Newly diagnosed! Help!

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Lynn & Scoot, Feb 25, 2018.

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  1. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Scoot was diagnosed 3 weeks ago, she is 14 yrs old. My Vet put her on Vetsulin (2 lines on the needle). He said no special food was required, the Delectables bisque senior, 10 yrs + was fine. I was directed to give her a small amount of food & then the shot. 3 to 4 hrs later give her a full meal. I am to bring her back to the Vet ( six hrs after her injection) in the next week or two to see what might need changing. Also 3 wks ago she was put on antibiotics for dental issues for 7 to 10 days that we did. We were not instructed as of yet about any home testing for the diabetes. Her last medical issue was 2 yrs ago, she had radio iodine therapy for her thyroid & after all of that she had gained a lot of weight. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with her getting diabetes. That’s about where we stand right now. It has been a struggle with my work schedule, some days I work during the day & some days at night, every week and it changes week to week. So when I have to work different times, I’ve been tweeking her shot time an hour to an hour and a half one way oranother...I just have been keeping a running list of the times. Then of course the 4 hrs after the shot to give her the full meal has me setting the alarm in the middle of the night sometimes. I would do anything I possibly could for her, it’s just beenstressful for both of us. Does it sound like I’mdoing ok, I have zero experience with this? Thank you for listening.
     
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  2. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lynn, the first thing I recommend is that you start hometesting. It’s the best way to keep Scoot safe and know how well the vetsulin is working. It will also save you time & money because you won’t have to bring Scoot to the vet to be tested. Another thing I’ve found invaluable is a timed autofeeder like THIS. No more waking in the middle of the night to give a snack, and when I’m gone all day Colin gets his meals right on schedule. As for food, I don’t know if the Delectables is low carb or not, but we recommend a wet food under 10 carbs. Fancy Feast Classic Pates fit the bill, but until you learn to home test, don’t change your feeding.

    ETA ok, just looked up the Delectables Senior Bisque (seems I had some!) I see tapioca starch, which is high carb, alsomy pouch says ‘lickable treat’. If this is what you have, it may not have all the nutrients necessary to keep Scoot healthy since it is considered to be a treat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
    Reason for edit: add info
  3. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Delectables are a treat not a food... This isn't the only thing you are giving, is it? Most of us feed fancy feast classic or Friskies pate foods.

    You don't need their approval to start testing.

    I have a video in my signature showing how I test my cat CC at home.
     
  4. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Feb 25, 2018
    Thanks for letting me know about the food, I’ll stop on my way home from work & pick some up. Yes, that’s all she’s been eating, the Vet said it was fine, I had brought it with me & asked him...
    I’ll have to watch your video again when I get home for the home testing, where do you purchase all of that & do you have to do it more than a couple times a week?
    Thanks again for your advice!
     
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    My meter I bought on amazon. It's a great meter and probably the one your vet uses, but the strips are expensive at about a dollar each.

    Most people on here opt for the less expensive human meters such as the relion micro or confirm from Walmart.

    Along with the meter you would want a box of 100 extra test strips, and a box of 26 or 28 gauge lancets.

    We always recommend getting a test before injection. Test, then feed, then shoot.

    Then whenever you can get a mid cycle test.

    You can see how we use the spreadsheet to track numbers in the link below.
     
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  6. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    Welcome!

    Take a big breath we know is a lot of stress especially at the beginning but it gets easier, really!

    Home testing is an every day thing actually at least twice a day, always before you give him his insulin shot, to keep him safe and avoid him going to low in his blood sugar levels which is really really dangerous, sometimes it will be more times but that will depend on many things specially on how he reacts to insulin.
     
  7. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Ok, so I ordered the meter, strips & lancets from Amazon. So if I actually can do this, do I alter Scoot’s insulin dosage depending on the # I get & by how much? I’ll be nervous about that because I’m away from home every day to go to work so I won’t be able to monitor her afterwards.
    Thank you for caring about us.
     
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  8. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    I did call “Hartz” this morning to find out how many carbs are in the Delectables that she loves so much, the man researched it & called me back several hours later and said 1.9
    Hopefully I can still give her that at least once s day because she is not eating the Fancy Feast classics.
    Thank you, again
     
  9. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried mixing some of the Delectables with the Fancy Feast?
     
  10. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Well you will want to get a preshot test to make sure she's high enough to shoot. In the beginning we say no shoot under 200. I get that you may not be able to test during the day.... I can't either. I generally test about 5:20, then feed, then shoot at 5:30.... Then test at 7:30 just before I leave for work. In the evening she gets her shot sometime between 5-6pm.... Then I get a reading either 3 or 4 hours later before bed. On the weekend I test much more often and usually do a curve.

    For dosing adjustments let's wait and see what numbers you get. If it's dipping too low mid cycle you will lower the dose. We can help you in this department of you want opinions.
     
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  11. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    That’s a wonderful idea, I’ll try that tomorrow!
    Thank you!
     
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  12. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Feb 25, 2018
    Ok, I hope I can do it at all...it seems like such a narrow edge of her ear to prick without hitting that vain...I’ll try as soon as it’s delivered.
    Thank you, again
     
  13. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    If you freehand it without the device it's really not difficult.
     
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  14. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    I accidentally hit the vein this AM and I’ve been doing this a long time. If you do, don’t panic, just get the test and hold some pressure on the spot to stop the bleeding. Scoot will be fine.
     
  15. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    I received the meter yesterday, read the instructions & tried it last night at 10 pm (12 1/2 hrs from Scoot’s last insulin shot). The reading was 540! I fed her & did it a second time at 10:15, the reading was 407. At 10:45 I gave her slightly more (about 2 1/2 units) than the 2 units I’be been giving her for 3 1/2 weeks since her diagnosis. I fed her again at 2 am & haven’t done anything else yet this morning. Today I work 4 - 11:30 pm.
     
  16. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on testing your kitty yourself!! Huge accomplishment. :) Is your meter a pet meter or a human meter? Also, I recommend you set up a spreadsheet like we use here. It makes it SO much easier to give advice when you need it:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    Another useful thing to do for us is to set up your signature so we get key info at a glance. That's the light grey text under our posts. Click on your name in the upper right corner of this page, then click on "signature" in the drop down menu. A text box will open where you can type in:
    • kitty's age and date of diagnosis
    • what you feed her
    • insulin you're using
    • meter you're using
    • any other health issues/meds she has
    Then click save. Once you get a spreadsheet up you can put a link to that in your signature too. Ask for help then if you need it.
     
  17. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Feb 25, 2018
    I can’t seem to get Scoot’s levels under control, she’s been on the insulin for 4 weeks now. After receiving & home testing her for 3 days, she’s typically in the 300’s sometimes 400’s. I increased her to 3 units last night & tested her this morning (8 hrs after shot) and she was 331. I’ll be at work all day today & won’t be able to monitor her, should I give her 3 units again before I leave? What exactly happens if she goes too low & I’m not home?
     
  18. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    We can help but we really need to see your data on the spreadsheet we use here:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    It's great that you're testing at home - best thing you can do for Scoot. I don't recall if I gave you this basic testing routine we recommend. It fits in nicely with the spreadsheet:
    1. test every day AM and PM before feeding and injecting (no food at least 2 hours before) to see if the planned dose is safe
    2. test at least once near mid cycle or at bedtime daily to see how low the BG goes
    3. do extra tests on days off to fill in the response picture
    4. if indicated by consistently high numbers on your SS, increase the dose by no more than 0.25 u at a time so you don't accidentally go right past a good dose
    5. post here for advice whenever you're confused or unsure of what to do.
    Her BG numbers might be high for several reasons:
    • needing a higher insulin dose (not likely)
    • getting into high carb food (other cats at home?)
    • insulin dose is too high and she's caught in cycles of rebounding from lows or fast drops you aren't catching (AKA "bouncing" - and an important reason to test on a schedule and log data on the spreadsheet).
    Four weeks on insulin is still very early days. It can take many, many weeks, months or longer to get BG under good control. We can help if you're willing to try what we recommend. :)
     
  19. Magic Johnson

    Magic Johnson Member

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    Mar 2, 2018
    Lynn, im new too, I have to go in to work early today I just got my meter but haven’t tested yet - I’m scared to do it - but gonna do it after I readhow this thing works... wishing you the best of luck too :) it’s hard isn’t it... I felt like the only one till I found this forum... people at work said they could never do the shots and all that... I’m so grateful to be here these people seem to know more LOTS MORE than the vets do on this subject ;)
     
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  20. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Yes, there are other cats in the house & there is dry food out 24/7, that’s mostly what they get, wet food about every other day. If I kept her isolated from the others, it hardly seems like any quality of life, she wouldn’t like that.
    I looked at trying to set up the spreadsheet, it’s beyond me technically, I’d have to get someone else to do it for me.
    Thank you anyway
     
  21. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    We can get people here to do it for you.
    @Marje and Gracie
    @Chris & China
     
  22. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    I keep my cat in the spare bedroom when I go to work. At first he didn’t like it, but now he just gets in his bed or sits in the window. Sometimes I put one of his friends in with him. First thing I do when I get home is let him out and usually he’s just lounging in bed.
     
  23. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    It is dangerous if he goes too low at any time that's why we test before shooting and if you are going to be out we recommend you leve food out for him to graze during the day, in my case since I work full time I use a time feeder or when I thought there was a risk he may go low asked a friend/family to drop by my home and give him some food mid morning .

    You could try switching everyone to wet low carb food they will all benefit from the change of food and you will not have to worry about him snuggling food he shouldn't, doing this was the best I could do for my non diabetic cats, they became more active and even their hair improved
     
  24. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Switching all the cats to wet low carb food would help prevent one of your other cats from developing diabetes. If you really would rather serve dry than there is a brand called Young Again Zero carb dry that is diabetic friendly. It's pricy but because it is nutrient dense and high in calories they eat much less of it (like half of typical food). You can ask them for a free sample. Www.youngagainpetfood.com
     
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  25. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    It usually takes longer than 4 weeks to get BGs under control. Even after about 8 years I never got my Bailey's BG under control. Treating a diabetic cat is a marathon, not a sprint
     
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  26. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    definitly.
    When my cat was diagnosed I didn't see a number under 300 for the first three months.
     
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  27. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    The same happened to me too
     
  28. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Lynn, how is Scoot this AM?
     
  29. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Feb 25, 2018
    She threw up, clearish, last night after her shot but she did eat when I fed her around 1 am.
    She tested 363 at 8:45 this morning & I followed her around & got her to eat before her injection at 9:00am, I gave her 2 1/2 units.
    I’m starting to not feel too optimistic.
    Thank you so much for asking
     
  30. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Don’t be discouraged! It takes some cats quite awhile to get to the right dose. I’ll tag @Marje and Gracie and @Chris & China again to help with the spreadsheet. I was skepticle of how much help a spreadsheet would be, and was pleasantly surprised by just how much it helped. My vet loved it too! We will help you figure Scoot out.
     
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  31. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    You are so kind, thank you for caring
     
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  32. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    We all know how scary, confusing and frustrating this is. We all went through the "I can't handle this!" stage and have been in tears many times. You're among friends here. We can help. :bighug:
     
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  33. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lynn, how’s Scoot? I guess our tags to @Marje and Gracie and @Chris & China aren’t going through for some reason. If they don’t answer soon, I’ll PM them to help you with your spreadsheet set up.
     
  34. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Thanks for checking on Scoot, she’s ok.
    After her morning insulin yesterday, I left her food out to be given after I left for work & it accidentally never was...so when I checked her levels last night, they were 166, that’s the lowest they've ever been so I didn’t give her the insulin last night. I also picked up all the dry food for the 1st time yesterday, the other kitties were not happy. I fed everyone canned food when I got home. This morning when I checked her, it was 361, I gave her some food & 2 1/2 units.
    As far as the spreadsheet, I received a journal with the Alpha Track that I have filled out each time I checked her blood sugar or injected her so at least I have a record myself or can show my Vet.
    Thanks again for thinking about us!
     
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  35. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    My cats weren’t happy about the new routine either. Mornings were especially tough, but over time they got used to the routine. I’m glad you’re keeping track of her numbers. It sounds like she’s doing well!
     
  36. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    I will PM Chris about helping you with your spreadsheet. Apparently the tags aren’t going through, that happens sometimes.
     
  37. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lynn, I’m still trying to track down someone to help you with the spreadsheet! How’s Scoot?
     
  38. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    I'd be happy to help with the spreadsheet

    Just click on my name and choose "Start Conversation" so I can get some details.

    It might be a little later today before I can get to it though. Have to take DM to get her hair done ;)
     
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  39. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Hi Sharon, she’s doing ok, her numbers are really up & down. I’ve come to realize how much “food” has to do with it & am trying hard to monitor every bite she eats, so hard with a household of kitties! All the others are annoyed with “no” dry food down, Scoot’s looking for it too, she’ll just sit where the bowl usually is...
    we’re managing though but I’m tired! I just got home from work at midnight & went right to pricking her ear, feeding the brood & giving her the insulin, what can you do...have to be back at work at 8am so I’ll try the spreadsheet again on Sunday, thanks again for checking in on her
     
  40. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    I have a bunch of cats too, so I understand. They will get used to the routine though. Chris will help you with your spreadsheet, just send her a PM by clicking on her name and then on ‘start a conversation’. She just needs a little info.
     
  41. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been off the board due to family issues. I’d be happy to do the Spreadsheet for you.

    Can you send me a PM if you’d like me to do it? Just click on “Marje and Gracie” to the left under Gracie’s photo and then “start a conversation”.
     
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  42. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Lynn, how is Scoot? We’re you able to contact either Marje or Chris and get a spreadsheet set up?
     
  43. Lynn & Scoot

    Lynn & Scoot New Member

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    Feb 25, 2018
    Hi Sharon, yes, Marje has set up the spreadsheet & my niece was helping me out a little but I’m not sure how you put numbers on it or really what all the different headings mean. I’ll see her again this weekend probably & try to figure more out! I have all the figures, amounts & times written down in the journal the Alpha Trak sent. I have such a small window to research anything, I’m really busy.
    Let me ask you something, do you adjust the amount of insulin slightly (within 1 unit) depending on the blood sugar numbers, I have been. If her numbers are a little over 200 or less, I haven’t been giving her any shot...is this right?
     
  44. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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  45. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

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    I already gave her the instructions :):):):) I think it is still confusing her a bit. I’ll send her another message. Thanks, Sharon!!!
     
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  46. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Lynn, was Marje able to help you understand the spreadsheet? I’ll help if I can too, just ask any questions you have. It does look confusing at first (I had trouble in the beginning too) but once it clicks in your head, you’ll find it’s really pretty simple. Once you get it going it will help you, your vet and us figure Scoots best dose.
     
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