Newly diagnosed diabetic cat

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by afirmrose, Nov 30, 2015.

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  1. afirmrose

    afirmrose New Member

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    Nov 30, 2015
    Louie was diagnosed with diabetes last Wednesday. I has been a horrible week to try to get him to eat to take his shots. The vet put him on that special diabetic food but he won't go near it. I even tried mixing it in with his regular food. This morning I gave him his Fancy Fest Classic fishy food just to get him to eat so he can take his shot. He ate it all. Is there other food out there that is better for him.

    I need help. I cried all weekend.
     
  2. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome.
    Good insulin are the human Lantus and Levemir and the pet insulins ProZinc and BCP PZI. For those two human insulin it is best to get the 5 pack of 3 ml disposable pens via a 10 ml vial. Although per ml the vial is less expensive most cats will not use up a 10 ml vial before the insulin goes bad/becomes ineffective. The human insulin N/NPH is sometimes prescribed but only lasts 8-10 hours. Same for the pet insulin Vetsulin/Caninisulin.
    Most of us here test or cats blood glucose at home using a human meter. We test before each shot and periodically between shots. We record our reading and other info in a spreadsheet. See:http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...te-a-ss-and-link-it-in-your-signature.130337/
    What are you feeding? A low-carb canned is best. No reason for a prescription food. Here is a list of commercial low-carb cannedhttp://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/shortcut-shopping-list-all-8-or-less-updated.117688/
    The low-car Fancy Feast varieties are fine and many caretakers here feed them

    Here is a link to home testing blood sugarshttp://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/
     
  3. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Hi and welcome. My cat wouldn't eat the expensive vet prescribed foods either. Fortunately there are many grocery store brands that are fine for diabetic cats. Fancy Feast Classics, Friskies Pate and 9 lives Meaty Pates are a few. A bit higher end are Wellness Grain Free and Nature Variety Instinct. Just stay away from any canned foods that have gravy, they are too high carb. Also avoid any dry foods, they are too low in moisture and most are way too high in carbs. I know it all seems so overwhelming right now, but it will get better. Please ask any questions you have.
     
  4. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Fancy feast canned food is just fine to feed a diabetic! I would recommend limiting the fish flavors to once a week, but there are lots of other flavors out there you can feed. Any Fancy Feast that says "classic" on the label is diabetic safe. Avoid the other Fancy Feast flavors (the gravy makes them high in carbohydrates, which is bad for diabetics).

    There is nothing about prescription food that makes it better than commerical food, and most of them aren't even diabetic safe even though they are labeled as a diabetic diet. The only prescription food that is appropriate for a diabetic cat is Purina DM canned; all the others are too high in carbohydrates. But even the DM is overpriced and unneccesary, because it's pretty much the same thing as Fancy Feast pates (the "classic" line). You can return your unopened cans back to the vet for a refund. Just tell your vet your cat refused to eat it.

    You can also check out the list that Larry linked above for other options besides Fancy Feast. How old is Louie? I would suggest another food instead of Fancy Feast if Louie is an older cat, or has a history of kidney disease.

    What insulin is Louie using? Has your vet taught you how to home test him? If not, there are some great resources here that can teach you. Home testing is not only safer for your cat because it allows more accurate dosing adjustments, it also is way less expensive than bringing him to the vet to be tested. So double bonus. :)

    Hang in there! A diabetes diagnosis seems like such an overwhelming thing, but once you get the hang of things, it becomes much, much easier. The three key things that will make your life much easier is having Louie on the right food, the right insulin, and home testing. :) And diabetes is not a death sentence, and on the right treatment path cats live perfectly normal, healthy lives. Bandit has been diabetic since the age of 7, and he'll be 14 this January. And he's still doing great!
     
  5. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB.
    Its OK if he eats low carb, over the counter canned food such as the Fancy Feast Classic Pates or Friskies pates (except Mixed Grill).
    For safety, we strongly advocate home glucose testing with an inexpensive human glucometer such as the Target Up and Up or the Walmart ReliOn Confirm, Confirm Micro, or Prime. Get the 26-28 gauge lancets for alternate site testing to improve your chances of getting an adequate blood droplet.
    See my signature link Secondary Monitoring Tools for some additional ways to evaluate your cat while you work on home testing.
     
  6. Shankb

    Shankb Member

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    Nov 7, 2015
    Another newby here - Out of curiosity, why do you recommend limiting the fish flavors to once a week? Are they higher in something that isn't good?
     
  7. Shankb

    Shankb Member

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    Nov 7, 2015
    Another newby here again.... You didn't recommend mixed grill - is that because it's higher in carbs? Also you mentioned that you would recommend something other than the Fancy Feast if the cat was older. My boy is 15. Should I be feeding him something else? Thanks in advance!!!
     
  8. Shankb

    Shankb Member

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    Nov 7, 2015
    Hi and welcome! I am a new member as well. It can be overwhelming, but there is a tremendous amount of helpful information here. The things that helped me were - #1 Get kitty eating some sort of pate wet food. #2 Test glucose levels at home to gain a comfort level and a sense of control in the situation. #3 use the spreadsheet to document.

    Everyone here has been tremendously helpful and are dedicated to helping others. I can't believe there are so many kind souls on this board who are here to help!!!
     
  9. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Yes, I typically wouldn't recommend Fancy Feast for a 15 year old cat. The reason is that Fancy Feast has a high phosphorus content--which can be hard on the kidneys of an older cat. Most cats over the age of 12, even if it's not yet showing up in their bloodwork and especially if they are diabetic and have a history of dry diets, do have some loss of kidney function. Kidney disease is not usually diagnosed until the cat has lost 66% of their kidney function. In my opinion, it's best to just treat all diabetic senior cats like they already have early stage kidney disease (which they probably do), and feed foods that will go easy on their kidneys.

    I just commented on diets for cats with early stage kidney disease in this thread if you want to read through it! To sum up, you want to feed a food that's high quality protein (no byproducts), low carb, and low phosphorus. There's a ton of options--Wellness, Weruva, and EVO all have flavors that fit these recommendations, as well as many more in the lists I linked.
     
  10. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    There's a few reasons--1. Cats tend to get addicted to fish flavors when you feed them frequently and sometimes won't eat anything else, which can lead to problems over time because 2. Fish is the most commonly developed food intolerance in cats over time, so the more you feed it, the more likely it is your cat will develop an intolerance to it. That takes a trick out of your bag if you have a sick cat and really need him to eat, because fish (which is super smelly so it's good to use to entice a cat to eat) is off the table if your cat develops an intolerance. Also, 3. Most fish flavors tend (but not all flavors) to be very high in phosphorus, which is generally not good for senior cats to eat frequently. And finally, 4. Fish flavors typically contain high mercury levels, which isn't good for a cat to ingest on a regular basis (much like a human should not eat canned tuna more than once every few weeks for the same reason).
     
  11. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Yes, the Mixed Grill is slightly higher in carbohydrate.
    If your cat has renal insufficiency/kidney disease, the Fancy Feast are high in phosphorus and you may wish to select a different low carb food. Alternatively, check out Feline CRF to read about other options in treating renal disease.
     
  12. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    The front page of Tanya's CRF site is down (looks like domain lapse). But you can still find the main directory and all the information here: http://www.felinecrf.org/site_overview.htm.

    If someone really wants an early confirmation rather than just switching to a low phos diet preventitively for an older cat, there is a newer test now that can detect kidney disease at 25-40% renal function loss instead of the previous 60-80%. It's not part of a typical blood panel, though, and uncontrolled diabetes can cause further damage to the kidneys, so a negative early test may need to be repeated if the cat remains unregulated over time. When I asked my vet about it (because Bandit's creatinine and BUN are borderline), he told me that a firm diagnosis of early CKD is not going to make any difference in terms of the recommended diet for his age (almost 14), so there was no point wasting money on it.
     
  13. Shankb

    Shankb Member

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    Nov 7, 2015
    I can't thank you enough! This is all so helpful!!
     
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