Newly diagnosed 14 year old scared kitty

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Harley and Duke, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Harley and Duke

    Harley and Duke New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Harley was a rescue cat and has always been shy and spent mainly years spending the majority of his day under our bed. He is very loving and affectionate in the evening when he comes out though. Since he had a dental in Feb. And had 12 teeth removed he has been like a brand new cat!! He spends most of his days out and about and isnt scared of every noise.

    he was diagnosed with Diabetes 2.5 years ago - we switched to wet food and 2 weeks of insulin and that was enough to regulate him. Diet seemed to do the trick. Since then he developed Hyper thyroidism - we treated him and did the radioactive iodine therapy - all good there too. Then in June we found out he had stage 2 chronic kidney disease so we changed his food to accomodate the kidneys. then last week after a full blood workup at the vet we found out he has diabetes again. the vet did a glucose curve and sent us home with a glucometer, insulin and instructions.

    Thursday morning was our first morning on our own - we poked his ear a few times with the Alphatrak - no blood and one unhappy kitty. We fed him, gave him his shot (1 unit of Lantus) and moved on. Thursday night we tried again - warm ear, comfy kitty - still no blood! Very discouraged. Yesterday we tried again - no luck again in the morning but in the evening after watching many videos and reading tips we had success!

    This morning as soon as we got up to feed Harley and his brother Duke and my husband got out the equipment he bolted. My husband had to drag him out from under the couch to give him his shot (no attempt to ear prick) he peed and has been under the couch for hours now. Even looking at him under the couch makes him scared.

    I am afraid that we will lose out loving kitty and he will be scared all the time now. I'm not sure how we are going to do daily ear pricks let alone a glucose curve next weekend.

    Feeling very discouraged!!

    Christina
     
  2. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Hi Christina, I'm sorry Harley is so upset. What I did with my kitty, was to choose a spot that would be our testing spot. Several times a day I would pick up Colin, go to our spot rub him, especially his ears, then give him a treat and let him go. I did this for a day or two-Harley may take longer-but after a bit, Colin would come to me whenever I sat in our chair. That's when I started adding the ear prick. If I got blood or not, he got his treat and let go. I have no problems now. Make sure you are using a large enough gauge lancet, 25-28, so you have a better chance of getting blood with the first prick. Good luck and be sure to ask more questions if my suggestions don't help

    ETA make sure to take a deep breath and relax before you start, because they can definitely sense your nerves!
     
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  3. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

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    Jun 15, 2015
    Hi Christina, so very sorry about Harley slipping back into diabetes and the kidney dx. Sharon gave some really good advise with sort of training him to be tested by association with the treat. Also the lancet size is important until his ears learn to bleed by making more capillaries then you could switch to a finer lancet. Hopefully, he will won't be as disgruntled when you test. It will get easier. We have all been there. :bighug::bighug:
     
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  4. Harley and Duke

    Harley and Duke New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Thank you for the support - I hope we can get him out from under the couch tonight! I will look into bigger gauge lancets next week! We are trying to give him some dry crunchies (which he loves) when we test. I do hope it gets easier because it is so stressful for all of us, I don't want him to be so scared!
    I'll keep you posted!
     
  5. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Welcome to FDMB from a fellow Ontario, Canada resident.

    If you are using the AlphaTrak lancing device, it is already gauge 28 so I think what you have should be fine. In case you are not aware , there is a little dial on the lancing device so you can set the depth of the poke. Setting that to 4 (deepest) until Harley's ears "learn" to bleed better might help make getting blood easier. I use the same device and even when I have it on a particular setting I think the dial gets moved easily just from handling, so check it each time.

    Is Harley getting spooked by the sight of the equipment or just when you get the equipment out to test? If the latter, are you storing the meter in the zipper pouch? The sound of the zipper may be acting as a trigger to warn him of what's to come. If that is the case, try putting the equipment into a quieter container so there is no "alarm" sound or assemble the equipment in another room and then approach Harley.

    It may take a few days to desensitize him but I'm sure with a little patience you will do just fine. Keep us posted and ask any and all questions as the folks here are full of tips and tricks!
     
  6. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

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    Jun 15, 2015
    If the meter beeps as it turn on, you might be able to silence that. I know with my mom's meter we have the option of beep or no beep.
     
  7. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Good point about the meter beeping. The AT meter can be set to silent or to beep when an adequate amount of blood is in the strip so that's another change that might help. :D
     
  8. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    If you absolutely must.get.blood, you can poke the ear vein. Just be prepared for a possible gusher, and be ready to get the sample to test and blot firmly to reduce bruising and scabbing.
    See also my signature link Secondary Monitoring Tools for some other assessments you may find helpful, such as water consumption, urine ketone and glucose testing, and 2 tests for dehydration.
     
  9. Harley and Duke

    Harley and Duke New Member

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    Oct 20, 2015
    Thanks for all the tips. We have been giving his insulin but gave the testing a break yesterday. We will try again tonight when things are calm and quiet.
     
  10. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Good luck, fingers crossed for you! Just remember, deep breath, stay calm, and it will help him stay calm, too. Please let us know how it goes! :):):)
     
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  11. SpecklesandMe

    SpecklesandMe Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    You can also try some calming chews before the ear prick or or something like Feliway. It may or may not work for your kitty, but might be worth a shot.
     
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  12. Holly and Fudge

    Holly and Fudge Member

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    Oct 13, 2015
    My kitty likes to go in a shoebox for his blood draw. I have a little blankie in it with pheromone spray..
     
  13. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 26, 2015
    What a great idea!
     
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  14. Holly and Fudge

    Holly and Fudge Member

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    Oct 13, 2015
    At least it will keep kitty in one spot..Maybe add a few appropriate treats to the box.
     
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  15. Tucker&Me

    Tucker&Me Member

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    Jun 24, 2015
    Not to hijack the thread...BUT THAT IS SO DANG CUTE!! I think Fudge is ADORABLE too!
    Does he come to the box himself?
    That's sweet!!
     
  16. Holly and Fudge

    Holly and Fudge Member

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    Oct 13, 2015
    Thanks !! I keep the box out and he loves sleeping in it. So, I try to do a BG when he is in it or put him in it if need be...I put an acceptable treat in it to associate something good. Shoeboxes work great.
     
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  17. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

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    Jun 15, 2015
    My cats highjacked my laundry baskets...so now they are lined with a towel and a soft cotton throw. If we would buy cute little pet beds they wouldn't use them.......
     
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  18. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 26, 2015
    The only ones my cats really, really like are those square, gray, ugly-looking woven mats, I forget the name of them, but all my cats adore those.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
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  19. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Feb 18, 2015
    Mine hijack the laundry baskets ONLY when there is clean laundry in them! I can't procrastinate putting laundry at all and sometimes they commandeer the basket before I get the folding done! Like you the cat beds go unused!
     
  20. Harley and Duke

    Harley and Duke New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    Hello from Ottawa!
    So we are getting the hang of the Alphatrak2 and Harley's ear is starting to bleed a little better and he seems a little calmer about everything! I saw from your signature that you are using the freestyle lite test strips - how is that going? I just bought a pack of Alphatrak test strips and cringed over the price $75 for 50. The freestyle lite are about half the price and more readily available. I would really like to switch over to them!

    We are doing our first glucose curve today and although the process is fine, the numbers aren't great...
    ( I don't have a spreadsheet yet)
    PRe shot 6:45am - 20.8 ( then 1.5 units of Lantus)
    8:45am - 20.6
    10:45am - 20.1
    12:45pm - 24.6
    2:45pm - 24.3

    We will do 3 more checks and see how that goes.

    Christina
     
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  21. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    I do not use the Freestyle strips in my AT meter. I am using the AT strips but I have a Freestyle Lite meter which I chose as a backup because the strips can be used in the AT in a pinch and have been running side by side tests with both meters to get a better sense of the reading differences at higher glucose levels.

    The Freestyle strips do work in the AT meter but the results will not be quite as accurate as using the AT strips. After much research and investigation I am 99.9% sure they are the exact same strips. The caveat however is that the AT meter has to be coded to the strips because each batch of strips will have minuscule differences that affect results slightly and the AT meter uses different calculations to arrive at a reading than the human meters. The AT strips have been batch tested and have a code for the AT meter listed on each vial to ensure you get readings as close to animal lab results as possible. Using the Freestyle meter strips, you do not have the AT code that will make each different batch of strips as accurate as possible. Leaving the AT meter on one of the AT codes, some of your results may be right on and some will be out a bit. When I did some comparison testing with the FS strips vs. AT strips, I found my results were anywhere from 5-10% different. Testing a strip with each new vial of strips will give you a sense of how that vial is reading.

    There are a few members including @Tuxedo Mom and @Mogmom and Goofus happy with their results using the FS strips and I've tagged them for you so they can share their experience with you.

    Just curious if the $75 you paid for the 50 AT strips included tax or not? I have been getting my AT strips from the The Glen Shield Pet Pharmacy (http://thepetpharmacist.ca/product-list?title=alphatrak) and after tax, I'm paying about $78 for 50 strips.
     
  22. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 26, 2015
    Every month I pay a ridiculous amount to have a box of toys and treats mailed to me for all my cats. When the second or third shipment came, I sat on the bed with Squallie and opened it. As I was taking all the stuff out and looking it over, I noticed he was watching very attentively, and I thought, "How cute, he knows now that this is for him!" Silly me, as soon as the box was unpacked he stalked past all the goodies, completely ignoring them, and tried to lie down in the cardboard box (he was too chubby)!
     
  23. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    I have been using the Freestyle Lite test strips in my AT2 meter for many months (about 8). I did about 50 side by side comparisons using the same drop of blood using AT2 strip with AT2 meter and FS Lite strip with AT2 meter and came within about 5% variance. I have also compared the AT2 meter with FS Lite strips against the vet's lab blood analyzer machine and come within a small percentage variance. My PERSONAL opinion is that the FS Lite strips read the same as the AT2 strips when used in the AT2 meter. (I left the coding on the AT2 meter the same as my last bottle of strips) However as a disclaimer this is my own personal finding and opinion and choice. If anyone decides to try this they should do a large number of side by side comparisons before making their own decision.
     
  24. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Hello Christina! I'm sorry to hear Harley has fallen out of remission. I can relate and feel for you. A simple case of gingivitis knocked Alex out of remission after being off insulin for almost 3 years! I wasn't thrilled about resuming insulin, but we put her on Levemir. Luckily, she was back off insulin within 8 weeks after being dosed aggressively and following a Tight Regulation Protocol.

    But first things first! Has anyone given you this link: Hometesting Links and Tips?
    It's a list of tips, tricks, illustrations, and videos our members have come up with over the years. You just might find a method or even a tip which will work for you and Harley. Check it out if you haven't already!

    Since you've already introduced yourself and Harley, you can move over to the Feline Health - (The Main Forum) for more specific advice whenever you're ready.

    Hope to see you posting often!
     
  25. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thank you for posting that disclaimer, Mary Ann!

    Unless Abbott, the manufacturer of the AlphaTrak2 and all the FreeStyle meters, has recently responded differently, as far as I/we know they have denied the use of Freestyle Lite strips in their AT2 meters for pets for years. I get nervous when unsuspecting newbies are presented with information as fact... any kind of information... based on conjecture, or assumptions, and/or comparisons without controls in place... whether it comes from an individual or small group of individuals.

    Given the allowable 20% variance with blood glucose meters we're already dealing with... adding the possibility of another 5% variance into the mix (your finding, I believe MrWorfmen'sMom said she found a 5% - 10% variance, but that *could be* because her sampling appears to be at the high end only) could be daunting... especially for new members who come here overwhelmed to begin with and have a tendency to think personal opinions are synonymous with fact.

    I really appreciate the fact noted that these were your own personal findings with meters in your possession and that if anyone else tries this they should do a large number of side by side comparisons before making their own decision.

    Again, thank you! :)
     
  26. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015

    I get my strips from Countryside vet.com. 2 boxes =$107.00 free shipping. I don't know if they mail to Canada. I get them in 2 days.
     
  27. Mogmom and Goofus

    Mogmom and Goofus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014

    I completely agree with you. And also, just my finding and opinion. My vet has done his own testing on these strips and suggests them people who say they simply can't afford the AT strips.
     
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  28. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Feb 18, 2015
    I did not call them about directly about shipping to Canada but they have them on eBay.ca @ $56.50/box . Getting the strips from there would cost us roughly $96.00 CDN/box given the shipping (free shipping is for US only), import charges and of course the exchange rate now that our dollar has sunk so much lower than yours! We have better pricing on insulin but really get nicked on strips up here no matter what meter we use!
     
  29. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    Forgot about CDN.
     
  30. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Earlier in this thread I said, "Unless Abbott, the manufacturer of the AlphaTrak2 and all the FreeStyle meters, has recently responded differently, as far as I/we know they have denied the use of Freestyle Lite strips in their AT2 meters for pets for years. I get nervous when unsuspecting newbies are presented with information as fact... any kind of information... based on conjecture, or assumptions, and/or comparisons without controls in place... whether it comes from an individual or small group of individuals."

    I find this interesting because yesterday morning you asked this question:
    in this thread which led me to believe you failed to use control solution when doing your own comparisons... therefore neglecting a basic control factor.
    And MrWorfMen's Mom carefully explained in the same thread, "It is recommended that control solution be used to check each new package of test strips to ensure they are reading within the specified range as well as to check the meter."

    This illustrates what I was talking about above... as far as comparisons being done without basic controls in place. Now I'm left to wonder if your vet used control solution with each new package of test strips when running his own comparisons...
     
  31. Mogmom and Goofus

    Mogmom and Goofus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014

    I can't answer to what my vet did in his lab, but I can say that when he did comparisons the numbers were never very far apart. Being an experienced vet, a having a diabetic cat himself, I can't imagine him not taking the proper steps. I also don't test my cat 5-6 or more times a day as many on here do and yet Goof is doing very well. His last complete blood work up showed very little change in regards to worsening of his condition, in fact some things have improved. Just curious, when using the solution, if everytime you get a wonky number, do you then discard the new strips or buy a new meter?

    I guess I have to say that MY problem (and I no doubt am going to take a good amount of heat for this but I'm going to say it anyway) is not being able to grasp the use of human meters and then working with "ranges", to me THAT is the scary thing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  32. Bobbie And Bubba

    Bobbie And Bubba Well-Known Member

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    Jun 15, 2015
    Everyone has their comfort level and that is okay! At first, I was scared to death to switch to U100 syringes, so scared that I would make a conversation mistake.
     
  33. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I would hope that to be true, but when I read your comments I had assumed you handled the test strips properly when making your comparisons. If I hadn't stumbled upon the other thread in another forum I wouldn't have known otherwise... never would have known about this basic step being skipped. So basically, we're right back to info being passed around based on an assumption. That can become problematic on a message board.

    That's awesome! Hope Goofus will continue to improve!

    If testing a new package of test strips with control solution (as recommended by the manufacturer) yields results that were wonky or out of range it would certainly be in the users best interest to investigate further, wouldn't you think?

    I can only speak for myself... others might handle things differently... first off I would re-test to double check my results. If the results remained out of range I would open and test a new package of strips with control solution. If after re-testing both packages of test strips and getting the same results I would then have to give careful consideration and then investigate as to whether there was something wrong with the meter. I certainly wouldn't continue on as if nothing was wrong because to me that would not only be a very scary thing AND it has the potential of being a dangerous practice!

    ETA: I'd also try a new bottle of control solution before scrapping the meter.

    No heat. I'm sorry you're unable to grasp the use of human meters with our diabetic kitties. It's difficult for many to shift their focus from specific numbers to analyzing trends. You're not alone.

    Personally, I have no issue with the use of a pet-specific blood glucose meter. Everyone should use a meter they're comfortable with. My issue is solely about passing info around on the FDMB which hasn't been based on research, studies, or anecdotal evidence beyond reproach... as I've repeatedly stated in this thread. After all, stick around long enough and you'll see if something is said often enough it will all too often become fact... even if it's totally wrong.

    Unfortunately, it happens...
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
    Reason for edit: to clarify
  34. Mogmom and Goofus

    Mogmom and Goofus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    Not to beat a dead horse here, but isn't recommending the use of human meters and strips doing this very thing? Or giving dosing advice? Both of which I see virtually everyday here.

    But, because I try to be open minded and working on not being so stubborn, I called my vet this morning and ordered a new bottle of control solution and AT strips. I'll also ask him how he did his testing.
     
  35. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Not in my eyes when suggestions made are based on research, studies, publications, or anecdotal evidence...
     
  36. If I'm not mistaken, the use of human meters for home testing has been going on for over 20 years. It isn't like people here are on the cutting edge of science with advocating that practice.
    I'm sure the first person who came up with the idea of using a human meter, or even the concept of "home testing" was thought to be crazy. Imagine the ridiculing faced by the first people who suggested Lantus could be used on cats, for that matter. But given the history of the past two decades, I can't see how anyone can argue with the results of doing it "our way".
     
  37. Mogmom and Goofus

    Mogmom and Goofus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    Got the control solution in the mail today and checked my AT2 meter. Tested first with an AT strip, 149. Then tested with a Freestyle Lite strip in the same meter, 149. Huh. I'm thinking those strips ARE one in the same.
     
  38. Harley and Duke

    Harley and Duke New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2015
    I paid $75 taxes in at the vet! Testing is going much better now, I can even do it by myself!
     
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  39. Mogmom and Goofus

    Mogmom and Goofus Well-Known Member

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    Dec 9, 2014
    That's great! It can be tough to learn how to do it, but your wallet AND your kitty will be much better off.:cat:
     
  40. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Feb 18, 2015
    Knowing full well that Abbott was not about to condone use of the Freestyle strips in the AT meter when that would cut into their profits, I made calls to both the human and animal divisions of Abbott and questioned them extensively. I covertly used the excuse that I was concerned about someone mistaking pet strips for human strips and vice versa because they appear identical. I also compared all the patent numbers, manufacturing location, strip markings, the strip chemicals and got confirmation that neither the human or pet strips contained any "computer chip" and am 99.9% sure they are the same strips. The strips branded for AlphaTrak however have been batch tested for different animal species so that the correct AT meter code, to get the most accurate results, is provided on the container label.

    So it's possible that your control solution test read exactly the same because you have your AT meter set on the right code for the batch of Freestyle strips you tested. Another package of Freestyle strips may not read exactly the same because of the code on your AT meter. While investigating the strips I noted the control range on my vial of Freestyle strips, is 4.2-6.3 mmol (approx. 76-113 mg in your measure) whereas the AT strip reference range for cats is 100-185mg. The test range on the AT strips is far wider (85 points vs. 37 on the human strips) which to me is indicative of the different algorithms being used with the different codes on the meter. So if you wanted to find the right code for any given vial of Freestyle strips, you could test FS strips using different AT cat codes until you found the AT code that read the same as your AT strip. That could however become a very expensive endeavour given there are at least 4 different cat codes in the AT meter.
     
  41. Mogmom and Goofus

    Mogmom and Goofus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014

    Yeah, I'm going to continue on as I have. I keep AT strips on hand, whenever I get a wonky number, I retest the same blood sample with an AT strip. I base what I do on the AT reading, just to be safe.
     
  42. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    I'll keep using AT strips. I always have them and in emergency I can get from my vet. I order 2 at a time. Smokey always seems to know when they arrive. He decides we have to go through them that day. When bottle 2 is opened, I reorder.
     
  43. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Feb 18, 2015
    So you think Smokey is planning low numbers based on the strip delivery? :woot: I just picked up 4 more boxes and wish Menace would get as excited as Smokey at least once in a while!
     
  44. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    It seems that way. I'd rather not see him get so excited. He goes a little to low. There was no indication it would have happened on the 5th. Just glad I was home and decided to go out for a smoke. That's when I saw the bowls all rearranged and tipped over in the kitchen and him trying to find any morsel that might be on the floor.
     
  45. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    I can understand your angst at finding Smokey scavenging for anything edible and finding those low readings! He really did a nose dive! If I were you, I wouldn't want him to get so excited either! Menace has only shot me anything close to "normal" numbers once and I remember being in a bit of panic over that given it had never happened before so I do understand but also wish Menace would start getting some positive results out of all the insulin she's getting! :)
     
  46. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Same here with Colin!:banghead:
     
  47. Carol & Murphy

    Carol & Murphy Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9, 2015
    That is adorable Would love to see a pic of kitty in shoe box with a blankie
     
  48. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    It's been 3 dives in past month on Lantus. Twice (1time my fault, didn't know not to give) over Labor Day while on Vetsulin. It's a little to much for me. But he just keeps trooping along.
     
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