SUCCESS!!!!!!!! Zoot! Day 2 - no test just gave insulin

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Cinnie Cole, Jun 12, 2019 at 5:18 AM.

  1. Cinnie Cole

    Cinnie Cole Member

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    Jun 1, 2019
    I poked about 20 holes in poor Zoot's ear trying to get a reading this AM. This after I applied the warm sock with rice to warm it. I could not get any blood except from my finger which I poked about a third of the times. I even tried freehand, but I cannot see the needle that well and he cried when I tried that way.

    I am in tears. I just gave him his insulin. His pee showed trace ketones as it has since I started checking 3 days ago; and darker color for BG, but I cannot get a good reading from those ketodiastix because we could not find them at a pharmacy anywhere around and the Dr gave us a few, but nothing to compare results to like they have on a bottle. I get diastix today from Amazon.

    I don't know what I am going to do - my husband says getting blood should be simple but I cannot get any. I am angry and frustrated and I feel like I am hurting Zoot!, not helping him, by sticking him over and over.
     
  2. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Ugh! I remember having the same problems when I first started testing. It will get easier! What size are your lancets? Have you tried both ears? Many of us have noticed one ear seems to bleed more easily than the other. Also be sure to milk the ear by vigorously rubbing from the base towards the poke spot . I did that before and after the poke. Poke close to the edge of the ear. I had poked a little farther in at first and was surprised at how much easier it was to get blood when I poked right on the edge.
     
  3. Cinnie Cole

    Cinnie Cole Member

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    Jun 1, 2019
    Thanks. I am really shaken. This poor guy. I used size 26 lancets and both ears. He is so frantic for food in the morning it is really difficult to get him to stay still (he was practically starving when we found him coming out of the woods at 8 months old and food is his only motivation). He is always anxiously looking for food and having to wait for food while I do this testing is clearly stress-inducing. I know people say it will become easier, but he is so stressed when I do it, that my heart is just crushed.
     
  4. Amy47

    Amy47 Member

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    May 30, 2019
    Hi Cinnie. First, its all going to be ok even though it doesn't feel that way right now. We have been where you are right now. When we first started testing we had a couple times when we couldn't get blood & poked several times. My boy was very upset & we felt awful. Sometimes one ear is better than the other at first. The pre rub is important for us. I rub base to tip & get that blood flowing best I can before I use the lancet! I also learned to give it a second after the stick & rub the ear from the base & a tiny droplet formed. Initially when I started this & didn't see blood immediately I assumed no blood was coming & poked again..& again. Then one day while getting a new lancet, I noticed blood slowly but surely coming from the 1st stick. We also had issues with the lancet device at first-wasn't deep enough. We now freehand & that works better for us. Everyone is different, but for me, in the very beginning, I would stop after a few sticks because I read in a journal article that if the cat gets stressed, the BG reading will be high & not therefore not as helpful.

    What others say on the board--the ears will start to bleed easier with time--is so true! You will get this & Zoot will adjust with time. The treats after the BG testing make a huge difference for us. It took about a week & then while doing a curve, he came running out to our den vs hiding after one of his BG checks. He was excited & had the "hey, what about my treat?" I now make sure to have it with me now so its I can give it to him immediately after he's tested.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 6:42 AM
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  5. Cinnie Cole

    Cinnie Cole Member

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    Jun 1, 2019
    Thanks. I will try to pull myself together and get a reading in a couple of hours.
     
  6. Amy47

    Amy47 Member

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    May 30, 2019
    Ben & Jerry's! I literally left one night & found solace in the grocery store & my ice cream purchase. Whatever helps you de stress is important. They do pick up on our emotions, so I took some deep breaths, reminded myself why I was doing this & that like all things, theres a learning curve. Of course, the escape to the grocery store & ice cream helped as well :)!
     
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  7. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Before food testing was difficult at first with my hungry boy too! I started by testing after he ate and when I got better at it, we started the before food testing. If you manage to get one right after he eats, the food will not have had time to affect his BG, but try anytime during the day for practice. All tests are good data!
     
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  8. Amy47

    Amy47 Member

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    May 30, 2019
    Sharon-EXCELLENT point re: the food not affecting anything immediately :)
     
  9. Cinnie Cole

    Cinnie Cole Member

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    Jun 1, 2019
    thanks. Well, I just tried 2 more times and could not get any blood with settings at 3 and 4 on the lance device. It just stresses him. I even watch the video on this site (and two on youtube) before trying, and followed as best I can.
     
  10. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2015
    Don’t give up, you will get this!!! One thing I’ve seen mentioned on here is when you poke, poke 3 times quickly, one right after the other, then milk the ear. Maybe try that next time.
     
  11. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    initially, Catcat would NOT stay still for an ear prick, he fought with all the weapons at his command
    even now, the only way I can get a test, is if he has his nose in the food bowl

    I use only a heaping tablespoon of food, mixed with as much or more water, so it's soupy and he has to lap it up not bite it

    I freehand, so it's: slide tissue in front of the ear (sneakily), grab ear and prick, let go as he laps a few more times, check to see if blood is showing (the motion of his head and body seems to encourage flow), if necessary then prick again, lightly quickly. and massage the ear up from the base -- by then I have a droplet big enough to test

    have sporadic success with moving meter+strip over and "sipping" from the droplet on his ear, but more often I need to scoop the blood droplet off with my little sample spoon, and test the droplet on that (Catcat seems to prefer that IF he doesn't shy away from the spoon) -- I bite my fingernails so rarely have one available to use that technique -- have tested his blood as it smeared and pooled on my finger skin
     
  12. Mamakin

    Mamakin Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    Hi Cinnie I'm going to try and post a picture of what I use to draw blood
    My vet has them and I have no problem , so much more control and you can see where the end of the needle is, I'll try to post it for you
    IMG_20190612_101642.jpg
     
  13. Mamakin

    Mamakin Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    IMG_20190612_101935.jpg
    You hold the top of it where it's yellow, like a little handle or whatever you want to call it lol, but you have great control and can see where you are going to poke because it's long enough. A box of 100 cost me 11.00 and the needle is nice and thin, it doesn't block your view like a lancet does when you hold it because it's so short. So you just hold the needle I posted free hand
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 9:48 AM
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  14. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Everything will be okay. One thing that I found that helps with my cats is to massage their ears from the base towards the tip. Do this whenever you are petting him. This starts to help get the blood flowing towards the tip. Even though I do not have any diabetic cats now, I still do it with all of my cats just in case I ever have to test any of them. Plus they like it.

    I always found it easier to use the lancet free hand instead of using the device. By doing this I felt I had more control where it will go into the ear. Try practicing using it that way to get comfortable with trying to poke. If you are having problems seeing where you should be hitting the ear one suggestion is to try to have a light underneath it. If you take a flashlight and shine it through your cat's ear, you will see the little vein that runs along the outside. You're trying to aim to the little spot between the edge of the ear and the vein. However if you do get the vein it's not a big deal. Just make sure that you have a paper towel or napkin nearby since you will get a larger drop of blood then you really need. And if Zoot is like my cats, he will shake his head and you will get blood all over your walls. It's amazing how far one little drop of blood can spread. :eek:

    If it's still too difficult to see where you're poking try using craft magnifiers to see the ear better. I have a pair that I use for any type of work I'm doing up close and it's amazing how much detail you can see with these. Here is a link or very inexpensive pair of magnifiers. I just ordered these so I don't know how well they work but based on my experience for my other pairs they should be great. https://www.walmart.com/ip/1-5X-1X-...-Free-Magnifier-Illuminated-5-Upgra/321252145

    Most importantly, relax. I know that sounds difficult especially when you're stressed but your cat will pick up on it. If you are stressed or upset, Zoot also will be. The more practice you have with testing the easier you will find it to be. You just need to find a method that works best for you.
     
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  15. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Jun 7, 2019
    I feel your pain. Pinot was diagnosed last Thursday and we purchased our glucose meter Sunday and tried testing for the first time Sunday. Pinot is a very difficult to handle cat. I have to put on motorcycle gloves just to get him in his carrier for vet visits. He won’t go to my wife and the only time she can touch him is when his face is in a bowl. The only saving grace is he will get on my lap and let me touch him then. I too have poked many times with no blood and have poked my finger numerous times. I felt so bad because I know if I’m poking my finger I’m going completely through his ear. I’ve been able to do 4 test so far. I’ve found a self adhering elastic bandage from Walmart saves my fingers. I wrap it around the tip of my thumb and index fingers. It acts as a firm backing for poking the lancet. I’ve only been able to get blood from one location on the outside of his left ear. I tried the right ear a few times yesterday but no blood. Another thing I realized today was many of the YouTube vet videos actually indicate to prick the vein on the outside of the ear. I had the impression I was not supposed to prick the vein. I haven’t tried it yet. I want to get the thoughts from the experts here first. I have noticed that from Sunday until now it is getting easier, both me and Pinot are learning. A week ago I was very down and would have bet anything I would never be able to test him. Yesterday was the first time I started feeling this might be doable. To read more of my details read the post OMG 1st Bloodtest/advice. The experienced forum members are lifesavers. I still get anxiety thinking about testing. We can do this! Hang in there.
     
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  16. Mamakin

    Mamakin Member

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    Sep 21, 2018
    Hi Lisa I also use a flashlight , you can see the vein so much better
     
  17. Amy47

    Amy47 Member

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    May 30, 2019
    If it makes you feel any better or at least in good company, I just tried to get a BG & didn't succeed. Its the first time in awhile thats happened, but it still does happen! I've learned to accept that this happens & not get upset, especially if all other variables (which are important, its not all about BG) like how he is acting (clinical signs), urine etc.. We will be successful next time :).
     
  18. nslade001

    nslade001 Member

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    Nov 12, 2018
    Hi, while you do get more blood when you prick the vein, it's not generally advised because (1) it's more painful, and (2) takes longer to stop the bleeding (ie/ have to hold and apply pressure longer), which is especially fun after a painful poke. You'll find that out when you do it by accident ;) With love, nikki
     
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  19. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    one thing I haven't heard mentioned (at least that I noticed) -- just as with the insulin injection, if you are looking at the lancet, you will see it is beveled (I find it hard to see even with reading glasses, but I look for the "shiny" side) -- you want the pointiest end of the bevel (am sure there's a technical word but you know what I mean) to go in first

    so make sure the shiny bit is upwards, then the skinniest part of the lancet (or the insulin needle) will go in first, less painful, smoother insertion

    if you're using a lancet device/pen, it's more difficult to spot this, but I think it makes a difference, both to you and the cat
     
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  20. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Jun 7, 2019
    Thanks Nikki. So the ideal place is between that vein and the outer edge of the ear? Also thanks Mamakin for sharing the Sur-Vet Needle. I think that would be a great option for me. I’ve been free handing with a lancet but really can’t see the tip of it. I’m going to find some of these!
     
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  21. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    another thought about the lancet device -- most of these are engineered for puncturing humans, held at right angles to the skin surface, so the lancet goes downward through the somewhat thicker skin of a human

    for cats, a different story, skin is thin, in the best situation you are going through only one layer, not very deep -- by pricking with the lancet at something like 45 degrees to vertical, and angling towards the top of the ear, you are more likely to strike a capillary or two, doing less damage to the ear overall

    of course, if your cat is like mine, and flinches, moves, jerks -- you have to put up with the damage he inflicts on himself, do your best to let him heal, feed him treats, let him come to realize that it's only a momentary thing, such as when another cat swats him

    sometimes I've wished for a third hand, to hold head STILL -- however a second person can be more of a distraction than a help --
     
  22. nslade001

    nslade001 Member

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    Nov 12, 2018
    Yes, it's called the sweet spot lol here's a pic 28ecb8dd.jpg
     
  23. Daddy Jack's Mommy

    Daddy Jack's Mommy Member

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    Feb 18, 2019
    Hi Cinnie. Like others have said here, it really will get better. It took days for me to actually get blood from Jack's ears when he was first diagnosed. I just couldn't imagine that it was ever going to happen and that it would become easier as quickly as it did. As you poke, more capillaries will grow in the ears, and one day, you'll see blood! It's so hard to relax through all of this, but try to stay as calm as possible so Zoot doesn't pick up on fear and react to that fear. You're doing a great job! You've committed yourself to taking care of Zoot in the best possible way.

    When using the lancet free hand, go in at a angle (not a straight poke) and as Sharon suggested, poke a few times (if he lets you). Try and aim for the edge of the ear, and don't worry if you go through the ear or if you hit a vein. I have gone through Jack's ear so many times that I couldn't count. It heals. And once Zoot catches on, he'll be more concerned about the treat that follows then he will about the ear poke (this is usually the case). Candy had great advice - test him while he's eating (or right after he eats, so he will be calmer). And make sure the ear is good and warm before you poke. I use an empty pill bottle filled with hot water to warm Jack's ear, and he truly enjoys that part of it. I speak softly to him, and he purrs the whole time.

    Also, there are some who find it easier to get blood from the paw pad. It would be done the same way - warm it first then test.
     
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  24. Cinnie Cole

    Cinnie Cole Member

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    Jun 1, 2019
    Thanks all. I tried again just now massaging his ears from base to edge then using the lancet device while he was resting just now; I can get it between the vein and edge (I think) but I still don't get any blood despite the 26 gauge lancet. I was able to use my husband's Verio brand yesterday, but we only have 33 gauge for that at the moment. I may try free hand next time. Thanks for the advice on the other needles. I will ask my vet.
     
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  25. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    lancets come in several different styles and gauges -- my personal go-to is a Leader 28-gauge one, but I've tried, and been successful, with OneTouch ultra-softs (? 29 gauge? not marked), OneTouch Delicas (31 gauge), and ReliOn Micros (33 gauge -- had to prick multiple times but apparently didn't hurt) -- also some generic white lancets donated to me, guesstimating 30 gauge

    I like the slightly longer needle on the Leader lancets, easier to see where it's going (even with 3.25 power reading glasses, I don't see that well close up), but the thicker gauge causes louder growls from Catcat -- does usually give me an easier droplet to test
     
  26. Bubby & Ash

    Bubby & Ash New Member

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    Mar 4, 2018
    Do not feel alone at all, it’s hard at the beginning! My hands used to shake so much I had to have a second person to touch the strip to the blood or I’d more than likely miss and smudge it. And it’s like second nature now. I have just a couple of things that I don’t think I saw mentioned. I have found the use of a headlamp to be essential in viewing the vein and blood as it appears. It made a massive difference for me. I also used a large lancet at first and had a ton of trouble. But once I switched to a smaller one (30 gauge) I had a much better time, almost like it was sharper. I think people vary in their preferences but for me, smaller was much more effective. And I always have a folded up tissue behind the ear so there are no inadvertent self pokes. Good luck, it’ll get easier as everyone is attesting!
     
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  27. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Jul 19, 2011
    I'll share a grin - just adopted my third diabetic baby Monday and am having issues getting blood too. I've been 'poky-ing' kitties for 9 years so it's not 'technique', it's his ears. Shelly, previous MamaBean, tested a lot, my boy's issue may be stress right now.

    Each pokie gets you closer to being able to get blood almost every time. With each lance, the body grows very small capillaries to send healing blood to that spot. The more capillaries in the area, the more likely to bleed easily. Time...I'm even having to remind myself of this today. :)
     
  28. nslade001

    nslade001 Member

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    Nov 12, 2018
    Oh, YES! I also have a backup, just in case. Cheapy dollar store, but adjustable angle. Also awesome for pajama party testing, and useful when injecting insulin (I like to see the skin, unnecessary but hey.)
    With love, Nikki
     
  29. Cinnie Cole

    Cinnie Cole Member

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    Jun 1, 2019
    Tried again this time with my husband and the verio, three tries and still no luck, although there was a tiny bit of blood but not enough for the meter. Husband thinks we should use a ear/nose hair trimmer to remove the hair on the ear. I don't know - does anyone do that? I won't go that route unless there is feedback from you that it makes sense.
     
  30. Cinnie Cole

    Cinnie Cole Member

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    Jun 1, 2019
    OMG OMG OMG! We used the Verio OneTouch with 30 gauge and massaged his ear and tested at +10 and we got a 321 reading. It is getting close to his next shot and dinner so that seems consistent with previous readings. HOORAY! We didn't give up. Hopefully we will have fewer bumps going forward.:bighug::bighug::rb_icon:
     
  31. Robert Vittetoe

    Robert Vittetoe Member

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    Jun 7, 2019
    Good for all of you! One day at a time.
     
  32. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Congrats on the successful test.
     
  33. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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