OMG 1st Blood Test/Advice

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Robert Vittetoe, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Jun 7, 2019
    I was able to get a blood test on Pinot. I never thought this would happen and never on day one with a test meter. Of course he was a sleep in my lap. Now what do we do? The reading was 62 on the Relion Prime. It was about 8 hours since his shot 2 units of Prozinc. His first shot of insulin was Friday evening. His blood test at the vet was 607 on Tuesday. They drew the blood and we got the results on Thursday. He is a very afraid cat so was very stressed at the vet when the sample was drawn. We decided to give him some fancy feast now. He would normally get 2 more units of insulin at around 9 pm. Should we skip the shot, go down to 1 unit? I most likely won’t get another test prior to his shot time. I’m going to try my best to get another test in the morning prior to shot time. I will also try and figure out the spreadsheet. He was a heavy hard food friskies seafood sensation eater that was always available and given fancy feast canned several times a day. We took up the hard food but continued to give him a little with the soft food at meal time. We still have to figure out how often a day he should eat. Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    See what the number is at shot time. If it's at 250 or higher I would only do 1 unit until you get more data. 1 unit twice a day is the recommended starting dose. Under 250 stall up to an hour without feeding and see if it's going up and if not skip.
     
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  3. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    My problem is he is a very hard to handle cat. I don’t think I’m going to be able to get another reading today and maybe not tomorrow. I can’t pick him up. I just have to wait until he gets on my lap. I have to put on motorcycle gloves just to get him in a carrier for vet visits. I’m going to have to decide on this evenings action based on the one reading.
     
  4. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    it gets easier

    if you always give him a special treat, one he doesn't get routinely, and loves (even catnip can work), EVERY time you even attempt to test him, if he's as smart as a cat is, he will come to realize this .. test = treat

    everyone does it differently -- some coax or put cat on a table, or chair, or couch, or dryer or bed or lap .. actually I'm usually kneeling on the floor behind the cat who has his nose in his food bowl -- rarely can I get a test unless he's eating and even then .....

    however even my stubborn cat is learning

    sometimes it's easier if another person helps (didn't for me, but .. )

    some cats need to be turned into a "purrito" -- wrapped in a towel like a burrito -- but this tends to put some off, permanently
     
  5. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Jun 7, 2019
    Well guess I will wing it for tonight. I can’t get another test this evening so with his BG being 62 at shot +8 I’m going to skip the shot this evening and start again tomorrow. Hopefully I can get another test or two tomorrow. The goal will be before each shot.
     
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  6. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Is he still eating the high carb Friskies kibble?
     
  7. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Not really. We have taken up free feeding the hard food but put just a few on top of his soft food as he Transitions
     
  8. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    By removing the dry food, that would lower the glucose levels significantly. Please try your best to get a test before giving him insulin in the morning. With that significant of a drop, you may be lucky and his diabetes may soon be controlled by diet. Keeping fingers crossed that will happen.
     
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  9. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Unless there have been ketones present, since he’s difficult to test, I think I’d transition the food completely before I resume the insulin. In the meantime get him used to testing. If the 2u was prescribed by your vet from tests taken when Pinot was still eating dry, it will possibly be too much insulin.
     
  10. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    I agree. That is why I asked you to test before giving him insulin in the morning. Depending on his reading you may not need to give him insulin then.
     
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  11. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Appreciate all the advice. No ketones were present in the initial blood panel that had the 607 BG.
     
  12. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    No luck this morning. I lost my nerve a few times. Finally was able to poke the ear and got blood but he ran. Poked myself numerous times. I was able to get a small drop on the stick but not enough for a test. Feeling very stressed. My call the vet this morning for help. Maybe as suggested change the food completely and keep trying to test I’m very afraid of injecting without the blood test.
     
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  13. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    If you get a drop of blood, try to grab it on a clean finger nail quickly so you can then test from there when Pinot takes off. Also if you can manage to get a teensy dab of Vaseline on his ear where you intend to poke, it will help the blood bead up making it easier to grab with your finger nail or directly onto the test strip.

    You need to approach Pinot with an air of confidence because they pick up on our emotions. If we get stressed, they get stressed. Take some deep breathes or hum a tune to calm yourself. :)
     
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  14. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    what Linda said !! -- I bite fingernails :nailbiting:, especially with the stress I feel trying to do my best for Catcat -- so I found a sample spoon left over from a Baskin-Robbins ice cream place, use that to scoop the droplet away from ear before cat runs, or shakes head, or folds ear so the blood runs into fur -- then I can slide test strip into meter, gently touch strip to droplet on spoon -- cat can do what cat wants to do
     
  15. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Vet assisted recommended skipping the shot this morning, try to get a test around 3 and go from there. She said she would have to discuss with the vet any changes to insulin. Really feeling the stress today. I got lucky yesterday because he went to sleep on my lap. Found some Purely Fancy Feast Natural hand selected chicken treats 100% chicken that he really loves. May try to put a piece in a bowl and try to test when he is eating it. I fooled with him on my lap for over 2 hours this morning with nothing to show but several sticks in my fingers.
     
  16. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    helps to "back up" your stick with folded toilet paper, cotton ball or cosmetic round/square -- gives a firmer surface against the other side of the ear

    also helpful to prick holding the lancet at 45 degrees to the vertical, even better if you slant it towards the top of the ear
    that way you might be able to pierce the closest skin surface but not go all the way through
     
  17. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    I poked his ear a total of 3 times. Each time was a challenge. The first two produced nothing. The third drop produced a nice drop which I was able to partially catch on my fingernail. I really question the results. It read 31 and his last insulin shot was Sunday morning. He doesn’t show any signs of low blood sugar. He did eat a few bites. I will try again later because he is getting an idea of what’s going on.
     
  18. Jerry dutchboy

    Jerry dutchboy Member

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    Mar 27, 2019
    Just a thought and I don't think anyone mentioned it. Make sure his ear is warm, the ear bleeds better when its warm. I have a hard time getting blood from Jerry's ear if its cold and I've been testing for quite a while now and he has plenty of capillaries built up. In case you didn't know, the more you poke the more capillaries build making it easier to get the ear to bleed. To warm his ear you can put warm water in an old pill bottle or some rice in an old sock and microwave it for a few seconds. Be careful though that its not too hot, test it on your wrist like you would with a baby's bottle. The best of luck, I know its difficult when you start out.:)
     
  19. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    31 does seem low but with no insulin shots since Sunday AM there is no worry of him going too low. I had my girl who is in remission, read 39 a few weeks ago when I checked her. Many non-diabetic cats routinely run in the 40s. Maybe the diet change is having a very significant and positive effect on his BG. Did they run a fructosamine to diagnose Pinot? If so what was the result? Or was the diagnosis based off the blood/urine glucose alone. Fingers crossed Pinot maintains low readings without insulin!
     
  20. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Well another attempt went well and it read 79. Definitely not going to do anything else today. The learning process continues tomorrow. I will have to ask what type of test was used. They just called it a Senior Panel blood sample test with a urine sample. His poor little ears. My technique is terrible. I think every time I’ve gotten blood it’s been completely through the ear because both sides bleed and so does my finger. One thing I did do was immediately after the poke I put his treat on a plate but had to scruff him for a few seconds to get the blood. He did leave the room but came back quickly to finish the treat.
     
  21. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    he's learning, you're learning -- congratulations -- all of us have been there, some still are -- :cat::joyful:;)


    oh, think "prick" rather than "poke", if you can

    you're making a "design" on leather rather than belt holes
     
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  22. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    That is a very encouraging reading. The vet would normally do a senior panel to see how Pinot was doing overall but if no fructosamine was done, I might question the diagnosis given the readings you are getting sans insulin now. Had Pinot by any chance just chowed down on his beloved kibble before visiting the vet? Had you been noticing excessive thirst, excessive peeing and/or insatiable appetite or lack of appetite or was the only clinical sign the weight loss?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  23. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    That is a great number.
     
  24. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    I’m really not sure if he ate just before the vet visit. The visit was last Tuesday at 4 pm so he had his usual free access to the hard food all day. The symptoms we noticed were he was eating more than usual, his little box was a mess. We have two other cats we have to keep separate from Pinot because of his aggressiveness, I described it as he went double what the other two cats did in there litter box in a day. He was drinking a little more than usual but we never found his water bowl empty or even unusually low. Right now he still wants food most the time. We are trying to limit his main feedings to twice a day with a little augmentation throughout the day. We are putting a few pieces of the hard food on top of the fancy feast. There has been a drastic change in his litter box. Seems very normal. I think today I’m going to only try one reading sometime after he eats to get a snap shot. If it’s normal that will be it for the day. The vet recommended we get the AlphaTrak meter so our testing will be consistent with theirs. I may consider doing that. All your help and advice is very much appreciated!
     
  25. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    While the AT2 meter would be more consistent with the vet's readings, the strips for it are also considerably more expensive (about $1.00 each in US I believe) so I wouldn't recommend doing that until testing is easier to accomplish. AT2 will generally read higher overall with the difference being greater the higher the BG. With the last 2 readings you got, the difference in readings on your meter and an AT2 would not be significant. I'd hold off till you see if Pinot's BG is still elevated at this point. Encouraging to hear his volume of urine has decreased. Hoping the BG readings continue to be in normal range!
     
  26. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Makes sense. I will hold off on the AT2 for now. As far as testing I was only going to try one test today. I was considering doing a test a few hours after he ate to see his level on a full meal. The 3 readings I have so far were 62 @ 5:15 PM Sunday 31 @ 12:47 Monday and 79 @ 4:06 PM Monday. His last insulin shot was Sunday morning (he only had 4 insulin shots total: 1 Friday evening, 2 Saturday and one Sunday morning). Since I have two readings in the 4 to 5 PM time should I try and be consistent and try again around that time. As he is a struggle I may just have to go when the opportunity comes. I know if he has diabetes that requires insulin we should attempt a blood test before each shot and again to try and determine his lowest level after the shot.

    PS: The vet tech called this morning and left a message saying if the readings we are getting remain consistent we could consider going down from 2 units to 1. I’m not going to give any insulin unless his levels start going up.
     
  27. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Given the readings you got of 31, 62 and 79, I definitely WOULD NOT give Pinot any insulin and certainly not a dose of 1u. Your readings may be a tad low compared to the AT2 but they are well within normal limits for a cat using a human meter. Scary to think the vet techs would suggest dosing at those numbers especially if they are thinking in AT2 terms because that would be even more dangerous.
    Right now given the issues you are having getting Pinot to co-operate, test when you can but note when the test was taken in relation to when he last ate.
     
  28. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Frustrated but encouraged. I’ve tried 3 times this afternoon to get a blood test. Two times resulted in no blood and one time we got blood but the mete gave an error of not enough blood. The encouraging part was each time he got on my lap and I was able to put slight pressure on his body with one arm, take the ear in the other had and poke his ear. I did try to warm his ear with my fingers first. He won’t allow any ear warming device. Not sure what else to do. I may try the spot that was successful yesterday. I tried the opposite ear today. We also found treats, Purely Fancy Feast, that he really loves. I’m off to the store for more treats and will keep trying to get a reading today. Less than a week ago I never imagined being able to do this.
     
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  29. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Robert, you are doing fantastic. This is a process with all our kitties and when kitty is not fond of handling, it's that much tougher. They usually come around in their own time but the fact you've made this much progress in this short time frame is something to be proud of. You'll have him melting in your hand in no time! ;)
     
  30. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Thanks! We just got another successful reading 74. Only food he had today was a can of fancy feast this morning. He ate about 1/2 initial and finished the rest later before noon. No insulin tonight and my try another test tomorrow. Encouraging that both test about 24 hours apart were very close 79 yesterday and 74 today. Hopefully we will be able to keep him regulated with diet or maybe he was misdiagnosed. Who knows. Nice to not have to worry about it until tomorrow. Thanks for being here you do a great service for folks in this situation.
     
  31. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Nice number!!! I’m so glad you decided to try the food switch and suspend insulin while you learned to test. Shooting 2u blind would have been disastrous!
     
  32. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    A successful first attempt blood test. Same ear location as previous test. BG was 96 @ 4:07 PM. Things appear to be changing for the good. No shaking hands today and Pinot actually seemed almost eager. No insulin again today and will attempt another test tomorrow. Maybe I should try a different time of day?
     
  33. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    WHOOHOO! Lovin' those readings and love hearing you and Pinot are getting more comfortable with the process. Congrats on getting blood on first attempt. An extra treat for Pinot for being more co-operative. :joyful:
     
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  34. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Another successful test that went fairly well. BG 64 at 4:02 PM. No insulin since Sunday morning. Not enough blood the first time and got an error message. He jumped back on my lap after seeing the treat and I was able to poke him again. It’s very impressive how quickly he has associated the treat with the process. We like our vet and want to keep a good relationship. They still recommended I get the AT2 to be inline with their testing. I broke down and ordered one from amazon for $49. Vet wanted $99 for the same starter kit. It should arrive tomorrow and vet will call Saturday to see how things are going. If we figure out Pinot needs insulin I will continue to use the ReliOn Prime for daily use and the AT2 for spot checks and curves for the vet. I tried to do the Spreadsheet too. I hope the link is working.
     
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  35. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Link is working great. Thanks for getting the SS up and running. The sea of green on Pinot's spreadsheet is truly a thing of beauty. Thumbs_up.gif It's looking more and more doubtful that Pinot needs insulin at this point in time.

    In order to determine OTJ status we normally suggest testing morning and night as you would if giving insulin (no food for 2 hours prior to reading) for a period of 14 consecutive days. If BG remains normal (preferably low to mid range normal although the odd slightly higher blue reading can happen) for 14 consecutive days then you can officially declare he is in remission.

    You've made great strides getting Pinot to submit to testing but it is only once daily. That said pushing Pinot too much or too fast doesn't seem a good plan to me at this point in time. If it's possible to get two tests a day at least for a few days, you'd get a broader view of what his BG is looking like over a 24 hour period.

    I'm inclined to count 4 days down now and 10 to go and if you can only get one test a day, so be it as long as BG stays in that delightful green range. Others may have differing opinions on how to handle your special circumstances but things are certainly looking very promising.
     
  36. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    You are doing great. It definitely seems that diabetes can be diet controlled.

    :cat: :cat: :cat:
     
  37. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Thanks! I tried 2 test today simulating AMPS and PMPS. AMPS was 92 with ReliOn, PMPS was 120 with AT2. No insulin since Sunday. I also attempted to setup the pet meter Spreadsheet. I don’t like that blue showing up but I believe still in the normal range. I just assumed the upper level of green on the pet meter Spreadsheet would be higher than 99. Vet office said they would call tomorrow for an update. Keeping my fingers crossed for diet control.
     
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  38. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Robert it is normal to get some low blue numbers along with dark green numbers from a non-diabetic cat using the pet meter. Not to worry about that 120.

    I tried to open the AT2 meter sheet and it looks like the sharing is not set...says I need permission.
     
  39. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Thanks! I will try and fix the spreadsheet. (Hopefully it’s fixed now)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 5:58 PM
  40. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    All good! I can see it! :D
     
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  41. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Two test today with the AT2. Simulated AMPS = 59; Simulated PMPS = 119. Vet tech called this morning; said continue testing and she would note his chart and check in next week. She said around 100 was a good number with the AT2.
     
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  42. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Ok my curiosity is peaked .....what do you mean by "simulated AMPS/PMPS"?o_O

    Those readings are absolutely fine with the AT2 meter. YEAH! Keep up the good BG readings Pinot!
     
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  43. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Jun 7, 2019
    Well since he isn’t taking insulin shots right now, I’m sort of pretending. Simulating if it is determined he requires insulin on a daily basis what I would be doing. He has only had a total of 4 insulin shots: 1 Friday, 2 Saturday, 1 Sunday of last week. So far it seems like the change to wet low carb diet seems to be enough to keep normal BG.
     
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  44. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    OH now I get it! :woot: I'm a little slow on the draw today me thinks!

    I agree that it's appearing very likely Pinot is either diet controlled or misdiagnosed in the first place. Either way, I am delighted to see he is remaining in normal range. :joyful:
     
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  45. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Jun 7, 2019
    Thanks! You have been a blessing helping us through this. I’m retired Army so I wanted to say to you and others on here “Thank You for your service!”
     
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  46. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

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    It's a small service in comparison to yours but we do what we can 'cause every bit helps and we do love our critters! Thank You for your service!:)
     
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  47. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    I missed it too!!!
    I’m so glad Pinot is doing so well. You’ve done a great job getting him to allow you to test. Some people would not have even tried.

    A big Thank You to you!!!!
     

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