Remission after only one month?!

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Badtux, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Badtux

    Badtux Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    It has been 36 hours since Tux's last insulin shot, which was 0.25u of Lantus. He had been on 0.5u for the 10 days preceding that, 1u for a week before that, and 2u for 5 days immediately after diagnosis where his blood sugar had measured 400+ on the lab test that diagnosed him as diabetic.

    His blood sugar before his meal was 57 according to my Relion Confirm meter (which I've verified works by testing it on myself, though of course it reads low on cats). This morning, 24 hours after his last shot and an hour after he ate a meal, it was 71.

    Granted, we seem to have caught his diabetes early before he had any health effects from it (other than urinating a lot, which is what made me schedule the vet appointment and made my vet do the blood test), and I've been quite aggressive with the Catkins diet. He mostly eats an IAMS Salmon wet food that he likes a lot and that has fairly low carbs (he doesn't like the Fancy Feast Classics that everybody recommends and which is significantly cheaper, sigh). I also got some cat treats off of Amazon.com that are just chunks of freeze-dried chicken to take care of giving him treats, and on the rare occasions I supplement him with some kibble because he's not hungry enough for a full tin of wet food but he's hungry, I put down a tablespoon of Young Again Zero.

    Still: One month.

    Lantus has that "tank" effect, so I guess I should wait a few more days to see what happens, and continue testing him 3 or 4 times a day at random times. But right now I feel like Tux and I have been extraordinarily lucky.

    Anything I should look out for? I mean, obviously he isn't "cured", he's just having his condition controlled by diet after his body got re-accustomed to operating at normal glucose levels and I *am* measuring his weight every morning and logging it in my log book. (I have a spreadsheet too, but I'm sort of lazy about transferring numbers from my log book to the spreadsheet, sorry!). Thus far since diagnosis/start of treatment and now his weight has been steady between 15.2 and 15.6 pounds (probably based on his state of hydration and amount of poop in his gut at any given time). I'm also recording how many urine/feces I get out of his litter box each time I scoop it, it's staying in normal range now of about 3-4 / 1-2 per day. Should I maybe do some ketone testing of his urine to make sure he's getting enough of his own insulin to stay out of ketosis? How do I do that, exactly, given that he doesn't exactly tell me when he needs to pee or wait for me to grab a ketone stick? Anything else I should be keeping an eye on?
     
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  2. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    It sounds like you may be one of the lucky ones that just caught it early enough that the diet change was enough!

    You need to test at least twice a day for 2 weeks....If the Pre-shot tests are green (under 100) you don't need to do any more testing until the next "pre-shot" time

    If you get a blue number (under about 130), go ahead and feed and test again in about 3-4 hours. If the number comes down, the pancreas is working.

    If you can stay in mostly normal numbers (50-90 on a human meter) for two weeks, you can consider him officially in remission

    If he consistently gets numbers higher than about 130 and/or he doesn't come down after feeding, he probably needs a little more time on insulin. We want a strong remission, not necessarily a fast one
     
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  3. Badtux

    Badtux Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Thanks. I don't have any problem starting him back on the juice if I see numbers go up. Tux tolerates the shots a lot better than he tolerates the glucose testing. Most of the time he barely notices that I'm giving him a shot, maybe enough to twitch if I'm particularly clumsy, and I have enough of the Lantus for months.

    That said, I don't think the diet change by itself was enough. It took the insulin to get his numbers down even after the diet change. I think I was lucky that my vet knew about Lantus and that the slow gentle curve of Lantus and its "tank" effect was just right for what my cat needed to get readjusted to normal glucose levels. Well, and that he was diagnosed quickly before any of the many bad health effects could happen.

    So I'll follow your advice and continue routine testing for the next couple of weeks. I intended to do so anyhow, and even after he is "officially" in remission I'll probably randomly test him every few days for a while, then once a week or so just to make sure he's not creeping up. He's old, so even if diet is enough to control his diabetes now, that doesn't mean it'll remain true in the future.
     
  4. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Absolutely!! No matter what, he'll always be a diabetic, even if he's diet controlled....He'll always need to be on a low carb diet (no more kibble!) and he should be tested occasionally as well as anytime he seems "off"

    Good luck!!
     
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  5. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Ketone checks are especially important when reducing insulin/suspending treatment. Cats often use the litter box just before or just after eating so that might help you catch him at the box. You could try laying a double layer of plastic food wrap over his 'favourite' spot in the litter box to cat a few drops of urine next time he goes. More tips here:

    Collecting Urine Samples

    If none of the above help, you could always consider getting a blood ketone meter (use same way as a glucometer).

    Fingers and paws crossed for a successful OTJ trial. :nailbiting:


    Mogs
    .
     
  6. Badtux

    Badtux Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    His evening test three hours after eating a lot of food was 60. This morning's "pre-shoot" test was 62. Tux seems rather energetic and wanting to play but uninterested in his food (I gave him a freeze-dried chicken chunk as his treat for cooperating with his blood test though and he ate that) but his weight is normal so it probably is just one of those cat things where he got enough food last night (I fed him a snack before going to bed) and isn't really hungry yet. He did a big poop immediately after his blood test so that's probably it. I left the food out for him of course, he'll circle back to his food bowl eventually and eat it. But I won't be around for a post-meal test. Oh well. Tonight, then.

    The numbers are holding up....
     
  7. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Go Tux! Go Tux! Go Tux!

    :nailbiting:


    Mogs
    .
     
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  8. Badtux

    Badtux Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Still going! Been 11 days since Tux's last insulin shot. Since then, his lowest reading has been 47, and his highest reading has been 83. I've been sampling him at random times now just to make sure I'm not catching him at a weirdly low part of his cycle and still looking good. Looks like the Catkins diet is working, though now Tux has decided he doesn't like the wet food and is demanding the YA Zero kibble (which I was putting down only while I was gone at work, feeding him wet food otherwise), which I don't like feeding him because it gives him jet propulsion...
     
  9. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Oh dear ... :oops:

    Great to see Tux's numbers holding so well. Three more days ... :nailbiting: :nailbiting: :nailbiting: :nailbiting:


    Mogs
    .
     
  10. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    It's okay to leave wet food down when you go to work. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to it, or put down an ice cube or two (depending on the size of your ice cubes) and then put the food on top - it keeps the food fresher for longer into the day and helps keep it from drying out. Some people make little cat-cicles - mix some extra water into the food, and then freeze the food. In the morning, give some fresh food, and then put out a cat-cicle which will melt and be fresh a little later in the day.

    Also, if Tux is not a fan of the wet food these days, you can try putting a small sprinkling of fortiflora on top, kind of like salting the food. One packet lasts several days. It's marketed as a probiotic if given as a full packet, but most of us just use it to entice our kibble addicts to eat wet food.

    It's not sold in pet stores, but is sold online or in many vet clinics:
    https://www.amazon.com/Purina-Forti...TF8&qid=1516455209&sr=8-2&keywords=fortiflora
     
  11. Badtux

    Badtux Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    I finally managed to intercept Tux's stream with one of the ketone wands (he doesn't like me being around when he uses the cat box so I ended up having to actually hide around the corner in the kitchen when I saw him approaching the cat box before he'd squat and do his business!). Negative. As I figured it'd be because he shows no symptoms of ketosis, but nice to have that confirmation.
     
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  12. Badtux

    Badtux Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Tux will eat the fresh wet food when I just plop it out into the bowl. But after an hour or so he starts yelling at me that his food is stale and turns his nose up at it. What I'm hoping with the automatic feeder is that I can get him to at least eat two feedings of the wet food, using the ice cube trick to keep the second one cold (but in a little baggy, he likes his wet food to have a little texture rather than be a gruel, my cat sitter tried the water-it-down thing and he really didn't like that).

    I'll try your Fortiflora trick to see if it helps. One thing that I have to say is that on the list of things that concern me about my cat's health, this is one of the least important. I'm just happy that his blood sugar seems to be controlled on this diet and thus he can continue being my cuddle buddy for hopefully years to come. (His favorite place when not on his heated cat bed is to be curled against me as I watch TV or sleep).
     
  13. Badtux

    Badtux Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    So, two weeks have passed, and his last two numbers, before I fed him and 2 hours after, were 62 and 63. Looks like we're done on the blood sugar side, at least for a while -- I'll continue to monitor him occasionally though of course in case of relapse.
     
  14. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Yay for going OTJ!

    Won't help you when you're away, but Quintus tends to do that and I've found that adding a little hot water to the leftover and mashing it up well with a fork gets him interested in eating it. Less throwing food away!
     
  15. Badtux

    Badtux Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    I just finished ordering some stuff from Chewy that might help the situation -- Fortiflora, and crushed bonita flakes. One of those is certain to perk his appetite for wet food. I hope.
     
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  16. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    I use the Forti Flori a lot for enticing Leo to eat. The problem now is that he licks the forti flora off the top and leaves the food sometimes. I guess I will need to mix the forti flora into the food.
    Mixing some hot water into the food does help sometimes. It seems to bring back the aroma of the food, but you'll only be able to do that when you're home.
     
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  17. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Congrats on Tux going OTJ! :cat:


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  18. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Great news! My Leo did the same thing after a short stint with insulin and diet change. His glucose will spike now and then with stressful events like vet visits but it does come down on its own. Life long monitoring I suppose once they've been diabetic.
     
  19. Moose & Rae

    Moose & Rae Member

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    Apr 12, 2017
    Yay such great news!
     

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