Sweet Tango - Newly diagnosed - help with food, please

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Sweet Tango, Jul 12, 2019 at 11:16 AM.

  1. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    Hi. My cat was diagnosed about a week ago. As per Vet, we changed him to wet food ony first, to see how much his BG would drop and it actually went from 439 to 311 in one week without insulin. I have follow visit with Vet on Monday and I’m ready to get him started on insulin. The only thing I am having difficultly right now with, is servings. I have found out that DM prescription is not the best choice. Any suggestions on how many servings of high protein, low carb canned foods I should be giving a day?
     
  2. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    Hi, certainly we can help you to figure out foods but may I ask you to post (to create) your own thread? @Sweet Tango
    This is an old thread for somebody else's cat and it is best if you can post on the Main Forum - click HERE to get there - the new question pertaining to your kitty's situation.
    The site a little difficult to navigate at first so let me know if you need help with posting.
     
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  3. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    @Sweet Tango
    Welcome to the FDMB! Here's your new thread. :)
     
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  4. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    welcome! :bighug:

    read the posting "New? How You Can Help" -- and be prepared to learn a LOT in a short time

    before we can advise about how much to feed, we need to know how much your cat weighs, how much (s)he SHOULD weigh, and any other complications along with the diabetes .. there are rough guidelines available, but it's helpful to know the details

    there's a lot you can do to help your cat live with diabetes, or move towards remission -- listen to the experienced members here since they've been living with FD 24/7 for years, and have found the ways that work
     
  5. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    the general idea is to feed low carbs food, below 10% level - there are plenty to choose from the chart attached below.
    Most people on here choose either Fancy Feast Pate or Friskies Pate, the most economical /easy accessible option.

    Many vets still recommend to feed twice a day which is rather outdated thinking. Small portions thru the day is much better for diabetics. The total amount of food in 24 h depends on what your kitty needs at the moment - to maintain, to loose or to gain weight. Tell us more about your cat.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    Thanks. He weighs 14 lbs which is where he should be. We haven’t started any insulin yet. Vet wanted to see if BG would go down, which it did. He is 12 years old. Doing great on wet food but lethargic.
     
  7. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    We have seen on this Forum many kitties who are diet controlled and I wish your is the one of them. Many came here with the "pre-diabetic" Dx, just like you have, and then after switching to low carbs wet food their kitties didn't need to start insulin at all.

    I cannot recall the carbs level of DM that you are feeding but I think it is close to 6% or 7% carbs per 100Kcal.
    It is good range for diabetics. But in the chart I attached you can find foods which are lower level or no carbs at all and see if that will bring the BG even lower than the DM does at the moment.

    DO you test at home?
    You can get human meter such as Relion (affordable & easy to use) from Walmart and keep on eye on BG whilst feeding lower carbs food. Fingers crossed he will go to normal ranges and won;t need insulin. Tests done at home are the most accurate and provide you with true picture of what is going on with BG. Tests performed at vets are stress influenced (could be up to 200 points!), artificially high and make many vets to start at a higher doses of insulin than needed.

    Many explanations for lethargy but I think it is due to being in high numbers. That's how it was with my girl.
    Her energy restored after we reached some degree of control.
    @Sweet Tango
     
  8. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    Thank you!!! I have not tested at home. He is doing so well on food only. But is definitely more tired than usual and doesn’t run around. How long would you say to wait to see if he will/won’t need insulin?
     
  9. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    The food changes can take probably a couple of days to show the effect (if any) but unless you test at home you won't know if it works or you are wasting the time and keeping him in high BG.
    I am very glad to hear he is doing well but being lethargic +(presumably) high BG + no insulin is a little concerning.
    Do watch out for his appetite.
    In case of a food intake/appy decrease call your vet.

    I wish I knew how to persuade you to start testing at home...
    I worry that even if you are successful with the food switch and he does appear doing well and then you go to the vet for the check up - add stress and the BG will go up. The vet then will have to start insulin because of the high number (stress influenced). Testing at home will give you the most accurate read.
    Would you be willing to try to test at home?
    It is extremely useful tool when dealing with diabetes.

    If you are going to try very low carbs food take a look at the Tiki brand in the chart I attached earlier.
    I feed my cat sometimes Puka Puka Luau - shredded white meat chicken, zero carbs, high protein and very low fat, good quality. Other flavors are just as fine and either no or low carbs.

    What do you think about home testing?
    @Sweet Tango
     
  10. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    I can start testing at home, but my cats ears are already very sore and sensitive. He had previously been scratching them and the old Vet (who I don’t go to anymore) gave him a cortisone shot about 2 months ago which I think triggered this diabetic reaction. :( I know that people say it doesn’t hurt their ears, but I think it may. I do know though, that’s it’s obviously better for him to receive a prick on his ear and know his BG level, then to not know, and leave it in the hands of the vet and pay hundreds of $’s that I don’t have, and stress my cat out - - continuously taking him to the vet.
     
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  11. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    Neosporin + pain has been a godsend for us -- even though I carefully compress Catcat's ears after pricking, they do still get pink and sometimes bleed more later

    doesn't seem to hurt some cats, but Catcat lets me know that it does hurt him -- he forgives me right away when the bonito curl treats come out -- he hasn't gotten to the place where he hangs out at the testing area waiting -- but he's gotten to letting me know that "it's time" -- for his pre-test mini meal
     
  12. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    Good morning,
    I do completely understand your concerns but the answer is yes - the home testing is the thing to go even if it means pricking the ear and "hurt" your baby.

    The ear is the #1 testing location to go to because Mother Nature made sure already it is the least painful area for the cats because the ears lack the pain sensors/ nerves and the Capillary (the tiniest blood veins) in the ears grow fast making the prick even less painful. Many people here used Neosporin Ointment (not cream!) with pain reliever after the test - ~$4 @Walmart. About Tango ears being already sore - some people use Paws instead but I never done it. If you post about "How to test BG @the Paws?" I am sure many people will share their experiences.
    (I see @CandyH and Catcat has already bit me to it, I am a slow typist).

    It is better to receive the prick, honestly. Not only the $$$ for vets that matters but as I said earlier - the home tests are more accurate than the @ the Vet's. Highly likely that when at the Vet the stress will elevate the BG and insulin will be required.
     
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  13. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    I have an idea for you to try if you are willing:

    You said that you have the follow up appointment on Monday, right?
    Was it set to make the final determination about whether or not to start insulin?

    If yes :I think it would be very good idea if you can dedicate this weekend to experiment with feeding the lowest carbs food + home testing, collect the BG readings over Sa & Su and pop up on Monday at tge vet already having an idea about Tango reaction to no carbs foods. Doctors like to see the data - the tests collection is the perfect way to assess the possibility of diet control WO insulin; 2 full days for such an experiment is not a lot but quite enough to weigh in pros and cons of starting the dose.

    Will you be able/ willing/ interested to try?
    The plan is to take BG in AM before feeding very low carbs foods, then test 3 hours after that and then some more during the day as possible and convenient. The first fasting test is to establish the base; the consequent tests will reveal how Tango reacts to the low carbs food - by how many points his BG will go up after meals. Many cats go naturally lower at night so a test late in the evening would be enormously helpful. Do it for two days - this weekend- and you can have very informative and constructive conversation with your vet having actual data in your hands.

    This ought to sound daunting for the newly diagnosed cat mom but I really believe it worth your while (assuming you have this weekend available).

    Please say you are interested...
    ..I'll post more if you are up to it
     
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  14. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    Yes. I can do this. I haven’t even bought a home glucose tester. Any recommendations on which one to buy? Also, even though he is responding great to food changes, doesn’t appear to be in any pain, etc., he is still tired. He goes to sleep after every meal. Doesn’t run around and play at all like he used to. If the insulin will give him that boost, I’m willing to start him on it. I just want to be sure.
     
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  15. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    :D:D:D
    give me a minute please - my old PC is slow. BRB.
     
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  16. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    Good! Just let make sure first that he needs that dose in the 1st place.

    So the starting kit for newly Dxed cat is:
    (all from Walmart):
    -Relion Prime meter ~$10
    -Relion Prime testing strips ~10/ 50CT
    -Relion Lancets gauge 26 or 28 (30 or 31 will do too but better to start with the larger needle) ~less than $5/ 100 CT
    - Bag of cotton balls/ cotton rounds ~$3
    -Neosporin ointment WITH pain relieve ~$4
    -Relion Ketone dip stix (optional @this time) ~$7

    Foods: you can try Fancy Feast Naturals or Fancy Feast Classic (the most popular here) lines from Walmart (the most economical) or the Tiki Cat (any flavor but try Puka Puka Luau, Koolina Luau or Salmon - I use it and Ducia likes it a lot). I got Tiki from Petco, it is $$$ but very good quality food.

    Please make sure you read the FF labels carefully - they make a lot of food of varying carbs levels and the cans do look alike a lot. The point is to try the lowest carbs content. Check the food chart I gave you to decide which ones you are buying. Aim at 0% or 2-3% carbs total.

    More to come in a minute...
     
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  17. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    You have spoken with @JanetNJ on the other thread, right? - she has a link in her signature to the awesome video tutorial as to how to test at home - for the ears. Check it out - imho it is the best video on the subject.

    If you want to start with paws do create the new Thread "Help with Paw testing ASAP" and then go to Walmart - people will have the time to respond and make suggestions whilst you are shopping.
     
  18. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    Do not worry about starting all on your own - tell when and I'll pop up here to help.
    HERE is the testing tips, you can review when needed (do bookmark the page for future) but in short:

    Testing

    We all know the basics:
    • Warm the ear with a rice sock or a warm washcloth wrapped in a plastic bag.
    • Either freehand or use a lancing device; new members usually start with a larger gauge lancet such as 28g or 29g until the ear learns to bleed; then progress to a 31g or 33g which are finer.
    • Be sure to poke in the "sweet spot" and not the major vein that runs along the length of the ear. Poking the vein will not only hurt, but will result in a lot of blood. The sweet spot is on the edge of the ear.
    [​IMG]

    The drawing shows how to avoid pricking the vein that goes along the edge of the ear and use the space between the vein and the ear's edge. Or you can do paws if you wish.

    I promise that testing will turn out much easier that you may think of it right now.
    If Tango will need insulin after all then you already prepared and know how to test which will keep him safe from Hypoglycemia - very dangerous condition for cats on the dose.

    Are you info overloaded yet?;)
    I have plenty more to say but I think it is the base for the experiment for the weekend.
    If you need to start insulin you'll catch up on it later as you go.
     
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  19. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    if Sweet Tango shies away from cotton balls/squares (Catcat did, at first) a square of toilet tissue, folded several times to a rectangle, works fine to "back up" the ear when you poke, and it's then easy to fold it over ear and hold 20-30 seconds until prick stops bleeding -- it's absorbent and probably as sterile as anything

    if you can't get the test strip (sticking out of the meter) into the blood droplet on the ear, before cat shakes head, you can collect the blood drop on fingernail (if you have any, I usually don't, I bite them), or a tiny spoon, or cosmetic scraper, I use one I got with a sample at Baskin Robbins ice cream -- or for that matter a loose fake fingernail -- that way you can insert strip into blood drop without bothering cat --
     
  20. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    I almost forget:

    you need "bribes" or treats for testing cooperation. What is Tango's very favorite treat?

    My Ducia can kill for a piece of very plain chicken - baked mostly but boiled works too.

    Whatever he likes the best - make sure he gets 1 piece of treat just before you attempt to test and then one or two more after the test (regardless of whether you are successful or not at drawing the blood!).
     
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  21. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    absolutely -- Catcat would kill for bonito curls/flakes -- cheaper if you buy it at a store that carries Japanese or Oriental products (human food used to make broth, may be listed as katsuobushi), but Cat Man Doo brand has the feline version, can buy that at Amazon, Chewy, etc ...
     
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  22. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    Yes. Completely overloaded and petrified. I know as per everyone, that “it’s not hard” but for me it is. I am going to read everything over and hopefully get this done. I will keep you posted and I seriously can’t thank you enough.
     
  23. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    I know the feeling, truly. It was hell on earth for me back then.

    One more tip on how to start testing: do try the desensitization method by slowly getting Tango used to the new fact of life that you are going to be touching his ears and it is not bad at all. And it brings up yummy treats.

    Choose the place in the house where it is convenient to always test your cat. Some use counter-tops in the kitchen for the best light and some – bathroom floor. Sit behind him as if you are going to do the test but instead gently massage his ear (the one you are going to prick) until warmed up – 10-15 sec.

    Let him get used to the sensation. Do not attempt to test just pretend and let him have the bribe (treat) and then let him go. Repeat the same in awhile a few times before actually making the test. Smaller treats works best as you don’t want him to loose interests in it. Finally, when you see him behave ok with all the ears massages, etc., do attempt to take the test.

    I use Jeweler’s glasses with good magnifying qualities to aim at the small ear area between the edge and vein which is better visible if the source of the light is in front of the patient. Others use just plain readers. You’ll need only small drop to get the reading. If the blood does not come out easily “milk” the ear until you see a drop forming. Dip the strip in, wait for the test result to appear. It is the moment when a lot of cats try to either back/wiggle away or bolt or shake their head. Be prepared.

    After the test is done press the cotton ball, gently, against the puncture site to stop bleeding. Apply tiniest dab of Neosporin on the site. Give treats and hugs. Janet’s video is really the best one.

    Sorry for the overload.
    I just wish you & Tango the very best experience for the weekend that may proof he won't need insulin.
    Whatever questions you may have please post. Everyone on here was in your shoes and will be willing to assist.
    Very best of luck!
    @Sweet Tango
     
  24. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    The first couple weeks is hard. It gets easier.
     
  25. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    Thank you so much, Janet! I really appreciate. He is so lethargic though, that I am pretty confident he will need insulin and will do anything I need to do for him.
     
  26. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate it!
     
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  27. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Believe it or not, he doesn’t really like treats but he does like to lick cheese, as well as butter off my finger.
     
  28. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Hi there @Sweet Tango

    I was wondering if there were any news?
    How's Tango doing?
     
  29. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    Hi Tanya,

    Thank you so much for checking in. I was able to get in touch with a very kind woman who came by over the weekend to test his BG (she had a really difficult time doing it) and it came up as 220 which is a huge improvement from his initial 439, but I know that that it is still too high. I am taking him to Vet tomorrow for re-check and am assuming he will most likely get him started on insulin. I'm actually more comfortable giving insulin, than I am with checking his BG. I know how important it is to check him before shooting, as it has been engrained in me at this point. I also know that "it gets easier to check him through time" but at this point, I am just not comfortable checking his glucose and am going to have to seek in person help until I get comfortable. I know that the Vet will tell me "you don't have to check BG" and I am aware that this is NOT true. Regardless of all the tutorials, I am just not able to check him myself just yet, and am trying to seek assistance in my area. This forum is absolutely amazing!! I could just really use the in person assistance until I get comfortable with this, as I get stressed out very easily and my family is getting worried on what this is doing to my health. :(
     
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  30. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    It took me SO long to start home testing my kitty because I was the same way. I would pretty much have a mini panic attack at the thought of trying to test her myself - racing heart, sweating, the whole deal, which of course just made her nervous as well. I also had someone come over and try to test my kitty for me and it was not very successful. I eventually just had to tell myself to suck it up and do it, but it was VERY hard to get to that point for me

    So I’ll just echo what you already know and say that it really does get easier! Sometimes we just need some time to gather up the courage. I think it’s great that you’re at least attempting to have someone help you get those readings in the meantime!
     
  31. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    something to think about -- home testing could, and probably WOULD, save his life

    be sure to tell him that, have a heart to heart conversation, ask him to help you get to a safe and level place to do the testing, no, it's not comfortable at first, far from it, and it can take time, I still wind up with sweaty hands, but I tell myself, this is SAVING HIS LIFE and letting him be more comfortable in his body, keeping him from all the complications that diabetes can bring
     
  32. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    Hi, thank you for posting the update!
    220 is higher than the none diabetics run but I would not call it "TOO high".
    Even if Tango eats lowest carbs foods, the number isn't too bad.
    Please mention that hometest result to your vet - although one time does not count he still might take it in to his consideration and start on a more cautiously with not too large of a dose. Human meters run lower than the pet specific ones though. Please keep ud updated as to how things go with insulin.
    Very best luck to both of you!
     
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  33. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    Thank you! I have been trying to get his numbers down naturally first before getting started with insulin. Hes just so tired all the time!!! Today was not a good day for him. Super tired and Stomach was upset and he’s also been scratching his ears (this has been going on since February) and I’m super worried. Wondering what will happen at vets office tomorrow. Seems like every day is a struggle.
     
  34. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Any other symptoms, like nausea? Is he scratching the inside of his ears or the outside? Is he on a new food?

    I ask because Sophie had GI problems, as well as nausea (deep swallowing after eating, lip licking) and she would constantly dig in her ears. Even though multiple vets dismissed me, I always suspected she had a food intolerance and since switching her food those symptoms have all stopped!
     
  35. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    The inside of ears. This has been going on since February. Old vet gave him injection of cortisone which I think may have triggered diabetes. Besides that, he’s tired. He is on all wet food now. What specific foods did you feed Sophie?
     
  36. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    We have tried a BUNCH of foods, but those symptoms as well as IBD flare ups happened when she was eating both chicken and then beef fancy feast. So I'm not sure if she's intolerant to chicken, beef, or the byproduct in them, so I switched her Instinct rabbit recipe, which has none of those three things
     
  37. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    I just gave him chicken fancy feast today. He actually loves seafood but I was told to hold off on fish because of the salt and mercury and can cause other issues? I’m actually running off the pet store now. I’m going to pick up some instinct rabbit. Do you ever feed merick perfect bistro or wellness core??
     
  38. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    I have heard mixed things about seafood as well.... The biggest problem I've found in all of this is that even foods that advertise using a different protein still have chicken or beef when you actually look at the ingredients :banghead: (Merrick is one of them). This is the only brand I found that didn't contain chicken or beef of some sort AND was diabetic friendly - it's 6% carbs. There's a venison flavor as well if he might like that more.

    I'm not sure how sensitive he is to food changes, but I know with Sophie I have to introduce new foods VERY slowly or it makes her stomach very upset
     
  39. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    6 carbs seems a little high. I know that most of the fancy fear pates are 1-3 carbs
     
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  40. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    He’s not that sensitive to food. He’s just tied after every meal.
     
  41. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Jun 18, 2019
    It does seem high when comparing actual numbers, but from Dr. Lisa's food chart:

    "The carb values noted on this chart are probably higher (overestimating) than they actually are. Even a value of 10% carbs could actually be closer to 0% carbs. Therefore, stick with the directive to stay below 10% carbohydrates but do NOT get caught up in whether a diet says 10%...or 5%....or 0% because these numbers are just not that accurate."
     
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  42. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Ok. Makes sense! Thanks!!
     
  43. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Do you get the regular instinct or the limited ingredient?
     
  44. Sarah&Soph

    Sarah&Soph Member

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    Just the regular - limited is higher carb (13%)
     
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  45. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Thanks! Just bought the Rabbit! :)
     
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  46. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Member

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    Apr 23, 2019
    you may find that as his BG comes down that he has more energy -- I was amazed to see Catcat bounding around downstairs yesterday, like a kitten, during the period where his BG was in "normal" range, when I was monitoring him to make sure he didn't go too low; as he gets accustomed to the Lantus insulin he is energized in a way I haven't seen in months
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019 at 10:55 AM
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  47. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Jul 10, 2019
    The thing is, his numbers are coming down naturally, from 439 to 311 to 220 and he has less energy. I don’t get it.
     
  48. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    Dehydration too can cause fatigue.

    Add some water to his meals and do not rely alone on him drinking from his bowl. Cat's naturally have low thirst drive and may tend to drink even less if the foods were switch to wet.

    I agree with @CandyH and Catcat - you'll see his energy restored once he in lower numbers continuously.
     
  49. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Yes. Thanks. I add water to almost every meal. Vet appt. is today in a few hours for re-check.
     
  50. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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  51. Tanya and Ducia

    Tanya and Ducia Well-Known Member

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    Very best of luck!
    Let us know how it'd go.
     
  52. Sweet Tango

    Sweet Tango Member

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    Thank you so much! I will. :)
     
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