Please advise... I am overwhelmed and the Vet is no help

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Allyson & Cubby, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. Allyson & Cubby

    Allyson & Cubby Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Hello,
    My cat Cubby is 10 and was recently diagnosed (11/27). The vet had us come in two days later for a "diabetic training". I brought a list of questions and received a lot of information. She taught me how to inject Cubby and said we would need to follow up with "curve tests" in office after he has started treatment. We started 1 dose every 12 hours of ProZinc per the Vets reccomendation. She advised highly against changing food (he is currently on Blue Buffalo for sensitive stomachs dry cat food) and against testing BG at home. He has obvious nerve pain in his hind legs. He has been out of control in the litter box and acts like he is starving all day every day. I found the facebook page and have received a lot of great information from so many people. I would like to purchase an at home meter and change his food. I'm very nervous since he's already received so many insulin shots. He has been free feeding for years and I'm nervous that he won't feel satisfied with wet food alone. Also, since I haven't been testing his levels I don't have anything to compare. Any advise would be helpful. It's 5pm here now and the next dose is supposed to be at 7pm. Any info would be great. I'm totally lost and overwhelmed. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Welcome!

    Sounds like you're on the typical FD rollercoaster-- don't worry, it is overwhelming at first, but it does get better!

    We're big fans of home testing here, it's the best way to keep your kitty safe. I think a lot of vets discourage it because they're worried that it makes an already intimidating diagnosis seem impossible, but really, it isn't as hard as it seems and the benefits are huge. We can coach you through the steps and advise on meters, etc. Are you in the US or elsewhere (just so we can focus the advice)?

    Food changes are a bit tricky with sensitive stomachs, so although usually a switch to a low-carb wet food diet is one of the first recommendations, maybe hold off on that for a little while as you are getting used to testing, etc. The last thing you want to have happen would be for him to start throwing up everything he's eaten while you are giving insulin or (even worse) stop eating altogether. Especially if he's always eaten dry food-- they can be convinced to eat wet food, but for some kitties it's a slow process!

    What dose of ProZinc is he on currently?
     
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  3. donnalea

    donnalea Member

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    Jun 18, 2016
    Hi Allyson. Welcome to the sugardance. We can help you more if you can fill in some information on your Cubby in your signature. That way people won't have go back to find what we need to help you. How much insulin are you giving in a dose? What kind of insulin? Regardless of what your vet said, you do need to test his BG. You can find videos on testing on You Tube. You can find an inexpensive meter and test strips for humans. Many here get one at Wal-Mart. Be sure to get one with inexpensive strips, as you will be using a lot of them. Do not change his food until you can do the testing because a low carb food will cause his BG to drop quickly and you can get into trouble. There will be others answering your questions. You did the right thing by coming here.
     
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  4. Allyson & Cubby

    Allyson & Cubby Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    I'm definitely sold on home testing. I've been reading and reading since I've posted this. I'll probably run out and try to get a meter ASAP (hopefully before the next dose).

    Honestly, this sensitive stomach formula has helped his vomiting slow down. It has not stopped it alltogether. I think the reason he has been getting sick is because he wolf's down the dry and then drinks a bunch of water. He has always received wet food as a treat... I would be so surprised if he refused to eat it.

    His symptoms have actually been getting worse since we started treatment. He gets 1u every 12 hours. He is still begging for food all day and chugging water without fail. He has also started stealing the dogs food so I take it up now. He is urinating a lot more and has recently started pooping outside of the box. Also, I can't confirm but I think he is still loosing weight. He's skin and bones right now. I feel like I'm failing him. :-(
     
  5. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Aw, poor little guy! He sounds like a typical unregulated diabetic-- they are ravenously hungry and thirsty all the time because of the diabetes. It can take a while before they get regulated enough for those symptoms to go away, but when they do the turnaround can seem nothing short of miraculous!

    If you are in the US and have a Walmart near you, a lot of folks here use their Relion brand for meters (they have several models, differing by size of blood drop needed and cost of strips). The main thing about the meters is just to try to get one with affordable and easy-to-obtain strips (online purchasing works if you are organized, but it's nice for peace of mind to know you can physically run out the door and get some in an emergency!), so whatever works for you.
     
  6. Allyson & Cubby

    Allyson & Cubby Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Thank you, we are in the US. I will get one now. Would it be terrible to pick up a some cans of wet food too? I am afraid the dry food is contributing.
     
  7. Allyson & Cubby

    Allyson & Cubby Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Thank you for the tip re:signature. I'm still getting the hang of things... I'll take all the help I can get. I'm anxious to change his food but I will wait until I test his BG first.
     
  8. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Adding one more thing: if you are going out to get a meter, try to pick up some ketone testing strips at the same time if you can. They should be in the same place as the other diabetic supplies-- little dipsticks for testing urine. Hopefully Cubby hasn't had (and won't ever have) problems with ketones or diabetic ketoacidosis, but it's a good thing to keep an eye on.

    The dry food is likely contributing, but you don't want to remove it before you are testing. You could maybe pick up a few cans to start the process of figuring out what will/won't trigger his vomiting, but I wouldn't get too much of anything. There might be some folks around here that can suggest some good possible foods, too.
     
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  9. Allyson & Cubby

    Allyson & Cubby Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Ketone testing has my head swimming. How do I collect the urine?

    I'm litterally running out now to pick up the meter, test strips, ketone test strips and just a few cans of food.
     
  10. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Depends on your kitty's bashfulness! Some folks can just stick the strip under their butt when peeing, or else use a long-handled spoon to catch some urine (you only need a couple drops). Alternatively, if he likes his privacy, you can just put some plastic wrap in the litterbox in Cubby's favorite spot, and dip the strip into the little puddles.
     
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  11. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Happy to see you made it over here from the Facebook group!!!

    Take a look at China's Profile in my signature....it will help you to see how far back our kitties can come!!
     
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  12. Allyson & Cubby

    Allyson & Cubby Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Thank you!!! I'm glad I migrated as well.
     
  13. Allyson & Cubby

    Allyson & Cubby Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Update: did our first at home test. Cubby did awesome. The first try was a fail... then he had his treat (dinner) already. For the sake of learning... I did one more on the opposite ear. He took it like a champ. Honestly, it didn't even seem to phase him. The test read 331... I gave him his usual 1u. Now I'm not sure what the next steps are. I'll probably be up all night reading and taking notes.
     
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  14. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Hurray for a successful test! We'd love it if you'd set up a spreadsheet like the one we use here. It's the first thing we look at before offering advice:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    If you need help there are techies on here to do it for you.
     
  15. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Congratulations on getting that first test!!!!! You’re doing great!
     
  16. mary hornbeck

    mary hornbeck Member

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    Sep 22, 2017
    Hi Allyson- your story sounds like mine when my cat marmalade was first diagnosed about a year ago. His sugar was as high as 600 and he had neuroathynin his legs. Once we got it under control with insulin his neuropathy went away completely within a month or two. I am nonexpert but I gave to agree that it would be best to home test as much or frequently as u can. Whenever something is off with my cat I test before meals then retest 2-4 hours after meal times which comes in handy if u have to make a visit to the vet.To this day we have our ups and downs but the folks here are great and yes it does get better as time goes on. I think your next step is test test test and don’t let anxiety or worry get the better of u. It gets better.
     
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  17. Allyson & Cubby

    Allyson & Cubby Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Thank you! I figured I would give Cubby a break for tonight since I didn't get it on the first try. Tomorrow I'm going to test before meals and then after. Everyone is being so supportive and I've learned so much! I appreciate your story! Thank you again.
     
  18. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Here's something I wrote up for others that needed help with testing...maybe it'll help you too!

    It can be really helpful to establish a routine with testing. Pick one spot that you want your "testing spot" to be (I like the kitchen counter because it's got good light and it's at a good height....it also already blocked 2 escape routes due to the wall and the backsplash) It can be anywhere though...a rug on the floor, a table, a particular spot on the couch...wherever is good for you. Take him there as many times a day as you can and just give his ears a quick rub and then he gets a yummy (low carb) treat. Most cats aren't objecting so much with the poking..it's the fooling with their ears they don't like, but once they're desensitized to it and learn to associate a certain place with the treats, they usually start to come when they're called! Or even when they hear us opening the test kit!

    You also have to remember...you're not poking him to hurt him...you're testing him to keep him safe and understand what's going on inside his body. There's just nothing better than truly understanding what's going on inside your kitty's body and with this disease, the more knowledge you have, the more power you have against it. The edges of the ears have very few pain receptors, so it really doesn't hurt them. Also, if you're nervous and tense, it's going to make your kitty nervous and tense too. As silly as it might seem, try singing! It forces you to use a different part of your brain!

    It's also important to make sure his ear is warm. A small sock filled with a little rice and microwaved or a small pill bottle filled with warm water (check temp against your wrist like you would a baby bottle) works well.

    When you're first starting, it's also important to use a lower gauge lancet, like 25-28 gauge. Most of the "lancet devices" come with 33 gauge lancets and they are just too tiny to start with. The bigger lancets (that are lower numbers) make a bigger "hole". As you poke more and more, the ears will grow new capillaries and will be easier and easier to get blood from...we call it "learning to bleed"

    Finding the right "treat" will be a great help too! Freeze dried chicken, bonito flakes, little pieces of baked chicken...whatever low carb treat you can find that he really enjoys will help him to associate the testing with the treat! China's Achilles heel was baked chicken, so I'd bake a piece, chop it into bite sized pieces, put some in the refrigerator and freeze the rest to use as needed. It didn't take long for her to come any time I picked up the meter!
     
  19. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    After a week of daily testing the ears bleed so much easier. Don't give up.
     
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  20. Jan Radar

    Jan Radar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Congratulations on your first successful test. Testing gets much much easier for you and for the kitty as you keep doing it and become more comfortable. :cat::)
     
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  21. mary hornbeck

    mary hornbeck Member

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    Sep 22, 2017
    I have been testing for close to a year now but recently stopped because his numbers were okay and his demeanor was normal, up until the last month or so
     
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  22. Allyson & Cubby

    Allyson & Cubby Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Thank you for this :) I had actually read it already! All of these tips really did help too. We are still learning but it's getting easier every day.
     
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