Ready to do this; do I have it right?

Discussion in 'Prozinc / PZI' started by TooSweetKittyMom, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. TooSweetKittyMom

    TooSweetKittyMom Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    I have tested out the new ReliOn equipment on myself and am ready to try it on Kitty tomorrow morning. I"ve read through the FAQ and think that this is the right thing to do:

    1. Put away the kibble before bed to make sure she doesn't snack in the hours before the test.
    2. Test her blood first thing in the morning.
    3. Give her her breakfast.
    4. Then, if the number was 200 or higher, I should administer Prozinc. If it was lower, no Prozinc.

    Is this correct?
     
  2. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Yes, that’s correct.
     
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  3. TooSweetKittyMom

    TooSweetKittyMom Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    Thank you; I really appreciate your help!
     
  4. TooSweetKittyMom

    TooSweetKittyMom Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    Well, that was a complete and total failure. The sweetest, most patient, most cooperative cat in the world just bit me after at least half a dozen unsuccessful attempts to get blood out of her. I couldn't get a single drop out of either ear, nor her paw, with the pawprick clearly hurting her (she didn't notice the ear prick.) After about 10 minutes of wondering why I was doing this to her instead of giving her her breakfast as usual, she finally snapped, and I was near tears myself, and I gave up and just gave her her canned food, which she absolutely gulped down and then begged for more, and more. It's so obvious to me that her blood sugar is high and she needs insulin, even though I can't prove it with numbers. I ended up just giving her the unit of insulin, without testing, as originally advised by my vet. It's the best care I can give her at this time.
     
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  5. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    My first tests were total failures too. So sending you virtual hugs through the computer. :bighug::bighug::bighug:It is difficult at first, but it gets so so so much easier in time. Please don't give up. We have a million little tricks to help you get through this.

    First, their ears just don't bleed very well at first. Every poke you do helps teach their ears to bleed better, so even though it feels like those tests failed, they actually are helping work towards this all being easier.

    Second, did you warm the ear first? many of us put uncooked rice (or some other grain) in a little sock or pouch of felt/fleece/etc. and warm it in the microwave. Depending on how much grain you use and the type of fabric, usually 10-20 seconds or so. Or a pill bottle full of hot water works too. Then hold it gently against the ear until the ear feels warm. And then do the test. It makes a world of difference if the ear is nice and warm first.

    Third, rub the ear a little until she shakes her head. I've just recently started noticing this one. For some reason if Sam gives his head a good shake first, I get more blood with the poke. So after I warm, I tickle his ear and he shakes his head - seems to be helping.

    Next, and this one might be the most important at the beginning - use big lancets. Most meters come with little 30 or 33 gauge lancets. Those are fine after their ears have "learned" to bleed better, but in the beginning 26 or 28 gauge (smaller numbers = bigger needle) lancets will really really help.

    And then make sure you kind of milk the ear - squeeze a little on both sides of the poke to push the blood out.

    There are more things to try as well, but I'll leave you with those for now. Hang in there - you're going to get this. It just takes some time.
     
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  6. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Great tips from Djamila! We all struggled with this at first and felt terrible for possibly hurting our kitty. The testing seemed to be scarier than the actual injecting. It will get easier and you'll become a lot more comfortable with it. Once you see how valuable it is in knowing what's happening with your kitty so you can keep her safe you'll be so glad you persisted. :bighug:
     
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  7. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Oh I’m so sorry!! I have a few suggestions that might help in addition what Djamila said. First if you try testing and don’t get blood in 3 attempts walk away. Give a treat anyway and then give 10 to 15 min to cool down and try again.

    Second maybe work on some desensitization first. Pick a testing spot (mine was a towel on the floor by the fridge) and take Kitty there many times a day. Rub her ears a little and then give a treat and lots of love. She’ll get used to that area being a good place.

    Third try looking at her ear with a flashlight. That’s what finally got me going! You can see the vein really clearly that way and know where to aim.

    Finally try 2 pokes next to each other. I had to do that at first to get enough blood.

    You’ll get through this! We can help...I know it’s hard but don’t beat yourself up and you will get there!
     
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  8. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Yes, please don’t be discouraged! Djamila and Rachel gave you some great advice, so try the things they suggested and see what works for you and Kitty. In the beginning I tested after Colin ate because he was calmer and I didn’t feel as rushed. After we got the routine down, I could test anytime quickly so his being starving didn’t factor in.
     
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  9. TooSweetKittyMom

    TooSweetKittyMom Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    Thanks, all! I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt this way at the start. I've never so wished that I could just explain to her, in words, what's going on, and have her tell me how she's feeling. And I agree: giving the insulin shot is a piece of cake compared to testing!

    I'll try out some of your suggestions this evening. In the meantime, I'm going to go with my vet's original instructions to give her a unit at a time, 12 hours apart, after she's been well fed. I know there's a risk of hypoglycemia, but there are also risks to letting her blood sugar stay so high for as long as it takes for me to get my technique perfected, and she'll be more cooperative with my practicing whenshe's not feeling so unwell, I think.
     
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  10. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    You are definitely not alone. We have all been through those first few days of struggle and tears. Let us know how it goes tonight. If anything helped, or whatever problems arose. And some of us find it helps if we plan little rewards/treats for ourselves after testing too! :D
     
  11. TooSweetKittyMom

    TooSweetKittyMom Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    Thank you! I'm definitely up for a little treat! :) A crisis with a human family member is also hindering my ability to get on top of this; I got home late and exhausted, so she got another huge meal and then the vet-prescribed "blind" dose. I'm going to give her a good snack before bed to give her a bit of a boost. Tomorrow should be better, at least by suppertime.
     
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  12. Magic Johnson

    Magic Johnson Member

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    Mar 2, 2018

    I can totally relate TOTALLY...I’m with you on this...
     
  13. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Quintus is the most complacent cat you can imagine, and it took me 40 minutes (and I don't know how many wasted strips) for my first test. He didn't move. It's just that I was crap at it because I'd never done it. Now I can test him in a few seconds and he hardly moves from his nap.

    :bighug:

    You'll get there.

    Some ideas from my end:

    - test yourself a few times so you get the hang of picking up the drop of blood with the strip
    - play with her ears (gently) when you get a chance, and treat her -- the fiddling with the ears bothers cats more than the prick for blood, so if you get her used to it, it helps
    - try getting a test at some other time than preshot, so you're not stressed for time when you do it. write down how many hours after the shot it was and what the value was. it's still data! you'll add it to your spreadsheet later once you get that going (later)

    :bighug:
     
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  14. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    what size lancet were you using? If you used the ones that came with the meter, that might be why you had trouble. they are too thin. You want to get 26 or 28 gauge lancets.
     

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