1. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    My cat was diagnosed on Wednesday with blood glucose of 509. I work full time and I'm terrified to leave her alone incase if a huge drop. I'm the vet said not to do home testing but all the information I'm finding shows me otherwise. I've been prescribed 2 units every 12 hours and I've given her 2 units in 24 hours. I'm terrified the levels were wrong because of the stress of going to the vet. Sorry to ramble I'm just lost
     
  2. MerMor

    MerMor New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    If you're off all weekend it's a great time to start home testing so you can do a good glucose curve and see how your kitty reacts to the insulin. If you're near a Walmart pickup a Relion Micro and some strips! Most here will recommend a low carb wet food diet as well. Hang in there! Details about your cat like diet, age, other illnesses, type of insulin, etc. will be very helpful. It's up to you to become educated about this disease and home testing is a huge help!
     
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  3. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi, Jill. A warm welcome to you and your kitty.

    First up, have some of these:

    :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:

    We completely understand how lost, scared and overwhelmed you are feeling right now. I was just the same when my Saoirse was first diagnosed and I was so grateful I found FDMB; it's a great place to get help and support and to learn how to keep your kitty safe during insulin treatment.

    Ignore your vet! :) Your research is correct; it is much safer to home test your kitty - and it will give you far greater peace of mind. We can help you learn how to test straight away. Here are some links to get you started:

    Home testing links and tips (with tutorial video)

    Testing and injecting tips (with helpful diagram of testing 'sweet spot' on the ear)

    Testing for ketones (add urine ketone test strips to your shopping list, e.g. Keto-diastix)

    How to treat hypos (print this out, read it through and keep it somewhere easy to lay hands on if you should need it in a hurry)

    Hypo toolkit (read this before going shopping for supplies)

    Can you let us know which country you're in so that we can recommend a glucometer for you? Also, please let us know which insulin your vet has prescribed and what food your kitty is eating. (What's your kitty's name?)

    You can do this, Jill, and you're not alone; we'll do all we can to help you both.

    :bighug:


    Mogs
    .
     
  4. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Thank you! She is 12.5 and healthy in every other way. We are on 2 units of ProZinc twice a day. She was normally a free grazer but is transitioning to Purina DM. 25 cups twice a day. The vet tech said don't inject her until she eats all the food but she only seems to eat half when I put it down. I've been too afraid to give her her insulin without finishing her food.

    I will go out today and get testing equipment
     
  5. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Y
    Thank you very much for the support and helpful information. This has been a very daunting undertaking :)
     
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  6. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Jill, hello and welcome. BREATHE, BREATHE and breathe some more. It's a scary thing. Many people here work full time and or travel for work. The difference is they DO home test. It's the only way to know if you kitty is or will be safe when your not a home.

    A human meter like the Wal-Mart brand Confirm or Micro is fine to use. By collecting data you will start to see patterns emerge that will tell you if kitty will be having an active cycle and you can intervene or set things in motion to counter act possible drops in glucose levels.

    You don't have to tell your vet until you have some data to show them. Sadly we have seen to many vets not well trained in diabetes say testing is not needed and dangerous sometimes fatal events have happened.

    There are many informational stickies here for various insulin. Read the ones for the insulin you are using. Read some of the members posts. There is no one way since every cat is different, every situation is different.

    By home testing and being here on a regular basis (especially when first starting) will be the best way to get the help you need.

    There are many tips and suggestions for feeding when out of the house, what food can be a better choice, even what treats are safe to use. Information is limitless here. People here live this diagnosis 24/7 in real time with real kitties.

    Stay with us and ask questions.
     
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  7. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Thank you! I appreciate the support and I have a feeling I'll be living on here!
     
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  8. Woodsywife

    Woodsywife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    I feel that way sometimes.
     
  9. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Not a bad plan, Jill; the natives are very friendly! ;)

    Your little one is so pretty! What's her name?

    There is quite a steep learning curve at the beginning (as well as the worry!) but I promise you that as you learn more and develop a routine that works for you and your little one it will get easier and easier. Home testing will be a great help.

    Tip: when you're out on your shopping trip try to see whether you can find any freeze-dried protein kitty treats (e.g. freeze-dried chicken pieces). They're diabetic-friendly and a nice reward for your little one for after her BG tests. Lots of cats here get to a stage where they actually sit up in their designated test area waiting for their test and their yummy treat. :)

    There's an active support group here for Prozinc users. Here's a link to the board:

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/forums/prozinc-pzi.24/

    There are some helpful information stickies at the top of the Prozinc/PZI board where you can learn more about Prozinc insulin plus there are a number of members in the group with a lot of experience using that type of insulin who will be able to help you with insulin specifics.

    If you have general questions - or if you ever need urgent help - the Feline Health board is the best place to post. Here's a link:

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/forums/feline-health-the-main-forum.28/

    (Please excuse my bombarding you somewhat with links; there's a lot of info on the board and it can take a while to fathom out where to find it - especially when one is stressed out of one's mind after receiving the Dx! I hope that by my putting relevant links here you'll just have one place to look for now in order to quickly get hold of the basics. :) )


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  10. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Her name is Crisies (like crisis but plural)
     
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  11. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    That's an unusual name. Is there a story to it?
     
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  12. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Thank you for all the information! It's very helpful. I appreciate all the outreach. I'm just working on absorbing it. I'm about to head out to get glucose monitoring supplies to start working on plotting her curve
     
  13. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    My mom was very creative with naming and it just seemed to fit. She was a crazy kitten :) and it fits her she is usually a ball of energy. Not so much lately
     
  14. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Ah, a very suitable name for your girl. :)

    That'll be lethargy due to high BG levels, and sometimes unregulated kitties become depressed. As Crisies starts to benefit from her insulin treatment she'll start feeling much better in herself and she'll become more active again.

    Be sure to pick up ketone test strips when you're out shopping (some vets don't think to mention these but ketone testing is important) and also look for the honey/karo and different foods suggested in the Hypo Toolbox list. Another thing to add to the list is Vaseline or Neosporin (ointment, not cream); these make it easier to collect a blood sample for testing.

    With regard to tracking BG patterns we have a very helpful spreadsheet template available in which you can record Crisies' BG results. It will help you to understand her pattern of response to her insulin, help you and your vet make safe dosing decisions, and also enable members here to see her data so that we might be able to make more useful suggestions when you need help. More links:

    FDMB Spreadsheet - setup instructions

    How to understand the spreadsheet

    FDMB Jargon Buster

    If you need assistance setting up the spreadsheet just holler and we'll get a member to help you with it.


    Mogs
    .
     
  15. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Dose 2 completed. Instead of the 2 units of ProZinc I reduced it to 1. I attempted to check her BG from her ear but I was unsuccessful. My nerves are so high right now I figured I'd try later instead of traumatizing her. So if there are any tips. Thanks again for all the encouraging advice. I don't think I'd be sane right now without all of your help
     

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  16. MerMor

    MerMor New Member

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    Nov 26, 2016
    I make sure the ear is warm by rubbing it for a minute then using the lancet I do two pokes in the "sweet spot" close to the edge. I don't use a device or vaseline like some do. I feel like my cat is more relaxed without any extras. When you're getting ready put the testing strip in but not all the way so the reader doesn't go on until you have a drop. It's very important that you're able to do this so you have to suck it up and get your cat (and you) used to it ASAP. It's probably more traumatic for you than her and you'll get the hang of it quickly after a few successful tests.
     
  17. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

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    Dec 10, 2016
    I will try that as soon as she gets up. Thanks!
     
  18. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

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    Dec 10, 2016
    I gave her a dose (1 unit which is half what the vet recommended) 2 hours ago. I'm not sure if I'm over paranoid but she seems just a tad off. Foggy. It could be I just woke her up. I don't know if I can keep doing this. I'm so paranoid I'm going to make the wrong decision. In terrified to go back to work Monday and leave her alone.
     
  19. MerMor

    MerMor New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Until you can test her blood you'll be left guessing. My cat seemed "foggy" after dosing sometimes but now I look at it as him feeling better as his sugar was dropping. Test her!
     
  20. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Those first ear tests are challenging. Before you know it, you'll be a pro. Testing is very important.

    You can do it. I was new to it last year. It isn't that hard, but it can be challenging with a squirmy cat. Everytime you test or inject her, you are helping her.

    I always feed Leo when I dose him. The food will always offset the potential for a hypo. You have good advice from the others. Double read, then prepare for a hypo. With luck it will never happen, but you will always be ready.
     
  21. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    She has been doing fine. I'm still having difficulty with getting blood from the ear. Any tips on how to stimulate blood flow. I only have 33g Lancets but 29g are on the way. I've been able to get blood just not enough to register
     
  22. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    I always rub Leo's whole head, then give his ear an upward massage. I use my index finger and thumb to kind of squeeze blood up from the base of the ear a couple of times. Especially in the winter when his ears are colder - works for me.

    Our sugar kitties are so sweet putting up with their treatment. They don't know why they are getting poked. When I dose Leo, I wait until he is eating and distracted. That helps with the dosing step.
     
  23. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Thanks for the tip! My sugar baby is doing well with the insulin but the pokes are still a work in progress. Glad to hear your sugar babies have adjusted. It gives me hope
     
  24. MerMor

    MerMor New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    The first few times are difficult but you have to do this. At first you'll feel like you're making pincushions out of her ears but she really will be fine. Sometimes I still have to do 4 or 5 pokes. I always start with two and a warm ear is very important. Sometimes it takes a bit for it to bead up so maybe wait 20 or 30 seconds before poking again.
     
  25. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Thanks for the reassurance. Do you have any tips on how to warm the ear or stimulate blood flow? I do know how critical this is. Thanks again. Over all things are going well. She is doing much better and is used to the insulin shots already.
     
  26. Barbara & Uncle

    Barbara & Uncle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    I notice a BIG difference in how much blood I get in a poke depending on how warm Uncle's ears are. My trick is to take an empty vitamin bottle and fill it with warm water. I hold it on his ear till it gets warm. He usually really likes it. Also, I think the bigger lancets will help since you are just starting out. I am still using 28 gauge lancets and I have been testing for 2 months.
     
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  27. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    First off.. What cutie!! Second, I will try an empty pill bottle wrapped in cloth... That's a great idea. I have the 28g Lancet's on order..ill have them no later than Wednesday. Thanks again for the tips. I don't know what I'd do without this forum. It's been quite a week! I think I'm over the meltdowns and ready to roll
     
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  28. Barbara & Uncle

    Barbara & Uncle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    You are doing great! I agree, this forum has been a real lifeline for me. Everything is so new and we need to keep the kitties safe, so everyone is here to help us help them.
     
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  29. Zoey & Carol

    Zoey & Carol Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    I use a little rice bag made from a baby mitten filled with rice. I just heat it in the microwave for about 20 seconds and hold it on Zoey's ear. I nuzzle her and talk to her, and she just thinks it's a nice cuddly time with me. I leave it on for about 30 seconds, then put a cotton ball on the inside of her ear and use a lancet to poke a little hole near the edge. If the ear is warm enough, the blood comes out quite easily. Then I just squeeze the cotton ball on her ear for a couple of seconds to stop any bleeding.

    This is a picture of her on my testing/shooting area (i.e. the top of my dryer)! Sometimes she just jumps up there and purrs thinking she needs attention!

    Good luck! It definitely gets easier, and the people on this site are a godsend!
     
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  30. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Thanks. Today I tried the rice trick and it worked but my Kroger brand strips won't register even when the window is red. We tested after failing with her and we couldn't get readings on him or I. There was definitely enough blood. I'm so frustrated. I'm not sure if it's the strips, the meter being too cheap or me. We tried it when we bought it and it worked when we tested his blood. I got an error with my blood and can't get a reading since. Terribly e frustrated
     
  31. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Maybe try one of the Walmart ReliOn types that are very popular here? Some models have strips that take only a tiny amount of blood and the strips aren't expensive.
     
  32. MerMor

    MerMor New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Jill,

    Are you getting at least a pin-head sized drop? If so that should be plenty. I'd suggest trying a new meter. I use a ReliOn Confirm now (after almost $300 for 75 strips and an AlphaTrax meter from the Vet) and haven't had any issues.
     
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  33. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Walmart Relion Confirm and Micro only need a tiny blood sample and the strips are affordable. The Relion Prime meter strips are slightly cheaper BUT they do need a bigger blood sample.


    Mogs
    .
     
  34. Jill. Lippens

    Jill. Lippens New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Thanks to everyone's help Crisies has put 1.5 lbs back on and is adjusting to insulin. At 2 units per day she is averaging a BG level of 225 - 250. And mom and dad are adjusting very well too.
     

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