Newcomer worries!

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Beth and Herbert, Dec 2, 2018.

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  1. Beth and Herbert

    Beth and Herbert New Member

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    Dec 2, 2018
    Hello, everyone. I am new here. My cat Herbert was diagnosed this Thursday or Friday. I was feeding him the worst food--super high carb Fancy Feast Gravy ones with Broth Fancy Feast treats. I just bought the Fancy Feast pates, the lower-carb ones. I feel awful and as if I have made him sick.

    My vet gave me lots of good information. I got insulin for him--Lantus, with a recommended dose of 1 unit two times a day. His glucose level at the vet was 455, I think. This was Thursday I have given him the twice daily Lantus (once Friday, twice Saturday, once today) and believe he still seems very lethargic, though there is some improvement.

    I worry because he is just sleeping all day, and because I am freaked out, I cannot tell if this is abnormal. He will walk around a little to lie down in a new place. He will eat and drink and uses the litter box, though one of my two cats had an accident this morning and it could be him. I'm not sure if these are danger signs.

    I ordered a glucose tester from the vet; it should arrive soon. I also bought one at WalMart today, but I made the wrong choice. It requires a larger blood dose. I did not see the Micros there, so I got the Prime. I tried three times to test him but I was not successful and I cannot stand to poke him more tonight. Worst of all, he is not fighting me, and that worries me even more because it means he feels bad.

    Right now, I am hesitant to continue with the insulin doses if I cannot get a reading from him. Can anyone tell me if my plan to just not insulin him tonight and feed him low carb food for a while until my better monitor comes in from the vet seems like a wise choice? Sorry if this is too vague. I am on. the. edge.
     
  2. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    It's not uncommon for cats new to insulin to be lethargic. We hear that a lot. It's kind of like if you're body is used to you drinking a pot of coffee every day and all the sudden someone gives you a medication that blocks caffeine from working. Your cat's blood glucose has been high and now you're giving a medication that brings it down....it can make them feel "off" for awhile.

    1U is a pretty good starting dose for most cats, depending on how much they weigh, but you're right that we strongly suggest testing before giving it at all so you know it's safe.

    The Micro has been discontinued, so the only choices at WalMart are the Prime and the new Premier (which also takes the larger sample size). I haven't tried the new Premier yet so I don't know how well it's strips work, but I know we hear complaints about the Prime being "temperamental" at times.

    It's also common for the ears not to want to bleed very much at first. It will really help if you make sure the ear is really warm first. A small sock with a little rice in it (microwave for 15 seconds or so and then test on your wrist for the temp) or a small pill bottle filled with warm water work well to warm up those ears. The heat will help bring blood into the tissue and can make a huge difference in success or failure.

    Don't blame yourself for what you were feeding...Most cats get diabetes due to genetics and that's something we can't control. Yes, feeding high carb foods can "tip them over the edge", but generally, if they were genetically programed to be diabetic, there's nothing you did (or didn't do) to cause it.

    Hang in there....you're just at the beginning of the journey and we'll be here to help you every step of the way!!
     
  3. Beth and Herbert

    Beth and Herbert New Member

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    Dec 2, 2018
    Chris, thank you so much for your level-headed, kind reply. It makes me much less anxious to hear the insulin may be contributing to his lethargy. I also really appreciate the ear-warming advice. I am definitely going to try those suggestions. Thanks as well for the comment about genetic predisposition. That also makes me feel better. I think I am going to go eat something and do some deep breathing. :)
     
    Sharon14 and Chris & China (GA) like this.
  4. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Beth, don't give up on testing, it takes awhile to get proficient. You should have seen us (DH and myself because it takes two of us at our house) it was like Laurel and Hardy, I swear! The warmed rice sock is a huge help, and Chris is right about the ears not bleeding well at first. As you test more, the capillaries increase and it's easier to get that blood drop.
    In addition, most of us kicked ourselves to the moon and back because we fed dry food and/or high carb canned food, and figured that was the cause of the diabetes. What's done is done, none of us, including you, ever intended any harm to these beloved furry family members. One step at a time, take care of yourself so that you can take care of Herbert.
    Be sure to be testing as you transition Herbert to the low carb diet, it can lower the BG quite a bit and you want to be aware of the effects of the insulin as you go along. We eliminated the dry food, went to low carb canned food, and with a very short period of insulin support Idjit went into remission. So, it does make a difference.
    Take a look at the information in the FAQs forum, it's all things you need to know, particularly the Hypo Instructions and the Hypo Toolbox info. I hope you never need it, but being prepared will make all the difference to you and Herbert. Here is a link: FAQ
     
  5. Beck and Grandpa (GA)

    Beck and Grandpa (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    You've found a great resource for help and support here. It seems to me that you're off to a much stronger start than many. You've been prescribed a proven insulin at a dose that makes sense. You have a vet that didn't try to stop you from testing and helped you order a meter. That's awesome! When my cat was diagnosed, I actually took him back to the vet the day after starting insulin because he was so lethargic. He was fine. Normal reaction for some as Chris said.

    Don't beat yourself up for anything. You didn't do this to him. He's lucky to have you.
     
  6. Darwin H.

    Darwin H. Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2018
    I'm new here too with less than a week and using the rice sock heated 30 seconds/Reli on Prime and 30 Gauge lancet works fine. Stay to the very edge of the ear for blood and your golden. Moving the beautiful beast to ordinary can food has worked well already I think over ONLY Costco maintenance kibble for the last 12 years. Good luck Lots of good folks here to help you along.
     
  7. Beck and Grandpa (GA)

    Beck and Grandpa (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    A couple thoughts, Beth. I see you've added a signature. Wonderful! Once you start testing, if you add a spreadsheet, it will help you track your kitty's progress and give the folks here invaluable info to help you. There's a template for the spreadsheet and there are some spreadsheet-wise members who will help you if you need it. Lastly, there are forums here for the different brands of insulin. Since each insulin works a little differently from the others, participating in the Lantus forum will help you reach members with the most experience with that insulin.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Glad to see you here, Beck! :smuggrin:
     
  9. Beck and Grandpa (GA)

    Beck and Grandpa (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Jun 4, 2018
    Thanks! I still lurk now and then.
     
  10. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    We don't ever want to be without you Beck.
     
  11. Beth and Herbert

    Beth and Herbert New Member

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    Dec 2, 2018
    >>Beth, don't give up on testing, it takes awhile to get proficient. You should have seen us (DH and myself because it takes two of us at our house) it was like Laurel and Hardy, I swear!

    Haha! I feel like Charlie Chaplin dropping everything and tripping everywhere. I know I'll get more comfortable through practice. I was just upset yesterday. The needle they gave me to get the blood is a pretty long needle that is hollow and I wonder if I maybe need to try a lancet instead. I am afraid I will poke the big needle through his ear entirely. *shudders*

    >>Be sure to be testing as you transition Herbert to the low carb diet, it can lower the BG quite a bit and you want to be aware of the effects of the insulin as you go along.

    I did move him to a lower carb wet food, and your comment about the importance of testing makes all the sense in the world.

    >>We eliminated the dry food, went to low carb canned food, and with a very short period of insulin support Idjit went into remission. So, it does make a difference.
    Congratulations! That is wonderful.

    Thank you for the link to the FAQ and all the good advice. I won't quit. As soon as my monitor arrives from the vet, I'm going in again.
     
  12. Beth and Herbert

    Beth and Herbert New Member

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    Dec 2, 2018
    >>When my cat was diagnosed, I actually took him back to the vet the day after starting insulin because he was so lethargic. He was fine. Normal reaction for some as Chris said.

    That information made a huge difference for me. I would have had Herbert back in the vet soon just like you did.

    Thanks also for your suggestion about the spreadsheet below. I will sit down with it and transfer my scribbled hand-written notes to it in the next few days.

    Appreciate your kindness and your suggestions. Thank you!
     
  13. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    <Haha! I feel like Charlie Chaplin dropping everything and tripping everywhere. I know I'll get more comfortable through practice. I was just upset yesterday. The needle they gave me to get the blood is a pretty long needle that is hollow and I wonder if I maybe need to try a lancet instead. I am afraid I will poke the big needle through his ear entirely. *shudders*>

    Yes, a lancet is a better idea, it's the tool created for the purpose. It's advised to start with a larger gauge at first, a 26 or 28 because the ears aren't used to bleeding yet.
     
  14. Beth and Herbert

    Beth and Herbert New Member

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    Dec 2, 2018
    Good luck to you as well!
     
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