Newly diagnosed Gremlin

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Laura and Gremlin, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Hello,
    My name is Laura, I'm from Australia and my almost 13yo Gremlin was diagnosed yesterday. I have three other cats so we're all in for a bit of a lifestyle change!
    I'm glad you are here to help!
     
  2. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Hi Laura from Ivana & I on the Central Coast of NSW! Where in Australia are you? Welcome to FDMB, it's a wonderful place for support - I'm still new to feline diabetes too, have learnt so much here already though. You'll be an old hand at at soon, no doubt :)
     
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  3. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Laura,
    Welcome to the FDMB.
    I am also from Australia. I live in Sydney.
    I have just answered your thread on the main forum. If you could have a look at that and answer the questions I will try and help you. Thanks:)
     
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  4. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you!
    We are from central Victoria. I hope it will make our transition easier. I'm already terribly worried about my Gremlin, it's only been a day and a half but he's still so lethargic.
     
  5. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you so much! I will have a look now.

    Okay, he started insulin straight away as he has lost a quarter of his body weight. I'm still feeding him the same as usual as I don't want to change anything too rapidly. From what you said I definitely need to change his food! The vet has ordered the diabetic dry food but I'm wondering if I should cancel the order. I'm getting some blood glucose test strips tomorrow.

    He is currently very lethargic and hiding :( I'm worried about him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
    Reason for edit: Reply to questions
  6. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Ok. So sorry you are having to cope with all of this. Everyone feels overwhelmed at first as it is always a shock to find your kitty had diabetes. But things will get better!:bighug:

    First of all, if your kitty is lethargic he might well be dehydrated as diabetic cats pee a lot. Pull up the scruff of his neck and see if it goes back quickly or is slow? If slow he is probably dehydrated. He may need extra fluids. So a good way is to add warm water to his food.....canned food that is. Make it soupy. I would not give dry food. Apart from being high in carbs it is low in moisture. If he is very dehydrated he may need some subcutaneous fluids at the vet..my cat has needed them at times. Also check his gums. Are they moist or are they tacky?
    What are you feeding him at the moment?
    Can you tell us his name please?
    If you have been feeding him only dry food since he started insulin DONT STOP IT YET. YOu will need to swap over slowly with help from here to ensure his blood sugars don't drop too low.
    Can you tell us what insulin he is on please. And the dose. Also his weight. Thanks.
    I will post this as I want to write some more but wanted to send you this first.
    You will find there are many people here to help and support you.
    Back before long.
     
  7. michysweets

    michysweets Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Do you know if you can get fancy feast Classic pate
     
  8. nora

    nora Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    Hi Laura and Gremlin. I'm new here, too, and still working on a balance of food for Kali. Fortunately, she so far continues to have a good appetite and is eating mostly wet but some dry (I have 2 other kitties and one of them was getting sick from too much high protein wet food as he has kidney issues). It's a frightening diagnosis as it feels like so much depends on each decision you make, but as you can see here, lots of people help you figure out your individual kitty's needs. Best of luck to you and Gremlin!--Nora and Kali
     
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  9. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you :)
    As I said in my first post, his name is Gremlin and he's 13 years old. He started insulin, Lantus SoloStar, last night and is on 2 units morning and night.
    Five weeks ago he was 7.8kg and yesterday he weighed 5.9kg. He is very skinny. 7kg is about ideal for him as he's a large cat.
    I have not changed his food yet which is currently Hill's Science Diet Original dry in the morning and a tiny amount of that as well as casserole Whiskas wet in the evening. He occasionally get raw or cooked chicken breast due to colon issues but not since his diagnosis.
    He is dehydrated but no more than when the vet checked him yesterday. His gums are not tacky. I will encourage him to have a drink now.
    Thank you so much for your help!
     
  10. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Should be able to. He prefers casserole and mince but he MAY eat pate.
     
  11. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Gremlin has perked up somewhat in the last few minutes and is now happily purring on my son's bed. He refused water. Perhaps the lethargy is his body's way of adjusting to the insulin? On top of already being underweight and dehydrated.
     
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  12. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    There are several things you can do to help your kitty with this disease.
    You have already done something great and that is join this forum!

    You mentioned the glucose strips. Are they the ones that measure the glucose in the urine?
    They also measure the ketones which are very important. Ketones can form in diabetic cats and are very serious. So it is important to check for those when your cat is in high numbers. If you could test tomorrow and tell us the result, that would be great!thanks.
    These are the ones to get
    http://www.chemistaustralia.com.au/products/keto-diastix-strips-x-50.html

    We strongly recommend you home test the blood sugars. It might sound scary but really it is not and you will soon become very good at it I promise!!! Tara only joined recently and was very nervous and she is now an old hand at it!
    This is a good monitor to get....linked below.
    You should be able to get it from most chemists....don't let them sell you any other one as you need to get one that has test strips that are easy to get and not too expensive. You will need to buy the first lot of strips from the chemist, then you can buy on eBay and they are much cheaper.
    Here is the monitor
    http://www.pharmacydirect.com.au/Pr...tium-neo-blood-glucose-monitor-kit-18428.aspx
    Here are the lancets you will need to prick the ear.....it doesn't hurt them
    http://www.terrywhitechemists.com.au/medisense-thin-lancet-100-1-pack-201003.html

    Here are the test strips
    http://www.amcal.com.au/abbott-freestyle-optium-glucose-strip---100-pack-p-093815998846
    I will send you the link to how to test shortly.

    Have you looked through the list of the foods available on the other thread you posted in? That has a good number of Australian suitable canned foods. A lot use Fancy Feast classic canned as long as none of your cats have kidney problems as they are high in phosphorus. Otherwise they are fine. whiskas pates are fine too.
     
  13. michysweets

    michysweets Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Break it up and out a little water
    It works with Spazz
     
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  14. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    As I have three other cats I opted to test blood sugar levels using Accu-Chek Performa Nano and test strips. I didn't have the money to buy a box of test strips today so I'm getting a couple from the vet to ride me over to pay day. The vet advised to check this way every three days or if worried. Yesterday his blood sugar level was 18 but he hadn't started the insulin.

    None of my cats have any other health issues (except Gremlin's sister who has terminal breast cancer) so I can suit the food to Gremlin. I did look through the list of foods but Gremlin refuses to eat loaf, he prefers casserole and mince. I'm not sure if any of the ones listed have a similar consistency.
     
  15. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    I second Bron's comment that the testing is not difficult - we took Ivana to Bron's home to meet her and Sheba, and Sheba was our guinea pig to practice on when Bron demonstrated how to do the testing as well as supervising when we first tested Ivana. If there's another FDMB member near you, I highly recommend meeting up, it's such great support for learning things like testing and also picking brains with any other questions you may have. I don't know enough to give advice yet, but that's my one piece :)
     
  16. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you! Hopefully I can find someone nearby to share support.
     
  17. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Sorry, I must have missed seeing his name....sorry and welcome Gremlin!

    Two units of insulin twice a day is too much in my opinion for a cat the size of Gremlin. Most cats start off on 1 unit and move up slowly. I know he is on the science Diet Dry but even so it seems a lot.
    Do you know the signs of low blood sugar and how to treat it? I don't want to scare you but it is important you recognise it and know what to do.
    Do you have some honey in the house, which you could use if he did drop low. Once you are home testing you will know how his blood sugars are going and it takes the guess work out of it. Here is a link to how to recognise and treat a hypo ina cat. Please print it out so you will have it if needed.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-to-treat-hypos-they-can-kill-print-this-out.15887/

    I am going to ask someone who gives dosing advise to have a look at Gremlins dose as I am concerned. I see a couple of ladies online at the moment.
    @Sienne and Gabby ,@Vyktors Mum could you have a look at Gremlins insulin dose please. Just joined to day from Australia and weighs currently 5.9kg. His vet has him on 2 units Lantus bd. He is eating science dry at the moment. Thanks
     
  18. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    No worries :)
    Yes, I have been advised about the possibility of him going hypo and I have researched it as well. I have honey in the house for him and my vet gave me a print out. I will take a look at the one you have linked to and print that if it's better.
    Thanks!
     
  19. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Great you know about hypos and the Accu-chek is another good monitor. So pleased you have one already. :)
    Well you are well on the way to being organised! We recommend you always test before giving the insulin to see it is safe to do so and also test about 4 or 5 hours later to see how the insulin is working.
     
  20. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    My vet recommended I test once every three days but after researching I think more often (at least in the beginning) would be more beneficial. I'd hate for him to go hypo.
     
  21. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi, Laura and welcome to FDMB. Bron asked me to stop by -- I'm one of the longer time denizens of the Lantus/Lev board. There is a huge amount of information to absorb at the beginning of this journey. Much of it will become second nature, though.

    As Bron mentioned, we strongly endorse home testing. I can't emphasize this enough. It is the best way to keep Gremlin safe. Home testing does not mean grabbing a test every 3 days like your vet suggested. That's a recipe for disaster. No parent of a diabetic child would get a test every few days. Humans test at every meal time and/or at every shot time. With a long-acting insulin like Lantus, dose is based on the lowest point in the cycle (the nadir). So, you need to know what the blood glucose (BG) test value is somewhere around the middle of the 12-hour cycle. Likewise, you need to test at shot time in order to know whether it's safe to give an injection. Every time I read about a member who's vet discouraged home testing or careful home monitoring and the cat had a severe hypoglycemic episode, it makes me sick because it is a situation that was easy to avoid. Please keep in mind that many cats are completely asymptomatic when their BG numbers are initially low. (My cat has dropped into the 20s on a rare occasion and she had no symptoms whatsoever.) The difficulty is that if you're not home testing, you will never know that numbers are this low and if number stay that low without your intervening, it's a crisis.

    The initial dose of Lantus is based on a cat's ideal body weight. The formula is: initial dose = 0.25 x ideal weight in kg. So for Gremlin, a good starting dose would be 1.75u. However, given that Gremlin is underweight, I might start at a lower dose such as 1.5u.

    We also recommend a low carbohydrate, canned food diet. That means that the carbs should be under 10%. Most of us feed substantially lower carb than 10%. (My guys eat 4 - 5% carb food.) If you are planning on switching over to food that is lower in carbs, it is critical that you are home testing. Right now, Gremlin is eating high carb food. If you lower the carbs, insulin needs can drop dramatically. In fact, we've had cats rapidly go into remission with a change to a low carb diet.

    Did your vet run a full panel of blood work? Was there any indication of ketones? Any time I hear someone describe their cat as lethargic, I want to see a ketone test. You can easily do this at home. You get the strips that were recommended and dip a strip into Gremlin's urine. The paper end of the strip will change color and give you a reading on the ketones.

    Please let us know how we can help. The people here are very generous with their time and information and we'll do our best to lend a hand.

     
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  22. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Yes, you are wise to think that! You can't tell by looking at the cat...unless he is having a hypo.......what the blood sugar level is (BSL). The reason we always test before giving the insulin is to check that the BSL is not too low to give insulin. Also if the BSL drops a lot during the cycle (a cycle is from one insulin dose to the next) we can feed the cat and bring the numbers up to a save level.....we are always in control then.
    A lot of vets are not into home testing....at least your vet suggested it which is a real plus. And a lot of vets only think you need to test sometimes. To keep your cat safe you need to test as a minimum as I suggested

    You will find it cheaper to buy your test strips on EBay than in the chemist.....mine are less than half the price on eBay.
    Once you get yourself sorted out.....and you seem to be doing a great job so far!.......you might like to start posting over on the lantus and levemir forum. You would be most welcome!
    I hope we have not overwhelmed you with information. It is a lot to take in. It is wonderful you are doing all this for Gremlin. Once his BSLs stablise he should start to put on weight. Let him eat all he wants at the moment as his body is starving for food. Also until you wean off the dry I would give the same amount of dry in the morning and the evening as it is high carb and if you give most of it in the morning and the canned food in the evening, his BSL could drop in the evening as he is getting fewer carbs.
    :bighug:
     
  23. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    My vet did do the full blood work and urine testing but didn't talk to me about ketones. She said she would speak more about things during Gremlin's next visit in a week and a half as she didn't want to overload me.
    Gremlin has been lethargic for a few days now including when he was at the vet yesterday. It is just sometimes worse than others.
    I don't understand the BGL, only the BSL as that is what has been explained to me so far.
    I'm not sure how to set his dose to 1.5. The pen only seems to click up or down in full units.
    From what I am understanding, I should test his BSL three times a day? Before his two meals and half way in the middle? I won't always be able to do that due to work and cooperation on his behalf. My son is not always home to help me and when Grem's well he's a feisty cat! :(
    I'm not sure how I'll go testing ketones as I have four cats. I'll have to follow him around until he goes to the litter.
    With his food - Should I introduce wet food into his breakfast to make the gradual change easier when I get to it?

    I'm feeling quite overwhelmed! Not in regards to all the information, just about what is to come for me and him, and the costs involved. I want the best for my fur baby but it's a huge adjustment.
     
  24. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    :bighug::bighug::bighug:
    I know how you feel. It is a lot to take in at first. You are probably feeling tired at this time of night as well which always makes things seem worse. It is normal to feel overwhelmed in the beginning....we all did. We all wondered how we would cope and what adjustments we would have to make. Many of us cried.
    Once you get sorted and organised it will be much better.
    Lots of people work and have diabetic cats so don't worry about that. You don't have to test inbetween every cycle if you are not at home.
    Also with testing Gremlin will get used to it. We always give a treat afterwards and they soon get to know that and will come as soon as they hear the noises associated with testing. I give my Sheba the treat as I am testing...it distracts her and she is then cooperative.
    The BGL and the BSL are the same thing.

    One thing a lot of us find who work is a timed feeder. They are great for at night and when we are at work.
    If you can't afford to get one straight away......that is fine. It is just a suggestion for you to think of :)
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AUTO-Dog...l-Automatic-Program-Digital-LCD-/111237001846

    We all understand the pressures of work and money restraints......most of us have them.
    Try and hang in there. Keep posting and asking questions and ask for support if you need it. We all understand as we have all been there:bighug::bighug:
     
  25. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I will try to find a treat that he likes for testing.
    I just packed up my timed feeder so the cats can no longer graze on dry food. I will have to be home to do his insulin shot anyway. Fortunately I don't work at night but I'm rearranging other things so I can be home every night for him.
    Thank you all for your advice and support. I will definitely be back with more questions.
     
  26. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Happy in bed with his person, my son :D IMAG8577_1.jpg
     
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  27. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Sorry I didn't answer all the questions.
    Don't change any of the food until you are testing the blood. The reason is because the dry is much higher in carbs and if you change to the lower canned food Gremlins insulin needs will drop. Once you are testing the blood ask here for help to change over safely.
    With testing the ketones....you will just have to try and catch him peeing. If he will let you, slip a small plastic container under him to collect the urine. Otherwise you might just have to stick it under him. If I were you I would try and get that done tomorrow if you can....because he is lethargic. Making sure he is eating well and drinking plenty helps stop ketones developing. He may well not have them but it is always best to check.

    With the insulin dose.....using a pen restricts you to just going up and down by one unit increments.
    We go up and down by 0.25unit increments...much smaller than the vet. It is safer for the cat and we are less likely to miss the correct dose of insulin for the cat. What you need to buy are insulin syringes from the chemist. You can use the little vial that fits into the pen. We use those, only we don't use the pens.
    The syringes you need are
    BD Ultra-fine11 short needle, 0.3ml, 31 G x 8mm for use with U-100 insulin.
    I buy my syringes from the chemist and they cost 29.50 for a box of 100
    You will have an initial outlay of costs , but a lot of the things last a long time.

    Beautiful photo! He looks loved which is wonderful.
     
  28. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you. I will look into the syringes. I will test his ketones tomorrow (I'll get a strip from the vet). And I'll be in contact before I change his food. He has eaten less today than usual so I'll test his BSL tomorrow midday or before his evening meal and buy more on eBay. I'll also cancel the order for diabetic dry food.

    He is very loved!!
     
  29. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    I can see he is loved!
    He looks a beautiful kitty, his marking are gorgeous.
    Will you post the result of the ketone test when you get it please?.....we will be watching to see all is well.
    Hope you get a good nights sleep
     
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  30. Vyktors Mum

    Vyktors Mum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Dine might be a good option for you to try if Gremlin prefers the casserole consistency. Be careful and read the labels as not all of them are low carb - avoid the ones that say they contain cereals/thickeners. I would cancel your prescription order for the diabetic dry. It's lower carb than the Hills but still pretty rubbish - especially for the price! As others have mentioned do not change until you're home testing as insulin needs can drop substantially. When you do change do it slowly over a week or so to avoid tummy upsets and so you can watch the BG (blood glucose, same as BSL). In the meantime to help with the dehydration you can add water to his food.

    I would've started on a lower dose too 1.25-1.5 for Gremlin based on his current weight but the pens can only do single units. I'm not sure if you can get the cartridge out of the solar star to draw directly I've never used one.

    I stick a tablespoon under Vyktor when I need to catch some pee (luckily he's pretty consistent with his pee times so I know roughly when I need to be stalking him), with my mum's kitty we can stick the strip directly under the stream (he will nearly always go when he's out on his walk). Ketodiastix cost $10-$15 for a bottle of 50 from the chemist.

    For testing treats mum and I use raw chicken.

    Cute pic of your boys :)welcome aboard.
     
  31. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    You may be able to get urine test strips from your local pharmacy/chemist. In the US, possibly in AU, one brand is KetoDiaStix. There are generic versions. These must be dipped in fresh urine and read within a short time period for the best interpretations.

    See Secondary Monitoring Tools for some other assessments you may find helpful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  32. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    @Vyktors Mum - You don't need to take the cartridge out of the pen. You just don't screw the needle tip on to the pen. There's a rubber gasket at the top just like the cartridge or a vial. You insert the needle of a syringe into the rubber gasket and draw off the insulin. There are pictures in the sticky on handling Lantus.

    I believe Bron provided information on purchasing ketostix/ketodiastix in your locale.

    In the US, we often have to contact the cat food manufacturers to get accurate information on carbs. If Gremlin will eat some of what you know is low carb, I wouldn't get too concerned at this point. You've got enough on your plate with learning how to test, etc. It's absolutely normal to feel overwhelmed. We've ll been there and know what it was like. Please ask questions -- we're here to help.

     
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  33. Vyktors Mum

    Vyktors Mum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    The whiskas loaf varieties are LC too, also some of the kitten pouches (also loaf styles) and the, I think it's 12+ pouches (the older kitty stuff anyway which is more like casserole) again not all so check the labels for cereals and thickeners. It's fine to feed any age cats those foods, cats nutritional needs don't change much at any age. Kitten food does tend to be a little higher in fat so maybe not the best option for an overweight kitty but a great option for your skinny pins Gremlin. Also fancy feast kitten is fine, I'd go the Turkey as you don't want to feed fish more than a couple of times a week.

    You should fully expect to have a few melt downs in this early stage too, I promise it does get easier quickly and you'll be a pro before you know it :bighug::)
     
  34. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you everyone! The support here is amazing! I feel better already :woot:

    I'm just getting organised to see the vet and go back to the chemist. Unfortunately some things need to wait until Thursday when I get paid, I've already had to borrow money.

    Gremlin is happily sitting on me delaying me going out but I will post results when I have them.
     
  35. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Morning Laura and Gremlin!:)
    How are you both this morning?
    Just noticed you had posted on the other thread and said you are now feeding only twice a day. Did the vet tell you that?
    Here on the forum we recommend several smaller meals spread over the day. It is easier on the pancreas to have a smaller food load to deal with. So for example I feed Sheba at shot time and then again three hours later. I do the same in the PM cycle. You can change that to suit yourself, but try and feed in the first half of the cycles as this is when the insulin is active. It is a good idea to give some food around three hours after the shot as this is when the insulin is working. You could devide the food up into smaller lots and give at shot time, +3 and +5 if Gremlin is only eating smaller amounts. It is important he eats.
     
  36. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Oh wow! I will go back to meals throughout the day then and let them graze. He usually eats heaps but isn't as much at the moment. I'll gradually introduce more wet food into Grem's diet too, he'll be happy! I've been shopping this morning, FF is half price so I'll have a good supply to start the transition later this week.
    IMAG8580.jpg
    My vet still recommended the diabetes dry food but I cancelled the order anyway.
    She said Grem's ketones were negative on Friday but I have purchased test strips. He's outside at the moment so I'll have to get him in to do the test.
     
  37. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Can anyone recommend a good/simple spreadsheet I can print to record everything for him please?
    Thanks :)
     
  38. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
  39. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
  40. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I've set up the spreadsheet but unsure exactly how to use it. It's so confusing. I'm not a dummy but I feel it at the moment!

    I only got the classic foods in the list as well as fresh mince (they all love it) and a few Gourmet Delight that were on the list. I was too confused about the Dine so left that.
     
  41. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I have the other cat's food, the Hill's dry and Whiskas casserole/mince. Would that be enough or should I get some other stuff just in case?
     
  42. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    We don't recommend dry for the high carb. If I were you I would get a couple of cans of the FF gravy high carb and you then know exactly what you have. If you don't use it all, freeze it in ice cube tray and label for later date. That is what I do when I have left overs.......no waste then.
     
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  43. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Well done. I can see the SS!
    I can see you have put that you are using the alpha trak. Are you sure ? Because those meters are not available in Australia as far as I am aware. I think you might be using a human meter.
    To use the SS you need to always document in the World mmol/l page. It will then automatically transfer the correct numbers over to the U.S. number page. We talk here in US numbers because most of the people...or a lot of the people are in the US. So to change the number you multiply by 18. Eg BSL 12 then 12 x 18= 216. Don't worry about that too much just yet....you will get to know about it soon. Just make sure you document on the World page and document in australian numbers
    The AMPS =am( morning) pre shot. PMPS=pm( afternoon) preshot.
    U= units so you put the number of units you give in that column.
    +1 to +11 is the numbers of hours AFTER the insulin is given. We all live in different time zones so we do it this way to stop confusion. So if you gave insulin at 8am you would put the number of units in the U column. Then you tested at 1pm so you would go to the +5 column and put in the BSL.
    If that is not clear....just let me know. Also let us know about the meter.
     
  44. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Hopefully should be correct now.
     
  45. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Yes! That is great. Well done!
    How are you finding it to do the BSL testing?
    Are you testing on the ear?
    I know you don't have many test strips yet but when you do, if you could start testing before you give the insulin, that would be much safer for Gremlin. We usually test, feed and then give the insulin....all in about 15 minutes. As you go along it will take less time. Then we don't give any food after +10 so that the BSL is not influenced by food.
    How was your vet about everything this morning?
     
  46. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I haven't done a test myself yet, he spent most of the afternoon outside so I will test before his dinner tonight at around 7pm, on the ear. I've watched a few tutorials online. He just came in and had a nibble so he won't have any more food until dinner.
    My vet seemed a bit put out when I mentioned not feeding the diabetic dry food and instead feeding only wet. Otherwise she is very supportive. I'd have preferred to see my usual vet but she now works the days I work only.
     
  47. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    This is a link to testing on the ear that is here on the forum. It shows the sweet spot. Give him something low carb to nibble while you test like a little piece of mince. It will distract him.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/testing-and-shooting-tips.85113/

    Most vets only get a few hours of training for diabetes and the diet part is mostly sponsored by the big food companies so of course they promote their own products. Most of us have found the same thing. Dry food is about 7% moisture and wet food is about 78% moisture and cats need moisture in their diet otherwise the lack of moisture and the high carbs put a strain on the kidneys and the pancreas. You are doing the right thing by your kitties by changing them all over to wet food.
     
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  48. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you for the reassurance. It makes me feel much better. The cats will be happier on a wet food diet anyway. Though my youngest with a sensitive stomache will be an issue. Grem prefers wet so I may be able to just change him at first and worry about the rest later.

    I will have a look at the link now. My son can give him some mince while I test him.
     
  49. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I can't do this! I just wasted a full thing of lances, two needles and two test strips all for nothing. Gremlin's ears have been stabbed multiple times. I still don't have a BSL reading and he hates me. I have one test strip left. I yelled at my son, stressed the cat and now I'm on the kitchen floor in tears.
     
  50. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Please don't worry. :bighug::bighug:
    The first few times are going to be hard. It happened to all of us. Gremlins ears have to learn to bleed which they will do over the next week or two. And he will get used to having his ears touched. Try having an old sock with rice in it and warmed slightly in the microwave and holding it against his ear to warm it. And try rubbing his ears to get him used to having them touched.Always praise him and give him a treat after testing or touching his ears no matter what happened.
    It will take time but I promise you, you will "get" it.
    Hang in there. I would not use your last strip. Keep it in case you need it.
    I know a lady who lives in Victoria. I am going to contact her and see if she lives anywhere near you. Where in Victoria do you live?
    Don't feel a failure because you are not.
    Take some deep breathes and Be kind to yourself.
    Post again in an hour and tell me how things are going.
    :bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
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  51. Voula

    Voula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    Hi Laura. I live in Victoria too. I know how stressful the diagnosis is at first. Hang in there and Gremlin will be just fine. I will send you a personal message.
     
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  52. Voula

    Voula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    I understand how you feel because I remember laying on the floor and just crying as I couldn't do the tests and didn't know how I would ever do them. But with time, patience and practice, I am amazed at how easy it is now. Hugs. :bighug:
     
  53. Voula

    Voula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    I know people don't like the freestyle lite glucometer but I changed to using it from the freestyle optium when I was first testing. The reason being that I was having difficulty getting a big enough blood sample to use the optium glucometer and it was very stressful so I changed to the freestyle lite and it was great as I was able to do a test every time. The freestyle lite can do tests using a smaller blood sample than the optium. I have recently changed back to the optium glucometer but I sometimes use the freestyle lite too. The freestyle lite reads lower at higher BG levels but is about the same at the lower BG levels and if someone is really struggling at first it might be useful to use the freestyle lite rather than not do any tests.
     
  54. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I have managed to find someone here that used to have a diabetic cat. She has supplies still that I can have and she is going to come over and help me to test him tomorrow night. Thank goodness!
    He still got a treat, dinner and insulin but is now in hiding. I will start rubbing his ears and touching them and giving him treats when I do.
    I'm still quite upset but I will try again tomorrow. It has to get easier!
     
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  55. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    That is good news. I am really pleased you have found someone. Just take it slowly and it will work out in the end.
    He will not hold it against you..and he will come to accept it as normal. Sheba comes and sits and waits for me to do the test when she hears the noises she has come to associate with it. She knows she will get a treat.......bribery and corruption :)
    Did you get the message from Voula? Look in the top right hand corner of your page...to inbox. She might be able to help too.
     
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  56. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Laura I absolutely understand what you're going through, that was us less than a month ago. My hubby had the same experience as you with the testing - he found it really difficult and it was setting off his anxiety issues because he felt like a failure if he couldn't do it exactly right on the first go every time. I find the testing cinch, but struggle with the injections still. It *does* get easier, because Gremlin will get used to routine that is new for all of you. My Ivana is the fussiest cat around and even she will sit still (most of the time) when it comes to tests and shots. As long as there's a treat involved, she's ok with it. And if you're anything like us, there will unfortunately be quite a few wasted test strips until you get to know how much blood you need. Gremlin will be the same, I have no doubt. His ears will get easier to bleed in a couple of weeks. He just doesn't know what's going on right now and because you're stressed he's picking up on it. Please don't give up, Gremlin needs you :bighug:
     
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  57. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    And wonderful that you can have someone show you how to test! I met Bron and Sheba for that lesson, it was a lifesaver :)
     
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  58. Voula

    Voula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    All the best for tomorrow and it is wonderful you found someone in the same town who understands and can help you.
     
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  59. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I will do what needs to be done for Grem to comfortably live out the rest of his life. My fur babies are my children. I will keep trying. He's so good with his insulin shots, I'm sure we'll get there with the tests eventually too. I won't give up!
     
  60. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    They're more resilient than we think :) Personally, I think the whole diabetes thing is harder on us than it is on them - but hey, we get to save their life twice a day, that's a pretty cool super-power!
     
  61. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I like that :) Thank you for the different perspective!
     
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  62. Shiloh & Rhonda

    Shiloh & Rhonda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Laura, regardless of how you feel right now, you are doing great!! You are learning and trying, which we all did in the beginning, but it is much more than most people who get this diagnosis do. Many aren't willing to treat and opt to PTS.

    I had my meltdowns in the beginning as well. We all did. Give yourself a big :bighug:, and don't forget to [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
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  63. Shiloh & Rhonda

    Shiloh & Rhonda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Forgot to add this. After a little while, when I would test Shiloh, she would start drooling as soon as the lancet device clicked, because she knew a treat was coming. Heaven forbid I had to poke more than once! I would have a lake in my lap!
     
  64. Lynn & Rupert

    Lynn & Rupert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    You are doing great Laura and know that most of us had the same feelings of being overwhelmed at first. I shed many a tear over testing, but it does get easier, much quicker than you would think! I prefer to free hand the pricking, it's easier to see where you are pricking and there is no click to scare your kitty. I always rub a little vasoline on the ear before pricking, the blood beads up instead of spreading on the fur. Gremlin is a beautiful cat and he is lucky to be so loved! Hang in there, you are doing great! :bighug:
     
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  65. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Good morning Laura and Gremlin,:)
    Hope you have a good day today and your friends visit tonight goes well.
    Am just attaching a link to a really great resource. It has masses of information.... if you bookmark it you will find it really useful many times as time goes by. It is a great read, I use it a lot.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/where-can-i-find-________.127890/
     
  66. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you all!

    And thank you Bron, that will be invaluable!

    I will update tonight after crunch time.
     
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  67. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Understanding the spreadsheet/grid:

    The colored headings at the top are the ranges of glucose values. They are color-coded to clue you in as to meaning.

    Each day is 1 row. Each column stores different data for the day.

    From left to right, you enter
    the Date in the first column
    the AMPS (morning, pre-shot, test) in the 2nd column
    the Units given (turquoise column)

    Then, there are 11 columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you test at +5 (5 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +5 column
    If you test at +7 (7 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +7 column
    and so on.

    Halfway across the page is the column for PMPS (evening, pre-shot, test)
    To the right is another turquoise column for Units given at the evening shot.

    There is second set of columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you snag a before bed test at +3, you enter the test number in the +3 column.

    We separate day and night numbers like that because many cats go lower at night.

    The nadir is the lowest glucose between shots. There is a general period when it will happen which is specific to the insulin being used and testing then helps make sure your cat doesn't go too low.

    It is merely a grid for storing the info; no math required.
     
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  68. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you. I figured most of it out. Now I just need to start testing. I have bought lances so hopefully that will be more successful.
     
  69. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Update: we were unsuccessful again but we were a lot closer. One teensy bit more blood and we would have had it. As soon as I get more test strips we'll try again. The lance was much better! I don't feel so bad about it all now. Grem still hates his ears being touched but I'll continue to touch them and give him treats. Fingers crossed I'll have a successful test on Wednesday!
     
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  70. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    It takes a couple of weeks for the ears to learn to bleed. Sounds crazy but it is true. The ears produce more capillaries and bleed more easily. I know it is frustrating when not enough blood comes out. I still have that happen occasionally, especially if Sheba's ears are cold.
    Did your friend come over to show you?
    I am glad you are finding it easier with the lancet. I do too. And I am so pleased you feel better about it all today.
    Gremlin will get used to having his ears touched, especially if he knows there are treats attached.
    Anyway.....well done for getting this far!
    I think you have made great strides and you sound more confident and happier today. I am so pleased.
    Please keep us up to date with how you are going, and ask lots of questions!
    Looking forward to hearing the update.:)
    ETA you could go through the motions of clicking the lancet on his ear...without a needle in it and pretending to get blood over the next few days while you wait for the strips. It will be practise for you and conditioning for Gremlin. If you put a cotton ball behind the ear as you click the lancet it might help....and you can dab the left over blood afterwards.
     
  71. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Fantastic! You're doing awesomely, you'll have it next time I bet. It took us a little while to look at a drop of blood and know it would be enough or if we should keep 'milking' - like anything, it's just practice (for you with poking, and for Gremlin with sitting still!) Let us know how you go on Wednesday :)
     
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  72. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Yes, the girl I met through Facebook came and helped me. That's why I feel so much better about it all now! We warmed his ear first and almost got it! The blood spread through the hair too which didn't help. She said she will come and help me again which is great.
     
  73. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    That is really good! It helps to have a person help as opposed to a computer:joyful:
     
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  74. Lynn & Rupert

    Lynn & Rupert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Did you try the petroleum jelly trick yet? Just wipe a little on with a Qtip, you don't want too much, might give a false reading or error. Some use clear antibiotic cream with pain relief, Neosporin is one brand. Same instructions as the petroleum jelly. Either of these will help the blood to bead up as opposed to spreading into the fur. I also use the cotton ball, it supports the ear, less chance of pricking myself and it cleans up the blood bead when all done. Best of luck, you are doing great!
     
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  75. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I use a folded tissue to support the ear and then stop the bleeding. I was just thinking this morning I might try using petroleum jelly to make the blood bead. Thanks :)

    I picked Grem up and put him where I have been attempting to do his tests. I started playing with his ears and he was not struggling but so not happy either. I then gave him a treat and put him down. Happy boy!
     
  76. Lynn & Rupert

    Lynn & Rupert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    There you go! He will be ok with the tests in no time! :D It is really frustrating and scary at first, I was the same way and shed some tears over it too. You will get this, just try not to get too upset if things don't go well, just breathe and remember, practice makes purrfect!
     
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  77. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Gremlins is still getting somewhat sleepy but still alert after his 2 x meals and injections. Could his insulin be too high? I really need to get a BSL reading :banghead: He does perk up again after a while and then he's his normal self (almost) a few hours before the next meal/shot. I know he is still underweight and not feeling well so that wouldn't help his mood at all.
     
  78. Lynn & Rupert

    Lynn & Rupert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    I can't give dose advice, but it doesn't sound like there is anything to be alarmed about. You won't know if his insulin dose is too high or too low, till you can get some readings. He is not regulated yet, so he is not going to feel at his best. He will put the weight back on, just give it some time. Hang in there, I know it is so scary at first, but you are doing terrific and it will get better for you and him! :bighug:
     
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  79. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Don't use the cream, use something with petroleum jelly in it or it won't bead up.
     
  80. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
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  81. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I need to pick up a friend from the train station at the same time I would usually do Gremlin's insulin. I'm wondering if it would be okay to do his dinner and shot ten minutes early of if I should let my friend know I'll be fairly late?
    Thanks!
    I'll post tonight results of BSL test attempt number three.
     
  82. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    As far as I know (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong), Lantus gives you a 30min window on either side of the exact shot time - so you can shoot up to 30min early or 30min late without affecting Gremlin's schedule. Though obviously the closer you can get to the actual time, the better.

    Good luck for the test!
     
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  83. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Failed testing again twice! But only by a little tiny bit. Vaseline helped heaps but still didn't quite get enough blood out. Will try again tomorrow. In the morning if my son is up early enough to help. Poor bugger, his ears are pin cushions!
     
  84. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    I think you are doing a great job. You are almost there. I know it is very frustrating.
    After you prick the ear, try milking it gently up towards the prick from the bottom a few times. I do that a lot if it is not beading up.
    Gremlin will get very used to it in a short time I promise. When I was showing Tara how to test, she was not sure Ivana would comply....but within a very few days she posted a photo of Ivana waiting by the testing kit for her treat!!!
     
  85. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I did milk it but it wasn't enough. Practice makes perfect and we're getting better everytime. Gremlin is coping okay, I think it's me worrying about his poor little ears more. It doesn't seem to bother him much. He was very happy today!! And he's perkier tonight than any other night so far. :) Do their ears heal faster and bruise less as time goes by?
     
  86. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    I often test ten or more times during the day if Sheba is dropping low and fast and you would never know to look at her ears that she had any tests at all.
    To help stop the bruising hold a cotton ball or tissue against the prick and gently hold both sides of the ear for a minute.
    This whole disease always hurts us more than the kitties.
    I'm glad Gremlin is happier and perkier.
     
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  87. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    2015-09-13 21.53.37.jpg
     
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  88. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

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    Sep 26, 2015
    That's fantastic! We're not even close to that yet. I still need someone to hold him but he does love the treat afterwards!
     
  89. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Glad Gremlin is feeling good! Don't worry, you'll get there with the tests. I actually enjoy doing them now because it shows me something solid about how Ivana's body is actually coping, rather than just observing her (because she doesn't do much other than sleep these days, so it's hard to tell from just watching her). Keep trying, it will be so exciting for you when you get it :)
     
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  90. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    I can't wait to get it! He hasn't been tested in five days :nailbiting: and I want to see if there is any change now he's on insulin. I also want to start adjusting his diet. Keeping my fingers crossed one day we can diet control without insulin! I'm extremely happy that he is finally starting to feel better, he has put on a tiny bit of weight too. I'm letting him eat as per usual so he can build up to a healthy weight again now he has his appetite back properly.
     
  91. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    When we started testing Ivana, we gave her two treats per test - one before, and one after. The one before seemed to hold her interest enough to want to hang around and see if there were any more treats to come, so it worked well. We don't give the before treat anymore though now that she's in the routine.
     
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  92. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Oooh, that's a great idea! Thanks!
     
  93. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Just managed to do a ketone test and it's negative :D
     
  94. Tara & Ivana

    Tara & Ivana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Woohoo go Gremlin!
     
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  95. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    Laura an Tara, your babies are beautiful.
     
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  96. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Thank you! So is your Smokey!
     
  97. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Thank you.
     
  98. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    I don't hold Sheba at all when testing. I kneel on the floor and half sit on my lower legs and Sheba comes and sits inbetween my knees. I can then lean forward to get to her ear and I have control of her without restraining her. I do it beside the kitchen bench so I just have to reach up to get the testing equipment and then the treat. I put the treat down and test immediately as she is eating/ drinking it.
     
  99. Laura and Gremlin

    Laura and Gremlin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    We're not quite up to that yet. Grem squirms and scratches. He hates his ears being touched. We'll get there eventually.
     
  100. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Poor boy ....his world has been turned upside down as well as yours. :bighug:
    Great you got the ketone test and it was negative!
     
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