Newbies...Me & Socks in Canada

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Patricia Chenell, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Patricia Chenell

    Patricia Chenell New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Hi there!
    I was referred here from introduction page! Socks and I live in Toronto, Canada with his brother Leo (and my husband/ Socks' dad)
    Listing some info point-form:
    - Socks is 14, tuxedo boy
    - diagnosed 6 mo. ago
    - started on Lantus 2 units 2x day
    - vet does curves
    - increases dose by 1 unit
    - vet did a curve yesterday; all readings were over 25 (Vet uses a human meter)
    - as of last night dose is 5 units 2x day
    - I just bought a meter and vet showed me how to use it at yesterday's appt
    - it read 17.1
    - vet's meter at same time read 28
    - vet withdrew blood and did a lab in his office; it read 27
    - afterwards we used both meters on vein blood
    - his was still around 27
    - my meter was still 10 units below his
    - his unit is a Breeze 2
    - my meter "was" a Freestyle Lite; I took it back to the store and and got a refund ...want to check in with you before choosing another one
    - Socks eats Presidents Choice Extra Meaty Turkey & Giblets canned pate
    - he has been on canned food exclusively since his 1st bout with diabetes 4 years ago (it was gone in less than 2 months that time)

    I am worried that the insulin is not working.
     
  2. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    I am glad the vet suggested home testing. Vet stress can raise the numbers significantly and if those are used for dosage increases, that can lead to a too high of a dose. Which oddly enough will look like too low of a dose.

    Another issue is that raising the dose by a unit at a time, you may have shot right by a good dose. We usually suggest raising doses in 0.25u increments. This can be accomplished by using syringes with 1/2 unit markings and drawing from the pen or vial. I am making an assumption you are using a pen because of the whole unit increases. I use the BD insulin syringes 3/ 10 ml 8mm 31g 1/2 units. Should be available at your local Walmart or pharmacy.

    I am not a dose expert and Socks may need that much insulin but I think with home monitoring will help clear up what is going on with Socks - if that is a good dose or if the dose should be dropped and maybe start over with your increases. More experienced people will hopefully jump on and help guide you in that area. With that in mind have you had a chance to read the information about the spreadsheet we use here to record our readings?

    Here is the link http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/


    Trying to compare meters can be a mission to frustration. All meters have about a 20% variance. So once you have a meter you like to use, then just use those numbers. Save yourself at least some frustration. Personally, pick the one that uses the least amount of blood. I thought the Freestyle Lite was a good one however I don't use one.

    Do you happen to know the carb % of the Presidents Choice food he is getting?
     
  3. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    I believe the PC turkey comes in around 1.5% carbs (considered low carb -LC).
     
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  4. Patricia Chenell

    Patricia Chenell New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Thank you. I am using a syringe and drawing from vial. Syringes are BD Ultra Fine 1/2 no 8mm (5/16) 30g
    What I learned about canned food was to look for pates with first 4 - 5 ingredients meats, little or no grains or veggies, and to generally avoid fish. Beef flavours make him vomit so I don't buy them. I also want food that is easily available and not too expensive. The PC Extra Meaty Turkey & Giblets best checks all those boxes for me and both cats really like it.
    I haven't made it to the spreadsheet step yet. Need to figure out a new meter... I had actually picked the Freestyle Lite based on it's tiny sample size and good ( human) reviews and easily available supplies. Pharmacist suggested "Contour Next".
     
  5. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    I think the Contour Next is a good meter. The human meters are supposed to be pretty standardized, so a lot of what you want to base your decision on will be things like ease of use and (important!), cost and availability of the strips. You're in Canada, so my understanding is that you're going to be paying high prices for strips almost no matter what :(, but maybe some of our Canadian members can make some suggestions.

    The wide variance between the human meter and the vet's pet meter isn't unexpected-- they're somewhat close at the low end, but can diverge widely (as you saw) at the high end. As Tracey says, comparing them will drive you crazy!

    5U twice a day is a high dose, but not unheard of (there are a few not-too-uncommon high-dose conditions that require that much, or even more insulin). I agree that the way the dose was arrived at isn't great, and that you might have missed the right dose along the way. Best way to figure things out and getting Socks into better numbers is to do exactly what you are doing-- home testing and getting a handle on his numbers during a typical day at home, away from vet stress.

    Finally: welcome!
     
  6. Patricia Chenell

    Patricia Chenell New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Thank you! It's good to be here. I was at the vet's and Socks had been there all day when I tried my meter for the first time on him. They showed me how (not as scary as I'd imagined lol). Then they immediately tested him with their meter.
    My vet uses a human meter!! That's why the huge variance freaked us both out and what caused him to do a "lab". The lab results supported the numbers from his meter. I had read about test strip price ranges, but yeah, after going to a couple of pharmacies, incl. Wal-Mart, learned there is very little difference between the various brands here in Canada (less than $5 variance on 100 strips).
     
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  7. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    The other place to look for strip prices is Amazon and Ebay. The catch is that you have to plan ahead and keep a stockpile.

    :eek: :eek: :eek: !!!! OK, good call on returning that Freestyle, then!
     
  8. Patricia Chenell

    Patricia Chenell New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    I will keep Amazon & eBay in mind for strips! Thank you.
     
  9. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    I use the Accu Check Active and never had a problem and it uses a very tiny drop , but I'm not in Canada so not sure it is available, hopefully some of the canadian members will suggest one

    Too bad about the Freestyle Lite I also thought it was a good one maybe you got a bad one or it needs calibration before using it?
     
  10. Patricia Chenell

    Patricia Chenell New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Thanks! I don't know if I got a bad one... maybe. I'll see if your brand is available locally. Any feedback from Canadians very welcome! That first experience has made me nervous.
     
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  11. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    I use the GE200 one. It uses a bigger drop of blood .75uL vs the .30uL that some meters use. It was what the pharmacy had suggested. The vet didn't say what to use unfortunately.



    Tagging some Canadians to see what they use.

    @Juliet - uses/used an Accu-chek
    @Noah & me (GA)
    @Kris & Teasel

    ETA to add: @Judy and Boomer
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  12. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    I use a Freestyle Lite and like it - needs only a tiny blood drop. @Juliet on the Lantus forum has made many comparisons between her Freestyle Lite and another human meter she uses. She finds the FSL reads lower most of the time.

    I started off using an AlphaTrak2 but the strips are so expensive that I changed to the Freestyle. I'd bought the Freestyle Lite strips to use in my AT meter and the FS meter was free with 100 strips. When I decided to switch completely to a human meter I used the FS that I already had. To be honest I just follow my cat's BG trends, I pay attention to numbers below 50 and beyond that don't worry too much about it. The Freestyle Lite has been highly rated for human use. Juliet put up a link about that quite a while ago. The whole issue of glucose meter readings, the allowed variances and factors affecting a reading is a very complex subject. I think arguments can be made for and against every meter type out there.

    It would be interesting to know how far off various human meter readings are from each other at very low BG levels when it really counts. If one gave a reading of, say, 1.8 and the other a reading of, say, 5 or 6, then there's a big problem.
     
  13. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
  14. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
  15. Juliet

    Juliet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Correct. I used to use Accucheck Aviva (I also am Toronto). I switched to freestyle lite as I was given a free meter and strips. And if you look at Silver's spreadsheet you will see the dramatic lowering of numbers when I switched. It freaked me out too and I had many discussions and did research on this. At the higher numbers the difference is bigger but it does get closer together. For instance. When Silver was 2.8 on the freestyle he was 5.3 on accucheck. They are allowed to have a 20% variance and it seems Freestyle measures low and accucheck high. So there is basically a 40% difference between the two.

    Hence - I use the freestyle but if I get a low number on it - eg 2.8 I grab a test on the accucheck and figure he is somewhere in the middle. Here is a website that might help:


    https://www.diabetesdaily.com/blog/2013/07/blood-glucose-meter-accuracy-comparison-chart/
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  16. Juliet

    Juliet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Oh and get your strips on eBay. They are way too expensive in Canada to buy anywhere else. I just got 400 strips for $122.
     
  17. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Thanks, Juliet! :)
     
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  18. LuanneP

    LuanneP Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    I'm in Canada as well :) I use the FreeStyle Lite & I'm happy with it. I started out with the AlphaTrak2 but the test strips were so expensive it wasn't feasible to keep using it with all the testing we do. There will be differences between all meters, unfortunately, and the differences are greater the higher the readings are so I wouldn't worry about the difference you saw between your meter & the vet's meter. Even if you test the same drop of blood with the same meter, the reading will be different. When I was using AlphaTrak2 and just learning about all this, I would double check the readings on the same drop of blood & got stressed because it would be quite different with the same meter so I just learned to stop doing that and go by the first reading. The only time I double check a reading now is if it's an unexpected low reading or crazy high. I buy my test strips for the FreeStyle Lite from eBay or if I'm in a pinch I buy them from Walmart (it's cheaper than other drug stores at least but not as cheap as eBay). My vet doesn't over charge for meds so it costs me the same to get Lantus from her as it does to buy from Walmart.

    5u is pretty high especially if the readings that's based on were taken at the vet & Socks was stressed. Have you been testing him at home since you posted? If you have, what are his readings?
     
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  19. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Free style lite is a good meter. It is very close to the pet meter Alpha Trac. Actually the free style strips work in the AT meter and a few people here do it that way.

    Keep in mind vet stress will raise most kitties glucose. Also if vet tested during a bounce will make a difference. Testing at home will be more accurate. One time when we went to vet Smokey was in a bounce. She wanted to raise dose and I said no, not until bounce clears and see where he is. She didn't understand it. Showed her the ss and then she understood. When bounce cleared I sent her the ss again and his dose stayed the same for the time being.

    Having your ss is a most valuable tool. It is color coded and you will see patterns emerge over time. Every couple of weeks I print it out, as having the full page in front of you really tells the story. Since I use my Kindle, I can only enter data on the phone which is tiny. For my vet I have to enter into excel sheet because of his limited technology. So I end up doing it twice. He also doesn't have color printer so I always bring in a new color copy for him. Here is a pic of the current one just so you can see how patterns show up by color. I write everything on the my cop, I don't write everything on the one attached to my signature.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Juliet

    Juliet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    If it really is a good meter I'd expect it not to read sooooo low. I barely trust it compared to accucheck. I always double check when I get low numbers.

    You could just send your vet the link to your ss.
     
  21. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Tried that, he isn't techy enough. Couldn't figure out how to download and install Google app.
     
  22. Juliet

    Juliet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    You don't need the google app. Clicking on the link without the app will automatically open in google docs. Doesn't he use a computer? A half decent vet shouldn't be relying on only a phone.
     
  23. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    How my vet practices is his business, not for me to tell him how. He had given me his private info. What his set up at is at home I have no idea. Smokey was one of his multi issue, fragile patients he kept close tabs on. He owns and oversees 3 offices, so he is always between the 3. I know Google isn't available for kindle and I primarily use it, and i can't print from it.
     

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