The Rock, aka big kitty boy

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by The Rock momma's boy, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    image.jpg image.jpg Currently we are on the wait and see plan. The vet said with his complications he may not make it through the weekend. They gave me numbers of local clinics that are open on the weekends, just in case. They gave me a script for an appetite stimulant. I now know how to force feed and give insulin shots. He came home form the vet yesterday with "best of luck" wishes for the weekend. Well he actually ate on his own last night AND this morning. I gave him his first shot at home and now I am terrified I gave him too much. On an empty stomach 2 days in a rown his numbers were over 400. He was on IV fluids for 2 days and a/d critical care food. Now home because the vet is closed and the budget is very tight we are watching him closely. I can give him some lunch and at dinner we give the shot again. Depending on how much he eats I am to give him 2-4 units. He was 26 lbs of a big boy. He is Maine coon sized bone structure and at 18 lbs currently looks terribly skinny. My husband and I do not let him in the bedroom at night so we slept on the couch. Rock was actually semi active jumping up and sleeping on me at least 2x through the night. He cried for food this morning and ate on his own. I am scared to sleep because he may go hypo then coma and die. He is my constant companion at home. Follows me everywhere and tolerates my husband. He has been sleeping ALL morning. I keep waking him up scared he is dead...when is it safe to take a nap? I do not have a glucose meter for him, but it is so new we are still trying to stabilize him and save his liver, he was kinda yellow/orange on the lips and ears when we brought him in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  2. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Hello, and welcome to FDMB.

    May I ask why Rock was staying at the vet's. What are the "complications"? Was he admitted with DKA?
    Are you testing Rock's pee for ketones at home?

    Blood glucose numbers around 400 are very common when diabetics are newly diagnosed.

    The general advice regarding insulin is to start at around 1 unit and work up from there, so 2 - 4 units is a high starting dose, especially for a kitty with variable appetite.
    Which insulin are you using?

    Best wishes,

    Eliz
     
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  3. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    DKA yes, we are not testing ketones at home. He is on 4 units of novolin n 2x daily. But his liver or pancreas may be too far gone. It is too early to know. He was on an iv drip with a few things in the bag. The vet is only staffed and run 8-5 m-f. I have his blood work papers in case we have to put him down.
     
  4. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Since you are dealing with ketones at home, it will be very helpful in managing him if you can test his glucose in any way.

    The best option is an inexpensive human glucometer (ex WalMart ReliOn Confirm) , matching test strips, and alternate site testing lancets. We can coach you through getting tests on him. Meters with Free or Tru/True in the name may not work well for cats.

    Urine testing is a rough guide, so getting some KetoDiaStix (or generic) from the pharmacy will help monitor his ketone status and how much glucose is spilling.

    My signature link Secondary Monitoring Tools has some info on urine testing and the other assessments you may use to monitor him.
     
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  5. Elizabeth and Bertie

    Elizabeth and Bertie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Oh, sweetie. Poor you.
    That must be really tough on you all. But please know that there are other cats here who have come through DKA just fine. So, don't lose hope.

    You can monitor ketones at home with Ketodiastix strips or Ketostix (the first measures ketones and glucose, the second measures just ketones). You may also just want to have an awareness of how Rock's breath smells (fruit/peadrops/acetone smell is indicative of ketones).
    There's a page of pics and info here about urine testing:
    http://www.sugarpet.net/urine.html

    If you do feel able to take up BJ's suggestion of hometesting (testing Rock's blood glucose at home) that will really help you to monitor his condition, and to keep him safe from hypoglycemia. (And you may feel much easier about going to sleep!)
    Hometesting is quick to do and should not hurt your kitty at all. We can help you learn to do it.

    Huge reassuring hug to you,

    Eliz
     
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  6. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Any idea how much the "pee sticks" cost? Are they over the counter? My mom is diabetic, I can do that, no problem.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
    Reason for edit: Forgot to mention...
  7. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Yes, they do not require a prescription; you may have to ask at the pharmacy.

    I just did an online check for urine ketone stripsat CVS. They run about $11 for 50 strips..
     
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  8. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Thank you! I am about to offer a lunch at noon. They indicated more importantly than the dieting now is to just get him to eat but not free range. I think I can get a nap once he has some food. Unfortunately we are not as concerned about the blood sugar as we are about him eating and not processing fat in the liver.
     
  9. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
    I am sorry you are going through this and very sorry it is happening at the weekend. When my kitty was poorly I used to count the hours down until the vet opened up on Monday.

    It is important to get him to eat and also to drink. What food are you giving? Is the rock managing to do both?
     
  10. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Yes I heard him drinking in the middle of the night. I am giving him various wet foods moistened with more water. He is actually eating, but I will force feed a/d critical care to him. In 2 days he has had 2 cans do a/d at the vet Thursday and Friday. Thursday night he only licked gravy off the top of the wet food, nothing at home on Friday morning so I rushed him back. They gave him a 3 day appetite stimulant before we left Friday and he ate about 1/3 of a can. This morning he was up with us and meowing for food. He ate 3/4 of a can and got his morning shot at 7am. One more hour and I will let him eat some lunch, he is making a funny meow while purring noise every now and again. After breakfast he was quite chipper and purring while kneading to bed down for a morning nap. I am just freaking out I gave him too much insulin. The vet said if he eats 1/4 of a can only 2 units, 1/2 or more 4 units. He is a fat boy and the variety of wet foods are ones we have had on hand as his "treats" prior to being diagnosed.
     
  11. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Those posts about how to get urine samples and vet questions are VERY helpful! Thank you for putting all the time into this for newbies who are freaking out. Greatly appreciated!
     
  12. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    You're very welcome.

    An important note on Novalin: it may last only 6-8 hours in the cat. Since you are dealing with ketones, you need as much insulin coverage as possible throughout the day. Can you possibly give it every 8 hours? I know that can be a tough schedule, but combined with the glucose testing, it will improve your chances for a good outcome.
     
  13. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    I can, I have no good sleep schedule, and I am willing to do it. Today is just the first day of treatment at home, we are waiting to see if he makes it through the weekend. I can bring this new info to he vet and suggest it be a 3x daily occurrence. If it helps kitty boy I will wake up every hour! I know it is not the best kind of insulin to have him on but we cannot afford prices of "the good stuff." My hubby gets up at 6:30 for work and we rarely go to bed before 10:30 so we could easily to every 8 hours!
     
  14. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    BCP PZI may be a better alternative and they will send the vet a sample 5 mL vial to try.
     
  15. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Your blog is a nice touch, just read the first page. I knew it was treatable because my husband used to tell me of stories of one of his friends from back home who had to "share" his insulin with his cat.
     
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  16. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
    It sounds like you are one dedicated moma and that will go along way in helping your Rock. If you are still struggling with nausea on Monday I would ask the vet to prescribe ondansetron. It can really help with the eating but so can getting fluids into them. You can syringe water into a cats mouth if you do it carefully and slowly aiming the water from one side to the other. Have you got a 5 ml syringe that you could use? If you do this a few times a day This will help flush out ketones and aid with any nausea.
     
  17. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    I was cautious at first on doing it with water, but it is quite easy. I have a pipetter tip to go on the syringe. I just do tiny amounts of water in the corner of his mouth and he accepts it. I think he knows he is really sick and is allowing me to do all this stuff to him. I do not know the signs of nausea for cats but he did not eat Wednesday and ate minimally on Tuesday. Thursday and Friday he was good eating while at the vet. But when he came home Thursday night he refused food that night and Friday morning. So far he is resting, I hope our 6:30 feed goes as well as the previous ones!
     
  18. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
    That's great news. Just keep doing small amounts often. Maybe not too close to feeding time as you don't want to fill him up with water but otherwise just keep going. I do it the same way. Just tiny drops at the corner if the mouth and they soon lap it up. When remi was poorly I would aim to get 30 or 40 ml into him each day. With sub q the amount is up to 100 ml per day but ofcourse that isn't going into the tummy.

    Nausea can show up as lip licking, teeth grinding, hungry but walking away from food, licking food but no more and probably a few more things that escape my mind. It is important to get some food into rocky in whatever way you can (and then you can give some insulin) I think you've already said you will water down and syringe food into him.
     
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  19. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    I have been giving him between 5-8mL of water every 45 min. Though sometimes he does not get most of it in him. We had a bad feed tonight, barely got 1/4 of a can with force feeding! Therefore I only gave 2 units of insulin, per vet recommendation. He does show the symptom of just licking food and walking away sometimes, but he has kept all food down so far! We are convinced his ear skin is less orange/yellow.
     
  20. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
    That's good about the water. Perhaps don't do it for an hour before he eats. You don't wasn't his tummy to be full of water. It sounds like he has some nausea and so I would ask for ondansetron if he is not throwing up. This may help him eat more.

    What were the complications for the rock. Why did the vet say he was jaundiced? Did he mention a problem with his liver or pancreas? Did they test for that and if so what tablets was he prescribed. The jaundice could be related to the diabetes or could be a separate liver issue. My cat had cholangihepatitis and became very jaundiced and was prescribed an antibiotic for a number of weeks. This helped him feel better pretty quickly.
     
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  21. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    They were not 100% sure but if he was not eating and vomiting they suspected liver failure or pancreatic cancer. He is so normal after a feed and shot, I cannot believe it. Nothing was tested further no drugs for theses organs. They did not think he would survive the weekend. But he is eating, though the appetite stimulant they gave does seem to be diminishing as the weekend progresses. I will bring him in on Monday since he is still improving throughout the hours! 25 hours until the vet is open again, 37.5 hours of doing ok....if he is well enough we will be digging deeper and see what is going on. I force fed a little this morning but he ate more than last night.
     
  22. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
    You are doing really well. I could see if remi was jaundiced the easiest by looking at the whites of his eye. It was quite yellow at one point when he had his cholanghepatits. I do think it is worth exploring the reason for the jaundice.

    If you could afford it you might like to discuss doing a blood screen to check for his liver and kidney values. A spec fPL test would give you an idea about what his pancreas is up to but in the UK it is one of the more expensive tests as it has to be sent away as it was developed by IDEXX laboratory. I always an open with my vet about how to get the best out of tests, medication from a money point of view and when I have had tests I have asked what range of tests would give me the fullest results for the least amount of money. I have found that depending on how they clump them together the price ranges a fair bit.

    I would certainly discuss having an ongoing anti nausea medication that you can give at home. I wonder whether they gave your cat a cerenia injection which is great at preventing vomiting and there is also a medication that is a tablet ondansetron which is good for stopping nausea and thus encouraging them to eat.
     
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  23. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    I did a blood panel first thing in the door. I have the sheets, any value in particular on there? He was orange at one point, but yellow now. I notice it best in his lips and ears. He does not hate me nor run away when I come with the water or food syringe. He just, sometimes reluctantly, takes it. He has been purring and kneading so much lately. I am tired, I think this is similar to parenthood, no sleep and full of concern. Taking it 45 min at a time.
     
  24. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Okay I am not an expert but if you could post up a picture of the test results (making sure any personal details are blanked out) then maybe people can help. Or just list them out.

    The liver values are the ALK and ALT
    ALB-albumin-protein that indicates general health
    Globulin-protein that indicates general health.
    Bilirubin-liver and gall bladder issues -raised if jaundiced
    The kidneys are urea, creatinine, BUN
    Pancreas is spec fPL

    It is often the interplay between the different results that give an idea as to what might be happening so the more info the better.

    It is great that you are getting water, fluid and insulin into the rock. Hopefully the jaundice is lessening but still a good idea to follow it up next week if you can. There are lots of options for treatment but need to narrow down the cause if not related to his diabetes.

    When you do post them it might be an idea to do so in a new thread with a title that directly asks for help interpreting test results. Or alternatively you could go back to your first post here and press the edit button and amend the title to say the same sort of thing.
     
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  25. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
  26. The Rock momma's boy

    The Rock momma's boy Member

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Thank you, I think I am getting the hang of how FDMB works. Rock is getting comfy in many places around the house again, changing positions and even taking mild interest and batting at toys!
     
  27. phlika29

    phlika29 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 14, 2014
    That is so good to hear:). You are doing a fantastic job. I have replied to the other thread ask well.
     

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