Our crazy story most won't beleive!

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Willow, Mar 25, 2016.

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  1. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Wow it has been a crazy few months for our family and our fairly new adopt cat Willow.

    We adopted this 14 year old female cat September 2015, we ended up spending around $1,000 within the first month due to the condition she was in. After having to get her spaded I noticed she was drinking and peeing a lot. I took her into the vet were they advised she is diabetic. The testing at the start was another $800 to determine the amount of insulin she was going to need. The vet gave us a prescription for cat food and insulin, advises give her a shot once a day come see us in a month .

    This was the beginning of the nightmare to follow! A complete totally lack of communication on the vet part would end up costing us $8,000+ in vet bills over a three week period and counting.
    We went home, got her the food and started giving her the shots as advised. Over the next month I would call the vets office three time saying our cat is not acting right what should I do? They advised to give her syrup and not to worry. After a month our cat was looking really bad. I ordered a blood tester for cats and had it next day, I also started reading everything I could find regarding this disease in cats. I took her into the vets office on a Sunday they said she was in really bad shape, was dehydrated, backed up and blood work was not looking good overall. They kept her overnight, Monday night the vet advised we had to take our cat to a overnight vet to be monitored or she would die. She now had Keytones and was DKA. The overnight vet was 45 minutes away from our vet, their hours are 7pm-7am at a cost of $700 a night, we have to pick her up and take her back to our daily vet from 7am -6pm, this went on for over a week back and fourth, with our cat getting worst. Our day vet advised I should think about putting our cat down, the cost of trying to get our cat under control could go on for weeks or even months. Our cat had now turned yellow and we were advised her liver and kidneys have stopped working, again the vet advised I should put the cat down. My wife and I wanted to spend one last night with Willow. We picked her up and took her home to say goodbye, my wife went and bought her a coffin because I was going to burry her next to my other cats.
    Over that night Willow was walking around and came to me as she had from day one. The next morning I took her into the vet and advised them to keep treating her, the vet asked me why was I doing this? At this point I'm pot committed, what is another $1,000 considering how much I have spent so far, I have never backed off on something I have committed too and I'm not going to start now. I asked if I could do the night monitoring to try and save on the $700 a night for the night vet? What would I have to do? I would have to check her blood every two hours, syringe feed and water, check her pee and poop, her peed was dark brown and poop black.

    Okay I said, I will stay up and do this, not to mention I had caught that cold that has been going around, I was sick as a dog, head stuffed up, sweating so bad I would have to change my shirt 4-5 times a night. Over the next three night I lived downstairs in a sleeping bag staying up all night checking her blood, feed and water her and give her the insulin shot as needed, I would then drop her off at the vet at 7am with all of my night notes for the vet. This went on for three nights. Need to note our vet is a large veterinarian, they have five vets working there and we had to deal with three different vets during this time. On the fourth night we were having an Oscar party at our home. I advised the vet not to give Willow any shots that night because I only had three test strips and could not Monitor her that night. If a cat gets blow 50 they are in the danger zone, cats that have this disease range from 200-400mg better to be too high then too low because they can die very fast being too low. The night of our party my wife had gone all out, we had 55 of my clients at our home, fully catered an over the top event. Around 8 pm for whatever reason I went to check Willow, she was non-responsive, tongue was hanging out of her mouth, her blood was 19! I raced out of my house with her in my arms, I knew time was against us, I called the night vet while racing there to advise them I was on the way. I not going to say what I had to do to get there so fast I'll leave it to your imagination. I made it there is 22 minutes, rushed her in and they gave her a shot that saved her. She was in really bad shape at this point.
    The vet at the ER advised me to put her down, her liver is not working, her numbers are all over the charts, that she is going to die. Again I refused he advises!
    Over the next few days I did the same thing, drop her off at the day vet and take her home to be checked every two hours. After another few days our day vet advised we need a different kind of insulin at a cost of $300 a bottle to give her two shots a day. Good thing I did not follow the vets advise or Willow would be dead. Willow at this point was 5lbs, so skinny and yellow, her eyes looked like she was going do die any time. I had to force feed food and water. She would barff up some times and her poop was black when she did go.
    Her numbers were all over the place. From 750 to 113mg in a few hours.
    I read online it is very important to not give a cat a shot if they are 200mg or below and this happened a few time at the vets.
    Over the next few weeks I was able to nurse Willow back to health with hand feeding and watering. Willow had started eating and drinking on her own, her pee was yellow/green and poop light brown. I had to leave for three days so my wife took over while I was gone, my wife was scared to death because she was so afraid Willow would die on her watch. When I came back Willow was much fatter and her blood levels were really high again and having a hard time getting them down to good numbers. And this is where we are at today. Willow does not like the wet food and will only eat the dry. She also does not eat a lot of food at once, she eats a little amount all day.
    As she has become healthier and stronger her numbers have gone up and I'm trying to figure out the correct amount of insulin to give her(don't really trust the vets at this point)
    This past week she went from the 300 -489 range to 565-700 range. We were giving her 1 unit of glargine insulin twice a day, when I checked her in the afternoon her numbers had not come down much. I raised her to 1.5 and it helped for a few days then her numbers shot between 686- 725mg. As of last night I started to give her 2 units twice a day and checked her every two hours. This seem to work as her numbers started to come down 100mg per hour.
    A note! Last week we had to leave town for a day and paid the vet to send a tech to our house to give Willow her shot. The vet who took over my case had been on vacation for 10 days called me and requested if the tech could bring Willow into his office he wanted to check her out, free of charge. I said okay. When we went into pick Willow up the vet had done a curve, blood work and was amazed Willow was still alive. He said her liver and kidneys numbers looked good. He said he did not beleive this was the same cat because of how she looked. This vet is a good guy, he is doing the best he can, the problem is he is not an expert with this problem and what I'm finding most vets aren't.
    My advises is if your cat is diagnosed with this disease, is to educate yourself really fast, the vets are just guessing at best and since this is your cat you need to know what is going on and not just follow the advises of the vet. If you follow your vets advise 100% your pet could end up dead!
     
    scoobydoox, Paula, Capoo and 2 others like this.
  2. Ferndoc

    Ferndoc Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Hi welcome.
     
  3. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to you and Willow!

    There are ton of very experienced folks over in the Lantus forum that can help you out with dosing! Unfortunately, it's hard to find a vet that gets all (and sometimes any) pieces of the correct treatment of diabetes in cats. It took Bandit and I six years, four vets, and finally seeing an internal medicine specialist at Cornell to find a vet who got everything right with his diabetes. Educating yourself in the correct treatment guidelines for cats is the most important thing you can do to help keep your cat safe and healthy!

    It sounds like you're home testing already, which is great! Can you set up a spreadsheet? It's not only a great tool for you, it can help the members here offer you advice on your dosing.

    Doses with Lantus should not be adjusted in whole units. Adjustments are made in .25u-.5u increments depending on your cat's BG levels. Because your cat has a history of DKA, it's very important to be aggresive about getting her blood sugar under control. Are you also testing for ketones at home?

    Diet is very important part in managing diabetes. Dry food is too high in carbs and dehydrating, which puts strain on the cat's kidneys. I would not give up on transitioning her to canned food. Have you seen these tips for transitioning? The most common reason people have trouble moving to wet food is that they continue to free feed the dry. Pulling up all the dry and feeding portions on a schedule is very important. Diabetic cats do best with smaller, frequent meals throughout the day (4x a day or more is ideal), so maybe you'll have good luck with more frequent feedings? You can freeze wet food and leave it out for when you're not home or sleeping. Some people also free feed the wet by adding a bit of water to it to keep it moist.

    There are also a couple low carb dry foods (like Young Again Zero Carb) that you can use while you're transitioning, but even though these dry foods are lower in carbs than most they are still dehydrating, which is not good for the kidneys, and some cats have difficultly regulating on them.

    If you have any questions at all, please come on over to the Health Forum and ask away! There's a ton of knowledgable and helpful folks here.
     
    Squalliesmom and Willow like this.
  4. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Thank you!
     
  5. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Hi we have her on the MD dry food, to get her back healthy we had her on AD and baby food for two weeks.
    She does not like the MD we food at all. We pulled the regular wet cat food awhile ago because her numbers would go off the chart. We have to feed our two other cats on a table where Willow can't get too.

    We have a really good accounting of her daily blood mg. I keep a daily log on my phone with the dates numbers and amount of insulin.
    The reason for pushing the insulin to two units as you know is because I could not get her below the 500 range for too long. And when she started hitting the 700 range it was time to get aggressive. Today around 11:30 she was 300mg the first time this week being that low. By 1:30 she had gone back up to 380mg. This past week she has been drinking and peeing a lot due to her numbers being so high. I at first tried 1 1/4 unit and nothing then 1 1/2 unit and showed some improvements. Yesterday and today I went to 2 units and like I said she got as low as 300 for a short time.
    I was referred to this site off another one by a member here.
    I truly appreciate that I'm receiving.

    When Willow was on her deathbed she was down to 5lbs she is now back to 7lbs she is a small cat.
    This is one of the reason we are having a problem between her eating and insulin getting the correct amount is going to take time.

    Is there any other wet food other then the MD?

    Thank you again
     
  6. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    That's great that you've been keeping the record! If you can plug those numbers into the spreadsheet I linked to up above, you can share them here and get some more detailed advice about your dosing. The members here don't like to give detailed dosing advice without seeing the cat's numbers--the more information we have, the better the advice we can give you! If you have any trouble setting up the spreadsheet, let us know and someone can help you get it set up! Also, please ask if you have questions about what it means--AMPS=AM Pre shot, PMPS= PM Pre shot, +1 is one hour after the shot, +2 is 2 hours after the shot, etc.

    Lantus is dosed based off the daily nadir, or the lowest number of the cycle. (You can find more information about how Lantus is dosed in the Lantus Forum). Without seeing those numbers in comparison with your other numbers, it's impossible to give an opinion of how the dose should be adjusted.

    The MD dry food is too high in carbs for a diabetic cat, but the good news is you can feed any canned food that is less than 10% carbs, so there are a lot of options. Are you located in the US? If so, here's a list of foods with their nutritional breakdowns: http://catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf. Any food that is less than 10% carbs is ok to feed a diabetic cat! I've had great luck getting picky cats to eat BFF (a Weruva brand), but Fancy Feast or Sheba pates are also low carb and popular. Because she's 14 and has a history of kidney issues, I would try a food lower in phosphorus first to see if she likes it (Weruva and Wellness have a lot of options), but if she really likes the grocery brands like Fancy Feast you can maybe mix some in just to get her eating the canned food?
     
    Squalliesmom likes this.
  7. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Caution: changing from high carb dry to low carb canned may reduce the glucose level by 100-200 mg/dL and require an insulin dose decrease. Make any food changes gradually (20-25% every day or two) so you can monitor the effects of the food change and keep your cat safe. The glucose should stay above 50 mg/dL on a human glucometer at the nadir, or lowest value between shots.
     
  8. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Hi,
    She loves the fancy feast, our vet told us to get her on low carb food and since she was not eating the wet he put her on the dry.
    She normally is not a picky eater, normally she would eat anything, she would come and eat lunch and dinner with me everyday before the whole mess started. Now she is not interested in my food at all. She will eat the fancy feast and we currently give this to our other cats. I need to do homework on getting the correct one, not sure if all are.
    Her kidney and liver problem was due to the vets! She never had any problems until we took her in to see them!
    She only got better when we took her home. Our vet said our cat does not make sense, they were treating her numbers and almost killed her, they caused her to get keytones, DKA, liver and kidney failure. I took her home treated her and saved her.
    I posted on the health form today as you advised with the question could her high numbers be causing her to be hungry all the time?

    Where do I get the test strips for keytones?

    Thank you again
     
  9. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Thank you for the advise.
    We have the Alpha Trak 2 meter for cats.
    I did see big swings in her numbers based on the different food. Such as the AD really made her numbers jump compared to baby food. We had to had feed her this a few weeks ago.
    I did notice a spike when she started the dry food,
    Again thank you for advise
     
  10. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hi @Willow , the oft-quoted '50' threshold refers to tests done with a human glucose meter.
    The Alphatrak usually (but not always) reads higher than a human meter; and according to the Alphatrak user manual the threshold is 65, not 50 (below which the kitty may be deemed to be hypoglycemic).

    I don't know if anyone has given you the link to our Hypo document (sorry if I missed that!) but the link is here:
    How to treat HYPOS - THEY CAN KILL! Print this Out!!
    It can be helpful to read through the document and then print it out and keep it with your 'hypo kit' (high carb food, karo/glucose, etc).

    Best wishes,

    Eliz
     
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  11. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Thank you!
    The vet against my advises gave her a shot that caused her to go to 19bg when I found her, the ER vet that night save her.
    After that night I won't let her get below 100bg. We currently are having the problem getting her in the 300 range due to the MD dry food
     
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  12. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Good article,

    That is what happened to us.
    After that event a few days later the vet just advised a new insulin and go home give one unit twice a day. I was checking her every two hours, when she hit the 200bg range I went to checking her every 15 minutes, when she hit 114bg I gave syrup and force fed her with a syringe of baby food. I immediately cut her dosage in half from what the doctor prescribed or she would have ended up dead. We even went to 1/4 of a unit because she was dropping over 100bg an hour.
    The vets had advised to go ahead and give insulin even if she was in the 200bg range. I told the vet that his advises was against everything I have read online. Not going to follow his advise.
     
  13. Olive & Paula

    Olive & Paula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Willow has been through a lot. Kudos to you for hanging in there and fighting for her. So what dose is she on now?
     
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  14. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    She is currently running really high, we are pulling her MD dry food and changing her back to a wet food. I got all the numbers ready in a spreadsheet for here, trying to figure out how to share it.
    The dry food made her go in the 700+ range.
     
  15. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    Welcome.
    Kudos to you! You are doing a great job with Willow. She seems to be getting better.
    She knows that you love her very much and that you are helping her. The people on FDMB are amazing and will help you in getting Willow under control. The FDMB is a board of very experienced and compassionate people. Here, you will find a ton of knowledge and a wealth of information.:)
     
    Willow likes this.
  16. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Thank you
     
  17. Julia Rae

    Julia Rae Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Welcome willow and willow fur daddy, congrats on sticking to your guns and trusting your guts. I know that had to be a very hard thing to do and very scary. How is she handling the testing that you are doing??With Magellan I used treats and bribes to keep him coming back and not hiding or fighting me. The bribes I use are pure bites and they can be found at http://www.chewy.com/cat/treats-391/limited-ingredient-diet or at any good pet store. Just make sure to get single ingredient treats that way they are all protein and no carbs. Again way to go with willow I remember how much of a wreck I was with Magellan and how very scared I was. Also welcome to this thing we call the sugar dance I know you will get a handle on this and then master it.. I have faith in you! :bighug: :bighug: :bighug: :bighug:
     
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  18. Willow

    Willow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Thank you,
    Willow is a really odd cat, she follows me where ever I go, she sleeps with my wife, however as soon as I'm out of bed she is right behind me. This cat trust me 100% she just lays there and let's me do what I need to with her.
    When she is hungry and there is no food she lets me know, when we started her shots she would wake me up to feed and give her the shot. Our other cats only come to us when they want to and leave when they are done.
    Right now I'm not getting much sleep, I wake up 4 or more times a night checking on her making sure she does not go too low during the night.
    With the vets, four different vets said to put her down due to the cost we were going to have to deal with. At one point my wife started to crack and thought I had lost my mind. Willow was getting worst by the day, as soon as I took her home and watched her at night and droped her off in the mornings she started getting better. One of the vets told me he did not understand what was going on, they were treating willows numbers and she got worst, I treated Willow bases on how she was looking and kept an eye on her numbers and she got better.
    Today I need to get her numbers down and under control. The difference on her weight and appearance from the day we brought her home for the he vet is shocking.
     
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