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  1. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Hi, my 9 year old cat, Princess, was just diagnosed last week and started on insulin twice a day. I am scared and havent stopped crying since. There is soooo much info out thenre. I dont know where to start.
     
  2. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hello, mother of Princess, and welcome to FDMB,

    I suggest you start out by sitting down somewhere comfy and taking a very deep breath...
    And another deep breath...
    And another deep breath...

    And when you feel yourself relax a little, say to yourself: 'I know I'm scared. I know I don't know where to start yet, but I am doing the very best I can at this moment. And I trust that I will get through this...'

    And here's a big welcoming ((hug)) for you: :bighug:

    Please know that most of us - if not all of us - have been where you are now, and we do understand what you are going through.

    The good news is that feline diabetes is treatable! With care, a diabetic cat can live just as long and as happily as a non-diabetic cat.

    Would you like to tell us more about Princess?
    What insulin has she been prescribed, and what dose?
    What are you feeding her at the moment?
    And, what are your main fears/concerns at this time?

    Feel free to talk. We're here to listen, and to help.

    Best wishes,

    Eliz
     
  3. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi and welcome to FDMB. It is scary and overwhelming to get a diagnosis of feline diabetes, but I can assure it that it is very managable. We can help you overcome your fears. First take a big breath and relax.

    Can you tell us your name? Also, did the vet start Princess on insulin yet? If so, what kind and what dose?

    Also what are you feeding Princess?

    Diet plays a major part in managing FD. You need to feed her a low carb/high protein diet. If she is eating dry food, you want to begin transitioning her over to canned food. Dry food is high in carbs and that cause the glucose levels to raise. By switching over to canned food, you can significantly lower her glucose levels. Some cats also can become diet controlled. There are many brands of foods that are available, but a lot of us feed our cats either Friskies or Fancy Feast pate flavors. You want to avoid canned foods with gravy in them.

    If your vet is going to prescribe insulin, there are several that work well in cats: Lantus, Levemir, Prozinc and BCP PZI. The first two are human insulins. If your vet prescribes either of these, ask for the prescription for the pens instead of vial. In the long run, this will save you money. Prozinc and PZI are bought through your vet's office.

    You also want to learn to hometest. This means testing a small drop of blood before every shot. This will help you determine if it is safe to give the insulin and how well the dose is working. Don't worry, we can help you learn how to test if your vet's office does not show you how.

    Begin reading the posts on this site and ask any questions you may have. You have a lot of experience on this board and we are here to help you.
     
  4. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Thank you, Eliz. Princess is a very lovable 9 year old short hair tabby. She has been overweight since i took her off the street seven years ago. I noticed she was losing weight right before her annual check up at which time she was diagnosed with diabetes. The vet put her on Lantus 2 units twice a day and recommended Purina DM. All along she was eating Fancy Feast.

    I have been using the Alphatrak 2 to test her blood glucose and her numbers go up and down throughout the day. I am trying not to obsess but its not working.

    My biggest concerns are
    - getting this under control with disrupting the other two cats in the house
    - costs...the insulin and needles cost me $300 and will only last 25 days
    - will the other cats come down with this as they are from the same litter

    I just lost my 19 year old cate who was on fluid treatments for kidney disease for the last two years of his life. That was a great deal of work and heartache. Wondering if i have the strength!!

    Marie
     
  5. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Thank you Lisa. The testing concerns me the most because the numbers fluctuate throughout the day.
    I feel lost and helpless.

     
  6. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    O
    Thank you, Eliz. Princess is a very lovable 9 year old short hair tabby. She has been overweight since i took her off the street seven years ago. I noticed she was losing weight right before her annual check up at which time she was diagnosed with diabetes. The vet put her on Lantus 2 units twice a day and recommended Purina DM. All along she was eating Fancy Feast.

    I have been using the Alphatrak 2 to test her blood glucose and her numbers go up and down throughout the day. I am trying not to obsess but its not working.

    My biggest concerns are
    - getting this under control with disrupting the other two cats in the house
    - costs...the insulin and needles cost me $300 and will only last 25 days
    - will the other cats come down with this as they are from the same litter

    I just lost my 19 year old cate who was on fluid treatments for kidney disease for the last two years of his life. That was a great deal of work and heartache. Wondering if i have the strength!!

    Marie
     
  7. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    The Lantus insulin last about 6 months or move if handled carefully and refrigerated. Most here purchse the 5 pack of 3 ml pens instead of a 10 ml vial. Most can use the whole 3 ml pen before it goes bad. That is usually not the case for 10 ml vial. That, even though the cost per ml for the pens is more than for the vial since yo can usually use up a pen.
    You draw the Lantus put of the pen like a vial. The pen delivery system only doses in 1 unit increments and most cats nee 1/4 or 1/2 unit increments.

    I feed my cats separately twice a day so I can monitor their eating

    There appears to be some genetic component of coming down with diabetes.
     
  8. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Hi Larry,
    The lantus vial says 100 units (10ml). So if i am calculating correctly then 2 units twice a day will be 4 units, therefore 25 days. Am i calculating correctly. This is costly.

    Marie
     
  9. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Lantus is a U-100 insulin, which means there are 100 units in 1 milliliter (mL).
    The vial contains 10 mL * 100 = 1,000 units.
    At 2 units per day, it contains enough for 500 days, however it wimps out by around 6 months (180 days) and you'll throw away a lot of it.
     
  10. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Oh, thank goodness!! The vet has not explained any of this to me. I am very grateful for the info you have given me!
     
  11. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    This means that buying the pens (or cartridges in some places outside the US), which contain 3 mL or 3 * 100 = 300 units, at 2 units per day, last about 150 days, and you can finish a pen well before the insulin wimps out ... unless your cat winds up not needing insulin any more, which sometimes happens if the cat is dosed correctly, fed low carb food (pop over and read Cat Info), and monitored closely by the owner.
     
  12. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Marie,
    It sounds like you lost a beloved kitty to kidney disease, and I am so very sorry for your loss...:(

    You may well feel that you don't have the strength at the moment to deal with Princess's diabetes; that would be entirely understandable after what you've been through. But do please know that diabetes is treatable; and that some diabetic cats actually go into remission (become diet-controlled diabetics) after a short time on insulin. And even diabetics that remain on insulin can have full and happy lives in good health.

    You said that Princess's numbers fluctuate throughout the day. Can you tell us more about that?

    Big hug to you, (((Marie))),

    Eliz
     
  13. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    That is great news that you are hometesting. The numbers will fluctuate during the day, that is normal. Within a hour or two after feeding and insulin you probably see a spike in the levels. That is due to the food. After that you should see it begin to drop. When you reach the lowest point, probably between 6-8 hour that is the Nadir, afterwards you should see it begin to rise again.

    If you buy the pens, that will help lower the cost, especially if you can buy them one at a time. I had two diabetic cats that received doses of 2 units twice a day and package of pens (5) lasted gave me almost 7 months of insulin for 2 cats. So, depending on your dose, it may last a year for you. For syringes, if you have a Walmart near you, the Relion brand of syringes work well. You can also save money by switching to a human glucose meter instead of the Alphatrak. Many of us use the Walmart Relion Confirm or Micro meters for testing. The meter and strips are a lot cheaper than the Alphatrack and also easier to get when you need them in a hurry.

    It is possible that your other cats could develop diabetes, however, if you can switch all of them to a low carb/high protein canned or raw food diet, that will greatly reduce the risk. Even though I had two diabetic cats, one of them, Spot (GA), I adopted knowing that she was diabetic. Since both of these cats have passed, I have 7 other cats and so far, none of them have developed it. They all eat Friskies canned food.

    I understand how you feel about losing your 19 year old. Witn was 19 when she passed from CRF and a few years before I lost Rascal at 17 from the same thing. Spot, I lost to cancer. I also lost Ricky to a blood clot. All of these were sugar kitties. It is never easy to say good bye to our pets and I don't regret a moment that I spent caring for them, no matter how difficult it may have been. You have the strenght, you just have to remind yourself that you do.
     
  14. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Hi and welcome

    A lot of US members use fancy feast. You just need to check that it has less than 10% of calories from carbs ( use the list BJM linked) and monitor closely if you change. Best to change slowly over a number of days and please monitor as blood glucose can drop further if carb content is lower in the new food.

    You might be able to reduce costs further by using a human meter to test blood glucose. I know the alphatrak works out more expensive. Can I get you to add some details to your signature such as the lantus, the dose, the food, any other conditions or medication.

    Can I also highlight the hypo info. We recommend that you print it out and keep it handy in case princess goes low but please note the numbers relate to a human meter and not the alphatrak. Hopefully someone can clarify the numbers for the alphatrak.

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-to-treat-hypos-they-can-kill-print-this-out.15887/
     
  15. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    If it helps why not list out the blood glucose test readings so we can help. She might be dropping fast and then bouncing back up as two units is quite a high dose. List out the date, the dose and then various readings if you can.
     
  16. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Dear Eliz, thank you for your kind words.
    Here is a sample of Princess' glucose numbers:

    Feb 11. 1 unit Insulin at 8 am
    12:30. BG 331
    4:00pm 338
    6:00 pm 337
    6:30 pm 1 unit insulin
    8:30 pm 392

    Feb 12. 1 unit Insulin at 8 am
    10:00 am. 365
    12:30 pm. 436
    5:00 pm 384

    Feb 13. 2 units Insulin at 8:00 am ( vet switched her to 2 units 2x/ day)
    2:00 pm. 408
    6:00 pm 325

    Feb 14 2 units insulin 8:30 am
    2:30 pm. 418
    6:00 pm. 284

    Feb 15. 2 units insulin. 8:00 am
    2:00 pm. 257
    6:00 pm 318

    Feb 16 2 units insulin. 8 am
    3:00 pm. 375

    It makes no sense to me.
    Marie


    Here
     
  17. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    hank you. I am so grateful for everyones help. Ive posted some of Princess' BG numbers. Any insight is apprecited.
     
  18. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
    Hi ,
    Ive listed Princess' number under another post below.
     
  19. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

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    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi Marie,

    I do so hope you're feeling a bit better today. :bighug:

    Thanks for typing out and posting those test results.
    The numbers you've listed are mostly pretty high, and quite 'flat' (ie, not generally a huge amount of difference between them).
    Did you get any lower test results than these at any stage, or are these numbers 'typical'?

    And are you testing before each insulin shot?
    And how far apart are you giving the shots; 12-hourly?

    Best wishes,

    Eliz
     
  20. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Hi Eliz,

    Thank you for checking on me. I do feel a little better. There is a great deal of support and information in these forums. It has helped though still overwhelming.

    The last three readings I got are:

    Yesterday 8:00 am 259 and 6:30 pm 270
    Today 7:30 am 337

    These were all done right before she ate. I give the insulin 15 minutes after she eats. I do my best to give them 12 hours apart dependent on my schedule. I was also told not to feed her anything between the two meals. She's acting ok although she is looking for food during the day. I have to leave the house so as not to look at those sad hungry eyes!

    Marie
     
  21. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2014
    Hi thanks for adding those numbers. I am going to ask @Chris & China, @Marje and Gracie @Wendy&Neko to drop by and see is they can give some advice (or anyone else).

    Marie's little princess has recently been diagnosed with diabetes and is currently on 2 units of lantus twice a day. Marie has listed out some blood glucose readings above.

    Marie-it is important that you try to dose lantus consistently so at close as you can get to 12 hours apart as changes greater than 15 minutes either way can act like a dose increase or decrease.
     
  22. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    I'm close to my own test/feed/shoot time, but wanted to just give one important piece of information real quick regarding feeding

    It's actually better on our diabetic cats to have several small meals instead of 2 big ones....Just like human diabetics are told to eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones...It's easier on the pancreas to deal with smaller meals than it is to deal with big ones so there's no need to restrict your cat to only twice/day feedings Marie!

    I feed China about every 3 hours...the only time we don't want them to eat is for the 2 hours prior to Pre-shot tests so the number isn't influenced by food.
     
  23. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Welcome to the FDMB! We have all been in your shoes and know the angst you are feeling now. This is the best place for you and Princess as the members are very supportive here and we have a great wealth of knowledge on managing FD.

    How much does she weigh and what is her ideal weight? You said she has been obese so even having lost weight I'm assuming she is not now underweight? The starting dose for Lantus is 0.25u/kg of ideal weight unless kitty is underweight. The starting dose needs to be held for 5-7 days unless numbers are high and flat ....as are hers but we wouldn't raise the dose by 1u twice a day after only two days.

    It would be great to have all these test numbers on a Spreadsheet.

    If you have any problems with it, please send me a private message by clicking on Gracies photo to the left and selecting "Start a Conversation". I can do the SS for you quickly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  24. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Hi Chris,
    Intuitively I also thought that Princess should eat small meals throughout the day, but you seem to be the only one advocating this. The poor cat looks like shes starving about six hours after each feeding. It doesn't make sense to me. Marie
     
  25. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Nope, Chris is not the only one that advocates several small meals throughout the day, she's only the first person so respond to you about doing that.

    I feed my 3 cats, Wink the diet controlled diabetic and his two civie roomies, 4 times a day. Yes, they are always bugging me for more meals and treats, but we need to keep their weight in the normal range. They get 2 breakfasts, 1-3 hours apart and 2 dinners, 2-4 hours apart. It is what works for me, my schedule and my cats that hoover up the food like they will never be fed again! I think it's because they were abandoned and shelter kitties for months.

    Princess may need more food until she is better regulated, up to 50% more food. Without enough insulin, the food that Princess eats can not be processed properly, so some goes right through her system without giving her much benefit. Weighing your kitty on a regular basis, like weekly can help you see how she is doing.

    For example, when I first got Wink he was just under 12 pounds and was eating 11-13 ounces of food a day and lost more than 2 pounds in 6 weeks. Now, he eats 5.5 -6 ounces of food a day and has been maintaining his weight around 10.5 -11 pounds.
     
  26. manxcat419

    manxcat419 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 14, 2015
    I free-feed Rosa so she eats every 2-3 hours by herself. She's always been free-fed and I can't find any evidence that says that should be changed (apart from my vet suggesting only feeding 2 bigger meals per day but I'm not classing that as advice I'm that interested in taking). As far as I'm concerned, little and often is better for her for food so her pancreas isn't overloaded by big meals. And I can't think of any good reason why I should expect her to only be hungry when I say so, not when she actually feels like eating!!
     
  27. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
    What about the insulin? I was told by the vet to only feed her twice a day because of the insulin.
     
  28. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
    Princess was never a free feeder because of her weight but i would give her a little spoonful between meals to satisfy her hunger until dinner. Now she follows me around starting six hours after breakfast until i feed her dinner.
     
  29. manxcat419

    manxcat419 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 14, 2015
    Reading back, Princess is on Lantus - is that right? I don't know how feeding more often would affect one of the in-and-out insulins as I've not used one in a cat to find out, but with Lantus it is not necessary for you to only feed her when she gets her shot because it lasts longer in her system and is also a depot insulin, so previous shots also build up some insulin in her system that will also help control her numbers.

    My vet also said to feed only at shot time, but it really just isn't necessary to control her food times quite that strictly as long as she's getting low carb food.
     
  30. manxcat419

    manxcat419 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 14, 2015
    I can understand you not wanting to free-feed if you've been trying to get her to lose weight, but even if you split up the amount you'd usually give her at meal times into several mini-meals - that way she won't have to go 12 hours at a time without food.
     
  31. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Lantus is a good insulin to be using for your diabetic kitty. Yes, you want your cat to eat something but it does not have to be before you give this insulin.

    I think many vets suggest only feeding 2 meals a day to make sure the cat is hungry and will eat before the injection. This seems to be an older style of food management for diabetic cats when only some of the fast acting insulins like Humulin or Novolin N were used. Those insulins start to work really quickly, 1 hour or less, and your cat needed to have some food on board in order to offset the quick onset of the insulin action and keep the cats BG (blood glucose) levels from dropping too fast.

    Lantus has a gentler action, later onset and the drops are not as fast and steep.


    Try adding some water to the canned food, think applesauce consistency. This can help your kitty to feel fuller.
     
  32. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Thanks. I may try giving her a spoonful mid day to alleviate her hunger. She never eats all that she is expected to eat at the two mealtimes. Splitting it up may be better.
     
  33. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
    I think she would be happier with a little something mid day. Waiting from 7 a m to 7 pm is very long for her.
     
    Chris & China likes this.
  34. manxcat419

    manxcat419 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 14, 2015
    She'd be more than fine with some of her food in the middle of the feeding times you've been trying to get her to stick to. If you're controlling her calories, I'd just split the usual amount into 3 instead of 2 and let her have that extra meal - I'm sure she'll be happier for it :)
     
  35. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
    Me too! I wont have to look at those sad hungry eyes!
     
    manxcat419 likes this.
  36. manxcat419

    manxcat419 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 14, 2015
    I can imagine - they do have a way of making us feel guilty even when we're trying to do our best for them!!
     
  37. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    I'm telling you, Wink can tell time. He knows when it's time for second breffis and he also knows when it's time for second suppa! Like clockwork, he starts to beg for his seconds!
     
    Critter Mom and manxcat419 like this.
  38. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
    Is Wink on lantus? If so, when do you give it to him?
     
  39. Deb & Wink

    Deb & Wink Well-Known Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
    When Wink still needed insulin, he was on Lantus insulin. He has been diet controlled for almost 2 years now and no longer needs insulin.

    When Wink was getting insulin, I was giving it to him every 12 hours. For me, that was at 7 am and 7pm.

    You need to pick a time that will work best with your schedule and life responsibilities.
     
  40. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
     
  41. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
    Hi Marje, I have put together an Excel worksheet.
     

    Attached Files:

  42. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
    I made an attempt at a spreadsheet.
     

    Attached Files:

  43. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I would be easier to read your excel SS if you you arranged it as: Date , Day (if you want), Time AM BG/Shot (if you want), AM Pre-shot BG, AM Dose, AM food and other AM stuff, Time PM BG/Shot (if you want), PM Pre-shot BG, PM Dose, PM food and other PM stuff
    That way it progresses wit time from left to right
     
  44. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
  45. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

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    May 30, 2010
    I've been out of town but am back so if you need help with the SS, please let me know. We use a specific format so it updates automatically whenever you put in a number and we can also link it to your signature so we can all see it but can't edit it.
     
  46. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
    I think she got it sorted now and has posted over on the lantus forum for advice.
     
  47. Princess mother

    Princess mother Member

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    Feb 16, 2015
    Hi Marje, Thank you for the offer. I figured it out. once you crack the code, it is quite easy. Marie
     
  48. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

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    May 30, 2010
    Good job!!! Thanks for doing that.
     
  49. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Just love the piccie of Princess, Marie! :)
     
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