Ozzie - New member to the board

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by lauren77, Oct 11, 2010.

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  1. lauren77

    lauren77 Member

    Oct 11, 2010
    Hello Everyone --

    This is my first time on the board and a few hours away from giving my first insulin shot to my beautiful six year old year cat Ozzie. I took him to the vets this morning, after noticing slight weight/muscle loss, ravenous appetite, excessive thirst and finally jumping up on to the bathroom sink yesterday whilst running the water.
    Urine, blood and thyroid snap was taken and his results were 356 but thank goodness no ketones were found. I came back from the vets w/ lantus - 1 unit to be taken every 12 hours and the DM dry/wet food. He will be on 1 can/1/8 of dry food for each day -- I go back in one week for a retest to see how he has done on the shots and new diet. I wanted to blog and see if my new experience which at first is heart wrenching will help anyone else out there who was as naive and uniformed like myself about diabetes in cats/pets until I came to this site and the other wonderful blogs that dedicated cat owners do in the hope of reaching out to others. Many thanks so far and I will keep you all posted as to his condition. The vet explained that every cat is different and he might need the shots for weeks, months or long-term. Whilst, I'm hoping for the former, I am open and willing to learn from anyone who can offer even the slightest bit of advice.

    Thanx for a wonderful home to come to -

    Newbie diabetic - Ozzie and owner Lauren :YMSIGH:
  2. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to both of you. This is a wonderful site with people who care about Ozzie and you. The first step is to read the FAQs to understand the basics. Then come back with questions.

    DM isn't really any better than commercial cat food that is under 10% carbs. DM is also more expensive. Check this food list to find food: http://binkyspage.tripod.com/dryfood.html.

    We strongly suggest you learn to test Ozzie's glucose yourself. We use the same meters that humans use. It's not hard to do, and will save you a bundle on vet visits. It also allows you to know if Ozzie's bg (blood glucose) is high enough to give a shot. We can help you learn.
  3. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome. One unit of Lantus twice daily is a good starting does. Your vet is sort of on the right track regarding diet but dry should be avoided if at all possible since it tends to raise insulin needs because it has a relatively high carb content. The canned DM is not that bad but there are commercial canned foods that are just as good and are less expensive. Here is ling to canned cat food. You want one that less than 10% carbs.

    Most people here test their cats blood glucose level using a human meter. Almost all test before each shot since shooting if the BG is too low can result in too low a blood sugar.
  4. tuckers mom

    tuckers mom Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome Lauren.

    What type of food was Ozzie eating prior to being diagnosed? Prescription food is not necessary, but a good diet is. A diet high in protein, low in carbs will help Ozzie a lot. A few of my own adopted FDs (feline diabetics) have gone off insulin due to diet change, but my sweet Tucker will always be insulin dependent.

    Diet and hometesting your cats BGs (blood glucose numbers) is the best way to treat Ozzie. Human diabetics wouldn't take insulin without knowing what their BG is, same for our kitties. This keeps them safe and helps us determine the correct the dose of insulin.

    Starting on 1U BID (twice per day) Lantus is a good starting dose. I would feed more food than what your vet recommended. At least in the beginning, until the BGs come down, my own kitties eat 4X per day.

    There's a lot of information on this site, you'll find information on how to handle the insulin, diet, dosing, all kinds of stuff. For now, take a look around, read some of the health links and all the great advice that you'll be getting from so many. It may seem like a lot but in a few weeks you'll be an old pro at this. Hopefully when you start to blog about FD, others will see how managable it is.
  5. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome Lauren and Ozzie. If it helps, we were all terrified when we got the diagnosis. Then we came here and started to research and were completely overwhelmed! It is a steep learning curve, but is very doable and we will help you.

    Agree with everyone else that your vet picked a good insulin and a good starting dose. One of the secrets to our success is wet, lo carb food. See this website to find out why it is best for all cats, but especially diabetics. One of our members put together a food chart: http://www.felinediabetes.com/diabetic-cat-diets.htm We try to pick foods between 8-10% carbs. Dm dry is 13% carbs.

    We also hometest our kitties. We figure if our children had diabetes, we wouldn't give them a shot and wait a week to go to the doctor to see how they were doing. So we test before every shot to make sure it is safe. And you don't want to change food until you are hometesting. When we switched Oliver from dry to wet, he went down 100 points overnight. If we had just given him his regular dose, he would have hypoed. This video shows you how: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zE12-4fVn8

    Read and ask questions. We would love to help.
  6. lauren77

    lauren77 Member

    Oct 11, 2010
    OMG ---that's OMGoodness LOL

    Thank you for all the great advice, I've printed off the food charts and the video was awe inspiring and gives me hope b/c the little fella looks really happy and healthy.
    The dry food I think has done it. All his life he has been on mostly wet food - Fancy Feast all different kinds of flavors - tried many healthier kinds over the years but wasted a lot of money b/c he didn't eat them neither did his sisters. But, we adopted a little kitten left in a garage by her Mother and she turned out to be a very picky eater so rather than have her starve we used to leave a bowl full of Fancy Feast Turkey formula when she got to be about two years old out for her, well of course Ozzie got into it too. The past year he was eating a least 1/4 of the bowl plus all the wet food at meal times. So...I guess it was a recipe for disaster and he ended up with diabetes b/c of the biscuits.
    I also give them boiled chicken and fish. After going to the vet's I wanted to be sure I was doing exactly as prescribed -- I didn't get the Hill's b/c a vet in Maine told me it wasn't very good so I opted for the DM. He ate almost all of it w/ the few biscuits of dry - 1/8 of a cup is about 30 of them so he got 15 for his first meal. He looked over at his sister's and smelled their Fancy Feast and decided he wanted that as well. So I took him out of the room and gave him his shot and stayed with him till most of all the food got eaten by the others and he seems fine -- First shot, oh goodness!! Have now put away all the food even dry and only water left out...I feel terrible but I guess I'm now worried about my girls getting it too. I will definitely get a monitor and watch carefully, even though I haven't got a clue really about what to do --- you guys are wonderful, truly a great help w/ all the right food to get and the advice about the units and how to do the montioring. I was crying last night worrying about what and how to do it and I read your site this morning and got confidence from just reading all the various blogs. I will definitely update you re his next visit to the vet's for his results after trying to follow advice, just so anyone else can see and learn from my case. Also I paid $144 for one vial of the Lantus and a friend emailed me to tell if he needed it again I could purchase it online at quite a significant price difference which is good to know. I will go one or two more times to the vet's to check it's going down for sure and adjust his insulin level if need be. I think I might add just a little more wet food as suggested but I was warned by the vet and the vet tech UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES TO NOT GIVE THE SHOT IF HE DOESN'T EAT! Only after he eats does he get the shot.
    I will also start the testing myself and was wondering if it has to be exactly before they eat at the same time each day, every day??
    Many thanks you all -- and here's to our wonderful pets who are irreplaceable in our hearts!
  7. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I know - we jump right in, don't we? Glad you are going to try the wet food.

    You don't have to put away the wet food. It is really better if he can eat a few smaller meals several times a day - it helps keep the blood glucose levels down. You can add water to it and that will help hydrate him. Some of us freeze it and then he can graze as it thaws. When a cat is not regulated, his body doesn't process the food well and he may need more than usual. So we encourage you not to limit the food at this point- when his bg levels lower and he is more regulated, he probably won't be as frantic about eating. And we will urge you to hometest now. Food can really lower the levels and you don't want to risk a hypo. It is so wonderful to be able to know exactly how the insulin is affecting him - that's what testing will give you.

    One of the reasons the hometesting works better than testing at the vet is that stress raises blood glucose levels. And even the most mellow cat can be stressed out by the strange noises, smells, animals and people. They are all "not the mommy"! If the vet bases the insulin dose on those levels raised by stress, the dose may be too high once you get home and then you risk an overdose. Most of us did the tests at home and faxed or emailed the results to the vet. (It is also much less expensive!)

    The shots should be 12 hours apart. You can do that any way it fits into your schedule.

    Just keep reading and asking questions. We are all paying it forward for the great help we received when we were newbies and terrified and overwhelmed.
  8. chriscleo

    chriscleo Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    just wanted to say welcome and talk a bit about DM.
    the vet who helped develop DM and co-holds the patent on it does not even recommend it. she says the brands you can get at the pet store that are grain free have much better quality meat sources. so it's absolutely not necessary to buy for a diabetic. janet & binky's list referenced earlier is a good place to look for different cat foods to try. just go for something low carb.
    purina has a money back guarantee on the DM so i'd be returning what's left to the vet and getting a refund. every penny counts these days so i'd rather pay less and get better quality food for my kitties.

    again, welcome aboard and i'm so glad you found us. this board saves lives! :)
  9. Deb & Spot

    Deb & Spot Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Just dropping in to say welcome, Lauren and Ozzie! Read that you have already taken away the dry, good...given you first dose of 1u, good, and just jumped on the bus so quickly....great!! Now all you have to do is home test! That won't be as hard as you think. Scarry the first time, but not hard. Just relax!
    Hope you guys have a wonderful day...I need to get back to work!!
  10. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to the site. You have plenty of info already so I'll just mention a few things.

    The dry food is bad, but for some cats, it causes higher numbers even if only a few pieces are eaten.
    I feed dry to my civvie, Booboo, as it's all she will eat. Long story. Anyways, if my Shadoe gets even a small mouthful of 3 or 4 pieces, her numbers soar into the 400s. I have to cover the dry food with a big bowl when I am away, so Shadoe does not get even one piece. Booboo has learned to remind me to remove the bowl and eats then. She can eat the wet left out if she wanted so her hunger is her own choice.
    So dry can be very very bad.

    I feed mostly friskies and fancy feast pate varieties, plus Oliver loves slices of raw chicken and Shadoe wants her slices steamed.

    Home testing is the better way to go because numbers at the vet office are not true. My Shadoe tests high at the vet office, my Oliver goes very low and I have to bring food to feed him at the vet office. When they get home, they settle into true numbers in a few hours.

    Click on some of the links to spreadsheets and profiles and see what people are recording. Both help you and others to help your cat.
  11. janelle and Nomad

    janelle and Nomad Member

    Jun 6, 2010
    Hi and welcome.My kitty has been diagnosed for about a year but I am relatively new to the board also. It is easy to feel overwhelmed in the beginning or to feel like an idiot because you might not know all the medical terminology or site lingo. The most important thing you can do is hometesting. Try to keep the numbers from going too low (hypo) or too high. You don't have to be prefect.You can always fine tune insulin dosage, food and other things as you go along. Try to think positive and go ahead one step at a time! ;-) Jan and Nomad
  12. Phoebe_TiggyGA_NortonGA

    Phoebe_TiggyGA_NortonGA Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi Ozzie & Lauren and welcome to FDMB,

    You've already gotten some good information, so I'll just add my 2 cents --

    My 5 cats (2 adopted diabetics) are grazers -- used to food available all the time and they just nibble when they want some. SO... I leave canned food out 24 hours per day.

    I do keep some EVO dry on hand for treats for my civilian cats (non-diabetics) and Tiggy is not too sensitive to carbs -- he can have a few without making his blood sugar spike -- if he manages to get a handful (1/8c?) THEN his blood sugar will spike, but 4 to 6 little nuggets are ok for him. "Every cat is different"

    With Lantus and Levemir - long duration gentle insulins, it is less critical to have a big meal before giving the shot.

    The main considerations are -- does your kitty look happy / normal? Is he likely to puke / lose his food? Is he interested in eating SOME food? Is blood sugar high enough to give an injection?

    Then it is ok to give the injection. If any of the above are questionable -- then maybe give a half dose.

    With the older, harsher insulins (which are still available and used by some -- N, Vetsulin) it was VERY important to give food and make sure they eat before giving the shot, because the insulin took effect quickly.
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Welcome! We are all glad you found us - especially right away. Follow the advice in the articles, ask questions, read posts and you and Ozzie will do well. Good luck with and enjoy your newest family member, too.

    For what it's worth: Fancy Feast Classics are easy to find at stores and the price is right. Hocks.com sells an excellant human meter - Infinity - for a very low price and the strips are cheap, too. Check this site for a downloadable spreadsheet to keep track of his tests and progress. You seem to have a well informed vet but, it won't hurt to mention us to him. Best of wishes and stay in touch.
  14. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009

    I would be glad to help you with the spreadsheet; just let me know.
  15. lauren77

    lauren77 Member

    Oct 11, 2010
    Thank you to all -- it did kind of sink in last night that this is a big deal and not to be taken too lightly, b/c these are our babies and totally dependent on us to get it right. Ozzie and I daren't even say it, (in case I jinx him) just seems to be so much better. No dry, I bought the bag and sprinkled a few the first night but having received and read so much on here I decided to follow all your great advice and discontinue it but did up his wet food - small little plates every few hours or so. I truly got so nervous about the shots and getting it right that the 2nd attempt I pricked myself. So read up on that and found the simple way of using the ring finger and middle finger and use the index finger to push it in --- it has worked like a dream so far. He isn't drinking as much and is acting more like his old self. He is moving around more and even went out w/ me today to sit on my lap by the water for 20 mins or so and brought him back in. What a difference of two days of shots and change of diet. I am holding my breath though b/c having read some of the stories - things aren't always that simple. I am going to order the kit and push ahead w/ the home testing, get on the bus b/c he is relying on me to do this for him.
    I just want to say - that the 33 miners had each other and all the experts are saying it was the human contact and reaching out and helping one another that got them through the 69 days! Same here - You guys are truly wonderful and help so many people -- thank god for this site and the internet! I will tell my vet on Monday though about little meals throughout the day seems to be better than going 12 hours till each meal. Maybe we can suggest that to some other patients just like you guys suggested it to me!
    Sue: Many thanks for the offer of spreadsheet. I did go and set one up and will get it going when the home kit arrives, I'll take you up on the offer if I run into trouble - it does look kind of complex!
    Lori: Thanks for all your help w/ everything.
    I do not know how all you guys find the time to reach out and help/touch others but thank god you do!
  16. Sue and Oliver (GA)

    Sue and Oliver (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Glad to see you back, and that Ozzie is more his old self. We will be glad when you are hometesting. You are on a pretty low dose, but you just never know how they will react. Print out the hypo info and have it handy: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=15887 just in case you need it.

    While you are waiting for your newbie kit, there are some things you can do to get ready. Start messing with Ozzie's ears at a spot where you will be hometesting. Reward him with a treat while he sits for a few minutes and lets you mess. Make up the rice sock (thinnish sock filled with raw rice, knotted and heated in microwave until very warm but not hot.) and have him get used to you warming his ears. Put a flashlight behind his ear and find the capillaries that come off the big vein that runs down the ear. Those are the ones you aim for.

    Then you will be all ready when you get your meter.

    It's wonderful that you have jumped in with both feet and are ready to do this!
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Lauren your newbie kit was dropped off at the post office about 2 hours ago.
    One thing I thought of that may have already been mentioned. Have a can or two of high carb gravey food. like 17 carbs or so. This will come in handy if you happen to find a very low number one day and want to steer it back up a little. This will be part of your hypo kit.
    So....you'll have a hypo kit and a newbie kit. You will soon become what we affectionatly call a member of 'the Vampire' club and in no time this will all become just routine for you.
    Have you seen the video of ear testing? I can link it for you.
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    ah, i see sue got you the video already. ok, ready for the sugar dance?
  19. lauren77

    lauren77 Member

    Oct 11, 2010
    Oh Lori - thank you so much. Yes I'm been checking out the videos and different links. I'm laughing and smiling at the various names: sugar babies, vampire club and off the juice... I know I shouldn't b/c it's quite serious but Oh my, a little light relief w/ all this new found stress on our shoulders goes a long way. Glad to know you guys can guide me but it's pretty real stuff if I give him a shot and he doesn't need it. Prayers and thoughts go out to all of us on this forum -- this Diabetes stuff is pretty brutal at times!
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Lauren ya know it is very serious stuff but at the same time it's very manageable stuff.
    the learning curve is very steep at first for sure...especially lantus.
    the fun lingo and some actual medical lingo is both for easier communication such as amps, pmps, +1 +2 +3, bid, tid,
    then some is purely for fun.
    you will learn as needed but see if you can guess

    wash rinse repeat------the way you steer the real low numbers back up as in feed, test, repeat..kitty may get a little mad angry(2)_cat cat_pet_icon

    sugar dance----the ups and downs, back and forths or the really good amps one day!!! dancing_cat

    h/c , m/c, L/c variety of carbs as in high, medium, low remember best to have all of these on hand.

    shoot him----lowish number? go ahead and shoot it!

    surfin-----keeping a nice number going all day :thumbup

    well, that's just the beginning. so on top of everything eles you will also learn a whole new language that no one in your real life will understand :lol:

    and you will say in lantus one day
    "ozzie's surfin the green boogie board and i'm not sure if i want to shoot him or do a ps +1 first? don't want to stay up all night stearing the numbers if he dives, will someone be in my condo tonight with me?" make sense???? it will! :dizcat
  21. MommaOfMuse

    MommaOfMuse Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2010
    First off I just wanted to add my welcome to you and Ozzie to the FDMB family.

    Yeah it is all really overwhelming at first, but you will get the hang of it in no time at all.

    I have to agree that while it is very serious business helping our babies with this disease, the funny names and jargon does give a little bit of humor to the whole thing. Because sometimes if you can't laugh you are going to break down in tears.

    You have gotten a ton of great info already so I' not going to add to the overload. Just remember to breathe and take it all in baby steps, you can get through this and there is literally hundreds of foks here to help you as you go.

    Just keep asking questions as they pop into your head, and trust me there will be many of those.

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