1. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    I acquired a black cat from Craigslist. She seemed healthy and happy at first, but got quite sick. Drinking a lot and devouring food. Now we learn she has diabetes. I couldn't put her down, so we are learning the ropes slowly. She gets two shots a day and I shake each time! Her name is Prudence.
     
  2. DebG

    DebG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Welcome Lynn & Prudence!
    While I can't give advice as I am fairly new to this disease FD, you are at the right place. There are many seasoned members who can help you!
    Read the posts, I have learned so much and the members are so helpful and bring comfort yo all this.
    If you haven't done one please do a Spread Sheet for Prudence. What insulin are you using? There are forums for each kind that are specific to the type of insulin. Do you home test?
    Keep coming back.....
     
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  3. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi Lynn and Prudence. Welcome to FDMB.

    Finding out that your pet has diabetes can be scary and overwhelming. However, feline diabetes is very manageable with diet, hometesting and insulin.

    Can you tell us what food you are feeding Prudence? Also, what insulin are you using and what is the dose?

    A low carb/high protein diet is best for cats. You do not need to feed your cat a prescription diet if that is what your vet told you. Many of us feed our cats either Fancy Feast or Friskies canned food. Pate flavors are lower in carbs and you want to avoid flavors with gravy, such as "bits", "shreds" and "filet". Dry food is high in carbs and should be removed from the cat's diet. However, until you begin hometesting you do not want to remove the dry food. Removing dry food can significantly drop the blood glucose levels and you do not want to risk hypoglycemia.

    Good insulins for cats are long acting insulins such as Levemir, Lantus, PZI and ProZinc. With any insulin, the motto is "Start low and go slow". This means start at a low dose such as 1 unit twice a day. If a dose increase is needed, it should only be increased by 1/2 unit and wait at least a week before adjusting the dose again. The goal is to find the optimal dose that works best for your cat.

    Hometesting means using a glucose meter to test your cat's blood before every shot. Most of us use human meters instead of the expensive pet meter. A good but inexpensive meter to use is the Walmart Relion brand meters. They are not expensive and the test strips are very reasonably priced. Hometesting lets you know if it safe to give the insulin and also determine if a dose change is needed. We can help you learn how to test.

    I am sure you may have lots of questions. If you do, post them on the Health board. There is a lot of experienced people on this site and we are here to help you learn the sugar dance.

     
  4. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Thank you for your quick reply. Prudence is on 1 unit twice a day of ProZinc. I have yet to test her blood as we just started four days ago and the vet said there is no hurry in testing. I can't see any difference yet. I hate giving the shots as much as she hates getting them, but I'm persevering. I really am discouraged over this diagnosis. She is a darling and worth it all, however. Oh, I'm feeding her the canned Fancy Feast as opposed to the dry she used to eat. But she still gets the dry, too.
     
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  5. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome, Lynn! Don't be discouraged! Bandit has been diabetic for over 7 years now, and he's still doing great--just as healthy as any non-diabetic cat. If you follow the right guidelines for treatment (a low carb, canned only diet, a good insulin like Lantus, Levemir, or Prozinc, and dose adjustments via daily home testing), many cats go into remission and don't even need shots any more. Bandit needed to be on insulin for a little while last year because he needed steroids, but he's back off it again. Before that, he hadn't needed insulin for a good 5 years!

    The dry will cause problems with regulation, but definitely don't remove it from her diet until you are home testing! Diabetic cats can see a 100-300 point drop in their blood glucose levels once the dry is removed, and some cats (about 25%) no longer need insulin once the've switched to a low carb, canned diet. The rest usually need insulin for a period of time but most go into remission. :)

    I always have given Bandit's shots while he's eating, and he never even notices that I'm doing it. The shots don't hurt her--you're only injecting into the skin, not the muscle. What she doesn't like is that you're doing something new and strange to her, and she can sense that you're nervous and upset about it. Try doing the shots in conjuction with food or a special treat every time, and your attitude also makes a huge difference! If you're stressed out and upset, she will be to, but if you're calm, relaxed, and matter of fact about it, she will calm down, too! I learned this the hard way my first few weeks after Bandit's diagnosiss.

    It's the same thing with the home testing--it doesn't hurt the cat at all (cats have less nerve endings in their ears than people do in their fingers), it's the strangeness and your stress that freaks them out. If you give a diabetic safe treat with each test, even the most fractious cat will accept the testing in time. :cat: Once I was less "Oh poor baby, I'm so sorry I'm hurting you!" and more "You're getting this test/shot. cat, whether you like it or not because you need it to save your life!", everything got ten times easier.
     
  6. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Sounds like Bandit has a great mom. lol. I'm trying to calm down when I give the shot, but I know I've missed a few times and it only went into the fur. The vet said NOT to do it again as I may have gotten some into her and too little is better than too much. She love the new canned food and that is when I give her the shot, but now she knows to expect it. I keep reminding myself that I'm new to this and will eventually get the hang of it, but it really is daunting at first. I mean it's scary!!! I'm glad I found this site and have been reading a lot of the faq.
     
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  7. Shelly & Jersey

    Shelly & Jersey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    I just wanted to add in my welcome to you. My kitty, Jersey, is one of the many success stories of FDMB. After a short period of time on insulin, she went into remission and is now a diet-controlled diabetic. We definitely couldn't have done it without the support and guidance of the wonderful people here.

    I know it's overwhelming and terrifying when you're first starting out. Just remember to take a deep breath. You can absolutely do this!

    (Your vet is right. Never give another shot, even if you are confident the first shot didn't go in. Since you can't ever be 100% sure how much did go in, it's not safe to re-shoot. Always better safe than sorry!)

    Shelly
     
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  8. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Thank you, Shelly. It is so nice to meet such wonderful people. I've already gotten the "I would have just put her down" comment. We've only had Prudence for a little over six months, but already she is part of the family and I couldn't put her to sleep. She is only about four years old and skinny as a rail. She needs love. I just gave her her evening shot and it went very well. My hands only shook a little this time. Yikes. Thanks again for the support.
    Lynn and Dear Prudence (named after the Beatles song)
     
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  9. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Hey Lynn, don't worry about the shaky hands! I am a retired registered nurse and I hate to admit it, but I too shook for the first few shots. Prudence is your baby and we all worried so much about hurting our furkids. But we all find out that we are making a big deal out of it when in reality, kitty is just trying to figure out what the heck all this new maneuvering is all about... we're not hurting them. Like Julie, I finally discovered if I approached the testing and shots with a "can do" attitude, my girl relaxed and now she comes to get me for her testing and shots. It's amazing the bond you develop with a sugar cat! Be patient with yourself and Prudence and you two will be just fine!

    If you have any specific questions you can post them on the Health forum HERE as that's where there is always someone around and lots of activity.
     
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  10. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi, Lynn. A hearty welcome to you and dear Prudence! (There's even a song about her! :) )

    I'm so glad that Prudence has the great fortune to have you as her Person. :)

    I know what you mean about the shakes. (I've got multiple anxiety disorders and my hands shake, too.) Here's a really good video about how to make injection time a positive experience. I hope it helps you a little. :bighug:





    Mogs
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  11. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Dear Mr. Worfmen's mom and Critter mom, thank you for the encouraging words. I took everyone's advice and went into "shot time" with a quiet confidence and Prudence simply looked back at me and then continued eating. Whew! Now for the morning. I hope I can continue on in this new bravado. Prudence got her name because when we first got her she hid everywhere. I would find her and sing Dear Prudence Come Out to Play. That's how she got her name. I will watch the video and learn more. All of this does help me and dear Prudence. lol
     
  12. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Fake it till ya make it, Lynn. ;)


    Luvvit! :) Love the song, too, especially this version:




    Mogs
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  13. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Can't sleep tonight and listened to this version of Dear Prudence (which I love) and laughed when Prudence jumped up on my bed and started to purr as if she knew the song was about her. She must think that as my husband and I sing it to her often.
     
  14. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    :cool:

    Thinks Prudence to herself: "They love me!! They're playin' my song!!" :cat:


    Mogs
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  15. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I disagree, your vet is not correct with this statement. You should start testing before every shot to make sure she still needs insulin. By removing the dry food from her diet, her glucose levels can drop significantly. If you give insulin when the BG level is too low, you risk her becoming hypoglycemic, which is dangerous and can be deadly.

    You vet does not need to give you permission to start testing. Look at it this way, if Prudence was your child, would you want to give insulin unless you knew it was safe for her?
     
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  16. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    I'm just following my vets directions. Now that I've found this site I'm rethinking it. I gather what she meant was that I was to bring her in for testing in at around three weeks to see how she was doing. I'm going to Walmart today to check out glucose readers. I want to find the least expensive with the best performance. Prudence seems to be doing fine. She isn't as anxious and is drinking a lot less. I gave her her shot this morning and it went awesomely. Poor little thing has been through a lot these last few days and now I have to learn something else that may hurt her. It's just so difficult to adjust to. I have one in college and one in high school (human kids, lol) who always have their hands out and now my fur baby does too. LOL They're all worth it though. I also have a tuxedo cat name Phantom Marie and two dogs. I just can't wait until this is all routine.
     
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  17. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Congrats on the "awesome" shot this morning and kudos for deciding to home test. In a few weeks you will look back on these first few days and wonder why you had yourself tied up like a pretzel! Good to know Prudence is showing some improvement! :cat:

    If you are in the US, many folks there use the Relion Confirm or Confirm Micro. Some folks have tried the Prime but some have found they often had trouble with the strips and weren't saving any money in the long run. If you are located elsewhere, let us know and we'll try to give you some recommendations.

    Don't worry about hurting Prudence with the testing. Kitty ears have far less nerve endings than human fingers and they don't even notice it. It's really just a matter of getting Prudence to tolerate you fussing with her ears or paws, depending on where you find easier to test. There's lots of information about home testing here and of course, we'll be watching for you over on the Health board if you need any help or have questions. :)
     
  18. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Thank you. It is overwhelming. I knew nothing, and I mean nothing, of diabetes before this. Now this crash course is very telling. I'm in the US and will now go to the home testing page. Don't know what I'd do without you guys.
     
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  19. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Be sure to pick up some freeze-dried protein treats or other diabetic-friendly yumminess to give to Prudence as a reward for her awesomeness! :)

    There's a lot to get your head round in the beginning, Lynn, but it does get better. Promise! :bighug:


    Mogs
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  20. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Even if you are not successful in getting blood the first few times, always give Prudence a treat. She will soon start to associate testing with getting a treat. Before long, she may start reminding you when it is time to test. :cat:
     
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  21. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    I will have to check out the treats, also. I assume they're at the local Pet Smart? We're in a small town and it's tough getting to places. I'll make the extra trip if it will help get her to accept her glucose check. I had no idea it had to be performed twice a day, too. Ah, the things I am learning.
     
  22. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    You also need to get at least one test between insulin doses each day, Lynn, because you need to monitor how low the insulin dose takes Prudence to make sure it is safe for her. The members with Prozinc experience will be able to advise you on the best times to test for that insulin.


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  23. Lynn & Prudence

    Lynn & Prudence Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Thanks Mog. I'll have to read past threads on how people find the time for all this. I don't mean to sound insensitive, but, as I'm sure all of us do, have a very busy lifestyle. She's a little pumpkin and I want to do all I can to insure her health, but there are times I'm gone all day long. For instance today I'm busier than usual. Where there's a will there's a way, I guess. Keep calm and carry on. Thank you for all the help!!!
     
  24. scoobydoox

    scoobydoox Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    timed auto pet feeders help when your gone all day some of the members use them. freeze the food and it thaws through the day. once you get into a routine its not to bad. test-feed-shoot is how most days go. you can order most things online and would probably be cheaper instead of wasting the gas to travel around. =)
     
  25. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    In addition to the preshot tests some people snag tests at some of these times:

    * an 'out the door' test before leaving the house (an hour or two after AM dose).
    * an 'in the door' test immediately they arrive home (an hour or two before PM preshot).
    * a 'before bed' test just before turning in at night (a few hours after PM dose).

    If your cat tends to run lower at night (many, many cats do) the 'before bed' test is a very wise safety measure.

    Have a look at the stickies at the top of the Lantus forum. IIRC there's one about doing Tight Regulation and having a full-time job (or some similar title). It might give you some ideas about where to grab tests.


    Mogs
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