Newly Diagnosed Cat

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Evo1988, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Evo1988

    Evo1988 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Hello, this is my first post so please excuse me if I have alot of questions. I brought in my cat to the vet today because he was dragging his feet a bit and walking awkwardly for over a week. I assumed it was arthritis since he's already 8yrs old. After some blood tests, they told me his sugar levels were really high and they diagnosed him as a diabetic. I was provided with insulin shots and Purina DM wet and dry food. Although the vet provided me with basic information, I decided to read up on it and now I have a few concerns. Could someone please help me answer some questions.. Do you think its safe for me to inject insulin into my cat 2unit doses 2x a day without testing my cats sugar level beforehand? Would I be better off just giving him the diabetic food and see if thats enough? Are there any cheaper alternative cat foods that are low carb and healthier that can be purchased in stores? I am concerned about blindly injecting my cat with insulin and brining his sugar down to an unhealthy level. The vet told me if he shows signs of low sugar to put some honey on his gums to bring it back up but I am nervous about this happening when im not home, since I work alot. Thank you for your help
     

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  2. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Welcome! You are very smart for not wanting to blindly inject your cat. We are firm believers in home testing here. We are also firm believers in ditching the 'prescription' food. There are many cat foods that are better for diabetic cats. Here is a link to a cat food database: http://catinfo.org/chart/index.php You can put in the parameters you want and filter the list of foods. You want to keep carbs as low as you can, definitely under 10% carbs. The database has only wet food since those are best for your cat. (The site catinfo.org has all the info you could ever want on feline nutrition, including why dry food is not the best choice.) If you are going to change your baby to a low carb food, it is a good idea to get a meter and start home testing before you start 'blindly' injecting. Also, 2 units is a high starting dose. You did not mention what kind of insulin it is, but most of the time the starting doses are 1 unit twice a day.
     
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  3. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Welcome! You've come to the right place. :)

    No, it's not the best practice. Two units twice a day is a higher than the recommended starting dose and some insulins can drop blood glucose quickly and by a lot. What insulin has been prescribed? We'd suggest 1 unit twice a day as a general rule.

    Some cats can be controlled by diet alone. The recommendation is low carb wet food only, no dry food. Purina DM wet (pate version) is low carb but expensive. Many of us feed Friskies or Fancy Feast pates instead - much easier on the wallet.

    You're right to be concerned! Testing blood glucose at home is the best thing you can do to keep your kitty safe. Many people use a human meter because the test strips are cheaper. Walmart's ReliOn brand is popular and there are a couple of models that need only a very tiny blood drop to give a test result.

    Since your kitty is very newly diagnosed you could try the following :
    1. don't give insulin yet and start feeding only low carb wet food
    2. buy a human glucose meter, learn to do the ear prick and start testing your kitty's blood glucose to see where he is
    3. after a couple of days feeding low carb wet food only and getting random blood glucose tests you should have an idea of the impact of switching food has had with no insulin in the picture
    4. if your data shows he's still high, start giving 1 unit of insulin twice a day along with implementing this testing routine: a) BG test AM with no food at least 2 hours beforehand (to know if the dose is safe); b) feed and give insulin (if using Vetsulin wait about 30 minutes after the meal); try to get another test around 4 to 6 hours after the shot to see how low the dose takes him (or late evening if you're at work all day plus extra tests on days off); repeat the process in the evening (no food at least 2 hours before the pre- meal/shot test).
    Look at the yellow info stickies in the "Insulin Support Groups" section to read about the insulin you're using works and to learn how to use it. Come back here and ask as many questions as you need to ask.
     
  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    So you have a Walmart nearby? We can give a shopping list for what you need to home test. I have a video in my signature showing how I test my cat CC.
     
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  5. Evo1988

    Evo1988 New Member

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    Dec 1, 2017
    Thank you all for the quick responses. I will purchase Walmart's ReliOn meter tommorow and begin testing at home and I will skip his 2nd dose of insulin tonight until I can monitor his levels. The insulin says ProZinc on the label if that's any help. He was fed dry kibble his whole life but I sometimes give him wet food and he loves it so I dont think he will have any problems getting used to it. I locked him in the bathroom with a can of Purina DM and within 10mins he was scratching at the door to let him out and the bowl was wiped clean. Do you think 1 can a day is enough? Im also going to switch my 1yr old kitten over to canned food also, because I dont want him to suffer the same fate.
     
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  6. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Good get the relion, an extra box of 100 test strips, a box of 28 gauge lancets, neosporin ointment with pain relief, and cosmetic cotton rounds.

    Feed him as much as he wants, just no food 2 hours prior to the preshot test.

    You don't have to stop the insulin completely but I would lower it to 1 unit twice a day until you are testing. ProZinc is a good insulin.
     
    Adam Flowers likes this.
  7. Evo1988

    Evo1988 New Member

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    Dec 1, 2017
    Thanks, I will probably feed him 2 cans a day then just to make sure he's full. He could probably eat 3-4 cans a day if I allowed it because he loves to eat. I'll grab some of the low carb in store brands mentioned along with everything else you listed while I'm at WalMart. I appreciate the helpful advice.
     
  8. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    unregulated cats need to eat more because their bodies can not utilize the nutrients properly so they are literally starving even though they are eating. How much does he weigh? Is he overweight, underweight or just right?
     
  9. Carolyn Ross

    Carolyn Ross Member

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    Nov 13, 2017
    My 14 year old cat was diagnosed a few weeks ago with diabetes but his blood glucose numbers were not very high -only in the 200s and 300s (one in the 400s). My vet suggested we try a change to an all wet diet -mainly Fancy Feast Classic, although I also got samples of Young Again Dry and Dr. Elseys to give as treats (you can request free samples), as they are both low or zero in carbs. After a couple of weeks on the diet change, his numbers are now between 79 - 100, so I haven't had to start insulin (my vet had given me a prescription for Lantus in case the diet didn't work), I'm praying the downward trend continues. So, I just wanted to say that it might be possible for diet alone to put diabetes in remission especially if caught early, but I agree with everyone here that blood glucose testing is really important. Every cat reacts differently to the diet change and from what I read, it can lower the numbers quickly so coupled with an injection of insulin, it can drop the numbers dangerously low. There's so much helpful information here, I learned a lot.
     
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  10. Evo1988

    Evo1988 New Member

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    Dec 1, 2017
    I believe 18lbs
     
  11. Evo1988

    Evo1988 New Member

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    Dec 1, 2017
    Im glad to hear everything worked out well without insulin, very encouraging.
     
  12. Carolyn Ross

    Carolyn Ross Member

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    Nov 13, 2017
    I was really doubtful in the beginning and when I test him in the morning I keep expecting a setback, but am happy that diet change could really work. I hope you'll have good luck too.
     
  13. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    My non diabetic 17 lb cat ate 12-15 ounces 4-5 fancy feast 3 oz cans) a day. I’d say your cat, bring unregulated, may need 3 cans per day of the 5 oz cans to maintain. I’d probably do a can at each shot time, and half a can mid day and at night.
     

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