Samson male cat 9 yrs. just diagnosed

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by SamsonsMom, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Have to return to my vet this week for all the info and to see what kind of insulin she will want to Rx - plan to read this board thoroughly and update this thread with what she says - thanks! I am moving out of the country for a temporary job on Sept. 1 and my roommate will be taking over care of my cat, so needless to say this throws a wrench in things. I'm hoping Samson will go into remission?

    Any top tips I should know for a best case scenario? Seems like the protocol here is home testing, tight regulation protocol and seems like owners prefer Lantus insulin? My cat has already been on a raw meat diet - NO carbs - for two years, so changing his diet won't help :( Do any owners here also feed the raw diet? Thanks much in advance!
     
  2. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Welcome Samson and his Mum! :bighug:
    Well since you are feeding raw you will already say No to the prescription diet ;). Lantus, Levemir, and Prozinc are the preferred insulins because they are longer lasting than the others. There are a few members that feed "homemade" / raw diets here. Home testing is definitely the best tool (along with knowledge) in our FD kitty tool belts! I think we all hope for remission, even though it can be temporary, but you at least want to get Samson's FD under control :). A lot of us also use human glucometer to monitor BG due to better affordability of test strips. Nice to hear your roommate will help out while you are away. We will help any way we can; this is a support group for Samson and YOU :cat:

    You can setup your signature tomorrow once you know which insulin: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/editing-your-signature-profile-and-preferences.130340/

    These are the instructions for the spreadsheet we use, if you need help setting it up just ask: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    Lastly, I like to give this to new members just to be prepared: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-to-treat-hypos-they-can-kill-print-this-out.15887/

    Post any other questions you have on the Main Health Forum :)
     
  3. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Thanks for the warm welcome! I'll update my signature when I know more. Is there a recommended glucometer to buy and where are they available (drugstores)? Where can I find a post with instructions on how to test my cat?

    Also: is there a basic introductory post here that describes the caretaking regimen? I'm looking at your signature, Yong, and I don't understand what a lot of the terms mean...Thanks!
     
  4. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Something better than instructions! Testing VIDEOS :smuggrin:





    Test Shop List
    A lot of us use a human meter from Walmart, ReliOn Confirm or Micro (Only difference is meter size). Don't think this one is available in Canada though.
    1. Meter ($15)
    2. Test strips ($35.88 / 100)
    3. 26 or 28 gauge lancets ($4)
    4. Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment ($3)
    5. Ketone test strips
    6. A treat for yourself :cat:

    Which terms did you need clarification on? Don't worry, I didn't know what some of them meant when I joined either :smuggrin:
     
    Cherish Gallagher likes this.
  5. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Forgot one more list that I snatched from my mentor, Kris & Teasel :bighug:
    Testing routine:
    1. Test minimally at AM and PM before feeding and giving insulin (no food at least 2 hours beforehand) to see if the dose is safe.
    2. Test at least one more time around the middle of the cycle (the 12 hours between doses) or before bed to see how low the dose is taking the blood glucose.
    3. Extra tests on days off to round out the picture.
    4. Keep shot times as close to every 12 hours as possible.
     
  6. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Thanks! So the test strips are used with the meter? Is the lancet used with the meter to make the puncture? How do you use ketone test strips and do you have to test as often for that? What are "days off," you have to give the insulin every day, right?

    This is one term I didn't understand: AT2 meter with Free Style Lite strips for curves
     
  7. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Test strips for meter, yes. Lancet is used to "poke" kitty's ear for blood sample. There is a lancing device with the meter, most do not use the device at all or just use it to hold the lancet without using the clicker function.

    I was always recommended to test weekly for ketones. Mentor gave me the idea of using a long handled spoon, mine is silicon, and sneaking it under Maury when he's in the box. Just need to catch a little to dip the test strip in to, and read result at time listed on the strips. The longer they sit they will darken and give a false reading after expired time.

    Days off - People that work like M-F jobs, we suggest getting those mid cycle tests on their days off. Not kitty ;) They still get insulin twice a day.

    AT2 is the pet meter: Alpha Trak 2. I got lured into buying it in the beginning, like a few people because it's what the Vet's use. The Alpha Trak test strips are about $1 each though, so I switched to Free Style Lite test strips. They are compatible with the AT2 pet meter but require further explanations. Curves are done to determine how well a dose is working on the kitty. Test every 2 hours for 1 cycle (12 hours). My curves are labeled on my SS so you can see what the timing looks like. I have yet to get an actual good curve lol. Vet's use these curves to recommend dose changes. I just consult my Prozinc group here :).

    Anything else? :) I'm still a somewhat new member but I do a lot of research :bookworm: and pass information that's been given to me.
     
  8. Cherish Gallagher

    Cherish Gallagher Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    I use 30g lancets! I get a drop of blood every time and barely poke. :)
     
    Yong likes this.
  9. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Wow, thanks again (to you too, Cherish)! So you have two meters, Yong, but that's not necessary...? How often do you have to test for curves? Testing every two hours is a LOT!

    So... a daily routine (more or less) would be:

    AM
    1. Test cat
    2. Feed cat and administer insulin <- does the dose depend on the result of the test?

    Middle of cycle - test cat

    PM
    1. Test cat
    2. Feed cat and administer insulin

    Is this right?
     
  10. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Correct, two meters are not necessary. I'm not sure how often you should do a glucose curve but I'll find out ;). I've done six in 4 1/2 months.
    Daily routine looks good. If you work a regular M-F, 8-5 job, then do the AM, PM, and a before bed test since you wouldn't be home to get a mid cycle test. Do those on the weekends / off days :)
     
  11. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Great, thanks! Does the insulin dose depend on these test results (ie you vary the dose daily) or is it more of a trend to be observed for gradual dose changes? I work from home, so I can test mid-cycle :)
     
  12. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Depends on the insulin. New members we say don't shoot if preshot test is under 200 until you get a good amount of data.
     
  13. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Go ahead and make a thread on main health forum so you get more than my responses lol
     
  14. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    There's both art and science to insulin dosing. First, though, you have to get your kitty started on insulin. One unit twice a day (12 hours apart) is the recommended dose for a newly diagnosed kitty, regardless of what insulin you're using. Many vets start with too high a dose.

    Setting up a good home testing routine (see post #5 above) allows you to accumulate blood glucose data that shows you how your kitty is responding to the starting dose. We always suggest that you set up a spreadsheet like the one we use here (http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/) because it's viewable by all members. It's the first thing we look at before offering advice.

    After you have enough data on the starting dose there will be patterns that indicate whether the dose is too high, good or too low. How long that takes depends on a number of factors but a week or two of testing should give a general idea. We recommend making dose changes in 0.25 unit increments so you don't zoom past the good dose because you're increasing by too much.

    Finding a good dose can take time, sometimes a lot of time. The oft-repeated saying here is, "It's a marathon, not a sprint." A high level of patience is needed. Another thing to know is that the good dose is a moving target because a kitty will vary in its insulin needs over time, some more than others. Treating with insulin is not a "set and forget" undertaking.
     
  15. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    I'm buying everything online now. Are these items correct?

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/ReliOn-Confirm-Blood-Glucose-Meter-Blue/13863716
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/ReliOn-Prime-Blood-Glucose-Test-Strips-100-count/38423728
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/TRUEplus-Sterile-Lancets-28-Gauge-100-Each/50782427
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/ReliOn-Ketone-Test-Strips-50-count/33574014

    Is the Neosporin for applying to the cat's ear after taking blood? Do you have to do this each time?
    Also, how do people dispose of the insulin syringes safely? THANKS!

    Edited to add: thanks Kris and Teasel!!
     
  16. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    So I spoke to my vet on the phone and she is recommending either Lantus OR Prozinc (my choice) starting at one unit 2x/day. The Prozinc is significantly cheaper and she said it's my choice since they're both the long-acting type. I'm a freelance journalist without much additional income lying around so I'm inclined towards the Prozinc. Do people have any strong thoughts on this?

    Also, do y'all buy your insulin online or get it from you vet or...? Thanks!
     
  17. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Prozinc is mainly available at the better pricing from Vets. 2.0U is higher than the typical starting dose, we recommend around 1.0U. Shopping list looks good to me. :) A tiny amount of Neosporin can be used before to help the blood form a drop and when you get your reading, firmly hold the poke spot for as long as you can or at least 15 seconds. This helps reduce bruising and the neosporin promotes healing. :)
     
  18. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Thanks Yong. are you saying you typically recommend .5oU 2x/day? So my vet's Rx is too high...?
     
  19. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015

    Be sure to get the correct test strips for your meter. Here you have the Confirm meter and the Prime strips. They will not work together.
     
  20. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Thanks Sharon, I corrected that and ordered another kind!

    Just to confirm, is the starting dose recommended here .5 units/twice a day or 1 unit/twice a day? Thanks!
     
  21. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Wouldn't start with more than 1.0U twice a day. Preferrably be home testing :). Not my personal recommendation, as I'm not a Vet, but 2.0U is a higher starting dose from what I've learned here :cat:
     
  22. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Thanks! I believe vet was recommending 1 unit 2x/day, I will clarify with her when I see her Weds.
     
  23. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    So I got the diabetes Dx over the phone and I'm supposed to go back to the vet with my cat on Weds. so he can be re-tested (already decided to say no, and home test) and she can show me how to do the shots. I'm already stressed about the cost of the visit though (as well as the cost of the car service to and from the vet's office), I'd rather not make an appt. at all but just pick up the insulin and supplies from her and be on my way without paying for an appt (and putting Samson thru the stress of the visit). I feel relatively confident I can do the shots from watching demo videos - what do people think?
     
  24. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Time to update your Signature with some info :bighug:. Why did he want to re-test him? What was Samson's initial BG number for diagnosis? If it's for a curve, then I think you should do it at home and send the numbers or call them in to the Vet. Save the money and Samson will be less stressed at home :)
     
  25. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Thanks, I will update soon...she wanted to re-test him just to be sure he's diabetic?! Not sure, wasn't clear. His BG number was high, like 440. I'm pretty stressed out by the cost of this situation so I'm gonna leave the cat at home and just pick up the insulin from her. Thanks for weighing in!
     
  26. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    That's not reassuring lol that she has to confirm diabetes. Many of us understand the stress of the initial costs :bighug:.
     
  27. SamsonsMom

    SamsonsMom Member

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Good news! I started Samson on ProZinc yesterday and managed to get my first successful home test today (it was not easy because his ear was not warm enough :( ) and his BG is down to 278 from 440! :D Thanks for all the guidance so far!
     
    Yong and Kris & Teasel like this.
  28. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    It'll get easier. I suggest you post on the ProZinc forum. It's a friendly place with very helpful people. :)
     

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