So not sure what to think about our Marley and might try at home testing tonight...

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Lori Gach-Delaney, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Lori Gach-Delaney

    Lori Gach-Delaney New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017
    Our boy Marley is 8 and was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago. We immediately stopped all dry food and only give him low carb canned food. For the first 6 months or more I did notice a difference, not drinking as much water, kinda more himself, thought not 100%...then he seemed to be losing weight. So, I weighed him and he had lost basically approx. 2 pounds in a year. However, he is NOT drinking anywhere near the amount of water he used to. In that case, he is kind of back to normal. He did have an infection of some sort a few weeks ago and it caused him to not really eat anything, but after that cleared he started eating more again. He still doesn't always finish his plate but sometimes he does (we give him 1/2 or 3/4 of a Fancy Feast can like 4 times a day).
    I weighed him this morning and it looks like he lost more weight and is down to 11 lbs! He's not hiding, he's grooming his cat brother and dog sister, he jumps in the window and looks outside, he sometimes even runs down the stairs to greet me when I come come from work...so his demeanor is more like him...
    When we brought him to the vet and the infection was diagnosed, his sugar was very high. 524. Now, he does totally freak out in the car. I mean, I have never seen anything this bad. And I know the stress makes it spike (I actually am a Type 1 diabetic for over 45 year). Last year when diagnosed his sugar at vet was 417 then 513...so not good numbers...
    I think we need to get him on insulin. Which is what our vet has suggested at this point. But I also want to start testing his glucose at home. She kinda warned us it was difficult to do but so many people seem to do it from what I've read online, I think it's important to do this.

    Just looking for support and any help or info I guess. I really thought he wouldn't need insulin once we got him off the dry food especially since he's acting better and not drinking water like he was. We have done blood work and thryroid, liver and kidney function were ok...

    Anyone care to give their thoughts etc.? Thanks so much! I just found this board and am so thankful.
     
  2. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Honestly, it's really not that difficult, unless Marley is semi-feral. Even then, there's proof here that can be managed. Home testing will be your best tool :)
    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.
    Video of Sieden testing Peanut:


    Video of Janet testing CC:


    Test Shop List

    A lot of us use a human glucometer from Walmart, ReliOn Confirm or Micro (Only difference is meter size).
    1. Meter ($15)
    2. Test strips ($35.88 / 100)
    3. 26 or 28 gauge lancets ($4)
    4. Neosporin / triple antibiotic ointment (Polysporin if CAN) ($3)
    5. Ketone test strips ($6)
    6. A treat for yourself ;)

    Ask us any questions or if you need more specific tips with Marley :cat:.
     
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  3. Lori Gach-Delaney

    Lori Gach-Delaney New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017
    I'd like to start testing now before he even goes back to vet to be put on insulin...what do you think is best? Just to get some readings throughout the day when we can to get an idea? I'm wondering how much his sugar would spike from the stress of the car...because if I test it and see he's in the 300's I want the vet to know that also. I don't think he's going to be over 500 at home....
    Though the weight loss is really upsetting me...
     
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  4. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    Hello,
    home testing is the only way to know what is going on with your cat. As Yong posted - it is not difficult at all.
    When unregulated diabetic cats cannot process their food properly and many continue loosing weight even when fed adequate amount per serving. Once you get his BG numbers under control - not to be perfect or remission like but better - you'll get his weight under control. Most FF classic is about 90 Kcal/can. If my math is correct is between 180 - 270 Kcal. It is good meal size to maintain the current weigh in cats with better regulation. I doubt he can gain on that. You might need to feed him slightly more to help gaining, at least until his BG level is better.
    The vet told me that the stress can raise BG up to 200 points in some cats. Home testing is by far more accurate way to assess the situation then running "curves" at the vets.
     
  5. Randi & Effy

    Randi & Effy Member

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    Oct 8, 2017
    Testing two hours before or after eating is only if they're on insulin, correct? Mine isn't on insulin yet but I just bought the alphatrak to start testing this weekend, can I just test whenever I get it?
     
  6. Bernie

    Bernie Member

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    Aug 3, 2015
    Am I understanding your introduction correctly, your cat was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, numbers in the 500 range and was not immediately put on insulin?
     
  7. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    the "must" take tests are the ones you do pre insulin shot.
    It has to be free of any food influence - so the last meal is at least two hours prior to injection.

    The in between shots help you to pin point the lowest point (the nadir) of the cycle and that's is the value you base you dosing decision on. Other tests during day/night are necessary for different reasons - to locate the onset is one of them- it's when the insulin kicks in and also to assess in general how is your kitty doing on the current dose. All data is very useful.

    If your cat is not on insulin yet - do take random tests but once Marley is on the dose - make sure you test pre-shot 2h without food before injecting - otherwise you might risk him going Hypo.

    I use human meter - it is much cheaper and the test strips are available 24/7 from any Walmart/human pharmacy.
     
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  8. Lori Gach-Delaney

    Lori Gach-Delaney New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017
    It was just over 400 when he was diagnosed. And that's with spiking from stress. Vet didn't want to rush to insulin. We saw a great improvement when we started giving him the right food. So we held off.
     
  9. Lori Gach-Delaney

    Lori Gach-Delaney New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017
    Hi all! Just tested Marley for the first time! It was way easier than I thought it would be! He was 280...which I'm happy with but he hasn't eaten since lunch time. Going to feed him shortly and test two hours after eating. I know from having Type 1 diabetes myself that's totally when blood sugar spikes after eating. I'm curious to see how much higher it will get.
     
  10. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    :):bighug:
     
  11. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Great! Do remember that human meters run lower then pet meters though.... On a pet meter that 280 could easily be a 350. You really are long overdue to start insulin. Being diabetic without insulin support is tough on Their bodies. Very should have started it within a week of the food switch last year. The sooner it's started the greater the chance of remission as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  12. Lori Gach-Delaney

    Lori Gach-Delaney New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017
    Just tried a before bedtime test...he is not letting me do it. He's so fidgety and not relaxed (which is how I thought he'd be the first time).:arghh:
     
  13. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Offer a treat each test that is low carb and that he only gets at test time.
     
  14. Lori Gach-Delaney

    Lori Gach-Delaney New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017
    What are good low carb treats to try?
     
  15. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Freeze dried meat treats (several brands make them), deli meats (roast beef, turkey, ect) catnip
     
  16. Lori Gach-Delaney

    Lori Gach-Delaney New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017
    UPDATE: Marley bit me the next morning when I tried to test him (because I screwed up the test strip and had to poke him like 3 times.) :( Anyway, it got infected and I went to the ER. I have not tested him since. In the meantime, we brought him back to the vet for his first follow up after bring on Vetsulin for 2 weeks. His BG was up to 590! He had started with 1 unit twice a day. (7am and 7pm). We give him a can of FF when we give him his shot, so 2 cans a day. Our vet upped him to 2 units twice a day. He does seem a little more "with it" He's interacting more with his cat brother and dog sisters. He's even laying on the couch with his brother or on the windowsill with him like he used to. He is jumping up on the sink, toilet and windowsill. My worry is this...he seems to still be losing weight. We weighed him a few days ago and we got 10.6 on our scale. I think he was 10.9 before that on our scale, but like 10.2 at vet. Over a year, he's lost over 3 pounds! I know I have to try and start testing him at home again. I actually did try the other day, but he wouldn't even let me put the gauze on his ear. He was twitching his head back and forth and just not having it. I am so afraid the vet is going to increase his insulin and I am afraid of hypos since no one is home all day (our dog walker/pet sitter comes around 11am to walk our dogs). She actually just texted me to tell me if the boys (cats) finished their breakfast (because they don't eat it all at once, hardly ever) and said "Marley has lost so much weight!" :arghh:
    I don't even know why I'm posting...I'm just so worried about our boy. I'm going to weigh him again tonight. I will try again to do his blood. For us, the best time to try and get it is after he eats. So, it is what it is, I know it's not what's suggested here, but really, we are trying our best. I just called my husband and he asked how often we're supposed to be testing him and when I told him twice a day, he even said, that's going to be tough with Marley....

    I feel we started the Vetsulin off right. How many units max can a cat get of this? I've read it's not good for cats? I don't know...I'm getting all confused. My head is a mess from other stuff and it's making my depression and anxiety worse between the other stuff going on and Marley....
     
  17. Bernie

    Bernie Member

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    Aug 3, 2015
    You have to test him before giving insulin, blind dosing is very dangerous. If he will not allow you to care for him properly it seems you have a tough decision to make.
     
  18. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Sorry Marley is not cooperating. Try some desensitization exercises. First chose a spot that will be your testing spot and take him there multiple times/day, don’t try to test him, just pet him maybe rub his ear a bit if he’ll let you, then give him a treat and let him go. Gradually increase the ear rubs until you’re both comfortable, then add the gauze and more treats. Remember to relax, take a deep breath and maybe even sing to him, it really helps.

    ETA Do you think he may be more open to testing on his paw pad?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
    Reason for edit: add question
  19. Lori Gach-Delaney

    Lori Gach-Delaney New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017
    That's the thing, Marley doesn't really like us to pet him. LOL. Last night I was trying to give him some head scratches. He pushed my arm away (forcibly holding it away from him and groomed my hand instead). My husband and I always say..."No, I will groom you" in what would be Marley's voice. Out of the 4 animals in our house, he is the most dominant one. (we have two pibbles, so he keeps them in their place. LOL.) He's not a relaxed cat. He gets nervous VERY easily...I'll try the treats I bought some freeze dried ones last week. Haven't tried them yet to see if he likes them.
     
  20. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    I have some questions for you. Our main aim is not to chastise diabetic cat owners for doing the "wrong" thing in spite of what their vet says. Sometimes we use the wrong words, you'll take our meaning the wrong way and that's the last we hear from you. It's happened many times before.
    >"Marley is 8 and was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago". In that year has Marley been tested regularly at the vet or had a curve done?
    >"I'm actually am a Type 1 diabetic for over 45 years". You test yourself before injecting insulin right?
    > "We immediately stopped all dry food". This is the right thing to do but it depends on the food you're feeding him. Is he getting into the dog's food.
    > "He's not drinking as much water". This is because wet food has a high water content so the wet food is partially where he gets his water from.
    >"He is losing weight. I weighed him and he had lost basically approx. 2 pounds in a year". What was his weight a year ago? Think in percentages. Two pounds from ten is a lot more drastic than two from twenty
    >"He did have an infection of some sort a few weeks ago". What was the infection, what drug was used?
    >"I think we need to get him on insulin". While food can help control his numbers insulin is needed long term. What reason did your vet give for not starting insulin a year ago?
    >"Just tested Marley for the first time! It was way easier than I thought it would be! He was 280". See, it wasn't that hard was it?
    >"How many units max can a cat get of this?" No two cats are the same. Noah is an unregulated bouncer even after 2+ years and needs between 3 and 6 units.
    You'll notice many people have "Do not copy dosing" in their signatures. This is there for a very good reason.
    Every vet has a different idea about how insulin should be treated, what kind of insulin to use and whether you can or should test at home. Please be open to new ideas.
     
  21. Lori Gach-Delaney

    Lori Gach-Delaney New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017
     
  22. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    I have a cat like that and thank God everyday that she’s not the diabetic one! Hopefully he’ll like the treats, but do try the desensitization. Be gradual and relax (easy for me to say;)) Several people say the singing really helps. Also have you tried Feliway? Many say it helps calm their cats.
     
  23. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    I was so anxiety ridden in the beginning & still am! Sharon’s desensitizing actually taught me to be calm! I just have to talk to my girl in a calm voice & tell her I’m not going to hurt her. The first few times she fought me.
    Also something I’ve learned for deep bites is to immediately run it under warm/hot water to keep the wound open. Squeeze to make it bleed as much as possible for a few seconds. Some punctures close up fast, I know. Then be sure to wash with peroxide or even antibacterial soap while squeezing again. It has worked for my bites so far. Knock on wood! I’m sorry he’s like that! Its so difficult & they don’t get that you’re only trying to save him! I know Baby is slightly feral ( gotten easier with age) & goes nutso when pushed! I just turn loose or she will end up hurting herself. It’s not fun to be bitten either! Good luck & I hope the tests get easier.
    Whatever treat he likes - just pile it on!
     
  24. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Oh man that sucks! I got bit very bad once and wound up at the er so I know how that goes. (Not by my diabetic). There's not really a set max a cat can get because it varies so much. For one cat a unit will barely make a difference, and for another it will drop them like a stone.

    I would say take a break from the testing for a few days or week or two (however long it takes) and work on desensitizing Marly to having his ears touched. Rub his ears as you would for a test then give allow carb treat he likes....only give the treat at this time so he looks forward to it. If you were using the Lancet device, skip it. Some cats don't like the clicking sound.

    Make sure when you ARE ready to attempt testing again that you aim just for the very outer edge of the ear rather than the vein as the vein area hurts more.

    I really feel for you in this struggle. I say all the time that we are so lucky that cc is the diabetic and not some of our tougher patients. I doubt know how we e would ever manage this with our cat Julie.... Or Luna who barely let's us pet her.

    Worst case some insulin is better then none. Go by clinical signs and just leave food for times you aren't there to watch. I might suggest doing 1.5 units for awhile rather then jumping to 2.
     
  25. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    I asked you a series of questions earlier. Before we get into the answers you should know I'm not a doctor, a veterinarian or a vet tech. My answers are only my opinions and what I have accepted as the truth having two diabetic cats and everything I've read and learned from others. My own frustration with human doctors has taught me there is almost always an alternative and sometimes the rules just don't apply. Even though this is not social media there is a human/social aspect to this site. It can be pretty easy to say one wrong word and have it look like I'm mocking you when instead I'm interested in how you "broke the rules" and are still here to talk about it. My signature says I'm a poor communicator, it's a long story but I'm not being rude and as with everything in life there's always something new to learn.
    1) "Marley is 8 and was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago. I think we need to get him on insulin which is what our vet has suggested at this point." Was Marley just barely over the line as far as being diagnosed with diabetes? Some humans have tested higher than normal but don't qualify as full blown diabetics. Was this Marley's case?
    2) "Marley has never been tested regularly or had a curve done". We all have different definitions of what "regularly" means and a curve is only done when giving insulin. Can you elaborate on this?
    3) "I actually am a Type 1 diabetic for over 45 years." Do you test yourself before injecting insulin? "Not always and never from 1972-1989." I have zero experience with human diabetes, how did you make that work?
    4) What reason did your vet give for not starting insulin a year ago? Bernie said "Am I understanding your introduction correctly, your cat was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, numbers in the 500 range and was not immediately put on insulin?" You answered "Because not all (diabetic sic) cats need insulin." How can that be? I know some people have made the pill form work but that's extremely rare.
    I do welcome you to the board and I sincerely hope you stay. We all have something to learn from each other and medicine changes almost every day. It wasn't that long ago that a "good bleeding" was the answer to medical maladies.
    My name is Dickson, Noah is the cat and Nigel cat_wings>o was his often mentioned diabetic brother. :banghead: :coffee: :bighug:
     
  26. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    Just a FYI- Janet’s video shows how to test. So sweet & calm. I tried to emulate this behavior! I think I got her calm ‘down pat’ eventually; but baby sure didn’t lay calm like her CC!! Baby tried backing off the table, around my arm & it was all I could do to keep her actually on the table! She can’t see ( énucléations) so she has no clue where the edges are & not especially on the testing table! She now backs into my arm & lays until I hurry & get the test done! Still not a cake walk! But 100 x’s better! Thank you Janet! Great video
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  27. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Try distracting her with a special treat like tuna or cold cuts. Cc didn't always lay so calm for the tests. Singing sometimes helps keep things calm too.
     
  28. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    Baby is in remission now. We will have to start all over again when it’s time. I know it will be so much better now that I’ve got the calm going! Do you think testing once a week & diligently watching her is ok Janet? I’ll do cold cuts next. She will eat a little chicken & the freeze dried chicken at times...
     
  29. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Congratulations on the remission! When cc was in remission I started testing twice a week, then went to once a week. Then 2-3 times a month. It's important to keep up with it because of she falls out of remission it is easier to regulate and get them back into remission if you catch it early. Cc was in remission for two weeks short of a year. She's been back in insulin for about 3 months now. (Sigh)
     
  30. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    It’s never over! Sorry you’re back at it! She may go back & hope she does! You’re such a good cat momma! I feel like I had finally gotten good at this & then off she goes... But of course I’m happy & thankful - especially that I didn’t hurt her!! Yes at this point I just keep a watchful eye on her. If something seems weird then I check it. Otherwise it’s every Sunday. I could cut back I guess but that keeps me on track.
    • Another problem I have is she still is eating like she’s starving! I’ve been up since 4:30 since she walked all over me & head butts until I got up!
    • She was vomiting if her belly was empty in the morning. I have done the frozen food (she must be busy at night by the looks of the litter box & food is gone!) the vet said 1/2 cerenia every 2nd -3rd day.
    • Does any of this make sense to you? I’ll post a New thread... question in main forum. I just wanted your take & if you had any of this with CC in remission? I have not weighed her but I’m sure she has gained a lb or more. That scares me too, although it is all low carb. (Few temptations- I know... bad momma) :) Any feedback would be appreciated! Thank you for everything!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  31. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Cerenia is not going to help if she's puking from hunger. If anything famodadine for acid would help more. I leave out young again zero for her so she's not hungry. Stay away from temptations. Seriously... Not even 1. I'm assuming you ment to say "I hope she does"... Not dies. Lmao
     
  32. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    Oh my sorry! Does!! Not dies - I feel so inept & I usually ck everything! So sorry oh bad - my very bad! Ok ! Ok ! :arghh::banghead:Arghhh ok :) No temptations & where do u buy the YA? I’ll call vet Monday for famotadine. Great suggestion; are you a vet or tech? Should be! Anyway my petsmart store just may carry that. Thank you 852x’s & please forgive my error. I would care for your CC as if she were my own or better! And forever wish remission could be for all our kits & forever!
     
  33. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Lol no worries on the typo. My messages are always riddled with them.

    No not a vet tech. I have six cats and have had several others through the years. When my cat Zimmy had pancreatitis he was prescribed cerenia and it helped with nausea. Your cat is not nauseous though, it’s just built up stomach acid from an empty belly. You can give a mid night feeding .... that would probably solve the problem. Young Again is a dry cat food. It's about 1% carb. It is only available on Youngagainpetfood.com. They will send a free sample if you ask. Some on here will say absolutely no dry. Your choice. I feed a combination of two wet meals with extra water and this out to graze on.
     
  34. Becky & Baby Girl Kitty

    Becky & Baby Girl Kitty Well-Known Member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    Ok I’ll order. Thank you & it sounds like you have had some bad times with kitty’s - but we all have & you must have a very knowledgeable vet. I do now, my last one had a hand in Lizzie’s death & I think tried to kill Baby with Novolin! Good riddance them
     

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