Testing Help - No Vet Support

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Kima, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Kima

    Kima New Member

    Nov 8, 2018
    We're new here. My big guy, who we affectionately call "Tubby" has been recently diagnosed. I noticed his increased thirst and excessive urination and took him in. Our vet did know enough to encourage us to change his food from dry to wet. We did that the same day of our appointment (Saturday). 4 days later (Wednesday), she called to confirm that he was indeed diabetic (BG over 400). However, since changing his food, his symptoms are gone. I asked her about testing before shooting insulin and she tells me that's not really something you do (I know better because of my independent research). I'm uncomfortable giving him insulin, when his symptoms have disappeared, especially without testing before. Clearly she is not going to teach me or encourage me to test daily. She did suggest we hold off on insulin and give him a month on his new food to see if he has managed remission from food change alone. She did say it would be highly unusual for him to achieve remission from food change alone in such a few short days. I'm trying to decide my next steps...

    1)Trust the lack of symptoms and re-test blood and urine in a month - no insulin
    2)Find a different vet who will teach me about the daily monitoring testing with a glucometer
    3)Try to figure out the glucometer testing on my own and call my current vet with the numbers and educate her

    Has anyone had this experience of changing food and achieving remission or drastically cutting glucose in such a short time? Is this likely a fluke and he still needs the insulin? I don't want to keep him off of it, if he needs it, but I don't want to push him into hypoglycemia either. He's on Friskies and 9 Lives wet right now. Can someone take e under your wing and tell me what I need for testing and how to do it. My husband is a paramedic and I'm not squeemish and Tubby is pretty cooperative, so I figure we should be able to handle this with the knowledge of what we need and how.
  2. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2018
    I had the pleasure of greeting you in the Introduction forum, so hello again.
    Here is a link to the testing links and tips here on the board: TESTING
    JanetNJ also responded in the Intro forum and her video of her testing her cat is excellent.
    I suggest you read the info on the Home Page (Getting Started and Education), it might not all apply to you if you are not using insulin yet, but it's good foundation information about FD. The FAQs forum contains vital information about hypos, as well as other information that will be useful to you. FAQS
  3. LexaJoy

    LexaJoy Member

    Sep 13, 2018
    Hullo! For what it's worth, I did try changing my Sherlock's food in the hopes that it would be enough. His numbers came down during that time, but they did not return to what would be considered a healthy, normal range. He was losing weight and I was advised that failing to consider insulin as an option would, sooner or later, result in some pretty dire complications. We've been on insulin for a month now and his weight has regrouped to a healthier place and his numbers, while still not back to normal, are much better.

    Sherlock is my second diabetic kitty. With the first, I didn't know much of anything. Nobody told me about home testing or that I could do any of this myself. We were going to the vet almost weekly to get a curve done ($80 each visit), and fumbling along with instructions that I realize now were misguided. I don't blame my vet. I just didn't realize that maybe her information was incomplete and I needed to do some work on my own. In the end, because we weren't home-testing, I gave my Ianto his prescribed dose of insulin before bed one evening in 2016 without realizing that he could have a hypo event. He did, and he didn't survive it. Now, I'm not throwing that at you as like, a way to intimidate or anything wild. I'm just saying that more information is always better. So peek around here, do some research, and know that everyone here's been in your same boat and we've got your back.
  4. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2016
    You could just get a meter and test without proceeding further. It's just a test and no one has to know. Meters don't have to be expensive or hard to use and the experience of using one may come in handy later if you haven't been blessed with immediate remission. It can happen.
    There's nothing in your profile about your location. In most parts of Canada meters are free, just tell a fib about your doctor suggesting you get one. No I.D. required. I'm an intellectual zero today so that's it. :(
    Beck and Grandpa (GA) likes this.
  5. sassycatlady

    sassycatlady Member

    Dec 11, 2017
    Yeah the really unfortunate thing is most vets will tell you not to worry about testing (even mine did at first, but now that she knows I do it, she checks in on my spreadsheet once in awhile!). I think this is b/c they don't want to overwhelm or scare owners with doing too much at first, b/c it can be so overwhelming to the novice owner to think of administering insulin 2x a day, never mind actually home testing. And some clients just don't even want to learn to give insulin, period, so I think they feel if they can at least get owners to give insulin, it's a win. But with a little trial and error you can do this yourself easily because you know the only way you will REALLY know where your kitty's at is to test. I like having the peace of mind knowing where the numbers are and the spreadsheet is a great resource for data tracking to find patterns (since I'm a control freak it can be a bit unnerving at times when I see those high numbers!) ;-) Plus, it's a money saver because you're not paying the vet to run a fructosamine test or BG curves; if you're checking numbers regularly, there is no need for that (monitoring daily at home is a much better indicator of a cat's true BG anyway, which is not what a fructosamine test will tell you). There are lots of good resources here - both the people kind and the print kind - so you're definitely not alone!
    KrisQ and Noah & me (GA) like this.
  6. KrisQ

    KrisQ Member

    Oct 20, 2018
    Hi - I was new to this just a few weeks ago and nervous about testing and injecting. Thanks to the many helpful people here and some internet videos to reinforce what I've learned here, it's been a breeze to learn how this all works - you can do it. My cat's BG was basically cut in half by the change in food, but it's only part of the equation. Nutrition with proper insulin dosing is the key. Good luck!
    Idjit's mom likes this.
  7. Beck and Grandpa (GA)

    Beck and Grandpa (GA) Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2018
    I know it's early and I need coffee when your question made me think of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. Instead of world peace, I think FDMB members if asked what they would most like to see happen in the world would say enlightened vets.

    Seriously, having a vet say testing isn't necessary is the rule rather than the exception. Yet my diabetic sister has a meter hard wired into her stomach to make sure she is always getting proper doses. What's good for the sister is good for the fur kids, I decided.

    Testing isn't half as hard as I thought, and it gives you the answers you need. This stuff is much easier to understand with test numbers on hand.

    Good luck and world peace.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018

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