Newly diagnosed with diabetes and I need suggestions and help.

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Kathleen Einwich, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    My cat Bet, 14 years old, was diagnosed with diabetes on Friday. Unfortunately I was not given much information, and was sent to the Emergency Vets' in a nearby city because this unfamiliar vet did not have the time to do a "24 hour observation". The Emergency Vets did not think an observation was necessary and sent me out with a prescription and no instructions, not even how to give the shots. I had no idea I would have to....give shots, and especially check his blood sugar level just like a person. So far Idjit's Mom was been a real help to me and so has this website in general. They gave me a lot more info than the vets did. It's the South, what can I say...

    Thanks to the blood glucose device chart, I was able to find a device locally (Free Style Freedom Lite), but no strips except by shipping. At least it comes with some. I can't pick up the unit until tomorrow.

    Bet has had 4 shots so far of 1 unit of Lantus each, and the first shot made a big difference. He stopped peeing everywhere, and is not drinking so much. But after the first shot I have seen....what makes me think it's either not working as well or I am not hitting the mark with the shots. The first three shots I smelled the Lantus out loud, but not at all with the one this morning - and I bent the needle! Geez. So nervous. Putting the shot where the vet said - between the shoulder blades. I'm not supposed to see the original vet until later this week and I had no instructions about having to test at all.

    Once I get the testing etc under control - and I can't find test strips except by mail order - next comes the food change. I've always fed an expensive mail order high protein dog food (recommended by my sister, the animal guru) supplemented by a half can of 9 Lives turkey. He's been an amazingly healthy indoor cat all of his life, never overweight, but in the last month he's gotten so skinny. I finally realized something was really wrong when he began peeing all over the place and drinking a lot of water. He also may be a bit blind. But the one vet said we caught it early, no ketones or other problems. I just wish that I'd been given more information and directions.

    So I see that the PDFs here recommend Purina DM. What do you folks feed? I can only get that through Chewy.com, but that is fine, since that's where I get my 9-Lives and cat litter and they ship pretty fast.

    The idea of blood testing scares the heck out of me. Bet is not a difficult cat, I think he'll put up with it, but is there anywhere else to test from other than the ear? His ears are very sensitive, long story...

    Last question. The Lantus - I got it in a pen. Lucky that I found it at all locally. After the questionable effects in the 2nd and 3rd shot, I did some more reading - at this point I can't remember where - and they said to make sure the Lantus is mixed properly by rolling the pen between your hands and then carefully turning it upside down, back and forth. I did this, this morning, before the 4th shot. No Lantus smell with this shot. Hmm, but as I said I bent the needle and Bet cried. Next time I'm going to try the "rolled skin" thing with his shot so I can see where the shot goes. So is it necessary to lightly agitate the Lantus pen in this way?

    Bet is not terribly more active since the shots, but spends most of his time in the top of the cat tree, convenient to the stairs and both floors. I don't think this is quite normal, but he does come up to see me once in a while for pets. When I stop, he goes back to his perch. I actually saw him using the cat box this morning. He is still prone to a little staring at the wall sort of thing. He still eats his regular foods and when I hear back and can afford it I will order the necessary special food that y'all recommend. It's sure not available locally...

    I am so scared to death and freaking out, but I love this cat, he is the best one I have had in my whole life, him and his sister, who still acts like a kitten. I am a pensioner and this is a real burden but my sisters are sending funds, thank God for them even though they think I'm crazy ("Why didn't you put him to sleep?"). Reading your forums and postings told me why - he can go back to a normal life, just like a person.

    TIA and for all of your help so far. I will take any suggestions y'all have with much gratitude.
    Kathy Einwich
     
  2. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Hi Kathy, many vets are not well schooled in feline diabetes, so it’s not just a southern thing (although being in the south myself I know what you mean!) For food, many of us feed Fancy Feast Classic Pates or Friskies Pates, so there’s no need for expensive or vet prescribed food. As for testing, it’s really easy to do. You can start by choosing a spot that will be your testing spot. Take Bet there several times throughout the day, pet him, rub his ear or paw pad (you can test from there too), give him a treat and let him go. When you’re both comfortable with that, add the actual test. Be sure you are familiar with how the meter works so you can be quick. If you’re at all nervous, try singing softly. It sounds silly but it really helps.
    Lantus should not be shaken at all. Are you using a syringe to pull out the dose, or the pen needles? I found it helpful in the beginning to have a patch shaved on my cat in the shot area so I could clearly see the needle go into his skin.
     
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  3. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

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    Apr 3, 2018
    Hi Kathy, I'm glad to see your post in this forum. Many of us feed Fancy Feast Classics and Friskies pates. These canned foods are available in supermarkets and are affordable. However, please start testing before changing the diet as transition to low carb food will lower the BG and could possibly send Bet into a hypo. I know you are scared right now, but it's going to become part of your routine.
    Testing may seem difficult at first, but it's essential that you do this. First, to know that it's safe to inject the insulin, and second to hopefully prevent a hypo, and in the event of that, be able to test and track the BG so you know how to treat it. You sound like a perfectly capable woman to me, and I believe you can do this.
    If you have not done so, start by reading the information on the Home page: Getting Started and Education.
    There is another forum here called Health Links/FAQS about Feline Diabetes. This is all important information you need. In this forum there is a section about home testing, with pictures, videos and instructions. Home testing is patience and practice. You can start now by selecting a "testing station" someplace comfortable for both of you and well lit, taking Bet there, petting etc, handling ears, and giving him a treat. Most of the commercial treats are too high in carbs, so we use freeze dried chicken, or just small pieces of baked or boiled chicken breast. Do this often, so he gets the idea that this is a good thing to do.
    As far as injections, there are other sites that you can use besides the scruff. I used to prepare the syringe, fix Idjit's food and take it to my bed. I had spread a towel on the bed, cause Idjit can get messy, then I put the dish on the bed, Idjit followed and began to dine. I was able to tent his side and inject, he never batted an eye. So, I was not bending uncomfortably, and he was happy as a clam.
    So, read through that information. You don't have to commit everything to memory right now, it will happen as you gain experience.
     
  4. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    I have a Lantus pen. I am glad to hear that I can test from somewhere else, because Bet's ears have always been very sensitive to touch. I only have my suspicions why, as they are super clean inside. I guess I'll try his ears first, though, when I get the kit tomorrow. This is so frightening to me. Thank you so much for the advice on NOT shaking the pen. I did follow the directions on the Lantus pen in the initial use and I am trying to be careful to check for air bubbles. So much to read and remember!

    Bet has never been one for treats...I have been trying to figure out not only what treat to use but how to make sure he has something in his stomach before his shot. He has never liked fish, the weirdo. I thought about maybe a bit of cooked chicken but I'm not sure he'll even eat that. I've never encouraged his eating of people food so he shows no interest.

    Thank you also for the food recommendations, I can certainly find those locally. You are all wonderful folks!
    Kathy
     
  5. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018

    Wow, thanks so much. I have read various FAQs and PDFs and videos on this site until my head is about to explode. I am so appreciative they are there to help me along with you folks and I thank you for being understanding of this newbie who is still scared to death of the idea of sticking a needle of any sort into her cat. The idea of baked chicken - Bet never took to treats or people food - I will try it. I see I have to have a regular place to do the testing and shots, so thank you for that. I am glad that you are guiding me to go relatively slow, and in a certain order - I had no idea. A fantastic help. It's going to be interesting....I have another cat, Bet's sister, who will probably demand chicken as well. She still acts like a kitten with springs in her legs and is climbing the door jambs with all of the attention Bet is getting!

    I will try not to bother you folks. I am very appreciative of all of your help as this crisis goes along. I am very encouraged at the possibility that Bet can go back to a normal, healthy life with some calm effort on my part.
    Kathy
     
  6. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Here’s a video testing from the paw

    Since we recommend going up in dose by .25 units at a time, you’ll find using a syringe with the pen as a vial would be much easier. You can get syringes at Walmart. Many of us also get our meters and strips at Walmart.
     
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  7. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    You will never bother us, we like to help! Everyone of us were newbies at some point, so we understand your concerns.
     
  8. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018

    Thank you so much for that video. It is SO helpful. An alternative if Bet gives me a lot a trouble with his ears.
     
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  9. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    I second Sharon's response, it's not a bother and we all stood in your shoes at some point. In fact, if you don't post and let us know how you are doing, I will be concerned.
    Do remember to breathe, that's essential :) and please don't explode. When Idjit was diagnosed I went into major research mode, which is my MO. I would climb into bed, grab my Kindle, log on to this board and read when everything that had to be done that day, was done. I watched lots of testing videos on YouTube also, and I was still pretty nervous. Abysmal at testing at first, to be honest.
    Bet's sister can have treats too, the chicken will not hurt her a bit. Changing both cats' diet will help ensure that Bet does not get food he should not have, and hopefully will prevent her from getting diabetes. One or two less headaches for you.
    Just please remember, practice makes perfect. You are not always going to be successful testing or injecting..none of us were or are, for that matter. All you can do is start where you are and put one foot in front of the other.
     
  10. Jeff D / Sketch

    Jeff D / Sketch Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    Hi Kathleen and Bet. My guess is you are swimming with even more questions and and confusion with as little info as your vets gave you! I would suggest that you search for a different vet that is more versed in diabetic pet care!...and in the mean time count on this page as a great source of info.
    This site and its people is and will be an invaluable source of info for you and Bet as you progress from rookie to expert!...and that transition will happen much quicker than you think. Testing and shots will become second nature and no where near as stressful as the processes seem to now.

    That said when I read your initial post it seems that you are injecting with the Lantus pen???I think you would find it much easier to use a U100 syringe and fill the syringe from the Lantus pen then inject Bet with the syringe. With Sketch I always found it easiest to have him on my lap, get him relaxed then lightly form a "tent" of loose skin in his scruff area then inject by inserting the syringe needle in a parallel fashion to his tented scruff (not downward). Most time Sketch wouldn't flinch except to want to get down for his food and treats. (and he was not a lap type cat). I know people also will follow a similar technique but administer the shot when their cats are eating.

    As to home testing Bet, I agree with others that home testing is critical to keep Bet safe and best manage his diabetes. Do keep in mind that stress can greatly effect BG driving it up. I found with Sketch when he was tested at the vet he was substantially higher due to his stress. So home testing will give you a much clearer picture of how your treatment of Bets diabetes is progressing and also proper dosing and thereby keeping him safer.

    So another issue is diet that can greatly affect BG. There is a great food list on this site listing low carb wet foods. You should look at converting Bet to low carb wet food as soon as possible. (Fancy Feast Pate and Friskies Pates are highly used for diabetic cats) It will be important to test Bet as you convert him over because low carb food alone can substantially drop his BG. My vet actually had me convert Sketch over for a week and then had me test him before selecting a beginning dose of Lantus. The concern of course is if his BG drops substantially with diet change then administering a higher dose based on his previous diet and stress could result in the kitty going hypo which is dangerous and can be fatal. Best to error on Bet being high than crashing him!

    The last thing I will mention is testing for "Ketones". High Ketones will result in diabetic ketoacidosis which can occur rather quickly in some cats and can be fatal. There are a couple ways of testing. The least expensive is testing urine by using test strips available at you local pharmacy. Sketch was against me invading his litter box habits so I used a blood ketone testing device like a BG tester using just a drop of blood. You can pick these up on Amazon for a fairly reasonable price (like $75.00). Some cats are more prone to Ketones and some not but its better to know by testing than to wonder!

    So there you have my 2 cents worth....The day Sketch was diagnosed I came here based on my vets recommendation. It was a lot to absorb at first but the info and support made my transition from a frightened rookie to being a much more confident cat dad! It won't take you long just try to relax as much as possible and know if I could do it that anyone dedicated to their pet will be able to also.
     
  11. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Wow. Thank you, Jeff D. What great information...yes, I am using the Lantus pen, with no instructions except what I have seen on the videos etc here and one mention over the MedVet's phone by a tech that it should be injected at a "45 degree angle between the shoulder blades"...So maybe fill this U100 syringe completely from the pen, or just a little bit? I had a heck of a time even finding a Lantus pen locally. I will wait until I get the BG supplies and begin testing before I change the feed. I should have the tester tomorrow night (with no strips?) and test strips arriving on Nov. 12. Such is life here in the boonies. But I will follow your advice to the letter. Nothing is too good for my cats....but it will be a temptation to use those pre-made rotisserie chickens from the store for treats but I won't. I don't cook much anymore. As I've mentioned, Bet is not used to people food and doesn't care for treats, so we'll see. Still feeding his usual in the meanwhile.

    I am worried. I have not seen the tremendous improvement I saw after the first shot on Friday night continue. He's using his catbox for the first time in a while, but he's back to staring at the walls a bit when he gets out of his cat tree.

    I'd go to a vet with familiarity with cat diabetes but all of the vets I knew and respected have passed away. The fellow I went to in Slidell, LA was recommended by a former co-worker. I wouldn't trust the vets in Mississippi...I don't really know where to turn.

    Per the tests at the MedVet, Mandeville, LA, (2nd place I went, Emergency Vet, sent there because the first vet didn't have the time) Bet had no ketone problems, and per them none of the other problems found with diabetes (I forget what all). Bet's glucose was 320 at the first vet and 480 at MedVet - they said it went up from the stress. He said we caught the diabetes early. It's a wonder. Something odd has been going on for months with Bet but I couldn't figure it out. It started with dandruff in a cat with normal weight and a really shiny coat. BTW, the MedVet guy (a LSU grad, vets I usually prefer above all others) said don't pay too much attention to what's on the web. Well, he didn't tell me squat, so I am so glad I found this place! Thank you again.
    Kathy

    p.s. Just tried to give Bet his shot using the pen and injecting somewhere where I could see the skin (his side) I managed to jab myself. Geez. Trying again, seemingly hitting the mark, but there was a tiny drop left on the tip of the needle. Newbie! Arrgh!
     
  12. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. I just jabbed myself in the finger....learning.
     
  13. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Kathy we may be neighbors! I’m in MS not far from Slidell
     
  14. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
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    Hancock County, about 9 miles outside of the big Pic...Picayune. Glad to meet ya. Care to share any expertise or experiences? Thanks in advance...
     
  15. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    I’m just north of Picayune in Henleyfield. Ha! Not much expertise here, but I can probably help you some if you need it. You’re not far from Walmart. Have you checked there for test strips? They have a pretty good diabetes section, but sometimes you have to ask at the pharmacy counter. That’s where I got my syringes, meter and strips.
     
  16. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

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    Nov 3, 2018
    And....what vet do you use if you don't mind sharing? I used to go to Dr. Stewart when I came here in 1975 then to Dr. Berry, who I found out passed away in 2015. No idea who's any good but hear the ones in town are only interested in making money, not like the old days. I need expertise and not guesses.
     
  17. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    I’ll PM you
    Check your inbox
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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  18. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

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    Nov 3, 2018
    I ordered my device from Walmart (FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System), but they had no strips in stock (found out too late). I bought it based on its top rating on the Consumer Reports PDF here on the site. I will have the meter tomorrow night. I was amazed that I could find one....but due to my lack of experience I hadn't even thought about the strips. They will be in November 12.

    Henleyfield! Love that area. Opposite sides of town.
     
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  19. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Kathy, I did some poking in the Lantus forum (more information <G>) and found this video that might help with showing you how you can use syringes with your pen, when and if you decide that will work for you.


    If there is a Walmart in your area, maybe they have strips for your meter, it's too long to wait until the 12th. You will also need lancets to poke and get the blood drop, 26 to 28 gauge.

    We bought a box of syringes at Walmart, ReliOn brand.
    • U-100 3/10cc syringes with half unit markings are the best to use for drawing Lantus, Basaglar, or Levemir from vials, cartridges, and pens.
    • BD Ultra-Fine, CarePoint Vet, Monoject, GNP, UltiCare Vet Rx, Sure Comfort, and ReliOn are just some of the brands available with half unit markings.
    • Syringes come in ½ inch or 5/16 inch needle lengths. Needle gauges are 29, 30 or 31 (31 being the thinnest)
     
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  20. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    You can probably get them faster from Amazon
     
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  21. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

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    Nov 3, 2018
    That is super! Thank you. I appreciate the info on the syringes too - I was not quite sure how to get them. Walmart didn't have the strips, which is why I had to mail order them. They had the meter, though (the only local place), and I pick it up Monday night. Cost...it would have cost another $10 for faster shipment for the strips. I'm sure you know how much the initial expenses with this condition are. Who eats? I checked everywhere locally for a place I could just buy the strips. I guess I made a mistake with the brand of meter I bought, the top-rated one in the Consumer Reports ratings of meters posted here on the site. Maybe I'll see if I can change the shipping on the strips. Life in the boonies.

    10 Lancets come with the meter, then I'll buy more...right there at Walmart....if I didn't order them already. Confused. Doing what I can...thanks so much for your kind help.
    Kathy
     
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  22. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    When you need insulin again, you might want to buy it from Canada. That's where most of us are buying from now because it's 1/3rd to 1/2 the cost compared to the US.

    Here's the Information on Buying Lantus from Canada
     
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  23. Jeff D / Sketch

    Jeff D / Sketch Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    A couple things Kathy. When using a syringe: 1.I tumble or roll the pen gently for about 30 seconds. 2.Take the syringe cap off and I move the plunger up and down a time or two for smoother operation. I invert the pen so the fluid side is down. Depress the syringe plunger all the way down and hold a bit of pressure. 3.Insert the syringe into the inverted pen and draw slightly more than the desired or required dosage of insulin into the syringe. 4.Remove the syringe from the pen keeping the needle pointed up and flick the syringe a couple times to move any air bubbles to the top near the needle then squeeze the plunger gently to force the air bubbles out. 5.Then you are ready to shoot!!!
    .
    As to syringes I use are BD U100 8mm ultra fine needle in half unit markings. With Lantus you must use a U100 syringe. You can find these and other supplies on (www.adwdiabetes.com) they have great prices and quick delivery. I think once you stop using the pen you will find shot time goes much smoother for you and Bet.

    Now as to Bets numbers...320 is high but not terrible and we can consider even that number may be stress influenced a bit. So the other thing I see in your post is Bet seems to be staring off into space so I am wondering if the dose might be a bit high??? Was he acting that way prior to his start on insulin. Are you giving him his shot after he eats? and is he eating OK? Remember higher is safer than lower if you are not testing. I wonder if Bet might be going somewhat low in numbers with his current dose causing the staring off into space thing??? My vet started Sketch off with 3/4 of a unit once a day then moving to 3/4 unit twice a day after a week. Then adjusted every third week based on test results. The start low go slow method which since you aren't yet testing is the better protocol to follow especially since Bet had no ketone issues and BG wasn't sky high. By the way I didn't see what the current dose is that you are giving Bet???

    If you can, try to find some test strips sooner than the 12th! The sooner the better to start testing to find out what his numbers really are. Plus the sooner you can alter his diet and safely bring his numbers down the better chance he has of going into remission!

    Try to relax (I know that is not easy given all the info that is coming at you right now and actual tasks of caring for Bet) you will do fine. One other tip I got here when I first started giving Sketch his shots...sounds silly but I sang to him! It helped me relax and that I believe used to help him relax to the point that shot times were no issue what so ever.

    Idjit's mom along with Chris and China were great resources for me when caring for my pal. Many others also offered support and advice over the time I was treating him for diabetes. As with anything we are apprehensive about, it helps to know that others have experienced the same thing and you are not alone in your new venture! Hang in there!!!! in a few weeks it will all be just part of you and Bets daily routine.
     
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  24. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    It's actually not necessary to mix Lantus
     
  25. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Price is definitely competitive...I'll look at them for the next buy. Thanks so much.
    Mr. Jeff,
    Thanks so much for your help and suggestions. Sunday was a day of recovery for me. Sorry I didn't answer sooner. Bet is not staring into space quite so much - in fact, tonight I saw him doing his old cocky saunter across the living room. He was staring off quite a bit before I began the insulin regimen and seemed to be on the moon, but not so much now. I think he's in there now, and I think he can see. But I still worry because he was not to be found before his dinner/treat & shot time tonight, something he NEVER does. I mean, he went through Hurricane Katrina with me on the Coast. He's the king in this house. But something is off, sometimes, and I can't put my finger on it. Mostly, he shows improvement in demeanor, and even appetite as time goes on.

    The MedVet (emergency vet I was sent to by the other vet, neither of who I knew) put Bet on a dose of 1 unit of insulin every 12 hours. His BG there was 480, they said made higher by the stress. Bet's reaction to the Lantus is not uniform (sometimes I'll find him staring, or wandering around the living room in the hours after the shot - not normal - but mostly sleeping), and sometimes I can smell the Lantus out loud, which of course has made me wonder whether I'm hitting the mark. I'm getting better with the shots. Your idea of a smaller dose sounds like a really good idea. I wonder, because Bet lost a lot of weight in a really short time - down to 8 lbs from ~10+ in around a month. But he's no longer sucking up water or peeing everywhere.

    I still haven't got my meter, nor the test strips (Thanks, Wal Mart and living in MS!) so I'm kind of stuck. The meter, which was available for pickup when I ordered it, turned out not to be, and now is supposed to be there tomorrow (Tuesday) night. Strips are another matter....latest on delivery or pickup from Wallyworld is still the 12th, next Monday. It was my misfortune to order the meter without checking stock on the strips. My lack of experience...didn't even realize at first that all of this was going to involve blood tests. Too fried. So I'm in a bit of a holding pattern, using the time to read up and watch videos on the present subject matter.

    I really appreciate all of the info on the needles and transferring the insulin from the pen to a syringe. I expect to be doing that once I am told to adjust dosages. Next purchase of Lantus I will try to order from a Canadian pharmacy...in a bottle, I think. I was flabbergasted to find that I had a pen of expensive insulin whose supply would mostly be wasted. If only I knew more in the beginning and kept it refrigerated. Oh well. I suspect the biggest problem I will have is finding a vet who will recommend the proper dosages of insulin. The vets I've seen have no experience or knowledge in feline diabetes, though I can probably find one to prescribe. Reading, I'm getting a fair idea of the "curve study" that I'll need to do. I am anxious to do this to get Bet steadied, and then change his food to the Friskies cans so many folks recommend.

    Someone has contacted me and offered to loan me their spare meter, and at this rate I may take them up on it. The expenses related to this surprise blew up my budget so it'll be a difficult month. I hesitate to go down to the vet again right now because it will just cost more $$ for one test plus an office visit. I'm tapped.

    Thanks again, Mr. Jeff.
    Kathy
     
  26. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Hi Kathy, I think it would be an excellent idea to borrow the spare meter, and start getting both you and Bet used to the process. Would you tell me please what kind of device you are using to log on to the board? Laptop, tablet? There is a spreadsheet we use to track the insulin shot times/doses and the BG readings. It works best to set it up on a laptop, but if a tablet can support Google Drive and Sheets then that would also work. Here is the link that contains the INSTRUCTIONS to set up the spreadsheet and then a link on how to UNDERSTAND the spreadsheet. If you have any problems getting the spreadsheet set up let us know, there are members who really excel at them.
    ***From the sticky in the Lantus forum:
    • Please set up a Google Spreadsheet as soon as possible. Always keep spreadsheets up-to-date! Valuable time may be lost looking for information when a spreadsheet is not up to the minute.
    • If you have not been able to transition your kitty off of DRY food yet, please note it on your spreadsheet and in your signature. A dry food diet will often require higher doses of insulin to bring numbers down. Having this information plainly visible will help us help you.
    Take a look at some of the home testing information here on the board: HERE
    There are also many videos of people testing on YouTube.
    Again, I know it's a lot of information. But essentially what you need to do right now is learn to test, track that testing, get more comfortable with injecting insulin, then getting Bet and his sister onto a wet low carb diet. Don't give up on yourself or Bet. After all, he doesn't have thumbs and can't do all this stuff! :)
     
  27. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018

    Hi. Thank you so much for your suggestions. I use a laptop only, don't have a cellphone. I will get the spreadsheet and begin entering information. I have been keeping notes every day on his behavior, any oddities, and times of the shots. The second (emergency) vet I was sent to wanted me to go back to the first vet this coming Thursday. I don't have a regular Vet. I really have been unsure what to do in the present situation.

    Since it was suggested to not change foods (I think?) by folks here until after I have the blood glucose curve done, I haven't. He still has regular high protein dry down continuously and now twice a day canned (9-Lives chicken) to ensure he has food in his belly before the shots. Bet never did have that big of an appetite. I'll note the food on my signature etc.

    Oddly enough, this morning, I received a call from the Vet I originally went to last Friday, asking after Bet. I nearly fainted (no Vet has ever called me). He also wanted to do the blood glucose curve, which neither vet mentioned last Friday and I only heard about here. I couldn't afford it (~$200). He referred me to Care Credit, and I was successful in getting more than enough $$ from them to pay for it. Since I still don't have the meter I ordered nor the strips, and I'd like to know for sure if Bet's dosage is adequate, I'm bringing him and his Lantus pen and what supplies I do have (at least the lancets) in on Thursday morning. I'm not entirely sure Bet's getting the right dose. He still shows signs - intermittently - of staring at the walls but he's improved greatly. He's in there again, but sometimes something is still off. Can't put my finger on it. But I can tell he's better when he comes up and does some of his normal routine again like sharpening his claws on my shoulder...dear boy.

    If I don't have the meter and strips by the time the testing is done I will borrow the meter and get strips...also U100 syringes and such. I still have so many questions but will ask them as I progress.

    I've been looking at the various ear and foot testing site videos, a lot. I can't wait to start but as I said, no meter, no strips. The only thing that worries me about having this curve test done at the vet's office is that Bet will be stressed so the results will be higher? I remember it went from 240 at the first vet's to 480 at the MedVet, I think.

    I was wondering if I should put his sister Abby on whatever new food as well. She's always been skinny but still acts like a kitten at 14. I'm sure it will help her too. The Vet wants to sell me the stuff he sells, the Prescription Diet stuff, but considering what I've read here and years ago experience with that brand, I'd rather go with the Friskies variants or even the Purina DM - great palatability, from what I've read here. I've been buying my wet cat food over the internet (Chewy.com) for the last year or more, since they quit carrying what I wanted locally, and the dry from Idaho for many years. I look forward to discontinuing the dry - ridiculously expensive. Maybe I'll remove the dry food the day or night before the appointment - I am not sure who eats more. I never see.
    Much gratitude.
    Kathy
     
  28. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    The pens are actually a better buy, especially if you buy from Marks Marine in Canada

    A vial holds 1000 units …..unless your cat is a "high dose" cat, you'll end up throwing up to half of it out when it loses efficacy. For a cat on 2U twice a day, that's 250 days.....we usually expect a vial to last only 4-6 months so at 2U twice a day, you'd throw away about 1/3rd or more.

    Each pen only holds 300 units and they don't expire until the date on the box...usually at least 2 years away. You can usually use every last drop in each pen! As you've now learned, they all need to be refrigerated!
     
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  29. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Yes....that's why we don't recommend testing at the vet....the results are pretty much useless and if your vet bases his dosing recommendation on the numbers he gets under stress, when you get home and kitty relaxes, you can be looking at a tragedy.

    Absolutely!! Not only will it reduce the chances of her ever becoming diabetic, you also won't have to worry if your sugarcat gets into "her" food!!

    Most of us feed plain old Fancy Feast Classics or Friskies pates....there's absolutely no reason to pay the high prices for "prescription" foods....and beside that, the ingredients are really pretty lousy.

    It's not usual for kitties to act a little "off", especially at first. Think of it like this...if you're used to drinking several cups of coffee per day and all the sudden somebody was giving you some kind of medication that "blocked" the effect of caffeine, you'd feel pretty cruddy.

    Our kitties have become used to living in those higher blood glucose levels....now we're giving them something to bring those numbers down and it can make them feel "off"
     
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  30. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018

    Thank you so much, Chris & China, for helping disperse a lot of my confusion about so many of these issues. I was hesitant to do the curve test with the vet, but with this vet calling me (when I have no regular vet), asking after Bet and offering his help, my feeling iffy about so many things, and needing a new insulin prescription, I'm going to do it. Relating to the shot difficulty I have about half the time, I finally figured out tonight that it is Bet's fur, short but matted in fingernail size mats, that are making the shots more difficult for me. I find it hard to "roll the skin" as suggested. I had cut a lot of the mats away about a month ago when I first noticed them, but there are a lot more, right in the important areas. I'll cut the rest away myself or have the vet shave them away when the testing's done. I'm glad that it will be good to have the other cat on the new types of food, too. I've wondered about both cats for some time. Abby in particular has a tendency to vomit up everything (in the last few years) when she eats too fast or gets excited - at least that's what I suspect. I think Bet vomits too, but I mostly only find it as a surprise so I don't know who did it. I've gotten used to cleaning up regular messes in the last year or so. I bought some special liquid enzymes (Catazymes) to put in their wet food from the Dynamite Specialty company in Idaho that stops the vomiting after eating or generally, but I don't use it every day. They've eaten the same dry and wet food all of their lives. They don't like any other canned food but love regular cheap dry catfood, as during the time when I was in a financial pinch for a month quite a while back. Otherwise it's the usual food.

    Your thoughts about Bet being a little off from the change are comforting. He's deigning to grace me with his presence for a change as I type, but won't put up with me moving. I just wish I had put all of this together a while ago. It began with cat dandruff, months ago, or perhaps even with the increase in vomiting.
    Gratitude,
    Kathy
     
  31. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    as long as he's going to be there, I'd ask him to shave him....start from a "clean slate" so to speak. I think you'll find as his diet improves and his diabetes stabilizes, he'll grow in a new, very soft coat of fur!!

    Sounds like a classic "scarf and barf".....if you spread the food out on a flat plate it will slow her down when she's eating. You can also buy special bowls that will slow down eating (or you can put something large and inedible like a golf ball into the bowl so they have to "eat around" it)

    They all seem to love that garbage!!….but the sooner you get it completely out of his diet, the better results you're going to have. Dry foods are all very high in carbs, as well as being dehydrating. All cat's weakest organs are their kidneys (with diabetic kidneys being even more fragile due to the extra work they have to do) The more water you can get into them, the healthier those kidneys are going to be. Cats that are treated for diabetes don't really die from it....they die from kidney failure, cancer, heart disease or a host of other things, but kidney disease is the top of the list.
     
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  32. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Don't beat yourself up.....cats are masters at hiding the fact they're sick until they are VERY sick.
     
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  33. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Today I took Bet to the vet for his glucose curve test. It did not go well. I took Bet off his dry food yesterday, fed him his canned last night 30 min before his shot (1 unit) at 930pm (fair appetite, but not great). Bet woke me up again at 330am poking me in the face, demanding pets. I'm not totally sure, but I may have found a new pee place on the floor in the living room this morning. I have no real idea how much Bet relies on the dry food, since both cats eat it.

    I left him with the vet at 930am with the Lantus pen and a can of the food I feed him. To cut to the chase, Bet got his first glucose measurement as I waited, before eating or shot, which showed 320. I left. Then they offered him his food, which he wasn't very interested in. If I know him he only ate the gravy. Bet goes back later sometimes to eat the strings of chicken if Abby hasn't scarfed them up, which she'll do. I've been feeding them separate for a while. Then they gave him his 1 Unit shot. Overall between then and when I came back about 430pm, the vet later said, his glucose didn't come down much (3 or 4 tests overall, not quite sure, because he did another one when I got there). So he wants to bring his dose up to 1.5 units, twice a day.

    After a long discussion during which I suggested that he keep Bet another day to do longer testing to see if the glucose comes down, the vet thought it was a good idea and agreed. The vet didn't want to stress Bet any more than he has by shaving away the matted areas. He also tried to explain to me that Bet's glucose might never stabilize and he might die early. Oh joy. I guess I understand that, but it's early on and I need to have a positive spirit. You folks here give me hope.

    We did discuss cases mentioned on here in which the feeding of Purina DM made such a difference in the glucose levels of some cats that it was obvious that what was left of some cats' pancreas began working again. He said he had heard of that sort of thing. He's definitely been reading up!

    I forgot to tell him that I was OK with any food he wanted to try Bet on, dry, wet, the dreaded Hills, whatever. I called his clinic when I got home, well before the closing time to tell him that, but the office had already closed (It's The South!). Darn it. He is coming back in tonight to give Bet his first 1.5 Unit dose at 9pm, I guess with the feeding and testing again. I guess I should start making lists for myself of things to do so I stop getting sidetracked.

    It is really quiet where I live, out in the country, with the only real noise coming sometimes from a donkey complaining across the road. There was a barking dog there at the vet's. I hope that did not affect things but you guys are probably right. I am caught betwixt the devil and the deep blue sea, as they say. In any case, I will need another prescription for the future....hopefully. Plus a proper dosage. The Lantus pen I do have expires ~30 Nov, but I will know better with the next one(s).

    We did get over 3" of rain where I live, yesterday, in just a few hours and then in a short time overnight. Both cats are very frightened of rain because they went through Katrina with me. They hide when they hear it coming. I wonder if that had something to do with any stress levels Bet might have had.

    Thanks so much to all of you for all of your advice and ideas. You are wonderful folks. I will keep you posted. I go back tomorrow afternoon.
    Kathy Einwich
     
  34. Paigeworthy

    Paigeworthy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2018
    Oh Lord, Kathy. This is my mom. Some people just don't understand — but I'm happy your sisters are supporting you.
    Thinking about you, and know that you are in good hands with the "old timers" here. I am new to FD myself but you will find so much help and love here.
    Sending love to Bet — and you!!
     
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  35. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    I called the vet this morning to check on Bet, and he did use whatever food Bet would eat. But Bet's blood glucose did not go down overnight. Not sure what dosage the doc used with last night's (or this morning shot - it was supposed to be 1.5 units.

    Now he wants to keep Bet on 1 unit and I think he forgot that I have the capability of getting other than 1 unit intervals thanks to the videos here, showing me how to take insulin from the Lantus pen so I can do 1.5 units. I even asked him for a few U100s yesterday to get me started. Glucose is still in the 300s. I wonder if the stress at the vet's office, the trip, and everything kept Bet's glucose levels consistently high? - as you folks thought it would. I guess there's nothing to do but bring him home and begin my own glucose tests when I can. I'll get whatever food he will eat. I think it was a mistake to stop his dry food - I now suspect that's what he mainly eats, considering his reaction at the vet's office.
    Thanks iin advance.
    Kathy Einwich
     
  36. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Blood curve tests, conducted all day Thursday and also Friday late morning, showed the glucose never going below 300. The vet now wants to keep Bet on 1 unit/2x day for now for at least a week. Bet is fried from the stress of being away from his very quiet home, I think, so I'm going to keep up his shots for at least 24 to 48 hours and let him calm down and relax. Then I'll begin the home glucose tests on Sunday, because I picked up the meter from Wallyworld and the strips came in today, 3 days early!!

    Bet wouldn't eat much at the vet's, but he did eat some of a kitten formula from Science Diet they gave him, I think. They gave me one can of that (it's not the gold can, but some salmon) and one 6-oz can of something else. I'll go out tomorrow and get some of the Friskies etc food y'all recommend. I am really worried because he showed the crazy thirst again as soon as he got home but right now is sacked out in his tree.

    The vet was not very....positive in his outlook for Bet overall, but I feel with a food change to begin with it will make a lot of difference. I wish I could get a can of Purina DM for him to have a taste. While Chewy.com sells it, it's by the case. No vet I called sells it.

    I don't have the paperwork from the vet that y'all suggested I get to hand right now. I stressed myself out too and my back has me fairly immobilized. We'll both get better...

    I really appreciate all of the advice and suggestions everyone here has made. Anything else that anyone would care to add, I'm listening.
    Thanks so much,
    Kathy Einwich
     
  37. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Kathy, I feel so bad for Bet, of course his BG was high at the vet. That's not home, you are not with him, there are other animals, strange people and smells. I am glad he is home, and hopefully in the familiar quiet surroundings, will settle and rest. I'm not sure why he had to stay two days for curves, but what's done is done. We can only do today and plan for the future. I feel confident that if you can get Bet (and sister) on the low carb wet food--transitioning gradually from dry and/or higher carb wet food--and get comfortable with testing you are going to see Bet feeling better and have the opportunity to see how the insulin is working for him. Then, with the experienced members advising, go from there.
    Like we suggested previously, just get him to the "testing station" often, rub his ears a little, kisses and pets. Let him start getting used to the idea. Look over the meter, familiarize yourself with the process, figure out how you are going to test, step by step. Hum to yourself if you start getting nervous.
    And get the spreadsheet set up so you are ready to input the information you are going to get. When you have it set up, look at it so you are familiar with it. Read the sticky about how to understand it. Here are the links again:
    Spreadsheet
    Understanding the spreadsheet
    If you need help setting it up, tell us.
    Preparation in advance is really going to help you succeed. Conserve your energy, try not to waste it on "worrying in advance", Bet is home, he is safe for the moment and you are going to do everything you can to ensure that continues. :)
     
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  38. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018

    Thanks so much, again, for your help and suggestions.

    I kept Bet at the vet's because there was discussion of raising his insulin dose and his glucose levels had not gone down. I didn't know what to do. He never did get below 271. By the end, I had a feeling of sorts that the vet gave up and that's why he left him on the dose he is on - 1 unit twice per day. But I am hopeful that feeding him different, diabetes-oriented or recommended foods (boy, was his sister Abby interested in that Hill's kitten food!) and he ate well last night and fair this morning before his shot.

    I downloaded the spreadsheet and have filled it in with what I know, probably incorrectly, but...it contains every test result that I was given. I am not sure whether it truly "published" or not, I followed the directions, since it seems now it let me do it...or maybe it's doing it automatically. Is it even published - I don't know where it is online. I never was very good with spreadsheets....and I read the directions. It confused me with the different colored sections that seemed to correspond with the glucose levels. Was I wrong?

    I have a feeling that about 6 hours after Bet's insulin shot is when he feels the best. That's why he pokes me in the face at 3am...

    I'll go out and buy the various recommended canned foods that are available locally today. I have one can of "i/d canned feline" still which I plan to offer tonight.

    Tomorrow I will do my own glucose tests, I guess at least twice a while after he eats and has his shots?

    Do you folks recommend any dry diabetes-related food? I think Bet prefers dry food to eat, really. I did see some Hill's etc at the vet's but everyone has that. Cats I've had in previous years wouldn't eat even the canned Hills much less the dry (was it even available then?), but that was for different cat illnesses.

    Thanks in advance,
    Kathy
     
  39. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Hi Kathy, I don't see your spreadsheet but don't worry, I will tag @Chris & China to see if she can help. I couldn't get that step right either and someone helped me. The spreadsheet does show colors for different ranges of BG so you can see the highs to the lows. Highest is black, then red, then pink, then yellow, then blue, then green and lime green for too low. At the very top of the grid, you will see the colors and the ranges of numbers they represent.
    Regarding dry food, I know your kitties have always had dry food and it can be a hard job transitioning. Idjit was an exclusive dry food eater before he came to us, then continued with dry and wet until his diagnosis. Luckily he was easy to get on just wet food.
    You might read this information DRY FOOD
    There are some low carb dry foods that I have read some members do use, Dr. Elsey's Clean Protein, and Young Again Zero. However the Young Again does not seem to agree with all kitties, causing diarrhea etc. They are more expensive and must be ordered online.
    You said that Bet nudges you awake about 3AM, well, he probably is hungry. He's not regulated yet and will still need more food as he's not processing what he does eat efficiently. You might think about a timed feeder, so that you can set the time the lid(s) open and he can have a small meal. Or you can freeze canned food in ice cube trays and leave food to thaw so he can eat when he's hungry. There are 2 tray feeders and 5 tray feeders, I got a two tray from Amazon, but I think you may be able to find one at a pet store. Try looking online at PetSafe or CatMate brands. I would not use the "prescription" food from the vet or pet store, it's very high in carbs, not very nutritious, and you would be defeating your purpose. That would be raising the BG, then shooting more insulin to lower the BG.
     
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  40. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Hi Kathy, as far as dry foods, the Dr Elseys and Young Again that Lou mentioned are the two most used, but Epigen 90 has also been mentioned and seems ok. The Hills kitten food and I/D foods are both very high in carbs, so not recommended, because again as Lou said, they will just raise Bets glucose and you’ll have to increase his insulin. Once you start testing and feeding low carb food we will know better if his dose is too low or maybe even too high.
     
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  41. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    If you have the spreadsheet done, you need to put the link to it into your signature so we can access it.

    To get the link, go to the top right corner where it says "Share" and click....a new box will open and at the top click on "get a shareable link" (which will copy to your clipboard)….then open your signature and "paste" (CTRL + V) it into your signature
     
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  42. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    I think I've got it now. The highlighted blue words "Bet's spreadsheet" now appear by my signature, I think. Thanks so much!
     
  43. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    OK, I'll give up on dry food altogether. I'm going out today to get Friskies and Fancy Feast to see what he'll eat. He wouldn't eat much this morning before his shot of the I/D canned the vet gave me, but he did eat a lot last night before the shot. Thanks so much for the advice and your time, again.
     
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  44. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Yes they do, but you need to change the permissions on the spreadsheet. Go to that blue "Share" and click to open the new box. At the bottom right it will say "Advanced", click there.

    Choose "Anyone with the link can view" and then "done"!
     
  45. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    OK, no dry food....though I will look at the PetSafe and CatMate brands. I usually order all of my catfood, dry and wet, through the internet, mostly because of non-availability where I live. I guess they'll have to get used to life without it. No prescription foods either. I had no idea that the Hill's I/D canned was not good for them - but I only had one small can.

    Thanks for the great links about the dry food and the "transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food".

    I'll do my best to get Bet to eat. As I mentioned, he ate well last night (for him) but wouldn't eat much this morning before his shot. I'm feeding both cats twice a day, about 45 min to an hour before each shot. Maybe I should feed them 4 times a day since I am cutting off the dry. Hopefully he'll like the FF and Friskies I get today. Both cats could use some weight gain. His sister Abby is a problem because she is competition for whatever I give him, no matter where I take him to eat, away from her. She...follows the food smell when she finishes her own dish (no matter how much), then tries to get whatever he has not eaten after he's left it, which has been her life-long habit. Then sometimes she throws up, as I mentioned, if it was too much. They both need supervision at feeding time now to stop this. I'm about ready to go out and buy some non-spicy Popeye's chicken (sans the skin) to share with Bet to get him to eat more before his shot, and especially to perhaps distract him when I begin his glucose tests myself tomorrow. I'll be watching the videos again!

    I don't want to put Bet in a cage to feed (I'd have to buy one, like a cat show cage)...but maybe I can put him in a room with a shut door temporarily. I just worry that....whatever...will stress him more. But, generally, he is recovering from his visit to the vet's and I've even seen him washing himself, which I haven't seen in a long time.

    Thanks so much for your help and advice, as always, for this worried person.
     
  46. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Kathy, it seems most of us do feed our kitties more frequent, smaller meals. Idjit would be a scarfer and barfer like Abby, he just loves to eat! Granted he is a big boy, but I don't want him to be a big overweight boy! He goes outside for poddy breaks and just for general snooping, and the first thing he does upon coming back in is run to his place mat in the kitchen to see if there is anything to eat. I think this is a habit left over from dry food always being available in the past. I also have begun adding some chicken breast to his breakfast and dinner, the extra "bulk" seems to satisfy him longer. It's extra protein, no fat and he isn't getting rolypoly, so I guess for him that works.
    You are going to find what works for Bet, and Abby, with trial and error. Treat yourself and them gently, it's not an overnight thing. This is a life routine changer, and you will figure it out. Remember, keep it simple so you don't feel so overwhelmed.
    Learn to test, adjust the diet gradually since he's already on insulin, learn to use the pen like a vial with syringes. That's enough to be going with right now.
     
  47. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Thanks so much for the advice. Both Bet and Abby are now about the same weight, where Bet used to weigh at least 3 more pounds than Abby. Abby has always been somewhat thin. I was shocked when I picked Bet up this morning and felt how light he is. He was always a solid cat but never overweight. Yes, it's a lot to wrap my head around - but multiple feeds per day will make at least Abby very happy once they get used to having no access to dry food. It's going to be chicken for Bet with his canned food, great idea. I have thoughts it will help a lot, since both have eaten "poultry" foods all of their lives (though no people food) and didn't care for fish.

    The one thing that worries me is that the vet did not change the amount of insulin (still 1 unit/2x day). I guess I'll see this coming week (starting tomorrow) as I begin the tests, how genuinely effective the insulin is, in his usual quiet surroundings. I just wonder who's going to tell me to increase the insulin if it's necessary. The vet didn't make a move to do so and as I said, I think he gave up. But I'll put everything on Bet's spreadsheet.

    Gratitude,
    Kathy
     
  48. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Don't worry about changing the dose of insulin just yet. You are right, you need to test, record those tests and see what the insulin is doing before anything else. The one U twice a day is a good dose to begin with, but be sure to record the testing results. A preshot test, both morning and night, then midcycle tests in between.
    Now you are probably going to start with one midcycle test a day in the beginning, as you learn to test and get more comfortable with it, then you will be able to test at different times and see the pattern or trend from morning shot to evening shot. And also will be able to get a before bedtime test to see what's happening then. Step by step, nice and easy. :bighug:
    Do you have a printer so you can have copies of important information handy? I don't want to alarm you, but everyone who is injecting insulin needs to have the Hypo instructions available, and a Hypo toolbox ready. Hopefully you will never need them, but better safe than sorry. Idjit had a non-critical hypo, when his BG was just starting to be lower than the "take action" number. I was not prepared, but did get help here on the board. I want you to be prepared, there may not always be someone experienced enough to advise immediately if you have any events.
    Link to hypo instructions: HYPO
    Link to hypo toolbox: TOOLBOX
     
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  49. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Wow, lots of glucose tests...should be interesting. I hope I get something Bet will eat freely by the time I start the tests tomorrow. Going to try cooked chicken if he'll eat it, as Sharon14 and others have suggested. The times for his shots are 9am and pm. Right now he doesn't have much of an appetite. Going out to get FF etc today.

    I fiddled with and set up the meter I got, and generally have at least that kit ready...somehow up to my neck in lancets.

    I saved the link to the toolbox previously, and have to get some of the stuff they say - first the Karo syrup and . I don't have a working printer, but maybe I can get the one I have to work again. I've been saving all of the paperwork I've been getting from the vets, and collating the online stuff in a file.

    Here is the information on the dry food I was feeding, the Dynamite Speciality Products Super Premium Dog Food. Can you tell if this stuff might do as a high carb dry food? I still have some left.
     

    Attached Files:

  50. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    It should....it's got barley, oats and rice in the top 5 ingredients, so it's going to be pretty high carb, (I get 50% carbs!!) but we really don't like using dry food for bring up low blood glucose numbers. It takes too long to break down and get into the bloodstream and takes too long to get back out.

    Having a few of the Fancy Feast "Gravy Lovers" is the best (if you can get them) Most of the canned cat foods "with gravy" or "with sauce" are going to be higher carb and best to use when you need them.

    We still can't view your spreadsheet. You haven't changed the permissions yet.
     
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  51. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Having a few of the Fancy Feast "Gravy Lovers" is the best (if you can get them) Most of the canned cat foods "with gravy" or "with sauce" are going to be higher carb and best to use when you need them.

    We still can't view your spreadsheet. You haven't changed the permissions yet.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the info on the FF Gravy Lovers food. I'll get some of that. Also thanks for your info on my old dry food.

    I see the permissions on my spreadsheet are limited to me! Following the directions, it gives me the opportunity to add names, but how can I add everyone? I looked in the directions for the spreadsheet again and I don't see anything that addresses this. I would think it too laborious to put in a lot of permission names, much less figure out what to put in for folks' names. What is the custom here?

    BTW, Bet is eating the Fancy Feast classic pates like a champ. He's eaten 4 times since I got the food, about 3/4 to 1/2 can each time. I even got up when he woke me at 245am with his usual paw-to-nose-pokes and fed him. Perhaps y'all were right, maybe he was just hungry. His last feed of the night is usually about 830pm to coincide with the timing of his shot, but maybe I should feed him one last time before I sleep.

    Thanks in advance and sorry to bother you again.
    Kathy
     
  52. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Click on the blue "Share".....a new box will open.

    At the bottom right side of the new box, you'll see "Advanced"
    upload_2018-11-12_10-42-25.png

    After you click on "Advanced", you'll get another box that will give you the option of "Anyone with the link can view"

    Check "Anyone with the link can view" and "Done"
     
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  53. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Thanks again, Chris & China. I followed your directions. The spreadsheet should be available now.

    It just so happens I just did my first glucose test with Bet. A little messy and I had to do it twice cuz the meter threw an error (not enough blood?), but Bet just wriggled some, which caused my 2nd lancet try to bleed a bit more. I'll get better and more sure of myself. It didn't seem to hurt him at all, he just didn't like being held still or having his ears fiddled with too much. He normally loves to have his ears scritched, so that's a plus.
     
  54. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Good job!

    OK.....now you need to start trying to develop a routine.

    1. Take food up for the 2 hours immediately before shot times.
    2. Always test before shooting to make sure he's high enough to have insulin at all.
    3. Feed to make sure he's willing to eat and shoot....should be done within 5-10 minutes
    4. Get at least 1 mid-cycle test sometime between +5 and +7....if you can, vary it...one day get a +5, another day get a +7, etc. If you can get more tests, that's even better.
    5. Get at least a "before bed" test on the PM cycle....if you can't get mid-cycle tests on the AM cycle due to work, it's even more important to try to get a couple of tests on the PM cycle.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Feline Diabetes ;)
     
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  55. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Kathleen, how is the testing going? I just peeked at your spreadsheet and see that Bet got a BLUE 162 at +6 dated 11/12/18. What about today?
    It's important to always get a test before shooting insulin, to make sure it's safe to do so. Are you only dosing once a day ? because the spreadsheet does not reflect a PM dose. Column O is for the BG test before the PM dose in column P. It's important to keep good records, as I suspect Bet is going to need a reduction at some point.
     
  56. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Hello. Yesterday's 3pm mid-time blood test was relatively easy, and this morning's (830am) was impossible. First I misread Chris & China's directions and thought they meant to feed two hours before the glucose test and I did; they meant stop feeding. In trying to get blood, Bet's ear now looks like he was in a fight. The problem is his wriggling, even wrapped up in a towel. I'd hit a spot with the lancet and try to massage his ear to get out more blood. He struggled so much the blood would smear on his ear or on me. I gave up after 30 minutes of trying and 4 test strips messed up with not enough blood on them to register, or they'd give an error message. I'm going to try to do this evening's test in a different place than I give the shot. I just don't know. I've had relatively little trouble giving him his shot at the usual place, a chair in my living room. He likes to sleep on me there. What I need are four hands.

    My sister in Maryland suggested that I sing to him next test time. I'll try that. You folks suggested it too. Bet and Abby do tend to look at me strangely when I make any noise at all.

    Another learning experience: don't try to give a shot after this kind of disaster, not for a while. I did and Bet was still so upset that he lurched once I got the shot in, and bent the needle. I don't know how much insulin went in, but a fairly good-sized drop was on the end of the needle when it came out. Yes, not enough time, or the bend blocked it. I can't chance giving him another shot. Bet's not growling or anything, he's just insulted at being manhandled, it seems.

    I do shoot Bet twice a day, 9am and 9pm. I just have no real idea of how to fill out the spreadsheet, learning by bits and pieces. So I still don't quite understand what goes in the AMPS and PMPS blocks, but you've given me a clue. I haven't done a home pre-shot test yet, but I will try tonight - it was what I was trying to do this morning. The vet did give pre-shot tests but I guess I didn't indicate that properly on the spreadsheet. Bet was stressed so bad at the vet's, as y'all thought, that I think that's why it was so high. I was trying to give him about 48 hours after the vet's to unwind before beginning the home tests.

    He's eating well of the Fancy Feast classic pates. Other than that, my biggest challenge is the glucose testing. He's doing well and amazingly hungry. I did read that cats new to insulin often have ravenous appetites. I'm glad because he's so underweight.

    Any suggestions in this mess, I will take gladly. Thanks for the info...

    Wish me luck.
    Kathy
     
  57. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Of course I wish you luck, and I can identify. Idjit was not cooperative at all, and I am lucky enough to have DH here to help with testing, he is my extra two arms and hands. Even then, at first it was a struggle, until Idjit came to realize that it wasn't so bad after all and he always got a treat. He is crazy about food so that helped.
    When you look at your spreadsheet, you will see columns named alphabetically from left to right at the top, A-Z then AA.
    Column A is the date, column B is AMPS, which means the BG test before shooting the first dose of insulin in the morning. Column C then is the amount of the insulin dose, in your case, 1 U. Then the next columns are "plus" columns, indicating one hour, two hours, 3 hours, etc from the time of the first insulin shot. Then you get to Column O, and you type in the BG test results before the evening dose of insulin: Column P. After Column P, there is another 12 hours in which you can type in tests through the night, if you get them. Most of us cannot get a lot of night tests, but some have to if there is a hypo event and they are tracking and raising that BG level. If you can, when you get more comfortable with testing, try to get a before bed test, just to see where the BG is going. The spreadsheet is going to get very routine for you, and you may not see the need to type in the values every time, but it is important to track this information and have it updated all the time.
    Bet is a good boy, and he just doesn't understand what's going on.
    Review the home testing tips and the picture of the "sweet spot" again. We test the outer area of the inside of Idjit's ear, because I can see where I am poking better. We also compress the poked area for a few seconds to stop bleeding and preventt bruising, then a little Neoporin or Equate pain relief ointment. Using a little vaseline on the area before poking also helped the blood drop bead up so I could get the strip in there and get it. It takes practice is all, you are new, don't give up.
     
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  58. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Are you warming up his ear before trying to poke? It's really important, especially during cold weather. A small sock with some dry rice in it works well (just microwave for 10-15 seconds and test against your wrist like a baby bottle) or a small pill bottle filled with warm water.
     
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  59. Kathleen Einwich

    Kathleen Einwich Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    I got a successful pre-shot glucose test this morning. Yay! It only took two lancet tries. I learned that Bet not only has to be wrapped in a towel as recommended but since he escapes it easily he must be pinned between my knees too. Sheesh! The reading was 193. I'll test again this afternoon about 6 hrs after his shot.

    Now Bet won't come near me but he'll recover enough to when he's hungry or wants pets again....

    Thanks so much to all of you for all of the advice and pointers. :D
    Kathy
     
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