Still just getting aquatinted

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Bethany&SirDraculaDupree, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    Moving over my discussion and questions from my introductory thread.

    I had just been told to ask the vets to prescribe anything except vetsulin. I am curious as to opinions as that seems to be a very affordable option where I’m looking to buy medications.

    Also have a question. My cat was not on insulin when admitted to the shelter, he was diagnosed, started on 1 unit prozinc after each meal for two days then 2 units after each meal. The script had an issue and he has now been off insulin since I received him the 21st. We can’t see a vet til Wednesday when our appt is happening. What should I be watching for as far as emergency situations? I’m having a bit of a hard time because I don’t know the cat prior to the diabetes and he is elderly (10) so I am not sure how much is personality or settling in or how much is not feeling well. I’m getting a monitor tomorrow first thing!


    Background
    He was surrendered to the shelter 11/12, thought to be diabetic, ran tests, diagnosed diabetic. Insulin started, then up dose, then 11/21 no dose and none since then
    10years old, stresses include being separated from mate, surrendered to shelter, testing, etc.
     
  2. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Vetsulin is hard on the system.
    As for everything else once you get your meter tomorrow you'll have a much better idea of how his body reacts to whatever insulin you use, how much to give him in the future and what numbers to watch out for. Without a meter emergencies can happen almost unnoticed. You think ten is elderly? There's a dozen people here with cats in their twenties, my record is 23. You didn't hear it from me but it's the members here who are, how should I phrase this..... elderly.
     
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  3. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    That makes sense that it is hard on the system. my other thread I was told it didn’t last as long as well.
    his numbers seemed all over the place in the shelter but hoping that it seems more up and down than it was. 10 is beginning their elderly phase from what I have been informed and over that is when more health issues begin to pop up unfortunately.
    There’s nothing wrong generally with elderly in my opinion, more wisdom and knowledge to share as long as they direct it in a positive manner :)
     
  4. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    He might not have been getting the care he needed at the shelter. Didn't your intro thread say it was a kill shelter? That might explain crazy numbers.
    Now he has a forever home and you're here. It's late and I have a cat to medicate, you'll get better answers through the weekend.
     
  5. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    Yes he was at a high risk shelter in a busy city.
    Thank you for your input, have a great night
     
  6. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Insulins that work well for cats are Lantus, Levemir, ProZinc and BCP PZI. The first two are human insulins. You will get these from any pharmacy. If either one of these are prescribed, ask for the prescription for pens instead of vials. You will use these as miniature vials and not use the needles for the pens. Instead you will use syringes to withdraw all the insulin. If you can buy it from Marc's pharmacy in Canada you will save a lot of money than in the US.

    The last two insulins are specifically for pets and your vet will order them for you. If your vet decides to try the BCP PZI, they can order the a trial vial for free from BCP. Here is the link that you will need to provide to your vet to order it. http://bcpl.regexseo.com/free-samples

    All of these are longer acting insulins than Vetsulin and most cats respond well to them.
     
  7. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    Wow great! Thank you so much for your reply! I will be going over insulin on Wednesday with our vet. I was leaning towards vetsulin due to the price but I’m happy I found this amazing resource of helpful people!
     
  8. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Vetsulin is cheaper. However it does not last long in a cat's body and it is harder to get the glucose levels regulated. But there are cats that it works well in.

    The other two things that also will help you manage his diabetes are a low carb canned or raw food diet and home testing. Many of us feed our cats Friskies or Fancy Feast pate flavors. Avoid anything with gravy such as shreds or bits flavors.

    For home testing, you can you use a human glucose meter to test your cat's glucose levels. Any human meter brand is good, however the ReliOn brand meters at Walmart are most cost-effective. The test strips are not very expensive. There are also pet glucose meters. They work well also however you have to order the strips online. With a human glucose meter you can get the strips at most pharmacies.

    By testing at home you will be able to tell how well the dose is working and also avoid giving insulin when is glucose levels are too low. This will prevent hypoglycemia from occurring. Don't be surprised if you mentioned this to your vet that you want to home test your vet tries to discourage this. Unfortunately this is a common response. However look at it this way, if your cat was your child would you give insulin without knowing it is safe for your child to take it? You were the one who is responsible for your cat's care. Home testing does not harm your cat and it will ensure that you do not give insulin when it could be harmful.

    If your vet will not show you how to test don't worry we have videos on this site and lots of people who can help you learn how to do it.
     
  9. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    That makes sense about the vetsulin.
    I have switched him since the day I got him home (11/21- 1wk ago) to fancy feast classic pates varieties. He will not eat anything poultry related for food but loves seafood or fish types.
    I am going to Walmart tomorrow morning and picking up a ReliOn monitor and the necessary items to get started. :) I was going to get the AlphaTrak but after the advice given here and seeing the price difference I’m going to go with the ReliOn. I haven’t done the process completely though before so I will be looking for the videos and how to in order to refresh and learn.
     
  10. Panic

    Panic Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    If you can convince him, I highly recommend getting him to eat the poultry and beef flavors over the seafood. Fish has a high allergy potential and is easily addictive for cats. Here's what Dr. Pierson said about it:

    Obviously for diabetics it's more important that they're at least eating even if it's not good for them, but just as a precaution for later down the road. :)
     
  11. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    Thank you for pointing that out. Currently he is flat out refusing poultry based wet food completely. Didn’t want boiled chicken or turkey pieces either. I will try beef and see if he will eat any of that.
     
  12. Panic

    Panic Member

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    Apr 10, 2019
    Perhaps mixing some with the seafood will help him get into it? We all have those stubborn kitties some way or another!
     
  13. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    Hi Bethany!! So happy to see you over here from the Facebook group!

    If there aren't any ketones in the picture, it's good to go ahead and spend a few days learning to home test and changing his diet. It's safer to do these things before starting insulin anyway. Then, if he's settled in and eating a low carb diet, if he still needs insulin, you'll be ready to keep him safe.

    If you can get your vet to prescribe one of the better insulins like Lantus, Basaglar (both are Glargine...Basaglar is a little cheaper) or Levemir, you can get it a lot more affordably from Canada. Marks Marine Pharmacy has helped save a lot of kitty's lives by making it so much more affordable to use these insulin's.

    Here's the information on Buying Insulin from Canada

    If you go with Lantus, Basaglar or Levemir, order the pens. A vial contains 10ml which is 1000 units and most cats can't use that much before it starts to lose efficacy and you end up throwing a lot of it away. Each pen only holds 3ml (300 units) so you can use pretty much every drop of each pen since the expiration date on the box is usually at least 2 years away.

    One other nice thing about Marks is that even if your vet writes the script for a vial, all you have to do is call them and ask for pens instead.

    You still use regular insulin syringes and just pull the insulin out of the pen. We don't use the special pen needles because they restrict you to only doing dose changes in whole units. Cats need smaller changes in dose. We recommend .25 increment changes. You can get U100, 3/10ml, 31 gauge syringes at WalMart too for $12.58/100 and they have half unit marks on them (no matter what they might tell you)
    Relion syringes.jpg

    It will take about a week to order from them and get it delivered ….and once they have a copy of the script, they'll refill it as needed instead of having to get a new one every year like in the US!

    Look forward to seeing how he settles in! Stress can raise the blood glucose as much as 200 points and I'm sure living on death row in a shelter is pretty stressful!
     
  14. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Good morning Bethany. It's nice to see a new member skip past the drama and straight into what needs to be done. It looks like you're on your way and in very good hands. I've been in some wretched shelter lately looking for an escaped cat (found him after 88 days) so I wanted to say what you did for your boy is a noble thing. A lot of people just don't get it but we do. Welcome to the club. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
    Reason for edit: too much me
  15. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    Thank you for saving this handsome boy
     
  16. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    Today I picked up some new flavors so I hope he will eat the beef and chicken pate! I will try mixing it if need be! :)


    QUOTE="Panic, post: 2485070, member: 27026"]If you can convince him, I highly recommend getting him to eat the poultry and beef flavors over the seafood. Fish has a high allergy potential and is easily addictive for cats. Here's what Dr. Pierson said about it:



    Obviously for diabetics it's more important that they're at least eating even if it's not good for them, but just as a precaution for later down the road. :)[/QUOTE]
     
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  17. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019

    Thank you so much! It’s good to be here learning so much. Today I went to Walmart and got a monitor and strips and lancets and alcohol wipes. I tested him for the first time and the number seemed high but I have no base line for him so I’m still navigating a bit in the dark!
     
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  18. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    Good morning indeed! I picked up some of the items recommended to me yesterday and I’m going to begin home testing today! So glad you found the kitty you were looking for but my what a chase!
     
  19. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    I went to Walmart and picked up
    26g alternate sites lancets
    Alcohol sterile swabs
    A ReliOn premier Bluetooth glucose monitor
    Strips for monitor
    Cotton balls / neosporin

    I tested him for the first time he was perfect while I tested and the number was 375. How does the human monitor equate to animal numbers ?
     
  20. Panic

    Panic Member

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    Apr 10, 2019
    There is no comparison between human and pet meters, but typically the lower the number the more accurate, the higher the number the bigger difference. A 50 on a human meter is probably pretty accurate, whereas a 350 on a human meter is probably more like 500 or so. The important part is the lower numbers so don't stress about the higher ones.
     
  21. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    This is the part where you stare at the meter and scratch your head. :banghead: Meters are allowed by law to be way off +/-, I think it's as much as 20% but someone will correct me shortly. Meters in general are more accurate at low numbers which is good. You'll also find you'll get different readings just minutes or seconds apart which is bad.
    The farmhouse of Sir Frederick Banting, the man who co-discovered insulin is not far from where we live. That's good! :smuggrin:
     
  22. Panic

    Panic Member

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    Apr 10, 2019
    I want to say it's 15% difference? :p

    EDIT: Double-checked after Dickson and Sienna said 20%. It's apparently 95% accurate within 15%, or 99% accurate within 20%. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  23. Chloe007

    Chloe007 Member

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    Oct 27, 2019
    When I first switched to a human meter from a pet meter, I was hesitant and would check my readings against the pet meter for about two weeks straight. It was never above a 40 point difference, certainly nothing like 350 actually being 500, usually 350 being 375...

    Have you had a different experience? I would be very concerned if I've been using a meter that is off by 150 points...
     
  24. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    I have added a tab on Sir Dracula Dupree’s spreadsheet to include the numbers that he had at the shelter.
    His last two ratings at the shelter with 2u insulin were 255 & 333. I just tested him earlier on the ReliOn Premier Blu meter I bought this morning and he read at 375. Keeping in mind he has been off insulin since the transport 11/21
     
  25. Panic

    Panic Member

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    Apr 10, 2019
    I've used both kinds but never compared the two personally but there was definitely a noticeable decrease in numbers when I switched to a human meter. Many other people here have compared the two with varying results, some being very close (like yours) and others being noticably different. What's more important is the pattern of the numbers anyway. For me I realize that if my human meter says my girl is near 300 she's probably more like 350 or something or another. 350 to 500 may admittedly be a bit of a stretch but either way 350 is too high so what's it matter how high it actually is.
     
  26. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Regarding meters - Pet meters are calibrated to run a bit higher than a human meter. A 50 on a human meter is a 68 on a meter like the Alpha Track. There is likely a mathematical formula that explains how they differ at lower than higher numbers but the bottom line is that regardless of what type of meter you use, you need to know when to reduce the dose. The preceding numbers are those points. Ultimately, I suspect for most people here, we rely on human meters due to the cost of strips for an AT2 or other pet meters. The strips for these meters run about $1 each vs anywhere from 17 - 25 cents for strips for a human meter if you're purchasing online.

    There is alway measurement error regardless of what kind of instrument you're using -- a thermometer, a blood pressure cuff, or a glucometer. With glucometers, the manufacturers are allowed +/- 20% on any test. We really don't sweat the measurement error other than to note that if you test and get a 70 at one point and test 30 min later and get an 80, they are likely pretty much the same number.

    Food - I'm not sure if anyone provided you with a link to Lisa Pierson, DVM's food chart. The chart lists a huge number of canned food varieties along with their carbohydrate and other nutritional counts. For a diabetic kitty, you want to keep the carb content in what you're feeding below 10%. Most of us feed appreciably lower than 10% -- probably closer to half that number. Since you're experimenting with foods, Dr. Lisa's list will make your work at a pet store a bit easier. Also as an FYI, once you start insulin, you will want to have both medium carb (10 - 15%) and high carb (over 15%) food on hand. Should Sir Dracula's numbers drop into lower ranges, having high carb (HC) food on hand will allow you to get his numbers safely back to a good range.

    Please let us know if you have questions. We're here to help.
     
  27. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    Thank you! I will be relying on the ReliOn premier strips and Blu monitor. I did find Lisa’s food list and have been choosing off of that sheet and numbers. I will begin looking for a few cans of medium and high content so that I can have it in my toolkit just in case. As of now he is not on insulin and his number today on the ReliOn was 375.
     
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  28. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    The shelter had shaved a patch off hair off his right rear leg in order to draw blood for BG testing and other vet work. I see everyone here seems to use the ears for testing. Is the shaved patch where there is a vein line not a good place for testing? Should I use ears only?
     
  29. Panic

    Panic Member

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    Apr 10, 2019
    My vet techs use the leg too, I wouldn't use that area though, it's a two-person job there anyway I think. Most of us use the ear, it's the easiest area and kitties don't feel it. You can use the paw pad too but it can get infected what with walking outside and/or litter box use.
     
  30. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    Okay thank you. Most teachings I have seen use legs if they are shaved so I used the leg earlier and he allowed me to do it by myself with him just laying there for it all without moving. I was surprised but then I saw the ears in the forum and figured I would check and ask.
     
  31. Panic

    Panic Member

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    Apr 10, 2019
    In that case I'd be curious to hear from other members the pros/cons of using the leg vein. We avoid the vein on the ear because it can cause bruising, I would think it applies the same on the leg?
     
  32. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    I don’t want to cause him pain, but it didn’t seem to bother him. I’ll wait and see what other members say prior to using the leg again. I will do the ear when I test tonight
     
  33. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] Diabetic Cat Care Home Testing Your Cat’s BG
    Hi when testing on the ear don't go straight down do it on an angle
     
  34. Diane Tyler's Mom

    Diane Tyler's Mom Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Saved from felinediabetes.com
     
  35. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    If you try and succeed in hitting the vein, leg or ear, you will end up with a testing spot that looks like a scene from CSI. As the diagram points out, you want to try to avoid the vein. When initially testing on the ear, you want a wider gauge lancet (e.g., 26 - 28 gauge). It will take a bit of time for the capillary bed in the ear to build up. Once it does, you can shift to a thinner lancet (e.g., 30 gauge or higher -- the larger the number the thinner the lancet).

    Most people here test on the ear. Some cats do not like their ears handled. If this is the case, people typically test using a paw pad.
     
  36. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    Testing him tonight was 305 and 311
     
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  37. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

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    Dec 31, 2009
    Hi, an oldie here. I have looked at your spreadsheet and I have to use this bg Conversion in order to give a little input to you of what my vets school at My Animal Hospital taught me with Simba http://www.felinediabetes.com/bg-convert.htm

    305 seem to validate that you might start him on micro dosing, our school here is Start Low, Go Slow, until his bgs starts to respond to foods. So if go slow in 0,5 IU steps with the Vetsulin, but the Vetsuliners can give better input on such a recourse for you so his bg numbers comes down quicker to avoid Diabetes Keto Acidosis, DKA.

    If 180 (10 in mmol) my Animal Hospital's Diabetes Team Vets told me to never give insulin since from there and under 180 it is not safe. So that is something I have never done. And we've had both an NPH insulin Insulatard and then Lantus, two very different.

    Hope I didn't confuse you.

    I think you are Fantastic and your young handsome gentleman there seem to be Fantastic too, and the two of you look so good together.
     
  38. Chris & China (GA)

    Chris & China (GA) Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    You don't need these….they're very drying, especially to a cat's delicate skin. Some people use them to swap the rubber stopper on the insulin, but you shouldn't use them on his ears for testing and it's really not necessary for shots either.

    Vets usually swab before giving vaccines, but the truth is it's probably more because that's what they learned from their predecessors ...who learned from their predecessors...who learned from......You get the idea.

    For alcohol to actually do anything it has to stay in contact with the skin for longer than a quick "swipe"
     
  39. Bethany&SirDraculaDupree

    Bethany&SirDraculaDupree Member

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    Nov 29, 2019
    I’m so glad ! Figured out my issue with testing was that his ears weren’t warm enough even though they had seemed to be. I spent extra time today with warming and the testing went so much better! AND his number was the lowest so far for testing! 274! On our way! Yay
     
  40. Ann & Scatcats

    Ann & Scatcats Well-Known Member

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    Dec 31, 2009
    Yeah! Success! Now you got that first one under your belt! :bighug: Feel the empowerment :cat:

    Some use those rice filled things one can heat up first in a microwave and warm the ear parts with first. Actually don't know their actual name :)

    Dupree the expert master :cat:
     

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