome back, Connie! Congratulations on home testing! You're doing a great job! I do recommend getting the PM readings before shooting (giving insulin) because anything can happen in the evening. A cat can go too high after being low for awhile and a cat can go too low and go hypo.

    It will help if you can load your #'s in a spreadsheet members use here so we can help you more easily. Plus, it will guide you as well:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    If you need help with setting up the spreadsheet, just let us know.

    You can poke anywhere on the ear (inside or out). The reason we suggest poking in the "sweet spot" is that is where you're less likely to hit a vein and get too much blood coming out. For the black ear, perhaps gently shaving off a little bit of hair around the "sweet spot" would help. If not, a flashlight can be handy. Otherwise, you can try poking outside of the "sweet spot" on the non-black ear but you may get more blood than you would like!
     
  30. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    The dose adjustment for Novolin is based on the nadir, the lowest glucose post-shot. This usually happens some time around +3 to +4 hours after the shot with NPH. You want him to stay safely above 50 mg/dL so he won't become hypoglycemic (too low of a blood sugar) because that can kill him. The pre-shot tests don't tell us how low he is going.
     
  31. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Thank you SO much for the speedy and thorough response! I was most eager to see this morning's bg because I'd gotten some freeze-dried Raw Instinct for her to eat during the night rather than waking me, so ALL the food she's now consuming should fit in the goal of below 10% carb's, but tomorrow is another day. I'll also tackle the spreadsheet tomorrow....
     
  32. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    OMG, BJM! Are you saying that I should be testing her before each shot AND 3-4 hours after each shot?
     
  33. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Not daily, but at least weekly.
    Its a safety thing because of how harsh the NPH is.
    In my signature link Notes to Share, there is a reference for Secondary Monitoring Tools. The dehydration tests, measuring water intake, and checking the urine for glucose and ketones are the ones I would suggest while you continue to work on blood testing. Those are the ones most associated with diabetes.
     
  34. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    What a relief! I will check out your reference for Secondary Monitoring Tools and look at other types of insulin that have been mentioned on this forum as being better before her vet visit on Thursday. Thanks SO much for your help!
     
  35. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    I must be missing something as I only see the Human Glucometer Reference Numbers and Notes (which is HUGELY helpful) in your Notes to Share link and don't see the dehydration tests, measuring water intake and checking the urine for glucose and ketones info.
     
  36. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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  37. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Thank you so much - this info is greatly appreciated!
     
  38. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015
    I received an email notice that the Google Drive is being discontinued in October and I've ordered an AlphaTrak glucometer, so it's good that I've not started on the bg #'s spreadsheet yet. During last week's vet visit, the comparison between my Relion glucometer and the vet's AlphaTrak showed my reading to be about 60 points lower than hers (mine = 267; hers 328). Doing further research has led me to some info on homeopathic treatments; does anyone have info on any such supplements?
     
  39. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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  40. Connie L.

    Connie L. New Member

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  41. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Yes, just download it using the download link provided in the first link of by previous reply
     

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